Sunday, April 1, 2012

Overheard: Conversations at Glastonbury

Welcome to the first in a series called Overheard, which recalls the best conversations had and overheard at destinations all over the world. This installment covers Glastonbury 2009 and 2010. For the uninitiated, everyone around me seemed to indulge in cider, shrooms, laughing gas, and more cider, so these otherwise forgotten gems have been preserved for posterity. I tried to recall exact wording, but expect a lot of paraphrasing. 

Thursday night on the way out of Shangri-la, 2009:
Naysayer: “No he's not, it's just a rumor. He had a heart attack but is alive.”

Group that adopted me for the evening:
Guy 1: "Nice candle."
Me: "Thanks. Some woman in the Shangri-la was selling them for 2 quid, and then kissed me for buying one. Seems a bit dangerous to sell these."
Guy 2: "You an American? Here all by yourself?"
Me: "Yeah, nobody I knew wanted to come, or they did but couldn't afford it." 
Girl 1: "We're heading to the Silent Disco. Come with us."
Me: "Totally! I've always wanted to see one of those."
Guy 1: "My mate can get us in skipping the queue."
Pleasantries are exchanged. Someone yells that Michael Jackson is dead. We dismiss it as a Glastonbury rumor, which is apparently a thing. Girl 1 and I make tasteless jokes at his expense.

At the Silent Disco:
Guy 1: "He says he can't get us in. Fuck it, we're going in."
Group pushes their way in. Nobody stops us and we are handed headphones.

Two hours later while walking by the Other Stage:
The same naysayer as above: “No he's not, it's just a rumor. He had a heart attack but is alive.”

Compere of John Peel Tent at 11am the morning after Michael Jackson died, and again at noon:
“Michael Eavis just announced next year's headliner: The Jackson Four!”
“Reports that Michael Jackson has died of a heart attack in his home are untrue… He actually died having a stroke in the children's ward.”

Queens Head Tent during Emmy the Great's second performance of the weekend:
Me to person standing next to me: “More like Emmy the Incredible.”
Emmy the Great: “I like you. And I like your (bootleg Animal Collective) shirt. Did you see them last night?”
Me: “No, I was at Neil Young.”
Emmy the Great: “But you're wearing their shirt.”

Girls fawning over the lineup on the back of my Coachella 2004 lineup:
Girl 1: “Radiohead? The Cure? Pixies? Dizzee?”
Girl 2: “What is this Co-uh-chella? When was this?”
Me: “2004. A festival in California.”
Girl 2: “Why are The Killers down at the bottom?”
Me: “Because those were the good old days.”

Me and the drunkest bloke I've ever met:
He: “Switch places with me, I wanna be closer to my girl Karen.”
Me: “Yeah Yeah Yeahs just finished their set. Bat for Lashes is next.”
He: “Huh?”
Me: “You just missed them. Karen O was wearing this big headdress made out of hands.”
He: “Aw man. That accent, where you from, mate?”
Me: “California...”
He: “You came all the way out here for this?”
Me: “Yes, I've always wanted to and was able to make it happen this year. Having Blur, Neil Young, Bat for Lashes, Jarvis Cocker, [etc] certainly helped.
He: “You ever been to Coachella?”
Me: “Yeah, I've been six times. McCartney, Leonard Cohen, and My Bloody Valentine played this year.
He: “It has been my dream to attend Coachella. I would piss all over Glastonbury if it got me to Coachella (makes failed attempt at gesturing across the horizon).”
Me: “Really? I must say, I'm more fond of Glastonbury.”
He: “I love America. You yanks have the best government in the world. You know, we don't have a proper Constitution.”

Me and the same lush, five minutes later:
He: “Switch places with me, I need to see to my girl Karen.”
Me: “What? Um, Yeah Yeah Yeahs already finished. Bat for Lashes is about to come on.”
Repeat nearly the entire conversation from above word for word. It'll be 90% accurate. The sequel ends with the following doozy.
He: “Can I get your facebook? I won't add or message you, I just want to have a look.”

Girl at Stone Circle on Wednesday night, 2010:
“Look at this one (gestures towards girl walking around in the shortest shorts known to man). My bum looks like that, but you won't see me wearing that.”

Same girl at Stone Circle:
She: “Me and my mates brought five cases of wine and just finished one. How much have you had?”
Me: “A beer this morning waiting for the bus and a cider after the game.”
She: “One cider? That's it? You Yanks...”

Before Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood's secret set in The Park:

Two Drunk Guys:
Guy 1: “Has Stevie Wonder always been blind?
Guy 2 shrugs
Guy 1: “How does he clean up after a good wank?”

Exhausted guy and tweaked out girl against the fence in Arcadia:
She: “Here, want some? (brandishes stick of deodorant)”
Him: “No, thanks.”
She: “Take the hint.”
Guy didn't actually seem to smell and had his own stick. 

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