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Oh, I wanted so badly to go to lolla '92, but it was a matter of pay my rent or enjoy a show. So I just envied my friends with tickets. But the day before the show, a friend called to tell me that he had to work the next day and, knowing how badly I wanted to go, offered me one of two his tickets. UHHH YESSSSS! The other ticket was in the hands of his brother. I'd hung out in groups with this guy before and I'd been cutting his hair for some time, but we'd never really found a need to become friends, so this was a little weird. A little awkward. We both had other friends going, so we went together sort of planning to meet up with other people. But lo and behold, we found that we kind of enjoyed each others' company. The prep for and drive to the show proved to be quite a lot of fun. And by the time we got there and hiked across the UBC campus to Thunderbird Stadium, we had an unspoken decision to stick together for the day. And then came the rain. And more rain. And being true Vancouverites we revelled in it. We danced in the mud and got soaked to skin smiling and getting a little closer and closer to each other throughout the day. I lost my Doc in the muddy mosh and he rescued it! Yeah, the show was amazing. We missed Pearl Jam while hiking in and waiting to get through security, but the Chilis were top of their game, and Ministry! And The Jesus and Mary Chain! And holy shit, Soundgarden! We disagreed on Ice Cube, but all in all loved the whole big muddy affair. And so it turned out...EACH OTHER! By the end of the night, we'd pretty much set in stone a deep connection. Lollapalooza 1992 at Thunderbird Stadium turned out to be our first date. We fell in love in the mud. Since then? We've built a hell of a life together. We've seen a million more shows, taken on all sorts of adventures, most awesomely raising 2 kids, 12 and 13 whom we've schooled well in the world of alternative music and helped become entirely cool people. We've been to hell and back a few times and come out still madly in love. So, Thank you Lollapalooza, for my happily ever after. Who knew?
September 5, 1992 will live on for the rest of my life. I still dream of this day. I was a sophmore in high school and I came into my tickets by chance. My best friend was going and his older brother backed out last second. He called me at 7am on Saturday morning. Naturally I was pissed that this asshole was waking me up this early on a weekend, but when he told me why, I hopped out of bed and was ready in 10 mins. I had never been to a festival Concert before, so I threw on some nice shorts, a clean white tee and my brand new black Air Jordan 6's. I was looking fly and I was thinking I was gonna get to talk to girls and get a lot of numbers. So we hit 59 south and BAM! Traffic for miles on end. We are sitting there for a good hour and a half when the dude driving (I never learned his name) puts his jeep wrangler to the test. He starts driving down the overpass and starts looking for a shortcut. This guy was driving thru crops and shit until we got like within a mile of the fairgrounds. He parks it in some field and we were on our way. From the second I walked in I knew I was in trouble. It was hot....It was sticky....and there was mud EVERYWHERE! I was blown away by the side stage!! Cypress hill, House of Pain, STP, Ice-t, and Rage. I was in heaven. I had not heard about alot of these bands. I was mainly there for Cypress Hill and Ice Cube. Since that day I was listening to alternative music. I had never really liked it until this concert. When we made it to the main stage I was alreadyalittle muddy and my new shoes were gone.....R.I.P. By the time The Red Hot's closed there set, I was covered all the way up to my chest in THICK mud. I just remeber going to the restroom at Wataburger when we left and not being able to take a piss because penis had a hard layer of mud on it......talk about pain. I have no idea how it happened, but I didn't feel it cuz I was just WASTED! When I got home , my parents ripped me a new one and my mom had my dad hose me off in the front yard. I looked like Tommy Boy with my dad having the nozzle on high and spraying me all over. WHen I went to take a shower, I ripped all the hair off my nuts pulling the dried mud off......PAIN. If I had a chance, I would do it all over again and not change a thing.
