"Tomorrow 21/4.2009", 15 years ago: the Rockol special

“Tomorrow 21/4.2009”, 15 years ago: the Rockol special

The mobilization of Italian artists in support of earthquake-stricken Abruzzo: 15 years ago “Domani 21/4.2009” was recorded, the single released on 6 May under the name Artisti Uniti per l'Abruzzo, a supergroup of 56 singers and 15 musicians (here the official cast, here all the information on the song and the details of the operation, here the lyrics of the song with the parts sung by the artists, below the video shot by Ambrogio Lo Giudice.

To remember that extraordinary initiative we asked Jovanotti for a speech, which you can find below

By coincidence I was in Puglia in the days of the earthquake and I saw myself at dinner with Giuliano, and at the same time we talked about the desire we felt to express closeness with the people of Abruzzo, an initiative that was a simple and direct hug.

We thought about involving our colleagues, everyone we could contact, and as an indispensable condition we forced ourselves to do everything in one or at most two days all together in the same studio.

In those times when we were getting used to doing things together in the same room because the internet allowed us to collaborate without meeting, we decided to also get together physically and that no one could participate by sending a file or mp3 recorded elsewhere.

We immediately thought of Mauro Pagani because we would have needed a very authoritative godfather, and Pagani is a sort of President of the Republic of Italian music. Caterina Caselli embraced the project and was very important, as was Marco Sorrentino. In a few hours, countless calls were made to seek membership, and everyone we contacted accepted, in many cases rescheduling commitments and traveling to be together in Mauro's studio on the appointed day.

It was a recording session full of real emotion, in that studio there was a beautiful part of Italian music and the atmosphere was authentically and simply full of the desire to participate in building something together. Everyone came without asking for reimbursement of expenses or anything else, from singers to musicians to technicians.

We entrusted Caterina with the aspects of the project linked to the collection of the money and its final use, which we thought should be the reconstruction of a place for music, and she took it upon herself to manage everything with the utmost transparency: and so it was.

We also asked Giuliano Sangiorgi of Negramaro for a memory (Claudio Cabona collected it for us):

Last summer I relived emotions, sensations and even states of deep pain that took me back fifteen years.

We were called to perform at the Teatro del Perdono on the stage in front of the Basilica of Collemaggio, on the occasion of the Celestinian Perdonanza, in L'Aquila. Every year it commemorates Pope Celestine's encyclical with which, at the end of 1200, he granted plenary indulgence to all humanity and for this reason came into collision with the Church itself. So in itself it was a fascinating and strong event from a symbolic point of view. I decided to sing 'Domani 21/04.2009' again in front of the citizens. The song, the colors of the basilica and the atmosphere led to an explosion of feelings. We all cried a little. It was like experiencing an ascent with pain, but also with that desire, never forgotten, to help us. A desire to share that has remained magical. Over the years, whenever we could, like Negramaro, we tried to get busy, to do our part in times of difficulty. I remember, for example, the last rally held for Emilia. But what was created around L'Aquila is certainly unforgettable.

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The earthquake had just happened. Everyone was shocked. There was a call between me and Lorenzo Jovanotti, preceded by some messages. We said to ourselves: 'let's do something'. We immediately thought of a concert, but then after thinking about it we realized that it wasn't the right path. We were still 'in the moment', the pain was there, the search under the rubble was continuous. A great live show, inevitably, can also have a 'party' dimension for some, which is why we immediately discarded that hypothesis to dedicate ourselves to something that would leave a mark over time: the rights to a song. And so we started calling all our friends, I contacted Tiziano Ferro at Sud Sound System. That piece then concretely led to the reconstruction of the San Filippo Neri theater in L'Aquila.

Before arriving at 'Tomorrow 21/04.

2009', I made an Italian version of Cohen's 'Hallelujah' in which I told what had happened, starting from the stories of some young people. When I told Lorenzo about it he was moved, but we didn't know if we would have the rights in time to work on it and publish it. In the meantime we had contacted Mauro Pagani, we wanted him as artistic director. In the studio, he told us about a song he had released a few years ago. The transition from my 'Hallelujah' in Italian to 'Domani 21/04.2009' was therefore natural, it was a 'safety' on Pagani's part because in effect we didn't know if we would ever obtain the rights. We followed that path, focusing on Mauro's song. But something incredible happened: a few days later Caterina Caselli arrived at the studio and told us, smiling, 'Cohen leaves the rights for the version, free of charge'. The echo of that tragedy and at the same time the desire to react had traveled around the world. Having a placet of that level was and is very rare, it was something impossible to forget. And I like to think that in 'Tomorrow 21/04.2009', in the end, there is also a bit of Cohen, who joined us with his 'yes'. .

Franco Zanetti with the support of Elena Palmieri had a video conversation with Mauro Pagani (the videos below)

Part 1:

Part 2:

and Mattia Marzi interviewed Ambrogio Lo Giudice, who directed the video clip (which to date has over 20 million views on YouTube):

“'Tomorrow' was our 'We are the World.' We had two days to shoot that video. We did everything in a hurry. In the studio we all had the feeling of being part of history, of something great, unique.”recalls the director Ambrogio Lo Giudice regarding the forty-eight hours in which “Domani 21/04.

