This one time at a hippie electronic music festival…

I rarely play music festivals but I’m playing Shambhala this year and it got me thinking about this funny shit that happened at festival I played a long time ago. Usually, I go to these things alone, play, and get out as quickly as possible. It’s just not my scene. but this one time, it was a drivable distance from NYC so I invited a few friends with me and we made a night out of it. The plan was to take some shrooms and some molly and whyle the fuck out. My friends needed minimal prompting so it was an easy sell.

It was a super duper backwoods hippie festival in New Hampshire. We arrived on the grounds, got the lay of the land and pretty much had like 4 hours to kill before i had to play. My friends had no obligations so they took shrooms right away but I had to wait til after I was done “working”. I decided i was gonna pop my molly halfway through my set and see what happens. I did and , with like ten minutes left, it kicked in. For real, it was the most fun I ever had playing in my life. By the time I got off stage, I was HIGH. Right then, a camera crew starts to interview me. Reminder: I was so high…but I was also beaming cause my Serotonin was doing cartwheels in my brain. I willfully and joyfully do the interview and thank god it never surfaced cause I bet I looked like a complete saucer eyed psycho.

After I got off stage I located my friends and I took the shrooms , while my friends took their molly. They had been tripping for a few hours at this point and , adding the molly to it, were pretty far ahead of me. Because I was an artist, I had access to a special “backstage area” which was basically open farm land and a cabin where artists could chill, eat and use the bathroom. We were all tripping and decided it would be a great idea to go there and pee and be indoors for a little cause it was pretty cold out. But also, the whole “changing of scenery” quest one does when tripping was in full effect. We walked down this long, almost pitch dark pathway, lit only by scattered glow sticks (of course it was cause festival). We go the house and entered the main room. I recall it being pretty empty. maybe one of two people in it. There was a couch there so my friends and I b-lined for that. basking in the comfort of the couch, one of my friends needed to use the bathroom but just as she got up to do that, a very intense man in a pink fur coat came in and the other people in the room seemed very focused on him. Turns out, he was one of the festival paramedics (I actually named a song after him cause it was such a bizarre sight to see a guy who looked like the lead singer of Midnight Oil , in a pink fur , NO SHIRT underneath and some weird colorful raver pants be the person who might just save your life). Anyway, turns out a girl had locked herself in the bathroom and was unresponsive. The only girls in the room where my two friends. They turned to us and asked if anyone could go in and check on her. I guess they wanted a girl to go in , in case she was exposed or something. I was happy to not be an option cause I was way too high and that would literally be the last thing I wanna do…possibly find a dead person…ON SHROOMS? no thanks. But one of my friends reacted as if it was nothing and was like “Sure, I’ll do it”. This this day, that blows my mind. I don’t know if you’ve done Mushrooms before but taking responsibility in social and public situations is pretty low on the list of desired activities. I once had a near meltdown with friends , while shrooming, cause none of us wanted to go get a bottle of water from the bodega. We were scared of THAT concept. So, imagine being super high and being asked to go check if some random girl is maybe dead on a toilet. But my friend did that…and the girl was alive. Just passed out. She made sure the girl wasn’t in any compromising positions and send in Doctor sunflower to check on her. My friend was in the bathroom for what felt like an hour (but was probably like 2 minutes) so when she got out we are ready to GTFO there, Like, I’m not a “vibes” guy, in general. but in that moment, I was MR. Vibes and the vibes were dark and ominous so we needed to not be in there anymore.

Majestic black horse with hoof raised.

We stepped outside and it was like the cold air washing over us changed everything. The heaviness of that other situation evaporated and we were back on our path. We walked around the secluded area where only artists could be. It was a farm so we passed a horse.I almost didn’t believe he was real, at first. Ever seen a horse when you’re tripping? It’s something else. Pretty sure I tried to talk to her and told her how majestic she was. Or not. But it was something. The cold was becoming overwhelming so we decided we would go warm up in my friends car and listen to music. We got in and my friend put on “Drunk in love” by Beyonce and, I gotta say, it seemed like the best song ever at that time. I remember blabbering in about the production and being just blown away at the whole construction of the song cause I was absolutely tripping my balls off. I mean, it’s a cool song but high me REALLY felt it. Which is very funny to look back on and makes me kinda wish i had video of me in that moment so I could show future generations and be like “That’s what high people do”.

