Dik Dik is an Italian beat-pop-rock band, named after the antelope Dik-dik, formed in the 1960s and still in activity. They were most popular in the late 1960s, when they released a string of hit singles with the contribution of renowned lyric-writer Mogol and songwriter Lucio Battisti, their greatest successes being "Sognando la California" and "Senza luce", respectively covers of "California Dreamin'" by The Mamas and Papas and "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum. While their early production is mostly inspired by The Beatles, in the 1970s they also experimented in other genres, including progressive rock. They went on hiatus in the 1980s but later returned to the scene, mostly in revival television shows and live performances.
Dik Dik formed in Milan in 1965. The original line-up included Giancarlo Sbriziolo (aka Lallo) on vocals and bass, Pietro Montalbetti (aka Pietruccio) on guitar, Erminio Salvaderi (aka Pepe) on guitar, Sergio Panno on drums and Mario Totaro on keyboards. Their first single, 1-2-3, was a cover version of the song by Len Barry. Their second single, Sognando la California, was released in October 1966 and ended up topping the Italian charts for two months. Dik Dik subsequently released a string of successful singles, mostly a mix of original compositions and Italian renditions of popular songs by other artists, including Il mondo è con noi (1966), Inno (1967, cover of Let's go to San Francisco by The Flower Pot Men), Senza luce (1967, cover of A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum), Il vento (1968), and Il primo giorno di primavera (1969). In 1969 they performed with Rita Pavone at the Festival della canzone italiana in Sanremo. Other singles released in the following years include L'isola di Wight (1970), Vendo casa (1972), Storia di periferia (1973), Help Me (1974), and Volando (1975, a cover of Sailing by Rod Stewart).
Their long-playing albums were not commercially successful. Their first three releases, largely collections of their singles, were published in 1967, 1969, and 1970 respectively. In 1972 the band recorded the first proper studio album, Suite per una donna assolutamente relativa ("Suite for an absolutely relative woman"), which was an experiment in progressive rock. Suite was conceived as a concept album about the feminine universe, with lyrics by artist and poet Herbert Pagani; it was very different from Dik Dik's previous production, and was somehow rejected by their audience, resulting in a commercial flop. As a consequence, the band thereafter returned to their earlier pop-beat style.
From the mid-1970s to the early 1980s the band experienced several personnel changes, with Panno and Totaro leaving in 1974 (replaced by Roberto "Hunka Munka" Carlotto on keyboards and Nunzio "Cucciolo" Favia on drums), and Sbriziolo leaving in 1978 (replaced by two guitarists, Roberto "Roby" Facini and Rosario Brancati). In 1980 Carlotto was replaced by keyboard virtuoso Joe Vescovi, who had been collaborating with the band since 1974. Dik Dik's alienation of the mainstream audience continued with ambitious sonic experiments such as I'te vurria vasà (1976), which drastically departed from Dik Dik's traditional sound, and also with the advent of disco music, which caused the decline of several pop-rock bands.
After a couple of relatively successful singles, such as Laser vivente (1980) and Giornale di bordo (1982), the band went on hiatus. Pietruccio, Pepe, and Lallo eventually reconvened and released a few more singles such as L'amico mio (1983) and Senza luce... reggae (1984), and participated in the Musicaitalia per l'Etiopia humanitarian project for Ethiopia.
In 1986, Favia and Carlotto gave life to a spin-off of the band, originally named "Carlotto e Cucciolo già Dik Dik" or simply "Dik Dik", which led to a legal quarrel about the ownership of the "Dik Dik" brand. The dispute went on until 2006, when the name "Dik Dik" was finally given to Pietruccio, Pepe, and Lallo; Favia and Carlotto thus had to choose another name, "Già Dik Dik" ("Ex Dik Dik").
From the second half of the 1980s, Dik Dik returned to the scenes participating in popular music revival television shows such as Una rotonda sul mare. In 1993 they performed again at the Festival di Sanremo together with former rivals I Camaleonti, another band from the 1960s-1970s Italian scene, and Maurizio Vandelli from Equipe 84.
Dik Dik are still occasionally performing. In 1997 they have started their own website.
In 2010, Pietruccio has published an autobiographical book about the history of the band, I ragazzi della via Stendhal ("The Via Stendhal Boys", a reference to Molnár's novel "The Paul Street Boys" as well as a reference to the street where Lallo and Pietruccio grew up in Milan).
