Ernesto Assante, on newsstands and in bookshops "Towards the stars"

Ernesto Assante, on newsstands and in bookshops “Towards the stars”

Published by Repubblica/RAILibri (14.90 euros), the latest book by Ernesto Assante, the Repubblica journalist and Rockol collaborator who left us less than two months ago, is on newsstands and in bookshops: it is entitled “Towards the stars – 150 songs to feel alive.”

In the introduction of “Towards the stars” Ernesto Assante writes (in the quotation marks shown below).

«Songs are important. If you know someone who really thinks, not understanding Bennato's irony, that it is just “songs”, eliminate him from the list of your friends: those who live without songs live halfway, will never be able to give immaterial body to their dreams, he will never see the light, he will not fully understand beauty, he will experience interrupted emotions…”.

«Songs that have a specific weight, because they are, each in their own way, works of art, which have remained or are destined to remain over time, even the apparently stupidest and most volatile ones, songs born out of artistic desire or born to entertain but which tell, again, something extremely relevant, a moment in history, an emotion, a love, a pain…”

It's still:

«So this book is an exhibition on the art of song, it is a listening guide, it is a long documentary, it is an interminable radio program, it is a podcast, it is a film in episodes, it is a stream of consciousness of those who have written, it is the fruit of a passion, mine obviously, for music, song, rock in particular (as you will see from many of the choices made)”.

«Everything is told about each song, anecdotes, stories, ideas, sometimes the story is very short, other times more extended, because since there is no rule in the world of song (some of those we talk about in the book last just over a minute, others last almost ten) there isn't even a rule for writing songs”.

Andrea Silenzi writes: “There are many Beatles, as was obvious, the highly celebrated ones of “Yellow submarine”, “Come together”, “Yesterday” and “Let it be” but also the less celebrated ones of “It's all too much” (a fascinating psychedelic experiment signed by George Harrison).

There are many Pink Floyds and many Rolling Stones, there are the Who and the White Stripes, alongside the War on Drugs and De André and Guccini. But there are also the many loves of a curious and culturally open journalist and critic like few others: the grunge of Nirvana, the dark new wave of Siouxsie & the Banshees, the futuristic electronics of Kraftwerk and the reggae of Toots & the Maytals and His Majesty Bob Marley, which he really considered a balm for better living. Ernesto recommends combining reading each card with listening. Ultimately, these pages are a sentimental journey among the stars of our memory.”

(And, we add, they are a way – which Ernesto would have liked – to remember him and feel him alive).