So, after we warmed up in the car, we decided to brave into the actual festival. This was a little nerve wracking but also kinda exciting. We walked on the campus and the first thing I saw was one of those art tents. At these festivals they often have these “shops” where people sell their art. It’s generally art based on drugs or hippie shit and, to the sober eye, is terrible. Well, when I saw it in that condition i was like “ohhhhhhh I get it now!”. Keep in mind, I still didn’t think it was good but I finally understood the appeal of it. And my mushroom mind went down that path for a while, which was amusing, to say the least.

So we are just walking around the grounds, It’s pretty dark and all the people passing us seemed like shadows. We decide to check out one of the music tents cause what else are we gonna do? Now, I’m no fan of EDM. In fact, I kinda think it’s the worst. That said, when on the right combo of drugs, I’ve been known to be more lenient to certain kinds of music. We walk in this tent and bunch of extremely high scattered hippies were dancing to music that can best be described as what would happen if you put some cymbals and a robot in a dryer and set it on “fuck your ears”. Not even in my highest state could I tolerate it so we dipped out. It should be noted that one of my friends who was with me came up in the NYC club scene and was very down to stay so sorry to her. Couldn’t do it.

I think we meandered around for a little more and decided it was time to leave. My friend who drove us there had been high for , i dunno, 6 or 7 hours so she felt confident about driving us back to out hotel a mile or so away. It’s 4 am in new hampshire in the middle of nowhere so it’s not like there was much activity. At least that’s how we justified doing what we definitely shouldn’t have been doing…driving anywhere on mushrooms and molly. So, we did it. She drove. she drove great. It wasn’t far and we didn’t see another car on the road. I’m pretty sure she drove like 25 miles per hour the whole way. The entire time, assuring us she was good. It was misty out and it actually looked very beautiful , as things tend to look when you’re high on mushrooms. We go to the hotel and she parked saying “Wow, I can’t believe i just made it here”. Score one for bad choices that pan out!

We got into our shitty Days Inn hotel room. The girls shared one bed and I had the other. we milled about, cleaned up and had high conversations for a while until we all eventually fell asleep. The next day we woke up, braindead as ever, and headed back the city.

A few days later, I get a text from one of the girls asking me if I had any bug bites on me. I did not. Then the other girls responded (it was group text) “Umm,..yeah, I’m covered in them”. WHELP…turns out the bed they slept in had bed bugs. OOOOOOOPS. Me being the lucky piece of shit I am, avoided it entirely but they go devoured. Go days Inn. They took all the proper precautions and were fine but , apparently , being covered in bed bug bites really sucks. All i could think about was those bed bugs sucking that drugged up blood and tripping their faces off before they died from an overdose. What a way to go out.

So, yeah, that was the last festival I played. Can’t say I’ll ever do any of that again but it was certainly memorable. And isn’t that what life is all about…memories? and Bed bugs. And festival paramedics dressed like club kids. God bless America.

Old people doing drugs.

Until this past weekend, I hadn’t really done drugs in the last 10 years. I had drank a fair amount, smoked weed maybe twice and taken a little bit of mushrooms once. But that’s it. It’s not that I’m just one of those clean living types. I just don’t enjoy weed, I’ve never done any of the “hard” drugs and all the other drugs hadn’t really come up. So, this weekend, the inner 19 year old in me came out when a group of friends as we decided to rent a cabin in the Poconos and get fucked up. Why? Why not. This winter has been a motherfucker and , even though I don’t subscribe to “needing to get out the city!” as a rule, it was a welcome break. Little known fact, doing mushrooms in urban settings is not always the best idea.
The plan was to bring a bunch of mushrooms and molly. Now, “Molly” is something I had never done. Ecstasy, sure. But Molly? nope. I recall first hearing it’s name when I would be on tour years ago and being like “what the fuck are all these kids talking about?”. Turns out it’s just pure MDMA and is called Molly cause that’s short for “Molecule”. I literally didn’t know that for years and just assumed it was some crystal meth off shoot. Anyway, back when I did drugs with more frequency, Mushrooms and ecstasy were the best mix. Shrooms were my favorite but, you know, sometimes shit might get a little too intense. I recall once drinking mushroom tea on a friday afternoon with some friends and then leaving my house to walk downtown to a calm , serene area of battery park city. Unfortunately, the Shrooms kicked in within 10 minutes (as opposed to the 30 minutes we thought it would take) and we got caught walking down a highly populated street tripping our balls off at rush hour. We literally stood outside a bodega freaking out over who was gonna go in a buy water cause we were all too high to deal with any sober human beings. This led to us stumbling into a small park and all of us almost vomiting as we saw the sky churn angrily above us (pretty sure it was clear skies though). So, a lesson was learned that night. The next time I did shrooms, I took some ecstasy first. The ecstasy would take off the negative edge.

