Guitarist Massimo Morante, one of the founders of Goblin, the iconic band of Italian progressive rock, died suddenly yesterday, Thursday 23 June, at the age of 69 in Rome, the city where he was born on 6 October 1952. “His wife and children with great pain announce his untimely death. Undisputed artist, loving husband and father “, reads the obituary released today by the family, as reported by Adnkronos. The funeral will take place tomorrow, Saturday 25 June, at 10.30, in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Montesanto (Church of the artists) in Piazza del Popolo in Rome. “With extreme pain and disbelief we are forced to announce that Massimo Morante, founder and irreplaceable guitarist of Goblin, has left us”, wrote the band on its Facebook page. The Goblin group (the name derives from the English “goblin”, demon, evil spirit) was founded in 1974 by keyboardist Claudio Simonetti, initially formed by the drummer Walter Martino, then replaced by Agostino Marangolo, by Morante on guitar and by bassist Fabio Pignatelli. The success coincided with the film debut and with the start of the partnership with Dario Argento for the film “Profondo Rosso” (1975), which became a cult movie also thanks to the soundtrack (it was the best-selling 33 rpm in Italy during that year). Since that first soundtrack, the Goblins have composed many others, especially for horror films, such as “Suspiria” (1977), also directed by Dario Argento, “Shock” (1977), Mario Bava’s latest film, and “Zombii” (1979) by George A. Romero. The Goblins have transported the innovative sounds of the synthesizer into the cinema, with a pressing rhythm, often deliberately disturbing in its obsessiveness, and for this finding the most congenial ground in horror cinema, in particular in the films of Dario Argento. beginning of the seventies from the ribs of different bands and had already given birth to a group, the Oliver, also known as the Cherry Five. Thanks to a skilful mix of progressive rock and jazz, the disturbing soundtrack of “Profondo Rosso” represented the springboard for the group, which immediately released another album, “Roller” (1976), and then devoted itself fully rhythm at the cinema: this is how a very rich series of soundtracks was born, almost all of great effect, including those for films of other genres than the horror one such as “La via della drug” (1977) by Enzo G. Castellari, almost a video clip of the Goblins, so much music is in the foreground, and of “Amo, non amo” (1979) by Armenia Balducci. In 1978 the band also recorded the album “The fantastic journey of the bagarozzo Mark”, in which Massimo Morante, as well as a guitarist, was featured for the first time as a singer. In 1980 the start of Simonetti towards a career as a soloist, also convinces Morante to leave the Goblins and try his hand at his own. In the eighties Morante released three solo albums, “Abbasso”, “Corpo a corpo” and “Exclusive!”, Collaborating with Renato Zero. and “Phenomena” (1985) directed by Argento, however, the original group had been reconstituted, with the contribution of Simonetti, “I am not sleepy” (2001), a new foray by the Goblins in the director’s fantasy world, marked, also formally , the recomposition of the historic Simonetti-Marangolo-Morante-Pignatelli nucleus. The historic band then relaunched with “Back to the Goblin” (2005-2009) and then with “New Goblin” (2011-2013). Massimo Morante began playing guitar at the age of 12, listening mainly to records of the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. In 1971 he met the keyboardist Claudio Simonetti and together, called by his friend producer Eddie Offord (also producer and sound engineer of Yes), they left for London where they recorded some songs of their own composition with a formation called Oliver. Within the band, with Morante on guitars and Simonetti on keyboards, there are Clives Haynes (vocals), Carlo Bordini (drums) and Fabio Pignatelli (bass). The London experience soon turns out to be not very gratifying and unnecessarily expensive, so Morante returns to Rome where he forms in 1974, with Simonetti himself, the group of Goblins, on the occasion of the recording of the soundtrack of the film “Profondo rosso” by Dario. Silver. Walter Martino on percussion and Fabio Pignatelli on bass join the band. in the meantime it welcomed two new musicians, Agostino Marangolo (drums) and Maurizio Guarini (keyboards), to face a long Italian tour between 1975 and 1976, together with the singer Riccardo Cocciante. da Marangolo is involved in a very serious car accident from which Morante and the others miraculously escape unharmed. The unexpected event determines an abrupt interruption of the live experience and, very soon, the return of the band to the studio for the recording of the album “Roller”. The Goblins revive their success with the soundtrack of Argento’s new film “Suspiria”, which in the meantime have become a quartet with the release of keyboardist Maurizio Guarini. 1978 was a busy year for the Goblins, with the release of their second independent album, “Il viaggio del bagarozzo Mark” and the creation of the soundtrack for the movie “Zombi”, a horror film directed by cult director George A. Romero and financially supported by Dario Argento as producer. However, the same year also had unpleasant surprises: the death of Massimo Morante’s father and, shortly after, that of Simonetti’s father, the maestro Enrico Simonetti as well as the producer of the Cesare Andrea Bixio group. Massimo Morante soon left the band to pursue a solo career as did Simonetti himself. (by Paolo Martini)
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