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From early January to mid February 1967.

- Umberto Tiboni locates a suitable place as a venue for Mondo Beat.
- Melchiorre Gerbino officially takes over the management of Mondo Beat magazine.
- Vittorio Di Russo leaves the Mondo Beat Movement.


On January 1, 1967, while Vittorio Di Russo was hiding in his apartment, Melchiorre Gerbino made a phone call to Ezio Chiodini, the journalist he had met at the Cinisello Balsamo morgue, on the sad occasion of the identification of Gennaro De Miranda's body. On that occasion, Chiodini expressed his interest in following the events of the Mondo Beat Movement, so now Gerbino has invited him to his apartment, to introduce Vittorio Di Russo to him. Having learned of Vittorio Di Russo's situation, Ezio Chiodini will inform Italo Pietra, the editor of Il Giorno, the newspaper in which he works.

On January 3, Melchiorre Gerbino went to the Chamber of Commerce, where he registered a company denominated "Mondo Beat", intended for publications for schools. Subsequently, in the company of Umberto Tiboni, he went to the Order of Journalists, asking to be registered as director in charge of the student magazine "Mondo Beat". It has already been described how he met the Councilor of the Order, Luigi Marinatto, to whom he left in vision a copy of the second issue of the Mondo Beat magazine. On this occasion, Marinatto gave Gerbino a phone appointment to inform him of the outcome of his request.

On January 4, Vittorio Di Russo told Melchiorre Gerbino that he had been able to talk on the phone with Alberto Dall'Ora, a prominent lawyer, who was willing to go to the police headquarters to take vision of his file. This arrangement was possible thanks to Fernanda Pivano, to whom Vittorio had phoned asking for help.
When I learned this, I became very irritated, since Vittorio had sought help from Fernanda Pivano without telling me. From my point of view, having phoned Fernanda Pivano and confiding that he was hiding in my apartment would have increased the risks for him and for me, while in the end he would have had no real help. But I didn't make Vittorio understand how irritated I was, as he was in a state of mental instability.

On January 5, Ezio Chiodini took Marco Mascardi, a journalist from Il Giorno, to my apartment to interview Vittorio Di Russo. A full-page article appeared on January 9

 Vittorio Di Russo hid for three weeks in the apartment of Melchiorre Gerbino and Gunilla Unger
Vittorio Di Russo gave an interview while hiding in the apartment of Melchiorre Gerbino and Gunilla Unger

On January 10, Melchiorre Gerbino went to the studio of lawyer Alberto Dall'Ora, who told him that the police headquarters did not intend to withdraw the mandatory expulsion order enjoined on Vittorio Di Russo, but the police would have pretended not to see him in Milan if he refrained acting against the institution.
Back from the lawyer, I explained to Vittorio how he had two options left: leave Milan or, surrounded by photojournalists, deliver himself to the police to be sentenced by the judiciary to three months in prison. In the second case, the Mondo Beat Movement, inspired by his personal situation, would have promoted initiatives to assert civil rights. A third option would have been shameful for him and for the image of the Movement, that is to say, that he would have crawled along the walls of Milan to avoid being noticed by the police.
Vittorio seemed undecided about how to behave.

On January 11, Melchiorre Gerbino phoned Luigi Marinatto, the councilor of the Order of Journalists, who told him that his request was accepted. As I have already said, Luigi Marinatto welcomed the Magazine's line and expressed his congratulations to Antonio Pilati for the article "The castrated choices".

On 12 January Melchiorre Gerbino presented the documentation of the Chamber of Commerce and the Order of Journalists to the Court of Milan, asking for authorization to publish the fortnightly student magazine "Mondo Beat", as director in charge and owner (for law, both responsibilities had to be assumed by the same person, if a magazine was registered in the Special List of the order of journalists).
The same day, Umberto Tiboni found a place that seemed appropriate as a seat for Mondo Beat. In his company, Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino went to see it. The location was in the center of Milan, Via Vicenza, 20 minutes walk from Piazza Duomo. The local, which was on the ground floor, had two shutters, behind which there were two large glass windows, one fixed and the other serving as an entrance to a room of about 60 square meters. In a corner of the room, there was a stone staircase leading to a cellar of one hundred square meters, in terracotta bricks and with a vault. The whole was in perfect condition.
Melchiorre Gerbino couldn't believe his eyes, so beautiful were those premises! He said "Let's take it immediately!" - but Gunilla Unger and Umberto Tiboni showed themselves phlegmatic, as they had fun to see him excited.

