Sunday, August 29, 2004

Strange Dream

I had this really weird dream, and I thought I'd share it. In my dream, I fell asleep and I woke up in NYC. For some reason I was on an empty subway car. I got off and there was a sign on the turnrail that said there was no train service today. I thought it was really weird and it was a super heavy rain. People kept calling it a hurricane.
I walked into a barber shop to escape the rain and in the mirror I was a fro-ey headed puerto rican kid. The barber was an older black man with a touch of grey in his hair. He was joking around that the Republican National Convention caused the weather "and they call Chicago the windy city."
I got kicked out of the barbershop for loitering like some gaping fool. I used a protest sign as an umbrella, but I still got wet. I usually don't feel wetness in my dream, but I did and that's kinda weird. Anyway, I tried to call Franklin from a payphone but I didn't have enough change. I checked for change in the return slot and the phone next to it. Just as I was doing that, a truck drove by and caused a big wave from the standing water which soaked an older hunchbacked woman in a pink overcoat. Then I woke up.
There were two other weird things about this dream: I remember walking up stairs and I was someone else in my dream... which rarely happens.
So what do you think this means?


Thursday, August 19, 2004

PHiSH Jersey-ed Coventry

The saving grace and the hard truth is that you didn't need a ticket in advance to get into Coventry. You needed steadfast courage that things would work out and the volition to make it to the main gates. With a little bit of luck and a little bit of pluck you would make it in. I haven't met anyone who was denied entrance to the show.
Anyway, friends have been calling me since this picture hit the net from Coventry. This is from our hike about ~10 miles away from our car on our way into the venue. We stopped for a cool roadside beer (Magic Hat #9). Shortly thereafter, a local snapped a picture of Josh and I. He has a great lil blog about all of us invading Coventry, part of our "Million Hippie Hike!"

Anyway, I was very tired when this picture was taken... hell, just look at me, I look like shit. After the announcement that no cars more cars would be allowed into the lot Saturday morning, (after driving and waiting for a day, in my sleep deprived state), I had a very somber and lucid internal conversation which I wrote down. For clarity of this conversation I will use my name and my nickname:
Stew: Do you remember Godot?
Greg: Certainly, how about Kafka?
Stew: Official channels get us no where!
Greg: Exactly!
Stew: How long have we been waiting?
Greg: For the last show? We've said goodbye before, but we've been waiting since we bought our tickets, but the bigger question is what kind of trial by fire is this?
Stew: Trial by water torture seems more appropriate. Its going to be a bonnaroovian field when we get in... good thing we know how to treck through mud.
Greg: We're gonna get "The Story."
Stew: At least a Harpua, right?
Greg: We've been waiting a long time to hear it... and think of everything all of us did to get here! It'd be almost some type of cruel punishment to have all these people come all this way with the expectation that now, after all everything, both figuratively and litterally that they would certainly hear it and not to get it.
Stew: You're probably right, they're not going to play "The Story."
Greg: We've been wrong about calls before, but this is the last chance they'll have to set the bar. Wouldn't you pull out all the stops for this crowd?
Stew: Look what it took to bring us back to VT! What kind of morbid curiosity is this to come back at the eleventh hour to watch the final curtain?
Greg: Facinating isn't it? Look at all the people taking a hike through the country!
Stew: Remember to lighten your burdens. Its a long road.
Greg: Eventually roads end. Where did I put the good cigars for when this one does?

Phish's Coventry was more anticipated than a trip to a place I haven't been to in a decade, a reunion of friends and former loves, and a jackpot in Vegas combined. If I knew it was going to be this kind of send off I would have sold my ticket for a ton and stayed home drinking fine wine on a private beach on Lake Michigan. I've been looking forward to this show for a while now. I am disappointed by Phish's final showing in Coventry, VT... I mean, besides the fact that people didn't get in and they said the wrong things at the wrong times... Phish actually played really poorly. Its like they played the third set first and even that seemed lack luster.
I suppose one could say "Hey Stew, you built it up too much in your mind. They could never live up to your idea of what the final show should be!" I disagree. They had 20 years for it to be all about themselves. To call it quits is to call all people, like myself who consider Phish the greatest band they ever saw live, to come out for a last hurrah! To say Phish sold their fans short on this show is an understatement.
I saw more people have fun in the mud than with the band.
The funny thing is John Paluska wrote a letter to the fans expo facto:
As well written as this letter is (good job John), it doesn't appease the bulk of the fans who did in fact make it, but because of colloseus of errors in logistics and announcements, made it to the show in panic and under-preparedness. Someone please explain to me what he's thinking about offering people who didn't get to go to the show prefer a tabula of the event? Can we please mash some salt into their wounds while we're at it? On the other hand, would fans that DID go to the show want something of that ilk? I'm sorry, but that's not available to you... only those who didn't make it can get this parting gift. Would you want a CD download of a show that you didn't go to (which was actually the sloppiest Phish show I've ever been to)? By the way, the show is available for download any number of ways. And I'm sure that will be really special... another show in your collection that you weren't at. It has as much novelty as the last Soldier Field Dead show which wasn't a very good show and poorly collected (until Jerry died and then everyone and their mother wanted a copy and said they were there... I was in St Hero VT after Sugarbush seeing Phish).
There are so many kids out there who can't believe this is the end. According to those who should be in the know... this is really the end for at least 6-10 years, but you never know. Lets face it the only way to remedy the situation is to call for a do-over... and that's really doubtful. If they did, I'd like them to play Divided Sky and Gamehendge (my personal call would be for Closer: DWD>Destiny Unbound E: Amazing Grace) and all those things I heard kids calling for, but I don't think its gonna happen. So if your jaded, be jaded. If your pissed, be pissed.


