Taking for once a well-deserved break from the posting of my own writings, I want to advertise a really excellent piece of work on the part of my friend Jim Russell, who is in charge of the Rock Progressivo Italiano genre team at ProgArchives. My husband and I, together with a few others, laid the groundwork in the second half of the previous decade; then, after we stopped being active contributors to the site, a group of very motivated people, madly in love with Italian prog (in both its vintage and modern incarnations), have been carrying the torch, introducing the visitors of the site to this incredibly fertile and diverse subgenre. While most of these RPI enthusiasts are not Italian (or even European), and some of them – like Jim himself – have never visited Italy, the sheer enthusiasm and dedication with which they have been carrying out their “mission” has earned them the gratitude of many Italian bands and artists, and also increased the level of exposure of RPI on the international scene.
Over the past few months, Jim and his collaborator Andrea Parentin (an Italian with outstanding command of English and an encyclopedic knowledge of the Italian progressive rock scene) have managed to track down three former members of one of the best original RPI bands, Rome-based Quella Vecchia Locanda (QVL for short), who in the early Seventies released two very highly rated albums before disbanding for good. In their exhaustive answers, Massimo Roselli, Donald Lax and Claudio Filice give some invaluable insights into the Italian prog scene in those heady years, even if (to the disappointment of the many fans of the subgenre) they put paid to any thoughts of a possible comeback. The interview is a must-read for every fan of Italian progressive rock, and a wonderful piece of journalism that puts much of the stuff published on the “mainstream” music press to shame.
Here is the link to the interview: http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=80190&PID=4243740#4243740
I also encourage all my readers to check out the excellent work of the RPI team on ProgArchives, and possibly join the discussion in the dedicated forum thread (called “The Italian Prog Appreciation Den”). Heartfelt thanks to Jim and his fellow team members for all they do on behalf of Italian progressive rock.