On January 14, we rented the venue for a period of 3 months. Umberto Tiboni supplied 75,000 Lire; Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino together 100,000. We knew we would never recover this money. Umberto Tiboni, who had residence in Sesto San Giovanni, signed the lease agreement in his name, with the "commercial activity" as clause, so that the police could no longer expel him from Milan and the following day he resigned from the company where he worked.

On January 15, we took possession of the premises, to which Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino gave the name "La Cava" (which I will call "The Cave") since its cellar was similar to those existentialist "caves" they had attended in the Old City of Stockholm.

The Cave
- exterior - ground floor - cellar -


On the evening of the 16th, Vittorio Di Russo was secretly accompanied to The Cave.
Vittorio had some paranoid crises, while he was hiding in our apartment, but Gunilla and I had been able to calm him down, thanks to the bond that united us since the time of Stockholm, but, once in The Cave, Vittorio got paranoid and became angry with Umberto Tiboni, who remained speechless, because he had never seen Vittorio in such conditions.

On January 22, after three weeks of hiding, Vittorio Di Russo decided to leave Milan. I accompanied him to Genoa, where he was warmly welcomed by Barba, a well-known Beat in that city, who offered Vittorio accommodation. In Genoa he could move freely, as he could everywhere, except Milan. But I had the feeling that Vittorio would soon return to Milan, to further aggravate his situation. I suffered a lot because of his situation, as it was stressful for me to take care of it, especially because there was nothing I could do to help him.
On the same day, when I returned from Genoa to Milan, I met the guys from Onda Verde. They were happy because hundreds of copies of the Magazine were sold in schools, where students liked the merger of Onda Verde and Mondo Beat.

The last week of January has passed quietly. Back from work, Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino have met Umberto Tiboni and late in the evening they have opened The Cave, to welcome the most committed youths from the Movement. We opened The Cave with great discretion, to prevent the police noticing it, as we did not yet have the license to publish Mondo Beat magazine, of which The Cave was registered as the official seat.

On February 2, 1967, Melchiorre Gerbino received authorization from the Milan court to publish Mondo Beat magazine. On the same day, he resigned from Alitalia airline, where he had worked for 2 months and 3 weeks. He did not need to anticipate his resignation, as he was not yet a permanent employee, because had not completed the 3-month internship. On the same day, Gunilla Unger informed lawyer Pisano that she would quit her job after 30 days.
Umberto Tiboni and Melchiorre Gerbino, as they had already decided, announced that they would keep The Cave open day and night and let anyone enter for free and linger at will. Note that at that time there were very few places in the world open 24 hours a day and accessible to all for an indefinite time. Maybe just the Cave of Mondo Beat and the New York subway, but to stay indefinitely in the New York subway you had to pay once, to enter.

From the first hours of the opening of The Cave, there was the arrival of Beats and Provos who lived in Milan. The next day, boys and girls arrived from the hinterland, then from everywhere. Youths who were in Florence from the time of the flood would quickly return to Milan and along with them would be youths from other countries. Giorgio Contini, having also returned, assumed the task of running the cellar of The Cave, as there was a large closet where all could leave their belongings without paying and without a time limit. No one would be required to produce identity documents, but those who wanted to attend The Cave had to strictly respect the 3 principles of Mondo Beat: no violence, no theft, no drug.
The Italian boys had nicknames such as Ombra (Shadow), Grillo (Cricket), Zafferano (Saffron), Gesù (Jesus), Cristo (Christ), Giuda (Judah), Smilzo (Slender), Pasticca (Pill), Ercolino (Little Hercules), Roccia (Rock), Scheletrino (Thin Skeleton), while some of them took Anglo-American names like Morgan, Ronny... among the girls, there was a tendency to keep the birth name or the usual nickname, while some of them, typically Italian, wanted to be called Mamma, but there were also eccentric girls with names like Farfallina (Little Butterfly) and Sirena (Mermaid).

On February 5, Vittorio Di Russo arrived at The Cave. As I had foreseen, Vittorio would leave Genoa to return to Milan. He was with Rosa, a Milanese girl who owned a flower shop. Vittorio stayed for a short visit, fearing that some police informant would report his presence, and this was entirely possible, because among the many who attended The Cave there were certainly also police informants.
The following days, Vittorio and Rosa returned to The Cave. On these occasions, Rosa showed her concern for Vittorio's fate and put pressure on Melchiorre Gerbino and Umberto Tiboni not to have him there. And this embarrassed us, because we didn't do anything to force Vittorio to stay in The Cave.
For his part, Vittorio was nervous. On the one hand, he feared being arrested by the police, on the other, he realized that he had lost his influence on the youths from the Movement. In fact, he had been absent from the scene for too long, when exceptional events had happened, such as the Rally of Handcuffs and the Rally of Flowers. After these events, the youths of Mondo Beat were ready to act further, but Vittorio could not lead them, because if he did, the police would have arrested him immediately and a judge would have sentenced him to three months in prison.

