Domenico Ricchini or for many Italo Disco fans better known as Joe Yellow, among other aliases he had during career, is synonym for Italo DIsco. In the following interview you'll find out Domenico isn't fan of 80's Disco music which could be surprise for many, but that fact doesn't diminish his huge contribution to the Italo Disco world. His italo heritage is huge and so valuable! Thanks to Domenico Ricchini our beautiful Italo Disco World is more beautiful.
Zeljko: Domenico, thanks very much for this opportunity, it means a lot to me! It was 1986, I started to fall in love with Italo Disco and then I heared song "I’m Your Lover" by Joe Yellow. For me it was “love at first sight” :-) How years passing by I have learned that before this song there were more from you. Could you tell me please how "I’m Your Lover" saw the daylight?e
Joe Yellow: The project "Joe Yellow" started in 1983 with "Lover to Lover" which together with Lombardoni (Disco Magic) we decided to call as arrangers Turatti-Chieregato, who had just started in the dance. Then 1984 "Take my heart" by myself and then 1985 "I'm your lover" but I decided to call as arranger "Farina-Crivellente" and then "Lover at First" by myself.
Zeljko: At that time, in mid 80’s, Mauro Farina and Giuliano Crivellente were one of the dream team producers, one of the best. Can you tell me when and how you met them?
Joe Yellow: Farina was the vocalist of the band "Caravan", I knew him a long time, they were musicians for years, and then Farina begun to make records. I went to him to get arrangment because he was the best at that time.
Zeljko: In my mind I always see and remembering mid 80s Italo Disco as “sunshine” time of my life with many nice moments. Can you describe one of yours happy italo disco day?
Joe Yellow: There were some important moments in my life as composer. One of those was the calling from Claudio Cecchetto, inviting me to compose a song for his team, at that point I realized that was my right time. Another time when I joined to the Baby Records Team, where Freddy Naggiar was the Boss and I ruined everything couse my personal problems in those years.
Zeljko: Could you say, please, which song you composed for Claudio Cecchetto?
Joe Yellow: Nothing. We started to make a record for Sandy Marton but the Tv-program with Cecchetto as introducers never get started, so we stoped to make the song.
Zeljko: Your impressive Italo Disco career began much earlier, years before "I’m Your Lover", at the end of 70’s, am I right? Everything started with Delanua project? Please, tell me more about your Italo Disco beginning and about Delanua etc.?
Joe Yellow: I started with a song that I composed and recorded with my band in a studio. When I was ready nobody wanted to distribut that. So I went from a retailer of records and I convinced him to try to make a record. That guy was Lombardoni, the Boss of Disco Magic, that from a store discs with my song beginning his career as DiscoMagic.The song was"Flood" and I used the name Delanua, with the number label N° 001. After 4 records arrived Turatti-Chieregato and the new name "Joe Yellow".
Zeljko: How was name Joy Yellow born?
Joe Yellow: Joe Yellow name born in the Baby-Records studio and was invented by Chieregato.
Zeljko: Italo Disco in 1980 was different in a way than Italo in 1986 or year before/later, in a music sense, so would you tell me from your point of view which are differences? Some Italo fans rather aprreciate early Italo sound (manner of speaking sounds a bit raw, dark, cleaner) than mid 80’s commercial sound, which sounds happy, catchy? Which one is favorite to you and why?
Joe Yellow: I don't like 80s music so much, I love 70s, I come from rock bands that used to play 70s. Italo Disco was the music of those years and I had to do it. If just want to say something about the DiscoMusic, I would say that Georgio Moroder was the biggest producer.
Zeljko: What is definitely common to entire Italo Disco era are few significant beauties and those are: strong accent, bad pronunciation, not good vocals in artistic sense, sometimes imperfect vinyl pressing or bad quality of sound, funny lyrics, even nonsense lyrics. Without them, Italo wouldn’t be Italo :-) One of example is fantastic song Hookey by Silvy Foster, which is your record. Oh God, this song is really great! Can you tell more details about this record and do you remember how you got idea to make it?
