After the stop due to the pandemic in 2020 (an event rather rare in the history of the publication, interrupted only in 1967, with the exception of the hiatus in the period between 1975 and 1983), the Pirelli Calendar comes back in dazzling form and relaunches itself, we might say. All this with specially designed packaging and a song, both by Bryan Adams, singer-songwriter with a brilliant cursus honorum in music – over 100 million records sold, three Oscar nominations, five at the Golden Globes, 15 (with one win) at the Grammys – who, since the 1990s, has embraced an equally successful photographic career, shooting covers and editorials for magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Vanity Fair, L’Officiel and Zoo.
On the Road, the title of The Cal 2022, also shares its name with the Canadian artist’s song, a preview of his new album So Happy It Hurts, due out next March. The calendar, which comes in a square vinyl LP-like package, features an ad hoc logo, celebrating the company’s 150th anniversary, alongside the elongated initial of the tyre multinational.
The underlying thread of this year’s edition is therefore the journey, presented in a tribute through images to the era, in many ways distant and unrepeatable, of great music tours, microcosms in their own right, with their own rituals, places and times. In such things the celebrities of the day took shelter out of the concert, between relaxing breaks in majestic suites (such as those of the Chateau Marmont, buen retiro of the rich and famous of Hollywood, location of glossy shots along with the Palace Theatre, also in L.A., and the Hotel Scalinatella in Capri), hairstyling and make-up sessions, moments of focusing backstage, huge luggage sets, limousine transfers and futuristic recording studios.
To interpret such a complex theme, suspended between loneliness and vitality, intimate atmospheres and references to rock stars iconography, the author brought together ten A-list names, among the most representative of international music from the Sixties onwards: St. Vincent is featured on the cover (as well as in the February photo, where she poses in the nude, faintly illuminated by the rays filtered by Venetian blinds). St. Vincent, a chameleon-like performer reluctant to any classification, figures here with a platinum bob, and, while sticking out her tongue at the observer, shows a Pirelli-marked pick. Next up is Kali Uchis, wrapped up in a nude illusion garment, with fishnet stockings and femme fatale lingerie showing; Cher, absorbed in who knows what thoughts in front of the dressing room’s full-wall mirrors; Iggy Pop, bare-chested (how else?) and covered in silver dust, ready for one of his legendary punk histrionic performances; Rita Ora, seductively posing in a bathtub in a metallic knit dress; the theatricality of rapper Bohan Phoenix, standing on a piano in cargo trousers, combat boots and silver opera gloves. The all-star cast is completed by Grimes, Jennifer Hudson, Normani and Saweetie.
Adams himself closes the roundup conceptually and in practice, being photographed in the December pages in a classic American car, putting an end to the on-the-road itinerary between music topoi and old-school stardom. It is a visual tour that deserves to be explored in depth by visiting www.pirellicalendar.com, where you can discover behind-the-scenes footage, unpublished texts and interviews with the protagonists of the 48th edition of The Cal.
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