- Giancarlo "Lallo" Sbriziolo: vocals, bass, guitar (1965-present)
- Pietro "Pietruccio" Montalbetti: lead guitar, vocals, bass (1965-present)
- Mario Totaro: keyboards (1965-1974)
- Sergio Panno: drums (1965-1974)
- Nunzio "Cucciolo" Favia: drums (1974-1982)
- Roberto "Hunka Munka" Carlotto: keyboards (1974-1977)
- Roberto "Roby" Facini: vocals, guitar (1977-1982)
- Rosario Brancati: guitar (1978-1982)
- Joe Vescovi: keyboards (1978-2007, died 2014)
- Erminio "Pepe" Salvaderi: rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocals (1965-2020, died 2020)
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- Dik Dik (1967, Dischi Ricordi)
- Il primo giorno di primavera e altri successi (1969, Dischi Ricordi)
- Suite per una donna assolutamente relativa (1972, Dischi Ricordi)
- Storie e confessioni (1973, Dischi Ricordi)
- Volando (1976, Ri-Fi)
- Amico (1978, Ri-Fi)
- Live (1989, Durium)
- Come fossero farfalle (1991, Carosello)
- Come passa il tempo e i più grandi successi (1993, Dischi Ricordi)
- Isole in viaggio (1997, Duck Records)
- Sogno Beat (2000, Duck Records)
- L'isola di Wight e altri successi (2000, MBO Music)
- Uno in più e i grandi successi beat (2000, MBO Music)
- Ingresso gratuito (2003, Dik Dik Records)
- Sold Out (2008, Dik Dik Records)
- 1-2-3/Se rimani con me (1966, Dischi Ricordi)
- Sognando la California/Dolce di giorno (1966, Dischi Ricordi)
- Il mondo è con noi/Se io fossi un falegname (1967, Dischi Ricordi)
- Guardo te e vedo mio figlio/Senza luce (1967, Dischi Ricordi)
- Inno/Windy (1967, Dischi Ricordi)
- Il vento/L'esquimese (1968, Dischi Ricordi)
- Dimenticherai/Eleonora credi (1968, Dischi Ricordi)
- Zucchero/Piccola arancia (1969, Dischi Ricordi)
- Il primo giorno di primavera/Nuvola bianca (1969, Dischi Ricordi)
- Primavera primavera/Sogni proibiti (1969, Dischi Ricordi)
- Io mi fermo qui/Restare bambino (1970, Dischi Ricordi)
- L'isola di Wight/Innamorato (1970, Dischi Ricordi)
- Vivo per te/Quattro bicchieri di vino (1970, Dischi Ricordi)
- Vivo per te/Dove vai (1970, Dischi Ricordi)
- Ninna nanna (Cuore mio)/Incantesimo (1970, Dischi Ricordi)
- Vendo casa/Paura (1971, Dischi Ricordi)
- Viaggio di un poeta/Oggi no (1972, Dischi Ricordi)
- Il cavallo, l'aratro e l'uomo/Senza luce (1972, Dischi Ricordi)
- Storia di periferia/Libero (1973, Dischi Ricordi)
- Il confine/Ma perché (1973, Dischi Ricordi)
- Help Me/Sono nato (1974, Dischi Ricordi)
- Piccola mia/Uno strano sentimento (1975, Dischi Ricordi)
- Volando/Ossessioni (1975, Dik Dik Records)
- I' te vurria vasà/Come una bambina (1976, Dik Dik Records)
- Un giorno, cento anni/Flowers freedom and love (1977, Dik Dik Records)
- Io, te e l'infinito/Walking in the Sunshine (1977, Dik Dik Records)
- Amico/Senza di te (1978, Ri-Fi)
- Strani fili/Hard Stuff (1978, Ariston Records)
- Dimenticare Venezia/Sentimento (1979, Ariston Records)
- Laser vivente/Dolce amara tu (1980, Ariston Records)
- Vuoto a rendere/Mamamadama (1980, Ariston Records)
- Giornale di bordo (1982, Lupus)
- L'amico mio/Compagnia (1983, Numero Uno)
- Senza luce...reggae/Alza la vela al vento (1984, Five Record)
- Un giorno d'amore/Primo round (1985, Durium)
- Quando verrà Natale/L'isola di Wight (1990, Carosello)
- del Canale, Lorenzo (2014). Good Vibrations: storia intima della musica pop attraverso canzoni indimenticabili. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 9781503316416.
- Dik Dik: Suite per una donna assolutamente relativa
- Dik Dik, canzoni e biografia
- Review of Suite per una donna assolutamente relativa
- Dik Dik: Biografia Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine
- Dik Dik
- I Dik Dik raccontati da Pietro Montalbetti Archived 2007-02-24 at the Wayback Machine
- La California in Via Stendhal