I’m not gonna lie. I was a little nervous about doing both these drugs again. Primarily cause it had been so long. I know what me in my 20’s could handle. Life was simpler then. I worried that I’d do them now and all of a sudden start freaking about needing to pay my taxes or what it will be like if I ever have a kid. You step into shrooms with some problems on your mind, shit might get ugly. There was also part of me that was like “why the fuck am I doing drugs at my age?”. Then it dawned on me. I don’t take vacations. My life is a vacation at home, as I have no real job that requires being locked in a cubicle or any sort of schedule. When I travel, it’s work. So, in a way, this is a vacation. This is me actually getting away, if not for just a night or two.

So, ten of us went to a cabin deep in the woods. I’m talking “GPS had no idea what the fuck was going on” type deep. I’m not gonna lie. There were 5 out of the 10 of us who were straight up drug novices. Thank god for the other 5 people cause they were on the fucking ball. Having pro’s around is never a bad idea. There are so many nuances to tripping you don’t think about. Like how awesome some Vitamin water is when you’re on drugs. Or candy. So much candy. One girl even bought magnesium pills to help lessen any jaw clenching we might experience. If I had organized this trip. we’d have a fridge full of buttermilk and steak tartare to eat and a room with only steel folding chairs. The veterans also bought all sorts of soft shit and toys that , when I looked at sober, I thought they were unbelievable cornballs. Like “Oh, nice fucking foot massager,bro”. 3 hours later, I’m sitting on the couch in front of a fire place gleefully rubbing my foot on it like my life depended on it. One dude bought one of those sharper image head scratcher things that pretty much was being passed around like a drug of it’s own.

It began with the entire group in one room, gathered around a table. We started with the molly. We all looked at each other and popped a pill in unison like some sort of suicide pact. Then we waited. Some people (the veterans) got up and started organizing shit. Like setting up a room upstairs in the cabin to be a very mellow room for lounging on plush couches. The rest of us, anxiously waited to feel something. It didn’t take long. Music was on. Random dancing began and it was clear that people were now high. After the novices , like myself, got done explaining to the other people how good they felt, people started branching out. Some went outside and played whiffle ball. Some danced. Others just chatted and smiled a lot. Then the mushrooms came into play and the night was in full effect.

The beauty of mixing shrooms and molly is that you cover your bases. You’re so fucking happy AND you’re tripping. So it’s like nothing negative can really overtake your night. The worst problem I had was how much I was peeing yet how hard it was to pee. I was constantly drinking fluids so I’d be all comfy in some plush chair or something (when high like this, it’s all about where you’re lounging. The texture of a rug can be a game changer) then, just when I was ready to just melt into that chair, I’d have to pee like an animal.

For me, the most critical part of the night was the hot tub. Holy shit. I’m pretty sure I’m now sterile due to the amount of time I spent in that hot tub, laying there like a rave manatee. At it’s peak, it fit 6 people. I recall , at one moment, everyone jumbling their legs together and random foot massages popping off. I have no clue who’s foot i was holding. I generally don’t even like feet. That’s that drugs, bro.

I’m sure some of you are reading this and rolling your eyes as this is an everyday thing for you. You live that Molly life. Honestly, I don’t blame you. While my body could not handle doing this shit more than once every few months, I can certainly see how something like this can become an integral part of your every weekend. I just think it’s funny to imagine a bunch of relatively old people partying on this shit. It’s like what i imagine my parents were like when they got stoned well into their 40’s. Let’s be real, doing drugs like these are a young persons game. Not to say you ever have to stop but , in general, the optimum time for tripping out is when you’re too young to worry. That said, I had an awesome time and this definitely set a standard and made a blueprint for any future “vacations” I’ll take. It may be a while but, goddamn it, that shit was too much fun. Except currently, my stomach is all fucked up and I’ve slept like shit the last two nights. I guess that’s the old guy part kicking in. So very old.