First, I must explain something. Lenny Kravitz is my fiancé. Yes. In my head, he is my fiancé, boyfriend, Love Snuggles, just as any fan imagines having a fantasy relationship with one of their favorite musicians. I have a running joke on social media about our relationship. We are getting married on my next birthday. If you know him, tell him to be ready. Now, that I have gotten that joke out of the way, I can proceed to the last portion of the Italy trip.
When we were planning the trip, I discovered that Mr. Kravitz was going to be in Italy at Rock in Roma performing. Renae and I decided that it would be an awesome sendoff for us on our last night in Italy to see Lenny. On the advice of the hotel clerk, we reserved a taxi. Our driver spoke little English but was very clever. He drove us right into the gates of the concert by telling the guards we were Lenny Kravitz’s sisters. Lenny is an only child! Ha!
We waited for the concert to start and before entering the concert area; we bought scarves with Lenny’s image on them from a street hustler and wrapped them around our heads. Lenny was kissing my head! We took a photo with the Pepsi ladies for their Instagram page. It was great fun!
Next, we got called up to a small stage to sing along one of Lenny’s songs for another promotion before the concert. The minute we opened our mouths, the guy knew we were American. His choice of songs for us was, you know already, American Woman. As much as I listen to Lenny Kravitz at work, you would think I would know the words without hesitation. I totally screwed them up but ad libbed by mentioning Little Pampu, my children’s book character. I wish I had film or a photo of our performance. Our energy was entertaining if our voices were not. I can sing a little but you would never know it based on our rendition.
I became thirsty and approached a booth selling beer and water. I asked clearly for, “Acqua,” the Italian word for water. First, the two idiots behind the booth pretended they did not hear me. Second, they pretended they didn’t understand me. Renae noticed and requested the water. One of them seemed perturbed, removed the cap and gave the water to Renae. I slid it over to my side and asked for the cap. The extremely rude woman, who previously pretended not to hear or understand me, spoke perfect English and told me I couldn’t have it. I asked her why and she told me that they remove all caps and they aren’t allowed in the concert area. I didn’t believe her but this wasn’t the first time I felt my skin color had something to do with the nastiness we encountered in Italy.
Renae and I were probably two of the ten dark-skinned people at the concert among the crowd. We stood out and that’s how I noticed the other possible eight. When we entered the crowded area, I noticed EVERYONE had the cap to their water bottles. Ridiculous! However, I wasn’t going to allow that observation to stop me from enjoying Lenny or the concert. I was going to see my man in concert for the first time and it happened to be in another country. Lenny and I were meant to be. Haaaa!
Lenny was the headliner but his opening act was a marvelous guitarist, Gary Clark, Jr. He was awesome! Gary Clark, Jr. has a sound similar to blues/rock. Loved it! Finally, my future husband was coming onto the stage. I’ve always remarked that I would love to get my fingers stuck in his afro. He is one gorgeous man. At one point, I know he looked right at me! Anyway, his backup singers are in fabulous shape. The men in the crowd kept yelling out “Bellisimo” when the ladies were focused on the big screen or Lenny introduced them. Lenny’s drummer, Cindy Blackman Santana, was FIERCE! That woman can play!
Renae and I truly enjoyed the show. It was a fantastic way to spend our last night in Rome.
Will I go back to Rome, Italy again? Nope! God would have to tell me in a dream to go before I take that trip again. I have faced enough racism in the U.S. that I do not need to pay and fly to it elsewhere. This was my experience. Your's may be different.
The next Little Pampu children’s book, Little Pampu Goes to Rome, features the Coliseum and Pantheon! Here's the link to the book. There are two versions. One for babies and younger readers and another for older readers!
NEXT – CUBA!! We Beat Mickey Dee's and Starbucks to Cuba Tour! Helpful Hints!
L. McGregor - President and Founder of Little Pampu and CB, Inc. Creator of Little Pampu and the Chocolate Bunnies.