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From early January to mid-February 1967.

- - Umberto Tiboni locates a suitable place as a venue for the Mondo Beat Movement.
- The Court of Milan authorizes the publication of the magazine Mondo Beat.
- Vittorio Di Russo leaves the Movement.


On January 1, 1967, Melchiorre Gerbino phoned Ezio Chiodini, the journalist he met at the Cinisello Balsamo morgue on the sad occasion of the death of Gennaro De Miranda. On that circumstance Ezio Chiodini expressed his interest in following the events of the Mondo Beat Movement, so Gerbino has invited him to his apartment and introduced him to Vittorio Di Russo, who was hiding there. Informed of Vittorio Di Russo's situation, Ezio Chiodini would in turn have informed the editor of Il Giorno, the newspaper for which he worked.

On January 3, Melchiorre Gerbino went to the Chamber of Commerce, where he registered a company called Mondo Beat, intended for publications for schools. Then, in the company of Umberto Tiboni, he went to the Order of Journalists, for the registration of a student magazine denominated Mondo Beat. Luigi Marinatto, the councilor of the Order who spoke with him, received a copy of the second issue of Mondo Beat magazine, to have a look at it, and arranged a telephone appointment with Melchiorre Gerbino, to inform him of the outcome of his application.

On January 4, thanks to the help of Fernanda Pivano, Vittorio Di Russo was able to speak on the telephone with Alberto Dall'Ora, a well-known lawyer, who would go to the Police Headquarters to consult his file.

On January 5, Ezio Chiodini, in the company of Marco Mascardi, another journalist from Il Giorno, went to Melchiorre Gerbino's apartment to interview Vittorio Di Russo.
On January 9, a full-page article appeared in Il Giorno, in which the life of Vittorio Di Russo was recounted and his current situation was described.

 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 office of Alberto Dall'Ora, the lawyer who had been at the Police Headquarters to inspect Vittorio Di Russo's file. The lawyer told Melchiorre Gerbino that at the Police Headquarters they did not intend to revoke the expulsion order, but would have allowed Vittorio Di Russo to remain in Milan if he had refrained from taking action against the Establishment, otherwise they would have taken him immediately to court for have him sentenced to 3 months' imprisonment. The lawyer would advise Vittorio Di Russo to leave Milan, so as not to live in a condition of precariousness.
Vittorio Di Russo, once informed by Melchiorre Gerbino, remained undecided on how to behave.

On January 11, Melchiorre Gerbino phoned the councilor of the Order of Journalists, Luigi Marinatto, who informed him of the positive outcome of his application. As already described, Luigi Marinatto was pleased with the line of the magazine "Mondo Beat" and congratulated Antonio Pilati for his article "The castrated choices".

On January 12, Melchiorre Gerbino submitted documentation to the Court of Milan, asking for permission to publish the fortnightly magazine "Mondo Beat", as owner of it and responsible director, given that the two assignments could not be dissociated if a magazine was registered in the Special list of the Order of Journalists, as Mondo Beat was.
On the same day, Umberto Tiboni has found a place which seemed suitable as a seat for the Mondo Beat Movement. In his company, Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino went to see it. The location was in the center of Milan, a 20-minute walk from Piazza Duomo. The venue, which was on the ground floor, had two roller shutters, behind which there were two glass windows, one fixed and the other serving as entrance to a room of about 60 square meters. In one corner of the room was a stone staircase which led to a large cellar, made of terracotta bricks and with a vault. The whole structure was attractive and well maintained. The conditions for determining the contract were payment on terms of Lire 175,000, corresponding to three months' advance rent; then, at the end of the three months, still payment of Lire 175 000 for automatic renewal of the rent for another three months and so on.

On January 14, they rented those premises for a period of 3 months. Umberto Tiboni supplied Lire 75,000; Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino together, Lire 100,000. They knew they 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 Headquarters could no longer expel him from Milan and, on the same day, he resigned from the office were he worked.

On January 15, they took possession of the premises, which Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino have named "Cava", as the cellar resembled those caves the existentialists had attended in Paris and they themselves in Stockholm.

On the evening of January 16, Vittorio Di Russo was secretly taken to the Cave. Vittorio had suffered from paranoid crises while hiding in their apartment, but Melchiorre Gerbino and Gunilla Unger had been able to calm him down, thanks to the bond that united them from the days of Stockholm. But once in the Cave, Vittorio felt annoyed and suddenly got angry at Umberto Tiboni, who was shocked because of this, as he had never seen Vittorio in such condition.

On January 22, after three weeks in hiding, Vittorio Di Russo decided to leave Milan for Genoa, where he could move freely. Melchorre Gerbino accompanied him. Vittorio Di Russo was warmly received by Barba, a well-known Beat in Genoa, who accommodated him in a large room in his apartment, where Vittorio could paint and sculpt. But, leaving Genoa, Melchiorre Gerbino had a sad foreboding that Vittorio would soon leave Genoa for returning to Milan. Melchiorre Gerbino would have suffered a lot because of Vittorio Di Russo's situation, as it was stressful to be involved in it, and it was frustrating, since he couldn't do anything effective to help Vittorio.
On the evening of the same day, back from Genoa to Milan, Melchiorre Gerbino met with the guys from Onda Verde, who were happy because hundreds of copies of the magazine were sold in schools, where the students liked the merger of Mondo Beat and Onda Verde.

