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Goodbye Sisto

by Les Thomas



“Can we meet at Pellegrini’s?” So opens local musician Les Thomas’s tribute to the life and memory of Sisto Malaspina, Pellegrini’s co-owner, who was fatally stabbed in the Bourke Street terror attack on Friday, 9 November, 2018.

‘Goodbye Sisto’ aims to express the sorrow of Melburnians who have been grieving the loss of someone who brought so much generosity, passion, love and laughter to the place he came to call home.

“Pellegrini’s has a special place in my heart and it’s a precious part of our bigger Melbourne family,” says Les. “In so many ways, Sisto epitomized the best of us with his warmth, humour and humanity. He stood out with his flamboyant sense of style, but he always had the confidence to be himself while bringing richness and magic to this multicultural city. We are all so much richer for the likes of Sisto, so when we lost him under such horrific circumstances, the pain was deeply felt.”

“I needed to write this song to try and process some of the grief. It’s also a way of saying thank you for what he gave and celebrating his life. If people can find some healing in it, it will be serving its full purpose.”

Rich layers of guitars build throughout, as well as mandolin, an instrument Sisto loved to play with family and friends.

Produced by Craig Pilkington (Archie Roach, Gurrumul) of Audrey Studios, this recording will resonate with everyone who has had the privilege of passing through Pellegrini’s doors.

‘Goodbye Sisto’ will be available as a free download on Bandcamp from Friday, 7 December, 2018 with other digital platforms to follow.


Can we meet at Pellegrini's
If you’ve got an hour to spare?
Cos I need to lay some flowers
For our friend Sisto there

It’s a bright November morning
And we’re feeling lost and down
We’ve lost a human treasure
Whose smile lit up the town

The streets are all taped off
After the senseless terror act
The perp is dead and Sisto too
We’re left to face the fact

Goodbye Sisto
To the ever after
Full of passion
Love and laughter
Goodbye Sisto

As I walk the streets of Melbourne
I think of everything he gave
How he made us feel so special
Precious memories to save

Can I have a long black coffee
Just like Sisto used to make?
I’ll savour his warm welcomes
With every sip I take


Through tears we say “Ciao, Bello”
Sorely missed now that you’re gone
There’s a recipe you’ve left us
And your legacy lives on

Chorus x 2


released December 7, 2018
Produced, engineered, recorded, mixed and mastered by Craig Pilkington
at Audrey Studios, Brunswick, Victoria.

Additional engineering by Heath Mackaay.

Les Thomas on vocals and acoustic guitar.

Craig Pilkington on mandolin, twelve-string guitars,
baritone guitars and electric guitar.


all rights reserved



Les Thomas Melbourne, Australia

Les Thomas is a Melbourne singer-songwriter and storyteller, known for his compelling lyrics, catchy melodies and engaging live performances.

“Les Thomas makes me want to be a better person . . . he’s a bloody good singer-songwriter.”
— Timber and Steel

"It's people like Les Thomas that keep the origins of folk forefathers alive and true." — Lauren Duiker, The Orange Press
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