Sulla Strada, Capitolo Sei

Posted by Whitmore, February 8, 2008 07:10pm | Post a Comment
FIRST: This Listing Ship tour of Italy entry is a little old, the problems of traveling without a laptop and not having enough time to write … the events outlined here were ultimately an insignificant blip on the radar map of my life, a night and a mood I should just forget and ignore, but what fun is that! And though it culminates with a walk though the pitch dark (literally and metaphorically) there is -as always- whenever I can invent one ... a happy ending.

BLOOM: In late 1991 Nirvana played their first gig in Italy at this club just outside of Milan. Club Bloom holds about 300 hundred people, but if I’ve done the math correctly, (though when I presented my equation to guitarist Lyman, a Math Professor, he seemed puzzled by my efforts – but I deduced that those with a doctorate in math are just constantly puzzled), … since I figure every fourth person I’ve met in Italy was at that Nirvana show, that means at least 12,125 people were packed into Bloom that night witnessing music history. There is the other possibility that just by dumb yankee luck I’ve actually met most of those 300 audience members and my math skills and equations are as erroneous as Moses supposes his toeses are roses.

CLICKS: Early in our set, probably around the 4th or 5th song I swear I heard a click, it was the sound like a door’s deadbolt unlocking. I thought, shit this isn’t good. It’s a sound I’ve heard before in my head, and only in my head. A place where my mind paces back and forth, at a place I sneak a peak, sometimes, other times I take a seat in the dark. Luckily so far, no one has caught me, locked me in, as there is always that possibility.

OFF: I looked around the stage, the club, the back wall and everything seem to be going well. The songs were jumping, the instruments were in tune, the monitors were kicking out plenty of sound, I could see the wine in my glass gently vibrating on the amp, the lighting was cool and moody, the crowd of about 150 or 200 people were pushing closer to the stage. Earlier in the evening we had yet another incredible meal on a tour of incredible meals; and though my mind was swimming like trout up stream to die, my belly felt fine, fat and warm …

EVENTUALLY: Afterward, we packed our gear and loaded the van. I finished off the bottle of wine the promoter gave us at the start of our set, and we got back on the road to Milan following our GPS device. Senora GPS, she speaks Italian, but as of late she is either losing her digital mind or she’s taken on more human characteristics then would be systematically prudent and she is simply pissed at us. Each trip around the corner becomes an ill advised Amelia Earhart kind of expedition, traveling beyond every possible odd circuitous route through alleys, desolate countrysides, land fills and inaccessible one-way streets in parts of town even locals never trod … anyway, it may have been the bottle of wine and the quart of water I drank onstage, but about 45 minutes after leaving the club as we ambled somewhere in the middle of nowhere, thank you Senora GPS, I had to see a man about a horse. In the bone chilling cold and overcast skies, the almost complete pitch dark, I stepped out of the van. Most everyone except me and Heather and Tonia, who was driving, were asleep. All I could hear was the ice-crystals breaking under my shoes, Heather got out finding a spot of her own, I walked further and further into the dark. There were no houses nearby, just a field and a few trees, and absolute silence. The only thing I could see in the dark were crystals of ice all along the ground lighting a path under the couple of trees, inexplicably glowing from a light source I couldn’t find. And I thought for the first time that my behavior tonight was perhaps a little strange, if not just down right idiotic; if I was drunk I’d have an excuse. Well there was an excuse; sometimes things in my head go click! But as I stood there under the tree in the pitch dark looking at all the ice crystals glowing, trying to pee in the freezing cold, I thought, “Only when your reputation has been ruined can you really begin living.” I’m not sure what it meant at the moment, if it had anything to do with the night, or my life, or this tour of Italy, or our gigs, or my musicianship, or just being an occasional dumbshit; but I liked the idea, and the ramifications. I zipped up my pants, ran back into the van, and like most everyone else I was asleep within minutes.

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Italy (14), Travel (23), Blather (58), Bullshit (10), Nirvana (33), Food (32), Gps (1)