Eating Chinese with Rock Bands
by Regis Boff
Rock bands rarely eat Chinese. Genesis would never risk it being that most of them were strict vegetarians. Vegetarians have a sturdy mistrust of the unrevealed ingredients that are of course, the foundation of Chinese cuisine.
Being interrogated by vegans is not something Chinese waiters tolerate with civility. Relentless demands about stock bases could get your food peed on in the kitchen. Meals in the early years of this band came closer to breaking them up than any other single reason.
Phil Collins and I were continuously in pursuit of hamburgers for most of my five or six years with them.
Being a veg was not nearly as stress-free then, as it is today, particularly in places like Germany and Akron Ohio. We actually had to hunt for restaurants before a tour even began for fear some of the band would starve. It was easier to buy dope than it was to get lunch. Many times dope dealers were in fact the only source of vegetables and the vegans in this band were not dopers. This turned into an opportune situation for Phil and me who would on very rare occasion need to get high simply to endure the food we had to eat.
The Germans and the Dutch love this shit called aspic. This pointless jelly came on most everything and although mysteriously tasteless it magnified the hideous animal by-products in the food it covered. Even some burgers came with it.
It was a difficult period of time for me to eat. I had just come off touring with Melanie who also was a veg. She insisted on injecting everyone on tour with Vitamin B12 shots every fucking morning which she administered herself with Korean accuracy. She would juice anything with roots and force you to drink it like it was lucky nectar instead of just some brown-green sludge snot.
No vegetarian food has a natural depth of more than a quarter of an inch. It is the invertebrate of nourishment. It just lies there like it was part of a photo-shoot for excrement.
Genesis backstage food though dispiriting did at least feature an occasional dead animal thanks to Phil, Tony Smith, the band’s manager and me.
There was no satisfactory way to get even a little drunk after the show. The band insisted on a featureless little German wine called “Blue Nun”, a stillborn Riesling. To this day I can’t drink any white Teutonic liquids.
In my years with The Who I can recall only one Chinese dinner. It is a difficult and sad memory. When the meal was finished we passed around the fortune cookies that were laid in front of us in a large bowl, reading our own when we first picked it. Moon was fourth to read but his cookie was empty. We continued around the table with everyone getting a fortune. Keith was then encouraged to “pick again” which he did. Empty again. He refused to pick a third time.