Renzo Stefanel is a rock critic and author of several books. He writes for the daily Il Gazzettino, for www.rockit.it, www.xtm.it and “Duemila”.
In 2004 he has co-authored the national TV program on Raidue “Eventi pop”. He is the reviewer of the monthly book critic column “Bookit” on Rockit.
In the early 90’s he was a rock musician in several cult bands (1991 OST of the short movie Wintermeditation for bavarian tv; live supporters for Blur nel 1994; more than 120 concerts in Italy; scouted by labels as Sugar and Black Out/Polygram), and organizer of festivals and local events on indie music (1996-2005).
He published two books on the Italian famous musician Lucio Battisti, Ma c’è qualcosa che non scordo for Arcana editrice (2007) and Anima latina for NoReply (2009).
In 2012 he published with Aereostella Storia di un minuto, about the eponymous prog band album by PFM, in the top ten of best sellers on music on www.ibs.it.
In 2014 he published an addendum Anima latina: storia e cronistoria, on Amazon on e-book and print on demand.
In 2015 Sesso, droga, calci in bocca. Storie del rock maledetto was out for Giunti editore in the famed rock critic Riccardo Bertoncelli’s series, Bizarre, and in 2017 it was reprinted for the second time in a new 1100 copies batch. In 2016, The Beatles’ Christmas was out for Giunti editore. In september 2017, Ancora sesso, droga e calci in bocca. Altre storie di rock maledetto, a sequel of the previous book, was out for Giunti editore.
picture credits: Massimiliano Griggio
SEX & DRUGS & KICKS IN THE TEETH(Giunti editore, 2015) In the sixty-plus years of its history, rock music stole to blues the reputation of “devil’s music”, with an endless series of murky stories, and lives devoted to recklessness, excess and madness. This book is a selection of 40 terrifying and disturbing stories, brilliantly told by the author: Keith Moon and Iggy Pop’s crazy deeds; Hank Williams’ and Sid Vicious’ desperate death; Syd Barrett, Peter Green and Brian Wilson losing their mind; the sagas of depravation by the Led Zeppelin; AJ Weberman, the man who wanted to free Dylan from himself; and Charles Manson, who was an ambitious singer before becoming a ruthless murderer.
MORE SEX, DRUGS AND KICKS IN THE TEETH. MORE STORIES FROM THE DARK SIDE OF ROCK’N’ROLL (Giunti editore, September 2017) This book, which can be defined the most serious and comprehensive essay ever published on the dark side of rock, is an incredible mix of entertainment, historic research, understatement and sound rock-journalism. Here there is no place for urban legends: all stories are based on a serious investigation built on hundreds of books and articles. “Sex, drugs and rock and roll” may be a rather unfair simplification, but it sure is a truthful one. At one point in its history, rock stole the title of “Devil’s music” right from blues music’s hands. This accomplishment was achieved thanks to an incredibly long series of shady stories (fishy sex affairs and the like), reckless lives, excess and madness – all thanks to their heroes. This is in fact a collection of forty stories that are at the same time terrible, disturbing and exciting. From Elvis and Iggy Pop’s insanities to Oasis’ violent fights, from Ozzy Osbourne’s depravity to Roky Erickson’s lunacy, from the many transgressions of The Rolling Stones (whose importance is indisputable) to Bob Dylan and Lou Reed’s dark side – this book is about them all. These uncensored stories are about resourceful girls and fragile, narcissistic men. An example? The one time Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison got together, but with different plans in mind: Jimi had sex with Janis, Jim tried it as well, but with the only result of getting a bottle thrown at him.
THE BEATLES’ CHRISTMAS (Giunti editore, 2017 co-author: Franco Zanetti) offers a strange and curious glance at the history of the Fab Four, picking a dozen joyful, dramatic or funny true stories, set in the heart of winter, Christmas, New Year and surroundings, from the Fifties to the end of the Sixties.
The Beatles who work like slaves at the Cavern and are expelled from Germany because they do not comply with work permits; their audition with Decca on 1st January 1962 (they are rejected!); they become famous and for two Christmases in a row they organize a “Beatles Christmas Show” in which they sing, play and act; in Christmas 1967 are filming a TV movie that will be a major failure, “Magical Mystery Tour”. The book is complete with a rich appendix with lists of Christmas songs performed by the Fab Four or dedicated to them, the Beatles records in the Christmas charts from 1963 to 1969 and the description of the “Christmas Records “that the Beatles prepared every year for their fan club, with the translation of the original cover letters.