thing that happened was that we left Thursday evening at midnight. At
about 12.10 a.m. we were stopped by a border patrol who wanted to inspect
the van we had borrowed from a friend. The patrols conclusion was that
the van was NOT suitable to have 4 people in it, there should only be
2 in it, and not 2 others in the back in an improvised seat made out of
an old car couch. Also the large amount of beer and whiskey (Joep and
Ed's - Clement and Michel had to drive! hehehe) was a bit strange in the
then a smartass band member asked if those regulations were only applicable
in the Netherlands, "Yes" was the answer. As we were about 3 feet into
Germany we smiled, yelled "Goodbye!!" and drove off. Nice border
patrol officer. Thanks!
A lot happened on the way to Italy, long driving hours in Germany, singing
in the van, out of sheer boredom the Neil Young / Pennywise / Rammstein
and Sjako tapes were played so often we know them all by heart. Outside
it was around zero degrees Celsius (which is freezing!) and the bus had
several holes about one centimetre big, (in the doors and stuff), so Ed
and Joep (who were in the back with no heating), had to rely on several
pairs of pants over each other, two coats, scarves and everything, (the
works!) To try and stay warm. Germany was no hassle, except for having
to fix up one headlight with drum equipment - the thing had been dangling
from one cable for about 100 miles..! I think everybody had been
awake from Thursday morning onwards. Somewhere in the morning after some
occasional, involuntary morning wood (get my drift?) and breakfast German
style (yummie!) we arrived in Switzerland - so beautiful!!! Hills, hills,
hills, then some hills, and some more hills I believe. Nah, beautiful
country, we passed through it without any hassle until we were somewhere
halfway between Basel and Montreux, and then blizzard... Big blizzard.
White blizzard, Scary blizzard. Big blizzard, cold, snow, more cold, high
mountains, dangerous roads, and thenů the Grande St. Bernard tunnel! Yeah!!!!!!!
We`re almost in Italy!!! (the destination: the Aosta valley just past
the tunnel). So we climbed the hill going up to the tunnel for about
an hour, or a bit less, dunno. Then we arrived at the tunnel; we had to
pay toll. Dammit! It was bloody expensive, but well, we did it, we had
So we paid, but as we paid we heard a very, very loud crack on the bottom
of the van. Scared us quite a bit. So, with the help of Italian border
patrol we inspected the van. We didn`t see anything, but still... So after
5 minutes we drove on, into the multi-kilometre long tunnel. After about
1.5 kilometres (one mile) the van broke down. DAMN!!!!!!! And so far Inside
the tunnel. One metre of snow outside (3 feet and 4 inches), a pavement
of about one and a half feet wide (45 centimetres)... Clement and Ed set
off back to the tunnel entrance. By that time it was 9 am on Friday morning.
It took Ed about 10 minutes in his best French, (Aosta is at the border
where Italy, France and Switzerland meet so people speak French), to tell
a guy working on the border that our van broke down. The almost completely
forgotten French has improved quite a bit since, hehehe. What whiskey
So we were towed away by a nice Italian guy by the name of Roberto. Then
the waiting started. We`d waited for about 9 hours before we heard about
where to get replacement parts, ( the transmission had broke), in Switzerland.
Fortunately Robertos Dad got them the next day. If there is a god he oughta
bless this family. So then we had to get new means of transportation.
Took the car association another hour to figure out there was a new car
nearby. So Clement and Joep got a taxi to go get the new car. Finally
they returned and we saw we couldn`t fit in an entire drum kit, 2 guitar
amps, a bass rig, a bass guitar and 3 guitars, plus our clothes and stuff.
Meanwhile Michel and Ed were waiting in the cold. Wind. Snowfall .So we
(Michel and I) decided to go get some beers and a pizza, I'd already half
emptied the whiskey against the cold. By that time my French had surfaced
We finally got to the hotel at 8.30 p.m. Then ate quickly and found our
beds. But at 11.00 p.m. I had arranged to meet the band Even Vast and
party with them. So I did, but I couldn't get the others out of bed. Except
for Joep, but the words he tried to speak didn`t make much sense, so I
went alone...! Had lots of fun though, saw some local bands play, had
some beers. Oh yeah, we go to Italy to play, far away from home, what
do we get? DUTCH BLOODY PISS BEER - HEINEKEN SUCKS!! WHEN I GO TO ITALY
I WANT TO DRINK AND EAT ITALIAN STUFF!!!!! Ban Dutch stuff abroad!
Do it! Please! Got back to the hotel at 5 a.m.
9 a.m. Saturday: rise and shine, breakfast! Yummie! Had breakfast and
went sightseeing. Damn, Aosta is beautiful! Antonietta of Even Vast had
told me the night before about lots of old Roman stuff in town and Joep
and I went to find it. We found a gateway, an old Roman theatre, lots
of stuff, old houses, small passageways, and friendly people. But we got
cold, and at about noon we had finished our first bottle of wine. Then
we went to get Clement and Michel and we had some beers (Irish...) and
food, went to the venue, got our gear on stage, did the sound check,
and went to have dinner in a very small but really comfortable restaurant
owned by these really old and friendly people. We had great dinner - even
Michel who`s a wise guy when it comes to food "I don`t eat anything but
a burger damned!" loved it. Then Even Vast played their set. It was strong,
powerful yet mysterious and beautiful, filled with mystical aggression,
without the aggression, get my drift? After them we played our set, and
both bands kicked ass big time! the audience was so great at Sala Anita!
Very nice people indeed, I did a burping contest with this man that compared
my songs to those of "Pavlov`s dog" for the intellectual beings knowing
that awesome band. I was honoured of course... After this we went to a
pub and partied on until it closed. Then we went home to the hotel and
Joep and I had more beers and whiskey in our hotel room. Until about 5
am we stayed up and laughed at all the stupid commercials for sex telephone
lines " I am so hot! Call me!". And Italian Star Trek.
Sunday we chilled, picked up the car that was fixed finally, Even Vast
came to say goodbye to us, very nice people, very nice friends, we got
a nice bottle of grappa from them, you can melt metal with that stuff!
thanks Remy! It sure does taste strong, but okay! I like the stuff!
Then we drove back, well, Clement and Michel did, Joep and I laughed all
the way back home on beer and whiskey... Again? Yes, Again... But that,
plus the anal gas was just to keep Michel and Clement alert, really, we
had to keep them alert at all times; driving is a very dangerous business
isn`t it? But we`ll go back to Italy for sure, and we want to get Even
Vast over here as well!