This is the tale of the most embarrassing question I have ever had to ask…ever.
I was up early this morning, running on three and a half hours of sleep. Not by choice, but once that Tennessee sunshine pops its gaseous, incandescent head above the tree line the thermometer shoots up from “bearable” to “you need to put sunscreen on your balls, because they will burn off.”
Sitting in my big purple mini-van, I decided to prep for my noon-time interview in the press tent with the Dropkick Murphys (The band’s manager Mikey got me in without creds ) The vehicle is my sorry excuse for an office this weekend. It has little air circulation so the stench of body odor, cigarettes, and Italian subs still linger. There is no wi-fi either. The conditions are not ideal, but, it will make for one hell of a story when I’m a famous staff writer for SPIN.
Anyway, I had written a thoughtful outline of questions for the Murphys and was now studying up, second guessing every single one.
“What are some of your influences?” That’s childish! “What is the secret to your longevity?” They make great fucking music! Ken Casey will bust a Yuengling bottle over my face if I ask that. Abnormal objections from an abnormal writer.
When I was confident enough that I wouldn’t throw up all over Al Barr’s boots I dressed the part, an unbuttoned collard short sleeve over my black, Streetlight Manifesto cloak and dagger t-shirt (I hoped the shirt would buy me some street cred with these punk rock legends) geared up, and began the two mile trek from camp to Centeroo.
I reached the entrance to the press compound and like a military garrison it was protected by a pair of tazer wielding sentinels in dark aviator sun glasses, just waiting to sink their electric spewing hooks into some “Yank” northerner.
I was an hour early so I hung out for a bit and it was here that I met a man from Louisiana. He was a real Picasso of the aerosol can and told me the piece he was spraying was a response to the gulf coast oil spill.
“I live inland,” he said, “so I haven’t seen it, but you can smell the oil. It’s real bad down there.”
I couldn’t help myself, I had to ask. “If your such an advocate for preserving the environment, how do you justify the pile of aerosol cans behind you?”
He didn’t answer me, just flipped his gas mask down and took a step forward, and I delivered my final inquiry.
“Are you allowed to spray paint at Bonnaroo [there are wooden walls in Centeroo and many patrons paint them] do they give you permission?”
“It’s either illegal or I’m getting paid,” he said. “There’s no such thing as permission.”
THIS WAS NOT THE AWKWARD CONVERSATION…IT GETS BETTER…KEEP READING!!!
The phone rings and Mikey is on the other end, the band is ready, and he comes to get me. Dressed in a Chicago Bulls Jordan jersey, tight black pants, and Beatle boots, he led me into the compound and up to four members of Dropkick Murphys, or so I thought.
Mikey gave me two of them and we went back into the compound to grab some shade and talk. That nervous excitement came over me, I was chatting with members of the Murphys en route to my first official Bonnaroo interview. I don’t know what I was saying, what they were saying, I didn’t even catch their names yet, but I knew this was something special.
We found a table under a tree, I fiddled with my tape recorder, and we got into it.
Q: A lot of Celtic acts choose folk music as their genre of choice, why punk rock?
“Punk rock is what we grew up with as well as Motown, and other 60’s rock…”
“Really,” I thought to myself, “Motown and 60’s rock? I’ve yet to hear that type of influence in your music.”
“…Being from New York, Punk Rock is sort of the direction we were led in,” he continued, “In fact, one of our first shows was at the old CBGB’s…”
[We are losing cabin pressure]
Did he just say the band was from New York? What the hell is going on here? It had to be asked before this madness went on any longer.
Q: Fellas, let me ask you this. Do you know the Dropkick Murphys?
“Oh yeah, definitely.”
[The left wing has just caught fire]
Q: But you’re not actually in that band are you?
[MAYDAY!!! We’re in a tailspin and going down!]
Q: Well, holy fucking Moses, if you don’t mind me asking, who am I talking to right now?
“We’re David and Billy from The Postelles.”
[This plane has crashed…end of transmission]
I had gotten the e-mails mixed up. Kristen handles the press for The Postelles and Kristene for the Murphys. An “e” screwed me over. It wasn’t a total loss though. I planned on talking to these guys anyway. I love their White Night EP. It’s very Strokes-esque. You can pick up the single White Night for free on the band’s Myspace page.
For more on the Postelles stay tuned. I’m going to catch their noon show tomorrow and follow up with them afterward. Now it’s time to see a person about press pass.