The searing heat continues in Italy and on the day off in Rome, it was unusually quiet on the streets. It seemed most people had left the city for the nearby beaches. I knew this as Laurie and I met up with our friends Emanuele and Marlene Pirro for an unusual tour of this iconic city…in Emanuele’s WW2 Jeep which saw action in Korea before finding its way to Italy. Jean Seal, Laurie’s American friend from London, who used to work for the band management is out with us also, so the 5 of us took to the streets. In this heat, no amount of suncream could fully protect so we were wary not to expose for too long although with the wind in our faces it was an incredible way to see the sights.

With no respite in the temperatures, the next day we embarked on a day trip to the beautiful town of Barolo near Turin. We are all very familiar with the beautiful wine from this region and in catering, a nice glass of red was sorely missed. Still, we are used to the regime of never drinking before a show… a very sensible one I hasten to add. Even though we had a couple of air conditioning units, the heat in the dressing room seemed to slow everything down and I remained horizontal for most of the pre-show period. When it was time to get ready, I felt hot so went in search of someone with a thermometer. This was the medical unit behind the stage and my body temperature was 39C. They put me on a drip and managed to get the fever down for the show but unfortunately for, and unbeknownst to me, the next five days were going to be rough going.

It was a very excitable, shall we say, rustic crowd in the beautiful town piazza which once again made for a fabulous show from the point of view of the band. After show, we flew back to Rome and into Fiumicino airport which has suffered a loss of capacity due to a fire recently. This meant we were transferred to an international terminal where a particularly unforgiving carabinieri wouldn’t let us through as we all didn’t have our passports as it was an internal flight…serious lack of communication, typically Italian, frustrating at 1:30am. We eventually were allowed through after some time and arm waving and arrived at the hotel around 2am. I wasn’t in much of a condition to celebrate Laurie’s birthday and was thankful she spent the evening with Jean and Marlene.