Gino Vannelli – Black Cars
She cuts a perfect silhouette
But she's a dark angel wearing dark glasses
A fading beauty as the night time passes... I say
Black cars look better in the shade
On November 30, 1984, a rather unexpected song came out, a song that had the luck and ability to carve out a place in the memories of the 80s. And I want to tell you a story from some time ago: I was in a store and on the radio suddenly the speakers start talking about an 80s star who still has hair like then. And I wondered.. who can he be? And then suddenly this great song starts.
Gino Vannelli, in the pop world, is still known for his most successful hit, “Black cars”, but he had a long and articulate career! As a child he learned to play different instruments, and growing up, with the help of his older brother Joe, he became a truly complete musician, who was able to range between very different genres, including jazz and soul. And with great success, since he was invited by Stevie Wonder to support a tour.
His career had a real sliding door: after moving with Joe from Montreal first to New York and then to Los Angeles out of desperation, he one day attempted an extreme move. He camped in the parking lots of A&M, the famous major, determined to get a contract. At some point he actually sees the boss of the major, Herb Alpert, come by and he’s determined to leave him a demo tape with his songs. The security guards surround him and are about to take him away, when Alpert still decides to keep the tape. He listens to the songs, and finally, probably also impressed by Gino’s tenacity, he signs him a contract.
It was the first step towards the great success of “Black Cars”, a song that stands out for its absolutely 80s sounds (thanks also to the contributions of brothers Joe and Ross, excellent musicians), and also for the great video. Gino’s career will continue until today without interruption, but in different musical genres, also touching classical music. A composition he created for his father (of Italian origin) and entitled with the Italian for “Words for my father” came to the attention of Pope John Paul II, who invited him to perform in the Vatican.
The strangest thing, however, probably happened to him in 2008. To celebrate the Boston Celtics’ home wins, the stadium crew broadcast on the scoreboard a clip of a musical show, “American Bandstand”, which probably aired in the 1970s, in which some boys danced to the notes of “You should be dancing” by the Bee Gees. Among the boys who dance, a guy appears with a tight t-shirt with the words “Gino” and the image of Gino Vannelli, obviously with long hair, in the middle of a lightning, probably the t-shirts on sale at Vannelli concerts of the time.
Well, not only did this scene and Gino Vannelli become hugely popular, but the Celtics’ celebration became known as “Gino Time”, and Gino Vannelli’s shirts began to be sold at Celtics games! If you don’t believe it, try searching for “Gino Time”!
Gino Vannelli on Wikipedia