The Italian Almanac

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Vasco rosii

Italian Music - November 17

Italy's most popular rock singer, Vasco Rossi, says in a new book that he'll give up his singing career before he becomes "pathetic". Without mentioning any names, the 53-year-old former DJ makes it clear that he is aware of the dangers of continuing to play rock music when other people are looking forward to a pension. "I hope I'll be smart enough to understand when the moment to stop arrives," he says. "I hope I'll stop before I become pathetic or a caricature of myself."

His new book, based on a series of interviews given over 20 years to one of the country's leading rock journalists, went on sale in bookshops across Italy on Wednesday. Qui non arrivano gli angeli (Angels don't come here), published by Aliberti Editore, is expected to be an Italian best-seller for Christmas given the star's legendary status here. The book covers a wide range of themes, from musical influences and personal reminiscences to his self-appointed mission to speak out for the marginalised and poor.

Rossi, with his distinctive voice made gravelly by cigarette smoke, appears content with his lot and proud of his standing as a national rock icon. The star picked up a prize this week for the best Italian video clip of the year. The video, called It's Only a Rock'n'Roll Show, has already sold 100,000 copies on DVD. At the end of the clip an enamored fan is seen climbing onto the stage at a concert and pointing a gun at Rossi's head. "It's a strong ending, quite spectacular," he commented as he accepted his prize in Milan. "A real rock star should go out like that, not in some old folks home."