Saturday, May 18, 2024

Lollapalooza, Rock n' Roll and where we're at in 2024


Back in the summer of 1991, with a newly minted driver's license, I drove from Spring, Texas to Austin.  We picked up a friend of my brother's, and then we pivoted, driving into Dallas just before dusk.  

The next day, my brother, his buddy Mike, my buddy Scott and I attended Day 1 of the first two dates in Dallas of the first Lollapalooza tour.  Back then, Lollapalooza was fairly small, and a roving event that moved the artists and associated folks from city to city.  Dallas had sold better than expected, so they added a second day, which was, because of scheduling, the day before the original date.

We kind of knew about the music festivals in Europe, but at the time, music festivals here had sort of died out except for the very successful Monsters of Rock thing (the history and complexity of which I won't get into here).  Bands mostly played 2-3 acts together at most.  Something like Reading was way out of reach on our shores.  You had to have Farm Aid to see anything like a festival that I was really aware of.

Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell somehow cooked up the idea of his caravan of 120 Minutes friendly bands (we did not have the term Alternative in 1991), pulling together a fascinating herd of musicians, hitting cities all across the US.  That I could see Jane's Addiction, Ice-T, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Rollins Band in one day was mind-boggling.  As promised Farrell also brought along artists and international food I wasn't familiar with (I recall looking for food from Africa every year and never regretting it).