Florence. Yeah, Florence. They like me there. I had a real good time in Florence.
Well. Kind of a mixed blessing, sort of thing.
I met this real great girl, and we had us some good times. What was her name… hmm. You might have heard of her. I used to use them, whaddaya call 'em, pneumatic devices, to help ye remember things. She was mad for me… Mad! That’s right, Madeleine. Madeleine de La Tour. Swanky name, right?
Believe it or not, I was singing at her wedding party. Me and Aengus and the boys… well, I’ll let Dave tell this part of the story:
“Well, she came up to me, and said, 'Hi there, honey,
How’d you like to come along?
‘Cause we’re gonna have a party,
Yeah a rock-n-roll party,
Well, we’re gonna have a party.‘
And before I knew, we were
Rockin’ in the parlour.
Rockin’ in the parlour.”
Yeah, all right Dave,that’ll do. That’s enough. No, we get it, you were rockin’ in the parlour, you said so. Twenty-three times, at least. Yeah, I counted. Christ, mate, piss off already.
Aengus, didn’t you fire this bloke already?
So anyway, yeah, I rocked her in the parlour on her wedding night in France. And what a parlour it was! Those Medicis were awful big on sumptuous upholstery, if you know what I mean. No, that’s not what I mean. No, not like Rosie, Madeleine didn’t weigh in at nineteen stone, I’m just talking about her pillows.
No, not those pillows, ye daft…
So anyway, we’d just finished up our little private command performance, and she’s fannin’ herself the way the toffs did back in the Renaissance, when in walks the blushing new groom, the boss Medici, El Queso Grande (or, as Maddy liked to call him, Le Gran Fromage), and she, ever the quick thinker, introduces me as her cousin or uncle or some shit, and Lorenzo and I make with the bows and the flourishes and the how-do-ye-dos, and he’s still in a great mood and lookin’ forward to his wedding night (not realizin’ that I may have primed the pump a wee bit) ‘cause he keeps grabbin’ at his johnson and readjustin’ it… or anyway, that’s what I thought at the time. He turned out to have enjoyed the show Aengus and I put on for him, I guess. At any rate, within a few months they’d moved to Florence, and insisted I come along as a court musician or similar, and he and Madeleine commissioned a statue of me, carved by one of their pet sculptors whose name I always forget. I think it’s still there, right in the heart of Florence.
Whilst that was gettin’ carved, Madeleine kept havin’ me come visit her at her palazzo, ostensibly to pose for her sculptor guy. He typically left after only ten minutes of sketchin’, and Maddy would offer me a drink, we’d play a few hands of whist or gin rummy, and one thing would lead to another, and by the time the statue was finished, ol’ Madeleine was about ready to give birth to her daughter Catherine. Probably just a coincidence, that.
But the worse part was that she and Lorenzo both died shortly after Cat’s birth. The official cause was plague, but I tellya, I think I have a different idea. And it’s related to why Lorenzo kept grabbin’ at his junk. I blame him, you want to know the truth. And she was just a young thing, too, maybe 21 at the most. I’d have killed him if the Jack hadn’t gotten him first.
But man, I miss those card games.
Psst! Oi! Hey, ol’ Bon is sensitive about that year, so don’t call him on it, but he’s not tellin’ it true. Bon has always had a taste for wine, women, song, and more wine, so maybe his memory’s not what it might have been, but me, I just go for tea and ciggies, so I have a clearer grasp of the sequence of events. Bon was real sweet on Maddy, more than he’d ever let on (and don’t believe for a second he’d ever forget her name!), and he blames himself for her untimely demise. I don’t remember Lorenzo de Medici ever scratchin’ his nutsack until weeks after Bon met him. Plague or syphilis or whatever killed the Medicis, I believe it came from Bon, and deep down, Bon believes it too. And so did Lorenzo, which is why Bon and me went on our second world tour that very same year, leaving Florence on stolen horses only two minutes ahead of the Duke’s household guard, and riding balls-out the 2,000 kilometers to Seville. We only paused for a brief gig in Madrid to celebrate our escape, and maybe make a few pesos while we were at it.
That was a hell of a show, but we outdid it once we got to the far side of the Atlantic. Less than five months after we left Spain, we played Argentina’s first rock show at Rio de la Plata.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.