Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2003 Trip Report

Disclaimer: This is how I remember things. I might be wrong.


Saturday Schedule
Sunday Schedule

Thursday April 24, 2003:

I didn’t experience this part firsthand, but I think it needs to be in here as background. Pete arrived at Adam’s place, greeted by a pot roast and risotto meal that Adam had prepared. Immediately after finishing his food, Pete rummages around for more.

Friday April 25, 2003:

8:30AM:I am awakened to the ring of the phone. It is Pete, calling because he NEEDS to eat both breakfast and lunch. I tell him that getting food on the road between San Jose and Palm Springs is going to be a crapshoot, since there isn’t all the much along I-5. He freaks because Adam doesn’t seem to have sufficient breakfast food. I tell him we’ll have to see what happens

8:45AM: Pete calls back. He asks if we can just get brunch before the bay area. I tell him that works with me if that works for everyone else.

9:00AM or so: Adam and Pete leave Potrero Hill to pick up Simon and Matt in the Haight.

10:30AM: They arrive at my apartment. Soon after, Pete drives Adam and me to pick up the rental car. Simon and Matt chill out at the apartment. In the car is where I learn about Pete’s rummaging for food at Adam’s the night before. I also learn that Pete had oatmeal for breakfast, but that Adam’s supply of breakfast food was insufficient because there was no protein. Pete demands a “Hot Breakfast/Brunch.” Yes, this man’s stomach rules his life.

11:30AM: We return to my apartment to see Pete chowing down on pistachios. I tell him that he has just eaten his protein, but he is unconvinced. We drive to Mimi’s Café. We have a fairly decent brunch there. Pete finished up remaining portions of my food. We learned that Simon survives on biscuits eaten at 3AM. Usually in bed. Note that Simon is British, and by biscuit I mean cookie. This took a while for Pete to grasp.

1:30PM or so: We finally are able to head out of the Bay Area. Traffic is very good along 101, 152, and I-5. The drive is fairly uneventful. Note that I-5 goes down through the Central Valley of California, and if you only look towards the East you are almost able to imagine you are driving down I-57 in Illinois. The mountains not too far off to the West shatter this illusion. The only real site of note was Cowschwitz, a gigantic feedlot. Around Bakersfield we stopped to fill up the car, empty our bladders, pick up some snacks, and to swap drivers (both Adam and me were official drivers on the rental contract. I drove the first shift, he picked up at this point). Driving was still pretty uneventful until a bit before I-210, where we hit some LA traffic. This was at about 7:00PM or so. The traffic was mild by LA standards. Pete tried to learn to speak in various English accents, and failed miserably.

9:00PM: We arrive in downtown Palm Springs, to stop over to get some dinner. We go to a semi-random Mexican place. The service there is pretty damn slow, but the food was OK. After dinner we walk around for a bit. There are lots of high school kids about, and families, and old people, pretty much as we expected, I guess. We ended up stopping in a bar that had Karaoke going on, just to spend some time. There was actually a bachelorette party going on, and they were… lively… to say the least. While walking down the streets of downtown Palm Springs we learned that Pete actually has an amazing falsetto singing voice. We left at about 11:00PM, and at the same time the party got asked to leave for being too rowdy. Too bad, since they were pretty much the life of the place. The bartender actually came out and told the women that she wasn’t bothered by them and wished they could stay. We got back into the car and drove down the local main road towards our hotel, which was actually in Palm Desert or some other such nearby town.

We got to the hotel at about 11:30. We had the good fortune of a first floor room with a sliding door facing the parking lot, which meant we didn’t have to look all conspicuous piling 5 people into the room – most of us went in through the patio door. The room was pretty packed that night. Pete was kind enough to model his Viet Cong-esque hat. Simon and Matt weren’t ready to get to bed yet, so they found a bar about a quarter mile away. It didn’t take them too long to come back, though, as the bars population had a median age of over 50 or so. I ended up going to sleep around 1:15 or 1:30. Adam thoughtfully provided us with earplugs, due to his amazing snoring. I slept ok, but not great.

Saturday April 26, 2003:

8:00AM: I get up to take a leak and pretty much don’t fall back asleep. I stay lying in bed until after the alarm goes off and Adam goes to the shower. I sit down and so some reading until it is my turn. Eventually Pete, Adam and me go to the hotel breakfast. Pete chows down on several eggs, some cereal, a bagel, juice, etc. I have a bagel.

