Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 9, Rome, Italy

October 30th

- I woke up to an abrasive 7:45am.  I went out to wake up John and Chris, who were already awake.  I had left my cel phone by Bobby's bed as he was a slow riser and needed more persuasion to get up. 
- We loaded up the van and quickly headed out to meet the next driver.  Silvatorre was switching off the driving position with his friend as he had to head back home for the day.   We  had already met Camillo once back in Alessandria.
- We had a 6 hour drive ahead of us, so I tried to sleep most of it as possible.  Going into Rome, there was heavy traffic as it was some kind of holiday for that weekend.  As we near the core of the metropolis, the insanity of traffic and degree of urban development soon became apparent.  Graffiti everywhere.  Cars driving around weaving around within a hair of an inch from us at crazy speeds.
- We were nearing our destination, as we took an off ramp.  Camillo was relying solely on his GPS, which, spelled the pending doom that was soon to come.  We missed a turn so we had to drive around a round-about that spanned 2 city blocks. Camilo couldn't quite figure out how to get back in the right direction and ended up on a overpass.  Eventually he turned around and made it back to the same street and got us to the venue, but the experience definitely raised the blood pressure level with our patience.   We had no idea how insane it was to try to navigate through Rome, Camillo had never been there before and his navigation skills sucked. 
- The venue was a swanky discotheque.  We loaded our gear through the side entrance, through kitchen, through the smoking section, and across the disco floor.
Thankfully this place had a proper backstage.  The place was large as it had 3 long bars, a disco floor and lots of tables and crooks and nannies.  It was downstairs on the a cellar level, so with the archways and such, it had the cavernous feel.  We put our gear down and we had some time to at least go by our hotel and drop our bags off.  Back to the van again, but it was frustrating as Camillo couldn't find the right street and had a stupid tactic of trying to figure out where we were going by just aimlessly driving around.  His GPS wasn't working too great for him, as it couldn't tell if we were on an overpass or a normal street.  The GPS couldn't locate the address for the hotel, so we were up shits creek.  John was getting more and more aggravated as this was getting no results and Camillo couldn't just stop and ask for directions.  Eventually, we had no time to find the hotel.  We had to go back for sound check. The tension rose. 
- We did sound check.  Supper was provide for us, but there was distinctly this feeling that, as it was a swanky and probably expensive place to be, the sense of gratitude or attention towards the band was minimal if non-existent.  We joked around saying that we were probably lower than the dishwasher on the hierarchy of importance of the place. 
- We ate quickly and headed back to the hotel.  John was adamant that we leave the van parked close to the venue and take taxis to our hotel.  It took a while for Camillo to grasp that finding parking on a busy Saturday night would be next to impossible.
-  The hotel was just a number of apartments clustered together. When we arrived, we had to wait around in the street for the receptionist to show up.  Fuuuckkk.  We just wanted to rest.  We slept for a little bit before having to get up and do the show.
- Back at the venue, we had to go through the front entrance where a bouncer in a tuxedo was standing by the ostentatious entranceway.  He escorted us down the carpeted spiral staircase to make sure that the staff knew we were the musicians.
- Once inside, we retreated to the green room as it was really clear  that the social scene here wasn't our style - Them:  these stylish Italian clubbers on Saturday night party mode.  Us: Normal looking exhausted musicians playing a niche-style era music dressed in cardigans and fezzes.
- We went through our set and Bobby had to try really hard to get people into it.  Some people were bopping around a little, but it was a hard sell for these people.  With no encore, we quickly retreated back stage.  We didn't even try to sell any Cd's.   As we had a great experience yesterday but with our social time cut short, Bobby and John wanted to hang out  and experience the italian club scene a little.  We had a few more drinks and scoped out the flashing disco floor, checking out the italian party people.
- Soon after we wanted to head home, so we packed up our gear and got ready.  I stuffed about 12 bottles of SanPerigrino in our bags as the venue had a case of it for us to drink.   We had this moment where we gathered our wits as we knew it was going to be shitty being a convoy of musicians pushing through the oblivious crowd with our gear. Things got pretty hairy, where a few times I mashed an amplifier against the backs of dancers as they couldn't hear us yelling out "Skuuzee!! Skuuzee!!"  We had no reservations getting out of there and almost aggressively plowing through the crowd.
- Once in the van, we gladly got back to our hotel.  We saw a fry station at the end of our street so we decided to go down and grab a greasy bite.   I made the mistake of ordering the "piscado speciale" (seafood special).  And what the fuuuuck ???  I had to wait for fucking 45 min. for some fried fish!  I had already ordered and was waiting around for my food.  Chris and Averil already finished eating their fries.  A group of other people showed up, ordered and finished eating their food as well.   I was getting hopelessly impatient.  Finally the order came through but I was non-plussed about it.
- Back at the hotel, people were hanging out.  We had to wake up Bobby so he can enjoy the fried fish.  They were small fish, so you had just eat them whole.  We finished up and went to sleep at around 3am.  Oh, and I left the pissy gear bag in the hallway. 
...yep, we're in Rome

Inside the venue

The greasy shack, waiting for food

Hey Zen, we're almost done eating, so we're heading back...

Was this worth 45 min?

Bobby eats his fish.  Camillo stares off into space.  John brushes teeth

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