Buying or selling vinyl music online can be problematical, but I doubt Astrud Gilberto would have expected to be involved in a scheme to arrest someone over it.

For me, apart from one package which went AWOL, and another package that arrived pretty destroyed. The bad news is that package had contained a rare Esther Phillips test pressing that was completely split in half, unplayable. I’d never considered though that I could be dealing with criminals.

There is a long and fascinating backstory to Astrud Gilberto’s 1965 GRAMMY award winning song “The Girl From Ipanema”, produced by Creed Taylor. Given it was such a breakthrough recording, there are long stories about both the lyrics for the track, and the recording session, this makes an interesting footnote.

Confused? You won’t be, but don’t start by trying to translate the tweet. What it says is that an Italian fugitive Roberto Vivaldi has been arrested in Venezuela. It turns out that Vivaldi was sentenced to 20-years in prison for financial crimes including fraudulent bankruptcy and money laundering.

The 69-year-old financier went on the run from the Italian authorities and managed to avoid capture for 25-years. His undoing though was a result of Atsrud Gilberto’s “The Girl From Ipanema. How so?

Italian police tracked down Vivaldi through his social media accounts. From those, they learned he was selling records online. Italian police bought some records from Vivaldi, waited for them to arrive. Once they had the records, they dusted the albums for fingerprints and established that one set were indeed from Vivaldi. Bingo.

That wasn’t the end of it, Italian police had more to do before they could arrest Vivaldi and extradite him back to Italy. That’s not really the point of this story though. What’s of interest here, is which pressing could it have been?

There are some 400 pressings that include Astrud Gilberto’s version of “The Girl From Ipanema”[1]“the girl from ipanema” Astrud Gilberto and Vinyl music | Discogs. It’s possibly the second most covered track ever, after the Beatles “Yesterday”[2]The Elusive Girl From Ipanema – WSJ. The Times[3]Girl from Ipanema catches out Italian fugitive Roberto Vivaldi after 25 years on run | World | The Times reports that it was definitely a “vinyl LP”, so that eliminates CD’s. Only a fool would actually leave fingerprints on the vinyl record itself, surely?

Even if they did, wouldn’t the grooves make it difficult to lift reliable prints, I think so. So that leaves the covers. I’ve only seen a few of the pressings that include the track. I’ve especially not seen many of the 7″/45RPM/Single versions. The one I’ve owned for the longest time, is the original Getz/Gilberto album that won the GRAMMY for “Best Record” and one of the first UK stereo release probably from 1972. You can swipe back and forward to review the cover.

I’m sure there are others that include a glossy, laminated-style cover, but that’s my choice and I’m sticking with it. Wikipedia has detail on the song[4]The Girl from Ipanema – Wikipedia, the album[5]Getz/Gilberto – Wikipedia and Astrud[6]Astrud Gilberto – Wikipedia. How long before Vivaldi makes an appearance? Enquiring minds want to know.

The 7th GRAMMY Awards were held in April 1965, at Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills. The awards cover music issued in 1964, João Gilberto & Stan Getz won 4 awards. I covered this last year with some background about the award ceremony [7]On This Day: The GETZ / GILBERTO Grammys – Creed Taylor Produced (ctproduced.com).

Don’t forget, if you are selling vinyl online, and have anything to hide, wear gloves and wipe down records with a microfiber cloth before selling them. This of course is always good practice, even if you are not an Italian criminal on the run!

Leave a Reply