La Trio formidabile!!

The bandwagon ... traveling in style!
($180 to fill the tank.  Ouch!)

~ We had a Sunday off, so we took a drive into northern Italy to revisit Crotto d'Arzo, a wonderful restaurant we had been to a year ago when we played at Valtellina.  We had a pasta dish that's famous in that region, Pizzoccheri.  (Look it up.)

Pete, Roger (our agent), the family that owns the restaurant,
John, Giovanni, Harvey, Max and Cristina - Maria took the photo.
Check out that we're all holding our glasses the same way ... except for the chef.  I guess that's why he's a chef!

~ 10/2/09  Our first gig was in Biel, Switzerland ("Bienne" if you prefer French) at St. Gervais Etage, where we were warmly welcomed by the owner, Beat Junker.  Biel is a very cool town, and we had a great time.  But in a first for me I left my camera in the hotel room and didn't get a single photo!  (I'm so ashamed!)  OK, I got one - here just below.  The only AC outlet in my room was in the ceiling, so I had to get resourceful with adapters and duct tape.  (I know, it's not a great tour shot, but it's the only one I got.  Sorry.)


~ 10/5/09  This turned out to be one of those bad road stories.  We were booked Tuesday and Wednesday at the Casa Bar in Zurich.  We got there to find potential disaster.  We don't expect star treatment or that everything will be perfect (it never is) but the drum set was a wreck, the club didn't have any guitar amp, the keyboard amps I hired weren't delivered because the club wouldn't let the rental company in, and then they wouldn't let us in because the staff was getting an "Italian lesson." Hey, sometimes there's just nothing to do but punt! We loaded everything back into the van and got outa town.  Backing out of a gig;  in over 30 years, that was a first time for me, and I really didn't like doing it.  But sometimes, it's clearly the right thing to do. Incredibly, the club owner,  knowing that his band for the show that night was taking a hike, didn't even care enough to interrupt his lunch. So, it was meant to be. We stopped on the road at a lakeside pub with a picture postcard view to have a beer and let the day's tension drain away.  By the time we got to Lugano, it was all history.  So there's just one photo from Zurich ... me at the lake, sipping an excellent local beer and ignoring a jaw-dropping view while doing email with my global cellular modem.  (I love my toys!)

Zurich ... A hot dog costs $9 in this burg!
Parked illegally on a walking street; locked out of the venue for over an hour;  Pete is not a happy bandleader!
2 hours later, we were on our way back out of town.

~ 10/08/09   at Le Moulin de la Butte in Santeny, France.  Great venue, really nice people running it, excellent back line, very good sound and very good food.  Near Paris, but a little off the beaten path, this is a really nice Jazz club - and clearly a lot of folks go out of their way to find it.  We had a ball.


Photos: Alain Chauché

Photos: Alain Chauché

Photo: Alain Chauché

Pete, Franck Assimon, (Le Moulin owner), Gilles (sound mixer), Harvey, John


They've got a neat tradition at Le Moulin:  After the gig they have the artists press their hands into cement, which becomes a wall hanging in the club.  I spotted 3 in their gallery from my brother Tony's "Stickmen" band.  They had played there a couple of weeks before us.

Pete hands

John hands.  (He included a guitar pick!)

During a long drive through the Swiss Alps, we paused at a convenient rest stop.  No charge to use this one.

~ 10/10/09  Basel, Switzerland at the Bird's Eye Jazz club.  A real nice, intimate venue in the heart of this incredible city.  We cruised the shopping districts, but everything was way out of our budget.  In our hotel restaurant, a cheeseburger is $22!  It's a great town to hang out in, especially if you're on a diet!

Photos: Roger Salem

Pete & Roger Salem, Swiss agent

~ 10/11/09  Fribourg, Switzerland at the Cintra Cafe.  We were a bit concerned about getting a turnout here on a Sunday night, but the place was packed.  Folks came out and gave us a great welcome. We adjusted our set list a little and rocked the joint! The Cintra is a beautiful club with a great vibe.  Tonight somebody asked me why such a great band is playing in a small club like this.  I thanked him for the compliment and stold him, "because we love doing it!  Even though they don't pay as well, these are our favorite gigs."

The trio with Cintra Cafe owner Francis Tanguely

~ 10/12/09  We did a great concert in this tiny restaurant in Lugano.  The night was more like a party than anything else.  Just below, hanging out after dinner with Gourmetz owner Yve Legler 

Photos: Roger Salem

~ 10/13/09   Milano, Italy at the Blue Note


The only venue we played at where the backline actually matched the setup plan.  No surprises is good!

Photo: Laura Passera

Photo: Roger Salem

Photo: Roger Salem
Youtube video posted by Laura Passera




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