With the hangover of Pride and on a day when the outrage over the murder of young Samuel summoned thousands of people on the streets of dozens of cities in Spain, the news of the death of Raffaella Carrá arrived. Facts all linked by symbolism. The Italian, the undisputed representative of the party, was also an icon of the LGTBIQ + community. Just a few years ago, in 2017, she was named Queen of World Pride in Madrid where she expressed her amazement at having to be defending the rights of this community at this point.
Raffaella Carrà, the diva who votes communist
“Upon receiving it I said: Live this week with joy, but the struggles are not over. We still have to ‘make a lot of fire’ to break prejudices. We will succeed. My favorite phrase says: You can remove all the flowers, but you cannot remove the spring “, he maintained in an interview granted for the occasion. Speeches like these and lyrics like Luca, which in 1978 spoke of homosexuality and became a hymn, they answer the question that she asked herself: “In my grave I will write Why have gays liked me so much?”
The militancy dressed in lycra with brilli-brilli It was a distinctive sign of a woman who while reaping non-stop successes defended the labor rights of her colleagues, sang about female masturbation and stood out politically. In fact, the scanned image of the interview that the artist gave to Interviú magazine in 1977 entitled with her quote “I always vote communist” circulates on the networks – today more than ever – as a claim that joy is not incompatible with left-wing thinking.
In 2018, the writer and screenwriter Almudena Montero published a thread on Twitter [ya no está disponible] that circulated through the social network at lightning speed where she told how the artist was at work. He had met her at the time of the program Hi Raffaella!, which aired in 1992 on TVE, and remembered the Italian diva as a woman with more power than many men on the network.
“In the corridors there was talk of aunt’s asses, embezzlement and then jail terms. And in the midst of all that catastrophic horror, Raffaella Carrà appeared. He approached you as a famous person has never approached you, you He would lower the skin of his eye and tell you: “You are anemic lost.” He would ask you about your working conditions, and when you told him, he would turn off the light on the set. (…) The girl lived permanently in a state of political excitement of left, while directing entire departments, dressed in red sequins, “Montero told elDiario.es when his publication went viral.
That thread spread so widely that it reached the Italian singer that, showing off the naturalness attributed to her, she contacted the scriptwriter. Among other things, he urged her to fight and reminded her that the phrase “I vote communist” was more than a headline: “It implies a way of life and a very great responsibility.”
Success with hair strokes
Daring from the beginning, she was the first to show her navel on Italian television, to the scandal and blush –and who knows if she enjoyed it– of the Pope. Shortly after, he arrived in Spain at the hands of Valerio Lazarov, King Midas of television, who as soon as he saw the success of Carrà’s appearance in Ladies and Gentlemen! convinced the directors of Televisión Española to give him a four-part special broadcast in March 1976: Raffaella Carrà’s time.
But it was in 1992 when he completely put the Spanish public in his pocket thanks to his program Hi Raffaella!. All kinds of guests passed through that set, from Santiago Carrillo to Mel Gibson, Celia Cruz, or Alaska, “a woman with long hair and great ideas,” as defined by the host. One of the highlights of the show was when Carrá would pick up the Yellow Pages and dial a random phone number: if the person answering said “Hello, Raffaella!” he took money.
Not only did he make half of Spain respond to his calls with the phrase during the broadcast of the program, but it also became a recurring joke of the time. His naturalness, with his laughter and his uncomplicated way of speaking in Spanish, was his great weapon of seduction. He did not disheveled when making comments such as: “I’m calling Valladolid, the cradle of Castilian” –hey, Toni Cantó– or “Look, I’ve given you money and knowledge. Today you’re going to have dinner happier. In 1995 he moved to Telecinco where he had the program At home with Raffaella, whose title honored the living room spirit of the sets where he gathered his guests.
At that point, the Italian had already recorded 21 albums (in Italian and Spanish), ten films and was a television star thanks to shows like Soon, Raffaella? Y Raffaella Carrà Show (which was also broadcast on TV3 with Catalan subtitles). For the first, he got to collect 600 million pesetas a year for three years in a fight over his salary. The artist had learned that there were presenters on the network who earned more than her although her program attracted ten million people and she did not hesitate to complain. At that time – and not now – that men charged more was not something strange, but she did not consent and won.
Almudena Montero told elDiario.es that she had witnessed a moment of active feminism by Raffaella Carrà on the TVE sets. “One day I was passing in front of the room where the dancers of a program were rehearsing the choreography. I was gossiping from the door and Raffaella came in. They were rehearsing for a long time, I loved watching the rehearsals. 5 minute break in which she disappeared, came back fierce, gathered all the dancers, and gave a speech, which I now understand as a feminist. I was a dwarf. I flipped. I said things like ‘men are like dogs, that smell fear ‘,’ you have to protect yourself … ‘”.
The diva, who was born with the name of Raffaella Maria Roberta Pelloni, remained active until 2016, when she announced in a Canale 5 interview that she was retiring from television to make way for new generations. At that time, I was participating in the Italian version of the new talent show The voice. From then on his appearances were more and more sporadic, although his figure was still just as present. In fact, last year the musical comedy was released Explode, explode, based on songs by the artist and directed by Nacho Álvarez.
An icon of pop culture in her own right, she will be remembered for many things: her outfits, her choreographies, her inimitable head movement, her laughter and above all, for the liberating power of her music. If you can dance, there can be a revolution and Raffaella knew it: “Goodbye, my friend / Follow the band / That with the band everything is going well”. We will miss you, Raffaella.