ON MY GENERATION



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My interview on Thecrazymind


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Rome, 70s. We are in the southern suburbs of the city, on the background of a season marked by social tensions. This story is a messy chronicle of events that lead to the passage between the first and second Italian republics. Emilio Santini and his friends are preparing themselves to live the new season, supporting the rise of a rampant politician. Rock music and soccer are their only reason for living, but they believe they have found a way out from the difficulties of living in the person of the honorable Andrea Franzoni, a dear old friend of theirs. Tricked by political opportunism, the boys justify with apathy their own failures. Destiny will provide a helping hand for the payback and even though nothing will give back the lost time, each of them will ultimately stem the matured cynicism. The history of a generation afflicted by Pete Best's disease.


NOTE

The generations following the 1970s - so also mine - have no characterization. I mean that in the '60s they talked about flowers’ power of flowers and universal love, the 70s were marked by controversy and terrorism, but also by social gains.

There was good socialization, a sense of belonging that expressed itself in extremism and aversion to the opposite, but that made people join under a flag or a color. 

And then? In the 80s and in the following decades, an ephemeral spiral blew on the fire of individualism and self-realization.

Being heroes for only one day and having fifteen minutes of notoriety for each, they have outlined - and they still do - the collective imagination.

In the third chapter of Stories of anonymous apathy-holic, I tried to synthesize all this with the speech to his friends from the future politician Adrea Franzoni:

Ideologies have come to an end. The earlier you will convince yourselves the better it will be for everyone. What did ideologies produce in history? Nothing, indeed, only disasters. I don’t say it: it's history. Of course, some can say that only an ideology can make you feel alive, solid, in full communion with the human race. Do you know how I answer? With another question: do you prefer a sweet lie or a rough truth? And the truth, my friends, is that if you do not help yourselves first, you will never be able to help anybody else

 

In the book, some of the guys including Emilio Santini, The Blasphemy and The Quiet, don’t find it hard to share the concept since they lack political and social passion. Inside them, this theory finds fertile soil. Cobra and Archimede, on the other hand, are initially suspicious just because they still have an ideological conscience, even if they side opposing deployments. In the end, they too will surrender and will be flocked by the politician’s manners. 

The opportunism of Congressman Franzoni (The Infamous) is their primary education of the adult world where the boys will find an easy and convenient landing in the island of apathy and indifference.

What happens next is fiction. The kids will have the chance of a payback even if the lost time will not come back. 

Pete Best's disease is the fear of failure. In the life of each one of us there is no room for wrong moves.

Pete Best was The Beatles’ first drummer. When I talk about Liverpool kids, I talk about them as one of the major mass media phenomena that have ever existed and not because I want to impose them on someone. 

I think Pete Best's story teaches you more than any other anecdote. Drummer in charge until the first record (Love me do, '62), he is replaced because they thought he couldn’t deal with it. One minute before world renown, the boy has suffered a historic theft from the fate that will prevent him from glory and immortality. 

What else could go worse? - It's the question.

I could be Pete Best - is the answer.

It's really a heroic act to stay alive.


One aspect I wanted to highlight is the strong impact that the rock music message has had on this century. I often repeat to myself that many people's lives would be different without rock and roll music or maybe just without this or that group. It has been the soundtrack of these last sixty years and it is the main (perhaps the only) aspect that links today's generations with those of the 60s or 70s. 

 

 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017



© Enrico Mattioli 2017