The Squallor group developed in the ‘seventies out of the student-like fooling around which went on in the offices of the mythical C.G.D. in via Quintigliano in Milan. The meeting-place for the four friends was the office of the art director, a certain Alfredo Cerruti, a Neapolitan  who was well-known for having been the boyfriend of the great singer Mina. Alfredo’s office, or rather private lounge, was the kind of place where everyone wanted to be: artists, singers, technicians etc. Actually, only the chosen few were allowed in. For work, certainly, but also for phone pranks of all kinds, joke-telling and general horsing around!
These were the times of Mario Monicelli’s “Amici Miei” , and more than anything else it was a way of relieving the tension of charts, festivals, the need to come up with successes to keep record industry staff in work. In fact in the ‘eighties, when factories were being occupied and protest  bonfires being lit, a banner with the following sentence was displayed at the gates of the CGD headquarters: “SUCCESS EVERY MOMENT WITH BIGAZZI AUTHOR AND PRODUCER” …The people whose company Alfredo most enjoyed and to whom he felt closest were:  Giancarlo Bigazzi (there was complete understanding and affection between them);  Totò Salvio, a Neapolitan and Giancarlo’s close friend and co-author of successes;  and Daniele Pace,  the famous lyrics-writer.
Totò’s main job was to create great melodies and music (in total contrast to the excessive obscenities of the relative lyrics). Giancarlo thought up the subjects for the texts and then made a first draft with Pace.  If everyone laughed like crazy in these afternoon meetings in the lounge, it was a good sign, it meant in the evening they would record in the studio.
At the seventh/ninth “Balconcino” (i.e. large glass of whisky on the rocks), and with Giancarlo’s draft to hand, Alfredo, known as “the soloist”, was off and there was no stopping him! Lots of different artists wanted to be allowed into the studio when the four of them were recording, so a kind of farcical gathering was created, with the laughter getting increasingly maniacal. Despite 20 years of resounding success and profuse sales of records and tapes, including the films, they obstinately refused any kind of promotional media exposure.

1985 brought the sad death of Daniele Pace. In order to appreciate Alfredo Cerruti’s irony, sarcasm and anti-sentimentalism, we need only recall what he said when we came back from the funeral overwhelmed with sadness: “Three of us left now, lads…just like the POLICE!”. About 30 years on, only Alfredo “the soloist” is still alive. In 2005 Totò the musician died, then Elio Gariboldi (Publisher for Sugar in Munich, an old friend of all four of them and a supporter of the Squallor project). In 2012 Giancarlo “deaded himself”. “Maremma Maiala” (Tuscan profanity uttered repeatedly by Giancarlo in one of the group’s songs). Alfredo is the only surviving member of the four Squallor friends, but he’s lost his irony now.