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Old 21 Jul 2005, 07:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wasted Years...

June 25th, 1995

My friend Cicero and I had been Phish fans, or “phans” as gay Phish fans put it, since late 1991. Our buddy Setzer turned us onto Phish by taking us for a drive, getting us stoned and putting in a tape, playing a song called David Bowie which clocks in at 10 min 40 sec long and only has a couple of lines of lyrics.

First Verse: David Bowie (repeat 8 times)
Second Verse: UB40 (repeat 8 times)

In the time since, Cicero and I had seen Phish separately on several occasions but never together. Today that changed.

Cicero and I worked for the same company, the same shift, but different buildings. We both got off work at 6:30am. He and I both had the following workday off, and we’d planned it so that I’d pick him up after his shift and take him home. I pulled up to the curb where he was waiting and he got in. Driving away, we sparked a jay and together we laughed at all the people setting off for their own jobs, knowing that our day and night would be sooooo much more fun than theirs.

He’d only recently moved into a house with three former coworkers of his. They’d already left for the grind when we pulled in. Oddly enough, Jennifer, the owner of the house, had said that Cicero had to buy all his own beer but could help himself to the liquor cabinet. An error to say the least on her part.

Already pleasantly buzzing from the commute, Cicero made us two mixed drinks, easy on the Pepsi, heavy on the ice and the Captain Morgan’s. We had a big day ahead of us. The lot opened at 4pm, the gates opened at 7pm and the show was scheduled to start at 8pm. The show was at my favorite New York Concert venue, the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center, and we had much to do before we arrived.

We pulled up to Alex’s place around 11am. We walked to his apartment’s front door and hit the bell. We heard it ring, to which Cicero and I both looked puzzled. Alex is, after all, deaf and should’ve had a silent bell that flashes light when someone rings. We knocked on his door. No answer. We knocked more loudly…nothing. We were pounding on his door when we heard someone behind us say “Hey!”

We turned and saw Alex, stepping out of a blue sedan that had been parked when we first pulled in. Seeing Cicero and I swivel back and forth between him and his front door, he said, “Our bed hasn’t arrived yet, so Laura and I decided to sleep in the car.” We figured it was an old school Bonneville and it had room so fuck it…

Alex closed his car door, walked to the apartment and let us in so we could conduct some business.

...to be continued...

Late.
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Old 21 Jul 2005, 07:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Damn cliffhangers
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Old 22 Jul 2005, 02:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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…continued.

So about a half hour later we left Alex’s place. Laura had woken up and was walking from the car to the apartment as we left. Matt and I each had two hits of blotter and a half ounce of green to show for our visit, less probably a half gram apiece for the L we put in on while enjoying Alex’s hospitality. Next stop, Burger King!!

We’d spent ten minutes just standing in line, waiting to get to the cashier. Most of that time was spent laughing at (the man we assumed was) the janitor, who was in the parking lot wrestling with a bucket that had wheels on it. In plain view of the massive floor to ceiling windows that surrounded The King’s eating room, the janitor (allegedly) bent down to pick up this bucket from the bottom. We could only assume he was trying to dump it’s contents into the dumpster.

Apparently the bucket was heavy and slippery because he hadn’t picked it up four inches off the ground when it slipped from his grasp and landed on his toes. Given the fact that the guy was yelling, “FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!” and hopping around on one leg while doing it, I say we displayed great restraint in not roaring out peals of laughter.

So when we finally got to the counter, we realized (much to the cashier’s obvious chagrin) that we’d not thought at all about what we wanted to eat. Our order was punctuated with “Uhhh, ummmm…what’s on that sandwich?” About the thirtieth time the cashier rolled his eyes at us, Cicero asked, “Buddy, you got something better to do?? Are we keeping you from filling the ice machine or something?”

The cashier backtracked and apologized while I quietly reminded Cicero that these people would be preparing our food and to hold back a little in lieu of that.

We pulled up at Cicero’s woman, Tereza’s house about 12:40pm. Two honks of the horn and she was in the back seat, raring and ready to go. We all tricked on back to Cicero’s pad where our friend Jeremy was waiting for us. We went in and mixed up some drinks, sat down and smoked for a while as we waited.

2:30pm eventually came, which was our scheduled time of departure. None of our stoned asses realized it until about 3:00pm, at which point we threw the beer into our cooler, packed up all the Ls I’d rolled into an empty box of smokes and ran out to the car.

We hit the highway. The venue was a good 45 min drive and we were miffed that we’d probably get stuck in a traffic jam. Our spirits weren’t dampened though. Jeremy and Tereza were in the back, sharing a bottle of Absolut. Cicero was downing beers at a harried pace, and of course the L was being passed. There’s nothing like the New York State Thruway in the summer.

