Monday, May 19, 2008

Let's leave behind these maps and handguns, we're on our way back to California

Why, hello there! Sorry about the lack of posting. I spent the weekend down Californey way, and when we got there we found the internet had all dried up.

Actually, I was at the Joshua Tree Music Festival, and there wasn't any time for blogging even if I'd had internet access. You see, I was too busy handing out ice cream to the masses.

Let me explain.

About a week ago, a friend of mine asked if I'd be interested in free backstage (all access) passes to the festival. I looked over the line-up, and hadn't heard of any of the bands save for Ghostland Observatory (they were all jam bands, some of which are kind of a big deal amongst the hippie crowd, but I'd never heard of them), but there was something about the word 'free' that caught my attention. I asked how it was possible that we could get free backstage passes, and my friend said that one of his friends knew a guy who knew a guy who could get them for us. There was just one catch. The guy who could get them for us is a guy who calls himself The Ice Cream Man. (If you're not interested enough to clich the link (which I assume is the case), the Ice Cream Man travels around to various functions, including many of the music festivals around the country, and hands out free ice cream to the performers. Well, it's really for anyone who is working the festival whether it be the band members themselves, or the sound guys, stage crew, ticket takers, security, etc.) The Ice Cream Man could get us free backstage passes for the festival, we just had to pass out free ice cream to anybody who came along asking for it. I was a little skeptical at first, after all I generally hate crowds, and dealing with strangers is definitely not my strong suit, but I figured it'd be something different, so told my friend to count me in.

We left early Friday morning, and got to Joshua Tree a little before the festival started. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the ice cream truck was having some problems, and didn't arrive in time for us to do anything the first day of the festival. Of course, that gave us some free time to check out the festival itself, and to drive over to a place called Pioneer Town that was nearby. The music was cool. Pioneer Town was cool (I ate the best steak I've ever had in my life at a place called Pappy & Harriet's). Joshua Tree National Park was cool. The house we stayed in was cool. But the temperatures were hot! I'm not sure how hot, but it was definitely over 100 degrees outside. As you can imagine, the people were very excited once the ice cream truck finally arrived (around 2:00 p.m. on the second day). We handed out thousands of ice cream bars. While doing so, I experienced many firsts. I've never been called a "divine angel" before. I'd never had dozens of hippies tell me I was "heaven-sent. I'd never been invited to go to Huntington Beach to "get out of the heat, make some s'mores and do some fire dancing" by an attractive girl before.

I spent a good chunk of my time at the ice cream truck because we were only about 50 feet behind the stage and you could hear the music just fine there, but, when the music really caught my attention, I could just walk over and watch them from the side of the stage. I've only been backstage once before, and that was after the concert, but a guy could get used to going to concerts that way. It was cool to be standing ten feet away from the band, right next to the guy operating the switch board and the lights. Whether that makes me cool or not is up for debate (I'm guessing it doesn't), but I felt cool, and that's all that really matters.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Here are a few pictures so you can catch a glimpse of the experience:

The house we stayed in

Pappy & Harriet's

Joshua Tree National Park

The Festival

Back Stage


elbee said...

Your friend is friends with The Ice Cream Man? That's awesome!!

Also, Ghostland Observatory? At a jam band festival? That is so out of place.

Lindsay-Weaver said...

I'm glad you had a fun trip. How's your back feeling after traveling? I hope it's doing ok.


ver girl said...

that sounds and looks like it was awesome! I am so jealous!
Also, ivan nevilles' dumpstaphunk and trombone shorty are pretty big deals down here, don't know if you got to see them... music festivals for me this year. again.

Mr. DNA said...

So when are you coming out to HB?

: )

Kris said...

It looks hot to me.

Anonymous Boxer said...

Sounds fun. Now go shower.

The Troll said...

There is a reason that Secretariat must share the track record at the Preakness with another horse.

That reason is.... HIPPIES!

Dirty filthy nasty stupid HIPPIES!

I hate hippies! I wish they shared a single throat so I could cut it.

mindy said...

very cool. those backstage sofas look very comfortable.

however, you have an incomplete parenthetical, and it caused me to spend more than half a minute looking for the rest of it.

Native Minnow said...

Elbee, you would have loved it. And I didn't think Ghostland seemed out of place at all.

*L*, my back's feeling ok. It was a little tight this morning, but physical therapy took care of that for me.

Ver Girl, I did see Dumpstaphunk. They were pretty good. I didn't see Trombone Shorty. I think that was early in the day while we were visiting Joshua Tree National Park. Oh well. You can't be everywhere at once, right?

Mr DNA, I should've gone out last night.

Kris, it was hot. Very hot.

Anonymous Boxer, I've already showered twice today. Shall I take a third?

Troll, I wish I'd have come up with "I wish they shared a single throat so I could cut it."

Mindy, the sofas were on the VIP bus, also known as the Blue Buddha Bus. Apparently the guy who owns it lives out of it. He said he's going to road trip all over, and possibly even do a documentary in the near future. I'll be on the look-out. Also, are you sure I have an incomplete parenthetical? I looked back and didn't see it. I did see a compound parenthetical in which I probably should have used square brackets for the internal one. Could that be what threw you off? Regardless, sorry you had to waste your time.

Teresa said...

He he he

You really were the dirty old man handing out candy from a van...(ok ice cream, but not that far off)

Bill From Gainesville said...

Women asking about going off to huntington beach to rub chocolate smores on their breasts and then you lick it off? thats awesome I wish some hot chick would ask me that question, i like smores allot

Gypsy said...

That looks like a lot of fun but WAY TOO HOT for me.

mindy said...

Okay, here it is (in the second long paragraph):

I've never been called a "divine angel" before. I'd never had dozens of hippies tell me I was "heaven-sent).

I couldn't find the beginning parenthesis for that parenthetical. Is it there and I'm missing it?

Native Minnow said...

Bill, I'd like s'mores a lot more if they were always consumed the way you just described.

Gypsy, it was quite hot, but the ice cream helped. Did I mention that we got to eat as many ice cream bars as we wanted? I probably had twenty.

Mindy, there, I fixed it. I don't know why that was in there. Thanks for pointing it out, and again, sorry to cause you so much distress ;-)

Mr. DNA said...

Where's silentkid?

I left it wide open for him.

Hippies are gay.

Ice cream is gay.

Hot weather is gay. etc...