twelve o’clock, July 20, 2021 – 3:44 pm
The memory of the writer Nino Leone, a great friend of the deceased musician
of Nino Leone
I don’t know how many, like me, notice certain coincidences. With July 19, 2021, we celebrate Pasquale Terracciano, for us the unforgettable Pissetto, one from here, a young boy of ours who of this day, but at the age of his nephew “Aucillo grifone”, in shorts he would have been around in to consume the small change at the “party” of Pomigliano, the real one, for the Madonna del Carmine. Leaving about fifty years, I am sure to find him at Feliciello’s banquet, the king of arranged works: in the summer, lemonade of sorbets with an inviting cry, “cauro, nun siente? Curre ji… today you pay and tomorrow you don’t! ”. In winter, on the other hand, he became the croupier of an artisanal roulette wheel consisting of a sling bar armed with a movie film running against a fence of nails that separated the forty maps from the tressette. At stake, the coveted doubling of the ten lire of the episode, or the astounding sum of a euro cent, if anything happened that the celluloid tab stopped on the king of coins. And it never happened, ever. Our Lady did not want!
I would find him at the merry-go-round of the boats to give already thighs and legs that needed the friction of the slices of Lambretta tires on the tables to curb the excesses of youthful impetus. I would exhaust myself chasing him among the rows of chairs for the concert of the Savelletri band playing Rossini on everyone, and then Ponchielli, Mascagni, Verdi, Puccini, among attentive peasants and workers, immediately ready to throw reproaches that reached their parents before a WhatsApp: “Scustumate, jiate a pazzi cchi ll!”.
I would scream to call him in the crowd that flocked to the “mandolinata” in the square organized by the masters of the party, especially if it was a novice “boy with a tuft” singing, who sold, like his own, rock ‘en roll and the not too confidential , for us, the look of Elvis Presley, and not Tullio Pane singing the poignant “Mmiez’o grain” by the emeritus Evemero Nardella or Gloria Cristian who delighted us with the cheerful “Cerasella” in batida de bossanova.
I would see myself again stripping slices of watermelons as big as boats with him: with a few cents we washed our faces and T-shirts at the bank of Tibone il mellonaro. And above all, the midnight fires that, at the “Tub”, sgrappolva dreams and artificial stars on the four pennies of youth we had to spend. This Pasquale, the brilliant friend of all of us, the Pazziariello of the Carnival of ’77, the one celebrated by Rai, and Youtube, always in the head if there was to call attention, the Pulcinella on whose coppolone the cheerful ribbons will continue to unravel in free, colorful flourish of the breath of years, which irremediably divorced us from youth.
Pasquale Terracciano is an artist for many but for the community of Pomigliano meat and collective memory, a topic on which we have entertained ourselves many times. However, the observation that, from the very first handwritten transcriptions or recordings made with the Geloso G257 cassette-recorder fifty years ago, this fundamental theme of popular tradition took on different meanings, according to the talent, experience and research of those who they are interested in this cultural side. Today the offer of wide and varied popular music, ranging from the peasant tammurriata to the Mediterranean melting pot, from the “fronna” of the Vesuvian and Cilento areas to the Afro-Middle Eastern contamination or to the dissonant experimentalisms of Stravinsky. The glue of such different proposals is called memory. In literature, that mental feeling, or of the heart, which regenerates the same emotional charge, and even more intense than situations, facts and events that took place in very distant times.
The past is a cosmos. An invisible space and yet accessible through a demanding exercise, usually called art. Hoeing the land of Mnemosine, as has been done for half a century here in Pomigliano, both in music and in literature, not rummaging through basements for old junk, let alone pleasure in getting lost the search for lost time of Proustian flavor but to have and give the possibility to tell the rest of Italy, with the language and awareness we have today, of the world that was and what we are, of living and vibrant people, of work and battles of entire generations for peace and emancipation from social oppression still cloaked in medieval fog. After all, literature, music, art all serve to penetrate stories and sections of life in these latitudes of ours and share their emotions if we can.
Pasquale, as well as others of that generation, had such a supply that we are here to comment on the fruit of years of research and experiments, mostly developed with his wife, children and traveling companions. He was born for that role and so I am pleased to remember him along with many friends.