Of course it used to be great fun while driving to a Phish show to look for other cars going to the show. Identified usually by anywhere from one to fifty Phish/Dead bumper stickers and dirty, nappy looking Tour Rats stuffed into the vehicle. They’d always get a honk and a knowing smile. Phish was almost a secret back then. Not quite as much of a secret as it had been in 1993, but a secret nonetheless. Noone outside the circle knew who Phish was, and it gave us a rush to know that we were in on what could’ve been the biggest inside joke of the 90’s. “All the bands you like suck…we’re going to a Phish show.”

So we turned off the road to get to the show and came to an immediate halt. We’d found the traffic jam. I was talking to the nice people in the car to my left when Cicero said in a blearily drunk voice…”Awww, fuck I’ve gotta pisssssssss…”

Without thinking I said, “Just go out the window, man.” Genius.

Two seconds later I felt the car shift and I knew (as I should’ve before speaking) that Cicero had taken me literally. I looked over to find him standing up in the passenger seat of my car, his body’s top half sticking out of the passenger window. I didn’t have to move or ask to know that he was already pissing.

I looked in my rearview mirror and noticed that all the people in the topless Jeep behind us were pointing and laughing. A look around at other cars showed me that they were, too. It must’ve been a long time coming because cars had started moving and I had to kind of inch ahead so he could continue to piss and not get thrown out of the window. His balance was already precarious enough as it was.

After a while, we got sick of just sitting there and decided to pull into a small hotel’s parking lot. We were only about five hundred yards away from the lot anyway. It shouldn’t have mattered too much, but it did. As we walked to The Lot, Cicero’s level of drunkenness became apparent. Out of 10, I’d have given him a 7. At this point, I realized that I would get a call the next day from him, asking what had happened.

Cicero’s funny when he’s drunk, he likes to pretend he’s athletic. So he tried to break into a run for The Lot. Running along the side of a semi country road, he slipped and fell into some tall grass. When we reached him, we hauled him up and continued along. Apparently though, alcohol also removes any short term memory Cicero had because he started out running again.

He fell on the grass in front of him not ten yards from where we picked him up the first time. We repeated the process, as did he, this time spilling hisself onto some gravel, which seemed to have knocked some momentary sense into him. Finally we were able to get into The Lot without major injury.

For those who don’t know…the Parking Lot at a Phish show is almost as fun as the show itself. We walked up and down the aisles of cars, navigating an endless stream of hippies, trust fund hippies, transient hippies and other assorted company.

There was anything you could have wanted…any narcotic, legal or otherwise, appeared to be readily available. Dirty, shirtless, bearded tour rats would shuffle along, hawking grilled cheese sandwiches, veggie burritos (which taste much better than they sound), ganja goo-balls (a dessert), T Shirts and of course…Magic Hat beer. I bought a Magic Hat Fat Angel…mmmmmm, heady goodness. We lit a blunt and continued the stroll.

Over to the right, several people were crowded around two guys wearing their hats backward and they yelled in unison, “Welcome to your first Phish show…now GO HOME!!!!” This has happened before, everyone broke out laughing.

The Lot always had a feeling of home. Probably because it really was home for many of the people there, people without tickets, going from show to show, peddling their wares, hoping for the occasional miracle (Miracle is what they call it when someone just gives you a ticket, no cash no trade just here you go…a rarity to say the least). Most everyone was smiling or pleasant and a lot of people were looking for things…

“Tickets…tickets…hits…hits…ganja…tapes…I need a ride to Philly…weed…hits…Caaaaaash or traaaade for your eeeeextraaaaaaa…” It wasn’t until I heard that last sentence that the rush came again…”I’m gonna see Phish!! I’ve made it to the next show!!”

Cicero got an idea….”Dude…let’s score some Nitrous!!” Jeremy and Tereza were down for it. I kept my dissention silent…I don’t like cutting off oxygen to my brain, but if they wanted to then go ahead. Cicero started to indicate to others what he was looking for…”gas……gas……gas……gas……”

It wasn’t long before we were approached by a guy in an Allman Bros T Shirt and were asked, “Hey…are you guys looking for gas??”

Having neither shame nor humility, Cicero bursted out, “Hell yeah, man…you lookin’ or helpin’ us out??”

The man led us to a rear parking lot that was rather sparsely populated compared to the main lot and into a cargo van. Just before he opened the back slide door, he eyed us and said, “How do I know you’re cool, man??”

Without pause, I whipped out a cigarette box and withdrew a blunt, lit it, puffed deeply, exhaled and said, “I don’t know dude…I think you’ll have to trust us.” He was still eyeing me when I passed the L to him, which pretty much sealed the deal. He opened the van and we climbed in.

It was something that dumbfounded me at first. We all sat on a bench seat, directly opposite us were four chest high gas tanks. He blew one balloon up halfway and passed it to Cicero. Not that it would’ve mattered if it was Helium or Nitrous in there, but it appeared to pass Cicero’s test. We settled on the price of three balloons for $10 and parted ways.

Jeremy and Tereza inhaled theirs almost as soon as we hit the pavement, while Cicero claimed he still had a buzz from the test balloon and was going to wait…like at that point he was able to tell the difference.

