Marcello at his home

Roberto Turatti & Marcello

Donatella De Gaetano, Marcello and Eros Ramazzotti

Rene D'Herin

Domino, Aleph, Ken Laszlo, Savage

Marcello & Mauro Farina

Swan at Stage
The one and only - Marcello d'Azzurro!!! Marcello, thank you so much for this interview and I am glad you are now part of my italo interviews collection. First of all, Marcello, please could you say what Italo Disco means to you personally?
Italo disco is my life, my love and brings me happiness each and every day. Music has always been the connection for friendship and respect. Over the years I met so many people because of the music.

How you got in contact with Italo Disco? The first song you heard was.....
I started to collect records because I hated finding a favourite track on an audio-cassette, so I started to buy vinyls and listening to "pirate"radio stations I was forced to search for import records. Buying these discs, I discovered that a lot of tracks came from Italy, but in those days it wasn't called italo disco, just disco. One example can be the Peter Jacques Band or Tantra. The sound that you may call italo disco came into my life with songs like Klein M.B.O. – “Dirty Talk”, B.B. & Band – “All Night Long” / “That Special Magic”, 'Lectric Workers – “Robot Is Systematic” & Casco – “Cybernetic love”.

Artists, producers, italo fans... like you very much! What is the secret? ;-)
Honesty ! I always try to be me, not trying to play a part as an actor. What you see is what you get ;-) Be friendly and respectful to everyone and never forget to keep your smile..!

In your opinion, how come that Holland became the main base of Italo Disco, not Italy?
First of all I think that the Italians made italo disco for the export; not many italo disco artists were present in the top 10 sales of those days. Some exceptions were Den Harrow, Savage, Taffy, Tom Hooker, Sandy Marton, Albert One, Martinelli. Successes of italo artists in Germany, Spain and France lead to performances in clubs and T.V. studios. However in Holland I was the first to organize italo parties with the less known artists too.

How you established “i Venti d'Azzurro“ club and can you tell about the history in chronological order please?
First I started my dance charts with my own initials: “MB dance charts” (1984). But soon after I was asked to print more copies for local record stores and I decided to compose my charts exclusively with Italian productions under the name of “i Venti d'Azzurro”. Venti means...20. The twenty positions in the charts. Azzurro is the national colour of Italy. 1986 became the booming year for my 'hobby' company: I was asked to present a disco show at Radio Stad Den Haag and this show became the most popular program of the year and in 1987 for that matter. So in fact the combination of charts, radio show and italo parties appeared to be the firm base for the brand ”i Venti d'Azzurro”. With my own invested money I printed stickers, t-shirts and so on and the people appreciated this very much.

You started to publish “i Venti d'Azzurro” Magazines in the 80s? How you got the idea for that and tell me more about the project? The original issue was in colour, other copies were in white & black? Where did you distribute them etc?
In the 80's most of the charts were one sided prints and I started to give the people more info regarding the artists/productions at the other side of the charts. People liked that very much, especially the Italians: I remember one day at Discomagic office where Roberto Zanetti saw my special about Lee Marrow. He was happily surprised about this service to the people and so was Anna Lombardoni. One of the specials following that Italian holiday was the one with original music and lyrics from Discomagic as a summer special. The originals are always full colour, but for big quantities we printed in black/white.

Would you describe the 80s atmosphere in Holland, among all Italo Disco fans?
We call ourselves the italo family which indicates the friendly relations we have as fans.

I always wondered which Italo artist became first you met and would you describe how that happened and something more about that?
Actually, I need to start with Gianni Demarin, because he is the one as a d.j. who invited me to Italy after our first contact and introduced me to Discomagic, Il Discotto, Merak Music, etc. Staying at his fathers apartment we planned the visits to the companies and the artists and the very first was Jimmy McFoy, immediately followed by Fred Ventura, Roberto Turatti, Den Harrow, Anna Lombardoni, Ago, Savage, Gianfranco Bortolotti, Alan Barry. Becoming a friend of Eros Ramazzotti is something I care for very much. But also being friends with people like Emanuele Cozzi & Davide Scarpulla (PAPS 'n' SKAR), Nathalie Aarts (SOUNDLOVERS), Annerley "ANN LEE" Gordon, Paola Peroni, Giorgio "ATRIUM" Conti, Giorgio Dolce, Graziano Pegoraro, Aurelio "LEGEND" Pitino, René D'Herin, Alessandra/Mirka "DOMINO" Gatti, ROBERT CAMERO, radio-DJ Angelo Caruso, Albertino "ALBY DJ", DJ KRI, the SAIFAM -Team.......

Did you have many international contacts with fans in the 80s, because in the 80s computers were, let's say, just in our imagination, something like 'future brain'? ;-)
I had the wellknown P.O.Box 1172 and I received many, many letters written by fans from all over the world. It was a big pleasure to read the happiness that italo-disco brought into their lives.

Which Italo Disco record was your first one in your collection?
As ITALO-DISCO-record probably 'Lectric Workers - Robot is Systematic, but in the same time I bought B.B. & Band, Casco, Diana Est, Klein & M.B.O., Gary Low and many more. But remember that I bought records already long before those …….

I wonder how many Italo records you have today? ;-) Is there any Italo record on this planet you missed and now you are searching for it, he he....?
Thousands of kilo's of vinyls. But I am still looking for Lou Grant – “Maharadja Night” (Time Records 12” vinyl) - Moskow – “Come Back” (12” vinyl), so if there is anyone who can help me finding ? ;-)

You were not THE only connection between artists and fans, but you started to sing and established your own band NRG Boys? Would you tell me more about it please? How and with whom you decided to go into this project, when that happened etc.?
One day in the early year of 1990 Giancarlo Pasquini (Aleph/Dave Rodgers) was willing to listen to the lyrics I had written with my “i Venti”- friends Eddy Pareggio and Danny Silenzio. Giancarlo liked them, we created a melody and started to record that first track for N.R.G. Boys called “” (A. Beat-C).