If you talk to anyone who knows me they'll tell you two definitive things about me. 1) I have an awesome rack, and 2) I am one of the world's biggest Pearl Jam fans...of all time....ever. I can pinpoint the exact moment that I became a full fledged Pearl Jam fanatic and my life thereafter was forever changed...I would say bettered (some, like my family, would say turned to madness). That moment was the first time I heard the live guttural voice of Eddie Vedder blasting from the Lollapalooza stage speakers in Bicentennial Park in Downtown Miami on a late balmy August afternoon in 1992. I was 14 years old and despite being a middle class half Jew/half Italian growing up in Miami, I had recently discovered my inner alternative angst-ridden teen thanks to my sister buying me a copy of Pearl Jam's Ten the year before and me fully absorbing all that amazing new sound coming out of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest music scene. I nightly dreamed of getting to see Eddie and the boys live, since even back then I was a concert crazed individual who luckily had a Dad that took me to see every band that came to South Florida. Pearl Jam finally arrived in Miami earlier in the year like in March or April and I remember dying inside because they were playing a club on South Beach that I was no where near old enough to get into. I think actual tears were shed and a feeling that I was missing out on something huge took over me that my teenage heart couldn't bare. So, when my older sister's best friend showed up at my house that summer and said she had two tickets to the traveling Lollapalooza show that Pearl Jam was headlining and that was making a stop in Downtown Miami AND that the show was ALL AGES I nearly had a heart attack. Would my sister be cool enough to let me go in her place? Would my parents be down with me going to a huge festival show downtown with just my sister's crazy BFF as my chaperone? Thankfully the answer to both was a resounding YES! Leading up to that August day I remember feeling such excitement, the likes of I hadn't felt since my Michael Jackson phase in the early 80s and getting to see the Jackson 5 Reunion show at the Dolphins Stadium wearing my red zip leather jacket and sparkly glove (but that's a story for another time). I was excited to see all the bands on that epic 1992 lineup, but really there was only one band I HAD to see and that was Pearl Jam. The week of the show I ended up getting super sick, as is just my luck. I used to have childhood asthma and would get really bad bronchitis whenever I got a cold. My mother was hyper-sensitive to my illness and since I had been hospitalized before for my wicked asthma attacks, at any sign of a cough she would go on high alert. She was already trying to put her foot down that if I was still coughing, there was NO WAY I would be going to a hot/sweaty/crowded music festival and risk getting sicker. I, however, was on a mission so I took all my meds and I placated my Mom that I was getting better every day and would be totally fine by the time the festival rolled into South Florida. This, unfortunately, was not the case. My bronchitis got really bad and I was on anti-biotics but I hid my cough well and started to fool my Mom into thinking I was well enough to go even though I knew I really wasn't and actually felt like total crap. The day of the show I fought every racking cough in my body to pretend to my Mom that I was completely cough-free and ready to go, grabbed my asthma inhaler and with all the excitement actually convinced myself I was feeling good too. I made my normally lackadaisical friend go super early so we wouldn't miss any of the bands and if you've ever been to Miami in August, then you know the dense humidity soup and intense tropical sunshine one has to endure at an outdoor show in late summer. But I did not care. Come hell or high water, hurricane, asthma attack or heat stroke...I was going to see Pearl Jam play that show. I just knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing and there was nothing that would keep me from it. The festival was amazing, in my 14 years on the planet I had never seen anything like it and it completely solidified my love of alternative music and my soon-to-be obsession with all