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Published: 2002/06/28
by Jeff Waful

From The Bonnaroo Beacon:Overheard in the Bonnaroo Press Tent This Weekend Comedy Centeroo: Fans and Musicians Recall their funniest Bonnaroo Moments

Here are two articles from Jeff Waful that ran in Sunday’s Bonnaroo Beacon. Again, if you want to grab all four issues you can do so with a Relix subscription.

Overheard in the Bonnaroo Press Tent This Weekend

Al Schnier, moe.: The cool thing about this scene is that exists in a very real way. It’s got longevity because everyone’s dedicated: the fans, the band, the crew and the people behind the scenes. Everybody’s really into it, just for the sake of the music and not because it was the cool song based on the cool haircut last year. Whether or not this blows up and becomes a mainstream thing, I don’t knowWhat makes this music scene interesting is that you’re kind of walking a tight rope every night and the fans know it as well as the band. You’re just kind of throwing things out there and seeing what’s going to happen. That’s what makes it very exciting. Sometimes it fails and sometimes it works, but when it works and everybody gets that chill down their spines, everybody starts vomiting. That’s what we’re going for tonight, just mass vomiting.

Sunny Ortiz, Widespread Panic: It’s really exciting for us to be here. It kind of reminds us of the H.O.R.D.E. Festival that we were a part of about 5 or 6 years ago. It’s nice to see that we’re all here again in one big family environment. We’re just having a good time checking out all the other artists. You have all these talented musicians, all in one area. To have an environment like this where you have several stagesthere isn’t anything going on like this anywhere else. Our hats are off to the people that made this happen.

Kyle Hollingsworth, String Cheese Incident: There are so many musicians that are here at the festival that it inspires me to become a better player. I think it inspires everyone to push it to the next levelI walked around a bit yesterday. It seems like it’s set up very well. I’m really actually happily surprised how well organized it is. People seem to be getting enough water and people are being very healthy and caring for each other. It definitely seems like an adult playground.

*Chief Xcel, Blackalicious:*Our lead singer got injured about 4 or 5 weeks ago. He hurt his foot and he’s a diabetic, so we have to take those things real seriously. But we didn’t want to cancel out, we wanted to still come and show our energy, so we went out and just warmed the crowd up. It was cool. I’m just sorry I’m not going to be able to check out the whole weekend, cause there’s just so much good musicWhat festivals like Bonnaroo do is they make a statement to the rest of the world.

*Karl Denson, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe:*I think Bonnaroo is an indication that people are going beyond the mainstream to look for music. I think that’s the most important thing about this scene. These aren’t radio bands, but there’re 75,000 people here.

Jack Johnson: I think both [Ben Harper and I] are used to being on radio shows where we’re on the far side of not being mainstream. It’s kind of funny for us to be at a festival where we’re considered the mainstream acts. If we’re as far mainstream as it gets here, I think that’s a good thingThe one thing I’ve noticed at this festival is that backstage all the musicians dig hanging out together. Everybody talks. Everyone’s excited to see the band that plays after them. I think it was really put together well in the sense that it’s jam bands, it’s hip hop and just sort of roots music all at the same time.

*Ben Harper:*Am I mainstream? Have I arrived there now? Damn, I gotta find a new stream that’s not mainUsually when people talk about great music festivals they gotta go all the way to Europe. It’s really exciting to see that that’s not the case as of today. People can have a reference for a great music festival here in America. This country’s big enough to have that. It looks like it has arrived. It’s exciting

Soup, Jurassic 5: I didn’t know anything about the jam band scene. I’m used to watching urban TV like B.E.T. of MTV. Up until a year and a half ago, I didn’t know that this whole world even existed. I thought only the people that were on TV were the ones that played big shows and festivals. I became a part of this whole thing and saw real musicians getting up there and having fun and giving their all up there on stage. It’s not all commercial. You know that these guys are playing from their heart and having fun. For me, it’s the greatest thing ever.

Col. Bruce Hampton, Codetalkers: The great thing about it is the intention of every band. Marketing [in the jam band scene] is usually third. You look at any other type of music and you’ll see that marketing is first. It’s wonderful here that you can see anyone from Del McCoury Band to Robert Randolph and there’s always the right intention involved.