To remain a freelancer between other established labels & companies I decided to sing the track, but not wanted to be present on the cover. The track was modestly successful in Japan, so there was a follow up called ”Heart & Body”
which was a great success including a Japanese remix on Avex-label. The third song was “Hyperbeat Tonight” There should have been a fourth single, but with Andrea Leonardi (Bratt Sinclaire) leaving the A.Beat-C company, this track (called “Go Say Goal”) was published with Delta Records and became a hit for Morris and Cherry (Clara Moroni).
A special place in my heart I have for the EuroBeat scene in general: The A.Beat-C Team, The Delta Team, Domino & Sandro Oliva (Go Go's Music), Evelina Somenzi & Stefano Castagna (SCP), Christian "ACE" Codenotti, Claudio Accatino & Federico Rimonti (Hi-NRG ATTACK), Giacomo Maiolini (il capo ;-) & Sergio Dall'Ora (Time Records), Andrea Leonardi (Sinclaire Style), .... I also need to mention the super feelings I keep because of the opportunity to sing/write with FRED VENTURA, in the Time Studio, with Laurent Gelmetti, for songs like "Won't you be my lover tonight" - MARC B. and "Magic and Joy" - PLEASURE & PAIN (Time Records 1241/1240)!

Marcello, what is your other occupation, besides music?
I'm a teacher in school to make money for my everyday living.

Have you ever been a deejay? If so, would you tell us something about that side of your music work and if not do you had wish to be deejay?
No, I have never been a DJ. I've always been a speaker at the radio and at italo-disco-parties because I have been lucky to be friends with people like Peter (Hithouse) Slaghuis who did a far better job than I could ever do. And nowadays I am fortunate with my “fratello” Paolo-Jay (, working together at radio, every Sunday-evening 22:00 hrs CET, plus with “tecnico del suono” & walking “encyclopedia” Gino Peterink ;-)

Are you able to tell us your top 5 italo disco records of all time?
Depends on the moment and all memories I had while recording some songs like “Sugar Love” in the studio together with Jimmy McFoy, Romano Trevisani, Claudio Collino, Davide Sabadin, Gianni Demarin. For many years “Colour My Love” by Fun Fun was one of my all time favourites but also songs like “Forever Lovers” by Italian Boys, “Come Back” by Moscow, and not to forget the number one for a lot of people “Right By The Moon” by K. Barre. I can go on and on...........

And maybe you could tell us your favourite artists?! ;-)
Usually I think in terms of respect for the artists; people like Roberto “SAVAGE” Zanetti, Federico “FRED VENTURA” di Bonaventura, Alberto “ONE” Carpani, Mauro Farina, Clara Moroni, Laurent “NEWFIELD” Gelmetti, Giancarlo “DAVE RODGERS” Pasquini, Anfrando “KOTO” Maiola, Massimo “PHAEAX” Gabutti, Alvaro “X-Energy Records” Ugolini, Lino “NOVECENTO” Nicolosi, Vince “SCOTCH” Lancini, Paul “GAZEBO” Mazzolini, Fabrizio “BRIAN ICE” Rizzolo, Piermichele “MIKO MISSION” Bozzetti, Roberto Turatti, Gianni “KEN LASZLO” Coraini, Celso Valli, Mauro Malavasi, Theo Spagna, Silvio “SILVER” Pozzoli, etc. etc. etc.

Marcello, could you tell us about your recent work, I mean particularly about i Venti d'Azzurro Records, I.D.Limited and Delivery Records?! How you got an idea about establish these labels?
Nothing in this life can be done without friends. Already in the 90's I spoke with Lex van Coeverden about possibilities of working together, but not until four years ago when I sat together with Lex, Ferry, Edward & Gino
we decided to kick off. Right from the start with the help of Savino D.J.. We had the support of the fans with the release of “Shining Star” by Swan. It gave us a massive motivation to move on and up ‘till now, as we speak, we reached almost 20 releases, a wonderful achievement.

In these new releases you sing some backing vocals, don't you?! Could you tell us more about it please?
I have always found great pleasure in singing especially when I could work together with Italian artists. Now with our own releases I still feel the joy of singing some parts (leads/backing) like in the Ken Laszlo song and in the future release by Marc & Susy.

Do you feel your current work with new labels equal to those things in the 80s and are you feeling nostalgic about past?
I am equally excited with every new release ! The tension and the pleasure is the same!

Marcello, your goals for near future, maybe new big party?
The future will always be full of music, working in the radio Fresh FM (with Paolo Jay & Gino) & Radio Stad Den Haag and ofcourse creating something new for the celebration of 25 years of “i Venti”!

What is your message, for the end of this interview, to all italo fans?
Keep believing, keep the fire burning !
All together, fans & friends, we are able to give the world a wonderful combination: Love & Music !!

Thank you very much Marcello for your time and wish you all the best, your italo friend & fan Zeljko ;-)
Thank YOU Zeljko, for giving me the possibillity to express what I feel and what keeps me goin' ! Viva Music Made In Italy!

By Marcello & Feratho.

Marcello, Mr. Zivago, Theo Spagna, DJ Robby B., Brian Ice, Alex Cundari
(click to zoom)

© Zeljko Vujkovic & Marcello D'Azzurro & Feratho - October 2009