The last week of January passed quietly. Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino met with Umberto Tiboni in the evenings and opened the Cave to welcome the most committed youths of the Mondo Beat Movement. They met in the Cave with great discretion, to prevent the police from noticing, as they hadn't yet received the license to publish Mondo Beat magazine, of which the Cave was registered as the official headquarters.

On February 2, 1967, Melchiorre Gerbino received authorization from the Court to publish Mondo Beat. He left the Alitalia company on the same day, as he did not need to anticipate resignation, since he was not yet a permanent employee. On the same day, Gunilla Unger informed lawyer Pisano that she would be leaving her job after 30 days.

On February 3 Melchiorre Gerbino and Umberto Tiboni opened the Cave to the public.
They had decided to keep the Cave open 24 hours a day and to allow anyone to enter for free and to linger at will. It should be noted that, at the time, there were very few places in the world open 24 hours a day and accessible to anyone for an indefinite time, perhaps only the Cave of Mondo Beat and the New York subway, but to stay inside the New York subway indefinitely, you had to pay once to get in.

From the first hours of opening, there was the arrival to the Cave of Beats and Provos who lived in Milan. The following day, boys and girls arrived from the hinterland, then from everywhere. Youths who were in Florence from the time of the Flood begun to return to Milan and along with them arrived youths from other countries. Back from Florence to Mondo Beat, Giorgio Contini would assume the task of running the cellar of the Cave. There a large cloakroom was created, where youths could leave their belongings without paying and for an unlimited time.
No one would have been required to produce identity documents to attend the Cave, but everyone had to strictly adhere to the 3 principles of Mondo Beat: no violence, no theft, no drugs.

The Italian boys who frequented the Cave 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), some had American names like Ringo, Ronny... as for the girls, they had a tendency to keep the birth name or the nickname, some girls, who were typically Italians, wanted to be called Mamma, there were also eccentric girls with names like Farfallina (Little Butterfly) and Sirena (Mermaid).

Here some pictures to give an idea of the Cave:
The outside of the Cave  -
The ground floor of the Cave  -
The cellar of the Cave (1)   (2)

Back to the chronological reconstruction of the history of the Mondo Beat Movement, on February 5, Vittorio Di Russo arrived at the Cave. As Melchiorre Gerbino had foreseen, Vittorio would leave Genoa to return to Milan. Now he was with Rosa, a Milanese girl who owned a flower shop. Vittorio stayed in the Cave for a brief visit, fearing some police informant would report his presence.
The following days, Vittorio and Rosa have returned to the Cave. On these occasions, Rosa showed her concern for Vittorio's fate and pressured Melchiorre Gerbino and Umberto Tiboni not have him there, and this was quite embarrassing for them, as they did nothing to force Vittorio to stay in the Cave.
As for Vittorio, he was concerned the police could arrest him, but he was also nervous, as he realized that he had lost his influence on the youths of the Movement. He had been inactive for too long, in a period when exceptional events, such as the Demonstration of Handcuffs and the Demonstration of Flowers had occurred and after these events, to influence the youths of Mondo Beat you had to lead them to further actions. But if Vittorio acted, the police would have arrested him immediately and a judge would have sentenced him to three months in prison.

On Sunday February 12, Vittorio Di Russo arrived at the Cave, followed by six youths. It was about noon and the Cave was crowded with boys and girls. Vittorio went downstairs, entered the cellar and shouted: "Enough! Let's get out of here! Let's go to purify ourselves in Rapallo, in the villa of Barry McBuir!".
Those who knew Vittorio remained amazed, the others indifferent. Melchiorre Gerbino said aloud: "Go there those of you who want to go to Rapallo! You can always come back here when you want."
And then Vittorio, with a commanding voice "Let's go!" - and he went out of the Cave and of the history of Mondo Beat.
The 6 youths who had followed him, including Barry McBuir, an Anglo-Italian whose mother had a villa in Rapallo, returned to the Cave half an hour after they had left.
In the days of Mondo Beat, Melchiorre Gerbino never met Vittorio Di Russo again. After the dissolution of the Mondo Beat Movement, Melchiorre Gerbino went twice to Vittorio Di Russo's home, to drink wine with him and strengthen their friendship, whose bonds would have withstood any adverse circumstance.
Melchiorre Gerbino left Milan in the autumn of 1967 and nine years later, passing through Milan while he was making a trip around the world, met Vittorio Di Russo again, by chance. Vittorio affectionately told him: "In Milan you left the memory of a great son of a bitch!"- and accompanied him to the central station, to his train to Brussels.

Vittorio Di Russo and the youths of Mondo Beat on the ground floor of the Cave in February 1967 (1)
Vittorio Di Russo and the youths of Mondo Beat on the ground floor of the Cave in February 1967 (1)

Vittorio Di Russo is in a white pullover, 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 the youths of Mondo Beat on the ground floor of the Cave in February 1967 (2)
Vittorio Di Russo and the youths of Mondo Beat on the ground floor of the Cave in February 1967 (2)

To the right of Vittorio Di Russo there is Adriana, then Tella Ferrari. To his left, 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 outside 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, just to remind him that he could end up in prison for 3 months, if he made one misstep.

Vittorio Di Russo, Pierluigi Perronace, 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 most charismatic character in the Mondo Beat Movement and the most generous. Three weeks of his activity were enough to give the start to a historic movement. Those who have known him cannot forget his smile of a dreamy lion.


History of Mondo Beat - Chapter 7