10:30AM: Cory calls us and says that he and Steve have arrived at their hotel down the street (Steve had flown into LA the night before, and they drove out to Palm Springs that morning). They headed over to our hotel and then we all walked over to Albertson’s to get some food for a lunch before the show. Cory tried to insist we go to the Ralph’s just down the street. His insisting failed. I myself got Powerade and a Banana. Most everyone else got a sandwich and a drink.

11:15AM: We head over to the Empire Polo Field in Indio. We arrive fifteen minutes later. The parking was filled up a fair amount, and the line was fairly long already. We ate near the car and put on sun block and such. Pete then proceeded to tell us that he was going to take a leak adjacent to the car. I forbade him to do that and told him to hold it in until we got into the venue. Somehow he listened to me. Here is a picture of Adam, Cory, Steve and me in the lot that Simon took. We tried to get Pete in the picture, but he was being a jerk.We got into the back of the line, which Adam said was shorter than last years. There was a neat billboard-like thing on the line for La Quinta Resort, which had been vandalized such that the guy on it looked like a member of the “black block”. Except he also had a pipe like J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and an Andre the Giant “Obey” sticker on his hat.

The line actually moved fairly well (although people evidently had problems if they got there later than us.) We got in around 12:30 or so. Pete was finally able to relieve himself. We got the festival pamphlet, which had the schedule and the map. The schedule was inferior to my Excel spreadsheets. This was the genuine consensus, and some random people actually admired the spreadsheet and wished they thought of that. Here is Saturday’s schedule in spreadsheet form.

12:45PM: We walked over to the Outdoor Theater to check out Particle, pretty much by default. As a side note, Simon’s “flatmate” Luke somehow knows someone in the band. They are basically a strange “trancerock” jam band (they’ve opened for Phish in the past). They are pretty inoffensive, and were an OK place to spend some time.

1:30PM: Adam and I walked over to check out the HUMONGOUS Sahara Tent, which is mostly where they had dance music. He wanted me to see how big the tent was, and to hear the sound system. It was a very impressive. After that we went and caught South in the Mojave tent. They are a Brit Rock group, and were pretty enjoyable. At about 2:15 I decided to do a little exploring, before meeting up with people at Joseph Arthur. I checked out some of the art things, and passed by the clothing booths and other random things, such as the giant robots. I also got some water, as it was incredibly hot out.

2:35PM: Met up with people at the Joseph Arthur show at the Outdoor Theater. He played his most downtrodden Folk Rock, it seemed. Fairly political speaking between his songs. Very hot out. It was during his set that I began to feel a bit ill from the heat (it’s surmised that I had some very minor heat stroke or the like, I guess). I lied down with my head sort of in the shade of the bleachers that we were situated at. Pete went out and got some big Chicken Satay and noodle plate thing from the food court. His stomach cannot be kept waiting for food!

After Joseph Arthur finished we stuck around to hear the first few songs of Ben Kweller. I wasn’t that impressed. At this point people wanted to head over to the Coachella Stage to catch N*E*R*D and I was feeling well enough

3:50PM: Spymob went on alone before N*E*R*D. They actually surprised us by being incredibly white, and playing fairly decent rock music. Steve noted that the singer sounded like Todd Rundgren. They played about 5 or 6 songs. The best part was that the Neptunes were standing off to the side of the stage and dancing to their music. Pretty amusing. There was then an incredibly long break between sets as they changed to the next band. Except there really wasn’t a change as the next band was just the Neptunes + Spymob = N*E*R*D. I’m not really sure what went on. Maybe the Spymob guys had to do some meditation to transform into their backing band personas (they actually played differently as the N*E*R*D band than as Spymob). Anyway, N*E*R*D ended up being very political in the banter, spending a lot of time making people say “peace”, and only really doing 3 songs, as they had a friend come out and do a song, which was a completely different style. It was pretty enjoyable, but a very weird set.

4:50PM: Still feeling pretty mediocre, we headed over to the Outdoor Theater to see Kinky. They are a really interesting Latin band that has a very unique style. They featured a kick ass accordion player. I had fun, but I was feeling pretty bad at this point. Steve said he was hungry and I followed him to the food area so that I could have some water and lie down in the shade.

