Exactly one month from now we'll be in the midst of Coachella, that annual sweaty, magical musical festival in the brutal yet glorious desert of Indio. It's also the 10th anniversary of the thing (well, kind of--the 1999 one took place in October).
In the spirit of getting ready for this glorious event, we're curious to hear the best Coachella tales from our local Orange County/Long Beach readers: were you mesmerized by the Pixies return show in 2004? The Rage reunion in 2007? Did you meet your future spouse dropping acid in the Gobi tent? Did you give John Digweed a beej behind some structurally absurd piece of modern art? Let us know, either by commenting here or e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My best Coachella story actually has nothing to do with music. Follow the jump to check it out!
The year was 2002. Me and my BFF Austin were psyched as heck to see our first Coachella, what with Bjork, the Foo Fighters, Oasis, Prodigy, Queens of the Stone Age, Belle and Sebastian, the Chemical Brothers and Siouxsie and the Banshees all performing.
Neither of us were the most responsible of individuals, though, and somehow we lost our reservation at the thankfully now-defunct David's Spa Inn in nearby Desert Hot Springs, even though we had made it weeks in advance. Something about not checking in before midnight on our first night, or something like that. We couldn't really tell because the hotel manager/owner (perhaps? who can be sure?) had an incredibly thick Asian accent; I, of course, can complain about such things being 1/2 Chinese myself. We argued for a while and made little progress, essentially repeating over and over how unfair it was to give away a room that had already been booked, but there was someone else (those bastards!) in our room, so what could we do?
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We drove to another hotel nearby, hoping for a vacancy. The lady behind the desk--a white lady, trust me, this is important--said she couldn't get us a room there, but that David's Spa Inn HAD to honor our reservation, since that was the right thing to do. Or something. So she called over there and yelled at the David's Spa Inn lady and then hung up the phone, saying "Fucking Asians!" to us. Yeesh. But maybe her tough talk did the trick.
We went back there, not quite sure what to expect, but of course, there was still no room available. I pulled out $80 in cash (since neither Austin or I had any type of debit or credit cards at this point in our lives), which was the normal room rate, and said, "HEY. Come on. What's this going to get us?" The hotel manager lady could see I meant business, and finally offered HER room for us to sleep in. Because apparently she lives in the hotel? That really shocked me at the time. After a slight amount of deliberation, because y'know, weird, we decided to take her up on her offer, which meant that she--and her son, who also lived in that room with her, yes, even weirder--had to evacuate to sleep in the lobby.
If that sounds pretty depressing to you, the room itself was another, bleaker story. It was tiny, and knowing that two people had to live there permanently filled us with Jean-Paul Sartre-esque exestential despair. There was only one, small bed, which was mildly awkward for two heterosexual bros, but, well, let's not even think about how things worked out for mother and son out in the lobby. The bed also was oddly uncomfortable, and felt like the box-spring was, inexplicably, on top of the mattress. Oh, and there was a bag of rice in the corner. Not only did that drive home stereotypes, in an admittedly hilarious fashion, it also appeared to be just about their only possession in the world. Suddenly, I was no longer angry at these people, and just sat hunched on my side of the bed, eating the cold Del Taco we ordered hours earlier, in a much more innocent time.
Early that morning, her son banged on the door, telling us it was time to exit, but I reminded him that we had a little while longer based on our prior agreement. Not that we weren't eager to leave. Austin's parents got us a much nicer hotel in the second day, and we stayed up all night watching TV and making jokes after returning home from a day of awesome sets. But was that one night in an old lady's bed better than sleeping in his car? Hard to say.