For the 90th birthday of Caterina Valente

IMore and more often I am asked to make my desperation about the passing of the rock stars of my youth public in the form of various obituaries. The comforting saying “Too old to rock ‘n’ roll, too young to die” has had its day, there are now more good rock bands in heaven than on earth.

Now my age group has always bragged that we were musically more flexible than future generations. This is also true! When I was twenty, I played hard rock by Led Zeppelin as a DJ in the early evening and Roland W. at midnight with the snotty “Mo-hoo-hon-ja”. I saw the Beatles in black and white for the first time on television and found it neither surprising nor devastating that afterwards the lanky Silvio Francesco danced through the picture on his long legs. After all, he was the brother of Caterina Valente.

Whereby we would be on the topic. Caterina Valente is turning ninety and I was asked if I would take this opportunity to congratulate her. I do it with enthusiasm, I am grateful for every star of my youth who is still alive. When “the Valente” turned fifty, I was thirty, and neither of us had known what to do with each other. In 1966 the “Caterina Valente Show” was broadcast on ZDF with a big roll of drums. That evening I probably withdrew discreetly to my room to listen to the new Beatles album “Revolver”, the first LP that I had in my life bought.

At sixteen I didn’t care that Caterina Valente had already sung a duet with Dean Martin, and that my mother thought she was a great artist didn’t help either. But somehow you were socialized with the hit at the time of my puberty. Without even realizing it and being somehow ashamed of it today.


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