5:30PM: We headed over to the Coachella Stage to catch some of the Hives. I didn’t really expect much out of this, but my expectations were exceeded. The Hives’ singer amused me with his silly banter between songs. I was pretty much lying down on the grass as I still felt like crap, so I didn’t see much of them, but I still enjoyed it. I stayed in lying down during the set change. By this time the sun was starting to go down a bit, and it was cooling off. That helped my quite a bit.

6:30PM: Blur came on. By this time I was feeling somewhat better, but I still started the set sitting down in the grass instead of standing. Damon Albarn was only sort of unintelligible when speaking, and REMARKABLY unpolitical in his banter. Before playing “Girls and Boys” he remarked that it was a hit in 1994. Steve and I realized that it was a long time ago, and that a good portion of the audience was in grade school at the time. By and large they played stuff off the upcoming album, which I didn’t completely get into, but I still had a good time. I was actually really looking forward to seeing Blur at Coachella, and I felt very satisfied. The only thing is that I wish they had played “Park Life”. Oh well.

7:55PM: By now I was feeling quite well. We went up fairly close to the stage to see Queens of the Stone Age. This was the twilight/sunset show, so they were really able to start using lights during it. The Queens rocked out pretty hard. I’m pretty much convinced that “Go with the Flow” is the best rock song of the aughts. The crowd was really into this set, and the band seemed to be as well. This was definitely a highlight of the first day.

9:00PM: We went over to the Mojave Tent to go check out a bit of the Ladytron set. Except when we got there they hadn’t even started yet. Steve and I had met up with Adam and Cory and Pete at this point, and they told us that The Music had run over about 25 minutes earlier, so we decided to go grab a snack and then come back. I got a pretzel and some water, and we walked back over to the tent. The crew was still running around trying to get the sound system working with the equipment. Pete snuck up further in the crowd but the rest of us just hung around the back. At about 9:30 or so we realized we weren’t going to be able to see any of Ladytron and not miss Blue Man Group, so we headed over to the Outdoor Theater.

9:40PM: This was the premier performance for the Blue Man Group’s new touring show. We managed to get fairly close to the stage right around the middle. For this show the Blue Men has a backing band, which surprisingly included 3 percussionists! So the Blue Men played their weird instruments over the background of the band. Anyway, they really rocked out. And the theatrics worked amazingly well in the setting, although there were a few technical problems. Tracy Bonham came out and sang on some of the songs, and played her violin. They did a few covers, including Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”. In one of their standout original pieces they teach you how to rock out at a concert. They teach the basic head bob, the one-handed fist pump, bouncing in place and the leg behind the head. All good fun. The finale was a wonderful cover of The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly” played on backpack PVC instruments that had “Blue Man View” cameras, which were shown on the big screen. Trace Bonham did the vocals. At the end of the song they launched thin white streamers into the crowd, which crisscrossed into a strange web effect. It was amazing to see these white things fly into the air and then descend around and entangle us. Quite a neat effect. The overall assessment of our group was that it kicked major ass (although their might have been a dissenter or two). It’s too bad that the show is sold out in SF, but if you can get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it. For some reason the Chicago showing on the first leg was cancelled, but maybe they will reschedule for the second leg.

10:20PM: After Blue Man Group we walked over to the central area where the performance art stuff was. We checked out the “Thunderball” game, which was sort of like soccer with a flaming ball. Except you could score a basket in midfield as well as kicking a goal. When a team scored the flames on the opponent’s side would send up bursts of flame, as can be seen in this picture. Somehow in the process of taking the picture of the flames I lost the sunglasses that were in my pocket.

10:40PM: Cory, Adam, Steve and me went over to the Coachella Stage to catch some of the Beastie Boys. They started somewhat late, and I took the time to run back over to the Thunderball cage to see if my $10 sunglasses were on the ground there. Somehow I managed to find them! We caught the first few songs of the Beastie Boys and didn’t get into it. We somehow managed to leave before they got into their political spiel, too.

11:15PM: We made a last trek over to the Outdoor Theater to catch some Gomez, another British Rock band. This band has multiple singers, each with their own unique style. This is sort of odd. They were enjoyable though, even though by this time it was actually cool out and there was a wild wind blowing which actually made us cold. If we had not been so lazy, we could have gotten off the bleachers and moved into the crowd to warmed up, but sitting down just felt too good.

