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A lollapalooza of a Lollapalooza

Memoirs & Miscellany, Outdoor Concerts Add comments

It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

After the debut of Lollapalooza in 1991, two friends and I decided on a resolute course of action for the follow-up in 1992: we would spend the day loaded on LSD. After all, the first one had practically been made for hallucinogenic drugs: Jane’s Addiction, Siouxsie, The Butthole Surfers prior to their alt-metal change-up. The crowd had been laid back—a relatively critical component of acid use—and we’d had such a good time, the only way to top it, we figured, would be to take more for Year Number Two.

A worse idea, we could not have had. The lineup was decidedly not hallucinogenic-friendly. Sure, the likes of Lush and Pearl Jam weren’t negative, as such, but the scene took a sour turn when Soundgarden took the stage. Huge pits of flailing, high-testosterone apes took shape everywhere we, um, could see. The venue, Fiddler’s Green in Denver, is composed of huge swaths of graded lawn, separated by twenty-foot flat sidewalks. Needless to say, the sidewalks were occupied by an angry army of the very non-acid friendly, buzzing in circle-pits. By the time Ministry took the stage, it was chaos. At one point, two sizeable lads crushed into us, conferred briefly with one another, relocated their spiked wristbands to their fists, and launched back into the circular fray. I couldn’t really hear what my friend said, but I’m pretty sure he mouthed “not cool.” As the Red Hot Chili Peppers began, we’d had enough.

“We’re never going to do this again” we agreed in unison as we left. And by that, of course, we meant take acid at Lollapalooza. We were scarred for life though—none of us ever ventured to another Lollapalooza. (Dave Chamberlain)

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