Byron Hippies, Wrinkled Rockers and Rabid Hamsters
The huge amber globe that is the easter full moon hung with regal prescence as my car approached the Byron Bay turn off, its radiant glow illuminating my way. In spite of the fact that my old Astra was sounding exactly like a road train since the exhaust pipe partly fell off a few days before, it was Bluesfest time again and life was good. Rodriguez, who was not dead as most of us had believed had miraculously reappeared as a headline act on the Blues Fest stage, could life get any better!
Rodriquez time was fast approaching and the end of Ben Harpers performance chimed, only 2 hours to go. We entered the tent as his last song finish and the crowd, which by this time had been jammed together like sardines for about ninety minutes, turned around and walked out. It was amazing and I couldn’t believe it, we took the opportunity to find a position centre stage third row. There was nothing on this earth that could make me move. Whatever torture I would have to endure for the next two hours till Rodriguez walked out on that stage would be worth it. I just didn’t realise that it would infact be torture.
There were thousands like me, fifty plus and determined to see our teenage memories bought to life. Joan Armitrading was amazing but she wasn’t Rodriguez. Age did not weary them, nor the heat, the lack of water or the cramped conditions. But for me personally the Y Gen almost suceeded where nothing else could.
While the stage was being cleared at the end of Joans performance, a tall blonde American boy came and stood behind me and his girlfriend locked in her position next to me. The fact they were smashed wasn’t immediately obvious. His attempt to pour vodka from a snap lock sandwich bags into a soft drink can, causing me to be showered in Russia’s finest exposed his plastered state.
At the same time the girlfriend, who was five foot nothing and as equally hammered, entered into an argument with another festival goer, who had tried to push her way to the front. Not cool I know, but lets face it, who hasn’t done that. The trouble was that I had a raging headache, I think I had a hot flush and my feet were going numb. Her shrill voice wouldn’t let up, she just went on and on and on. I thought my head was going to explode!
The other woman was speaking in a whisper but I don’t think the young girl had ever heard of such a thing. She ranted and raved about her great dream of seeing Rodriguez. I know that I should have stayed out of it, but the previously mentioned symtoms made that impossible and caused me to make my fatal mistake.
I leant slightly sideways and said, “ Would you just calm down”, as nicely as I could. It really was my fault though, I should have realised in her state nothing would have shut her up and it didn’t. I’m sure the other lady was extremely grateful as the girl poured out her vitriolic tirade on me, the pity in her eyes was plain to see. I have to tell you I really did attempt to ignore her. However, as Rodriguez was about to enter the stage after a rain delayed start, I couldn’t stand it anymore and once again turned sideways to speak.
“Would you just shut up, you sound like a rabid hampster and your voice is like a buzz saw in my brain”, using hand signal for emphasis. Then turned to the front before she knew what had happened. For one brief precious moment there was silence. She then spent the next hour screaming in my ear defending her whinny voice and singing at the top of her lungs, determinedly doing everything she could think of to goad me into retalliating.
What she never realised was that I am a mum and I learnt along time ago to block out children who were screaming for my attention. My perception of what tomorrow would bring for that young woman consoled me when ever her behaviour threatened to ruin my day. There was no doubt in my mind that she would have lost her voice when she woke, this fact I am sure her boyfriend was very grateful for. Secondly, the pain in her head would have been so unbearable, I doubt that any meds but the strongest would have helped.
And lastly but by no means least, she will never, never, never forget that she is a rabid hampster with a voice like a buzz saw.
I say take note Gen Y, don’t mess with a Zesty, late baby boomer mumma, who can eventually regain composure and has an exceptionally good vocabulary. Rock on