Born on 7 February 1952 in Zocca, a quiet village in the province of Modena, Vasco Rossi, an icon of rebel music for 45 years, has always been able to adapt musically to the passing of time.
His father Giovanni Carlo was a lorry driver and, in honour of a fellow prisoner during the war, decided to name his eldest son after him. His mother Novella was a housewife.
From the outset, Vasco’s rebellious nature and desire to express his creativity meant that he was never an easy child. In 1972, he became interested in experimental theatre during the period of student protest. He began studying pedagogy at the University of Bologna, convinced that this was the path to follow, but soon realised that music was his true passion.
He decided to follow his instincts and immersed himself in the “free radio” experiment. In 1975, with a group of friends, Vasco founded a free radio station that made him popular in Emilia-Romagna and parts of Veneto and Lombardy. It was at this time that, in the privacy of his bedroom, he began composing lyrics and songs that would become the legacy of a whole generation in the years to come.
In June 1977, he released his first single, “Jenny e Silvia“, with the Jeans label. The following year he released his first album, “Ma che cosa vuoi che è una canzone“, which was unfortunately not a great success. The second album, “Non siamo mica gli americani“, received a lukewarm reception, although it did contain “Albachiara“, a song that became one of the most beautiful love songs of recent decades and subsequently helped him to make a name for himself. This was followed by “Colpa d’Alfredo” in 1980 and the start of a series of tours throughout the peninsula.
To the constant criticism of his excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs, Vasco simply replied with his art, his only defence.
In 1981 he released his fourth album, “Siamo solo noi“, which put him back on the market. In 1982, with “Vado al massimo“, he took part in the Sanremo Festival, which was followed by the album of the same name. The following year, he returned to the festival with “Vita spericolata“, another song emblematic of his extraordinary career.
This was followed by a series of run-ins with the law over drug trafficking, but these were nonetheless productive years from a creative point of view. Several works were produced, such as “Cosa succede in città” (1985), “C’è chi dice no” (1987), “Liberi, liberi” (in 1989 for the birth of his son Davide) and “Fronte del palco” (1990), recorded live at the San Siro stadium in Milan and at the Flaminio in Rome, in front of a crowd of people.
“Gli spari sopra” was released in 1993 to mark the birth of his son Luca. Confirming his explosive popularity, his first biography (Siamo solo noi) was published in 2002.
Other successes inevitably followed. In 2004, “Buoni o cattivi“, “Sensazioni forti” in 2007, “Il mondo che vorrei” in 2008, “Eh… già,” in 2011 and “Sono innocente” in 2014.
In 2017, he joined 200,000 people for a memorable and masterful concert in Modena to mark his 40th birthday.
Despite his countless successes, ‘Blasco‘, as he is known to his fans, denounces in his songs a personal malaise that is still alive in him. On social networks, he wrote:
-That’s how it is. I’m still an outcast, I always say. A luxury outcast, but an outcast nonetheless. In the beginning, fame amused me a lot, because I experienced it as a confirmation of my existence. The first successes gave me the illusion that I’d solved all my problems.
Then came the price. But how could I complain? I’d be a fool, too, because popularity is confirmation of the value of the things you’ve done. I just regret not being able to walk down the street, go into the shops, walk quietly into a club.
Everyone knows me, but I don’t know anyone, because all relationships are distorted anyway, you know? It weighs on me. It weighs on me. Sometimes I leave and go abroad, where nobody knows me. And there, I mix with people and I feel good.
I wonder how Bono, Dylan or Mick Jagger feel. Rock may save your life in the beginning, but not forever, because when the lights go down, the concert ends, the record comes out and people stop cheering you, you go back to being what you are.
Success tends to force your hand, to make you feel that you exist in the world in which people see you. But that’s not true, because if you believe these things, you also have to accept the consequences: you only exist if someone sees you. And when nobody sees you? Do you kill yourself? Fortunately, this reasoning, these aberrations – should we call them that? – don’t influence the composition.
When I’m writing, I only know one thing for sure: what you did before doesn’t count, because in rock there’s no such thing as gratitude. There are no previous merits that make you feel good. If you stop making good music, it’s not as if people are still following you because you made it before!
The ‘VascoNonStop Live’ tour in 2018 and 2019 confirmed thousands of loyal followers. After a break in 2020 due to the epidemic, he made a TV appearance in 2021 to present the release of the new album anticipated by ‘Una canzone d’amore buttata via’.
The “Vasco Live 2022” tour was attended by 700,000 spectators.
In 2023, with the Vasco Live Tour 2023, he continues to dominate the stadiums of Bologna, Rome, Palermo and Salerno, inevitably leaving an indelible mark at every performance.
I recently wrote an article published in the famous national online magazine ‘Sbircia la Notizia’ about my impressions of this artist who, despite everything and everyone, still represents and expresses authenticity and frankness. A musical career that unfolds like an epic in the history of Italian music.
Here’s the article:
Vasco Rossi: his rebellious notes stir the soul
A symbol of indomitable passion and unyielding musical rebellion, Vasco Rossi, born in Zocca in the Modena Apennines, grew up blending his music with its true essence.
The “National Blasco“, as he is affectionately called by his supporters, is the symbol of authenticity and frankness, and his career has developed like an epic in the history of Italian music.
Songs that remain like echoes in the soul.
Vasco Rossi is a living icon who has been and still is the soundtrack to many generations of rock fans, always on the lookout for new and profound emotions, for extreme challenges against the limits of daily routine.
His shows go beyond the classic rock concert, they are true legends, setting stadium audiences alight, spreading viral energy everywhere, involving fans in a collective ritual.
But behind the image that emerges, bordering on the subversive, lies a sensitive soul who, with honesty and deep truth, thanks to a unique and often velvety musical touch, transforms vital feelings such as joy, pain, love and anger into musical notes.
Musical innovation to guarantee success.
His successful career, despite the difficulties and controversies, has always been a beacon in Italian music. Vasco’s creativity is indicative of the expression of his art, but above all of his aspiration for freedom, and over time has become a hymn to life lived intensely, with all its chiaroscuro, the true essence of humanity.
From the 1980s to the present day, the rocker from Zocca has never disappointed his fans, renewing and adapting to constantly evolving musical trends. From the rebellious, provocative style of the 1980s, while retaining his raspy voice, he has moved on to a fresh, popular style that is unique on the music scene. In the 1990s, with deeper lyrics and a more sophisticated sound, he reached the peak of his career. With more intimate and personal themes, a renewed sound and style, he definitively confirmed his versatility.
The “Komandante” returns to the stage with the Vasco Tour Live 2023, with double dates in Bologna, Rome, Palermo and Salerno, with the intention of leaving an indelible mark at each performance, where the repertoire, as usual, will be chosen with meticulous precision.
The latest single
On 27 September, he released ‘Gli sbagli che fai‘, a song written for the credits of the documentary ‘Il Supervissuto’ broadcast on Netflix. It’s a little masterpiece in which the artist tells his story in the first person, opening his heart to his audience: “I became what I am thanks also to the mistakes I made“, he says forcefully.
He evokes the power of musical art, which offers the possibility and the illusion of transporting the listener into a world where anything is possible: “Take my hand and tell me that nothing is impossible“, sings the rocker.
Since the start of his career in 1977, the rocker has released a total of 34 albums, including 18 studio albums, 11 live albums, 5 official collections and 2 EPs, for a total of 192 songs, not counting the many texts he has written for other artists. He has sold around 40 million copies of his albums.
Vasco Rossi is a living icon, the soundtrack of many generations of rock fans, always in search of deep emotions and daring challenges to the monotonous limits of everyday life.