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Draplin Design Co., North America



Got up pretty early in Omaha, feeling well-rested. In no time we were across the Missouri river and into Iowa, going deep. North, then, east, then north, all the way up to Laurens, home of Alvin Straight, from The Straight Story.

I rolled into town, found the little library and looked up the “Alvin Flat File” to catch up on the ‘sensation of the century’ for this little town. The librarians were very kind and accomodating, corrected me on how you pronounce the town name, (“Young man, that’s “Lor-enz…”) and pointed me in the direction of his old house.

I paid some respects at his place and then hightailed it for Minneapolis. Turns out the little newspaper’s owner has the actual riding lawnmower from the journey. But, they were on vacation. “Sorry, I’d love to show you it, but, it’s at their house in the garage, all locked up,” is what the gal had to say who was watching over the newspaper. Next time, man.

So up I went through Blue Earth, then Albert Lea, Owatonna and into Minne. There were some serious rainclouds rolling in, and the first couple drops hit my windshield around Highway 62. By the time I got to Ryno’s, it was raining cats and Garys. Yikes. Monsoon season, maybe?

We introduced Gary to Maybelle, a quick courtship ensued and we hit the road for the fairgrounds. Got there, picked up the graciously comped tickets (Thanks Chad!) and made our way. The lovely Hailey from VSA Partners took our extras for her and her man. Worked out good, I’d say.

We got in, just as Sonic Youth was tearing into “Teenage Riot.” Awesome. They still got it. They played rockier stuff, which, was well-received by the masses. Last time I saw them was at the Gorge At George in the hot summer of ‘95! The sun was setting as they closed a Lollapalooza. Pretty awesome.

So the Lips are setting up, and Ryno and I shoehorn our way down toward the front and get in real close. We share a couple celebratory shots of Jim Beam (“Purely medical reasons, folks.”) and proceed to get real loose before the action started.

They came out, the crowd went apeshit, got the movie screen going, and exploded into “Race For The Prize.” The best opening to a show, maybe ever. Always such a great moment. We enjoyed a couple songs, and nature started to call so we squeezed out of the sardine box and made our way to the pissers. Now, that big ol’ golden buzz had set in real good at this point, and, I’m not one to “hit the sauce” too much, so I was brimming with courage and grabbed Ryno and headed down to the gates.

Went right up to the kid manning the backstage access area and said, “Can we get in here, or do we have to go to the other side again?”

“Yeah, you can enter here,” he says, “Got yer passes?”

Real quick, real confident, looking just a tad bit bored and a tad bit bothered and shit I say, “Man, we don’t need those things. We work for these guys.”

And with a little cock of an eyebrow, he opened the gate and let us in. Done.

Now, we don’t condone “Lying yer way backstage” on any level, but, in the right situations, we do execute this drunken, fumbling technique with a lethal, focused precision. Really.

We cruised around the the back of the stage, and went up and watched the show from the sidelines, moving around behind the set, meeting all the Flaming Lips roadies and just enjoying the feeling of being naughty and alive and young and blown away.

Got a handshake from Thurston Moore. Tall drink of water. The band finished, we milled about some and got to meet the guys, once again, spilling our tipsy guts to the finest group of Oklahomans I know. Wayne was gracious as ever. We talked for a good five minutes about the show, Portland, the props, my tour, upcoming shows, and the like. What a guy. Steven Drozd, our favorite drummer of alllllll time, was so nice and shared some war stories about the first time he lied his way backstage. I think it was Jesus Lizard show in Houston or something. Super nice, he was. He offered up some places to check out this fall on the tour. Kliph the drummer was great too. It was awesome watching a miffed Grant Hart waiting to get a handdshake just like me. Grant Hart! Grant Hart doesn’t wait for anyone, especially in this town. MInneapolis backstage groupie: Husker Don’t. Ha.

A great night, a great fucking night. Those Flaming Lips…entertainers, gentleman and proud diplomats for the great state of Oklahoma. Got to meet ‘em again. The best.

017. “Wayne and crew setting up for the get down.”
018. “Minnesota State Fair grandstand…tomorrow night: Rascal Flats!”
019. “A man in a bubble.”
020. “They’re just humans, with wives and chillllldrennnn….”

Then we got up on that stage:
021. “Thurston Moore, making home movies.”
022. “From behind their movie screen. A “Drozd-eyed view.”
023. “Mountains of confetti, of course.”
024. “Big hands.”
025. “Thor, the Lips streamer gun stuffer.”
026. “Stage left, feeling fine.”
027. “Stretchers of truth.”
028. “Happy people.”
029. “Stage right, going nuts.”
030. “Drunken, dancing Santas”
031. “Wayne, letting off some steam.”
032. “Very generous with that smoke machine thingie.”
033. “Awesomeness.”

Aaron and Ryno: Some of the downright ugliest groupies, ever:
034. “Steven Drozd: One of the greatest drummers, ever.”
035. “Wayne Coyne: Just one of the best, ever.”

Late night Minneapolis, streets we used to frequent:
036. “Late night Minneapolis, no.01”
037. “Late night Minneapolis, no.02”
038. “Late night Minneapolis, no.03”

There Are 2 Comments

Aaron: You fucking rock star. Backstage again. Nice job.

Posted by: Shanta Prescott on 08/26/06 at 6:38 AM


Posted by: soli on 08/26/06 at 12:38 PM
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