Thursday, March 28, 2013


Don’t believe the weather report. It really is springtime in Paris. Marti and I can tell because our friends are starting to visit from the U.S. This past weekend we welcomed Gina and Aaron, dear pals who date back to our 1980s Washington DC era.

Gina and Aaron were preceded last week by their firstborn son Nate, a University of Maryland junior who has been studying French in Nice this semester. We met for dinner on Thursday evening at Blues BarBQ, near the Place de la Bastille.

Afterward the three of us went to The Bootleg Bar to see Rob Armus & Friends. This is a pic of Rob with Camera-Shy Strat Guy and Two-Hat Defries. Below: One Banned Rob does his thing on the bridge between the Islands In The Seine.

On Saturday night while Gina, Aaron and their second son Sam were winging their way to the City of Light, Marti and I went to our friend Pier Paolo Pozzi’s CD Release Party at the Café Laurent.

We were joined by Meghann, an Athens GA > San Francisco friend of Jerry Joseph and Dave Schools. We had a chill hang together.

The inimitable Pier Paolo Pozzi on drums. Sebastien Jarrousse, tenor sax. They performed jazz interpretations of Jacques Brel classics from the CD, plus a number of other standards. (Not pictured: Bruno Schorp, bass. Rémy Decormeille, piano.) A very special musical evening.

PPP. Here’s a clip from the recording sessions, featuring the bassist on the album, Stefano Cantarano:

Gina, Aaron and Sam reunited with Nate soon after their arrival on Sunday. Marti and I hosted them for Greek dinner at our place -- where Sam would be crashing -- then on Monday we escorted them on a Tourist Forced March. En route to Montmartre we got a little “Hello Dolly” on the Métro. I told you spring was here.

Marti with her BFF Gina, Sam and Aaron. In front of Hector Guimard’s iconic Abbesses Métro entrance. (Nate had returned to Nice, where the family would join him on Wednesday.)

Rhythm & Booze. It was Monday, so many small shops were closed. I still don’t know what the hell they sell in this Rue Ravignan boutique.

The Bateau Lavoir. It was home to and a hangout for many remarkable early 20th century artists, writers, art dealers and theater professionals. Characters you might have run into here in that era included Amedeo Modigliani, Juan Gris, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, André Derain, Guillaume Apollinaire, Jean Cocteau, Gertrude Stein or Ambroise Vollard.

During his residence in the Bateau-Lavoir Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, an early manifestation of what came to be known as the Cubist style.

Sacré-Cœur (The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris).

Marti snapped this view of “her” Tower from in front of the Great White Church.

Photo shoot. For the wedding album? Or for a Japanese Bridal magazine?

Gina said the bride’s hoop wasn’t straight. I hate when that happens.

Bride? What bride?

Houseguest from A Parallel Universe.

We are everywhere.

Out for the evening. A Midnight In Paris moment. Waiting for a yellow Peugeot on the steps of the Church of St-Etienne du Mont.

Dining at L'Etoile du Berger. OMG. When do we give him back to his birth parents?

After dinner the four of us squeezed into the back room at Le Piano Vache to hear the amazing Rodolphe Raffalli Trio. Clip from a previous gig below.

Sam and I decided to opt out of Tuesday’s Musée d’Orsay field trip, choosing to embark on a Jim Morrison Necrotour instead. These photos show the Lizard King here in Paris during the last weeks of his life. At Bar Alexandre, Avenue George V. ©Hervé Muller.

Sam at the apartment building where Jim was found dead in his bathtub on July 3, 1971. It’s at 17 rue Beautreillis in the Marais.

Lunch. Gettin' down to the Q.

Next stop: The Lizard King’s last stop. Where's Jim? I know he's around here somewhere. [Top photo by Sam-O The Magician.]

Paying his respects.

That evening Sam and I went up to Pigalle for a bit of Red Light sightseeing. We had intended to hear Rob play at an Irish bar, but the gig was postponed at the last minute because of a big soccer match on the bar’s screens. Men in short pants faking injuries? We bailed.

Marti, Sam and I had given Gina and Aaron the night off. We sent them to romantic dinner at the Art-Nouveau-On-Acid Fermette Marbeuf.

Back at 85 rue Blomet we rustled up a late dinner of spaghetti with tomato sauce (the kid likes it simple) . . . then Sam and I watched a Spaghetti Western-inspired film by Quentin Tarantino.

Before we started viewing, however, Gina and Aaron returned from their three-hour feast to regale us with tales of foie gras, bisque, salmon, lamb and dessert soufflés. Marti and I listened patiently because it was the last we’d see of them on this trip. At 5 a.m. they stealthed into the apartment to collect Sam, then hopped an early train to Nice. A whirlwind extended weekend. And a rollicking time had by all.

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