Frank, John, Maddalena & A Davit ImperialWednesday, November 08, 2006
A week ago I was taking photographs of shoe designer John Fluevog on Granville Street. I told him that he and Frank Zappa had one thing in common. Fluevog looked at me perplexed and I explained it all had to do with the davit imperial. I pointed at his soul patch (which Fluevog called an imperial) and told him that I had photographed Zappa in 1980. I had asked him what he called the hairy protuberance under his lower lip. Before he could reply a waiter at Bud's Good Eats asked him what he wanted to drink. Zappa asked for the list of beers. The waiter mentioned over 15 brands. Zappa said, "Bring me a ginger ale," and looking at me, "a davit imperial."
Buds Good Eats served Tex/Mex food beginning sometime in 1979. In the last 10 years it became Carlos and Bud's. Since it has always been prime land, right next to the on ramp to the North end of the Granville Street Bridge, it recently closed to make way to yet another condo development. When I saw the boarded up windows recently I thought of my friend Maddalena di Gregorio (who along with the Reid sisters taught me a few things on how to photograph a woman).
Before she left for Montreal some 12 years ago on her way to Milan (where she is now) she invited me for a drink at Buds Good Eats. It was a hot summer afternoon and we sat in the patio. I told her that I had particularly treasured her taking me to Carlucci's on East Hastings. I soon discovered that Carlucci's offered more delights besides their succulent gnocci. While Mama Carlucci did not sport the davit imperial ( she grew a generous mustache), Signorina Carlucci was Sophia Loren with a vacuum cleaner. If you arrived for a late lunch, Signorina vacuumed the restaurant. Imagine Marilyn Monroe in the Misfits in that tight polka dot dress smacking that ball with the rubber band and the paddle.
As far as I can tell Maddalena was never tempted to grow a davit imperial.