had no idea who Jovanotti was, but my brief high school penpal from Italy had scrawled this all over the envelope
containing her letter. (I
have zero recollection of where I connected these people, and there were many. I did dabble with
the Star Hits' classifieds, though this girl was not part of that genre–obviously,
if you know who Jovanotti is.)
When I say those phrases aloud, and I have, I don't hear
them in my head spoken with an Italian accent but like that girl in the local Pacific Power
commercial who declared, "I like frogs."
Jovanotti was/is an Italian rapper and how I figured this
out I'm not sure, probably MTV and quite a few years later; the outlets for such international pop star
knowledge were extremely limited.
I spent Christmas Eve with a trio of Italians I'd never met before. Two were joking about Jovanotti, a name I hadn't heard in decades. I told them about my
penpal, which only made them ask, "How old are you?!" since they were
babies to grade schoolers in the '80s, it turned out.
There was a horrible food festival (nearly any outdoor food
festival is abhorrent to me–I don't get
the point of waiting in a sweaty one-hour line with New Yorkers for small
portions of something made under suboptimal circumstances that I could just as easily get in a restaurant with a kitchen,
tables and air conditioning) last year that you may have heard of. They are
reprising it this May and Jovanotti is playing.
This is Jovanotti more or less now, circa 46. He received a New York Times
profile in October.
I don't love Jovanotti, but I'm fascinated by his
longevity. Nearly everything written about him in recent times compares him to Bono and/or Springsteen.