Laguna Seca, 1988

It’s pretty funny to laugh about it now, but boy!, was Huey pissed-off at the time.  It’s his own damned fault for showing up unprepared, even though he would still argue that he had all the necessary preparations: a change of clothes, and six cases of beer.  The three-day concert festival at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California was meant to be the party of the year, with The Grateful Dead and Los Lobos providing the musical soundtrack.  However, Huey only had a single ticket for Day Two of the weekend, and when the raceway opened the gates on Thursday so that the campers could stake their claims and prepare for the three-day party, the festival security would not let him into the campground.  Only those with tickets for all three days were allowed to enter.

laguna seca 1988Allan was in a similar situation with only one single ticket for the second day of the weekend.  It is still a mystery as to why Allan and Huey only bought tickets to one show instead of all three.  They probably would have said that they only needed one ticket to get into the festival, and that they could have scored the other tickets later through some sort of wheeling and dealing.  On the other hand, maybe they believed that they could have heard the other shows from their campsites so the tickets were unnecessary anyway.

Nevertheless, on Thursday afternoon, Huey and Allan were stuck outside of the gates of the campground and would not be let in until Saturday when their tickets would be honored.  They stood watching Cody drive away in Allan’s 1972 Buick Skylark up the long winding path that led to the festival site.  Cody had tickets for all three shows.  However, Cody could not drive.

At eighteen-years old, Cody still never bothered to learn to drive since all his friends did drive and Cody usually just followed at least one of them around.  He certainly never expected to have to navigate the old 4-speed stick shift up a steep grade and around sharp winding turns for a mile until he reached the festival parking.  He made most of the trek staying in first gear, although he did manage to get it into second for a moment while accelerating up a rather steep hill, only to have some random hippie jump in front of the car, forcing Cody to stop abruptly, all to beg Cody for some spare change.

But Cody got to the campsite.  He unloaded all of the camping gear, including the three ice chests of food, and all of Huey’s beer.  Cody got comfortable and pondered the fate of his friends, worried that they might not make it in for a couple of days.

Huey and Allan cursed their luck and tried to find ways to scheme their way into the campground.  They tried crouching behind other cars as they passed through the gates only to be foiled by festival security.  They tried running up the steep hill when they thought that no one was looking, only to be chased down and returned to the outside of the gate.  Finally, in a flash of brilliance, their two brains collaborated on the perfect plan: If they walked backwards up the hill, facing the gate, then it would look as though they were walking away from the campsite and toward the gate.  It was foolproof!

Actually, they were right.  It did work, and Huey and Allan made it up the hill undetected and eventually to the campground.  What a hassle!  The long walk up and down steep hills followed by a seemingly eternal walk through the maze of tents and circus freaks in a campsite that would ultimately house some 20,000 Deadheads was enough to drive anyone a little crazy.

But that’s not why Huey was so pissed-off!

Once Huey and Allan finally found Cody relaxing at the campsite with a few new friends, Huey had discovered that at least half of his beer was gone.  Cody, despairing at the loss of his best friends, decided to barter with the locals for other various party favors.  Folks stopped by asking for a few beers and volunteered to trade weed, acid, opium, hash, veggie sandwiches, and bagels to procure a few cans of the cheap brew.

Cody didn’t really like beer very much; he liked pot.  Lots and lots of pot!  Huey was not much of a pot smoker; he liked beer.  Lots and lots of beer!  And now much of that beer was gone.  Six cases of beer was probably not going to last Huey for a weekend anyway, but now with that supply diminished, Huey seethed at the misfortune created by his friend and brother, the now extremely high Cody.

Allan was as happy as ever.  He like beer, and weed, and hash, and acid, and every other sensory-heightening substance known to man, so his weekend was going to be fine.  Cody’s actions only made Allan’s weekend that much easier.

Tensions loosened as the first beers were drunk, and the first chemicals were ingested.  The three friends wandered around the campsite watching the strange characters and carnival performers running amok.  Musicians playing their guitars and singing, while stilted jugglers threw fiery projectiles at each other near the tents.  Cody would have the most surreal moment of the weekend when a very convincing Captain Beefheart lookalike made a random comment about the entire tent village going up in flames.  Was it really him?

It was a magical weekend for everyone, regardless of the amount of preferred substance each person had.  The music was great, and the camaraderie reached an all-time high amongst the friends.

Jerry Laguna Seca 1988Huey and Allan would leave early Sunday morning, since they did not have a ticket for the third day, and all of the party favors had been used up.  They left Cody behind to find his own way home.  Cody was blissfully soaking in the Grateful Dead finest sets of the weekend, and did not realize he was abandoned until after the last notes had rung across the festival site like the peals of church bells. There was probably no ill-will on Huey and Allan’s part attached to leave Cody behind, but after the dust had settled, Cody came to a very important revelation:

Don’t fuck with Huey and his beer supply!


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Filed under Deep Thoughts, man...

One response to “Laguna Seca, 1988

  1. Pingback: Who Knew? | It's a Blog About Nothing

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