Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Meet me at the cemetery gates

The following is a (very) rough timeline of my trip to L.A. with Terry to see Belle and Sebastian at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on October 5, 2010.

9:30 am: Leave my house and head to Terry's to pick him up. Was almost certain I didn't forget anything important. Like the tickets. I didn't.

10:30 am: Leave Terry's house in Costa Mesa. Head toward L.A. We usually take his Scion X-box when we head into L.A., but I drive this time. I don't mind - the X-box isn't the most comfortable ride.

11:20 am: Arrive at the cemetery and after doing a quick drive through the grounds, decide to look for a place to eat on the cheap. No one is lined up outside. Skies are gray, but no rain.

12:00 pm: Decide on Carl's Jr even though Terry had his heart set on a Taco Bell 5-buck box. More like a 5-trips-to-the-toilet box, right?

12:30 pm: Almost hit a homeless dude who appeared to be at least mostly blind. It would have been mostly his fault.

12:45 pm: Arrive back at the cemetery. Score a primo parking place right across the street. Surprising, given it's only 6 hours till the event starts, right? Decide to kill time by walking around the cemetery. No one is lined up outside.

1:00 pm: Take a half dozen or so pics of Johnny Ramone's grave/monument thingy. Pay tribute. Take a leak in a port-a-jon set up for the event. It's pristine. See above line on the parking spot for reason.

1:15 pm: Randomly find Jayne Mansfield's grave stone. Terry takes a pic.

1:25 pm: Walk up to this huge mausoleum that is in the middle of a pond, accessible only by a single bridge. Debate which came first - the pond, or the mausoleum.

1:32 pm: See a smaller mausoleum marked Swayze. It is not Patrick's.

1:40 pm: See a group of people walking from the general area of where the stage is set up. Terry thinks it's the band, I do not. It wasn't.

1:50 pm: After wandering around the cemetery a little more looking for (and not finding) the graves of more famous people, we decide it's probably time to take our (rightful)spot at the front of the line.

2:00 pm: Head out front only to find a guy and girl on a blanket waiting. Resign ourselves to being second in line. Terry jokes with them that that's not where the line starts. They're mildly amused.

2:05 pm: After retrieving our chairs, blankets and other supplies from the car, get in line behind the aforementioned guy and girl. They seem nice enough.

2:10 pm: Text Vicki telling her to bring beer.

2:45 pm: Cemetery grounds crew puts up a makeshift snaking line using wood stakes and police tape.

2:55 pm: Text Vicki reminding her to bring beer.

3:20 pm: A pair of foreign dudes (French, maybe) get in line behind us. One appears to have a bag filled with records, I assume are B&S records he wants to get signed by the band.

3:25 pm: Terry gets up to go take a leak. I text Vicki about her ETA and remind her again to bring beer.

3:35 pm: The first of what will be roughly 20 people get in line with the guy and girl in front of us.

3:45 pm: I make a run to Subway to get Terry and I sandwiches. Terry goes for the black forest ham, I opt for the cold cut combo after being informed the spicy Italian isn't a $5 foot long.

3:55 pm: Pop into a little Hispanic market on the walk back from Subway to see if they have beer. They don't. I text Vicki reminding her to bring beer.

4:00 pm: Arrive back at the cemetery to find a few more guys with thick rimmed glasses and girls with stylish overcoats in line. The group in front of us now numbers 5.

4:45 pm: Ryan arrives carrying a bag of supplies and what turns out to be a portable table. He had to take the bus and the Trader Joe's bag he's been carrying has dyed his arm a wonderful shade of blue.

5:00 pm: I text Vicki to find out her (and my beer's) whereabouts. It starts sprinkling. The group in front of us has swelled to 8. The line of people behind us has just snaked back to where we are. More guys with thick rimmed glasses and girls with stylish overcoats.

5:15 pm: Sprinkles turn to rain drops. Hood of my waterproof shell in full effect. Ryan has no jacket, but does have an umbrella. We cover our stuff the best we can.

5:20 pm: Spot Stuart from the band entering the venue in a black Audi. Someone in front of us says "hi Stuart!" He politely says "hi" back.

5:30 pm: Rain stops completely. Not a drop the rest of the night. Text Vicki reminding her to bring beer. Group in front of us now in double figures. Almost feels like there's more people in front of us than behind.

6:04 pm: Gates open. To mine and Terry's surprise, no one says a word about the chairs we carry in.

6:20 pm: Find a nice spot 25 feet or so from the stage and set up camp. Blankets are unfurled, chairs set up, Ryan's fancy table erected. Ryan has wine. And a candle for the table. I still have no beer.

6:30 pm: I head to the merch table to check out the t-shirts. I settle on a navy blue number, size medium. The girl working the table had a cute Scottish accent and she said "cheers" after I bought the shirt. I think to myself all merch table workers should have Scottish accents. Seems reasonable.

6:45 pm: We are now surrounded by a sea of guys in thick rimmed glasses and girls in stylish overcoats and their blankets and tarps. Many have bread, cheese and wine. I still have no beer.

7:20 pm: Movie (Trainspotting) starts.

7:40 pm: Ryan goes to get some of his friends.

8:15 pm: Vicki arrives. So does my beer.

9:00 pm: Movie ends. Forgot how good it was. Everyone begins condensing their "camps" in preparation for the band. I stash our chairs, blankets and my leftover food behind a tree.

9:40 pm: Belle and Sebastian take the stage and open (appropriately) with Sukie in the Graveyard.

9:55 pm: Nadia arrives, bummed she missed "Sukie."

11:00 pm: Band's set comes to an end after a single encore. Great show. My lower back is sore from standing for 2 hours.

11:30 pm: Drive Vicki and Nadia to Vicki's car a few blocks away. Nadia leaves her umbrella in my car.

12:20 am: Arrive at Terry's house. Drop him off. It's pouring rain.

12:45 am: Arrive home.

1:00 am: Fall asleep dreaming of horses. Even though they didn't play it. WTF?


The Notorious T.D.P. said...

They did play Dog on Wheels, Sleep The Clock Around, Boy With The Arab Strap and to my surprise, Piazza, New York Catcher did not make an apppearance. XBox is dopee btw...

Vickipedia said...

Congratulations!!! Not only were you and Terry second in line, but to reward your efforts for getting to the venue SEVEN hours in advance, you got to hear the hour-long sound check! Six hrs without beer? Who is this "Vicki" person you speak of? She sounds fantastic!

Jim said...

I wanted to hear The State That I Am In, and they played it! So I win too! Vicki - don't forget my beer!