Waves of emotion can hit you from any distance – one washed right over me this time two years ago. I was thousands of miles away from the event that caused the outpouring of emotion … but I knew that it mattered.
The ‘event’ was the sudden death of the singer Pino Daniele on January 4th 2015, and the city whose heart split open was Napoli. Facebook wept with tributes. I could feel the pain from wherever I sat.
Pino Daniele died a few months before his 60th birthday from sudden complications to do with long-standing heart problems. Naples was devastated. His music is a part of the city, and so was he.
‘Pino’ was born and raised in Naples. His music – his distinctive voice, his guitar-playing and the lyrics of his songs – capture the city’s cracks and its beauty. It moves like water across broken harmonies, passion, melancholy, and several languages including Italian, English and the soft thickness of the Neapolitan dialect.
Pino knew all of Naples. He knew it from corners where he grew up, to the squares and rooftops where he sang … and he used it all – he painted the ache and the longing – and the city, one that has learned to trust no-one, responded with its heart.
Today his memory lives across Naples – it is painted on to the walls of the city; his lyrics decorate special benches; his likeness is reproduced in Via San Gregorio Armeno; and even the pavements hold his name.
I don’t think Naples will ever forget Pino Daniele.
Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2017
This tells a little more about the man and his influence via the Huffington Post and the clips below give an idea of his style.