Carlo Giovetti – She can sing better than before but don’t call her a tiger – Il Giorno 16.04.1968

By Carlo Giovetti – The Day

MINA SINGS, denies, plays broom and talks about Paciugo. Now she is relaxed and does not even feel the cold wind that comes with the dawn. “But I was scared, I was shaking all over. It didn’t used to happen to me, the older I get the more I get, the more I freeze.” It’s only fair: Mina performing “Marinella’s Song” is no longer the same as the one who shouted “The Thousand Blue Bubbles.” Perhaps he was not afraid the first time either, when he suddenly decided to go “the other way”: right here at Bernardini’s Compass in the summer of ’58. It was her friends who convinced her, and she took the stage-from Marino Barreto Jr. – and asked him to accompany her. “In my hands I have a pure soul…”: it was that night that Mina was born. “The Compass has brought me luck,” he told me as he shrewdly sparred, “and that’s why I wanted to go back there for this date. But let’s drop certain terms: let’s say ten years, and that’s it.” And even when the champagne corks pop, and someone mentions the “20-year anniversary,” he prefers to change the subject. “I didn’t revolutionize, I will sing as long as the audience is into it, my craft is still fun for me.” With Augusto Martelli’s orchestra he played ten very different pieces, even challenging Johnny Ray (“Cry”) and Dionne Warwick (“The Voice of Silence”). Those who were not there last night at the Compass will be able to hear them in a fortnight’s time, to the applause and cheers of the people thronging the hall. It will be a “live” long-playing, like a Sammy Davis from New York’s Town Hall, or a Miles Davis from the Juan-les-Pins festival. In Italy, it had never happened, and you understand, the alchemy of recording studios is too invigorating to do without.
We anticipate the other titles: “Regularly,” “A Shot to the Heart,” “If I’m Here Tonight,” “To Start Over,” “Allegria,” “Deborah,” “There’s More Samba,” and “Canto de Ossanha.”
Ten years, one long film: overnight success, Corrado Pani and son Maximilian (but to her it’s just Paciugo), the collapse of her father’s industry, the death of her brother Alfredo, silence for almost two years, and then again “her” grit (but don’t call her a tiger) to regain her positions. Now she has become a woman, she can sing better than before, she has a record company (“It’s true, I try to impose a non-trivial repertoire, however, the audience follows me”) and perhaps also a sentimental peace of mind. “A balance of these ten years? It seems positive to me, all things considered. I have changed a lot, I have imposed sacrifices on myself.”
Just the other day, a rotogravure magazine wrote-in sugary terms-that Mina returns with Pani to relive her great love, that Maximilian has performed the miracle, that Augusto Martelli can do nothing against the reality of feelings and against an irredeemably adverse fate. What does Mina, on the other hand, say? “I should have gotten used to it, but I can’t: how is it possible to invent such things? Every day I should deny it, I should keep a lawyer close to me all the time like I do with Elio Gigante.” By now the sky is beginning to clear, and Mina is still here counting golds and primes. “I’m not going to bed, I’m leaving soon: my driver is getting married in Milan and I have to be his best man. This is also a new experience.” Then he begins to talk about Paciugo (He turns five on the 18th and I don’t know what to give him: by now he’s had everything, just everything”), his friendship with Fellini (“He says I have a mysterious, clownish, pierrottessa face: he came to see me with a fever of 40 and a stock of scarves on to offer me a part in his film, but then I never saw him again”) and a dream he often has. “It’s always that one, for years: a bumper car and me squeezing into it, in a square in Cremona, to deliver a shirt to a person I can never find. It is also a dream in color, with the red car and the very white shirt.” But he never asked the meaning of the dream? “And why would I do that? They might tell me who knows what, it’s much better that I don’t know anything.”

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They say about her

11 November 2023


Giorgio Bocca – The jukebox is too tight for Mina – ll Giorno 11.12.1960

Tonight Mina has crazy hair and a dress on which sequins shine. Pale. Slender, her eyes dilated with neurotic rage, the girl wrings her hands to overcome the disgust of strangers breathing down on her.
We are in a dance hall on the outskirts of Turin. With two thousand five hundred liras each (almost two days’ work) the young men of the neighborhood paid themselves, for one hour, for the physical presence of Italy’s most famous “screamer”; the lucky ones, now, surround her little table, under the orchestra.

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Oriana Fallaci – The siren of twenty years – The European 05.02.1961

But who, then, is this girl who in not even two years has become a kind of myth of Italians young and old, poor and rich, suckers and smart, communists and Catholics, and in one minute earns as much as a magistrate earns in a month (one hundred and fifty thousand traffic circles), in one week collects six covers of authoritative weeklies, and if you say you have never seen her sing they treat you as an ignoramus, a traitor to the fatherland, or a cretin?

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Tony di Corcia from “Mina Viva lei” – Clichy Editions 2023

It has become very difficult to write about Mina.
This oh-so-round and fateful birthday of 80, which falls today, has already been consumed by streams of words, hordes of footage, odd images.
Everything seems already said. Premature retirement in 1978-an anti-media seclusion-made her forever young.

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Natalia Aspesi – Here is Mina fatter more beautiful and better – La Repubblica 04.07.1978

Fifty years? It could be 30 or 90, it would be the same. Tomorrow Mina turns half a century old, and the occasion only serves to make it clear how the singer has become, in Italian custom, a symbol rather than a living person. A symbol of an Italy as good as she was, glorious and optimistic, that of the boom years with which her rise coincided; but also, for most of those over 30, a sentimental symbol in the fullest sense of the word.

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