So a little trip to Lollapalooza '92 is in order, is it? Miami wasn't blessed with the presence of the first Lolla tour, so we have no idea what to expect. But we do know that when you pack tons of live music, art, food, propaganda, and other diversions into one outdoor venue, you're going to make lots of money. No, wait, that's not right. What you get is festivity bordering on chaos.
This is a friend-friendly event. Everyone is supposed to get along, chum up to their blanket neighbor, and have a wonderfully enriching time. To help you achieve these utopian desires, we provide this handy reference, complete with everything you need to have a nice day. All info contained in this guide -- all of it -- is absolutely true. Even the dream sequence. Look it up. We did.
Tickets and Attendance
Is Lollapalooza '92 a commercial success? In San Francisco, where the tour opened in mid-July, 40,000 seats for two shows easily sold out. In Seattle, home of several of the acts, including the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow, 25,000 tickets sold in 25 minutes. In the New York area, 36,200 ducats were snapped up in a half hour. The tix for Orlando's visit were all gone by August 11. In fact, ticket demand was through the roof at every stop on the tour.
As of press time, there were still tickets left for the Miami show this Saturday.
Heidi Ellen Robinson, a vice president at Def American assigned flack duties for the tour, had to buy five pairs of tickets to divvy among Miami press types. The promoter, Cellar Door, doesn't supply the media with tickets.
Tickets cost $26.50 (plus service charge, of course) for the Miami show.
By the time the tour ends September 13 in Los Angeles, it is expected to have grossed $17 million.
Cellar Door's no-tix-for-newsmutts policy fits well with organizer Perry Farrell's view of printjerks. Shortly before appearing at the Cameo Theatre a few years ago and showing several hundred locals his butt crack, Farrell refused to admit to New Times that he was from North Miami (sort of Vanilla Ice in reverse). He also refused to admit he had parents.
A wise move would be to cruise by after the show and retrieve a used ticket stub from the ground. That way you can tell your mutant grandkids you were there and no one will ever be the wiser.
One of the premises of the first Lollapalooza was that fans of one act would be turned on to other performers that might otherwise be ignored. Demographic cross-pollination: progressives Jane's Addiction, aging punks Siouxsie and the Banshees, clean metallers Living Colour, industrial nuts Nine Inch Nails, rapper Ice-T (with his metal sidekicks Body Count), cinematic anarchists Butthole Surfers, and the always painful Henry Rollins Band.
Here's everything you need to know about the bands performing on the main stage for Lollapalooza '92:
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Also known as the Chili Papers, Chili Peckers, or just plain Chilis. Best thing about them: Seeing the look on radio-informed people's faces after they buy the Blood Sugar Sex Magik album thinking the aberrant hit ballad "Under the Bridge" is representative of the veteran funk-punk band's sound. A signature of the group is change: in membership, sound, number of tattoos. Their fans stick with them. Everybody, it seems, loves a Red Hot Chili Pepper. (See recipe below.)
Ministry: Animal skulls on stage. Deafeningly loud. Relentlessly antagonistic lyrics. Deafeningly loud.
Four guitarists. Deafening.
Ice Cube: Former member of N.W.A. Prominently featured in that group's classic song "Fuck Tha Police." Co-star of Boyz N the Hood. Specializes in hard-core raps about the black person's travails in modern American society, although said to be concentrating more on "party music" for this tour. Says "nigga" a lot.
Soundgarden: Possibly the most obnoxious rock band on the planet.
The Jesus and Mary Chain: Possibly the most obnoxious rock band on the planet.
Pearl Jam: Singer Eddie Vedder climbs stage scaffolding, often hundreds of feet high. Promoters' insurance agents love this guy.
Lush: Thoughtfully provided by organizers so attendees can get some sleep during the ten-hour fest.
Bicentennial Park: If you don't know it, you're not homeless. And yes, there is some irony in the fact that a portion of proceeds is donated to homeless causes, even as the actual human beings are booted from their squats so this show can go on.
To get to Bicentennial Park, take a jitney...oh, never mind.