things alternative rock. My cough was still pretty bad but I fought through it and we made our way to the stage where Pearl Jam was going to play. I was too small and skinny to survive the mosh pit plus my friend/chaperone knew I would probably die from an asthma attack if I got anywhere near that madness, so I got as close as I could get without running the risk of mortal injury. Close enough to see Mike's crazy hammer pants, Stone's lime green shorts, Jeff's floppy hat and my beloved Eddie's iconic brown cordouroy jacket. I was in Heaven. When the set began and my ears got that first wave of glorious sound - "Even Flow" live and raw and amazing coming straight at me with such power...I was hooked. It was like I truly left my adolescent Madonna-loving, Pop music dancing self behind and became a real teenager and a real music fan. It was definitely the start to my real education on what is right and true and lasting in the world of music. And to say that I became a believer of the Power of Pearl Jam at that moment would be an understatement of the highest order. The pain in my chest from my incessant coughing, the sore throat, the tight wheezing breaths...gone. All I felt was genuine connection...to the band, to their music, their lyrics and to the thousands of people around me who were all feeling it together. I had never been so happy in my whole life and I knew no matter what, I wanted to chase that feeling from then on...for as long as I possibly could. When their set was over I felt like it had almost been a dream - the weight of it so heavy on my mind that when we walked away from the stage I started to realize that I had actually been coughing the entire time and the heat, the dust, the sweat of all those mosh pit crazies was starting to make my lungs close up - and fast. My friend started to panic because I had left my inhaler in the car, but since I was an old pro at asthma attacks and bronchitis nastiness I tried to slow it down and stay calm. But I soon realized we had to leave, there was no turning back or stopping what was happening in order to stay at the show and enjoy the rest of the festival. All I kept thinking was, "That was the best thing I have ever seen...and my Mom is going to absolutely murder me." I ended up having to call my Mom to meet us at the Emergency Room of a nearby hospital (she was less than thrilled) where I was admitted with acute bronchitis, a whopping asthma attack and put on 4 IV drips, steroids to open up my lungs and kept in-patient for 3 days. I was even admitted before some stabbing and gun shot victims because so little air was geting in by the time I got there. It was definitely one of my scarier episodes and my parents to this day think I'm a total asshole for putting myself through that for one set from one band at one show...but, in the end, to me...it was 100% worth it. I may have almost died to get my very first close encounter with my favorite band of all time, but had I not had that experience, 20 years of my life would have probably shifted in a different direction. I might not be the avid music fan, concert-goer, new band seeker and all around tunes junkie I am today...and that would be a damn shame. Yeah, I would have saved myself a trip to the hospital and a lot of grief from my family...but I never would have that Lollapalooza memory - that epic moment etched into my brain for all time...the genesis grain of when my favorite thing in the world became a band that would end up being there through every phase and facet of my life. And I wouldn't trade that for anything. I will always think of Lollapalooza with such a reverence and a fondness and be grateful for that crazy night. I try to go to the new version of the fest in Chicago as often as is possible and it may not be those glory days in 1992 and it may not quite be the same vibe as when the festival traveled to your town and gave you those singular monumental experiences...but it is still a history-making collaboration of important artists and I thank Perry Ferrell and all who help make it possibly every year for keeping it alive for those of us who have such a connection to it. I will continue to love and support Lolla forever..for giving me that night with Pearl Jam and helping to shape the rest of my life.
