Al CorSera: «At my house there was never a shortage of cake. I discovered that the children of the richest Milan had hardships that I, the son of workers, did not have».
The Corriere della Sera interview Gerry Scotti. He defines himself as a lucky boy, whose life has been far more incredible than his dreams. He talks about himself as a child: shy, born on the outskirts of Milan.
«I was a shy kid. If there was the end-of-year play, I certainly didn’t raise my hand to participate, not even to present, so to say that I had it in my DNA would be telling a lie. When I was 12 my uncle Paolino gave me the jealous tape recorder, to record the songs that played on the radio: it was our Spotify. When I first heard my voice recorded on that instrument, it bothered me so much that I erased the tape.”
If he had been born in central Milan would he have been the same person?
«I came close to downtown Milan: I went to the Carducci classical high school and it wasn’t exactly full of children of workers, on the contrary. It was just me and Mr. Villa (who has always been his press office). Our presence angered some retrograde professors. At my first difficulties in Greek and Latin they had told my mother: you had to send him to a professional school».
How were the companions of Gerry Scotti?
«They came to school with Maseratis, Jaguars, even a Lamborghini. Our outlet was to get engaged to the daughters of good Milan. We were well liked, I even went to do my homework with them. I went into these houses and saw butlers, six, seven rooms… I lived in two rooms plus service with my parents. Every now and then some classmates came to study with me and the next day, in class, everyone asked me: is there really cake in your house every day? I discovered that these children of the richest Milan had forms of hardship that I, the son of workers, did not have. My mom’s donut was never missing from me. And there I understood that the benefits of life are others».
Wasn’t he uncomfortable in the face of so much wealth?
«No, I’ve never experienced my difference in anger. I came from a humble but dignified background, where if you went to the courtyard without a snack someone who offered it to you would find it and if you wanted to go for a bike ride but you didn’t have it, there was someone who would lend it to you. I have never lacked for anything while in those families of the more affluent social classes, I think a lot of things were lacking».
Gerry Scotti talks about his experience at the University.
«I wanted to study Architecture but it was one of the faculties most on the barricades at the time, always busy. I see my dad at the Polytechnic, ready to enroll: there were kids with joints on the stairs, billboards with unreferable phrases. My dad just said, “Don’t do this to me.” He thought of all the sacrifices to make me go to high school… So, after a family reunion with my uncles, he opted for Law on a vote. I would have become a notary, I arrived at two exams from the thesis ».
Is there cake every day at the Scotti house today?
“There is, there is. When I was forty, my parents died in a short time and my divorce followed. All the figurines of the nativity scene that represented my concept of family seemed to have burned suddenly. Then, together with my friends, my son and the family that I rebuilt with Gabriella and her children, I managed to carry on the values I believe in. In January, Edoardo will make me a grandfather again and I am recognized as a father figure even by my partner’s children: I’m the pain in the ass who says to turn off the light or stop the water from flowing in the house. Now they’re grown up, but how many nights have I been awake waiting for one or the other to come back… they are my lifeline, they make me feel like a living man and an ordinary person».
The best compliment they pay you?
«Until a few years ago it was that I was how I appeared on TV. Today more and more kids tell me: we grew up with you (teary eyes). They make me feel like I have a huge family.”