Richard Benson


May 23, 2022

Richard Philip Henry John Benson, known simply as Richard Benson (Woking, March 10, 1955 - Rome, May 9, 2022)[1] was an Italian singer, guitarist, radio host and television presenter of British origin.


Born with a cleft lip, in 1965 he left the UK and moved to Rome. In 1971, he joined the progressive rock band Buon Vecchio Charlie as vocalist and guitarist. His first and only self-titled album was recorded that same year, but due to unknown problems it was not released until 1990.[2] In 1972 and 1974, he participated in the "Villa Pamphili" music festival.[3][4] ]​ From 1978 to 2013, he hosted television shows related to the new musical releases of the time. The music was mostly hard rock and heavy metal, but also jazz, funk, blues, fusion, and Italian rock. In 1983, he released his first single "Animal Zoo" [5] and the following year he released the second single "Renegade". In 1987, he was included in the compilation album, "Metal Attack" (RCA Italia-Talento). In 1992, Benson appeared in the Carlo Verdone film Maledetto il giorno che t'ho incontrato. In the second half of the 1990s he gave concerts in Rome and in 1999, he released his first full-length album Madre Tortura.[6] He has also appeared on Italian national open television as a music critic (Rai 2), along with Max Giusti. His work on the show was comical as he created a kind of parody of his own character. In June 2013, he created an online television channel, "RichardBensonTV" where he hosts a show about heavy metal music.[7] RichardBensonTv closed after just over a year. In 2015, he released his second CD, L'inferno dei vivi, a rock opera produced by Federico Zampaglione [8] and the following year he returned to the fray with a third album called Duello Madre. As of September 2019, he began recording and posting on YouTube various videos in which he performs unreleased blues and pop songs on classical guitar. The music was his own, while the lyrics were written by Cinzia Colibazzi.

Illness, incidents and bad reputation

Although he stood out for his guitar skills during the 70s, 80s and 90s. Since the beginning of the 21st century he began to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis in both hands and that seriously worsened his guitar playing. On September 15, 2000, he was the victim of a fall from the Ponte Sisto in Rome, the consequence of which was a broken leg that forced him to undergo delicate rehabilitation. From there, different rumors began to circulate about the real dynamics of the incident. Benson himself would have declared that he was the victim of an assassination attempt by unknown persons, while other rumors led by Angelo Carpenelli (manager of the Istinti Musicali record store and promoter of the guitarist for many years) and other close friends of Benson maintained that it was a suicide attempt after receiving the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis that made him fall into depression. Once recovered from his injury, he returns to the stage in 2002 and over time Benson's arthritis has progressively worsened his guitar skills. As a result, Benson began to receive boos and disapproval from the public that attended the events where the guitarist appeared. While Benson was playing that audience he would start bombarding the stage with all kinds of objects, including eggs, tomatoes, liquids and on occasion more macabre objects like a raw chicken. In addition, clips of his live performances would begin to circulate on the internet and Benson has since earned a reputation as "the world's worst guitarist". Otherwise, rheumatoid arthritis would make