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From the beginning of January to the middle of February 1967.

- Umberto Tiboni finds a suitable place as a venue for the Mondo Beat Movement
- Melchiorre Gerbino officially registered as director of Mondo Beat magazine
- Vittorio Di Russo leaves Mondo Beat.


On 1 January 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 mortuary of Cinisello Balsamo, on the occasion of the identification of the body of Gennaro De Miranda. 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 and introduced him to Vittorio Di Russo.
Having learned of Vittorio Di Russo's situation, Ezio Chiodini would in turn tell Italo Pietra, editor in charge of Il Giorno, the newspaper in which he worked.

On January 3, Melchiorre Gerbino went to the Chamber of Commerce, where he recorded a company called "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 a director of a student magazine denominated "Mondo Beat". It has already been described how he met there the councilor of the Order, Luigi Marinatto, to whom he left, in vision, a copy of the second issue of the magazine Mondo Beat. On that occasion, Marinatto gave Gerbino a telephone appointment to inform him of the outcome of his request.

On January 4, thanks to Fernanda Pivano, Vittorio Di Russo was able to speak on the phone with Alberto Dall'Ora, a prominent lawyer, who was willing to go to the police headquarters to take vision of his dossier.
I became irritated when I learned that Vittorio had sought help from Fernanda Pivano, without telling me. From my point of view, having phoned Fernanda Pivano and confided 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 let Vittorio understand how irritated I was, because he was in a state of confusion, due to what he had suffered.

On January 5, Ezio Chiodini brought Marco Mascardi, a well-known journalist for the newspaper Il Giorno, to my apartment to interview Vittorio Di Russo. A full page article appeared on January 9th

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

On January 10, lawyer Alberto Dall'Ora received Melchiorre Gerbino in his office and told him that in the police headquarters they were not willing to withdraw the mandatory expulsion order they had enjoined on Vittorio Di Russo, but they would pretend not to see him in circulation in Milan, if he had refrained from acting against the institution.
On his return from the lawyer, Melchiorre Gerbino explained to Vittorio Di Russo how he had two options left: to leave Milan or, surrounded by photojournalists, to deliver himself to the police and consequently being sentenced by the magistracy to three months in prison. In the second case, the Mondo Beat Movement would have promoted initiatives to assert civil rights, inspired by his personal situation. A third option would have been shameful for him and for the image of the Movement, namely that he would have crawled along the walls of Milan to avoid being noticed.
Vittorio Di Russo seemed undecided on how to behave. During the 10 days he was held in the Milan police headquarters, before being handed over to the judiciary and imprisoned for one month, he had suffered beatings, mental torture, psychotropic drugs, which left in him a profound trauma.

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 January 12, Melchiorre Gerbino applied to the Milan court for authorization to publish the bi-weekly magazine "Mondo Beat".
On the same day, Umberto Tiboni found a place that seemed suitable as a venue for the Mondo Beat Movement. In his company, Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino went to see it.
The local was on the ground floor. There were two large portcullises behind which there were two glass windows of equal width, one fixed and the other serving as an entrance. The room was about 40 square meters, in a corner there was a stone staircase leading to a cellar of one hundred square meters, which had a vault in terracotta bricks. The whole was in perfect condition. The location was in the center of Milan, 20 minutes walk from Piazza Duomo.
Melchiorre Gerbino couldn't believe his eyes, believed he was dreaming, so beautiful were those premises!
He said "Let's take it immediately!" - but Gunilla Unger and Umberto Tiboni showed themselves phlegmatic, because they had fun to seeing him excited, for once.

On January 14, we rented the venue for a period of 3 months. Umberto Tiboni provided £ 75,000; Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino together £ 100,000. We knew well we would never recover that money. Umberto Tiboni, who had his registered 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 keys of the premises. Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino gave the name "La Cava" to the seat of Mondo Beat, since its cellar was similar to those existentialist French-style "caves" that they used to attend in the Old City of Stockholm.

On the evening of the 16th, Vittorio Di Russo was secretly accompanied to "The Cave" (as I will call "La Cava" in English).
Vittorio had paranoia attacks while he was hiding in our apartment, but Gunilla Unger and I were able to placate him, thanks to the bond that unites us from the times of Stockholm. But once in The Cave, Vittorio felt ill and became angry with Umberto Tiboni, who remained speechless for this, since he had never seen Vittorio in such conditions before.

On January 22, after three weeks in hiding, Vittorio Di Russo decided to leave Milan for Genoa, where he could move freely, as indeed he could in all Italian cities, except Milan. I accompanied him to Genoa, where he was warmly welcomed by Barba, the most charismatic Beat of that city, who offered accommodation to him. But I had the feeling that Vittorio would soon leave Genoa to return to Milan, to further aggravate his situation. I was suffering a lot because of Vittorio situation, as it stressed me much, and nothing could I do to help him.
The same day, January 22, back 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 were delighted with the merger of Onda Verde and Mondo Beat.