Rob Mercurio, Galactic: Obviously, not everyone here has seen us. We just hope that we come out of this with a bunch of new fans. I think that on a whole, I think this is a big movement for jam bands. I think it’s putting jam bands on the map. It’s a big step for us being accepted on the national level. A lot of these bands are flying a little bit under the radar. We don’t really get the exposure and hopefully this will bring it to us and all the other bands here with us.

Comedy Centeroo: Fans and Musicians recall their funniest Bonnaroo Moments

“Wavy,” Westport, CT, age 17: I was standing there chilling and this truck rolled by and water was just spilling out of like 30 sprockets on the back. So some dude gets up and runs behind the truck and is washing off his hands and feet and then his face. It was a septic tank truck. So the driver pulls the truck over and was like, “No! What are you doing!? You can’t put that on your face!” The dude had it all over him, but he just didn’t care.

Richard Gehr, Brooklyn, NY, age 47: We’re backstage at the moe. show and there’s a woman whose job it is to prevent people who don’t have laminates from using the port-o-sands. No laminate, no piss. So I was unable to use the facilities because I did not have a laminate. She officially has the stupidest job of anyone in the history of the world.

*Soulive’s Eric Krasno, New York, NY age 25:*There was this flower guy [laughs]. He was all wrapped up in flowers and was giving out flowers. I dug that. It was funny.

*Krista Hatch, Portsmouth, NH, age 31:*I saw a tall, good-looking, long dready man walking down the little pathway with a tie on and no shirt. It made me laugh a lot, sort of like executive with la la hippie land.

Dianne Spatafore, Boston, MA, age 30: I saw a woman balancing a bottle very nicely on the top of her head. It was full and glowing. She was tall, pretty and dready, walking around perfectly in the midst of chaos.

Ken Weinstein, New York, NY, age 38: We’re walking back from the campgrounds through the main stage fields after Widespread was done. All the sudden, a porta-potty opens and a guy and a girl come out. We were so blown away by it that we had to say something. We were like, “Dudes, we’ve heard of the Mile-high Club, but this is a little much. I mean, that’s gross.” The girl just looked at us and smiled. She said nothing.

*“Seattle Bob,” Venice, CA, age 32:*I saw a man running around naked when I first got here and I didn’t find that funny, but I did kind of because he was like 300 pounds. Then I saw a woman of about 98 pounds running around behind him. Everything I’ve dreamed of has come true at Bonnaroo. I’ve been blessed. I actually saw Duane Allman earlier tonight. He’s not dead. He’s reincarnated. I saw him.

Miguel, Indianapolis, IN, age 30: This dude was in his underwear because someone took off with his clothes. He was hauling around last night. It’s one of those “you had to be there” type things.

*Les Claypool:*I haven’t seen enough nudity here at Bonnaroo. You know I was nude this morning. I looked in the mirror. I advocate nudity.

*Katie, Austin, TX, age 22:*We have this friend that we’ve never seen dance before and he’s been dancing around like a maniac, like he’s 3 years old. He just dances like nobody’s watching. It’s awesome. He’s just completely offbeat, flailing limbs.

Tressa DePalma Toledo, OH, age 28: It depends on how you interpret funny. This might have been kind of dangerous actually. I hula-hooped on the highway. Then I slept on my hood while we were waiting to get in and some hippie dude car-jacked me with a squirt gun.

Umphrey’s McGee’s Joel Cummins, Chicago, IL, age 25: The funniest thing I saw today was the Buckethead fan club, which consisted of one person with a bucket on his head. It was a good tribute.

Particle’s Steve Molitz, Los Angeles, CA, age 24: Something that me laughhmmmmdid you see the Umphrey’s set?

The Disco Biscuits’ Marc Brownstein: I though it was funny when Barber [Disco Biscuits’ guitarist Jon Gutwillig] made some kid named Matt from Wisconsin cry at the Sam Goody tent. If this kid is out there, I’d like to get this message to him. We were just joking around man, sorry. I picked him out of the crowd at the record signing because he had a tie-dye shirt on. I said “I didn’t see any tie-dye at the Biscuits show. You weren’t at the Biscuits show!” And he was like “No, I wasn’t.” We were giving him a hard time, but we understand man. The Cheese was playing during our set! Our street team was mad at us after that. They were like “Dude, we’re working hard out there trying to spread the word and you guys are making kids cry.” If this kid is out there, we were just having fun, man.

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