Richard Benson (musician)

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Richard Benson
Benson in 2014 during a show in Ciampino, Italy
Benson in 2014 during a show in Ciampino, Italy
Background information
Birth nameRichard Philip Henry John Benson
Born(1955-03-10)10 March 1955
Woking, Surrey, England
Died10 May 2022(2022-05-10) (aged 67)
Rome, Italy
GenresProgressive rock, blues rock, hard rock, heavy metal
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1970–2022
LabelsPlaygame Music, INRI

Richard Philip Henry John Benson (10 March 1955 – 10 May 2022) was a British-Italian guitarist, singer and television personality.


Benson was born in Woking, England to a Belgian mother (with Italian origins) and a British father. He moved to Italy and was an active musician since his early teens.

In 2000, he suffered a serious leg injury when he fell off a bridge. He claimed that the accident was the result of an assault, but there are suspicions that Benson actually attempted suicide, since he was diagnosed with arthritis shortly before, which is suggested greatly impacted his guitar playing and skills. Benson had to undergo prolonged rehabilitation to be able to walk again.[1]

In November 2016, Benson and his wife Ester Esposito appeared in a video on where they revealed financial problems and asked for donations to pay for medical procedures. Benson can be seen stooped and hardly able to walk due to arthritis. It was also revealed that he suffered from heart problems and already had to undergo surgery at that point.[2]

Benson died in Rome on Tuesday 10 of May 2022, at the age of 67.[3]

Musical career

In 1971, Benson recorded with the progressive rock band Buon Vecchio Charlie a self-titled LP, which was only released in 1990 when the original record company brought out some of their early productions on CD. The album features Benson on vocals and 12-string guitar.

In 1972, he took part in the festival Villa Pamphili.[4]

In 1983, he released his first single, "Animal Zoo", an Italo disco production.[5] In the following year he released his second single, "Renegade", a song (along with the B-side "Flash Back") with electro-rock tones.[6]

In 1984, he wrote and recorded music for the cult movie The Incinerator (Italian title L'inceneritore) in which he also appeared in a small role as a street gang member.

In 1987, he produced the compilation album, Metal Attack (RCA Italy – Talent), where he sings on the track Exotic Escape that he also co-wrote.[7]

In 1999, he released a solo album called Madre Tortura, that featured progressive hard-rock tracks. In 2015, he released L'inferno dei vivi on the label INRI, a rock-opera-style concept album with electronic elements, and the accompanying single I Nani.[8]

In 2016, Benson released Duello madre, a digital compilation of tracks from earlier releases.[9]

In September 2019 Benson published several videos on Youtube in which he performs unpublished blues and pop songs on the classical guitar. The music is his work, while the lyrics are written by Cinzia Colibazzi.[10]

TV and movies

During the 1970s and 1980s, Benson hosted various programs about contemporary alternative music on TV and radio. In 1992 he played himself as a TV host in Carlo Verdone's successful film Maledetto il giorno che t'ho incontrato.[11][12]

In the 1990s and 2000s, Benson often appeared as a guest on RAI, the prime Italian channel, usually judging musicians. His appearances were often over the top and satirical in nature.[citation needed]



  • 1999: Madre Tortura
  • 2015: L'inferno dei vivi – a rock-opera produced by Federico Zampaglione[13]
  • 2016: Duello madre (compilation/digital downloading)


  • 1983: "Animal Zoo"
  • 1984: "Renegade"

Albums with others

  • 1990: Buon Vecchio Charlie by Buon Vecchio Charlie (recorded in 1971)

Live bootlegs

  • 2003: Bootleg Infernale
  • 2004: Il Natale del Male


  1. ^ "true believers: RICHARD BENSON". Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  2. ^ Roma, Richard Benson è malato: "Sono rimasto senza un soldo, aiutatemi",
  3. ^ "Morto Richard Benson, il musicista aveva 67 anni". 10 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Villa pamphili 1972". Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  5. ^ Richard Benson (2) – Animal Zoo,
  6. ^ Richard Benson (2) – Renegade,
  7. ^ (in Italian) Info at He also performed four music "intermissions" inserted inbetween the tracks. Archived 26 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Richard Benson – L'inferno Dei Vivi (2015, CD)". Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  9. ^ "Richard Benson – Duello Madre (2016, VBR, File)". Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  10. ^ grossi (13 December 2020). "Richard Benson torna e canta: "Sono più vivo che mai"". Adnkronos. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  11. ^ Paolo Mereghetti. Il Mereghetti. B.C. Dalai Editore, 2010. ISBN 88-6073-626-9.
  12. ^ Roberto Chiti; Enrico Lancia; Roberto Poppi. Dizionario del cinema italiano: I Film. Gremese Editore, 2002. ISBN 8884401372.
  13. ^ (in Italian) [1]Richard Benson back in music stores with "L'inferno dei vivi"]. Panorama, 18 March 2015.

External links