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Gian Pieretti biography
Gian PIERETTI (Dante Luca PIERETTI) is not the typical classic-era RPI artist you will find in our pages, those artists being generally 10 years younger and coming on line in the 1970s, perhaps influenced by the first wave of difficult English prog. Instead, PIERETTI, born in 1940 under the stresses of war was a fan of the American beatniks like Kerouac. Very early musical influences included people like Perry Como, Little Richard, Wilson Picket, and Eddie Cochran. He moved to Milan in 1959 and began a music career which found him rubbing shoulders with Dylan and Donovan, as well as leading a band and beginning a long songwriting collaboration with Ricky Gianco, a very popular Italian pop artist. (Gianco wrote the music and PIERETTI the lyrics I believe.) PIERETTI also became a prolific songwriter for other musicians of the period.

A most significant early figure in what would become RPI, PIERETTI assembled a backing group around 1964 called The Griffins (previously Black Devils.) This band included Franz Di Cioccio , Franco Mussida , Tony Gesualdi, and Pino Favaloro. A few years later The Griffins became I Quelli, the band that gave birth to PFM. Pieretti gave this early incarnation their first break, and thus was a key figure in the story of Italy's most famous progressive rock band PFM. It was PIERETTI who, in his father's home, introduced Di Cioccio and Mussida to each other for the first time.

In 1962, Gian released a B-side single called A Strange Boy which was supposedly the first wide release in Italy about the then-taboo subject of homosexuality. The song was about a boy he knew in primary school. He released two full length LPs in the late 1960s which I've not yet heard in full. The 1969 album "Il Viaggio Celeste di Gian Pieretti" contained at least glimpses of more elaborate pop, the one single I heard sounded like proto-RPI and pop. In 1973 PIERETTI revived the subject of his notable 1962 single and released a concept album about homosexuality and the same boy, titled "Il Vestito Rosa del mio Amico Piero" (The Pink Dress of my friend Peter). Again he works with his friend Ricky Gianco and Alberto Nicorelli who are both credited with the music.

Beyond the still very controversial subject matter, the album was a wonderful foray into the world of RPI, soft-progressive to be sure, but quite good. The pop, folk, and acoustic sensibilities of PIERETTI are here expanded with the flavors of 1973s progressive ...
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3.44 | 10 ratings
Il Vestito Rosa Del Mio Amico Piero

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 Il Vestito Rosa Del Mio Amico Piero by PIERETTI, GIAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.44 | 10 ratings

Il Vestito Rosa Del Mio Amico Piero
Gian Pieretti Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Singer/Songwriter Gian Pieretti was born in Ponte Buggianese, Tuscany and moved to Milan at the age of 19, where he met composer Ricky Gianco, with whom he built a strong relationship over the years.He started his career with I Satelliti and then with I Grifoni, but during the second half the 60's he begun releasing solo singles and albums as well as writing songs for other artists.At the end of the decade he signed with Ricordi, his second album ''Il viaggio celeste di Gian Pieretti'' was released in 1969 and in 1973 it was followed by one of the most shocking releases in Italian Music.''Il vestito rosa del mio amico Piero'' was not only Pieretti's most adventurous album, but it also dealt with homosexuality, an issue very few artists dared with.Music is arranged by Ricky Gianco and A. Nicorelli, while the orchestral director was Nik Albert.The album's title translates into ''The pink dress of my dear friend Piero''.

The album is centered around the 17-min. long opening piece ''Meccanica di un' emozione nuova'' (''Mechanics of a new emotion''), apparently refering to the changing emotions of a homosexual man.This is a beautiful piece of Acoustic Folk, Psychedelic Rock, Soft Rock and light Progressive Rock, split in four movements, with grandiose orchestral moves, absolutely great vocals and nice Italian-spiced melodies and acoustic runs with a rural atmosphere, which are absolutely efficient and tight with a strong Mediterrenean flavor.Moreover the clever use of accordion and synths make this a very interesting piece of vocal-based Art Rock.The rest of the album follows a more traditional, song-based material with Pieretti's intense voice always in the forefront, supported by acoustic themes, piano romance and sometimes a synth-drenched sound akin to FORMULA 3.The atmosphere of the allbum is depressive and melacholic, dealing with a sensitive concept, sometimes comparable to the work of MAURO PELOSI.The musicianship though is great, emotional, warm and well-crafted, based on Pieretti's unique vocals and the mellow instrumental parts dominating the album, with a nice narration outro.

