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Friday, September 24, 2010

What People Say About Stresa: Roger Glover

In July 2010, the band Deep Purple began an Italian summer tour by spending a few days here in Stresa, guests at the five-star Villa Aminta Hotel. Their concert at the Stadio delle Azalee di Gallarate was the first of eight stops they would make in Italy. In their 40-year career they have amassed many Italian fans; perhaps Stresa, in turn, can count one of the band members as a fan as well.

Roger Glover, bassist for Deep Purple, spent a quiet lunch sitting alone at a restaurant in Stresa. While eating, he wrote a short and poetic description of the diners around him. He then posted this little essay on his own official website, www.rogerglover.com. He doesn't name the restaurant, "secluded under a roof of vine leaves," but we think he's captured beautifully a moment in time here:

ROAD LIFE 3
Stresa, Italy, 21st July 2010
The occasion; lunch in a secluded restaurant under a roof of vine leaves, slivers of sunlight dappling bright patches on the dozen or so customers - a random cast of characters, tourists, locals, mostly couples. It is a family-run business, waiters quick and efficient, sure-footedly dispensing breadbaskets and menus with practiced hands and seasoned smiles.
Diners and their secret lives; young and old, thick and thin, bellies, shorts, summer dresses, muffled conversations, occasional laughter.
A young man, not yet comfortable in his skin, scans around with darting gazes, measuring himself. He and his girlfriend, still shedding her teenage baby fat, eat too quickly and leave, both tripping over the same step, both looking round accusingly at the offending obstacle.
Two man/boys in cool sunglasses and expensive jeans, ignorant or forgetful of table manners, invade each other’s space, pointing and making points.
A motherly mother primly sitting with her slim teenaged daughter in a sheer dress that hints at the promise of future sex.
A couple in their mid thirties, she, beautiful in her olive skin with beginnings of middle age tracing her aquiline features, her conventional looking companion far too intent on her, crowding her – maybe he has not scored yet.
A late middle-aged couple, no longer interested in each other, sit in relative silence, love long since transformed into a comfortable habit.
I am not a local or a tourist, just a musician passing through, therefore a bit of each. I am reading Aravind Adiga and his free flowing writing style invigorates my discreet observations, scrutinizing more of the infinite details of my surroundings than usual.
What am I to them? A man of indeterminate age, long hair, a baseball cap, eating alone, seemingly happy in his own skin and having a leisurely lunch, reading a book held open by an upturned empty plate, soon to settle up and wander out into the glaring Italian sun with a full stomach and a head full of red wine, into his own secret life.
-- Roger Glover


Courtesy of: www.rogerglover.com

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