At 11:45 we walked back over towards the entrance area to meet up with everyone else at our pre-specified meeting point. A little after midnight everyone had arrived, and we headed to our cars. We got to the cars about 12:15AM. The organizers actually did a pretty good job of letting the cars out, and we were out on the road by 12:45 or so.

We went in search of some food. Cory and Steve had to make a stop to get air into one of the tires of Cory’s “car” (he drives a Miata). The guy at the gas station said that there should be some places open over near our hotel, so we headed that way. It turns out the Del Taco was still open, and Steve and Cory actually got in on time to order. So they ordered for all of us, but it didn’t really matter since all they had left was quesadillas anyway. So I had a bit of a cheddar cheese quesadilla, as I didn’t trust my gut to a jalapeno jack one. It was very greasy to I didn’t eat much. We were the last customers in the place, and they were trying to force us to eat quickly and go.

Steve and Cory headed over to the other hotel and Pete and I went over to the other room to get our stuff to follow them over there. While Simon, Pete and I waited by the patio door for Adam and Matt to enter the room from the inside Pete announced that he was going to pee right there. Again I forbade him from doing it, telling him he could pee in the toilet within a minute or so. He was good and waited.

After grabbing our stuff we headed over to the other hotel, showered, and went to bed. I slept on the air mattress that Cory brought. It was comfortable enough. By time we finally go around to getting to sleep it was probably about 3am or so.

Sunday April 27, 2003:

9:00AM: The alarm goes off and the phone rings with the wakeup call. Pete jumps out of bed to shower (most likely so he can go feed his unrelenting stomach). Pete went to the hotel breakfast, which he didn’t realize was complementary. He said that he ate a lot of food (and his description of what he ate made it seem like a humongous amount of food), so he didn’t feel bad for spending $9.00. The rest of us got ready and then we headed over to the Albertson’s across the street from Adam’s hotel to meet up with him, Simon and Matt and to get lunch food.

11:30AM: We arrive at the Empire Polo Field again, for the second day of the festival. We begin our lunch by the car, again. Despite his huge breakfast Pete got a large bowl of fruit and a sandwich. I had a yogurt and part of a sandwich, it was too hot for me to eat much. I also had the requisite Powerade to start off the hot day. We end up finishing our food while in the back of the line, which was way shorter than the one on Saturday. We found some shade near the fence, and it was pleasant. We had a nice conversation about Stephen Fry and various British things with Simon. We tried to find the meaning of “Beatle Bum” but he didn’t have an answer. He did tell us that in England you call a fanny pack a bum bag, because fanny means something else there (it’s the little kid word for vagina).

Here is Sunday’s schedule in spreadsheet form.

12:45PM: We had all headed over to the Coachella Stage to catch some of Whirlwind Heat. This, quite frankly, was a mistake. They were atrocious. It was pretty evident that the only reason that they were on the main stage, even at such an early time, was because they were favorites of the White Stripes. This confirms their insanity. Here is the spreadsheet schedule for Sunday, for reference.

1:00PM: We walked over to the Outdoor Theater to catch Eisley, who evidently are several siblings plus a friend. They were incredibly inoffensive, and pleasant to listen to. Their sound was very much like Belly, I guess. They have an EP coming out next month and I might consider getting it. All seven of us agreed that they were a much better trust than Whirlwind Heat. There was a very nice breeze that made the weather more bearable than Saturday, even if it might have been a few degrees warmer out.

1:35PM: After the short Eisley set we went over to the Coachella Stage to catch the Soundtrack of Our Lives. The singer is amusingly eccentric in his mumu/tunic. His antics were amusing, but in a very different way than those of the Hives, the other band from Sweden. They started off with the theme song to HBO’s Sunday Night, aka “Infra Riot.” This was a great song to get the crowd into the set. One of the most memorable parts was the singer coming down to near the audience and telling everyone to sit down, I guess so he could walk through the crowd some and such. Well, everyone did sit down, but as soon as he left the central walkway that was between the two halves of the audience, everyone got back up, so the view was obscured. Oh well, it was a neat idea. It was a good set, and while they do not rock as righteously as the Queens of the Stone Age, they still have a lot of energy.