Friday, August 06, 2004

The Descent

Las Vegas... I always thought of it as "a wretched hive of scum and villainy," like in Star Wars, but the truth is I had a great time. I saw a Vegas show. I got a bunch of business done at the trade show and I even won a little bit of money gambling. For all of the warnings and curses I heard about "Sin City" I found them to be plainly wrong.
I had to come home to the city of Chicago before I found all that bad crap. I got mugged while heading out to meet up with a friend for drinks. I feel like Barron Von Munchausen... descending from a state of grace. Knocked on my ass and all of the sudden I feel a hell of alot less rich... my ribs hurt a lil bit... and I'm bummin'.
So I'm sitting here with a ticket for the big finale for Phish... Coventry. And I'm conflicted. As far as I'm concerned its the end of an era. I want to be there, but under the circumstances, I'm having a difficult time figuring out how I'm going to do this financially.
I have this turning feeling in my stomach... I don't think I can go.
Just as I'm writing this I got a call from Josh... and I'm reconsidering... there's got to be a way.


Thursday, August 05, 2004

Bush Finally Said It

We all knew he thought this, but we were never able to prove this, but G.W. Bush finally straight up and told a room full of reporters that he and his administration will "never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people."
Is this an impeachable offense? Is that treason?
Someone call up homeland security and have him removed from the office, please!


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

A Blast in Boulder

Like any good saga, this one begins with a fight against a raging tempest, a series of thunderstorms and tornados that ranged from Illinois to the border of Colorado! In the terential downpour, I nearly averted disaster twice when cars directly infront of me collided and a tailpipe from an RV busted off and skirted the canvas top of my car! Thank the powers that be that all parties involved weren't injured. However, I got very wet making sure of that. Luckily, I had a trunk full of clothes. When I pulled off the road in another very heavy gailforce wind and rainstorm in Walnut, Iowa I pulled into an empty BP/Amoco. Finally, a gas station attendent came in from the back store room. He told me that I was crazy man for driving through a series of tornados which crossed I-80. I may have driven right through them... I had no idea. I couldn't see through the storms. Mainly they were thunderstorms... bright flashes of light and booming thunder (I love thunder) on all sides of the car. Anyway, as it turns out the gas station attendent made a similar drive on his way to Colorado, but his car broke down and there he stayed for the next 7 years! This seemed very foreboding... and we both knew it... he totally hooked me up. Everything from checking the tires, topping off fluids and even new batteries for my flashlight was given to me... free of charge! He hooked me up!
My trip seemed to go much more smoothly after that... sure the lightening and thunder, but I seemed to be coasting in a pocket where the storm was on all sides of me except for where I was. I probably called everyone I know... with the exception of three people. Friends from Hawaii kept me focused when it was 3-4am. Friends from the East called me on their way to work early in the morning. I made the trip in about 16 hours. As daybreak came on Colorado it revealed beautiful pastures and fields of black eyed susans and other assorted wildflowers and grazing livestock. By the time I arrived in Boulder I was ready for sleep... but there wasn't time...
It was morning, Keller Williams was going to play on KBCO 97.3fm. I met up with Udi, Laci, Axtel, Tammer, Keller, Lou, Nadia, Reis, & the Madison House gang all that day... and then we headed up to Mishawauka Ampitheatre outside of Fort Collins to catch a full Keller show. I have a neat little video of the radio segment too! Over 28 hours later I had an opportunity to sleep for 45 minutes... so I caught a cat nap.
I loved the mountains behind Fort Collins. It provides the opportunity for cliff jumping, climbing, a little rafting, camping and live music!!! The river runs right behind the venue. The only problem is that some kid OD'ed at the Sound Tribe Sector Nine show the week before (not an uncommon experience for STS9 as of late). Security was pretty agro.
I played guitar for the first time infront of strangers who like Keller. I was told later that I'd done good.
I had coffee with Christina for somewhere around six hours. I'm very glad we had the chance to talk. She's doing well in Hawaii and I'm happy for her! I hope to keep in touch now and again.
I went to Winterpark, CO / Frazier Valley to a rock music festival. Keller had a super early slot and we missed him (d'oh), but we did catch Yonder Mountain String Band, Cake and the Finn Bros. Later that night in Boulder I went to the Mountain Sun Brewery and saw Jeff Austin jam with one of the replacement banjo players from Leftover Salmon... it was good. I drank some beer with Udi and some of his friends before crashing for the night... finally a good night's rest!
Back in Boulder the next day I longboarded through town with Red & Axtel... I hung out for a while before hitting the road back to Chicago!