How I met Jerry Barnes the Bass Player of “Nile Rodgers & Chic”

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Niki street lucca


It was July. The Lucca Summer Festival was on and I was performing as usual on the street in Piazza San Michele. It must have been about half past three in the afternoon, the right time for playing on the street. Tourists have had something to eat, maybe a bit of wine and most important, they are on holiday so no problems on spending money.

I have always thought about why Italians in Italy don’t buy cd’s when they see somebody playing on the street. It’s not even a matter of fact that they like them or not. It’s just that they are not on holiday, so they are not in the same mood of those who are on holiday. But tourists, yes, they are and they have no problems on buying cd’s and they are my best supporters. That’s how I managed to sell more than 10000 cd’s on the street.

I love playing in the morning and right after launch. In Italy that is about one o’clock in the afternoon.

That day I am in the mood. At night time “Nile Rodgers and the Chic” will be performing. I know that touring musicians and the staff always have launch somewhere nearby and the stage is close to where I perform. Someone of the band might pass and see me.

I’m in the middle of playing. The atmosphere is incredible and I’m one thing with my environment. I’ve got a crowd in front of me sitting on the stairs listening to me. I manage to see a group of people and I imagine that they are of the band. I see one of them come near me with is mobile phone. He’s making a video of me. He buy’s my cd and when I finish my second song he starts talking. He says he is so impressed about me and that he is the bass player of Nile Rodgers. We talk for a long time and he tells me that he would like to work with me and leaves me his phone number. I still remember what song of mine I was playing, it was “Sono fatto Così“.

It was 2014 and I had just lost my father a couple of months before. It was a strange year. Meeting him gave me so much hope. I started dreaming of “making” it. Little I knew what making it really was.

He invited me to the show that night but couldn’t go. He would have wrote me an email with the contract he wanted to make with me.

The next month we were in contact everyday. He wanted me to go to record in New York. “Great” I was thinking. “Are you kidding?” “Off course I will come to New York!”.

After a bit I was realizing that he was talking to much and we were not doing anything. I was getting a bit upset.

In the meanwhile my friend Roberto Luti, who plays with the “Playing For Change” band, told me that Mark Johnson was willing to produce a project in which Roberto was involved. He proposed me to Mark and after a meeting on Skype with him everything was set up to record my new album produced by Mark.

Said and done was not the case. I had told Jerry that I had this chance with Mark and that I was going to go for it. I was fed up of waiting. But things didn’t turn out they way I thought.

The album with Mark Johnson didn’t find it’s realization and with Jerry things didn’t go well.

You know, after all of these years I’ve understood that people talk a lot and that you should never rely on what they say. Only when things happen you can know that someone is a man of his word.

Never wait for anybody. I recorded my new album “US” with my amazing band with the support of those who took part to my crowdfunding campaign which was a success. That album was born thanks to them and my heart will always be full of gratitude for the support we received.

If you’d like to listen to my latest album “US” just click here.

Thanks for reading! leave a comment if you want.

Talk soon,


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