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Style lessons by Lùnapop

The story of the only true Italian boyband

Style lessons by Lùnapop The story of the only true Italian boyband

1999. The Euro was born and Fabrizio De André and Stanley Kubrick died. At the cinema Keanu Reeves was undecided whether to choose the red pill or the blue pill, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton punched each other like Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, Bruce Willis talked to a guy who "sees people dead", while Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman went to orgies in costume. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers published Californication featuring John Frusciante, Ricky Martin lived la vida loca, Backstreet Boys drove girls crazy, Britney Spears challenged Christina Aguilera, Baby One More Time vs Genie in a Bottle. At the same time, in Italy, among Blue (Da Ba Bee) and Microchip Emozionale, 5 high school students from Bologna rocked the airplay. They were Cesare Cremonini, Gabriele Gallassi, Nicola "Ballo" Balestri, Michele "Mike" Giuliani, Alessandro "Lillo" De Simone and they were called Lunapop.

Cesare, the singer, wanted to be a musician since he discovered Lucio Battisti when he was 13. His dream came true in the summer of 1999 with the release of 50 Special aka "Ma quanto è bello andare giro con le ali sotto i piedi?", a very easygoing and fresh song inspired by Enrico Brizzi's best-seller Jack Frusciante è uscito dal gruppo. 

I wrote it because my mother, desperate for my obsession with music ( it was two months before my graduation...), broke my guitar on my back. - Cremonini said in an interview - Then I went to the piano and it came out of my fingers. I immediately played it to Erica, my high school muse, the next day at school, with my walkman and headphones. She said to me without any emotion: "beautiful". [...] Then 50 Special came first in the charts, in September, after a long and fun summer full of successes. From then on everything changed. 

Those songs about young teenage love described in simple, direct, immediate words, with rhythms that echoed the softest Brit-pop were a mainstream guilty pleasure that entered the CD players and the minds of thousands of kids (but not only). At the same time, they inspired the contemporary wave of itpop, that of Calcutta, Coez or Tommaso Paradiso.

Suddenly Lunapop were everywhere: on the newspapers, on TV, on the radio, on the Festivalbar stage (they won in 2000 with Qualcosa di grande), on the sticker albums, on the walls of many kids' bedrooms. Although they refused it in every interview, Cesare Cremonini, Gabriele, Ballo, Mike and Lillo were now a boyband adored by legions of super excited fans. This was confirmed by the Lunapoppe contest on the group's website, but, above all, by the book Mia figlia vuole sposare uno dei Lùnapop (non importa quale) written by Roberto Freak Antoni, leader of Skiantos

The band's golden age ended in 2001 due to internal conflicts. Cremonini told this in an interview:

Lunapop broke up because the rules that governed a musical project involving very young people were strange, useful but very difficult rules. The first one was: parents stay out of the way. The second was: girlfriends too. These rules were impossible to respect, for children aged between seventeen and eighteen, all from middle-class families with parents who wanted to participate in their children's lives. Lunapop gave life to a project that was an extraordinary success. Still today the ultimate major success of Italian music, in terms of discography. When this equilibrium was broken, these rules became insane, it was no longer possible to do business. 

Twenty years after the publication of ...Squèrez? what remains of Lunapop? The songs remain, Cesare Cremonini who in the meantime has become an established talent, but there are also a series of "unforgettable" looks (that is, we would like to forget them, but we just can't).

Here are the style lessons we learned from the only true Italian boy band (along with I Ragazzi Italiani and their hit Vero Amore) in the history of Italian music.

Keyword: match up

I mean, of course, you can't expect guys who called their debut album "crap" to wear fancy Armani clothes, but you can at least hope that they won't randomly fish their clothes out of a pile of clothes hanging in the closet in the dark.

The hair color goes together with the shade of the outfit

Cesare's hair would deserve long aesthetic essays, but we are kind and we say only one word: Why? There is no good answer. Especially in his redhead phase, Cremonini used to match his hair with his outfits. Red hair means red t-shirt. That's a fact.

Cool Britannia

There is an undeniable touch of British influence in Lunapop's music, but from Blur and Oasis, these guys from Bologna took also the style inspiration: polo, double tees, tracksuit jackets and adidas stripes. In 2000, Cesare answered the question "Are you into fashion?" with this comment: 

We all have a different style. I like informal sweaters, Gabriele prefers a classic style, jeans and shirt, Ballo doesn't wear a shirt even if under torture, our drummer Lillo loves the English college style.

Wear your best t-shirt

Like every teenager, the t-shirt was Lunapop's real must-have. For example, Cesare had an insane passion for a tee with a lightning bolt that he often wore on stage. The only alternative to the cult item? Printed shirts (usually ugly).