Sunday, August 28, 2011

Greg Adams Short Story Replay

Mid '80s-mid 90s Europe. There was always a familiar itinerary for me in Europe through these years. Fly into London for the first shows then cross the English Channel to begin our dates on the continent. At some point we'd play in Amsterdam after doing Scandinavia and Finland. Arnhem, Holland would always follow Amsterdam.

Before I continue let me say that any chance I could get to take the train in Europe, I'd do it. I'd discovered a wonderful ride that never disappointed. It was from Arnhem to Baden-Baden, Germany. The routine was always the same: the band would play the show in Arnhem and leave after the show and drive all night in the bus to Baden-Baden for the next night's appearance on a TV show that was very much like Dave Letterman's show. I can't remember the name of it, but the host even looked a little bit like Dave.

Anyway, I'd grab a hotel room in Arnhem while they drove all night. Get up at 6 AM and be on a train to Baden-Baden at 7. I'd leave my suitcase and horns on the bus and travel light with only my LV shoulder bag. (Those bags were affordable then compared to today's prices. I still have it even though it has several hundred thousand miles on it.) This particular train route had an excellent dining car and I would always savor the lunch in the dining car.

"I Thought About You" is a song that is dear to me because as the years went by I'd always think to myself as I was on this train how much I wished Andrea was here with me to enjoy this with me. I mean how cool was this: I'd spend a little extra for a first class ticket. The route went right along the Rhine River for quite awhile passing castle ruins. I reserved a spot at a table for lunch as soon as I boarded and headed for the dining car at the time slot I was given. Sometimes I'd dine alone or eat with three other people. Either way was always great Now, the food.

Everyone knows that the food in Europe is good, and dining cars on trains are no slouch either. Oh boy. This a German train. Always a delicious Wienerschnitel or sauerbraten. Sometimes a saute'd veal scallopini with a mushroom sauce. The potatoes au'gratin and vegetables du jour, usually roasted with fresh herbs were over the top. Everything on the menu was great. And great wines, too. A half carafe did just fine. And bottled mineral water, no gas was complimentary. Dessert, anyone? Why, of course. Oh, and I'll take my coffee and Cognac in the smoking car with my cigar.

I mean, this was over the top. This was my little break mid tour to get away from the band. A little pricey, but well worth it, wouldn't you say? And here's the clincher. I would arrive in Baden-Baden a couple of hours before the bus pulled in to town everytime. Andrea and I have ridden several trains in Europe over the years and we've yet to be on a trip with a dining car like this one to B-B. Damn! One of these days. I promise you, dahling. I Thought About You...

"I Thought About You" Composed by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. My favorite version: Frank Sinatra - Songs for Swingin' Lovers! (1956)

I took a trip on a train and I thought about you.
I passed a shadowy lane and I thought about you.
Two or three cars parked under the stars a winding stream.
Moon shining down on some little town
And with each beam the same old dream.

And every stop that we made I thought about you.
And when I pulled down the shade then I really felt blue.
I peaked through the crack and looked at the track,
The one going back to you and what did I do?
I thought about you.

There were two or three cars parked under the stars...
a windin' stream.
Moon shining down on some little town
And with each beam the same old dream.

And then I peaked through the crack and I looked at that track,
The one going back to you, and what did I do...
I thought about you.

See you next week...

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