Franco Fasano, 40 years of music in a book: “Me,” the photographer’s son “between Sanremo and Zecchino”

In Sanremo they continued to affectionately call him “the son of the photographer” even when he came up as a competitor on the festival stage, even after he had already written for Lauzi, Mina, Mia Martini, Ranieri, Oxa, Califano, Di Capri, Zanicchi, Leali , Carrà, Al Bano, Goggi. He has always made a point of it. Because Antonio Fasano, historical photographer of artists of pop music and of the coastal festival, had moved to Liguria from Piedmont (where he had arrived from the original Puglia) precisely to have his son Gianfranco, or Franco, grow up in a warmer climate. the composer and singer in question. Which now comes out with a book, «I love» (D’Idee editions, 380 pages), entitled as one of his most successful songs, launched by Fausto Leali coincidentally at Ariston in 1987. A book that summarizes (among successes , dreams, encounters, anecdotes) 40 and more years of music pass out of 60 of existence, whose chapters are 33 like the laps of the old long playing and entitled with the same titles of more or less famous songs, “medal” and not.

Fasano, let’s start with the “son of the photographer”.

“I met the festival as a kid in the early ’70s, my father took me to rehearsals, then as a teenager I also assisted him, the evenings were still held at the Casino, with the orchestra, among the indelible memories that of the Ricchi and Poveri and Josè Feliciano who sang “What will be”. But the passion for music was always there. She was first noticed by Enrico Simonetti who was from Alassio and who was invited to a little show in my middle school. At one point he asked the students: which of you can sing? A janitor who had already listened to me threw me onto the stage. Here, my first accompanist on the piano was Maestro Simonetti. At the end of the performance he said to my father: the boy has talent, take him to Maestro Barzizza, in Sanremo. You can see that that place was in my destiny. I sing in front of Pippo Barzizza who “promotes” me and says: “If you want to do this job, go to Milan and study” ».

Her father photographed her in ’81 when she made her festival debut as an author and singer.

“His objective was not very objective that time. The song, the interpretation he knew how to grasp them in the instant of the shot. But I think it was different with me. And anyway, despite that baptism, I remained for the festival entourage “the son of the photographer” ».

More than as a singer, he took his great satisfactions in Sanremo as an author. Is there a note of regret for this?

«Regret is a word that I don’t like, it gives the sensation of a bitterness in the mouth. The truth is that all the songs I wrote for the great performers for forty years and until a few days ago, I wrote them for myself. I have never been one of those authors who do not know how to sing their own songs, I have continued to do concerts, to record records but both the discography itself and the TV follow other logics. When I was young I wrote songs “older” than me which were therefore assigned to more “mature” performers. Today, when I perform live the pieces written for others – such as the famous Sanremo triad that relaunched Fausto Leali, “I love”, “I will leave you” and “I miss you” – I do them my way and the public discovers them as if they were new “.

Does the musician Fasano go hand in hand with the Fasano lyricist?

“In the first part of my career I felt like a musician at the service of words, at a certain point I began to devote myself more to lyrics, encouraged by Mia Martini”.


“It was a coincidence. We had participated in “Viva Napoli” in the Mediaset studios, both with two classics on the moon. Cherishing the idea of ​​making an album of unreleased songs on this theme, she invited me to write something but I niche. And to procrastinate, I told her about the songs I wrote for the Zecchino d’oro (Fasano composed songs for the Antoniano festival that turned into 12 silver Zecchini, 6 of which became gold, ed). Then Mimi said to me: “See? If you write for children, you can very well write for me too ”».

Did the song come out then?

«Of course, it’s called ‘The Moon’: But Mimi couldn’t make that album because she died shortly after».

Who among the many performers has best sung a song written by you?

«I can’t name a name because everyone, when they choose one of your songs, makes it their own. I know, for example, that Mina really liked my audition of “Certe cose si fare”, a song that Bruno Lauzi and I proposed to her and that she chose. But Mina is unique. The authors are the ingredients, then it is she who cooks them with her voice ».

However, the interpreter is the tip of the iceberg.

«Of course, behind there is the work of the authors, the arrangers, the producers. The problem is that today the interpreter is often at the service of the market, especially the television market. Once Zanicchi could not sing the same song as Vanoni and vice versa. It was the artists who focused the emotions, today it is the management that focuses them, as in the laboratory. So the records: once you walked into a shop and a universe opened up among the vinyls, including the credits shown on the cover and label. Today you stay at home to listen in streaming on Spotify ».

Seems pessimistic. Any artist you would like to write for today?

«I like Gabbani, he excites me and amuses me despite not having a great voice. Irama is one of the best. And also Ultimo: it is the demonstration that, when one has a world inside, nothing is enough to turn that world on ».

Why did you decide to tell about yourself in this book? A balance, a re-knit the threads of memory?

«It would never have occurred to me if it hadn’t been for Massimiliano Beneggi, music critic, who had done a long interview with me for his blog. After some time he calls me and offers me to write a book about myself together. “But who do you want me to care about? I’m not Ligabue ”, I replied. But then I thought about it and during the lockdown a very long online conversation between Rome and Milan was born, for months, from three to eight hours a day. In my opinion, a rather singular story emerged, even in the dynamics of reading. And “the photographer’s son” he dedicates it to his father who was the prime mover of all this ».

We end with a question-quote which is the opening words of “I love”: but where does the sky go?

“I’ll answer you with another quote that I borrow from an equally famous song written by my great friend Bruno Lauzi: the sky is always where, in the universe, there is at least one person willing to listen to you”.

Last updated: Friday 10 December 2021, 10:43


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Franco Fasano, 40 years of music in a book: “Me,” the photographer’s son “between Sanremo and Zecchino”