Joe Yellow: Italo disco it's become a mixture of quality good and bad cause the records were multiplying day after day. Pubblishers as Lombardoni, just to sell something, he was willing to let out everything. About first records, unfortunately I wasn't a singer, but I wanted to sing my songs, and then I realized to get different singers for my songs. I was a composer and not a singer.
Zeljko: On some web sites and data bases I saw informations you were vocal of Hookey, Flood, Starknight, How Many Feel etc. Who was the singer of Hookey?
Joe Yellow: All record I've done before Joe Yellow, "music-words-voice-arrangments" was mine, included Hookey. I sung with my voice as Joe Yellow one record in 85': "Recollection"
Zeljko: I guess you worked with many producers/artists, is there any one you managed to achieve perfect cooperation with no many questions how to do that or this, where two or three of you worked as one? .... Maybe Miki Chiregato, lately he released new song with another legend of Italo Disco, with Tom Hooker, are you familiar about it?
Joe Yellow: I worked with Turatti-Chieregato, Chieregato was DJ and musician / arranger, Turatti was Dj arranger, they were the most big producers at that time. Then Farina-Crivellente, something with Cecchetto but not continued, and other important artists in our area were: Den Harrow, P.Lion, Albertone, Styloo, Fred Ventura, Huntington, Ryan Paris, JimmyMcFoy……
Zeljko: Domenico, do you have in your collection all records you have released?
Joe Yellow: No, I gave away everything.
Zeljko: Do you have your favorite song among all songs you made? And why is favorite?
Joe Yellow: My favorite song is "Lover to Lover", cause was the first with everything right like I desired, specially the singer.
Zeljko: Who was the singer?
Joe Yellow: "Lover to Lover" was sung by Simon Luca, an great and famous singer in 60-70.
Zeljko: Are there any project your started in the 80s and never released. I guess you do, so would you consider to release it today? These days, in 2012, Italo Disco is on top again.
Joe Yellow: Yes, there are some songs never finished and never released. But try again sounds a bit out to me. The time is gone and things change.
Zeljko: Not only interesting pronunciation were present in Italo Disco songs, some artists even didn’t know how to sing, this is the case with extremly popular Den Harrow. I would like to hear your opinion about it, from your point of view? Some would say it is his business, not mine..... Like George Aaron in my interview said: “I simply did not care... Den was just one of the many that were around and to me it really did not matter if he was the real one or not.....” By the way, George Aaron has great vocal, in my opinion... Today, thanks to technology, everyone can sing and play keyboards which is not fair I guess.....
Joe Yellow: When Turatti-Chieregato had the song ready to realease, the singer of the song didn't want to perform around, so they went to discotec and they choose the best dancer and beautiful boy. He was Den Harrow and then started Den Harrow story.
Zeljko: Do you have any Italo artist (male/female) you would marked as a special one with his/her voice, music and who contributed to Italo a lot....? I would say you are one of those, definitely!
Joe Yellow: Tanks, Mauro Farina was producer and singer. He was not the best singer, but there were a year that you could go in a club and hear his voice, record after record, all night long, all with his voice.
Zeljko: Are you in music business today? What are you doing today?
Joe Yellow: I play classic music and I don't care Disco at all. But I can wake-up a day and think totally different.
Zeljko: What are you plans for near future, Domenico?
Joe Yellow: Nothing, I'm living with my family, my animals, in a mountain as a hermit.
Zeljko: Would you like to add anything which is important to say regarding your Italo Disco career and I didn’t ask?
Joe Yellow: I started play piano since I was kid, many hours a day to improve my tecnic and now what!! Everybody can do it in 2 second with a computer. …it's a life!
Thank you very much for this interview, Domenico. All the best from your huge fan Zeljko :-)
© July 2012 Zeljko Vujkovic - All rights reserved