Do you have any career anecdotes?
It would take a whole magazine to tell them all, but there are some that stand out. In 1982 we were working on Gianna’s fifth album, Latin Lover. The band, including Gianna, and myself featured Claudio Golinelli on bass, Mauro Pagani on the violin and others I can’t remember now. The producer Conny Plank (German synthesizer genius) had called a female, Scottish piano-and-keyboard player that gave incisive power to Gianna’s. We recorded at Stone Castle Studios in Carimate for about a month and in the end, thanks to the atmosphere, left as friends as well as colleagues. One day, during a break, the Scottish musician approached me asking me if I would like to listen to a tape. She placed my headphones on my head and patiently began to wait for my opinion. By the first piece, I was floored. Nearly ripping my headphones off, I asked who was singing. Candidly she answered: “It’s me, don’t make fun of me!” I told her, “I’ve been listening to you for a month and you’re not a singer!” She got very angry and turning her back, began to sing the a cappella version of the song I had just finished listening to on the headphones. “In a month of background singing, I’ve never heard you sing like that!” I was almost shouting. “And why should I? It wasn’t called for,” she replied. That marvelous voice had been kept for herself. I am talking about the Eurythmics first piece. And she … well, she was Annie Lennox, destined to soon become one of the most famous pop rock singers in the world.
Arianna Antinori is amongst your new recruits. What did you see in this young artist?
A journalist, Francesco Paracchini, who made me listen to the first Arianna’s album in English, asked me. The sound of the voice struck me, the production less, in short, I was puzzled, we organized a meeting in the studio to know each other and the impact was very positive. We hit it off immediately. I told her that her voice reminded me of Janis Joplin and she showed me one of her videos in which she sang Joplin’s iconic “Mercedes Benz”, for which she won a prize in 2010 from the Joplin brothers themselves. At that moment, I understood the reason of her love of English, and that Joplin piece truly represented it. I was becoming increasingly interested in the human and artistic part of Arianna. Francesco invited me to go and see her perform live at the “All’unetrentacinque” club in Cantù, and then and there I was bewitched by the artistic generosity, the ability to transport the public and the heart and the passion that emanated on stage. From that moment I decided to collaborate with her: Arianna is in love with music and not with the success that comes from it, that is what won me over. Today her Italian debut album “Hostaria Cohen”, will be released. The end of 2017. There couldn’t have been a better ending to 2017.