The rock & roll revival band ‘Gunshot’ was a fully amplified party band. The piano player Mike, who told me he was actually a mandolin player, really rocked out to some classic Jerry Lee Lewis songs. It was fun hearing some of my favorite tunes sung in a very heavy French accent. They did the Elvis version of ‘Pick a Bale of Cotton’, a Lead Belly tune that was a staple of our set as well. Lead Belly was pretty popular at Ferrara.
It turned out there was a third band playing ‘Pick a Bale of Cotton’, the delightful Dr. Butler’s Hatstand Medicine Band from Manchester. A wonderful ragtime swing band. Hearing them discuss who’s turn it is to get the next round of drinks while using almost Machiavellian ploys is like watching a Monty Python sketch.
The parties at the ‘Ferrara Music Park’ lasted all night. One particular night, someone started a chant and a veritable hippie procession took place. Walking and singing is fun. Of course, soldiers and Hara Krishnas already knew that.
After ten days of musical bliss it was time to head home.
In good cheer, we put all our gear in the car, put it in gear, and headed off north. A truck got stuck inside the Gotthard tunnel in Switzerland so there was a traffic jam. We unpacked our instruments and gave a little highway performance. We built a party right there on the asphalt and got a little crowd going. The highway show was the icing on the cake after ten days of busking!