OK, all is restored. Last night's gig was rough, the crowd too distant in more ways than one. There's nothing like a gig with people sitting under your nose and loving you, and tonight in Bologna, we had it. Attractive people at that. I certainly wouldn't make the cut if I tried out for the Bolognese team. All the guys are metro, throwing off the feeble signal from my gaydar unit, something that fails me constantly anyway. And the donnas are right out the fashion magazines.
All of this is in stark contrast to our T-shirted and blue-jeaned band of rumpled warriors. I'm telling you, the men here wear cotton scarfs and 50 Euro tees, while we look like we should be working on your car. The show part of show biz is obviously now in a steep decline.
The crusty pirates on this cruise include 18-year-old Dylan, who gives as good as he gets. He has forsaken school for now, and who wouldn't? Could there be a better way to study the art of drumming than a three week tour of Europe? He is good-natured and clearly digs his dad. There is no scatological joke that he needs to be protected from. He's appropriately randy for his age and well adjusted.
Bologna tops everything so far. We went for a stroll through the old city after sound check, and words have yet to be created that can describe how lovely it is. The streets are full with students (big university town) with strollers going from cafe to courtyard, and there's some big outdoor concert in the main square.
There's always a castle, and Bologna's has an odd, sort of sawtooth crenelation at the top. There is a statue of someone who looks like a pope from who knows when and a fountain with Neptune surrounded by naked ladies who, when the proper valve is turned, squirt water in creative ways. Public art people! And the city seems to survive somehow. Neptune himself casts a wonderful shadow that my phone cam doesn't do justice, but here it is.
The take away for anyone with a brain is that they've got it right. Pedestrians and bikes first, cars come last and most of them are slow and careful. Literally 10 square blocks of people enjoying the last warm nights of Italia's extended summer, walking down the middle of the streets. We once had a mayor who envisioned this for Milwaukee, and it's still possible. Every town needs a little Bologna in it to make it more dolce.