IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS"
(Honour the Lord in everything you do)
THE 70s AND
80s AT THE DISCOTHÈQUE IN GENOA
...a collection of memories, lived emotions and small adventures...
in italiano del sito
My name is Lino Esposito, I was born in Genoa on the 1st October 1962, and on this site i will tell you about..........
It was the early 1970s and my parents, after much persistence on my behalf, bought me a C.B transceiver; in many towns during that period there was a boom for using this method of communicating via radio.
After a few months of talking via radio, I met Gianfranco and after speaking several times we agreed to meet each other in person.
He asked me to meet him near his house on Brignole De Ferrari Street. He and his friends would meet by the railingings which divided Brignole de Ferrari Street and the road underneath, Antonio Giusti Street.
We would meet in the afternoon and would pass the time laughing, joking, taking the mickey out of one another and commeting on the girls that walked by.
As time went by I realised that something fundamental was missing in my life, some female company.
In the "Railing Gang" ( they were known by this name because of their meeting place by the railings) friends and acquaintances would come and go. One Saturday afternoon two of Gianfrancos friends passed by and after joking around a bit they said, "come on, lets go dancing at Beta tomorrow afternoon." Beta was the short name for the New Betatron discothèque on Alla porta degli Archi Street. I had heard others talk about Beta before but never knew who to go there with. So when these guys suggested going i felt encouraged and replied " Yeah, i'll come too." Gianfranco and his other friends however, refused the invitation.
So Sunday afternoon became a kind of ritual for us. We would meet by the railings at around 2pm, catch the number 20 bus to Dante Square and would make our way towards New Betatron discothèque.
On that first Sunday afternoon that we went to Beta, we joined the que outside which by then was already quite long. I could feel my heart beating fast as it was a new experience for me.
There were lots of well dressed and sweetly smelling gorgeous girls, and guys joking around amongst themselves.
I remember thinking to myself " I wonder if i'll be able to dance in time well, I wonder what it will be like.
By now the queue was getting shorter and we bagan to make our way down towards the discothèque entrace.
Finally at the entrace, I could hear the music playing in the distance but most of all I could hear the sound of the bass pumping out.
Moreover, there was a slight draught which brought with it that classical discothèque smell.
Really! It might sound strange but the discothèque had a particular smell, a mixture of moquette, cigarette smoke, furniture and plastic and electronic materials.
I won't ever forget that sensation.
I still get emotional even now when I am about to go in to the discothèque and I hear the music and smell that classical discothèque smell...
We paid and left our jackets in the cloakroom and, feeling a little embarassed, we began to take a look around the discothèque which by then was already quite full with people dancing, singing and joking.
After a while my friends said to me " Come on Lino, lets hit the dancefloor."
I nervously approached the dancefloor which was made part in steel and part in coloured plexiglas and was illuminated from underneath.
Despite the mass of people I began dancing, following what the others were doing and trying to keep in time.
If I remember correctly the DJ had just began playing "tragedy" by the Bee Gees, followed by "The Chase" ( Midnight Express ) by Giorgio Moroder in disco-dance version.
After a while I felt wrapped up in the discothèque atmospehere and I started to relax and enjoy the disco music of that year (it was the winter of 1979).
It was soon 6-30pm and the DJ played the so-called "final tune" which meant it was closing time and so my friends and I regretfully made our way towards the exit.
We caught the number 20 bus again, in Dante Square, and went home. That Sunday afternoon, in the winter of 1979, was a turning point for me. Infact I left the "Railing Gang" and followed my new found friends with whom I began frequenting "Vanilla" discothèque as well.
The months passed by and I met some new people both at Vanilla and at other discothèques open in that period such as The Calladium, 20/26, Xenos, Galaxi, Frantoio, New Paips, Studio 55, Maeddox, P4, Soffitta, Mediterranee etc... However, I must say that Vanilla really was home for me. Sometimes, even if my friends couldn't come for various reasons, I would go to Vanilla alone as by then I knew lots of people there.
I started to have a few girlfriends too, in those days we would say "my chick's waiting for me."
Later on I met Peter Nigro who was, and still is, one of my greatest friends. He was good looking, funny and friendly and above lots of girls were attracted to him. I passed some great times with Peter.
And i'll never forget when he used to dance the "Criss Cross". He would get people to form a big circle on the dancefloor and he and others would perform the criss cross dance inside the circle. (this dance involved rapidly criss crossing your legs).
After some time I bought myself a scooter. It was blue but I then had it repainted in yellow and I would use it to travel around Genoa visiting my friends.
Once again at Vanilla I made friends with some people from "Chiarella" (a shop selling casual clothes, on XX settembre Street) and from Marmellata (another clothes shop on Timavo Street).
Thinking back to those years now....... what a magical atmosphere there was on those Sunday afternoons at Vanilla when at a certain point the DJ would play the slow songs and we would all look for a girl to dance with and who we could hopefully get off with as well.
We always used the same line: "excuse me, do you dance?" And almost always the answer was no. But then we got to meet girls through other friends anyway.
Remembering those times now I must say that I lived some really wonderful moments. I enjoyed myself, had lots of friends and even a few girlfriends. It was a great past and even now when I look back on it I am still filled with joy.
I would like to thank my friend, Gisella Tedeschi, who helped me write this story.
If you would like to give me your thoughts about my site, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to my friends Peter Negro and Daniela Pederzolli, who kindly gave me the material you have seen on this site (photos, invitations and discotèque cards).
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