"Quanta...like spit in the dust of a baseball field" - Cody

July 23, 2003

The End of a Shirt

It's been almost a decade since Lollapalooza 1994. My old concert shirt is faded and stained, really beyond the point of acceptable presentation, even to old friends as a novelty. It has a green Budha on it who is wearing a necklace made of miniature skulls. He is also wearing urine-yellow pants, and what's worse his tongue, eyes, and eyebrows are blood-red. How did I ever think this was an attractive shirt? And it's also an extra large, meaning that it never fit well. I wore it as a badge of ugly-by-choice, which was so in back then.

The shirt is faded like my memories from so long ago. My first concert. Or maybe my third. I might have been to Live 105's BFD earlier that year. At this point, what's the point of getting the details right? I still remember when L7 played "Pretend We're Dead," and I probably looked like something out of a horror movie as I shook my head and stopped my feet to their grungy guitar riffs.

I felt a proper reverence for Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, although I wasn't sure whether they were playing music to entertain or to inflict pain. A Tribe Called Quest fulfilled my unconscious yearning for music that was a little more fun, and a little more black. The Breeders satisfied something deep inside me that can't be named..."I know you...real c-c-c-CANNONBALL!" Ahhh, how many times have we pretended we were their instruments? Play me, Kim Deal!

I can say for certain that it was my first encounter with George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars, and thankfully not the last. Good times, George, love your show!

And the double whammy headliner: Beastie Boys and Smashing Pumpkins. I remember with awe how the grassy expanses of the Shoreline Amphitheater surged and trembled as a moshpit larger than anything I'd ever seen formed...It was like the Great Storm of Jupiter spawned a dirty kid on Earth who wanted to watch the show but was too busy beating himself up to enjoy it.

Sometimes I think that we spend much of our lives waiting for the next ecstatic state to open our eyes and remind us that we are alive. And sometimes I think that we look back on our past hoping to wring from it some meaning and purpose that is lacking in our daily grind. But looking at my faded Lollapalooza 1994 x-large t-shirt, I know that it's time to throw it away.

Posted by cbsisco at July 23, 2003 11:50 AM

I threw away my '94 lollapalooza shirt years ago without giving it a second thought. How insensitive I was! Wasn't Green Day also, like bottom of the lineup as well?

Posted by: robyn at July 23, 2003 01:42 PM

Yeah. I went to the one in New Orleans. Nirvana was supposed to be the headliner for that year, but unfortunately in April he did something to where he couldn't continue with the tour. I still have my red concert shirt with the two-headed green monster on it. It's a georgeous shirt that I wear all the time. It's dope.

Posted by: jon-jon at April 6, 2004 05:44 PM