We’re three shows deep now into the Black Cat Oil Tour of Europe and feeling pretty good.
Our first show was in Idstein, near Frankfurt, where we stayed near the castle and old town of half-timbered buildings built in the 16th and 17th centuries, now crooked every which way with age but painted in bright, fresh colors.
We have a rider to our contract with the venues that explains some band members are in various levels of vegetarianism, but apparently the message doesn’t always get through. When we went upstairs for dinner after sound check we were presented with beef and mutton over rice. There was an embarrassed silence and then some incoherent mumbling before the clubowner caught on and smiled.
“But you can eat this meat safely,” he said. “These animals came from my farm. I knew them personally. The cow was Lilly, and the sheep was Erika.”
Though I usually don’t eat red meat, I’d learned a lesson about the realities of the road a few years ago in Salzburg, when we passed on beef stew and then had to make a whole meal of strawberry shortcake. I expressed silent thanks and respects to Lilly and Erika, then dug in. They were delicious.
“You come back next year,” our host said, “and we will eat Lothar.”