Living on Bonnaroo Time The Directors Cut
Peaches En Randalia #4
Authors Note: Due to time and space constraints, a shorter version of this column appeared in the Sunday, June 18 edition of the Bonnaroo Beacon. We have assembled all of the intended and extended scenes into this final directors cut.
time is flexible, stretchable and personal, so your time may be different from my time. If you were on a moving train and I was standing on a station platform looking at your watch as you whizzed by, then I would perceive your watch to be running more slowly than my own watch. – Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe, Simon Singh [book in my Bonnaroo backpack]
Oneoh, the clock
Well, the air conditioner in the freezer works, joked the convenience store/beer run/junk food/gas/cigarette employee in the joint off the Tennessee I-24 highway. I think my knees are frozen. Ive gotta go outside to warm up.
And suddenly the rope of time was brought together and I was 15, again, in this little store right down the road from the ethereal gates of Bonnaroo.
My first job way back yonder in the waves of times was as a stock clerk in a convenience store. I pretty much just stocked beer, soda and cow gear for my first hour in this gargantuan freezer which sometimes had a degree around 70 notches lower than the temp outside the big hulking door. Funny how the mind can splash imagery back into the face.
If youre a huge fan of the mere concept of time and space like me due to college physics and astronomy courses and a hell of lot of Joyce novels and Star Trek episodes, then Bonnaroo is the place to be. Time takes on its own fabric and texture in the Roo Zone as music and imagery appears to float in and out of the minds eye like a rolling wave crashing into the craggy rocks on some sort of mythical majestic island.
And this is what I saw in the currents of Bonnaroo time
Twooh, the clock
and Claypool joked that the new Oysterhead was right there on stage as he pointed to DJ Excel and said that he was Stewart Copeland. – VEGOOSE, BABY! Notes from the Road, Jambands.com, the Vegoose Press Conference, late October 2005 featuring two-thirds of the future reunion of OysterheadAnastasio and Claypool.
Trey and I look back and think, Thats STEWART COPELAND! – Les Claypool during reunited Oysterhead set, 6/16/06, Bonnaroo, Main Stage
Threeoh, the clock
Youve become quite the Middle Ages Renaissance Man with your films and books and various music projects, I explained to Les Claypool.
Peanut Sauce Man, replied Claypool. Im a Peanut Sauce Man.
Did they have peanut sauce in Europe in the 14th Century, I pondered?
It was good to see Oysterhead after five years especially after that brief mention last year at Vegoose that we may see them again in the future.
Roysterhead is always fun to play with, responded Claypool as he reminded me of my youth when I would make up words to puncture a hole in my growing pomposity.
Fouroh, the clock
I love the way I hear 18th century Bach one minute in Dungens music and suddenly, Im transported into the early 1970s and, viola, weve got early Pink Floyd, I said to their drummer, Frederick Bjorling after their set at Saturdays That Tent.
We want our music to include everything. Why shouldnt it? said Bjorling.
Fiveoh, the clock
Buddy Guy defies the rules of physics. He appeared younger than any other performer today as he took to the stage and inducted the thousands into his brand new church of old school delicious blues. It was incredibly hot so I wussed out and went backstage to rest under a shady tree like some sort of red-faced Irish version of Sir Isaac Newton.
And the rope of time was tied together again as space came towards me.
Buddy Guy, in all of his timeless glory, came off stage and circled around the back of the Which Stage while playing his guitar and walked right towards me. Having completing some sort of weird astronomical half circle, he turned around and went back up the stairs of the stage and kept on playing as if he wanted every particle of deep space to hear his beautiful music.
Sixoh, the clock
Sothe first time I spoke with you in the ocean of time, the band wasnt exactly having a grand old time, I said to Grace Potter of the Nocturnals. Are you having more good days than bad, now?
YESdefinitely, she laughed. It is incredible to be here. We are having a great time and it just keeps getting better.
Sevenoh, the clock
RR: How does it feel to be the band that de-throned the Beatles [PHISH] in Vermont?
GP: (laughs) The Beatles! It feels pretty incredible. I have to say we had a champagne toast with our road manager and financial manager because the day we found out that news [local publication named the band the best in Vermont usurping the title from the hibernating (?) boys from Burlington], we were playing a show and we were pretty much reaching rock bottom in terms of morale for the tour. It was really well timed. – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, New Groove of the Month, November 2005
Eightoh, the clock
Everything In Its Right Place
They sit in silence. Huge eyes. Huge heads. Tiny arms. Tiny lips. Their thoughts rest in huge heads. They communicate in a complicated serious of mathematical formulas transported from brain radio wave to brain radio wave. Silently, thoughts come from their huge heads and enter each other when necessary, if applicable, however diluted. – a random tone poem from long ago based upon the initial track from Radioheads landmark Kid A album; a thought that would once again float through my weirdly surreal and sun baked mind on 6/17/06 as they played one of the best sets on one of the best days in Bonnaroo music history.
