Our Italian tour got off to a good start in Mantua (Mantova) in a courtyard around the corner from a theater where Mozart once performed.
Marlon could not join us for this trip, so we’ve hired in an Italian drummer named Paolo Xeres. We met Paolo and his brother Marco when their band played a festival with us here in February, and we all went out to a memorable dinner together after that show. Paolo had studied the recordings well and fit right in with us.
The next day we flew south to Palermo in Sicily, where after dinner we wandered into a tenement district street festival. Bands were playing. Teenagers gunned scooters at full speed through the crowd. Little boys lit firecrackers. The night was loud, bright and crazy, and we couldn’t look around without grinning.
The next morning our friend Enzo Tropepe took this tour to a new level when he showed up in a 1973 fastback Chevy Impala. As he drove us on the highway west to Alcamo drivers of Fiats and Smart Cars honked, waved and gave us thumbs up. Our hotel was on a narrow medieval street, but we had no problem finding parking. The hotel people insisted that Enzo park the big machine directly in front with “spazio riservato” signs by either bumper.
In Alcamo we played in a plaza to an audience, the promoter estimated, of about 2,500. It was the first time I’d seen crowd surfing at a Delta Moon show. Afterwards we went to a club on the beach and jammed with the band there. We finally got to sleep about four in the morning, worn out but happy.
Sunday we rode in the Impala to a beautiful Tyrrhenian Sea beach town called Capo d’Orlando, where we played among the trees at a hillside villa. The promoter insisted that Enzo park the Impala by the stage, where it gathered some messages written in dust on the fastback. Behind the stage a lit arbor path led to a dog cemetery.
The scenery in Italy is gorgeous, and the food is delicious. But more than anything else, Delta Moon is in love with the Italian people. It’s hard times here. We have had one festival cancelled at the last minute because there was no money. There is talk that the schools in some cities may not reopen. But the people have big hearts and ready smiles. Delta Moon likes to make friends, and we feel we have many friends in Italy.
I’ll close with this photo of our friend Enzo Tropepe on the beach.