2:35PM: We pushed up as close as we could get for the next act, the Polyphonic Spree. For those that don’t know, they are a choral symphonic pop band. They have about 22 people on stage, all wearing white robes. There are about 9 members of the choir, both male and female. There are multiple percussionists, including a timpani player. They also have an organist/analog synth player (I think at least), guitar, multiple horns, a flutist, and a theremin player. How can you go wrong with a theremin? I expected to have an enjoyable time, and my expectations were exceeded by quite a large margin. Because of where we were I am not sure how many people were at the show, but it seemed like a fairly large amount. And everyone was very much into it. And Tim Delaughter (From Tripping Daisy), the lead singer, did a very good job of getting the crowd into the music as well. To top things off, outdoors, in the desert on a very sunny day seems to be the perfect place to hear their music. To sum it up, the set was simply delightful, and was the #1 highlight of the concert.

3:30PM: At the end of the Polyphonic Spree we went over to the Outdoor Theater to catch the end of the Ben Folds show, in the interest of Steve. It was ok.

3:45PM: We went over to the Mojave Tent and checked out the end of the Von Bondies. I don’t really remember much about this act, unfortunately.

4:05PM: Steve, Adam, Simon and me went over to the Sahara Tent to check out some of Timo Maas. It was very dusty and pollen-erific in there, and it wreaked havoc upon Adam’s allergies. We listened to a small bit of his set, and then we went over to catch some of Tortoise. Tortoise worked well as background music. That’s about all I can say for them, as they didn’t seem to work very well in the outdoor festival setting. At least in my mind. Their sound was just a bit to mellow and introspective to work in the sunny desert or something.

5:10PM: I went over to see Sonic Youth. They played a decent mix of older stuff and stuff off of “Murray Street”. Kim Gordon displayed an amazing amount of energy. Thurston Moore was toned down. It was pretty much just as one would have expected. They finished up with Thurston saying that they should have more female artists next year. About 50% of the crowd went wild over this suggestion. The other half thought it was OK.

6:10PM: I made some futile attempts to call my friends on the cell phones, but the cells were just way overwhelmed. I managed to get some voice mail sent, but I didn’t hear back from anyone. I grabbed a Powerade and just walked around for about an hour, as there was no music I really was interested going on. It was too early to see most of the special shows like the killer robots, as it was still light, so I just moseyed around.

7:10PM: Eventually I decided to head over to the Jack Johnson show, just so I could sneak my way up to get a better position for the White Stripes. I also hoped to be able to get in a place where I could find some of my friends. This was so not my kind of music! After Jack Johnson finished playing (having invited G. Love up with him! How Awesome) there was a rush of people forward. Somehow I came across Simon and we snuck up pretty close, just a bit behind where we were when we saw the Polyphonic Spree. We were next to a guy who had flown in that day from New York to see the Iggy and the Stooges reunion, and also catch the White Stripes. Seems pretty insane with me. We chatted with him for a bit about the new smoking laws in New York and other various things.

7:40PM: The White Stripes might have started a little late. Some KROQ DJ came out and introduced them, for some reason. He was fairly dorky. Eventually Jack and “his sister” Meg came out. The show was pretty good. Jack puts a lot of energy into his playing, and the crowd was very into it. There was a very tall guy in front of me, so I could only see one or the other of the Whites at a time, which was ok. Meg wasn’t very interesting, with her almost mechanical drum playing. A lot of the stuff that they played seemed improvised, which was sort of cool. They really do need a bass player though, to round things out. The biggest negative was that I got kneed in the back a few times by the chick on a guy’s shoulders behind me. That and the fact that my back was hurting from all the standing still in a compact place.

8:40PM: My original plan was to go out and catch some of Underworld, then watch Blue Man Group again, because Adam had a theory that they would play different things each night, since the traveling show was about twice as long as the 45 minute set they had each night. However, the rush forward after the White Stripes of the Iggy and the Stooges fan pushed me even closer, and I thought that since I had such a good positioning, I might as well see Iggy. I chatted with Simon about random things during the set change.