In 1992 I was 19 years old and had the best job a girl could have (OK maybe not the best, but it was a pretty cool fucking job!) I had somehow been hired to run the catering kitchens for the skyboxes and golden box seats at the Worls Music Theater in Tinley Park, IL. The job was perfect, prep food during the day, watch bands play at night. Typically all the food was served by the time the headliners hit the stage and I could walk right down to the front row and watch the show! Plus, I could get anybody into any show without tickets, put my friends out on the lawn 15min before they opened the gates or in the empty skyboxes and, most importantly for a 19 year old, they kept the alcohol wrist bands in my kitchen so all my friends could by beer! I was so excited about Lollapalooza 2 coming to The World, I could not explain it to you. A dozen or so of my favorite bands in one day, and I was going to get to see it all!! WRONG. I worked a 16 hour day on August 1, the day before the show, making the food to be served in the skyboxes, filling a million little 4 oz. cups with condiments, and cooking the italian beef for the 800 beef sandwiches we were going to serve the next day. But it was all going to be worth it to see Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Ice Cube.......the list goes on. Early morning August 2nd, I'm back at work, tired, but psyched for the day. But something isn't quite right, the crowds are going through the food much faster than we expected and now we are scrambling to make more and more and more food. Never underestimate the power of the munchies!! We can't make this stuff fast enough and all I want is too go watch the bands play, but we're too busy to even sneak out for a quick peak! Hours go by and finally Soundgarden hits the stage! Soundgarden is my favorite band ever and Chris Cornell is a rock God, so I'm sneaking out there to watch no matter what. I get out to the front of the stage and work my way down to the front row (I was technically management so security couldn't stop me from going down there) and they are playing Rusty Cage, my favorite!! Before they even get to the first chorus my walkie talkie is going off saying ther's a kitchen emergency and they need me to get back there now! That was it, one verse of one song! My entire Lollapalooza experience! Just to make matters worse, after we've cleaned up the kitchens and are finally heading home around 2am, I'm driving home, exhausted fron the 2 longest, hardest days I've ever worked, and I'm trying like hell to stay awake. I have my car windows rolled down and the music turned up as loud as it will go as I drive down I-80 trying to get home before I fall asleep. Suddenly, BOOM, I hear a loud band and my engine dies and in my rear view mirror I see my oil pan rolling down the interstate! Turns out I was driving home at 70 miles an hour in 2nd gear, which I din't notice because the radio was so loud. Blew my engine, killed my car and since I didn't have a cell phone back then (only a pager, ancient times and all) I then walked a mile to the next exit to call for a ride. By the time I got home at 4am I was beat, I slept the entire next day! That is my Lollapalooza story, and it sucks!
Yup, the one time Lolla was cancelled due to rain, at Jones Beach. The ampitheater was filled, everyone was screaming for Lolla to start, but instead, came pounding rain, thunder, and lightning. Everyone was told to leave. Me and 3 friends, along with a few thousand others, were packed into a concession area hoping the rain would end and the show would start. But with rain coming off the ocean sideways, everything on stage was soaked (Pearl Jam was to open and they refused to go on), and finally, the show was cancelled, not even re-scheduled. So, we go to the vendors and score magic mushrooms from a guy selling Asian sweaters and stuff, and trip the rest of the day. No hard feelings Perry et al....I am resigned to the fact that my life will never trully be fulfilled. sob.
Lollapalooza ’92 doubled down on the winning formula of its debut, with shows selling out within minutes of tickets going on sale. Due to this high demand, additional dates were added – all of which immediately sold out – bringing the total dates on the tour up to 35.
For its second year, the lineup was expanded, featuring a wide array of buzzworthy second-stage artists along with high-powered headliners like grunge megastars Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, as well as the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the height of their Blood Sugar Sex Magik popularity.
There was more than just music. Fans could browse hand-made jewelry and third-world textiles, and ethnic foods. Piercing booths provided quick pinpricks for more daring fest-goers (ears and nostrils only). Retaining the previous year’s openness to raising awareness on important issues, there were representatives from Refuse and Resist, the Interfaith Nutrition Network, Greenpeace and others at the festival. With the 1992 United States presidential election looming that fall, members of Rock the Vote helped audience members fill out voter-registration forms.
There was no shortage of standout moments on the road. This tour featured one of the few performances by Temple of the Dog, the grunge supergroup featuring Soundgarden's Chris Cornell and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. With hip hop breaking boundaries and beginning to win fans outside of the underground, gangsta rapper Ice Cube was booked as a headliner – a gutsy move by promoters – exposing audiences to new, raw sounds coming out of the cities.
Providing some of the strangest spectacles in Lolla’s history, the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow came to prominence as a second stage show in 1992, garnering rave reviews from publications like Rolling Stone. Its acts included The Enigma, whose body is almost entirely covered in tattoos (among other modifications) and The Amazing Lifto, who lifted cinder blocks and kegs of beer with his nipples and nether regions. Nifty trick.