The album failed to bring success and Ricordi ended the deal with Pieretti, who moved to Dig It for another album in 1974, ''Cianfrusaglie'', which went also unnoticed.From this point on he focused on composition and production for other artists over a span of four decades, while his only other releases came at late-80's/early-90's in a Pop/Rock style.

An album with both a musical and historical value.Fascinating and grounbreaking concept work with limited but great instrumental parts and beautiful singing lines in the best Italian tradition.Recommended.

 Il Vestito Rosa Del Mio Amico Piero by PIERETTI, GIAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.44 | 10 ratings

Il Vestito Rosa Del Mio Amico Piero
Gian Pieretti Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A unique RPI lost gem from an important figure

Gian (Dante) Pieretti was an important character in Italian music. Born about a decade before most of the legendary RPI musicians, his flirtation with progressive rock was short but fruitful. First, in 1964 and already an established beat musician, Pieretti was the single force who gave future legends PFM their beginning. Gian was the man who introduced Franz Di Cioccio and Franco Mussida to one another, and their fledgling group The Griffins became Pieretti's backing group. A few years later they added more people and became I Quelli, the band which would become PFM. (For more on Pieretti's interesting story, please see our extended bio on his artist page.) After a decade of rubbing elbows with beat poets and famous folk musicians, as well as having a prolific career as a songwriter and collaborator with Ricky Gianco, Pieretti in 1973 released an amazing little concept album.

"Il Vestito Rosa del mio Amico Piero" is a beautiful and intimate concept album about a boy from Pieretti's school days who struggled with homosexuality in a time and place where it was not accepted as today. Pieretti wrote the lyrics and performs while his friends Gianco and Alberto Nicorelli wrote the music. The music was lighter than much of the bombastic heavy prog happening around it but no less fascinating. Like lost soft-prog gems by Italian artists like Mario Panseri, Stefano Testa, and Enzo Capuano, the album features its own mix of rock, pop, folk, orchestral grandeur, acoustic music, and the Italian song tradition. Side one is the most impressive with a 17 minute side-long suite that convinced me I had to help people discover this album.

Side one's long track, "Meccanica di un' Emozione Nuova," begins with Gian vocalizing a rather childlike, innocent melody on his own, slowly bringing in piano, acoustic guitar, and finally the strings. The album is beautifully scored with the orchestration of Nik Albert. Finally the bass and drums enter and it rocks a bit before returning to the childlike opening sequence. The next sections feature the band with some electric leads, a looser light funk part with hand percussions, and quiet introspective sections. Lovely keyboard and flute embellishments come and go adding much to Gian's intimate vocals. As the track unfolds it ranges from these great string-backed melodies to punchier piano/drums moments that sound a bit like an energetic Cat Stevens track. Towards the end there are some acoustic runs and vocals sections with a bit of a Spanish music vibe to them.

Side two consists of shorter individual tracks but they are still tied to the overall thematic piece, so it plays like one long extended work. Lovely, singer-songwriter style Italian with lots of piano and acoustic guitar. This is one of the few albums where I'm bummed I can't understand the lyrics because I'd really like to hear Pieretti's pen here. The highlight of side two is "Troppo Grande La Fatica" which begins with acoustic finger-picking and sober, lonely vocals. Quite Battisti-like. Soon bongos and drums roll in for a short funky section. There is a great vocal technique where Gian doubles his singing with a young boy, quite effective. The final track sees a return to melodies from side one giving the work that uniform conceptual feel.

The album fetches big bucks on vinyl and there is a hard-to-find CD issue out there, but this release really needs a high quality mini-LP sleeve reissue with good liner notes and better sound. It was amazing to me that with all of the renewed interest in recent years for RPI, somehow Gian Pieretti has been left out of the discussion of most writers and websites dedicated to the subject. That needs to change, and thus we encourage RPI fans to hunt down the 1973 album and listen to the 17-minute suite from side one. It won't be easy to find to find but should be rewarding to fans of the classic period of early 1970s RPI. Provided you enjoy the softer-prog, if you're primarily a "hard and heavy" fan you can probably skip the nightmare of trying to find this gem. Personally, I really love this one, even if it is not "typical progressive rock."

Thanks to Finnforest for the artist addition.

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