Padova, Italy 9 November, 2011
Staying at a very strange hotel here in Padova called B4 in the middle of office parks in the industrial part of town. A huge skyscraper of a building with the hotel occupying the first few floors. I got a corner room with 2 sides of wall to wall, floor to ceiling windows that opened. Got up, threw the drapes and unlatched every window. A sunny and mild day, it was like being outside without actually having to go there. Feeling pretty tired from the last few night lack of sleep, I decided it was simply enough to let the outside come to me, stay in and get some rest. I rang for a pot of coffee and what arrived was a small cup of espresso which I made quick work of then called again requesting a large pot of coffee. What arrived next was a regular size cup of mediocre coffee. I soon realised this was going nowhere and would cost an arm and a leg to continue any longer. The shower was a free standing glass stall right in the middle of the room behind a large cylindrical, floor to ceiling support beam. Both had to be walked around in order to get to the actual bathroom. The entire hotel was a case of design and function except wasn't functional. Everybody seemed to have a problem with their rooms, from getting the faucets to work to accessing the soap and shampoo that was proudly displayed under glass on the bathroom counter but impossible to get in to. As for that shower, mine had two temperatures... scalding hot or ice cold, apparently the mixer was in-op. A few of the guys had gym equipment in their rooms, treadmills, weights, etc... in the rooms! Unfortunately I did not and for all of B4's facade of modernity, it lacked a fitness centre. By 4 o'clock in the afternoon my bags were packed and I was starving with an hour to go before bus call. I went down to the hotel restaurant thinking I might get a small bowl of pasta and a better cup of coffee. It was testimony to glass, chrome, black and white but sadly was not serving food with the exception of a toasted cheese and ham sandwich which I gladly ordered. It arrived with a coffee that had chunks of gelatinous oily sludge at the bottom of the cup bringing to mind BP's little mishap last year down in the Gulf. We bid a hasty adieu to B4, ne'er to return, boarded the bus and off to the gig.
Being Italy, everything begins later and we took the stage at 9 tonight instead of the usual 7:30 for a stand up gig at the Palafabris Padova, a real steamer in terms of temperature and show and great to experience the Italian audience again. 6,000+ fans packed the place, so enthusiastic it sounded like 20,000.
It was couple of hours drive after the show to Florence where we'll spend the night, have a day off tomorrow and play the following day. Jim Cox regaled again us with a playlist from his encyclopedic record collection, dishing up severe musical whiplash... Sammy Davis Jr. to The Three Suns and the Vaughn Brothers in between. Let me get this straight... I'm being paid to do this? It's the best of times.