9:15PM: Iggy came out. He sure has a buttload of energy for a 56 year old. The crowd was amazingly into this show. One of the highlights was the man wearing overalls who had his 3-year-old son on his shoulders for most of the concert. The man was going crazy dancing, but the little boy was having the time of his life, smiling at everyone and waving his glow stick around. The people behind them had their hands up next to the kid, obviously afraid that he might fall, but there was some good symbiosis between him and his dad, and he stayed firmly on his dad’s shoulders. I’m really glad that I stuck around, because this was pretty much a once in a lifetime reunion, and I enjoyed myself.

10:10PM: After the Iggy Pop show, the Red Hot Chili Pepper fans surged in for close placement. I was separated from Simon, and I didn’t really intend on standing around alone for the next 45 minutes before RHCP started. So I slid out sideways and made my way out of the crowd. Just being able to move made my back feel better. I noticed that Blue Man Group was still playing, so I ran over there to catch the end of the show. I saw the end of the second to last song, and the Finale again. I was off to the side so I didn’t get entangled in their web, but it still was kickass.

10:25PM: I went over to the Gobi Tent to catch some of the DefJux showcase. Mr Lif was rapping, and he had El~P come up with him. It was a good time. I stuck around for about 20 minutes, hoping to find some of my friends. The Gobi Tent was quite small, and I figured they would be there. Somehow I didn’t run across them, although I found out later that they were there at the time. I also got a water and finished it in about 30 seconds around this time. Even though it was pretty cool out at night I was still extremely thirsty.

10:45PM: I walked over to the Mojave Tent to see how things were progressing, as that area was involved in my plan for the rest of the night (which I will get to shortly). G Love and the Special Sauce were just starting, when they should have been finishing. I later learned that the Ladytron fiasco from the day before had screwed the closing band for the Mojave Tent for Saturday night, the Libertines, out of their set. They were rescheduled to Sunday night, but that affected everyone else’s time slot and set.

So my plan was going to basically be to catch the first few songs of RHCP, and then watch a bit of Fischerspooner and finish the night with Interpol’s Set. However, RHCP hadn’t started yet, Fischerspooner was delayed to who knew what time, and Interpol was still in the process of setting up. I decided that my best bet was to run over to the Coachella Stage to catch a bit of RHCP, then watch some Interpol, and finish up with Fischerspooner. I actually did a fair bit of full out running around at this time, and I am not exactly sure where all I went. I did end up sitting really far back from the Coachella Stage for a while waiting for the Chili Peppers. They finally started around 11PM, but near the end of their first song I saw that Interpol was starting. I don’t even remember much about that song. I ran over to the Outdoor Theater.

I ended up catching most of the Interpol set, it turns out, as my plan to leave as close to 11:45 as song ends permitted allowed me to miss only the last song. I really dug them. Despite the fact that they are really mellow, and that people were pretty much just staring at them, I felt like the crowd were enjoying what they were listening to. Also, the bass player looked like some sort of vampire. And he played the bass slung very low, so he looked odd. Things like that never cease to amuse me. Despite the fact that Interpol essentially sound like they were pulled out of the 1970s version of Manchester, can be a bit strange a time, I really do like them. I’d definitely go see them again at a smaller venue given the chance.

11:45PM: At the end of Stella was a Diver and She was Always Down (I think, my memory might be mistaken) I sprinted over to the Mojave tent to catch the end of Fischerspooner. Their show is really pretty interesting. Casey Fischer is also a master of self-aware pseudo-pretentiousness. After the song that was playing when I arrived was over, we could hear the end of the Interpol show. He made a comment that Indie guitar rock was so dead, and that playing a guitar was so easy, and pushing play on a CD player was hard. OK, maybe you had to be there. Anyway, they have a very flashy stage show that is like a combination of Kabuki theater and the Rocky Horror Picture Show set to their cheesy techno music. It all comes together quite nicely. Things were rather chaotic, because their set list was messed up due to their late starting time, and the fact that local ordinances mandated at 12:00AM stopping time for the concert. They ended up finishing with “Emerge”, after a false start because the audience wasn’t singing along to the oh-so-difficult and deep words. I really wouldn’t mind seeing their whole show, as it seems like it would be a good time. A blast of the confetti cannons ended the show and I ran over to the meeting area to meet up with my pals.