Nineoh, the clock
He writes too small, said Mrs. Brewer
Yes, but is it good? asked my mom.
Of coursejust tell him to write larger on the page. replied Brewer. – my third grade teacher in conversation with my mom when I was 9.
Brevity is not one of your strong points but – fellow Jambands.com scribe Taylor Hill to this writer at the Roo
Tenoh, the clock
I catch some of the numerous strands of beads thrown from a float and I had to laugh and shake my head. The beads hang on my closet door behind me in my office/den/pile-of-crap-with-no-place-to-go room while I write. Im listening to Treys Secret Smile, ironically, right now as Undermind heads towards its masterful conclusion. Old habits die hard. Bittersweet evening watching the soon-to-be 65 year old Lesh playing his heart out with his largest contingent yet; a smile covered his youthful face the entire evening from 6:50 when he joined Umphreys for Franklins Tower until the closing moments of his great epic American Beauty penned with Robert Hunter, Box of Rain at 12:40. Hold onhold on Mr. Lesh. And you know, he will. The Mardi Gras beads I grabbed out of the San Francisco musty air? They had a series of fish in between green beads. Fishheh heh. Old habits never die. I suppose they just move into new areas with a little bit of yesterdays magic dust. – Notes from the Road, Jambands.com, February 2005 float back my way in June 2006
Elevenoh, the clock
Trey Anastasio on guitar and vocals, Mike Gordon on bass and guitars, Marco Benevento on keys and shit-eating grins, Joe Russo on Bonham thunderdrums and Phil Lesh guesting on bass, vocals and a million gallons of warm vibes. Otherwise known as G.R.A.B.as most of the heady community calls themor DMTDuo, Mike and Trey as the sublime and really heady and deliciously time-innovative Benjy Eisen calls them.
Ah, yesh, the main event called the Super Jam, took place on Saturday and outside of a few well-informed media and Bonnaroo sharp cats, most did not know who would play. I stayed gleefully ignorant [not a hard task] about participants and figured my old friend Trey wouldnt be able to play since he had a gig in another state opening for Sir Thomas Petty of Heartbreak. Alas, thankfully, I was wrong. Lesh played with the boys for a while and we had a wonderful prelude to the highly anticipated Trey/Gordo/Duo/PL&F touror as we call it in our house: G.R.A.B. Great, Lesh Filling. Shows arent sold out yet so how can I call it highly anticipated? I dont give a flying fuck about ticket sales. That has never been relevant in our scene when ascertaining hot shows. If you really dig challenging music that rocks and you dont catch at least one of these shows, you may as well turn in your music lovers license.
Anticlimactic after Phil left at the Roo Super Jam? Alas, no, my good wooks and non-wooks. Think the Bomb Factory without Tweezer and the tequila shots (I think) but, instead, with one mindblowing tension-and-release jam after another featuring new material, tabootDragonflyand cruncher Trey solo shots that were way, way over the top shredding through the skeleton, organ and skin of Mr. Completely.
Enter clich12: You had to be there as the crowd was most definitely the key sixth man beside old, reliable Chris Kuroda manning the light design from the center of the packed, jubilant tent. My face hurt from a rare ear-to-ear grin that lasted over two hours.
Twelveoh, the clock
Why do I feel like Im in the 22nd Century on a hippie space colony on Mars listening to a really cool singer from 1968 when I hear your music? I asked in my traditional hurly burly late 70s way to Devendra Banhartveteran of two Friday stages.
Thank you, laughed Banhart. I guess thats one way of putting it.
He handed me an imaginary business card with his real contact information and I shook his hand and gave him a real business card with my minds eye title, WRITER scrolled across its white space as I turned and walked back into the currents of the ocean which slaps against the imaginary mythical island that I love to inhabitthe Roo Zone.
_Just as space gets distorted close to a massive object, time does, too. It gets slower and slower as the curvature gets greater and greater. The same thing happens with mass. As you get into greatly curved regions of space, a bodys mass effectively increases. _ – ZERO: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, Charles Seife [book read after Big Bang – Randy Ray stores his work at www.rmrcompany.blogspot.com.