My story


Public addresses and speaches usually starts with a standard frame: “…will cut it short…”. By my side, I’ll break that rule, since what I built in the last 25 years of sacrifices would not be fair to setback with just few words!

I was born in Forlì, june 10th, 1962 (great time for wine and guitars) from a worker class family. My dad had a bike repair shop, and today is still able to make any kind of engine-fitted craft to work perfectly. Mum ran the house as any old Romagna woman did: she is talented about how to keep family’s armony and economy. I also have an older brother named Ivan, great travelling man, that I love much and that I use to call simply “Bro”.

I was a pretty good student and I completed my school duties with great profit. Always a man of sport, I was just 6 years old when I first met a soccer team. When I was 12 due to a bad dispute with the coach, I switched to basket. Despite my shortness compared to the average height of my mates, I was able to play for the glorious PGS Fulgor Forlì and reach the national third series, along with my long-time best friend Luca Chiadini.

I was always a caring guy: when I had to decide my career, right after tha secondary school, I opted to become a professional health assistant and I took a double year’s school to got the points to join a master degree stage. But I did not want to weight to much on my parent’s shoulder so as many of my friends in my 15 I started to work as a waiter in the summer season. I liked that job so much that I changed my mind about my future: I kept my studies on shorthand-typing school that, after personal pleasure, had a great prospective as for job.

It was right during that times that I started to play my brother’s records Pink Floyd, Who, Hendrix, Deep Purple, Yes, Queen ecc., as well as self-teaching guitar and drums with great passion and care! My first band was called “Magic Image” and featured me, Bro, Loris Giovannetti (basket coach) and Gabriele Foschi. Those classic rock tracks were our mayor numbers on stage: poor tech gear, but intense feeling.

Those were the times I divided myself between school, music, sport: I eventually teached basket to the kids. At night I worked as a waiter in a private club in Forlì, to keep my economic supply. Sundays and public holidays gave me the chances to work in restaurants, so that I managed to spare money for more musical instruments!

Got my degree in hotel’s managing, I got drafted for the Army service. I chose penitentiary marshalls, to be usefull to the society and achieve more skills. When I got discharged, I started a career as Maitre in the biggest and most beautiful hotel’s chains all over Europe: I used to do this in winter season, while in the summer I worked the same job in Milano Marittima, nice location on the italian adriatic shore. I proudly managed some of the most famous italian restaurants and hotels, such “La Frasca” belonged by my dear friend Gianfranco Bolognesi and the “Baglioni” chain Hotel in Bologna, Florence and Parma, whose I really recall with great intensity since I got the chance to meet some very special people there, to mention the few: Bob Dylan, U2, Sting, Pope Giovanni Paolo II, Senna , Prost, Alberto Tomba, Michel Schumacher, Platini, Franco Baresi, Van Basten, Maradona, Alberto Sordi, Ornella Muti and many others.


I was 19 when, in Zurich Switzerland, I bought at the “Musik Husli” shop my very first Fender Stratocaster guitar: a black ’79 model with, curiously, small peghead and 4-bolted maple neck: that guitar now belongs to my friend in Forlì Aldo “Doc” Baraghini… so 25 years ago my Fender-collecting addiction started. From that point on, all my incomes and tips were spared to allow the building of my house and to get vintage intruments, with no regrets for holidays, luxury and bad habits that I’ve always kept away from me.

In 1990, along with my real work as restaurant’s manager, I started to perform “bar-guitar” jigs on several clubs of the adriatic coast; back then I met Stefano Malusi and soon he became a great friend of mine. I believe he is one of the most trusty vintage expert, and a skillfull luthier. I bought some intruments from him and he introduced me to some guys that really meant a turning point in my future as guitar’s collector: Tonino Imperato from Rimini and Vincenzo Atzori from Foggia.

Untill then I achieved a lot of intruments: Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, Vox, Marshall, ecc… and many of them were not in pristine conditions; at least once suffered from bad repairs or customization. During a dinner with these guys I was suggested to give a specular discretion to my intrument’s choice rather than undistincted accumulation. I agreed and then I started to sell all the stuff that wasn’t “real original” Fender. My main goal became to get a full collection of intruments and amps produced by “the Man”: Leo Fender!

The Soave Vintage Guitar Show, managed by Pierpalo Adda, became one of the fixed date in my agenda, and that was the chance to get into the suspicious world of “real” Vintage. That strange universe of bogus friendshipness, judgements, incomes, trustness and unfairness could real turn this wonderful passion into bare business, sometimes making forget historical value of cheaper instruments or getting others exceedingly prized. That was the time I started to think about to make a further and different step inside this particular world: to edit something that could easily help vintage fans to identify and qualify these instruments without the often too interesting “help” of those who are commonly known as “experts”.

