Alexandre D’Huy and I broke away from The Original Sticker Story at rue Ternaux, for a beer in the afternoon at Les Nuns. I wanted to show him the string that was probably still hanging in Les Nuns, from 2004 the night we met. We arrived there and sure enough the string Ron and I put up at Les Nuns to hang posters from was still there. David, the bartender from Au Petit Garage, right down the street was stopping by Les Nuns to talk to a friend, and invited us over to Au Petit Garage for a drink. And wouldn’t you know it, there was the poster for The Art of Modern Rock opening that Ron and me and Lindsey Kuhn hung on the wall from five years ago.
David asked me and Alex if we would like to do a show the following night. And of course, the answer was YES! We had a great time! Lots of old friends showed for the fun. Was great to see Olivier Votelet and wife Marion and all the cool folks that inhabit the 11th of Paris. Thanks David! Hope to come back again real soon.
After making our show for a week at the Glastonbury Music Festival, Ron and I took the long train ride to Paris from Bristol. We had been out of contact for a week or more and we were driven to show up right on time for our big Paris show at Sesame, the restaurant / gallery owned by our very dear friend Lena Balacco, at 51 quai de Valmy, Paris 75010. Good news, Lena has extended our very successful show at Sesame until September 6th, 2010.
We arrived by cab just in time. Lena gave me a running hug that just about knocked me over! The show looked beautiful! What a fantastic night! It was so great to catch up with all my old friends there. Lena and her husband Charles Mammarot and their daughter (my adorable God-daughter Elvis) have made such a beautiful life here at the edge of the canal St. Martin. We stayed here in Paris for a week, and really fell into a sweet life, hanging out with Lena and Charles and brother Jin Balacco, criss-crossing Paris on moped, playing petanque in the square nearby, having great dinners, visiting old friends, like my very good friend Alexandre D’Huy and his girlfriend Atsoupe. Here’s some pictures of the show, life with Charles and Lena and fun evenings at the edge of the canal.
Jin and Lena – Sesame and show (click image for larger view):
Lena enjoying drinks by the canal with Sesame in the background (Psychedelic Secession poster visible in window):
Family portrait at the flea market near Republique. I bought my girlfriend Nancy a cool jewel box here from the time of Napoleon III:
View of the canal in front of Sesame:
Alexandre D’Huy – we made a couple of spontaneous shows with Alex while we were staying in Paris (see the next posts):
Nothing compares to great conversation at the end of every night with Charles and a few glasses of pastis:
And nothing goes better with pastis than petanque in the park. Ron draws a picture in the sand with Elvis while Charles throws a ball into the trees:
First time in Genova, and WOW! What a great – I mean GREAT place – and so many cool people! Boy did we have a night! I was getting ready for the Italian leg of my Psychedelic Secession Tour, and Massimo Perasso contacted me on Facebook to do a show at Taxi Driver Record Store in Genova. Then Sara Twinn jumped into action and wrote me another, longer mail. Y’know, I had never been there before – what was I missing? So I booked the show, wondering what would happen.
I was met at the train and immediately taken to the cool as hell Taxi Driver and there was a square filled with tents and set about hanging posters, while the great hosts at Taxi Driver brought out some really yummy focaccia – a specialty of Liguria. I’d lived in a small town on the shoreside of Liguria for 7 months (as if anywhere in Liguria is NOT on the shore), and it was a mystery, this Capitol of the Ligurian province, Genova. What met me was the friendliest welcome you can possibly imagine!
As the show wound to a close, we went in a group of 12 or 13 to dinner, through the incredible maze of streets of Genova. I had dinner with Sara who runs Taxi Driver, with poster artist Kabuto and all the members of Gandhi’s Gunn, Massimo’s band, and assembled friends and artists. I decided then and there that I’d return in October for a print demonstration – as much to spread the word about silkscreen printing as much as to hang out with all these cool people again! We took a walk down to the harbor, and I saw the amazing lighthouse of the port. We topped off the night at Giovanni Chirico’s Checkmate – hauling the festivities kicking and screaming into the dawn – and early morning munchies. Along the way Gio kept offering me the very very best Trappist Brews – saying, “This beer, of which there are only 8 bottles in Italy, is very nice … try” or “This one I am taking for you from my private stash…”
I made Sara and Massimo a drawing and left my mark on Checkmate’s wall – a reminder of the incredible spirit of Freedom demonstrated by the folks of Genova during the struggle over global capitalism during the riots of the G8.
Alessandro Ansani – bass player for The Liars – and the man who organized the whole Italian Tour for Firehouse’s Psychedelic Secession Tour – met us in Florence – his home town (He was born in Pisa, and loves to show us around there, and lives in Florence). The night was a book release for “Eighties Colours” by Roberto Calabro. The book covers the Italian psychedelic garage scene of the 1980’s. It’s a masterful acheivement – and exhaustively documents the whole period.
Alessandro’s band, The Liars, played live and rocked the house down.
Roberto and Alessandro presented the book. I even added a few words about the San Francisco poster scene, boiling down the last 50 years into an easily understandable storyline.
Our hosts at Cuculia were so kind as to invite Firehouse to show our posters until the end of the month.