On Sunday 12th, most likely ill-advised by Rosa, Vittorio arrived at The Cave, followed by six youths from the Movement. Rosa was waiting for him in a bar not far from The Cave. Vittorio went down the stairs and entered the cellar, which was crowded with boys and girls, and shouted: "Enough! Let's get out of here! This is a rotten place! Let's go and purify ourselves in Rapallo, in Barry McBuir's villa".
Those who knew Vittorio remained amazed, the others indifferent.
I said out loud: "Those of you who want to go to Rapallo, go there! Here you can always return."
And Vittorio, with a commanding voice "Let's go!" - and he walked out of The Cave and of the history of Mondo Beat.
Half an hour later, the 6 youths who had followed him, including Barry McBuir, an Anglo-Italian whose mother had a villa in Rapallo, returned to The Cave. Vittorio returned the next day, but did not enter in The Cave, he waited for me outside. I invited him to come back to the group, but he didn't want... Vittorio didn't know what he wanted anymore.
During the Mondo Beat period, we never met again. After the dissolution of the Movement, I went to see him twice at his house. I left Milan in the autumn of 1967 and saw Vittorio again after nine years, while I was crossing Milan during a trip around the world. I met him by chance in the park of the Sforzesco castle. He said affectionately: "In Milan, you left the memory of a great son of a bitch!" and accompanied me to the central station, where I took a train to Brussels.

With a white pullover Vittorio Di Russo, to his left, Sisso, to his right in the same row, Pierluigi Perronace 'Principe' and Alfio D'Agosta 'Giuda', beneath, wearing a fur hat, Albert Villy Augerau playing the guitar
Vittorio Di Russo and youths of the Mondo Beat Movement on the ground floor of The Cave in February 1967 (1)

In this photo, with a white pullover Vittorio Di Russo, to his left, Sisso, to his right, in the same row, Pierluigi Perronace Principe and Alfio D'Agosta Giuda, beneath, wearing a fur hat, Albert Villy Augerau playing the guitar.


To the right of Vittorio Di Russo there is Adriana, then Tella Ferrari. To the left of Vittorio, in the same row, Giorgio Cavalli 'Ombra', Daniele, Antonio Di Spagna and Alfredo
Vittorio Di Russo and youths of the Mondo Beat Movement on the ground floor of The Cave in February 1967 (2)

In this photo, to the right of Vittorio Di Russo there is Adriana, then Tella Ferrari; to the left of Vittorio, in the same row, Giorgio Cavalli Ombra, Daniele, Antonio Di Spagna Papà (the one looking at the photographer) and Alfredo.

Vitttorio Di Russo problems wouldn't end soon after the times of Mondo Beat
Rosa Di Russo in front of a carabinieri station where Vittorio was under arrest.

Vittorio Di Russo's problems wouldn't end soon after the times of Mondo Beat, because the police, fearing he would act again in Milan, had him under arrest now and then, to remind him that he could be put in prison for 3 months, if he made one misstep.
Indeed, the great mistake Vittorio Di Russo did, regarding his conduct, was to believe that there was a kind of gentlemen agreement between people in power, so that in confrontations there would have been honorable conduct between them. He didn't suspect that his enemies, namely those in power in the Vatican, were people of an abject baseness.
The son of a politician, I myself, who had a more Machiavellian understanding of the nature of power than Vittorio Di Russo, and knew how a Byzantine regent queen had reduce her own child to blindness, for remaining in power, I did not suspect that, in the Vatican, they were even more abject, before having learned it at a high price.
On the other hand, those of us who wrote a page of history in the Sixties would not have been able to produce the transformation we have done in society if we hadn't had much optimism and innocence.

Vitttorio Di Russo, Pierluigi Perronace 'Principe' and 'Cina'
Vittorio Di Russo, Pierluigi Perronace Principe (Prince) and Cina (China), in the early days of the Mondo Beat Movement


Vittorio Di Russo was the best of us at Mondo Beat, as he was the most charismatic and generous of all. Three weeks of his activity were enough to create a historic movement. Those who have known him cannot forget his smile of a dreamy lion.


History of Mondo Beat - Chapter 7