Gino_Tricia-go-WesternI have kept some letters I have sent to some of my closest friends, like Barend and Trees in Holland, and of course my wife Tricia. Thought I’d share these once more with you. (By the way this photo was taken in Solvang California in the late seventies.)

Dear Tricia
At the book signing in Caserta, Italy (near Naples) a fan came up to me, entirely too close for comfort, especially in light of the fact that his breath was not too dissimilar to an overflowing septic tank, and said, “Meeesterrrr Vannnnellliii, escooozza, batta iya mussss to tella you datta I jooossa lav yew nu cheedeee, ” Bess n’ Behind.” Wonder if it was some Freudian slip.
Young crowd tonight—some even in their late teens. Fell asleep trying to do the math in bed last night.
Love you


Dear B&T
My sense is that there were a lot of happy Norwegians last night in Larvik. Just about sold out, though I think too many post concert photos. I can’t get the infernal smile off my face this morning…plastered on like a dried mud mask.
Last night: big, big, I mean BIG, muscular men telling me how much they love me, after the show. If I were gay I would have had even a more spectacular night.
A pretty Norski lady said ” I cannot believe you are 60”. I whispered, “I’m with you.”
The road is a crazy place where people say things they usually don’t say every day. I can tell a lot of folks are gonna have regrets in the morning, (including yours truly).
Searching for words, knowing she had only a few moments to blurt out what she had been lugging around like a ball and chain for a long time, as she came up to the desk where I was signing books, a very nervous woman said, ” You know Gino, for many years, and even to this day, I dream of having your baby.” I told her I was deeply touched, but she might have to clear the details with Tricia.
Ciao amice
G


Dear B&T
Liviv is beautiful—great food and warm people.
After the concert a pretty young thing said she was sooooo in love with me. Trembling a little, as we posed for the camera, she asked if would I consider having tea with her later. I said yes, on the condition I have a couple of prunes to chase the chai. (Don’t think she gets my blistering quick, disarming, self-effacing wit)
G


Dear B&T
This is the view of the square where the Nobel Peace Prize winners give their speeches in Oslo. I am staying in the precise suite and at the moment on the balcony where winners give their acceptance speeches. (Nice touch by Stein the promoter).
And guess what? My room truly smells of “peace”!! (the toilet is broken.)
Right now I am only in my briefs—and damn! Nobody has as much as even glanced upward while I am taking this photo I am about to send you. Makes a man feel small, unappreciated and a little lonely. Off to sound check in a few.
Mucho gusto
G


Dear Tricia
The hotel in Larvik is entirely over the top. My room juts out into the North Sea. Outside my windows is the sound of surf and sea gulls. (Helps dull the noise in my ears)
The health club is a leap beyond co-ed. This morning the sauna was filled with happy old ladies and gents, baring it all, hangin’ loose, pendulous appendages bouncing high and low, swinging this way and that. A couple of accessories looked like shy little turtles hidden in their shells. I felt entirely overdressed, me in my bath towel.
A sweet, very well-nourished lady decided she wanted to rise from the hot wooden benches and give it a good stretch. So she raised her palms high as she could, then headed due south for her toes. And by God! She did—with all four arms way past her knees. Kinda glad she was facing me. (I know, I know, I’m bad).
The fitness instructor asked me if I wished for his blood circulation treatment. “Why not,” I said, “I’m in Norway.” So he beat me with leafy branches till my hot and sweaty pink skin turned a deep shade of vermillion.
Nothing like being whipped when you’re at a hot, live nudie show.
Off to Naples in a bit.
Love you


Dear Tricia
Love the Ukraine. Perhaps it’s just Lviv, but an outsider can’t help think how misguided his old impressions were. The Byzantine churches are in good tact: dark and scary but fascinating, larger than life blood-ridden crucifixes and spooky confessionals. The old city has this mysteriously vacuum-packed look to it, untouched by the bombs of the WWII.
Considered buying an old beat-up Soviet war medal at a nearby flea market. Sundry acts of valor for sale—fifteen bucks. Sad when you think it through. Guess Nature doesn’t waste a crumb.
Still find pleasure in singing that 7-minute treatise on getting old I composed eons ago. (“Where Am I Going”) In the past few days I thought of changing “Will I be strong or barely keep alive, when I’m thirty-five”, to, “When I’m sixty-five”. But in the end, poetry won out over truth. Thus, I decided ‘thirty-five’ had an endearing, more hopeful quality to it, despite the complete absurdity. I thought, if I could sing the tune with eyes closed, deeply immersed in passion, and if the spotlights hit me just the right way, maybe nobody will notice the Cheshire’s crook at the end of its tail.
All for now.
Love you

7 Comments
  1. Ahoy there Gino – What beautiful letters – truly sweet and funny also, the person with the septic cracks me up. Life on the road can be very entertaining. Can I tell ya about my day today? My wonderful friend is doing really well with chemo and radiation. Quite an ordeal but we are all good. When her husband was with us this morning, he had to go so I stayed with her and took her to her next appointment. I think he fell in love with her all over again – watching him with my gal was one of the most beautiful things I will ever see. I hope this is not too depressing. Your stories and your family are just lovely – hope your dogs are doing good too. Had such a great time with my hubby at the Keswick – I hope we all stay thirty-five – Bless you Gino and Family – Ti Amo

  2. P.S. Dude – where can I get Stardust in the Sand in the USA? Do I have to get it from Germany? HELP!!!

  3. Gino,
    Loved you sharing these letters to Trisha and B&T. Even though I know you possess a wicked sense of humor, these letters give an insight to a part of your personality that perhaps not everyone knows exists. I do remember sharing quite a few laughs with you all back in the day…(done a Brio lately?) and cherish those memories of the summer of ’74 and the friendship you and your family offered to an early, young fan who continues to this day, 40 years later, to wait with great anticipation for your next concert and our next reunion.
    Until then, disfrute de todo lo que la vida tiene para ofrer.
    Much love to you and your brothers,
    Jeri

  4. Great letters G. Love getting insight to your thoughts and wit. As always, you put a smile on me. -Jessica.

  5. Gino,

    The concert in St. Charles last weekend was an incredible experience despite the technical difficulties that you graciously moved right past! I have been a fan for 40 years and sing a duet with you almost every day! Usually “Love Me Now”. It feels like you are experiencing a renaissance of a sort with new fans and admirers. But those of us who have known you and the magic of your poetry and music understand and are willing to share the passion that you show in your work and to your fans. Thank you! Tim

  6. Dear Gino,

    As I read these letters to B&T, can’t help but remember how that friendship started. I was witness. It was in the nineties when the internet had barely begun when I discovered your site. We would post irrestrictive comments about you and your work. Sometimes the comments deviated greatly as there was no site governance. B&T would pretty much inundated the site, with lots of admiration signs (!!!!!).

    I had just discovered the Internet and your site back then; problem is, I was writing from the back then company computer. I suspect they didn’t like the fact that I was writing in your chat, and that might have rushed my dismissal.

    In any case, I kept enjoying your music and your site. B&T were lucky enough, as you now call them friends.
    Best,
    Federico

  7. I loved your book. I wish you had shared some of your exnreiepces at QVC. You were the perfect QVC host, Genuine, personable and very professional. I do miss you but wish you the best God has to offer. I would definitely come to see you if you were ever in East Texas or I would try if you were in the Dallas area where my daughter lives. Please keep the faith. Love to you and Gino

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