02 July 2003

Vegetarian Restaurant Of Wonder And

13.54

Vegetarian Restaurant Of Wonder And Tastinesses, Barcelona.

Vegetarianism & Europe is rather like Online & Europe: infrequent. Liberal democracies allow for a certain degree of eccentricity, but when there are so many kinds of animals, fish & birds to eat, why stick to vegetables? One quick answer is, care. To be a vegetarian is to post your colours to the mast: it implies commitment to a way of life, a code, and therefore an ethical standard.

A vegetarian touring America in the early 1970s suffered the danger of becoming eggbound. When Crimson played with the second incarnation of The Mahavishnu Orchestra, near Cape Cod in 1974, I asked John what he eat on the road: egg salad.

Nowadays I accept that, properly put, I am a fishetarian, although carefully so. My body sometimes speaks to me and lets me know that vegetables are not enough. Although, were I to eat vegetarian dishes such as are provided here, swimming vegetables would be a less frequent part of my diet. This restaurant is next door to the hotel, which also makes it fast-food convenient.

We arrived at the hotel around 10.20. Good news: the feeding trough was available until 11.00 so I eat lightly & had coffee. Pat joined me and, as is often the case, I learnt yet another Extraordinary Tale Of Connection To The Beastly Mastelotto. This morning's degree of connection was: Prince used (most of) one of Pat's drum kits on the second Prince album. This is only one link in a network of links that encompasses The Musical World And His Mother, in very much less than six degrees, to The Beast.

The Hotel's entrance lobby & breakfast room has a 1950s feel in a 1930s framework. Room Acceptable looks into an air-well within the building, therefore has nil view but is shielded from traffic noise. It has a 1970s sensibility and a 1990s re-equipment. The Hotel's proud boast is internet connection. We'll see.

I don't really sleep on the bus, so I've been dribbling gently until shaving & into the bath at 13.30. This followed a call to David at DGM HQ to deal with latest arisings in the Crimson world.

15.33 CafÈ-Bar in A Part Of Town That The Waiter Cannot Identify On The Map.

This is about the time that I celebrate the anniversary of getting into a van and setting off for my first rock gig. I had just turned 15. In the terminology of the time, The Ravens were a "beat group" & I was the "lead guitarist". The date I remember as the end of July, although I'll have to check the archive to be sure. We played for the West Moors' Youth Club, in a field next to the railway track, set up by a friend of Gordon Haskell. Gordon lived in Verwood, a couple of villages north. The van was owned by local builder Eddie Moors (not the accordion player & music shop owner from Boscombe) and was used in the day for delivering logs. At the end of the day, the logs got out and we got in with our cheap equipment.

So, this is my 42nd. Anniversary of climbing into the back of vans and setting off to gigs. Next year is King Crimson's 35th. Anniversary of doing very much the same, although the quality of transport has, thankfully, improved. I have now been playing in public for 45 years.

18.37 After a good limp around the area, I bumped into John Sinks & The Beastly Pat in the hotel lobby, both back from their own adventures in town. Now, gently dribbling.

23.08 Re-strung, practising.

On BBC World today - a report on Latvia, the network of illegal Latvian workers in England, how they get there and to off-the-books employment. A picture came up of the MacDonald's opposite my hotel room in Riga & then the entrance to our hotel there. Now on CNN: a report on New Russians and with a housing estate of newly-built dachas for them. This was identical to the one I saw from the window of the Crimbus as we were bumping towards Moscow.

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