From Sanremo to Eurovision·The Italian Files
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The Smiths - Sanremo Festival: In 1987, Sanremo is hosting British band The Smiths as international guests; the band perform several of their songs during the festival, and take part in an extended interview afterwards, which are collected in this short documentary.

Placebo - Special K (Live at Festival di Sanremo 2001): Sanremo has historically provided a strange context for rock bands to play in, as all tracks are pre-recorded and performed in front of a famously conservative live audience. Things went wrong in 2001, when the UK band Placebo was invited to Sanremo as special guests and their performance quickly descended into chaos, as singer Brian Molko smashed his guitar and was booed off stage.

Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence (Sanremo 1990): Depeche Mode appear at Festival di Sanremo in 1990, blowing Italian audiences’ minds across the country, with their cutting-edge synthpop anthem ‘Enjoy the Silence’.

Sanremo 1992: Cavallo Pazzo invade il palco dell'Ariston e urla "Questo festival è truccato": During the opening of Sanremo 1992, ‘Cavallo Pazzo’ (‘Crazy Horse’), a famous Italian TV prankster, jumps on stage disrupting the proceedings, screaming that the festival has been fixed, and will be won by Fausto Leali. (Of course, Leali didn’t win that year.

Sanremo 1995: Pippo Baudo sventa un suicidio in diretta: In 1995, as the show is underway, presenter Pippo Baudo spots a man climbing on top of the circle seating railing and threatening to jump. Instead of sending security up, Baudo runs upstairs to the man himself, ‘rescuing him’ to much applause and cheering from the crowd.

Lucio Battisti — Un’Avventura (Sanremo 1969): Written by Mogol and performed by Lucio Battisti marks the latter’s only appearance at Sanremo: Battisti would never return to the Ariston stage after that year, despite his enormous popularity in Italy.

“Dov’è Bugo?”: In 2020, Morgan and Bugo are in the run with ‘Sincero’, but fall out on stage when Morgan alters a section of the lyrics to make fun of his co-artist and Bugo disappears without explanation, mid-performance. This viral video will be one of the last live clips to circulate in Italy, before the country shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in March of the same year.

Tyson & Bonolis cantano Volare: The year is 2005 and Paolo Bonolis is presenting Sanremo. Here he is singing Volare with Mike Tyson, who is appearing on the show as a special international guest.