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Keystone with Jon

It was around the mid eighties, after Perfect Strangers, that Bruce, Jon and I decided to have a ski holiday in Colorado and to that end we rented a huge house in Keystone for nine days. I think it had five or six bedrooms, a massive kitchen, and the living room was three stories high boasting an enormous fireplace whose rough stone chimney reached all the way up to the ceiling. Everything else was made of wood. It oozed quality.

Jon and I were the first to arrive – Bruce was expected a couple of days later. Jon rented a car and we visited the supermarket on arrival and stocked up on food and wine for the days ahead.

After the first day’s skiing, which was great, we received a call from Bruce telling us that he’d be delayed another day. The following day, there was another call from Bruce; he’d be delayed yet another day. After three or four days of this, Bruce called to say that he wouldn’t be coming at all.

This didn’t faze us a bit; we’d had some superb skiing and were living high on the hog in this great house, happy to be alone. There were days when we would rise and one would say casually to the other, “Up for skiing today or what?” And those were the days that we’d stay in, both of us curled up in the living room chairs in front of the fire, engrossed in our books. There were times when not a word was spoken for four or five hours until someone offered to get a drink. The day would pass mostly in silence – a silence that only two good friends could be comfortable with.

A couple of memories… One day, we found out that night skiing was about to start and so we decided to be there on the opening night. It was bitterly cold, maybe that was the reason nobody was on the mountain except us. Despite the temperature, the skiing was awesome; with no one around, we had the pistes to ourselves. We raced down, arms out, whooping and yelling like schoolboys. Then we saw another person. We were coming down one slope to a point where it joined another. The skier was on the other piste and as we approached each other, for whatever reason, neither took evading action so, as unbelievable as it sounds, we very nearly collided.

Towards the end of our time there, we needed to do a bit of shopping. It was early evening and the night would soon be upon us. The snow was deep, although all the roads had been ploughed. Jon was driving very carefully as there was a real danger of ice on the roads – it was well below zero. Halfway back, on a gentle turn, the car started drifting. There was nothing Jon could do and so, as if in slow motion, we slid gracefully off the side of the road and settled with a soft thud in the ditch.

We got out and looked at our predicament. Obviously, we couldn’t get it out by ourselves and we’d seen precious little traffic on the roads. We were counting off our options, of which there were none, when luckily a pick-up truck drove by. It stopped and backed up, the driver asking if we needed any assistance. We certainly did. What a piece of luck.

The driver was a thickset man in a check shirt, obviously a local. He produced a towrope and fixed it to the car and effortlessly dragged us back on the road. To say the least we were grateful and wanted to convey our appreciation. Jon said something like, “Thank you, I don’t know what we would have done without you. Thank you so much, we really appreciate your stopping. You’re a real brick.”

At precisely this point, the man’s congeniality abruptly faded, the smile on his face disappeared and his eyes narrowed. There was a long pause before we realized that he had not heard of this obviously English expression. Then it dawned… he thought Jon had called him a prick.
Jon’s apology and spluttering explanation of the word probably saved us from the guy pushing our car back into the ditch.

Anyway, the holiday ended all too quickly and we both agreed that it had been a sublime nine days, away from everything, just the two of us living in complete harmony.


9 thoughts on “Keystone with Jon

  1. Dave Dent wrote on 2017-11-17:

    Hope you make it down to Sydney sometime next year. I keep in contact with Steve by phone and e mail but he hasn’t heard anything. Was great talking with you last time DP were in town and I get a kick out of reminding my long suffering wife that she got two kisses from you that visit. Enjoy the UK and hope it isn’t too cold and have a great Christmas.

  2. Bryn Keytanjian wrote on 2017-07-31:

    Meant to delete the part about the flags. What I was going to relay to you is that the flags for Wales and Armenia fly next to each other. How is that for manifest destiny. Bryn

  3. Bryn Keytanjian wrote on 2017-07-31:

    Hello Roger,

    It is Bryn from Philly. I am despondent that this is the last tango for the road. I wish I discovered the band back in my teens. I was young and stupid. Well, actually short-sighted. I could have had 30 or so years of concert memories. Well, at least I figured out how great you all are, before it was too late. Just wanted to let you know that I and my faithful companion, Chuck, will be seeing you on August 24 in Camden, NJ at the Susquhanna Center and on August 26 at the Jones Beach venue. Of course, it is VIP all the way; this time the concerts are for my birthday prezzie from the previous November. I am ecstatic DP is playing in my hometown, well sort of. Camden, NJ is just over the Ben Franklin Bridge from Philly. Because Philly is an art kind of town it will be so easy so find some surprises to bestow to you. Ben Franklin parkway is lined with international flags. One more thing, loved the story about your and Jon’s holiday in Colorado. That sounds like my kind of vacation, a sublime opportunity to relax or be as active as you want. I know that the downtime was so precious because it was a limited luxury for DP, especially during that era. You’re precious. Thank you for being so kind in the past, even though it is “all lies”. Fare thee well. Sincerely Bryn

  4. Ronnie wrote on 2017-05-25:

    hi roger…i live in brazil. my name is ronnie. tnx for sharing your memories….would be nice be with jon and listen fun stories. tnx again.

  5. Marcelo Soares wrote on 2017-05-21:

    Great story, Roger. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  6. Mathias wrote on 2017-05-20:

    Dear Roger,

    always love to read such “intimate” stories.

    Thanks for the music and keep on rocking’.

    Bye the way, I just got a nice 1962 Hammond A-100 and I’m going to set it up properly now and play some DP/JL tunes on it 😉


  7. Yvonne wrote on 2017-05-20:

    Dear Roger,
    What a truly lovely story. Thanks for sharing your memories with us, it is appreciated.
    Have a great tour, I’ll see you in Hamburg and Frankfurt.

    • James Gemmell wrote on 2017-05-20:

      I’ve chatted with Gillan before about the differences in phrases/expressions. I told him we often shorten “pissed off” to “pissed” in the U.S., out of laziness. But “pissed” apparently means drunk in England. As an American, I still don’t know what a “punter” is in British. In the U.S., it’s the guy who kicks the ball to the other team on fourth down in American football. Gillan once told me backstage, talking about lawyers: “We call them bannisters. You Americans call them attorneys.” To which I replied: “Among other things.” -James Gemmell

      • Saul Evans wrote on 2017-05-21:

        Great story but a bannister is the rail on top of spindles on a stairs. You are thinking of wnkers….I mean barristers 🙂