Giovedì, 22 aprile 2021

Italian lessons

Kaveh RastegarVai alla versione in italiano

I’m Kaveh, I play the bass. I live in Los Angeles and have been having a blast playing with Luciano. The first rehearsal with Luciano’s band for me was in Oakland, California near San Francisco. I had just finished a show with my band the night before and had driven through a snowstorm to get there. Through the crazy European tour with Ligabue, I learned a lot about my new friends, my new family on the road. These guys are all my teachers in a lot of different ways!

I met Michael Urbano in Berkeley during a concert I was playing with a band I’m in called the Ditty Bops. He came out to the show and said hello. Right away he reminded me of my good friend Tim Young (amazing guitarist also from northern California). He’s a badass. He jumped into my car the first day of rehearsal and was psyched to see that I had CDs by PIL, Electric Light Orchestra and DRI as well as Bill Evans jazz CDS. Michael has played on so many great albums and done a lot of cool stuff. He also has so much energy and plays the hell out of the drums!

I remember seeing Jose Fiorilli and thinking “This guy is really cool”. A huge smile that says that he loves to laugh. We talk a lot about music and also about life. . In his openness to everything, Jose reminds me of my Dad a lot. He told me that in Italy there is a saying that “All the world is a village”. Nowhere was this saying more true than on this tour. Jose has a love of seeing the world and tasting culture. He also loves cactus a lot! Now every time I see a cactus, I’ll take a picture and send it to him.

During the first few minutes that met the band, everyone was talking and laughing a lot…everyone except for Niccolo. When I first met him, I thought that he couldn’t speak English. It was the way that he politely shook my hand but didn’t say much. I was surprised when later in the day during a break, when he spoke perfect English! Perfect English with a great British accent! Niccolo became a close friend right away. He’s a complicated person! Great guitar player. The first words he taught me in Italian were all of the bad words! I think that those are the best words to learn in any language because you can really say a lot of things right away.

Luciano Luisi rode with me to the hotel after the first rehearsal. He is an excellent musician who has played with some of my heros (the bassist Pino Palladino!!!!). Luisi is one of the funniest guys I know. Even better, it’s the way that he tells stories that is so funny. He has such a good sense of humor that we both start laughing before he’s even said anything!

Fede Poggipollini is a gentleman and a saint. He’s Keith Richards to Luciano’s Jagger, but he’s way more than that. Fede’s always full of surprises. When I first arrived at the rehearsal, he put everything down and helped me with my amp. The whole time he had a big smile on his face. When we were in California, a lot of big things happened in Fede’s world; he had a birthday and also an important addition was added to his family. During all of this, he was so professional that it all set the standard for what this band was capable of. It was a lot of fun to go running with Fede in the different cities we played. Also he’s a fan of The Clash, and anyone who likes them is a GOOD friend of mine!

I first met Luciano Ligabue at lunch! He walked into the room and I stood up to shake his hand. I’m very tall and I saw his eyes grow wider when he saw me! During lunch I heard him talking to Michael about John Hiatt’s rhythm section with Jim Keltner and I was thinking, “man, this guy really knows music!”. A few days later during dinner, he and I had a great conversation about Italian films. When he talks to you about something that he loves and is interested in, his eyes grow wide and you feel the power of what he is saying. When he talks to you, you can feel like you’re the only person in the room. It’s so much fun to play with him. He is serious but also has a great sense of humor. Musically, he knows what he wants to do but he’s also open to what musicians bring to his music. I remember being really excited about playing when he told me early on: “Kaveh, I want you to do your thing and be happy with the music!”.

With these guys, I've been making music, traveling, and learning a lot about Italian language, food and culture. It's been an incredible experience.

Lunedì, 14 luglio 2008