Cesena, summer of 2014. In the midst of a faraway italian valley, Fabio Zaffagnini, a marine geologist, sees a mirage: the Foo Fighters performing in his hometown Cesena. Fabio envisions one thousand musicians playing simultaneously 'Learn to Fly' , a video to be sent to the band, the biggest tribute ever made, an undeniable invitation. No human being can do such things alone, so he starts looking for early adopters, that's when Claudia, Cisko, Anita, Martina, Mariagrazia, Marta, Debora, Valentina jump onboard and start building the dream, one piece at a time.
Long story short, it's July 26th of 2015, the sun approaches the horizon as one thousand rockers play at unison, magnificently; the scene seems unreal, they just nailed it. In three days the video is out, and millions of people around the world are stunned and spread the plea, among them there's Dave Grohl himself. Fabio and his crew aren't just a team of visionaries any more. They're miracle workers.
Days get frantic, requests of the weirdest kind pour from all over the world, but one particular stands out, it comes from a town all the way on the other side of the pond. The people of Walla Walla, Washington State, bring a message: Foo Fighters are playing in their town and they want to meet. It's an offer Rockin'1000 can't refuse.
November the 3rd, Foo Fighters fulfill their promise: an intimate three hours concert in Cesena. All those who were involved in the crazy stunt -musicians, donors, volunteers, organizers- are there, packed like sardines, sweating all their joy out.
Once you enter the thousand track, you never go back. One song is not enough, we humbly proclaim ourselves the Biggest Rock Band on Earth and we get ready for the next challenge: an entire live show, a full gig, in a packed loud stadium.It is July 24th, 2016 and after one year of sweat and blood, the Thousand play a full set list of 17 rock hits at the Manuzzi Stadium in Cesena. The audience is breathless, the earth shakes, the massive wall of sound created by the Biggest Rock Band on Earth is heard for miles and miles.
The question 'what next?!' becomes an obsession, and we decide to go playing in a remote place, into the wild, at the foot of the highest mountain in Europe, Mont Blanc. A quiet valley, filled with lillies, edelweiss and cows turns into a three days festival, a Rock oasis, a campsite with film screenings, yoga sessions, karaoke, jam sessions, and obviously a performance by the Thousand.
2018 is the year of our return to our natural habitat, the Stadium. News is the presence of an international guest: Rock icon Courtney Love sings with the Thousand three of her songs. During her first day of rehearsals, everybody remembers her first reaction: standing still, eyes wide open, a cigarette dangling on her fingers; then she throws it away, grabs the mic and starts yelling 'Give it to me!'...and that's another one for the record books.
In 2018 we also move our first steps outside of Italy with a few hundreds musicians pioneers, we have the honor to be headliners at the concert that celebrates the Austrian Presidency semester of the Council of the European Union, and later on, we play at the season finale of the TV show 'The Amazing Race' in Detroit.
It is time for the first real gig outside of Italy, and the Stade de France is the spaceship that makes us land in Paris. 50 000 people come and see the show, they look at us as if we were rocking aliens, introduced by Monsier Philippe Manoeuvre.
The Commerzbank Arena sizzles like a hot sausage on the grill when The Thousand bring their Rock to Frankfurt. Wolf Kerschek directs and Maschine presents as the stadium dances, shakes, and screams for another night of earth shattering Rock'n'Roll.
Airplanes aren't the only thing being loud at Linate Airport in Milan when Rockin'1000 comes to town. A concert dedicated to tearing down borders, overcoming fears and replacing division with unity finds The Thousand performing along side with special guests Manuel Agnelli and Rodrigo D'Erasmo from Aftehours, and Subsonica. Seatbelts un-fastened for a wild ride.
It's no 'Silent Night' when 100 musicians kick off the Christmas Festivities in Milan. The majesty of The Thousand leaves place to the precision, the solos, and the spectacular arrangements of The Hundred, sometimes less is more. Nobody is going on Santas naughty list after this gig.
The spread of Coronavirus changes the entire world's plans. Isolation and distance take over, but Rock'n'Roll is immune and if the mountain won't come to Muhammad then Muhammad must go to the mountain. Through the net, Rockin'1000 collects videos of musicians from all over the world and creates massive video patchworks. And there we go: that's how we stick together and play R'n'R in the Time of Pandemic.
Rockin' 1000 is more than a band now. It's a family, a community. Amateurs, professionals, volunteers, kids, men, women, no matter their provenance, ethnicity, sexual orientation or social background, what matters is to play music and love each other. We don't know exactly where all this will lead, but the plan is to grow like a mushroom cloud of rock, to create vast valleys of goosebumps, and touch the hearts of the human kind (too much maybe? naaaaah!)
Eat my cookies! 🍪🍪🍪🍪