2009”, the charity single by the supergroup Artisti Uniti per l'Abruzzo. From Afterhours to Zucchero, from Al Bano to Tricarico, from Alioscia of Casino Royale to Tiziano Ferro, from Antonella Ruggiero to Sud Sound System. Passing through Antonello Venditti, Cesare Cremonini, Claudio Baglioni, Elisa, Fabri Fibra (at the height of success after “Applause for Fibra” and “In Italia”: shortly thereafter he would release “Vip in trip” and “Tranne te” ), Franco Battiato, Gianna Nannini, Gianni Morandi, Giorgia, Jovanotti, Laura Pausini, Ligabue, Negramaro: practically all Italian music was there on 21 April 2009 at the Officine Meccaniche Recording Studios, Mauro Pagani's studios. .“With my operators I tried to capture every nuance of the beautiful atmosphere that was created. It was a touching moment.”says Lo Giudice, from Bologna, born in 1956.

When in April 2009 he was called to be part of the Artisti Uniti per l'Abruzzo operation as director, Ambrogio Lo Giudice had already decided for some time to take a step back from the world of music videos, after directing more than 140. of “Giudizi universali” by Samuele Bersani, “Easy Lady” by Spagna and “Senza parole” by Vasco Rossi).

“At a certain point the budgets had been reduced, the record companies no longer allocated funds to carry out interesting projects, the records weren't selling. I had decided to dedicate myself to other challenges, mainly on TV. It was Jovanotti who called me: for him I had directed the videos of hits such as 'Ragazzo Fortunato', 'Positive Thinking', 'Serenata Rap', 'L'Ombelico del Mondo', 'Tanto' and 'Safari', which had been released a few years ago. month. He spoke to me about this project, on behalf of all the artists involved: it was gratifying for me to know that I had been chosen to direct the single. But we had to find an idea, understand what to do.”

The filming operation turned out to be relatively simple: in the morning Lo Giudice showed up with his operators at Mauro Pagani's Officine Meccaniche studios and positioned the cameras in the studio. Little by little the various artists involved began to arrive.

“We filmed everything that happened: the artists who arrived, who sang, who hugged each other, who joked with each other.”

The difficult part came later:

“It was very complicated to edit the video clip. First for the time, because we had hours and hours of footage but we had just under 7 minutes available, the duration of the song. And then because we had to try to give more or less the same playing time to everyone present. The concept behind the operation, in fact, was that all the artists had the same importance: no one was more important than the others”.

Apart from Mina and Adriano Celentano, Vasco Rossi was missing from the April 21st appeal among the Italian pop-rock superstars (“I think that charity should be done by taking money out of one's wallet, without too much show and publicity”, is always been the philosophy of Zocca's rocker), Eros Ramazzotti, Biagio Antonacci, Lucio Dalla.

“Lucio was in Germany and didn't have time to return to Italy. In general, from what I know, no one backed out: those who weren't there simply had other commitments set for those two days and had no way of changing plans.”

The day after tomorrow”

The song would have been released a few days after the recording of the album and the video, on May 6th: the radios would have started broadcasting it starting at 3.32am on May 6th, exactly one month after the earthquake, while the single would have been released on the 8th. May on digital stores (streaming did not yet exist) and on May 15th in shops at the price of 5 euros. The intent was to donate the entire proceeds from the sale of the album to the “Save art in Abruzzo” campaign, a solidarity project by Italian artists and record companies towards the people affected by the earthquake in Abruzzo, created to raise funds to support the reconstruction and restoration of the Alfredo Casella Conservatory and the Teatro Stabile d'Abruzzo in L'Aquila.

From Wikipedia:
One year after registration, “Domani 21/04.2009” collected 1,183,377.35 euros, deposited in the current account no. 95882221 in the name of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities. CD sales amounted to 450,000 copies, while digital download sales amounted to 74,000. Furthermore, the SIAE authorial and editorial rights paid by Mauro Pagani were added, amounting to 39,357.70 and 29,651.66 euros respectively.

“Domani 21/04.2009” debuted at number one in the Italian charts, selling 357,000 copies in just one week, one of the highest debuts in the history of the FIMI charts. The single held the top position for 12 weeks, becoming, with over 500,000 copies, the best-selling single of 2009, certified diamond.

FIMI, heard from Rockol, officially informed us that “Domani 21/4.2009” has these ranking performances:

Debut at first place in the Top Singles (week 20/2009)

12 consecutive weeks at number one in the charts (first place in the top ten singles ever, longest at number one)

27 weeks on the chart

Best-selling single of the year.

No certification achieved (the attribution of the “diamond disc” on Wikipedia is incorrect)

It is not the best-selling single ever in terms of physical copies.

Here is the press release with the final summary of the economic results of the operation.