By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Jack GouldWe had considerably more success getting into the Hootenanny this year than last. For those who don't remember that fiasco, it boils down to very unhelpful peoplelosing our tickets at will-call. Also, members of at least one of the bands had to wait outside the gate with their equipment because their names weren't on the list either—for more than two hours.
Not that we're complaining! No sirree! Because this time, even though we had to wait quite a while because they swore we weren't on the list, we got backstage passes. For you, friends. So you, too, could witness the glory of Allen Wrench(of Kill Allen Wrench) fightin' a guy and squirting beer on people through a clever pinhole in his Bud can.
And Barbara, the sweet blonde with the pancake makeup who came all the way from Florida to see her hero, Dave Alvin: we watched her in the front row, gazing and smiling sweetly at him and singing all the words to all his songs, and 15 minutes later, there she was at his dressing-room door. We would never travel 3,000 miles for him, and yet we did name our cat after him. See how that works?
And the crazy, pigtailed naked chick trying determinedly to meet Mike Ness, even though the mad security guy kept throwing her off the stage every time she tried, and eventually, she threw her shoe at him, and he threw it right back . . . This, of course, was after she let a whole bunch of guys take nekkid pix of her in the Cadillac Tramps' trailer, with her denim pedal pushers around her ankles and her hands jiggling her huge, firm bazooms, which were temporarily freed from her cute cream-colored cotton camisole blouse. "Hey," Long Beach artist The Pizztold us, "there's a crazy naked chick letting a whole bunch of guys take pictures of her in the Cadillac Tramps' trailer." He left out the part about the pedal pushers and the bazooms.
"Watch our boy," we responded. "We'll be right back." It took us only a moment to ascertain the truth of the story: there was indeed a crazy naked chick letting a whole bunch of guys take pictures of her in the Cadillac Tramps' trailer. Also, according to our cool friend Anita, whom we see in all the best beer lines, before she got backstage, the crazy naked chick had her pants down and was grabbing herself at Anita's husband, Sam, as he took a leak by the fence. The crazy naked chick wasn't making a whole lot of new girlfriends. And someone onstage said, "Girls with big ol' fake titties take it up the ass," and she never so much as blinked, but kept right on grinding proudly away. And we don't even know what she was doing in that tour bus, or even whose it was, but afterward, she ran really fast to the stage with a focused glaze in her hard eyes. Aren't you glad people aren't reading that about you? The moral of the story is don't do drugs in public, unless of course you just can't help yourself.
So it was a beautiful day at Oak Canyon Ranch, which is one happening place to throw a concert. We would already have known that, but . . . you know. (No, we aren't ever going to get over their losing our tickets last year. Honest, we try. But we'll be 90 years old, forgoing memories of all the sunshiny days to kvetch about the time they didn't let us into the Hootenanny and we had to go to Van Haleninstead!) Thunderclouds had been brewing during the morning, but they burned themselves off by early afternoon, leaving only a residual electric charge in the air and sunshine that spawned beer lines several kilometers long. Yes, a good day to spend with one's boy, playing air guitar like a devil dog and asking why he can't have skeleton tattoos, too, and how about some candy, that girl is selling candy, and look, Mom, see the car? It has fire on it!
Acts like Jimmy Intveld(awww yeah; Jimmy Intveld!) and the Bleeders graced the teeny Blue Cafestage, and the Weekly's own Buddy Bluekicked off one of the two side-by-side main stages, followed later by the Reverend Horton Heat(during which there was much fighting, yes, thank you, not to mention one woman who got bashed in the face as a direct result of standing too close to testosterone poisoning). There were a damn lot of people in freshly tattooed sleeves. Also, there were a damn lot of people in brand-new cowboy hats—every generation seems to have its cowboy-hat phase—the current vogue of which is to bend the brim up on the sides and down in front and back so sharply you could shoot up with it if it were hollow and you had drugs and you liked to shoot up. And we'll bet a few of those people do shoot up! Why? Because the cool people are doing it!
Something a lot of the cool people didn't do was stay once Ness had finished. We did, but not because we wanted to. The only reason we've ever heard of Bo Diddleywas because of those cool "Bo Knows" commercials with Diddley and Bo Jacksonback in the '80s, but we felt we should stick around and see the living legend, blah, blah, blah. It turned out to be the most uplifting set of sex music we've heard since Mahalia Jacksonset her gospel tunes to stripper music. Diddley travels without a band; Linda Jemisonput together his backing band this time, and all he gave her to work with was, "Yeah, have 'em learn the greatest hits." The small crowd that remained grumbled a bit when Diddley stopped in the middle of his second song to school the drummer on the changes (and we've heard he can be pretty insulting to journeymen who know their chops), but he was so gentlemanly, warmly exhorting the crowd to give it up for the band for putting up with him, and then launching into odd rap numbers in the third person like, "'Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley/Do you like my stuff?'/'Yeah, baby, I like your stuff/The problem is you never give it up!'" for about half an hour each, and anyone who wasn't won over completely is a total boob. A particular crowd pleaser was when he told his woman (repeatedly) that she could take her dog and her ugly cat with her when she left; in fact, she could take her pooper-scooper and scoop her way back to her mama's house, by cracky! (Except for the "by cracky" part.) It was muy great.
We hitched a ride up the nasty long hill (we were already achy and old; oh, our corns!) from Art on his souped-up golf cart to be sent away with a long and fancy fireworks display we didn't expect. Every time we saw what had to be the finale, with dozens of flares shooting into the sky at once, they'd just keep going. It was magical, with most people long gone from the canyon parking lot under the inky sky. Now, if we'd only gotten to see them last year. . . .