"But If You Rich"

The gig was in some large venue, I'd say a few thousand people and the cigarette lighter hing at the end. Impressive. No Gala before the gog, none after. Well, when I invited her, I thought she wouldn't show, so I wasn't that surprised.  When you play music in front of thousands of people who make a huge light show of tiny flames at the end, you do,'t think about some middle-aged lady you'd invited on a lark to stop by, anyway. Several of us went to hang out with some people we had met at the concert, and here's where things got foggy. A lot of drinking went on, no drugs, not that alcohol isn't a drug, but my recollection of how things happened is gone. Some of the highlights have stayed with me all these years.

First we somehow found ourselves at the sea and got on a small fishing boat. I recall a lot of rapid Spanish and suddenly we were headed out in the harbor. A while later, as charming as this was, everyone was getting like "ok, we better go back" because it kinda looked like we were gonna go fishing seriously and we did have other cities to play in! While I don't know what the fishermen made of all this, they did bring us back to the shore.

We then somehow got to a bar. Funny how it always gets back to a bar. So this bar, and it was now maybe 3 AM, is filled with the kind of people you'd see in a 40's movie set: sailors in striped long sleeve T-shirts, huge brawls starting and ending with no one watching or caring. We had a bunch of drinks, and left, passing in an alley, by a bakery where someone went in and brought out a bunch of fresh rolls. Christ, this should have been a credit card ad: trip to Spain: $800. "Fresh-baked bread in an alley near the sea, priceless."

It was 8 AM when we returned to the hotel. I went up to my room and its unmussed bed for my guitar. On the way down I stopped at Gala's room and knocked. Gala opened the door in a nightgown and bade me come in with an arm whose palm went in an arc from me towards the inside of her room.

"So, you couldn't come and see us play last night?"
 She said "Oh, I was there and after, I see Dali and tell him of your great success." Then she took some hotel stationary and write several lines on it. She pointed to the paper and said, "You come for lunch sometime. You take a train to here" indicating the name of the place they lived on the Costa Brava "and then you take taxi here. I pay for taxi."

The note she signed, an invitation to come and visit Gala and Salvador Dali in Cadaquès, a note that for all I know could have been sold at acution for the price of a very fine bottle of wine, was stolen out of my car in the late 70's.

The unforgettable closing line though, the one that has rung throughout the decades since the  incident, and the last words to me from the 80 year-old Gala Dali were: "But if you rich... I no pay taxi!"

The End

4 comments about this story Feed