In my previous life as a rock 'n' roll and punk rock drummer I was able to travel the world. In my twenties getting outside of the U.S. was my top priority. I wanted to see and feel what the some of the rest of the world was doing. And it was in those travels that something took hold, this idea of local food and local wine. Of course now it is a trend but in the early 90's when I was traveling, it was just "what people did" elsewhere.
I can still remember a pre-soundcheck meal in Cesenatico, Italy where I had my first revelation of "tagliolini in brodo." It was a family meal at a local restaurant and it was the band, the crew and the local promoter, all sitting at a communal table. Fantastic. Simple. And emblazoned in my memory. They ordered for us. And at first, I thought the soup looked boring but I was soon proved wrong by the intense flavor that screamed through (and so did most of the table after many beers and carafes of local wine). The bite of the perfectly formed pasta. The clear but perfectly luscious broth. The freshly grated Romano grated on top to add that hint of salty. There were many examples of great food and wine like this throughout various cities in all of Europe.
And when we toured in Shijuku, Tokyo, in some ways, it was an even greater experience, as the culture was further out of my comfort zone. Little sushi bars with the freshest fish I have tried, being able to buy Asahi on the street out of a vending machine, all good. The food was super and everywhere we went we could feel the love. The promoter cared. The people were engaging and again, Tokyo itself was a fantastic experience.
And that leads us to a special birthday wish to Mr Bruce Duff (Dec 6th). We were the rhythm section (bass and drums) of the Jeff Dahl Band for a few of these tours. Here are a couple of photos from those days.
Happy Birthday my longtime friend.