GINO DE STEFANI
The music was somewhat familiar, embarrassingly familiar, from the very beginning. The melody, the rhythm and the universe of harmony attracted me like a magnet, it was a relationship born (or rather, re-born...?) on the right rails: it went in the exact way without forcing it....a magic, perhaps a need. The relationship with the rest of the universe was instead (and still is) much less easy, even if serene, in the middle of the council houses of San Siro in Milan, in the late '50s, early '60s.
That’s where I was born and grew up in 1956, in the courts of Preneste road, Civitali road, Paravia road and Morgantini road, playing football, stealing vinyls to listen to a song, reading school books and begging my parents to allow me to study music, even if their answer was unfortunately the same every time...but those were hard times, when you were concerned about getting by, without having weird ideas.
But in seventh grade I started to realize that I had to write my own music and with that old untunable EKO guitar that my parents finally bought me (…. great conquest..!), I started writing my first (experimental…) songs… horrible things, too long and wrong, but I had to start somewhere.
The music slowly began to be more credible, strengthening more and more my passion and, in the meantime, I never quit listening to the "real" artists’ music....
I know, I wasn’t the greatest example of academic, political and social commitment, but I had a constant idea in my mind, and no intentions of giving it up… Then, at nineteen years old, I signed my first recording contract, with the legendary Durium: I will never forget the hard but warm looks of the Mintanjans, who gave me my first chance.
Meanwhile I started studying Medicine at the Università Statale in Milan, which I attended until the sixth and last year, passing a fair number of exams, but always with the distraction of music and songs: there was no competition... I was always thinking about music, no disrespect intended to Pathological Anatomy, Physiology, Internal Medicine and General Surgery 1 and 2, and all the rest....
For those who have a good memory, at that time I received recognition with Idea 2 (Piero Ameli and I), thanks to a theme song written for Tele Montecarlo in those years called “She's a witch”. The lyrics were written by Paolo Limiti.
But I've never been a great showman and my artist career lasted for a little time: I don’t stop to tell the anxiety on stage in Eurovision in Saint-Vincent, or the terror before entering on that of the Arena di Verona, even if it was in clear unashamed playback ....
My real passion was (and is…) writing and I followed my instincts tenaciously, even in the middle of difficulties which, I guarantee, were daily thoughts.
Then, as in the most beautiful fairy tales, something magical happened and transformed my life path, like meeting special people whose presence helped me sharpen the art of songwriting, people who I never stop thanking silently. Talent, if there is any, will definitely blossom just being with these kind of people; extraordinary artists that I had the fortune to meet and learn from, thanks to their immense artistic wealth.
Here, in strictly alphabetical order, is a short list of those whom I had the honor and pleasure to work with in these fourty plus years of music. Because of the impossibility to mention them all, I apologize to those I forgot:
Luigi Albertelli, Piero Ameli, Leonardo Amuedo, Oscar Avogadro, Charles Aznavour, Fabrizio Baldoni, Roberto Benozzo, Franz Campi, Al Bano Carrisi, Piero Cassano, Fabrizio De Andre’, Dario Farina, Fred Ferrari, Fiorello, Rodolfo Grieco, Dori Ghezzi, Gordon Kennedy, Mario Lavezzi, Paolo Limiti, Andrea Lo Vecchio, Cristiano Minellono, Mijares, Domenico Modugno, Ricardo Montaner, Trijntje Oosterhius, Laura Pausini, Fabio Perversi, Alfredo Rapetti “Cheope”, Romina Power………..and all the others.
People and characters