Food and Drink
My Own Secret Recipe: Pour one cup of hot water into a pint jar, stir in one tablespoon of salt, add 100-grain vinegar until three-quarters full. Add two dozen aged, dried red peppers, whole peeled garlic cloves, green olives, slices of carrot. Age at least three months, refrigerated. Serve with ice-cold beer and bread or crackers.
The tour has its own team of food vendors who travel from city to city. They'll join local purveyors and offer fuel from Africa, Jamaica, Greece, Haiti, the Southwestern U.S., Caribbean creole, barbecue, and the standard fair fare like hot dogs and pretzels. Wait a second. Haiti?
You can also catch blue crabs from the sea wall of Bicentennial and boil 'em up right there. (You can also catch crabs from several members of the bands.)
"Smart drinks" will be available, and if you don't know what "smart drinks" are, you should probably have more than one. Among the choices: Quantum Punch (for mental alertness), Oxygen Cocktail (less filling), and Blast! (an amino acid cocktail). Yum.
Other Stuff You Need
A working knowledge of George Clinton, in case you meet one of the Chili Peppers washing his sock in the saltwater, just like the homeless citizens of Bicentennial sometimes do. As Dick Vitale might say, "Freaky styley, bay-beeee!"
Soft shoulder pads for swaying your head along to "Under the Bridge," the live version of which lasts approximately 48 minutes.
Ear plugs for Ministry's set. And a lobotomy.
A nigga to translate what Ice Cube's saying. It's just another day, homes.
Hard 'N' Heavy Vol. 17 video so you know going in what jerks comprise the band Soundgarden.
A place to park your car: Good luck.
During his set at the Wantagh, New York, show on August 9, Ice Cube told the crowd that "rappers don't kill people, cops do."
At the Denver show, Ice Cube spent most of his set inciting the audience to shout "Hell motherfuckin' yeah" repeatedly. Start practicing early.
Red Hot Chili Peckers bassist Flea's real name is Michael Balzary. This could be very helpful to the New York Times, which would no longer have to refer to him -- per style requirements -- as Mr. Flea.
Soundgarden's Kim Thayil told USA Today, "Lollapalooza gives semi-affluent, leisure-class white youths who don't vote an opportunity to relinquish themselves of guilt. They get style points for that, right?" He's talking about you, pal.
The other night I had a dream in which Bill Clinton was swimming in the Los Angeles River to the tune of the Red Hot Chili Papers' "Under the Bridge." No, I don't know what it means. And then again, maybe it was George Clinton.
Here is one of the contract requirements: Four junk television sets, two large junk appliances (promoter's choice of washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, et cetera), twenty live crickets, ten jumbo mealworms, ten healthy nightcrawlers, one pound of maggots, one regular-size clear glass lightbulb.
"I want people to leave saying they had a great time," says erstwhile Jane's Addiction "singer" and Lolla mastermind Perry Farrell. "That would make me happy." And, really, isn't making Perry happy what it's all about?
The Jim Rose Circus Sideshow consists of Jim Rose lying face down in broken glass while volunteers stand on his head. He also swallows razor blades (an old Houdini trick). His associate, Mr. Lifto, who reportedly steals the sideshow, lifts heavy objects using his nipples and tongue. (Note that this is Mr. Lifto, Jr., son of Mr. Lifto, Sr.) They're joined by Slug the Sword Swallower (keyboards and slug swallowing), the Torture King (human pin cushion, eats light bulbs), and Matt the Tube (a pharmacist who blows up hot-water bags till they explode).
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There will be a body-piercing kiosk. Noses and ears only. Hell, you can get that done at the mall. There goes the big surprise for mom and dad.
The midway also features a giant musical "instrument" that can be played by as many as 30 people at one time. The result undoubtedly sounds much like a Ministry-Soundgarden jam session.
Lollapalooza '92 will go down in history as a landmark event, the turning point of an entire generation. It truly is the Woodstock of the Seventies.
LOLLAPALOOZA begins at 2:00 p.m. (gates open at 11:00 a.m.) Saturday at Bicentennial Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd, 575-5256. Tickets cost $26.50.