Friday, 6 November 2009

Gli Indimenticabili Parte 2 - Bob & Tom

Baia degli Angeli - Bob & Tom.rar

Remember (forever) Baia Degli Angeli.
The Baia Degli Angeli. It’s not exaggerate to say everything started there.
The golden age of disco, clubbing, glamour: just everything. I’m not saying ‘discoteques’ were a novelty (although in Italy were still called nightclubs, or ‘balere’). There was the Piper, in 1965, which instilled a little bit of ‘swingin’ London inside the ancient walls of the ‘the eternal city’, Roma. There was the Altro Mondo Studios, built up as a kind of spaceship or galactic island, which in ‘67 was making believe young riminesi (not only them, anyways) that Future with capital ‘F’, the one of Urania and the first sci-fi tv series, was just a question of weeks, or a couple of months at the most. But from the start the Baia was another story. Another world, too. It started in1974, on the edge of the still big ’68 revolutionary excitement and also on the grandeur of his creator, Giancarlo Tirotti, a little local tycoon, well introduced in roman cinema’s jet-set and a taste and elegance definitely ‘international’ and - for those days - absolutely new. Let’s say it once for all: the New York’s Studio 54 hasn’t invented anything.
Mixing ‘stars’ and normal people in a beautiful place, in a way that simply ‘being there’ was already an experience, it was a bright intuition of Tirotti three years in advance of Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager.
At the Baia you could meet Hollywood’s movie stars transiting in Italy,
and by the way - before the conversion into disco, it was a sporting-club for the rich - with those totally white walls, the indoor and outdoor pools, the terrace where one could get a breathtaking view of Gabicce, it looked just like a Californian resort. Music - another news - was loud, really loud, and there was no rule of ‘three slows & three shakes’, something still in vigour in all the other clubs. And it was open till 6 a.m., you could watch the dawn at the Baia... listening to the new Philly Sound, played by Bob Day and Tom Sison the two dj’s Tirotti brought from New York. Punctually, all the other djs from Rimini and Riccione would come at the Baia to listen what Bob & Tom were doing, and it was always a shock! Firstly for the records, which both of them were getting right from USA, and the tecnique, too... In those days, putting a piece of paper between the record and the turntable, in order to get a faster start and a better mixing, was just a revolutionary strike...
In the meantime discomusic was spreading everywhere in Italy. The Baia - like a Fiorucci’s dream come true - displays plexiglass dancefloors and a crazy dj-booth inside a lift that goes up and down all the night long... the people is dancing on the 4 floors, look around and feel like being in a very ‘transgressive’ tv show, like the famous Strix on sunday nights. Rivers of champagne and a lot of very suspicious little powders are flowing... Actors, intellectuals and starlets of the little screen are usual presence on the dance floors and sofas.
Grace Jones is so often a guest to become practically part of the environment.
How beautiful was the Baia! Always completely white. Not a minute wrong detail, nor a hint of bad taste to ruin the elegant skyline. Only light, bright light... A battery of lights effects on a mechanical arm was moving
and spreading around very sexy showers of lights and shadows. The little neon-light angel, sort of good-luck symbol who became the Baia’s logo and occasionally some exploit a-la-Warhol (like the Marylin Monroe’s icon deliriously librated in the air with stripes & ballons). The ‘golden age’ of the Baia Degli Angeli lasted only two seasons. In ‘78, after repeated breaks by the Police is the definitive closing. Too much fuss, too much intimidations from the sleepy establishment of the adriatic riviera. Too many ‘joyous powders’, for the Authority.
A press document of the time (just a laughing matter today) states that the Baia «with is mere existence is promoting drugs between young people».
The little air-balloon who gave birth to the glittering dream of the Baia was finally blown up... and the legend begins. And, as always goes when legends are born (think about NewYork’s Loft or Paradise Garage, or Chicago’s Warehouse), everybody started saying «I’ve been there», when actually just very few people stepped at the Baia, and danced to that music.

