10.10.09 Liberia, Costa Rica
A cow, ironically
Last major stop on the north-west highway to Nicaragua, and it's a smiley little town with a freakishly ugly church and a helluva way with a pork chop. I arrive five minutes before the lunchtime rains kick off, having left Samara on the coast reasonably early after the first bacon 'n' egg breakfast in months. Possibly 12 months.
The second-to-last beach bar on the left in Samara is where it's at. There I meet Cliff, and as Imperial follows Imperial, the conversation turns to Rush's golden years: Tom Sawyer, Freewill, The Camera Eye etc. I tell Cliff about my brother Rob. (They're the same age). At the age of 10 or 11, Rob made a (somewhat rudimentary) pig out of clay, painted "RUSH" across its back, glazed it (or whatever) and presented it to our mum. It then sat for more than a quarter-century in her kitchen, savouring the aromas of roast chicken and home-made hamburgers through its unusually-modelled snout, which, perhaps in a nod to Cubist sculpture*, was actually outside its face.
During the Kitchen Years, Piggy Lee´s creator grew from sculptor of Barnyard Progabilia into music journalist, retaining a lifelong if occasionally sublimated Rush fetish along the way (as one does).
Fast forward to 2007: Rob is booked on a flight to New York to interview Rush. "You gotta take the pig, man!" I yelp. He does. If you manage to get your hands on the relevant issue of The Word, you'll be able to detect a deeply moved, very slightly concerned expression on the faces of Geddy and Alex as they clutch the pig for a photo. AWESOME.
Anyway I told that story to Cliff and he thought it was AWESOME. And he was right!
*Surely the most pointless of all 20th century artistic movements; since Cubist painting was an attempt to represent 3D objects in a 2D medium, why bother with Cubist sculpture? Still, if it looks nice, it's good, as my A-Level History Of Art teacher would have said if you'd massively over-simplified the point he was making.
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