Wednesday, February 02, 2005

That Was Then, But This is Now

So Coachella's lineup has been announced. Big whoop.

I kid, I kid! As usual, it's an amazing slew of bands. I went last year for the first time because the Pixies were playing. That was the only reason. It was hot, crowded, expensive and confusing. I saw some great performances and had some fun. All in all, it was ok. The Pixies were awesome. I have no reason to go back.

I've never really been able to get into festival shows. I always have a hard time seeing over the teeming masses, while sweating and covered in dust and stepping over a person passed out in their own vomit to see a speck of a band I like. Or rather, watch it on the big screens. So I'm okay with missing them, really. But when I was about 12, I remember being really, really really heartbroken about missing the US Festival. "Woodstock West."

The US Festival took place in 1982 and 1983. It was created by Steve Wozniak, the mastermind of the Apple computer. It took place in Glen Helen Park in San Bernardino, which is just about as hot and dusty as Coachella. Except that these guys set up a half acre of showers and had water cannons to spray the crowd with, as well as plenty of water fountains.

Here was the lineup in 1982: DAY ONE - The Police (headliners), Talking Heads, B52s, Oingo Boingo, English Beat, Ramones, Gang of Four. DAY TWO - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (headliners), Pat Benatar, the Kinks, the Cars, Santana, Eddie Money, Dave Edmunds & the Joe Sharino Band.

Okay, what about 1983? This was the year I tried to con any adult I knew into taking me 90 miles north of home so I could see these bands. I'm still a little dead inside because I missed it. DAY ONE - The Clash(headliners), Men At Work, the Stray Cats, Flock of Seagulls, English Beat, Oingo Boingo, Wall of Voodoo, Inxs & Divinyls. DAY TWO - Van Halen (headliners), Scorpions, Triumph, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, & Quiet Riot. DAY THREE - David Bowie (headliner), Stevie Nicks, Joe Walsh, the Pretenders, Missing Persons, U2, Quarterflash, Berlin, & Little Stephen. Keep the year in mind, people. 1983. This was the apex. "Sunday Bloody Sunday." "Too Young to Fall in Love." "Dance the Night Away" with Diamond Dave. "The One Thing." "The Metro."

But take note: Gang of Four played the US Fest in '82, and they're playing Coachella in '05 - only 23 years later. Ironically, that's the only band I really want to see anyway. Sigh. I'm OLD!!!