Backstage with Baldy
Pryor – May 25th
The beauty of Jerry’s new short hair is that it has provided him with a stealthiness that he never had before.
Back in the day, people could spot the long blonde hair a mile away, but now? Not so much.
So during some afternoon down time at Rocklahoma, Jerry asked the show’s promoter to borrow a golf cart so he could drive around the site.
Naturally I went with him to provide moral support and also to witness some of Oklahoma’s finest rock fans dealing with their hangovers in the mid-afternoon heat.
We drove out to the campground area and immediately pulled up next to three dudes wrestling.
Let’s see; it’s hotter than hell, it’s the middle of the afternoon on day two of a three day rock festival, you’re just getting a buzz going…what do you do? Grab your buddy, throw him on the ground, dive on top of him, and apply the camel clutch. (I watched a lot of wrestling as a kid)
After briefly watching the wrestling match, we proceeded deeper into the camping area and discovered that Jerry’s Clark Kent-like disguise of a baseball hat and sunglasses was really doing the job.
We pulled up next to a few campsites and chatted some people up, we had some folks ask if they could jump on the back of the cart and get a ride, and we stopped and briefly watched a band on the third stage, and no one recognized Jerry.
He was really enjoying himself, plus the people-watching in the camping area of any festival is an exquisite study of humanity.
Jerry & I discussed how there’s not a shot in hell that we’d ever do that now, but 20 years ago we’d have been in the thick of it.
Going to a concert is one thing. Camping at a festival is taking it to an entirely different level. It’s diving in head first and committing. It’s saying, “I want to soak myself in alcohol for 72 hours, bake in the hot Oklahoma sun, get about 3 hours of sleep a night, eat a diet of fried meat and junk food, and subject my eardrums to a cacophonous onslaught of amplified rock music the whole time. And then go back to work on Monday.”
I kind of look at it like being an African bushman; I don’t want to wear a loincloth and hunt antelope in my bare feet all day, but I respect the people who do.
And speaking of respect, I have some friends who were running the VIP area of the festival, and they informed me of a little challenge going on there.
Fans who bought the VIP package were given access to unlimited beer all weekend long in the VIP tent, and the challenge was to drink 2013 ounces over the course of the weekend. Stop and think about that for a second. 2013 ounces of beer.
That’s in the neighborhood of 125 pounds of beer. 125 pounds.
I can’t possibly hit the exclamation point and question mark keys nearly enough to properly convey my fascination/repulsion.
I popped my head in there a couple of times, and let me just say that there were plenty of folks who were up to the challenge. I’m not sure how many people reached the goal by Sunday night, but I saw a lot of folks who had the eye of the tiger on Saturday.
So Rocklahoma was pretty much what I expected it to be; a fun day in the sun, a great night of music, and a river of BEER…