It abounded with experiments and soda, with endless nights, there Youth Florence from the 1980s. It was a very European city, between dark melancholy and at the same time an extreme and multicolored liveliness turned into endless parties at night. The Tuscan capital did not dwell at all on the golden past. On the contrary, he moved to several areas, often unpublished, to get Pier Vittorio Tondelli to talk about the postmodern climate and live for years in the Tuscan capital.
From new wave rock and dark music in black clothes, groups like Piero Pelùs Litfiba, Neon, Diaframma, the leader of a brave scene, were born and raised. Discos and rock discos, a lot of fashion, design, TV companies like Controradio and Radio Centofiori, which also organized concerts, new forms of theater, wherever many tried languages, dared to interpret a decade with a desire to live and shadows. A volume that depicts the heartfelt in an excellent and enjoyable way, through interviews, articles, photos, the main characters and with a varied range of images, is back in the bookstore with new chapters: it is “Florentine frequencies. Florence in the 1980s“, Edited by Bruno Casini, GoodFella’s publisher, 288 pages with illustrations, 25 euros.
Now 69, Casini has assembled a chorus of voices from those years that outline a truthful and multifaceted picture. With a clarification: “Florentine frequencies“Is not meant to be a nostalgic hymn so much as to document a phenomenon with many branches that were not volatile, that threw seeds that sprouted and wanted to pressure people to be more daring today. Many of these talents are still on their way.
In addition to being the first manager of Litfiba, Casini took care of appointments, served as a press office to reveal something he believed was one of the founders of Banana Moon, a mid-season club where several locals experimented with formulas for coexistence and entertainment and mixed artists, professionals and curious until late at night. As it happened in Piazza Santa Maria Novella in the little Salt Peanuts, where the best jazz players in the world passed. Casini is a communications expert – as good as he is polite – still going strong. To him the word.
Casini, in the Florence one saw at the same time a lot of fun and melancholy mixed together. Do you agree?
It was dark enough years. We remember that in 84-85, AIDS arrived in Italy, which conditioned the generation devoted to nightly entertainment to take certain precautions. Many friends went, there were no drugs blocking the virus like today.
The predilection for the color black was widespread.
There were many communities: darkness, after the onset of darkness and after the punk culture favored black, dedicated literature, writers like Baudelaire and Mallarmé. Florence was the city with the highest presence of dark clubs, such as Rokkoteca Brighton at the Casa del Popolo in Settignano, where Litfiba held their first concert, on December 6, 1980, and in the first phase they were extremely dark in sound, lyrics and in the picture. . The Tenax disco in Peretola for the first two years was completely black, and 90% of the public wore black. The Manila in Campi Bisenzio, on the other hand, was more colorful, it was oriented towards young stylists, towards the first phenomena of hip hop, breakdance and graffiti artists. The Casablanca Club, lighter, was created with a glimmer of color by two architects, Cesare Pergola and Giancarlo Cauteruccio (who founded the Krypton theater and multimedia group), became a postmodern video bar. The city was crossed by many lanes: the dark was the most followed and in harmony with the shadows of the Renaissance palaces.
Bruno Casini in the 1980s. Photo by Derno Ricci, a very talented photographer who sadly died prematurely and was one of the main characters in the Florentine scene in the 1980s
Was there an international dimension?
Yes. In the mid 80’s it was born “Pitti Trend “a salon now called “Pitti Imagine“And had 40% of foreign exhibitors. Vivienne Westwood stopped in Florence, John Galliano came, Scott Crolla designed the shirts for David Bowie, French and Austrian designers. Rough Trade and Mute Records, among the most important labels today, came to the Independent Music Meeting fair born in 1984.
The book is about Pier Vittorio Tondelli. How do you remember him?
He lived in Florence from 1982 to 1986. He attended clubs, theaters, festivals, Manila, Tenax, concerts, parties, he was cantor in the Florentine postmodern era, a good part of his “postmodern weekend” told about Florence. I will remember that many visual artists frequented the city, Fernanda Pivano was from the house, the American writer David Leavitt who lived here for a year, Steven Brown from the Tuxedomoon group with their technological romance. David Byrne presented his “Do not make sense“At the Florence Film Festival and stayed three months to see all the creative tumult.
Click here for the article “Tondelli’s Wild Art Lesson” by Daniela Amenta
Music played a predominant role.
He was at the heart of that rock renaissance. There was a pollution between music, theater, fashion, independent labels that produced records, “What Happened to Baby Jane?” he organized mythical parties, a stylist like Samuele Mazza dressed the Litfiba family. And the group of Piero Pelù, Ghigo Renzulli and the others played the soundtrack to a “Aeneid“Of the historical Krypton, created a lot of discussion and had a” premiere “at the Variety Theater, a space that no longer exists. The city had many cinemas, today many cinemas have become shopping malls. The spectacular proposal (think for example the Criminal Warehouses ) and the youthful response was crazy, we never slept. And many of these protagonists are still at work today. Giovanotti Mondani Meccanici participates in the exhibition “Video makes you happy“Open until September 4 in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. Krypton still exists, Litfiba has started their last tour, Diaframma has released an album, Pankov is touring abroad, Alexander Robotkink is one of the main electro DJs. Compared to other scenes, these forces have not been exhausted, they continue to create.
So is there anything left of that unrest?
Very. In the meantime, books, documentaries and exhibitions are coming out, projects are underway, and I also think about Rome, Milan, Turin, that decade is very popular and loved. When I presented the book to the Libraccio bookstore in Florence, boys under thirty bought it. In the basement building, where the litfi bases practiced, in via de ‘Bardi in Oltrarno, someone regularly writes something on the facade, which the owner then has to repaint. Much of that scene in other cities no longer exists, here many of us have the fun that we did back then.
Me too. I do the same things and still do not retire.