I had half the day before I had to head up to San Cugat for Guitar Craft. I went up Montjuic partly for the views and partly because one of my tourist maps said there was a Museum of Comic and Illustrative Art.
What there was, it turned out, was one room in the fort that is now the Military Museum with exhibits of Catalan children’s comics from the 50’s and 60’s. It wasn’t a wasted journey, though as the views of the city were immense. I enjoyed watching the activity in the docks, picking a lorry at random and watching its progress through all its check points, delivery points and back out again. I had lunch in the Joan Miro Foundation (nice website), a great gallery of modern art, which had a superb exhibition on 20th century art’s depiction of the body.
Then back to the hotel to get my case and guitar and head off to San Cugat for Guitar Craft. After a 40-m train ride I walked from the station of St Joan to the Monasterio Nuestra Señora De Los
Ángeles. This is not in a romantic rural setting – office and residential blocks are under construction all round, and a railway and motorway are just nearby. But once you’re in the walls, there is a palpable sense of peace and protection. I met many of the friends I’d made on previous GC courses in Germany and Austria, and one of my roommates Ben from the US, with whom I had an instant rapport. I arrived just before tea and went to join the queue – gulp! That’s Robert Fripp just in front of me in the queue!
At tea, at the evening meal, and at the inaugural meeting (where everyone had to state what brought them there – and saying ‘the train’ has been done to death – and their aim for the week), Fripp gave dire warnings of the pain ahead of us, in a droll but precise way, much like his diary. ‘There will be people here during the week that get right up your nose. They will irritate you to the point you want to scream. They may even be your roommates. Don’t worry, you will also be irritating them.’
You can follow Fripp’s account of this course in his diary, starting here.