So MCD played Coachella a few weeks back. We got to REEEE-LAAAXXX by the pool for a few hours in Palm Springs, party all night, hide from the sun all day, and then hit the road home again. The band was all over the place before the show. Leslie came in from Detroit, Spencer and I came in from Seattle, Derek met us in Palm Springs already on tour with the Cave Singers, and Dann flew in from Chicago from his tour with The Cold War Kids. Gabe, unfortunately was not able to make this show … possibly the first show he has missed since he quit the band on our first tour before he came back again.
Times were different then, a lot different … We were stuck in Jackson Mississippi for three days with no shows, our booking agent was in jail and we were staying in a $21 a night hotel called the Cross Roads Inn. To get there off the freeway we had to drive down a dirt road, pass a gas station that had burned to the ground, and in the parking lot as we pulled up was—I shit you not—a fat kid with no pants and his t-shirt tucked into his underwear sweeping the gravel out of the driveway. I swear to god, as we pulled up I made eye contact with that kid and he was shaking his head in slow motion, as if to warn us not to come there. We should have heeded his advice.
When we checked in to our one room for the eight of us, (most of the band was hiding in the van so we wouldn’t have to pay for them) they passed us our two towels through the bullet proof glass and told us it was best not to leave, or to use the pool. As hot as it was in August in Mississippi there was no way in hell you could have gotten us to swim in there. The pool was half empty, and dark … dark and murky murky thick water. The regulars on second floor would hang out on the balcony and throw their beer cans and cigarettes into the pool, and even though there wasn’t that day, I’m sure there has been at least one dead dog floating in that pool at some point.
That night there was some kind of huge prostitution or drug bust, and there were cops all over the place. The Cross Road Inn’s private security was running around screaming gibberish at each other into cheap kid’s walkie talkies. It was straight out of cops and one of those times where you really have to question the paths you have chosen in your life. It was after those three days that Gabe left, and I have to say I don’t blame him, it was looking pretty grim, but he came back a few days later and things eventually got better.
Anyways, our stay at The Ace hotel in Palm Springs was nothing like the Cross Roads Inn. It was, quite possibly the sexiest place I have ever been. When we pulled up at 11 on saturday night, the bar was full, music was playing by the pool, there were people everywhere, a rave going on, it was nuts. It seemed like the ultimate party oasis of good times. The next morning we were down by the pool drinking Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s and eating delicious breakfasts and living it up before the show.
They were setting up shop and selling drinks at around 9:00 in the morning and by 11AM there was live music poolside. Personally, I was thinking to myself, “Ahhh, now I get it, this is what people mean when they say living …” it was awesome. Then we left the hotel and I saw Palm Springs in the daylight on the drive out to the festival and the tune quickly changed to me thinking, “Why in the hell to people live out here in this insane heat? This is fucking ridiculous.” And it was … It was over 100° by noon, you couldn’t be in the sun for more than ten minutes without starting to turn into dust. I felt like I was dying even when I was chugging water as fast as I could drink it. My body was revolting against the idea of it ever being that hot anywhere, maybe somewhere in space, or on another planet, but seriously, come on. It’s stupid how hot it is there. I don’t know how people do it.
So then we got out to the festival. We got driven around the grounds in golf carts, and we had a little trailer with air conditioning we could hang out in … we had to take turns, it was a little small for how many people we had there. The way it worked out with the schedule of where we needed to be and when, I didn’t really get to check out very many bands, which was kind of too bad, but what I did see was pretty awesome.
Fucked Up played and they tore it up. If you haven’t seen them you should check them out. They are a good time, and they know how to do it.
We were up next. Needless to say, it was hot. We were in a tent in the shade, but it was hot. I thought I was going to be really smart and I tied my glasses onto my head, because they fly off when I’m playing. Turns out that wasn’t such a great idea …
All the sun screen I had put on to keep myself from getting destroyed by the sun sweated off and ran into my eyes, which I couldn’t wipe off because my glasses were strapped on. So for a few songs there, I was having some kind of massive chemical burn going on in my eyes, it kind of sucked but didn’t last long, new sweat came along and washed it all out.
Then X played and sounded great. Billy Zoom is a very creepy guy. He always has the same weird smile on his face … We played with them years ago and he came into our dressing room where we were all hanging out. We had never met him before, but he came right in and sat down in the middle of our conversation and didn’t say anything, he just sat there smiling. We tried to continue our conversation but it was too weird. We offered him a beer, “No thanks, I don’t drink.” he said, smiling. Ok … we tried to act like it wasn’t weird that he was just sitting there. We wanted to think it was awesome that Billy Zoom was in there, but he was being too creepy. We all stopped talking and just sat there. For a long time. Eventually the room started to clear out and then he left. It was really weird. Anyways, X sounded great as I’m sure they always will. Billy Zoom always looks exactly like this:
Eventually we got back to the hotel. Derek, Spencer, Dann and I had to fly out of LAX on Monday morning at 6:30 AM, so we left Palm Springs at about 2:30 that night. These are the beds we slept in for about two hours. I wish I could have gotten to know them better.
We’ll be playing the Sasquatch Festival at the Gorge this weekend if you can make it.