Wednesday, September 05, 2007

How Do I Blog This Past Weekend?

Let me count the ways.

Or maybe not, because the events leading up to last weekend have more verses than "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" and are just as inane.

The past few days were the most intense 96 hours of my life! So many twists and turns to get the Golden Gate Park show off of the ground that I cannot remember where it all started. I think it was about 18 months ago that I was invited to attend a meeting to discuss the possibility of a concert to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love. After that, I attended as many meetings as I could, given my sporadic schedule. I have the utmost admiration for Boots Hughston and the way he pulled the whole thing together in spite of enormous obstacles (which include being arrested two days before the show). To quote David Nelson,

It took a long line of dedicated maniacs
Just to get this birdie off of the ground
A cracker jack team of enlightened masters
Just to help me see the ground
See the ground,
I'm heaven bound
It was such a good idea at the time

... Any Naked Eye

Such orchestrated chaos as I have never before seen and hope to never again witness in the future! I was working on the Will Call/Band Check In/Guest List aspect of the show and had scheduled a staff of twelve to rotate through four spots during the day (including myself). Late in the day on Saturday, I was told we would have a second Will Call at the opposite end of the field. So, I left to head home and re work the schedule only to discover that I was not going anywhere any time soon - my car had shredded its serpentine belt and required towing back to Marin. Once I was home, I called the other people involved in Will Call and let them know what was happening and then re-worked the schedule before collapsing into bed around 10 PM.

There was no way in hell I could sleep that night so I finally got up around 2 AM and started to get ready for the show. Bethy was coming for me at 5 AM (I was told we had to be there by 5:30). I printed out the revamped schedules, guidelines for manning the tables, and a directory of cell phone numbers for staffers. Beth showed up at 6:00 and we limped into Speedway Meadows about 1/2 hour later, only to be told that A. We were back to one Will Call table, B. We would be sharing the Will Call booth with the Press Liaisons which would limit the room in which we had to work, C. The Guest List and Passes were not there yet and D. People were already queued up outside an empty tent. Not only that, there was some confusion as to where the Volunteers were to go to check in - they were not on the Will Call guest list, we were not working with the Volunteer Coordinator per se, and yet they were flooding our table (turns out there was NO volunteer check in table).

An hour into the set up, we got the lists and the passes and started checking people in. It got crazy really fast and by 9:30 AM, I had THE NOSEBLEED FROM HELL. I was scheduled off at 10 AM anyway, to work with the New Riders and Jack Hirschman, so I left to try and relax for a few minutes. I never did relax all day. I think I got one bottle of water and no food until I went to dinner with NRPS at Benihana's at 8:30 PM.

Jack showed up backstage around 11 AM but he was not wearing a pass. I said "how did you get in?" and he said, "I just walked in." I knew he would never get onstage without a stage pass so I ran out to get one for him. It was a little sad that our own Poet Laureate attempted to take a bus to the park but was passed by five buses that were too full so he finally hailed a cab. I wish I had told him to go to the Miyako and take the limo. I settled Jack into the tent with the New Riders (since they were going on back to back) and was yelled at by Tony Burkhart, the person attempting to be in charge of getting performers up to and on the stage and back into the press tents, etc. He said the tent was not for poets. I yelled back and as is my way, I prevailed and Jack stayed in the tent. When it was time to go up, I escorted him and the New Riders up to the stage and stayed there for the poetry reading and the NRPS' 2-song set.

Anyway, it was all worth it when the show started. In addition to Jack Hirschman and The New Riders of the Purple Sage with John "Marmaduke" Dawson out there singing, other highlights for me included The Charlatans and Moby Grape. Wow!

1 comment:

speedo said...

WOW, I didn't know you were so involved with this!! I hope that you have made time to finally get some rest and wanted to thank you for what looks like a GREAT job via the webcast!

on another note we are going to try to make it to a NRPS show in NC on the 16th of this month.