Byron Hippies, Wrinkled Rockers and Rabid Hampsters
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 the gateway to Hippie Kingdom. In spite of the fact that my old Astra was sounding exactly like a road train since the exhaust pipe fell off a few days before, it was Bluesfest time again and life was good.
The new Bluesfest home at Tyagrah was easy to find and access two days later. My friend and fellow “festy”Marg was just as excited as me. We exchanged our tickets for wrist bands and chirped our way towards music Nirvana. The afternoon sped by with amazing artists and never to be repeated performances. Like Steve Kilby from the church singing “Under The Milky Way and the last ever concert by Leonardo’s Bride”. We made no attempt to get into see Ben Harper, it would have been a miracle, so we opted for a cuppa.
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 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 can of lemonade causing me to be showered exposed his innebreated 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 went on and on and on. 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. I leant slightly sideways and said, “ Would you just calm down (or something like that). I should have known that nothing would shut her up and it didn’t. I know the other lady was extremely grateful cause she now focused her total attention on me. 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. I again turned sideways and said.
“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.
I then turned to the front before she knew what had happened. It did stop her in her tracks but only for about a minute. She then spent the next hour screaming and singing at the top of her lungs, doing everything she could think of to goad me into retalliating.
She mentioned her screechy voice a couple of time over the next hour so she definitely remembered what I had said. It’s funny how actions speak louder than words. She spouted before the concert began that it was her dream to see Rodriguez, but then spend the next hour trying to ruin it.
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 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 would have been really grateful for. Secondly, the pain in her head would be so unbarable, 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 exceptional vocabulary. Rock on