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Venice, 1997
Jazz quartet that played for the spectacular Stuart Davis opening at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy in June of 1997. From left to right bassist Lello Pareti, pianist Paolo Birro, Ruthie, drummer Alessandro Fabbri. A festive dinner at the Gritti Palace followed the opening. Since I had to pack up and pay the band members they held the last boat for me. One other passenger-dinner attendee was also waiting. He graciously carried my gig bag and held my hand to help me into the low ceilinged taxi-boat. In a classic case of tongue-tied star adulation all I could muster in the way of thanks was a Beavis and Butthead grunt of "heh, heh, heh, heh, heh" in response. After stowing my bag at the Gritti and making my way to the ballroom I found my hand-calligraphed place card next to this same person for the duration of the dinner. Turns out this guest, none other than Monty Python's Michael Palin, was an old friend of the museum's director Philip Rylands and his wife Sarah, who sat on his other side. It was a night to remember.

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