The beginning (1992)
Distillery was an idea that was rambling
in my mind since a long time when in 1992
I started to act it.
I had written some new songs while I was travelling around Europe at that time: long runs by train, pictures of many different ways of life seen by the train window, plenty of people of different countries known as well as they are in their daily life, maybe met in the subway station or sat on a barstool late at night....This is what you really need to write out something good!
I felt it was right to put those experiences on a tape (we were still far from these "digital years"....) but I meant to do it in another way, far from what I had done since that day.
Casually, I met a NY guitarist and songwriter, Beo Morales, and I invited him to my studio to record some guitar overdubs on my tracks.
It was September 24th, his birthday's eve, and after we stopped working, we kept on talking (and drinking beer...) till the first light of dawn: maybe a cooperation was what I needed the most to develop better my ideas.
After that I decided: "Distillery" would have been the name and it would have included everyone who eventually had played with me.
All the stuff, called "Back in a while and other songs", was finished the following March, also because I fell ill on December and had to stop working for a couple of months.
Then I started travelling again to promote it in all western Europe countries radio station (I had been able to run 10.000 kms in a month to come back home to see my wife!).
When I came back, Beo had disappeared, suddenly, as well as I met him and I have heard nothing about him since that time.
I just hope that Beo will read these pages once and he will contact me. Good Luck, Beo, wherever you are now!
The middle ages (1993 - 1997)
I was in a trouble.
I had no ideas about how to replace Beo when Luca, a friend of mine, came to my house to ask me if I would have played with him the following evening: it was August 15th, 1993, the beginning of Distillery's middle-ages.
Luca was (and he's still!) a powerful rhythm guitarist, good harp player and a nice background vocalist but I knew we were on 20% of our possibilities so we started working hard.
In a little time things seemed to turn on the right way: plenty of clubs asked for us to play our music. In September, Princess Angela von Hohenzollern required us for her private party in one of the best clubs of the Italian Riviera: after that gig, she was so impressed to invite us for another private party in Monte Carlo. The party was on October 11th and, when we reached the place with our old "faded grey" Ford and took a look around, we immediately noticed that the less expensive car in the neighborhood was worth about 50.000$: a couple of hours later, we were in front of dozens of V.I.Ps, also famous singer Shirley Bassey was among them. Great! All that was unbelievable....But I play guitar since I was a kid and I know that it's in clubs, where people is no more than a couple of meters far from you, that you can check the real impact of your music... That's why we continued our work, playing around and releasing the single "Care of you / If you look up in the sky", presented during a radio interview in February 1994.
In April 1994 I started thinking about a new CD. It was the right time.
I had still several songs to be recorded so I told Luca that I was going to do it but he replied that he was not sure to go on: playing with Distillery was a great engage and he wanted to have more time for himself.
There I was in a trouble again...
I quit the idea of a new CD because summer was beginning and I had just a little time to find a new rhythm guitarist: the choice was Luciano.
I knew Luciano since a long time, he was a great friend of mine, the one who introduced me to my wife and he knew perfectly every song that I used to play, so it was not difficult to fix a new line-up with him.
We went on playing together till the spring of 1996 and nothing notable happened during that time but I recorded some songs. He was engaged also with other bands and I had plenty of work in my rec studio but I remember those days with a great pleasure, the only rule was "no mess, no stress" and these words often remind me the laughters you could hear during our car trips. I knew it was a great engage for Luciano and I still thank him for having brought me out of that matter, so I promised him I started looking for a substitute as soon as possible.
It was a lazy mid-July night, I was sitting in a pub of the town where I used to live, drinking beer and reading the sport news, while, through the window panes, I thought I saw a "faded grey" Ford car... That was reminding me a guy I knew very well... No, it was not possible, I knew he went working abroad, I was surely wrong... But a couple of minutes later Luca jumped laughing into the pub room!
He told me about his trips around central Europe, people he met and worked with, after that I purposed him to play together again, explaining what had happened during that period: after three or four try sessions we were back on stage. It was not bad, sure, we had a lot of fun and his musical level was a little grown up but I thought we could have done it better. In October 1997 I separated from my wife and had a mess in my head. Working became really the most important thing in my life: I wanted something more for Distillery and Luca was a good boy but he didn't like great engagements at all: 1998 new year's eve was the last gig we had together.
Left to right: Luca and I during a live show. A couple of hours after this pic was taken, I was involved in a car accident.
The new course (1998 - Today)
I was tired of continuous changes, and I
thought I'd better playing alone, but one
night I met an old high-school friend in
a pub (you're able to realize I'm a great
beer drinker... :-) and when I told him what
was happening to me, he replied: "What
Davide was another high-school friend of ours, I didn't see him since a long time but I remembered he was a great background vocalist.
I called him the following day, it was the middle of January 1998: that was the most important phone call in the ongoing history of Distillery: I realized immediately that Davide was what Distillery really needed.
We tried hard two or three weeks then we were on the road.
In the fall of the same year we recorded two songs: "God's sultry summer", written by Davide and "Too soon" written by me. I invited Davide's wife Alessandra to overdub a piano track on "Too soon" and we decided to go on performing as a trio, that line-up lasted till the summer of 1999, then we went back to be a duo, the present line-up.
The death of my wife Paola on December 23rd, 1998 shocked me a lot: it took a long time before I started writing songs again.
In March 1999 we started a collaboration with "Rollo Blues Band" of guitarist Eugenio Arrighetti. Davide (as bassist, vocalist) and I (as guitarist, vocalist) have been in tour with Eugenio and his band for quite a long time but never fogetting we are Distillery, first! Eugenio is a great friend of us and when it's possible we still use to play with him. After a period of little troubles, Luca rejoined us in December 2003 so that we became a trio again. We've been very pleased of this... So that we decided to celebrate issuing another album that runs along our band history from the beginning until today. So here you are "Family Tree" and you'll find much more details in the "Recordings" and "News" pages, where you'll find a surprise that I don't want to anticipate you now... ;-)
I want to thank Davide a lot for the serious hard and good work he has done (and he's still doing!) with Distillery and for having understood every situation I passed through with friendship and comprehension and Luca for having never ceased to be a "Distillery" inside...
Through these pages I just intended to tell you the most important happenings of our 12 years history so that you could know us and our music better: it's time to grow up again for us...
Thanks to everyone of you for having read these pages, if you're not a Distillery fan yet we'll try to do our best to make you like us!
Left to right: Davide and I, playing live
January 2004. Left to right: Davide, I and Luca... Distillery is a trio again!