A Chronicle In Three Parts.
glastonbury! we've been here for about four hours. We play tomorrow and up until now every festival that we've played has been an excercise in patience but generally good. having to be a cog in a large machine and only getting 30 minutes to explain your band is a difficult fucking task. We've been driving from country to country on our tour bus, landing in the middle of nowhere and trying to orient. Every crowd has been crazy and great excpet for yesterday, in london at the wireless festival in hyde park, where we encountered our First Real Unresponsive Audience in the history of the band. British Corpses on a drizzling field. But watching the acts that followed was heartening; the psychedelic furs, moby, even new order (I gave a disc to the furs, who watched our set and were very kind, as was moby) also greeted a pretty much catatonic crowd. We got to glastonbury late (and missed our shot to streak during the Kaiser Chief's set) and here I am, sitting in the catering tentative outside the john peel stage, one bottled-water worth of wine inside me and working on a second, enjoying life and the rain.
Glastonbury is a british rite of passage, in a way. 140,000 people, hundreds of bands, torrential rain. Passing these thousands of brits wading through 2-foot deep mud proclaiming with their bloody existances “I love music and I suffer for it” and smelling the burn of sausages and wine in the air makes me feel like I'm at summer camp, or what I imagined summer camp mustve been like, because I never went. There is an ongoing catwalk of wellington rainboots, sneakers wrapped in plastic bags, scooby doo body costumes and all other vareities of freak.
I found where I belong at this festival: it's a land in the corner of the edge of nowhere called Lost Vagueness and that's where people are sporting full period ballroom dress and other fancy clothings (and wellington rainboots, which makes for a beautiful and poetic sight). I found a secret bar last night and there were laced and hatted people within, playing a skeleton of a piano and drinking fine whiskey. If I hadn't had to sing today I would have gotten all sorts of inebriated.
But there's tonight, and inebriated is a possibility. Our set is over, it went well...about four to five thousand people
came to our tent. I escaped afterwards to go see garbage (not bad, but didn't hold my attention), rufus wainwright (charming and half naked, yay!) and am waiting to see bright eyes in the john peel tent. Bright eyes has replaced avril in my cd player and I can honestly swear that it's (the fevers and mirrors record) the only thing I've listened to since coming on the european tour. I tried to listen to a garbage mix that becca gave me, but it skipped, so I took it out and that deosnt count. I can fully understand why people just can't stand it. overdramatic, pitiful, needy and all that. but I love it, I think people don't see the humor in it. The poor guy. The album has some of the most beautiful production I've ever heard and really, I feel sorry for the fact that the voice and the woe-is-me subject matter probably turns away so folks from this band. For me, it's a guilty pleasure and I can't only be grateful that someone is taking the self-depricating, self-aggrandizing, self-loathing tendencies I often want to put into music but censor for fear of turning everyone off. Add to list of projects: write a record for only conor oberst to listen to.
Anyway, he's on in an hour or so, and i can't wait to see. I think I have a bona fide crush.
My bona fide crush is officially over.
this story must begin with the fact that brian and I were fully prepared to streak during the kaiser chiefs' set (we even invested in matching garterless stockings while in camdentown in london) but we arrived at glastonbury literally an hour after their set, so I had a latent urge. “All sorts of inebriated” is certainly a decent description for where I found myself at nine last night, when bright eyes were supposed to hit the stage. The schedule was running over an hour late, so Brianna (who was also birthday girl, 21 at glasto!) and I sat backstage having fun and drinking and smoking like fishes and chimneys(the perils of four days off in a row - I'm like an idiot kid in a candy store when I get off my fascist touring regimen). Bright eyes took the stage, led by a be-hoodied and bitter-looking c-dog (em's affectionate nickname for mr oberst) and they immediately began to be plagued by the same monitor problems that we had. And then it started happening. My crush started deflating. I mean, the sound on stage was horrible, and perhaps the mud had gotten to him, but poor c-dog was out of control. Between every song (and it got progressively worse as the set wore on) he berated the crowd, berated the festival, and basically dripped a kind of acidic sacrasm all over the stage. Standout quotes: “put your credit cards together! Come on! Visa in one hand and mastercard in the other! Put your credit cards together!” and in reference to the fact that glastonbury was supporting Make Povery History “great. yay. we're all here and poverty's going to go away. awesome” and things to that effect. He even rolled his eyes at John Peel and referred to him as a cokehead (on the john peel stage! this is wrong, conor! he just died! have some respect!), but after people started yelling “you're a cunt!” from the audience he apologized for that one. he truly sounded like an asshole, a twelve-year old with a bad attitude.
Emily came and found me and brianna by the side of the stage and we watched this all going down and then I decided it would be a good idea to streak and when em brought me another whiskey and the band struck up “lover I don't have to love” I decided that god wanted me to do it. what perfect way to puncuate a song about casual sex, loneliness and a lack of caring about the universe than random nakedness? emily, being the mom-like tour manager that she is, reacted first with doubt but then after thinking it through and looking at the way the show and crowd were progressing decided that "this needs to happen for so many reasons". the voices in my own head were somewhat of a blur, but it was a familiar "something interesting has to take place now" kind of amanda head-refrain. so I waited til the song ended, got undressed, walked to the middle of the stage, and made out with conor oberst for ten seconds. he quite seemed to enjoy it, and he was an amzing kisser even if he's a brat. I was pried away by a burly security guy who didn't seem to think it was at all funny and told to get the fuck out of the tent so we went back to the bar and I freestyle-rapped a song about how emily is the best tour manager in the world. I did talk to c-dog before his entourage left but I think “all sorts of inebriated” wouldn't suffice to explain his state. gone, just gone......gone.
mom, please don't send an email. i'm already been wracked with guilt now that i realize that i took part in what was probably the most shameful sets at glastonbury. oh well. fuck guilt! rock and roll and onward and upwards and there will be plenty of rock shows to wear clothes at for the rest of my life. and No More Streaking for me lest i get a bad reputation. promise. at least not until next summer. i remember feeling this same sort of guilt after making out with evil-jock carl easton at my high school reunion and now i look back at it with a kind of a fondness.
and for the record, though conor oberst has proved himself whiny to the max on one night, he's still incredibly cute, a good kisser and put out a really well-produced record with great songwriting that I will probably have to wait a few years to listen to again. i even, upon going into my amazon checkout cart today, cancelled the bright eyes albums i had on order. too painful. i have hope. i want to think, in my hope for all humanity, that conor had a terrible night and will wake up to a brand new day and realize that things aren't all that bad, that while we can't end poverty by putting on rock shows it's better than doing absolutley nothing, and that insulting the dead in their namesake tent at a festival is a bad career move. and becasue i still think his music is brilliant, i will try to go see him play again to make up for the bad dream.
emily said that the singer from primal scream was so drugged out that he refused to leave stage at the end of their set and had to be dragged off. hard drugs = bad. alcohol has it's moments but it's pretty dangerous as well. back to juice for amanda. i think my bigggest guilty feeling is that instead of drinking and hanging out at the john peel tent watching conor oberst berate the audience and pulling a weird naked stunt i would have been much better off back over at Lost Vagueness, where i could have found jason webley and my other spiritual brothers and sisters and had an authentically good naked time with the real freaks. i want the sixties in my head back.
Anyway, I need to find a new rock crush. top candidate: andre 3000.