We are approaching the tenth anniversary of the death of Claudio Rocchi, one of the most eclectic, multifaceted, cosmopolitan and above all beloved figures in Italian music. To Claudio, his story, his connections, his legacy not only artistic but also spiritual Walter Gatti and Caissa Italia Editore dedicate the biography “Essenza. Vite di Claudio Rocchi,” which will be premiered on Sunday May 21, 2023 at the “Salone del Libro di Torino.” It speaks not by chance of lives – and not of life…. – because Claudio Rocchi has written songs, founded radio stations, directed experimental films, created electronic music projects, initiated artistic communal experiences, experimented with every substance capable of “opening the doors of perception,” lit candles on Rock stages, invented words in concert, travelled through the Italy of festivals, written poems and poetry, painted faces and non-figurative scenarios, translated oriental books, divulged mystical authors, directed religious communities.
“Essenza. Vite di Claudio Rocchi” is the first biography about a totally free and often forgotten artist, an unstoppable and stubborn seeker of ‘essence‘. Born in Milan on 8 January 1951, Rocchi was considered by many to be ‘the prince of hippies.’ He recorded some of the records and songs that symbolised the new youthful freedom, the nascent Italian Rock and Psychedelic era in the Italian 1970s, from “La tua prima luna” to “Volo magico,” from “La realtà non esiste” to “Lascia Gesù.” A leading singer-songwriter in the early 1970s, Rocchi stubbornly pursued questions and dreams, utopias and provocations. He saw Jimi Hendrix and the Isle of Wight festival, lived the Beat and popularised Gibran, was prior of a Hare Krishna community and founded a free radio in Nepal, chatted with Alejandro Jodorowsky and Ravi Shankar and experimented with Demetrio Stratos and Paolo Tofani. A free and complex personality, independent of fashions, ideologies, historical periods. In an interview he claimed to have lived many lives, united by a single perspective: “Più che un mestiere nella vita io voglio fare l’uomo” (More than a trade in life I want to be a man) (La rana, 1974).
Walter Gatti tries to connect these lives with an important book, and to recount them he has collected photographs, documents, songs, writings, poems and the statements – in many cases unpublished – of those who have been at his side in various capacities and at different times: Franco Battiato, Alberto Camerini, Francesco Coniglio, Cinzia Defendenti, Terra Di Benedetto, Franco Fabbri, Lucio Violino Fabbri, Eugenio Finardi, Walter Maioli, Manuela Mantegazza, Gianni Maroccolo, Carlo Massarini, Ciaj Rocchi, Roberto Rocchi, Susanna Schimperna, Paolo Tofani, Amerigo Verardi.
Walter Gatti (Lodi, 1959) has a degree in aesthetic philosophy from Milan and has been a journalist since the mid-1980s. He has collaborated with Sette del Corriere della Sera, Panorama, Il Giornale, Vogue, Class Editori, Il Sabato, Radio Rai. He has written volumes of popularisation and music criticism. He is passionate about Southern Rock, Blues and Psychedelic music. He currently directs institutional communication projects.
Caissa Italia Publisher: https://www.caissa.it/425-essenza-vite-di-claudio-rocchi.html