Orvieto remembered - April 09

Dusk Day - Steve and John

Dusk Day - Steve & John
Photo © Maurizio Vicedomini

As reaction to the website has been so positive of late, I thought it might be a good time to glance back at an event which took place a short while before hackettsongs.com was up and running. Orvieto looks as beautiful as its name sounds... a secret Italian hillside gem of a place. Entering the town was a special shared experience for John, Katrin, Nick, Peter, Jo and myself. Something told us we were in for a gloria magnifica weekend!

Orvieto streets and cathedral and the bijoux theatre

Orvieto streets & cathedral
The bijoux theatre
Photo © Bruno Zampaglione

As locals beckon through narrow streets, you’ve no idea what lies ahead. You’re lulled into a false sense of proportion, thinking you’ve reached Orvieto's last ice cream parlour, when suddenly everything changes. The scene dramatically opens out into an enormous piazza, overlooked by an extraordinarily ornate cathedral, its surreal facade decorated by a gargantuan painted fresco. Other shrines catering to the faithful, including the Vatican, count their treasures on the inside but Orvieto's is right there for all to see on the surface. The Italians are great at this. Witness Rome's Trevi Fountain, ‘an inland sea’ if ever you saw one, unsuspectingly sequestered behind cobbled alleyways and corner shops... Orvieto, like a baby Rome, has the same feeling.

I originally joined Gabriel's band of angels at the start of 1971. Who'd have thought I'd be here (cue Python sketch) 37 years later on Dusk Day to celebrate the most durable part of the group's history, one that refuses to lie down and die on Broadway or anywhere else. I often feel I'm donning my curator's cap in a museum partly of my own making when performing an old song I wrote whilst in Genesis. But then everybody who played their part in creating the band's sound and of course including the superb twelve-string forays, electric textures and beautiful songs of my predecessor Anthony Phillips, deserves a gold star on the old blackboard. These days, 'Hall' at Charterhouse I'm told is actually used in the Harry Potter movies. In olden times the headmaster's wife's job apparently was to arrange flowers while her husband beat boys... Or was that Eton? In these enlightened times, far from being discouraged, Rock'n'roll seems to be part of the curriculum. The moral is - spare the rod and ruin a perfectly good rock band in the making!

Meanwhile at warp speed we arrive back in September 2008 and the Orvieto event which held something wonderful for all participants and onlookers. The old bijoux theatre seemed to hold the ghosts of carnivals past. Superbly hosted by Mario Giammetti and pals, the occasion flowed like the Orvieto wine, well played and bell cantoed by all the performers and warmly received by several generations of fans.

Steve and Mario Giammetti

Steve & Mario Giammetti
Photo © Maurizio Vicedomini

Thank you Vania of Blue Sky for making your own Orvieto pilgrimage and reconnecting with us... Claudio for booking us into the hotel next to Rome’s Pantheon, as a precursor to the main event; no trip to the Eternal City is ever wasted... Marco Lo Muscio for showing everyone what my one time guitar doodles sound like on a cathedral organ. Thank you to all for attending... great to encounter new friends and old, Roger and Maria, Franco and many more. Grazie mille to Mario, Mino, Silvio, Ricardo, Claudio, Bruno and everyone involved with the creation of Dusk Day.

Celebrating in Orvieto

Celebrating in Orvieto
Photo © Bruno Zampaglioni

Captain Hackett, warp sped forward to April 2009

Orvieto Gallery pics