We all know that Fender means basically Strat, Telecaster, P-bass, j-bass and tweed, brown, white and black amps, and that these are the most prized models. But even the feeling, style and sound of a 1957 electric mandolin have a great meaning to me; as well as the softly emotional ring of a 1966 XII Strings, the bare and futuristic shape of the small Swinger, or the deeply cracked finish of a White ’79 Anniversay Strat. These intruments, along with more common and famous models, grooved the most popular 60’s and 70’s records and they are the pure basic of the Vintage: that “sound” that no current guitar or amp could ever match!

Our book “Our Vintage Soul” appears barely as a showview, but I’m pretty sure its content would help many fans of “real” pre-1974 Fender instruments not to get jeopardized by purchasing fakes, sold as originals for big money. As helping hand for building this dream the Leo’s guardian angel gave to me the real shape of that man named Vincenzo Atzori.

Vincenzo Atzori… An entire book just for him would not give enough credit about his knowledge and technical skills. It was just a chance meeting: I was down at the Stefano Malusi shop in Cervia where I had to meet a common friend, Alex Tonini, whose ’59 jazzmaster was in my wishes to buy. There was standing Vincenzo; he gave me his advices about the guitar, and I got amazed about his know-how. From that moment I started to increase my professional relationship with him, soon turned into real friendship. We spent days and night analysing and sharing opinions about pickups, sizes, finishes, hardware, caps, speakers. Speaking frankly even about our lives we soon develop an high rate of loyalty and trustness. Thanks to him in recent years I was finally able to complete my collection. This book is the first of the run of two that belongs to a project that I cared for from a very long time, and Vincenzo took a great credit of it as well as to be the artist who professionally shot all the pictures. I ran into a deep sacrifices, both economically and phsicologically, and Vincenzo quietly shared all the troubles with me, sometimes even leaving a great load out of his main job and his family (Sandra and Raffeale, who I really appreciate for their patience): out all of this, nothing could ever let my estimation of Vincenzo missing. Thank you, my buddy!


Thanks also to the prescious help of my “broker”, Valerio di Loreto, a friend and also a web expert, in december 2004 after 25 years I finally got my collection completed.

Now I’m the pride owner of any Fender Factory solid body guitar, along with cases, in full stock condition produced between 1950 and 1974: all Strats from the very first production run in standard sunburst; a fine selection of solid bodied models in Fiesta red as well as in dakota red; every old piggy back white tolex amp produced, some of them professionally restored on electronics thanks to the wise hands of Vincenzo Atzori.

All these instruments, pictured in the book “Our Vintage Soul” and soon back on the new edition ready for printing, are specifically matched along with a specular “ID card” to avoid any selling attempt without my black on white autorizzation. The vintage guitar’s world offers many books, pamphlets and now websites which are pretty able to develop the Vintage Fender’s addiction: this book has no meaning to follow that path: this book is just a slide show to share my private collection with the public. A great credit is due to my brother in law Matteo Camorani, a graphic engineer who cared professionally the layout of this tribute to Leo Fender.

Along with some friends currently I established a mutual organizzation among musicians that allows to the members to get the SIAE leaves for public performance and to rent at low prices both studios and music gear. I still play guitar on private events and parties travelling often around Italy.

For passion and fun, instead, I’m the drummer of a cover band that belongs to the stage for several years: the Floyd Machine. Along with Davide Romboli (guitar), Alberto Volpi (bass and vocals), Paolo Bonori (keyboards), Massimo Graziani (keyboards and sax), Giorgio Leandri (guitar), Claudio Battaglione (sound engineer), Aldo Visentin (lighting designer), Michela Taioli (audio video effects) and the vocalists Valentina Cacciaguerra, Alessandra Landi and Paola Varrato, we perform great Pink Floyd’s hits – my long time favourite kind of music – using top real vintage gear.

To complete this retrospective, I love to tell that I’m the proud owner of a wonderful German sheep dog named “Rock”, I collected Alan Ford’s comics and when schedule’s holes allow that, I offer my help to the special needs buddies of the ANFFAS organization in Forlì. I still catch the deep meaning of what is beatiful, by artcraft or nature. I keep care the life’s quality: I love to admire a nice draw, a church, a sunset; The good courses and the good wine, at least with the presence of a charming woman… and I stay away from crowded clubs!

This is Flavio. And even if it sounds as an utopia, I’d wish that sometimes the sound of these amazing instruments could cover and cut the echoes of all these wars that keep awfully ranging around the world.

…and thanks Leo Fender!

Flavio Camorani


By basic lines, this is what happened to my life untill march 2005, when the “Our vintage soul” Book came to the public. Some things has changed, I got new fellows and made ground for my feet.

The editing of “Our Vintage Soul” allowed me to meet a large audience of famous artists like Roger Waters and Nick Mason (unbelieveable emotions), Joe Zawinul, Jack Bruce, Stewart Copeland, Billy Cobham, Carl Palmer, Willy Nile, a many others…and as often happens, I got the proof that the more people are virtous and related to VIP’s status, the more are modest and friendly when personally met. Some as David Gilmour, Bruce Springsteen and Pete Townshed collected my signed book through common friends and they rewarded me with cards and gifts hoping someday to meet me.

