we have a date with the underground, chapter 36
by Turtle Jones

This is the last New Years story and since everyone, well most everyone, is hungover and not reading this today, I might as well go out with a bang. First of all, there have been some great New Years stories over the past few weeks on FTTW. Some funny, some amazing and some sad but they have all been great. If you haven't read them, I would take a few a few minutes and go back over them. There are some amazing people here with a lot of great stories.

But enough about that. Let's get back to getting fucked up at shows and almost getting killed! The fun stuff. This one goes back to those crazy dot com years in San Francisco. Paper millionaires and stupidity. Where everyone knew it wouldn't last but really didn't care.

You remember those days.

For weeks I'd been seeing my friends get jobs. Not just jobs, good jobs. I really didn't understand it. Well, I understood it enough to know that something was going on. No one would ever want these people to work for them unless something was going on, right? They were alcoholics and drug addicts but for some reason they were all being hired at tech places for reasonable money. When I say reasonable, I mean above minimum wage. Sure, we were all still broke, but these jobs put them in contact with the top people in the industry. Top people in the industry means more opportunities for us. And we all know that computer dorks always wanted to be cool and hang out with the band guys.*

* That theory might not be true, but it's my story and I have to rationalize it somehow.sfapart.jpg

We used to go into these "new" buildings where they worked late at night and see all this stuff. Stuff. It was weird. What was once an abandoned warehouse was now a huge office complex filled with those computer like things and little offices. What was once rats and homeless people was now servers and workstations. The stench of urine was now masked by the exhaust of brand new SUV's.

Very strange times.

But, as usual, we had to get in on it.

Private parties, and not so private parties, pretty much were an every night thing. If some company went IPO, booze was passed around and a party was started. And these things happened weekly.

One night we had played some show and were invited to three or four after parties to keep going. More music. Different people in the band. Really stopped mattering at that time. This was a weekend party that ended on New Years Day or sometime that week. Don't ask me cause back then, the party really never stopped. Just slowed down to mind numbing speeds until we hit the pass out stage. Then the party kinda died for us.

But back to the party I was talking about. We walked in to this huge house. Champagne everywhere with piles of cocaine in the back room. Bottles hard alcohol were set up everywhere. Pills being passed around. Don't ask me if I imbibed. I did.

Someone noticed that my friend was stealing things from the bar and we were thrown out. Packed full of stolen booze and loaded with drugs, we hit a MUNI and just drove around until we found another party. It was somewhere downtown. Some renovated area. That's all I remember about the location. Somewhere I had never been. I knew that at least. I walked up the stairs to where we supposed to be going when a raindrop hit me. But we were inside. More rain. Someone must be spitting on me. We were inside. I looked up. The entire roof had a huge hole in it. It's hard to describe the way it looked. The actual apartments circled the building with a garden in the middle and a hole so the sun could get in cut out of the roof. Fuck if I know. I had never seen anything like that before.

Well, we got into the building and it was huge and all that. More drugs and more booze. We were thrown out within a few minutes. Duh.apt03.jpg

I do know we took the party in a big samba line up to the top of the roof to throw bottles at all of the people way down on the streets below. Yes, we were kinda of dicks back then. Shit was going crazy on the streets and the roofs were getting filled with people. So many people that cop helicopters were circling a row of buildings we were all on. So we did the rational thing and started jumping rooftop to rooftop to check out the other parties. It was about five or so stories up and we just went cruising along. All I really remember was the "whoosh" of air as I cleared alleyways. Then the "thud" when I hit the next roof and landed in the tiny pebbles that covered each of them. By the time I was running out of breath, my face looked like a pin cousin from all the rock scrapes on my face.

I turned around and went the other way. Back to the original party. See, I had really had enough. This was fun, but I could tell my body was giving out and I needed to be on the street before I went down. Back down there. To relative safety.

I cleared about three buildings. Not all at one time, but you know what I mean. The original party was still going strong. My friend was chasing me. Almost racing. I hit the last wall and looked back at him. He was running harder. Laughing at him, I accelerated and cleared the final wall. One look back at him with a laugh. Suddenly. my neck tightened. My legs pulled out from underneath me.

I was tackled.

I looked up to see what happened. He tackled me from a full sprint. My body dragged about three feet in the tiny pebbles before I came to a standstill on the ground. Behind me was him, holding my legs and yelling at me. In front of me was the open roof. Five floors down to the garden. I was running right for it and he tackled me. Didn't even see it.

So that pretty much ended the night.

Of course, a few months later the stock market crashed and everyone became unemployed again, but hey hell, it was fun while it lasted.

Happy New Year everyone.



Happy New Year. Now get this silly string out of my hair, please.


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