Take the Whole Day Off: Lollapalooza 91
The other day, I was doing a little end of the summer cleaning . The kind of cleaning where you find a box in your crawl space and then spend the next two hours combing through little scraps of papers, books, the odd bad photo and other mementos that you felt compelled to stick in a box and then shove in a crawl space and then forget about. Most of the contents of the box have now been filed on the curb accordingly. The one thing I did find that made me smile was this ticket stub for the first Lollapalooza.
A few things struck me about the ticket: first I couldn’t believe how long ago that was, next how cheap it was for an all day concert ($28.50) especially for floor seats ( we were seated close to the front of the stage) and finally the slogan “Take the Whole Day Off”.
I guess in the early nineties; festivals were in a kind of limbo in North America (after Woodstock before Coachella) and the idea of spending a whole day watching bands was a novelty let alone a lineup as wacky as this one. This is who I saw on that beautiful summer’s afternoon. It was a Wednesday.
I actually went to the concert with my English professor at the time. (He was an interesting guy: he drove around in an old postal truck that had the steering wheel on the right side instead of the left.This is the car he took his driver’s licence test in.) The festival was the brainchild of Perry Farrell and was to be the fair-well tour of Jane’s Addiction with all its’ original members. They ended up closing the show in style. Other highlights included: getting a water bottle thrown at my head by one of the keyboardists from Nine Inch Nails (not Trent Reznor and yes we were that close), seeing Ice T perform with the short lived hardcore group Body Count and being witness to the birth of something unique that persists to this day.
Farrell had a very radical idea for the time; combining diverse musical genres all under one roof and having the confidence in his audience that they could appreciate it all. This was long before the IPod shuffle function would lay waste to the genre-centric music collecting of old. The response was universally positive.
That’s my little cleaning story. While going through this process, I realized that searching through boxes in the crawl space is similar to finding articles on the internet. You tend to throw out more than you keep but every once in a while you find things that make you smile.