‘Skinheads’ by Davide Skin from Genoa, 1988

This is a short article by Davide ‘Skin’ that originally appeared in Italian Gradinata Nord, a zine providing “culture and free information for the Fossa dei Grifoni”, the ultras of Genoa CFC, in 1988. We would like to thank Guendalina Buonavita for sending us this little gem.

Photo by Fabrizio Barile
Translation by Francesca Chiari

To give you a bit of history, the skinhead movement began in England in 1967 as an apolitical and stadium-based movement – at the time, the British terraces were packed with skins. In Genoa, the first skins appeared in 1979 and the movement, thanks to numerous concerts and rallies, spread all across Italy. Our first official outings to the stadium were during the Italy Cup matches in the summer of 1985. In little more than a month, our banner and t-shirts that read ‘Divisione Stadio’ were ready to go. I should mention that before 1985, we were just part of the Grifoni (Genoa ultras), but then, after becoming skinheads, we got closer together as skins.

A few words on politics. People have called us ‘nazis’, but that’s not true. We all have our own political ideas, so we prefer not to talk about politics.

In 1984, our friends from Savona started writing a fanzine and produced another t-shirt. They too follow Genoa, plus they formed a skin band that has played many gigs by now [he is referring to Klasse Kriminale – Translator]. In these two years, the movement boomed in Genoa, so much so that they were able to organise evenings entirely dedicated to our music: Oi and ska. 

Fast-forward to 18 October 1986 – a great day because the well-known British band The Business were due to play in Genoa. But for some reason, they could not get to Italy, so Italian groups were playing instead. However, it all ended with a mega brawl heralding a heated rivalry between us and other Italian skins. At the moment, we are friends with the skins from Bologna, Lucca and of course Savona. In Bologna, there are two skin bands, by the way: Nabat and Ghetto 84. The former have several records under their belt, which is also due to the fact that they were the first Italian group in this genre.

Unfortunately, with the passage of time, trouble emerged among us too, and 1987-88 has seen a generational change. Unlike those who only thought of the movement as a source of profit, we will continue our struggle with the new recruits… Oi! Oi! Oi!

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