Day 6: Strade Blu Festival, Faenza Italy

Missionaries for the Wait and See Position


One of the best gigs on the tour. We run into a couple expatriates. The food was to die for. Roasted vegetables and more flan. Our hosts are all around five star hangs.

The gig is outdoors in an old square. The sound bouncing off the architecture is very forgiving. We're starting to play decent. Jack and Daren begin to lock in. We notice, though that Daren seems to have a lump high on the right side of his forehead. But we're cooking. Yes, we are.

Sort of.

Tonight we're at a great hotel with a super cool Buick Skylark like Cappuccino machine in the lobby. For some reason I take a picture of it. I'm slowly learning to use this new digital camera I bought. I'm too smart for those dumb ass owners manuals. I'll post the pictures on my website in the gallery.

Yeah, right.

I reach for Homicide (like a lot of criminals, I like True Crime) by David Simon —a paperback I've been munching on, but it occurs to me after shaking out by backpack and suitcase, it's probably back in the hotel in Vienna.

Hate when that happens.

I'm still buzzing from the gig. Bouncing off the walls to what's easily 15 channels of TV (if you count the Italian Home Shopping Network).

ANYWAY, 15 channels is like 13 more than there used to be in the UK. Did it ever occur to anyone that by running the color bar with the clock, Big Brother was sending a sinister message: "We're showing you this color bar, but we could be showing you reruns of The Bob Newhart Show or The Little Rascals. Tough tittie's lads, now go to bed, her majesty requires your presence bright and early in the salt mines."

But so much has changed, even the pubs in England stay open as late as they wish. Adults are being treated like grown-ups and given choices about when to go to bed at night.

It'll never work. What in God's name were they thinking?

Things change or they don't. The best hotels are not necessarily the swankiest. If you can lie in the bathtub and watch the TV at the same time then you know you're in a nice place. A good cable package is an added bonus. That goes without saying. This is one of those in the middle of nowhere places away from busy streets and shops. I venture a stroll. No particular place to go.

Time fades away, but things don't really change. My inner dialogue goes off, Gee, I don't ever remember "man-boobs" ever working their way into a conversation. That's new. I've heard the word man boob more times in the last three days than in my entire life. It's come up today like 18 times... gynomastis? No. "Man boobs." For a while, I tried to convince myself that I was still in Greece and "manboobs" was maybe a Mediterranean delicacy, Something like odd pasta -- like couscous. But they mean, yeah, gynomastis: man boobs.

Still, that fried pie sure was good. That was in Greece, right?

Green on Red? We're not bridled by convention like "product" for now. I'm happy to be out here. A good distraction. And I've got true affection for these guys, Jack, Danny, Chris and that drummer... what was his name?

Back in Chuck World, touring behind my last record, the label had adopted the dreaded "wait and see" position. No hard feelings, it happens. Which is like driving with the brakes on. Crawling along at a speed you can see your future. There's no mystery of chance working in your favor. Rock and roll is all about the Big Mystery. The Big What Happens Next? Anyway, that's my job, why complain?

Because it feels good?

Green On Red? What are we doing out here? Ya know, in Hip Hop, Old School's anything more than five years old. Not sure what that makes Green On Red. Maybe we're the school, the old firetrap they burned down to build the new school. Or the vacant gravel ditch lot where they built the first school. Someday they'll tear this school down and build a Wal-Mart where we can watch clips of the old school through window on a flat screen TV no less. Friend of mine sometimes talks, rather sadly, about a dacha -- a cabin, a country place—he owned between the Sheremetevyo Airport and Moscow, right where there's a giant, startling, looming sculpture to mark the point where the Russians stopped the Nazis on the Eastern front in that really big war. His ramschackle cabin is gone: and what's there now is an IKEA. Yep.

Even if you don't like TV, I'm sure there will be something on to watch.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, right.

Gotta crash. Tomorrow we might get to spit on a Hobbit.