Hot Springs - Volcano
In the fall of ’78 some friends convinced me to go to a super exclusive festival in the middle of the Great Basin desert with them. I was an unemployed art school drop-out at the time so it didn’t take much convincing. It was all very spur of the moment. We packed Lisa’s purse full of various narcotics and grabbed a six pack of Schlitz from my parents’ garage on the way out of town. Twenty minutes after the idea was brought up, we were already past city limits and on our way.
I hadn’t a clue where we were going or what for. My friends kept giving vague orders like, “Just wait” and “Chill out man. You’ll dig ‘em”.
So I chilled out.
Until we arrived at our destination.
We could see it burning from miles out. The huge bonfire reached toward the black sky, at least twenty stories tall. As we got closer we could see figures dancing around the flames. From a distance they looked very small and, as we got closer, they remained that way. The fire cast an orange light upon their skin and as the light from the fire shifted, their skin stayed that way. I could hardly believe what I was seeing but as we parked the car and got out my illusions were confirmed and made real.
We had arrived at an Oompa Loompa festival.
I turned to Greg and said, “What the hell man?”
He simply motioned toward the fire and said, “C’mon.”
I followed slowly, walking cautiously as I tried to digest the chaotic scene before me. The Oompa Loompas were like wild, unrestrained animals. Free from the daily grind of their servitude, they surrendered their inhibitions and cast them into the raging fire. Some were completely naked. Others were doing lines of cocaine off each others bloated tummies. The entire scene made absolutely no sense.
Until, from some unknown loudspeaker, music began to play. It had the present 70’s rock vibe but was definitely “off”. The singer’s voice came in and sounded like an amalgam of Grace Slick and Charlie Brown’s little sister Sally. I wasn’t sure if I liked it but it definitely made the scenario before me suddenly start to make sense. Not only did it make sense but it began to feel like the whole ordeal was a ceremony constructed in celebration of the music now pumping throughout the festival. Many of the Oompas danced in unison to the drum beats, swaying stiffly back and forth. Others shook as they lay on the ground or jumped like spawning fish into the night sky, losing their minds completely.
I tapped one of the Oompas on the shoulder as she watched another get his penis pierced with a sharp candy cane. She looked at me, eyes swirling from whatever substance she was tweaking on. I shouted, “What is this, this music that’s playing?”
She smiled wide and said, “Volcano by Hot Springs silly.”
Of course, like it could be any other band I thought, having no idea who Hot Springs was.
I learned that night, though.
Hot Springs: retro rock for Oompa Loompas.
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on 2008-03-18 dscanland Said:
Aaron! Awesome visuals dude. "she watched another get his penis pierced with a sharp candy cane." Damn, you should be writing books, not music reviews. Anyway, so happy to have you reviewing for us. Thanks!