On the occasion of the release of his latest musical project Songs from Osteria, we meet Francesco Guccini in Milan. He welcomes us with a phrase in Bolognese dialect and seeing our lost look, with a smile he asks: “He doesn’t speak Bolognese?”. Thus begins our interview. “The memory is important, he underlines, in one of my songs I say: the time passes of the many I will be who become I was. As a young person they say I will be, but as an old man I was, and therefore the memories also live in tradition but today we are in such a hurry, so fast… The songs – he continues – are a beautiful vehicle of information, over time certain songs tell life of the period better than many newspaper articles”.
We ask him about today’s world, about wars, about the international crisis: “I watch talk shows and I see two factions, two supporters and in the middle there are the dead. In the middle there are women, men, old people, children who go to war. The factions argue, everyone thinks they are right, they want to overwhelm… This is dramatic. Some time ago I wrote a song, it was ’64, which ended like this: I ask when will man be able to learn to live without killing and the wind will stop, this is what I think!”.
We also ask him if it’s time for a “revolution”, he chuckles: “The young people will take care of it, I can’t make the revolution at 83, I’ve already done the little I’ve been able to do.”
The day continues in the Aula Magna of the State University of Milan where the artist met the students, his arrival was preceded by the Alpine choir which sang Hello beautiful, a song that opens his new collection. “Many Iranian women sing Hello beautiful“, states the singer-songwriter and explains that he wanted to change a word of the lyrics: “Instead of the invader I put the oppressor, because in Iran there is no invasion, but oppression”.
Ironic, helpful, thoughtful: Guccini talks about those past times, when he met with friends in Bologna, in three taverns, stayed out late playing the guitar, chatting with friends and playing cards… but never for money. He goes back in memory, talks about concerts, first love, meetings, his love for reading, talks about when he was 29, underlines that now that he is 83 “naturally” things have changed…
The new album is the continuation of Intorto songscertified Platinum, winner of the Targa Tenco for the “Performer of songs” category and best-selling physical album of 2022 which marked the return of Francesco Guccini 10 years after the last studio project. First song on the tracklist of Songs from Osteria And Hello beautiful, then yes continues in South America with Jacinto Chiclana, The black horse, The chacarera of 55 And Sur, up to singing about love in all its forms with Honey where are you, Maria la guerza And The tieta; there is no shortage of traditional ones The song of the pile drivers in Veneto, The maduneina from Baurgh ‘d San Pir in Bolognese, Hava nagila in Hebrew, the nostalgic The last thing on my mind and American folk in Cotton fields; to close the album between Greek and Italian, the bilingual song April 21st. The arrangements are by Fabio Ilacqua who also followed the artistic production supported by Stefano Giungato.
From now, Friday 10 November – on the occasion of the publication of the new recording project – until Sunday 26 Novemberas part of the Milan Music Week, a Milan long Dante Streetit will be possible to take part in the immersive experience of But I was also a singer-songwriter – Francesco Guccini: beyond the stagethe open-air photographic exhibition that NEWUa strategic-creative consultancy company, conceived and created for BMG Italy with the aim of telling an unpublished, private Guccini, with some of the most iconic shots that retrace his life, history and career away from the stage.