In anticipation of the forthcoming book, GOBLIN Seven Notes in Red, we've decided to ask the author, Fabio Capuzzo, some questions related to Goblin, his love of the band and a few other related things. Many of the images pictured here do not appear in the book as we made a conscious decision to not include record covers except in special and rare circumstances.
Ordering information can be found at the bottom of the interview.
Do you remember when you first heard Goblin?
Fabio: Summer 1975. Obviously, the song was Profondo rosso. Probably I’ve heard it playing on the radio, it had a good airplay and even better in autumn - winter 1975 when it topped the Italian charts. At the time I hadn’t seen the film yet. I bought the LP and then also the single. Strange, since the songs on the single are also on the LP. The Profondo rosso LP was the very first I’ve bought on my own with my money. I have an older brother and at the time we usually bought the records together, collecting the money from our money boxes. I’ve started listening to rock music as a kid, when I was six or seven years old; with my brother we bought Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, King Crimson, EL&P, CSN&Y, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Queen LPs. Anyway, the very first records I played were those purchased by my mother, singles like Come Together by The Beatles or Little Green Bag by George Baker Selection (I made a big smile when I heard this song in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs) and also a few soundtracks like Morricone’s Per un pugno di dollari and Per qualche dollaro in più.
Do you remember what sparked the obsessive streak in you to hunt down and root out all things Goblin?
It was a gradual thing, let’s say from the second half of the ‘80s.
I bought Profondo rosso in 1975, the Roller single in 1976, the Suspiria single in 1977 and the Contamination LP in 1980. In early ‘80s I was more focused on the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, but, anyway, I bought used copies of the Tenebre, Suspiria, Roller and Zombi LPs. Also a sealed copy of Il fantastico viaggio del ‘bagarozzo’ Mark but I was very hesitant having seen them playing Opera Magnifica on TV and I didn’t like that song…
In 1985, I bought Phenomena before seeing the movie (Cinevox released the LP a few days before the film premiere), and then I started hunting down the missing LPs and singles and the foreign editions. Not easy at all since at the time a database was not available so it was impossible to know if there was an LP or a single with music from a certain film. The only way was going to the records shops and look around or ask. Many times I asked for the Buio Omega or La via della droga or Squadra Antimafia scores and watched at the surprised faces of the clerks telling me, ‘never heard before!’ In the ‘90s, I started going to the record fairs, but the big change was with eBay.
How was the reception to your book, Goblin sette notte in rosso, in Italy?
Goblin fans loved it. At the time there were such big holes in Goblin history and it was a real shock even for the most die-hard fans learning of so many films and albums with Goblin members playing on them. A guy read all the book in just one night, something insane: the book has hundreds of footnotes written with a very small font so the 450 pages correspond to almost 1000.
I still receive mails from fans asking me for more info about soundtracks and facts so in the end 450 pages were not enough!
Please explain the reason you chose the title.
Seven Notes in Red is a nod to the title of Lucio Fulci’s Sette note in nero (Seven notes in black, aka The Psychic, 1977) but also a reference to the synth melody of Profondo Rosso that is made of seven notes.
I’ve changed the title at the last moment. The first title was ‘Goblin il suono della paura’ (‘Goblin the sound of fear’).
What made you want to do a book all about the complex and antagonistic band and its members? And, did you know there was such acrimonious feelings between all the members when you first started on the book?
I’ve started working on the book in 1999 and at the time I was unaware (as everybody else) of the past fights between band members. Sure there were the perennial changes in the line-up but the band had given very few interviews in the past years, let’s say about 10 from 1975 to 1990, and nothing had leaked. Only in 2001 did the band members have a furious public quarrel in the Cinevox forum, with mutual accusations between Simonetti, Morante, Pignatelli and Marangolo. A few months later Cinevox removed everything, but their accusations and bad words are fully reported in the Italian version of my book. From that moment and ‘thanks’ to Facebook, the accusation between members (especially Simonetti and Morante) are frequent and silly.
The book is technically unauthorized, but how have the individual members of the book responded to the Italian edition?
Simonetti, Morante, Guarini and Pignatelli have read the book.
Guarini has highly appreciated it. Also his wife, Cinzia Cavalieri, the author of the lyrics for the Volo album, has sent some really nice words in my regard.
