Viva Italia!

Reporting from a van somewhere on the island of Sardinia.  Italy is truly the most wondrous of places in a hundred different ways.  Working air conditioning is not one of them.  Very fun gig last night, though, double bill with Hiromi, Anthony Jackson and Steve Smith.  I begged the stage hands to go out there and tell her to slow down, but they refused…And the concert two nights before was a classic Italian scene, a big stage set up in a square in the old part of town (and “old” in Italy ain’t like “old” anywhere else!), a great crowd of people who’ve earned the right to take that sort of thing for granted, an unbelievably great dinner beforehand and a walk through the medieval streets after.

CagliariStreet

It’s easy to forget how different life is in Italy as time elapses since my last visit;  you really have to go there to experience the kind of tectonic shift in worldview that happens by just sitting at a cafe with your espresso.

MinhOnSquare

Same thing in a lot of France, parts of Spain and Portugal, the Netherlands, and I always wonder the same thing:  is 500 channels of television coming their way, to erode a lifestyle that’s been refined over thousands of years to be hugely satisfying in the most sublime ways and to slowly turn the Italians into a population where enough people give a shit about Kourtnee Kardashian that she can earn $67 million dollars a year selling her vapidity?  And despite my well-hardened cynicism about the insidious power of the Vast Wasteland to drag hapless souls down to a special hell where a 24-hour “Petticoat Junction” marathon passes for entertainment, I think there’s a good chance that it won’t fly in Italy.  TV is like the Bark Beetle;  it needs some openings in the bark of the tree to get in and start destroying it, and I don’t think there are enough openings in the bark in Italy to reach critical mass, compelling though Kourtnee’s quest for a Fabergé Tampon Cozy might be.  Denise and I are determined to get to Europe with our kids next spring for a couple months, and this little trip serves as a very vivid kick in the ass as to why.

Stage before the gig in Cagliari

Stage before the gig in Cagliari

<<<NEWS FLASH!:  the window next to me, which had been held in place by crumbling, dried-out duct tape, just damn near fell out of the van, and now Minh gets to spend the next two hours holding it in place!  Living the dream!>>>
MinhHoldsWindow


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  • Poppo on

    Hey, George. I’m enjoying reading your blog. Glad to see you made it to Italy, my favorite place in the world. Have fun and see you guys soon. Love, Lucy


  • Greg Burrows on

    Agree with everything you say about Italy. As one who’s lucky enough to be married to. European lady (& having enjoyed the appreciation of Italian audiences) I stand solidly in your corner on all points…except maybe the ‘bark beetle’ analogy…


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