Anyone remember that great program called “The Midnight Special”? I think it used to come on ABC on Saturday nights at midnight. I used to watch regularly because some of the acts were simply terrific, such as Deep Purple (with Ritchie Blackmore, the “author” of the world’s most famous guitar-rock riff, “Smoke On The Water”!) and also AC/DC!
Well, indeed a coincidence as some 35 years ago they actually had on the program Italy’s PFM (aka Premiata Forneria Marconi), a progressive rock band that was basically THE only Italian rock band which was known back then outside of Italy’s borders (the band also had success in Great Britain and Japan). PFM, a band “related” to the sounds of both Genesis and King Crimson, was also the only band out of the several Italian progressive groups of the 1970s which was known at an international level (they played as back-up to some mighty fine groups out there, such as Yes, Procol Harum and Deep Purple, all groups by the way that I’ve also seen in the past). In 1972, with their album “Storia di un Minuto”, it was the very first time that the mini-moog keyboard player was ever used on an Italian album. PFM also played together for 4 months with Peter Frampton.
The coincidence is that some 35 years later, here I was at Pordenone’s sports forum along with some 3,000 fans, catching three of the original members of PFM during a two-and-a-half hour show: drummer and vocalist Franz Di Cioccio and guitarists Franco Mussida and Patrick Djivas (who had replaced Giorgio Piazza as bass guitarist in 1973). The first part of the show consisted of songs of the late, great Fabrizio De Andre’. The latter part of the show instead consisted of PFM’s own songs (the name of the band comes from Forneria Marconi. The band then added the word “Premiata”). Di Cioccio alternated between singing and drumming (and not a bad one at that too!). A good show for a band that 35 years ago managed to also impress the Americans (all pics by M. Rimati)!