Zucchero, tell us everything about yourself? The singer-songwriter, in concert tonight in Messina, answers our ten readers


By John

The great wait for tonight’s concert by Zucchero at the “Franco Scoglio” stadium in Messina is practically over. And like every year, Gazzetta del Sud and RTP gave readers and viewers a big surprise with the «Guess the question» competition. Ten (out of almost 500 emails received) won the chance to go to the concert and meet Zucchero in a meet & greet that will take place before the show.
Here are the winning questions and Zucchero’s answers.
Let’s try to dream… You have the possibility of bringing back a person who is no longer there… you cannot choose a family member or a person dear to you but think of a great man or woman from the past, someone who can make a contribution with his wisdom, his know-how! (Patrizia Barbuto)
«All the artists and friends I met: from Luciano Pavarotti, to Jeff Beck, Pino Daniele, BB King, Dolores O’Riordan…».

Dear Zucchero, your music has crossed generations and borders, mixing blues, rock and Italian melodies. Is there an element of your musical legacy that you consider more important or that you would hope the public will remember more over time? (Mario Salvatore Macrì)
«I would say my songs, because they represent my musical and personal journey. I have always tried to create a bridge between blues, rock and Italian melodies. I hope they continue to resonate in people’s lives, to give them comfort, joy and inspiration, just as they have for me.”

In the song «Diavolo in me» you addressed the concept of the existence of good and evil in the human being and in the human soul. How many times and in what form, in your working career as an artist and in your life, has the duality of good and evil presented itself and which followed more, good or evil? (Alessio Clemente)
«I have always enjoyed playing with “evil”, understood as that rebellious and daring part that is in each of us. This is the “diabolical” side that fueled my music. But this game with evil has always been balanced by a deep sense of spirituality, represented by the love of music, the desire to create something beautiful and meaningful and the desire to send messages.”

Your songs were the soundtrack of my adolescence. How many happy memories and how many tears consoled by your music… Do you have a “favourite” song (even by other artists…) that arouses particular emotions in you, that reminds you of a particular moment? Thanks to you who still manage to excite us in this crazy world! (Maria Acquaviva)
«“Dune Mosse” is one of the first songs I wrote and it is the first successful example of bringing together the rhythm and sounds of African-American music with Italian melody».

In your opinion, after so many years, only a healthy and conscious libido saves the young man from stress and Catholic Action? (Pasquale Soraci)
«Yes, after all these years I still think that only a healthy and conscious lust saves the young person from stress and Catholic action. I’m not saying I’m not a believer, but I’m saying there is something superior. As a child I had a pact with Don Tagliatella, the parish priest of Roncocesi, who allowed me to play the organ in exchange for serving mass as an altar boy.”

His music has extended beyond national borders thanks also to numerous collaborations with international artists of the caliber of Bryan Adams, Miles Davis, Sting, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Peter Gabriel, Paul Young, just to name a few. Her relationship with Bono is particular, culminating with «Streets of Surrender», a true hymn to freedom after the terrorist attacks in Paris, which Bono wrote for her. How did that idea come about and how did your friendship with Bono, one of the most iconic frontmen in music of all time, begin? Can you tell us an anecdote about your friendship? (Massimo Silipigni)
«We’ve known each other since Miserere, the record company wanted an English version of that song. To play her, Bono’s name came up. I was surprised. A few days later I received a fax, which I still have framed today, in which Bono wrote to me that “Miserere” drove him crazy and that he would try to write the adaptation in English. In that fax there was also his telephone number with a beautiful phrase: “I always park my car in the same place”. As if to say that he was always traceable. From there the collaboration began.”

What advice would you give today to the young, handsome and talented Adelmo of a few years ago? (Marcella Retto)
«I would tell him to have fun, to never give up and to persevere, even if the road may be difficult and full of obstacles».

The hat is a fundamental element in your looks, so much so that you said you have a collection of several hundred hats. Are there hats in your collection that were donated by friends, fans or someone important? Is there one in particular that leaves a special memory for you? (John Greco)
“Among the many hats I own, there is one from the movie “Gangs of New York” that I found in a Mexican shop in Los Angeles. It is a unique piece that carries with it the charm of cinema and the history it represents. From them I bought one that belonged to Bob Dylan in the 70s.”

If you had the possibility of a time machine, is there a particular moment/period/situation from your past life that you would like to relive and perhaps change or modify something? Possibly what and why. (Pino Giorgianni)
«I would like to relive the Freddie Mercury Tribute in 1992. I felt terrible. Extreme panic attacks, things I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I didn’t enjoy it. I would like to relive it with a completely different state of mind.”

What is the simplest thing that makes you happy? When were you last happy? (Ignazia Ventura)
“Music, the stage. Always.”