In 1974-75 the Baia Degli Angeli opens. this starts the history of disco's in Italy. Situated on the hills of Gabicce (Pesaro), looking over the sea, it had different floors all connected between them. it was totally white with a breathtaking view, the console of the DJ was made from a lift with glass walls that gave the possibility to go from the first to the second floor and have a complete view of the dance floors both inside and out. Plus there was a mechanical arm with all the light effects that could move on all the different dance floors as well. there was an indoor and outdoor pool (with dance floor), avantgarde graphics, amazing closing hours (5 or 6 am) and
no “slows”, just great american music never heard before.
The music selection was by two american dee-jays: Tom Sison and Bob Day.
They all had mixers-earphones-listening monitors, but probably no one knew the best ways to use them.

Tom Sison

Bob Day

Bob Day e Tom Sison - American deejays, discotheque pioneer who lived and worked in Italy when disco era...

Tom though born in Puerto Rico, then moved to Philadelphia, then early 70's to New York where he was a resident dj in a disco no one remember name unfortunately, disco located near the docks. Tom was a deejay after hour (we say) that means - his set start about 3 a.m..
He met Giancarlo Tirotti, owner of the disco name - Baia Degli Angeli in mentioned above NYC club. Giancarlo loved what he heard and offered him job in Italy at Suerte, a resort near Baia with great amenities such as room, board, food, money for a few flights yearly to NYC to buy new records as well as good pay. Great conditions isn't it ? He could say no to this ?!
'Baia' started june 29th 1975 and changed completely the italian night life style. Tom couldn't be the only dj working from 9pm to 6am. This was too long session for any deejay. He asked Tirotti to engage a New York friend, Bob Day. Bob arrived and the best italian couple of djs of everytime was born.
Bob And Tom got a lot of friendship on Adriatic coast destined to last forever. Bob & Tom introduced some new music, never heard before - disco music, so popular in New York, but unknown in Italy. Black artists created this sound based on soul and r&b. Some examples: Gumble & Huff from Philadelphia Records, Vince Montana Jr from Salsoul...
Bob & Tom were, first in Italy, to perfect the technique for stitching records together in seamless sequencess. They hold the disc by thumb while the turntable whirled beneath insulated by a felt pad, and they would locate with an earphone the best spot to make the splice / mix, then release the next side precisely on the beat. They simply slipped cued their records making for a seamless blend of music, not known that time in Italy. They mixed records with BPM on the now classic Thorens turntables with pich control.
Their sets started before opening and in the first set they played fantastic soul music ("Let's make a baby" by Billy Paul, "I'm in heaven" by Touch of Class, "Loving you, loosing you" by Phillis Hyman...) growing rhythm. After 5 a.m. they were back to this fantastic sound, for "nice people" who wanted to dance some good music at the sun rise. Bob & Tom came back used to New York about five times a year to buy some new records and every time they bring wonderful music.
Tirotti sold 'Baia' in september 1977 - then Bob & Tom came back to United States. Tom lived intensely each moment of his life but unfortunately he passed away in early 80's victim of a life he applied his genius as much to self distruction as to creation.
Bob continued to work and he kept some contacts with italian friends. 1982 he came to Rimini for djing at 'Cellophane' on late spring, and at 'Bobbery' in Gradara during the next summer (club was called Bobbery cause Bob was resident dj...). Club had no success - then on next autumn he had some gigs in other clubs: 'Xenos' in Marina di Ravenna and a disco in Florence.
Bob was defenitly back to New York and people had no more notices about him. His italian friends passed away and nobody knows about him now. There are some roumors about an italian Bob appareance in 1987 - however to this day nothing is known for sure.

More info here:



Mi viene da piangere, che tempi che nostalgia che musica
G R A Z I E !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


AMM said...

many thanks for the info on the italian scene jazzy
very interesting m8!
similar to the uk in the same period!
many thanks for these great links!
cant wait to hear em!