Snow such thing as a free five star room

My camera was out of charge. We were on the road so much that we did not have any way of charging our equipment.

I’m still not sure where we were – outside Lodi? Not sure. I wouldn’t need to make it up, because it really did happen …..

For lack of any photographic evidence I’ll try to describe it using my memory.


From the beginning:

I was on tour in Europe with The Maddigans, a three/four piece band from Canada. Oh. And a great French band: Mary Has A Gun (MHAG).

We had just finished playing a sold-out show in the sleepy town of Lodi, Italy.

We finished the show at midnight – loaded all our gear and headed to our next destination, which was Austria. Not the one with the kangaroos.

On the drive, we noticed it was snowing more heavily than usual. The traffic was slowing down and we were worried that we wouldn’t make it to our accommodation. The arrangement was that we’d be staying in the promoter’s house in Austria.

Despite the slowing traffic and adverse weather, we made it to the border town on the Alps, but not without having to travel through its tiny streets.

We took a turn into a dead-end. All the streets were dead and the weather was so bad you wouldn’t want your worst bassist out in it.

We went to turn out of the road and noticed the wheels spinning uselessly and getting stuck.

Many attempts later, the order was: ‘abandon the van till tomorrow’. At least the fact my buddies were Canadian meant the van was moved to a safer side of the road.

Three of the four of Mary Has A Gun and I took an expeditionary trip to a hotel we had learned about – thanks to the helpful guidance of Google.

We zipped up our coats, tightened our hoods and, like Oates, ventured out into the tundra-like terrain. What would have made this memorable would have been if we’d said to the others ‘we may be some time’. But none of us had the spirit to remember.

As it turned out, the hotel was no more than two kilometres away, so a leisurely walk was all that was required to reach our destination. We enjoyed the view of the ghost-like emptiness of the ski resort town and appreciated the quiet undisturbed snowy scene – the perfect opportunity … to have a SNOWBALL FIGHT.

After climbing several narrow stepped streets, we arrived at the hotel, to be greeted with complementary sandwiches and crackers!!! Leo being Leo (of MHAG) had decided to ring ahead explaining our situation. And the staff that were awake (at 4 in the morning) were more than happy to accommodate us till the morning so we could free our van.

They followed us afterwards when got a room together.

The rooms were lovely and spacious. With two sets of double beds and complementary hot chocolate.

AND we found out that the price for the rooms for the night was only EUR15 each!

In the morning we discovered over a metre of snow piled up either side of the roads and the passing traffic was throwing up the snow even higher.

The inevitable result was that we found our van had been buried in a couple of metres of snow.

So we got stuck in digging her out, thanks to the help of a local shop that kindly leant us a couple of shovels. Another great experience in that mysterious little town!

So that’s it: we made it thanks to the goodwill and charity of the ski resort in Italy (or was that Austria – will we ever know?).

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