Morante, in a message on FB, has said that if someone wants to read the real story of Goblin he must read my book.
A few years ago when a friend of mine told Pignatelli that I was the author of the book, he hugged and kissed me and asked how the hell I had managed to know all those things about the band, “You’ve written everything!” he said.
Simonetti has been more elusive, he probably did not like all the attention that I have given to the incarnations of the band in which he is not present in the line-up.
Anyway, the book is mentioned in the Goblin Official Site and also my blog is linked.
When was the first time you saw Goblin perform live? How many times have you seen them perform live at this point and what’s the farthest you’ve travelled to see them perform?
I’ve never seen Goblin (strictly speaking) playing live, what a shame!
My first Goblin (in the broad sense) concert was ‘Simonetti and his band’ in my city, Padova, in 1989. Then Daemonia in Padova and Rome in 2001 and 2003, BackToTheGoblin in Foligno (2009), New Goblin in Milan, Rome and Sanremo in 2011-12, Goblin Rebirth (in Genova and Verona), Cherry Five (in Genova and Trieste) and a few Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin concerts (Milan, Bologna [Profondo rosso live scoring], Treviso, Ferrara, Este [Suspiria live scoring]).
What’s your most coveted Goblin item? Conversely, what Goblin item(s) don’t you have that you are still searching for?
Oh, with regards to the discography my most coveted Goblin item is probably the mint and still unplayed copy of Cherry Five. Also a few original posters from the 70s, the bass drumhead with the Goblin logo signed by Marangolo, Pignatelli, Simonetti, Morante and Guarini, my personal and full signed copy of Goblin sette notte in rosso.
I would love to find posters and daybills for the concerts held by the band in 1975-76, the tarpaulin with the Goblin logo they used as backdrop in 1976 and also the ‘bagarozzo Mark’ stage doll would be cool!!
What is your favorite Goblin album? Least favorite Goblin album?
Oh that’s tough. Let’s say Roller and Squadra Antigangsters.
The discography in the book is impressive. Do you feel that it is comprehensive… nothing missing? And, of that discography that is in the book- how many of those releases do you own yourself?
I hope nothing is missing, some surprises could come from Latin America. I own pretty much all the vinyl and most of the CDs reported in the book discography. Incidentally I have also tons of records regarding each band member, including rare gems like Flea, Etna, L’Uovo di Colombo, Rustichelli & Bordini and Il Reale Impero Britannico original LPs. To tell the truth, I have practically everything quoted in the book…
Your obsession has started to pay off in other ways, too. Please speak about your other archival research and work for other bands/record releases.
I’ve worked on more than 30 LPs by such great Maestros like Ennio Morricone, Stelvio Cipriani, Riz Ortolani, Luis Bacalov, Piero Umiliani, Piero Piccioni, Guido & Maurizio De Angelis, Manuel De Sica, Keith Emerson and, of course, Goblin, writing the liner notes for 20 albums including two by the one man band Orgasmo Sonore.
After the release of the book, Matthias Scheller, the boss of AMS Records and one of the first buyers of Goblin sette notte in rosso, asked me to collaborate on some albums. Sometimes I provide only the iconographic material related to the film (for example, for Per un pugno di dollari I provided about 200 pictures of posters, lobby cards, etc), other times I also write the liner notes, choose the songs, do the mastering. Some project, like the new edition of La via della droga or Shock by Libra are born from my input. My best projects, however, those who would drive crazy any Goblin fan, remained unfulfilled for the poor relationships between the musicians and the lack of interest express by Cinevox (the label who holds the rights on all the ‘classic Goblin’ recordings), but I still hope for the future.
You know, I’m not only a music buff, I’m in love with the cinema of the ‘60s and ‘70s. I started going to the movie theaters with my mother when I was two years old, almost every day. Goblin have been the ideal link between my passions for films and rock. When I work on such fantastic scores like Giù la testa, Metti una sera a cena, Mark il poliziotto or Django, I am in a privileged position because I had to write about films and records that I really love from my childhood. Doing the research for these titles it’s like diving back in those years. To be honest, I’m still living in the ‘70s!
To pre-order a hardback copy of the book, click here.
To pre-order a paperback copy of the book, click here.
All direct orders (first 500 copies we should note) will receive a free bookmark and 2 free postcards, one being numbered and signed by Fabio.
The official release date is September, 1, 2017.