The first time I went to London it was in 1977. A long time ago. I still remember the day I landed at Heathrow airport. It was the day Elvis Presley died. I remember from my bus, in the endless one which was to lead me to Victoria Station (according to my ticket bus), the supporter’s march in honor of the great song singer from Memphis. They held in their hands signs of their idol: “Elvis will never die” or “Elvis forever”, “You still live in our hearts” and things like that.
I was a young man full of hope and sorrow, at that time. I was going to London to forget an unrequited love; or maybe I was just searching for something I had not found yet.
I had at present left my university’s studies, with no money, no job, no love at all. Lonely as a stone can be.
I had not been really very fond of Elvis; surely much more of Jimy Hendrix; Elvis was a too controversial myth at my eyes; a great singer of course, I wouldn’t say he was not; but sometimes I felt like he had been exploited by the American industry of success; that kind of business able to create (and also destroy, if they wanted) any kind of myth, any kind of star; ‘you know? That sort of star’s system victim like Marylin Monroe or James Dean. I was quite a critic of capitalism at that time.
But indeed I had already too many problems by my own to be a critic of anything.
I only had an address on my pocket, of a friend of mines who had previous gone to London and I was in contact with. Through this friend I was introduced in an Italian Grocery, in King’s Cross Road. I’ve recently there. Where the shop was there’s now only an insignia, covered by dust, left. I found good help in there. A friend of the owner, a good marchigian guy who sold Italian hams, cheese and other special Italian food, found me a job in a pizza’s factory, somewhere in Farringdon Rd. And George himself, I mean the marchigian shopper, found me a place to sleep in: a room in Keystone Crescent, just around the corner his shop, where I was charged with 5 pound fee per week while in the factory my first wage was a good 40 weekly wage’s pounds .
Not too bad for a beginner.
1. To be continued…