Patty Smith just isn't the type of woman, who'd be eager to appear on Italian television. If she does, you know something big is in the air.
Patti Smith performing "I, as a Person"
the English version of Gabers' "Io Come Persona"
This week, Italian national television broadcast Rai Tre dedicated a whole evening to singer songwriter Giorgio Gaber, who died 10 year's ago (he would have celebrated his 74th birthday on the 25th of January).
Milan born Gaber has become a solid part of Italy's cultural heritage over the years. The singer came to early fame as a young man when working for the Italian television, often performing together with Mina, Italy's most beloved female singer. Even though Gaber's performances as a young artist belong to the stellar moments of Italian television, he actually never loved the medium too much.
Gaber and Mina:
When Italian television was still fun to watch
Preferring live performances, Gaber toured widely and also worked as actor and director. The themes of his song lyrics are often political or with an eye to social themes, but they never lack a good sense of humor.
Come è Bella La Città, Lo Shampoo, Destra and Sinistra, Io Come Persona and many more of Gaber's songs have become standards of the Italian songbook. But many of the best performances are recorded by Giorgio Gaber himself. His timing was impeccable and his presence and body language managed to hypnotized the audience even when alone on a stage with a mic.
Gaber spent a lot of time in his villa close to Italy's famous beach and carnival destination Viareggio. You may have come to Tuscany for Puccini, but Gaber is no doubt another good reason to cruise the region's northern coastline. In fact, Viareggio's yearly FESTIVAL GABER was one of the main stops on Patti Smith's extensive European tour tour last summer.
Want to take Gaber and Mina along whilst touring Italy? Their album Un'Ora Con Loro can be downloaded on Amazon. It includes Mina's stunning performance of "Brava" (listening to the song, you'll understand why Sarah Vaughan said, if she wasn't already having one good voice herself, she'd wanted the one of a young Italian singer called Mina).