I think my grandpa was Frank Sinatra

My grandpa was a great singer. He used to wake up at 8:30 every morning and sing his way to the shower, hum a little tune while shaving and croon a popular aria for the grocery shop’s cashier (he was a ladies’ man).


That’s the guy I’m talking about

He had this vast collection of jazz and opera LPs and music cassettes and he would put on some Giuseppe Verdi or Bing Crosby at any given hour of the day. That’s probably why my grandma was so grumpy all the time.

When I was around 13, he handed me a double CD called “My Way, the best of Frank” for my birthday with this dude on the cover that looked exactly like my grandpa when he was young: lots of brilliantine on his hair, a leering sidelook glance and a perfectly ironed shirt. As any other teenager, I didn’t know any better and I shrug my shoulders saying “Alright, thanks a lot.” But he stared at me and he said with this serious look on his face “Have a listen, you’ll like it.”


it all started with this

So I did. And it turned out that I didn’t listen to anything else than that CD till I was 18. I bought books on Frank Sinatra (Wikipedia wasn’t an option when I was a teenager) while my friends were reading whatever was in fashion in the early 2000s; I hung posters of the Rat-Pack in my room and my parents thought that I went a little coocoo; I faked my ID to get into smoky jazz clubs while my peers were chasing girls around town.

So you get the idea, that CD kind of changed my music taste quite a lot: it has been the soundtrack of all my love affairs, that’s how I learned my English (or, at least, how I could pay a compliment to a young lady in English) and that’s the reason why I say ‘pal’ all the time. And whenever I feel sad or lonely, downhearted or simply blue, I go back to that CD because it feels like someone, on the other side of that speaker, has been through all that and understands you more than anyone else on this earth.

For all this, and much more, happy birthday Frank. And thank you grandpa, you really changed my life.

If you’re wondering what my favourite tune is (I know you’re not, but if you’re reading this I might as well throw it in your face), here you go: Begin the Beguine, the first track of the very first CD I ever bought with my own money and I’d listened to it for a whole summer while struggling with an unusual heat wave and with an exceptionally thick Latin textbook.