The last week of January, in the late afternoon, Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino, having returned from work, met Umberto Tiboni and opened The Cave to welcome the most committed youths of the Movement.
We used discretion when keeping The Cave open, to prevent the police from noticing it, since we still didn't have the license to publish the Mondo Beat magazine, of which The Cave was officially intended to be the seat.

On February 2, the Milan Court authorized Melchiorre Gerbino to publish the magazine Mondo Beat. The same day, Gerbino resigned from Alitalia airline, where he had worked for 2 months and 3 weeks. He did not need to anticipate that he would have left, because he was not yet a permanent employee, since he had not completed the 3-month internship. On the same day, Gunilla Unger told lawyer Pisano that she would have left her job after 30 days.

From the beginning of the opening of The Cave, Umberto Tiboni and Melchiorre Gerbino agreed to keep it open day and night and let anyone enter for free and stay there indefinitely. Note that in those days there were very few places in the world open 24 hours a day for anyone. Maybe only The Cave of Mondo Beat and the New York subway, but to enter the New York subway you had to pay at least once.

From the early hours of the opening of The Cave, there was the arrival of Beats and Provos who lived in Milan. After a few days, boys and girls arrived from the hinterland, then from all parts of Italy. Youths from the Mondo Beat Movement returned from Florence and along with them there were youths from other countries. The Italians had nicknames like Ombra (Shadow), Grillo (Cricket), Zafferano (Saffron), Gesù (Jesus), Cristo (Christ), Giuda (Judah), Smilzo (Slender), Pasticca (Pill), Ercolino (Little Hercules), Roccia (Rock), Scheletrino (Thin Skeleton)... Among the girls there was a tendency to keep the birth name, while some of them, who were typical Italian, wanted to be called Mamma, but there were also eccentric girls, who had adopted names like Farfallina (little butterfly) and Sirena (mermaid).
Giorgio Contini, who was one of the first youths to hurry to Florence after the flood, returned to Milan and took responsibility for the management of the cellar of The Cave. In the cellar there was a large wardrobe where anyone could leave his things safely, without paying and without time limits. No one was required to submit documents, but those who wanted to attend The Cave had to strictly respect the 3 principles of Mondo Beat: no violence, no theft, no drugs.

On February 5, Vittorio Di Russo arrived at The Cave. As Melchiorre Gerbino had foreseen, Vittorio would have left Genoa to return to Milan. Now he was with Rosa, a Milanese girl who owned a flower shop.
Vittorio remained for a short visit, fearing that police informants could be present in The Cave, who could have signaled his presence, and this, in fact, was quite possible.

In the following days, Vittorio and Rosa returned several times to The Cave, for short visits. On those occasions Rosa showed concern for Vittorio's fate and put pressure on Melchiorre Gerbino and Umberto Tiboni for not having him there. This made us embarrassed, since we did nothing to force Vittorio to stay at The Cave.
For his part, Vittorio was nervous, fearing the police on one side, on the other, he was realizing how he had lost influence over the youths of Mondo Beat. He had been away from the front line of the Movement for too long, when exceptional events had occurred, such as the Rally of Handcuffs and the Rally of Flowers. After those events, the youths of Mondo Beat were prone to action, but Vittorio was prevented from heading them. If he had acted, the police would have promptly arrested him and a judge would have sentenced him to three months in prison.

On the morning of Sunday 12, most probably ill advised by Rosa, Vittorio arrived at The Cave, followed by six youths of the Movement. Rosa was waiting for him in a bar not far from The Cave. Vittorio went downstairs and entered the cellar, which was crowded with boys and girls. He shouted: "Enough! Let's get out of here! This is a rotten place! Let's go to purify ourselves in the villa of Barry McBuir in Rapallo!".
Those who knew Vittorio remained stunned, 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 the history of Mondo Beat.
Half an hour later, the 6 youths who had followed him, including Barry McBuir, an Anglo-Italian guy whose mother had a villa in Rapallo, returned to The Cave.
Vittorio returned the next day, but did not enter The Cave, he waited outside for me. I invited him to return to the group, but he didn't want... Vittorio didn't know what he wanted anymore.
During Mondo Beat, I never saw him again. After the dissolution of the Movement, I went twice to visit him at his home.
I left Milan in the end of October 1967 and met Vittorio again after nine years, as I was crossing Milan during a trip around the world. I met him by chance in the park of the Sforzesco Castle. He said to me with affection "In Milan, you left the memory of a great son of a bitch!" and he accompanied me to my train for 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, Villy Augerau, playing guitar
Vittorio Di Russo and youths of the Mondo Beat Movement on the ground floor of The Cave on 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, 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 'Papà' and Alfredo
Vittorio Di Russo and youths of the Mondo Beat Movement on the ground floor of The Cave on 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, 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 in Mondo Beat, as he was the one with the most charisma and the most generous of all. Three weeks of his activity were enough to create a historical movement from a dispersed youth. Those who knew him personally cannot forget his smile of a dreamy lion.


History of Mondo Beat - Chapter 7