12:10AM: I meet up with everyone else. Matt had lost his cell phone about 30 minutes prior, but he called it with Steve’s phone on a whim. Someone at the lost and found answered it, so he went and claimed it. Eventually everyone else showed up at the meeting area, and we headed out to the car. Simon told us about he was at the front for the Chili Peppers. He was right behind some attractive Chick who was evidently named Kate who he grinded on for 30 minutes. He also told us that after about 10 minutes “certain things happened down there” so he stuck out his chest somewhat to moderate where there was bodily contact between the two of them. She also “accidentally” put her head back onto his shoulder for about 10 seconds before realizing that he was a stranger. People are weird!

We were actually in a better position to leave the parking lot Sunday night than Saturday. We crossed over a bunch of rows in order to get into an optimal lane to get out. Matt got out of the car to sweep away bottles. It’s nice to have some cannon fodder around. We all felt like our lungs were completely filled with dust. And also rather exhausted.

We learned that there were some closer food places that should be open. We saw a Denny’s and a Burger King. Denny’s was right out. Steve called from the Miata and said Cory was suggesting we go to Ralph’s. Most people wanted hot food so he was outvoted, and we went to Burger King right around 1:00AM. We got a lot of ketchup for Pete’s fries. We went back to Adam’s hotel to eat our grub. Simon decided to try to outsmart Burger King by ordering off of the $1 value menu. Turns out that fries you get from that menu are not “proper sized” nor is the soda. Now you know. Also Burger King’s fries are pretty crappy.

2:00AM: Pete and I made it back over to Cory’s room. We cleaned up and went to bed. I slept on the air mattress again. The sound of Cory’s apnea mask soothed me to sleep.

Monday April 28, 2003:

9:00AM: Alarm and wakeup call. We have to move fairly quickly because Cory and Steve have to get back to LA as Steve’s flight is at 3:00. So we rotate through the shower pretty quickly and get packed. We settle up with Cory for the room and they head out to LA.

10:45AM: We arrive over at Adam’s hotel. Simon’s flatmate Luke and his friends were also in town for Coachella. They had rented a villa in Palm Springs and our plan was to go over there and have lunch for driving back out to the Bay Area. Instead of hitting Albertson’s to get food for lunch we hit Ralph’s, to spite Cory. I have to say we were sort of underwhelmed by the place. I got a sandwich, some Doritos, and Entenmanns’s cookies to share.

12:00PM: A short drive down Highway 111 and we arrive at the villa. I must say that they take the cake for best lodging. It was a four-bedroom place, with a backyard and a pool, that 11 people stayed it. Very posh. Some of the people that were staying there were just in the process of waking up. Lucky bastards. Some of us sat by the pool and ate. Simon actually went in for a swim. The weather was spectacular, sunny, hot, but not too hot. Eventually, however, it was time to go if we wanted to avoid hitting too much LA traffic. So we loaded up the car again, bought gas and hit the road. A few minutes after the gas station I noticed something was prickling my back. For some reason I had the idea that my belt was messed up so I ignored it briefly. But it was incessant, so I reached behind me and pulled out the White Stripes CD. Adam told me I had to include the phrase “Meg White was up my ass” in this report. Well, in a manner of speaking, she was. And her “brother” Jack was too.

We had various conversations about politics and economics (Matt and Simon are Econ grad students). Pete tried to turn us to stone with his rendition of the Chilly Willy theme song. Cowshwitz was as Cowshwitz is, filled with billions of cows. We hit a bump not too far out of Palm Springs that sent my cookies shooting out of the box and onto the floor, after we had only eaten a few of them.

We made a couple of pit stops, both to fill up the car and empty our bladders. Right as we hit Gilroy, however, Pete’s bladder got the best of him and we had to make an emergency stop less than 30 minutes out from my place. Oh well, he was pretty good during the trip.

9:30PM: We arrive at my place. We clean out the car, move stuff over to Pete’s car. Except for my stuff, which I bring inside. We go inside for a few minutes, say hi to Erin. Pete uses the bathroom. Then Matt and Simon come with me in the rental car, and Adam goes along with Pete in his car. Pete and Adam come close to following us over severe tire damage into the rental car lot, but they think better of it and pull over to the side of the street to wait for me to check in the car.

10:30PM:Pete drops me back off at my apartment. The trip is over. Now it is finally time to rest.