Francesco Nuti and me. The story behind.
Most of you might not know him but he is a legend in Italy. In the 80’s and 90’s he was the most successful actor and film director around. At the time there were fans of Francesco and fans of Roberto Benigni.
My father never liked Roberto but he was a huge fan of Francesco. He loved every film he made and my father always talking about him while I was growing.
In 2011 I was recording my third album “London Journey” with a producer who was working with Francesco Nuti’s brother. One day they invited me to perform the soundtracks of his films and I got to perform in front of the legendary actor.
In 2006 Francesco had a severe accident and was badly injured. The brain damage changed his life forever and, I don’t know why, but a lot of doors were closed for him. He was finding a lot of obstacles to produce his new film.
I was asked if I wanted to sing the soundtrack of his new film “Olga ed I Fratellastri Billi”. I couldn’t believe it.
Due to the accident Francesco could not sing anymore. To be chosen by him to sing his songs was one of the biggest honors of my entire career, if not the biggest.
The plan was to present the song at the International Festival Di Sanremo.
Francesco sent a letter to Fabio Fazio saying that he was sending me to represent him. If they accepted me at the Festival it would have been a way to honor his entire carer. I was on every national newspaper and it was such an amazing feeling.
The day the article came out my father phoned me telling me what was happening. His son with Francesco Nuti, the actor he loved. I can just imagine how proud he was of me.
In the meanwhile, after coming back from London, I was singing my songs on the streets of my home town Livorno. It’s a small town and there’s a lack of opened mentality. A lot of people were looking at me as if I was begging for money. I didn’t care too much, but sometimes it did hurt.
I new I was doing something that nobody else had ever done in that town. When the article came out things started to change. People were stoping and shaking my hands and asking me about Francesco. I was thinking about how these things are strange.
I was the same guy that was singing the day before his songs and you were thinking that I was begging for money. Then, I was getting seen differently because Francesco had chosen me. If you’ve ever read Jack London’s book “Martin Eden” you know what I’m talking about. I hate to admit it but success is seen as the measure of how good you are.
Anyway, in the end we were not accepted at the Festival and till today Francesco has not found a producer for his last film. The sad thing is that they are all waiting for him to die and yes, I guess it will be a huge success. But for me Francesco deserves a better treatment. So many people love Francesco. It’s a total lack of respect for who gave so much to the Italians, who dreamed, cried and laughed with his films.
His smile, despite the intentions of those who hated him, will last forever.
Thanks for reading.
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