Moreover, from 2008 I have Michela by my side; a wonderful girl that shares with me a lot of common interests like music, sport, love for musical instruments and many other passions.

I spent the last four years trying to improve my collection, always with the essential aid of Vincenzo: some instruments got changed, some others were put in better shape, switching parts and cases to improve the collection’s prestige.

By that time I received precious help from Luigi Spezzacatena too, and his active collaboration was crucial to rise my collection as well as in the managing of the Vintage shows at Naima Club in Forlì. Personal troubles and disputing forced our ways to part each other…but human and professional respect remains strong.

The success of the collection and the book, as well as Floyd Machine performances, has worked to put myself pretty under the spot. This condition is welcomed by one side, since it guarantees me a well-introduced status among many people from all over the world: by the other side, it eased nasty experiences to rise up. What is going on is that in this “bizzarre” vintage world there are people who buy and sell, trade, expertize and judge instruments using my name as “warranty” of full originality of the items they are dealing.

I totally dismissed this behaviour.

Here I take the chance to point out to everybody that I arranged the sale of some items out of my collection to improve it, but everything which had ever been parted from my property came out along with a full statement, highly detailed with features and serials, signature and certified date: no instrument which comes to the market spending my name as warranty that doesn’t feature side certificate statement has been ever officially checked by me, nor even got under survey.

I strongly want to get loud about it since even in recent times not only I heard my name associated along with instruments that I’ve never seen, but even around flawed or downgraded ones about which I should have nevertheless qualified their Vintage pedigree.

Another enterprise was on my desk during these years: I had the dream to try to put together all the people involved in the vintage world in Italy into an association. I firmly believe that our Country holds a real treasure of unvaluable historic and artistic prestige and that everybody should finally know that “old” guitars, amps, electric and acoustic intruments are pure art, not just simple brokering and easy business’ subjects. I keep believing that if we should ever have our strength, our knowledges and finally our intruments joined together, our notions could get improved and then eased to the public. We could even finally demonstrate to the US experts – that legittimatelly keep the world leading in this particular “culture” – that we are second to none.

In prospect was also the “Our Vintage Soul” project, that aimed to create a one-of-a-kind showview of the complete solid bodies fender’s production, with the inside details of any of them. The hope to lead the rise of this “culture” in Italy, trying to put together the large number of italian collectors under an association and making a colleptive brand of it, finally jammed against the chilling reality of people that at the end revealed themselves jealous, envious, hipocrite, basically just business-oriented and, like many policymakers, ready to switch team to take profits and favours.

Even the Vintage and used guitar Show events that I stubbornlly managed for years, collecting weariness and balance’s deficits, while getting success and approvation among the attendance, they offered a good chance to vintage guitar’s people to spread pennyworth criticism.

With the help of Vincenzo and Luigi, I strongly sponsorized these projects hoping that vintage buddies understand that my efforts were unselfish. But finally I realized that this dream to get all together on top of the vintage world will never take place, and got all a quit. A nice co-operation of italian – even european – vintage experts and fans, a location, fun and training meetings, a global display show in some major italian towns, along with demos and stage performances, media involving… bare utopia.

All these struggling finally set me up to focus my efforts in this website which is nevertheless important for all the people who get inspiration and information, as well as to congratulate and to ask me some tips.

I’d like to point out that I’m a real collector, not a mercenary: my collection is not on the market.

For this reason I’m looking to find a definitive location to host my collection in the future: the “Fender Museum”. It is my ultimate wish, under appropriate official statements, to gift the collection to a town, county or even country that would display it by my name as a real international museum, turning revenues to a special-needs sanatory in Italy.

I’ve spotted some mistakes on the “Our Vintage Soul” 1st book due to the grafic workout in printing schedule that will be resumed with an appropriate note in the second book. I’d wish to thank: Vincenzo Atzori, Matteo Camorani, Claudio Dini and Michela Taioli for their help in managing this website. This is the Team that is currently working on the “Our Vintage Soul” 2nd layout. that pubblication will feature most of the first job’s structure, covering further items of my collection, but will also offer a large ammount of close shots of details as well as deep licterature; definitivelly the ultimate Fender book!

I’d wish to recall the Floyd Machine experience, that recently switched some elements in the band keeping high standards and collecting great success in stage performances.

During the last two years my collection became a “traveling museum” and many italian town hosted it picking up large attendance and fans from all over the world.

The website will keep updated and developed enhancing its clearness and sobriety: I prefer it easy to navigate and matter-worth rather than a mix of radical effects and stunning graphics, since I consider my collection some kind of an artistic and storic heritage of the humanity.

Flavio Camorani