Armando Gallo was born in Oriago, Italy, an ancient village a few miles from Venice. He has been a photo journalist since 1967, when he was lucky enough to make his way to the listening party of The Beatles “Sgt Pepper Lonely Heart Club Band”. His article was published as an Italian exclusive in the weekly magazine, “BIG”. Inspired by this experience he soon left his career as an architectural designer to become the London correspondent for the Italian rock weekly “CIAO 2001”, the rock bible for the young Italian generation of the late ’60s and ’70s. covering the extraordinary swinging London and the ever changing British pop scene.
He left London in the Spring of 1975 to take a position in Los Angeles as a correspondent for the the top weekly “TV Sorrisis e Canzoni” covering the Hollywood scene, interviewing John Wayne and Henry Fonda and a young Steven Spielberg. When he heard the news from London that Peter Gabriel had left Genesis, one of his favorite British band, he decided to write a book about them, “otherwise a beautiful story would be lost forever” he said. Peter had found difficulties to jump-start his solo career. Music publishers and record companies seamed unsure of his songwriting talent, as Genesis, with drummer Phil Collins taking over as lead singer, went on to be more successful then ever. For Armando the book was meant to set the real story of Genesis and Peter strong contribution during their first formative years, and also a way to document the late ’60s and early ’70s, an era that he witnessed and remembered with passion. Genesis The Evolution of a Rock Band was published by Sidgwick and Jackson of London in June 1978 to coincide with Genesis headlining the Knebworth rock festival.
The book was published in USA as I Know What I Like in April 1980 by Armando’s own imprint, DIY Books, a company inspired by Peter Gabriel’s song DIY – “if you want to keep it under control/ keep it small, do it yourself/ DIY DIY…” The book went on to three reprints, but a limited national distribution. It was sold mostly in record stores, a pioneering and successful experiment. In Britain Sidgwick and Jackson became the distributor of the new book.
In 1982, he formed DIY Books Europe in order to publish an Italian, French and German version of the Genesis book and the following year, with his brother Claudio on board, he changed the name to Fratelli Gallo Editori, an Italian publishing company, producing and publishing over 40 rock books and the monthly magazine PIX Photorock that featured the artists of the month thro’ the eyes of their personal photographers and the best Italian journalists. The magazine had no advert, but a higher cover price that the fans kept alive for 2 years.
In October 1986, following the inspiring Amnesty International’s Conspiracy of Hope tour, he self published a special book that he had been working on with Peter Gabriel. This is not a biography, he wrote in the introduction. The text was from a series of late night conversations with Peter and it was laid-out around photos of Peter’s solo tours. I Know What I Like and Peter Gabriel are still now among the most widely sought after memorabilia for fans of Genesis and Gabriel fans worldwide.
In April 1987 Armando started touring with U2 as a live concert photographer. By the end of 1992’s Achtung Baby tour he produced a video of the song Even Better Than The Real Thing that he shot on video and stills and co-directed with Italian graphic artist Flavio Kampah. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GLGx6kxIN4
A collection of celebrities, have shown their love for the Genesis book, an entree to fans of their musicf from around the world. One notable fan seen reading I Know What I Like was Bob Marley perusing it on the steps of his home in Kingston, Jamaica in May 1980 when Armando interviewed him one month before Marley and the Wailers’ European tour.
In September 2014 Armando released an App of his 1980 Genesis book. The project was wanted and financed by Genesis fans from all over the world with a Kickstarter campaign headed by Gabriel Foux who co-directed the project with Armando and Zentric of Buenos Aires. The App is easily downloadable in iTunes: http://bit.ly/genesis-ipad-app
Gallo has worked as a photo-journalist in Hollywood for over 40 years and was awarded two Telegatto awards in 1998 and in 2000 for his work as a correspondent. In 2009 he was the first recepient of The Traveling Heart award in Los Angeles during the HITWEEK music festival for his contribution to Italian music abroad. The award was presented to him by one of the most respected Italian singer songwriter, Franco Battiato. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCjoHic7vhw&list=PL25126F1492FE4AA6&index=2
He is a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association since 1978 and as such he is a voting judge for the Golden Globes. His photographs of the most famous movie stars and rock musicians have graced many magazine and album covers. His photography is represented now by Zuma Press: http://zumapress.com/
His first LOVE: Rock’nRoll.
Musicians and bands that Armando Gallo has photographed & interviewed: Genesis -U2 -Peter Gabriel -R.E.M.-Pink Floyd-Led Zeppelin-Paul McCartney -Frank Zappa -Red Hot Chili Peppers -Bob Marley -Franco Battiato -Kate Bush -Blondie -TOTO -BB King -David Bowie -Alice Cooper -Deep Purple -KISS -Queen -The Who -Heart -Madonna -Phil Collins -Lou Reed -Boy George -Bruce Springsteen –Bon Jovi -Iggy Pop -Earth Wind and Fire -A~HA -B52 -Joan Baez -George Benson -Alanis Morisette -Prince -Pavarotti -Zucchero -Vasco Rossi -Andrea Bocelli -PFM -Emerson Lake & Palmer -Peter Frampton -Green Day -Eddie Vedder -Pearl Jam -Van Graaf Generator -Quiet Riot -Jovanotti -Marco Masini -Counting Crows -Ben Harper -The Sex Pistols -America -The Babys -Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow -The Cranberries -Missing Person –Barbra Streisand and many more…
Armando Gallo 2013 Photo by Chris Canada