What happened to me in early 2022 is unbelievable. It’s something I never thought I would achieve, a little forgotten dream that came true almost naturally. I had never considered such a possibility and yet … never say never in life. It’s so true. At my age, for the first time it happened to me to participate in a song with my guitar, a song that was released on all streaming platforms. It’s a tiny thing, a drop in the ocean, but to me it’s a huge accomplishment, completely unexpected and totally unplanned. A number of things happened that led me to this opportunity. I’m very happy that an official track contains a small musical contribution from me. I have gained a great deal of satisfaction….
I recently resumed playing guitar seriously. It’s my hobby as a family man but it was always what distinguished me. I’ve never really stopped playing it but I haven’t been active in a band since I was a kid, back in my college days. In those days you dreamed of doing concerts, records, tours…. Then reality sets in, graduation, unemployment, work, family…. and everything goes into oblivion. I have always maintained that we must never forget the child in us. Children make art naturally, then they stop when things are imposed on them. As adults we are inclined to stop because of a cultural fact. But we are wrong. Those who can make a job out of their art are lucky, I admire them very much. But if the two things don’t coincide, we don’t necessarily have to give up something that expresses our true essence.
For years I looked with a touch of envy at those who played even in a village festival on a stage with their own band. I’ve always regretted that I didn’t work hard enough when it was time. My sister and I played in a small band when we were kids but we weren’t able to perform in public. Later both my sister and a couple of drummers I played with created their own opportunities to play live and I found myself just spectating, admiring but with a little regret that I didn’t do it too. In the summer of 2010 in New York City, in the beautiful Washington Square, with my wife and our little one of a few months we met a young artist of Italian origin, Mike Scala, who was performing with some friends in the street to advertise their CD and a gig they would have held that same day. I still have that CD and a pick that Mike gave me when I told him that I too, though more modestly, played guitar. I really admired that guy who was able to pursue his dream and accomplished something, albums, tours, collaborations even with famous artists.
A few years later I lost my job and accepted an invitation from some people to join their plunkers band. That’s how I started playing again, using Mike Scala’s pick, rediscovering a very strong passion that changed my life once again. I realized the dream of performing live, of getting on stage and playing and singing songs that touch me in front of an audience. It’s a beautiful experience that I thought was precluded, simply because the time for certain things seemed to have passed. Instead…
A few years later I was introduced to a nice Englishman, in Italy for 20 years, married to an Italian, like me passionate about making music. He was a singer in a coverband similar to ours. We clicked immediately and after some time we thought why not do something together. His idea was to let me participate in an experiment he was doing with a friend. Everyone in their own homes, the friend composes tracks on the computer, they pass the tracks on to musicians both here and in England to add arrangements, then he writes the lyrics and sings on the finished product. The Grand Experiment released their first album Genesis this way. A few days ago they released their new single, Cooling, which features me as a special guest on guitar.
It all happened quickly. One acquaintance leads to another, one idea leads to another, and here I am on a track that is on all the streaming platforms and will even be played on the radio in Australia! The power of internet word of mouth. Several friends who have a certain musical taste liked the track. It’s not my style but on the guitar I thought I’d put it in. The songwriters were thrilled and it even surprised me since I’m not used to being appreciated musically. Maybe I’m not as bad as I think…. 😉
Another nice project is coming out of all this: with these new friends we are putting together a John Mayer coverband, not a joke for guitar players. We will focus more on the period in which John Mayer plays with the Trio, together with Pino Palladino (who shares a father from Campobasso with me) and Steve Jordan – so it’s a big commitment for the other musicians too! And the adventure continues, by now I expect everything… 😉