As we were walking back up to the main lot, one of the Parking Lot Staff, or one of the Orange Vests as we called them, clapped his hand on Cicero’s back and said, “What’s in the balloon, son??” Cicero wheeled, and stood there swaying in intoxication, looking at the Orange Vest with amusement. As I said, Cicero likes to think he’s athletic when he’s buzzing hardcore…so he dashed off ahead of us, looking something like a Special Olympics track star.

Two Orange Vests came out of nowhere and grabbed him. As the first Orange Vest caught up with him, the three of us advanced to see the melee. Apparently Cicero was in a battle with them for the balloon, which they were demanding he release from the deathgrip he had on it. The three of them started to lean over to one side, and then they all toppled to the asphalt like a Jenga stack, with Cicero clutching the balloon fiercely and shaking his head while yelling, “NO!!! NOOOOOOOO!”

The struggle resumed briefly and then one Orange Vest popped up, then another, then the last who also pulled Cicero up with him by the scruff of the neck. The balloon remained in his right hand, now empty, and the look on his face was similar to how I feel he’d have looked if he’d just run a marathon. The Orange Vests walked him over to us and admonished us to keep him out of trouble. Yeah, like we had a chance.

Walking up to the gates, we ran into our Buffalo Contingent. Ry-Guy, The Milkman, Crispy, Dave, Chris, Amy Jo and Karen Brown practically cheered us as we approached them. This was a bad move because it rekindled Cicero’s drunken desire to act like a drunken lout. He ran up to Ry-Guy, put both hands on his shoulders and began shaking him saying over and over again, “Hoooooly shit!! We’re all at the Phish show!! Hooooooly shit!! We’re all at the Phish show!!”

Seeing this display, one of the ladies who was checking tickets and searching people told me that he was too intoxicated to be allowed on the premises and would have to sober up before they let us in. We waited on the grass for about 15 minutes and then entered the venue quietly and without incident.

We caught up with the Buffalo Contingent on the lawn and immediately started sharing our smokes. All was going well, and then…they took the stage. I’m pretty sure the first song they played was Sample In A Jar. Cicero hung around for a verse and a half, and then pointed to the right rear section of the pavilion and announced, “Oh wow…I want to go over there…

And that was the last I saw of him that day. What follows is his account to me the next day. I got a call around 3pm…”Dude…what happened?!”

“You got fucked up beyond all recognition, that’s what happened. We got into a chorus and the second verse of Sample before you booked on us. Tereza, Jeremy and I waited at the car until 1 in the morning…we weren’t going to wait forever, man.

“Yeah, I know” Cicero said. “I don’t remember the show too much, but at setbreak I walked around for a while and then just left. I guess I thought the fuckin’ show was over. I walked right through the ticket line and they said to me, ‘You know, there’s no re-entry if you leave the show.’

“I looked at them and said in the cockiest voice ever, ‘Why the fuck would I want to go back in there??’ And that’s when I heard the guys start playing again. I was like….shiiiiit.”

“Damn,” I said, feigning surprise as best I could. Come to think of it I was surprised, but only at the fact that he left voluntarily rather than them asking him to leave. “What’d you do then?”

“Ehhh, I hung out in the lot, got a burrito and then walked to a bar and called my mom.”

“I’ll bet she was thrilled to come get you.”

“She said all that mattered was that I was safe.”

I said, “Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww…”

Thanks for going down memory lane with me. I’d also like to thank STICK for his patience. I had fun.

Late.
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Old 22 Jul 2005, 05:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Pretty good read.


I'm impressed you remember it all, considering you were blazed
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Old 24 Jul 2005, 03:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STICKzophrenic
Pretty good read.


I'm impressed you remember it all, considering you were blazed
Thanks.

To be honest, that was just the beginning. I got so hammered during the concert that it just wasn't funny. Well actually it kinda was. Phish has this song Tweezer and it can be anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes long, however they want to do it.

Well, at this show they came out for the second set and started with one song, went into Tweezer and basically played that for the rest of the show, throwing in a cover of My Generation somewhere in the middle. I passed out and took little 15 min powernaps twice during Tweezer.

I was awake for My Generation, and I was awake for what I think was a solo that the drummer did...playing a vacuum cleaner. Those are always fun.

I was a freaking mess, I tell you.

Late.
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Old 24 Jul 2005, 04:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by The Glue
Thanks.

To be honest, that was just the beginning. I got so hammered during the concert that it just wasn't funny. Well actually it kinda was. Phish has this song Tweezer and it can be anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes long, however they want to do it.

Well, at this show they came out for the second set and started with one song, went into Tweezer and basically played that for the rest of the show, throwing in a cover of My Generation somewhere in the middle. I passed out and took little 15 min powernaps twice during Tweezer.

I was awake for My Generation, and I was awake for what I think was a solo that the drummer did...playing a vacuum cleaner. Those are always fun.

I was a freaking mess, I tell you.

Late.
LMFAO.

Good stuff Glue, good stuff indeed
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