Oh yes, he and I go back a long way, probably back to about 1974 when I started listening to Italian pop music on my interminable hols (those were the days!). There was no globalisation of music at that time - I certainly never heard the likes of Sweet, the Osmonds, Mudd, or Marc Bolam on Italian radio back then. No, it was all hairy blokes in unfeasibly tight jeans yodelling some very explicit lyrics about having their way with some underage girl on a beach. We only got that sort of thing in recent years with James Blunt.
Yet Claudio rose above them all. Whilst in the UK we were voting Stairway to Heaven as our record of all time, the Italians chose Questo Piccolo Grande Amore
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yjl-OZ8p7E This song has become his pension - just as the members of Slade get their cheques every January for that fab Christmas song of theirs.....
QPGA has stood the test of time, with that fabulous line "Adesso che, saprei cosa dire, adesso che, saprei cosa fare, adesso che..."
Claudio sang the songs that really were the sound track to my youth, as I mooched about in my Laura Ashley dresses, more vague than vogue, more gammon than gamine.
Sabato Pomeriggio, E tu, Tu come stai, Quante Volte, Amore Bello, Mille Giorni di te e me, Strada facendo, Poster, and so forth. He's been at it for more than 40 years - there's a lot of stuff out there.
Now I tell my own daughters that if anyone comes near them telling them anything from those songs they should run a mile. It's what I would call stalker music! Not that anyone came near me with lines like "ieri ho ritrovato le tue iniziali nel mio cuore" or "quante volte ti ho pensato sulla sedia di cucina"
And yet I fell for all of them again last Saturday night at the Royal Albert Hall, along with thousands of menopausal people of Italian extrapolation, when I went to hear him sing in London for the very first time. I couldn't miss this opportunity.
He was wonderful. He really is the Italian Barry Manilow, Bruce Springsteen and Burt Bacharach rolled into one.
I was determined, though, not to fall for those fabulous songs again. I can tell you I failed miserably.
He had everyone purring with delight as they left to mooch home on a drizzly night.
look him up. You know you want to.....