“The festival got shut down but in the end the Eyes on the Back Door rage crew continued no matter what,” Kappeli said to me yesterday with a sense of pride for our efforts to combat our Solstice misfortune. Around dusk Friday night, the 8 car caravan from Solstice met up at the Quality Inn in Baltimore, MD to stop off for some much needed rage before we headed to Philly the next day to catch The Egg play with Conspirator and Big Gigantic. When I arrived at the hotel, The Eyes on the Back Door trailer had been pulled up in front of the first hotel room that had been purchased on the first floor. Consequently, the trailer provided excellent cover for our antics from those cars and fellow hotel patrons that may or not not have been down for whatever rage we were going to make happen.
I gathered money from our Boston/NYC chapter and proceeded to the front desk to purchase a room for the night-priced at somewhere around $150. “Can I get a room on the first floor next to the room where the rest of the documentary crew I drove in with is staying?,” I said to the concierge. He gave my spacey cap, haggard green fanny pack, and goofy grin a look up and down and replied: ” I’ve got to go see if it is ready, they said they were not done working on the air conditioning yet.” I followed him to the room, and took a look inside. The place smelt like some straight dumpster funk, and there were no sheets on the bed. “Lets go see what we have instead,” he said as i walked with him back to the front desk. He eventually handed me a key for a room on the third floor above the EOTBD room. Here’s where it got a little absurd. I asked him if he wanted me to bring the keys back for the first room, and he replied: ” Just bring them back whenever you can.” BINGO BANGO. I left the office feeling slightly giddy at the thought of having an extra room right next door to where we would be raging for the night. I broke the news to the crew and it was on like Donkey Kong, big ass mallets and princesses and all. We had an extra, free room (though smelly) right next door to where half of us were “sleeping”. Charles Mazzola made it his personal mission once again to set up a laptop space and bring the jams as he was born to do.
Word got sent through the grapevine to a couple other sets of displaced Solstice ticket holders–quite the random assortment of freak-a-leaks I must say. Luckily, those would be our favorite kind of strangers to get to know over the course of a night of strange hotel rage. Additionally, 3 doors down (Zack Hill’s favorite band i believe? sikeee ) there was a room with its left door wide open. Inside were a group of Jamaican folk whom, lets just say, we doing some less appropriate all night raging of their own. Mack proceeded to hook up his Ipod to their sound system and introduce them to a little dubstep. I entered the room, obviously dancing because, well Rusko’s “Cockney Thug” just has that effect on me. “OOOO Bumbaklop!,” one of the Jamaicans yelled at me as I showed them how to shake, drop, and flap properly to dubstep.
The crew set up our lawn chairs between our two ground level rooms and the door of the EOTBD trailer-where Mike would step in and out to take full advantage of his newly installed overhead air conditioning system. We discussed our frustrations with the events of earlier that day, and came to the conclusion that we didn’t trust the Solstice team’s promise for a weekend of music in Baltimore. However, many of those present spent extra spending cash on upgrading to a VIP area ticket to kick it with the film crew. Money had become an issue, and tickets to the Philly show were selling fast. Mike made calls to help us decide whether or not continuing on to Philly was the best idea for everyone. The rest of us prepared well for the long haul that would be a night of constant guerrilla laptop DJ’n by anyone who felt up to the job. Hot Chip>EOTO>Biscuits>Jimmy Swift Band(Alex’s heady Canadian music suggestion)>Skream>The Egg>Biggie>STS9. Things went something like that musically for most of the night.
I feel like I must stop myself and list those in attendance as the Quality Inn rage began, in alphabetical order: Adam, Alex, Big Nick, Charles, Christina, Deebs, Dizzy, Grandon, Hardy, Jennifer, Kenny, Leah, Mack, Mike, Reyes, Ranch, Spiral, Tamara, and Zack. We were also accompanied by 5 or 6 others, whose names have escaped me. That’s a whole lotta rage motivation, i tell you what!
Essentially, the whole night was like one big battle to become occupied by something interesting. I would bust out my paint pens to harmlessly give those ugly old brown trashcans a little color, others would draw Steelies, Disco Biscuits, or pretty landscapes out of sidewalk chalk-until the entire area outside our rooms was covered in instant masterpieces. My favorite chalk art being Grandon’s 8 foot long tag with the words Use Your Head situated somewhere in the middle. There was an Alex Grey book being passed around, and Big Nick’s arts and crafty side was given a chance to come out as he crafted necklaces with fractal monocles attached to the end. Everyone exchanged stories, wild looks, high fives, food, candy, booze, “Your’e a Star” stickers, EOTBD stickers and anything other cool what-have-you’s that we could find. Things got heated once the water guns were busted out. People were getting blasted randomly and often. Dizzy and Nick decided to just throw Dum Dum’s at all of us for something like 2 minutes straight. “Rage,” Adam said to me profoundly. “Rage,” i replied instantaneously.
Deebs had positioned two of the monocles on both of his eyes-backwards so they would stay and he would look like a freakazoid! Grandon and Reyes had lifted up one of the extra, stinky room’s beds so that a dance floor could spring to life. A glow stick creature had been created and hung from one of the walls. The televisions lay dormant. At one point a microwave had the EOTBD eyes sticker positioned on it, so that when turned on it would look quite creepy. A large Jamaican woman informed me that she needed to use the bathroom in the “Freedom Lounge” room–which I politely allowed her to do. There were a couple of encounters outside of the trailer with a very large and jolly man who at one point made sure he gave each and everyone of us a high five for our impressive spirit-he was of course given a button in exchange for not being a sketchy asshole. “That’s what I’m fucking talking about BABY!,” he said. Security guards were poking their heads from around corners periodically, clearly perplexed. Things had gotten weird at the Quality Inn, and Solstice was a thing of the past.
As a side note, Hardy had made it his mission to read the book, “Growing Up Dead: The Hallucinated Confessions of a Teenage Deadhead” by Peter Conners, in one 24 hour period. He locked himself in the upstairs hotel room as to make sure to not become distracted. I approved very much of this move, great text.
The night wore on. The rage felt fresh and satisfying. “I fucking love raging out random hotels!,” everyone seemed to holler out at least once. As one room remained dark and loud, the room adjacent was left to act as a sort of quiet break from the party that ensued. I myself spent a nice bit of time taking a load off, listening to some Biscuits with the VA faction and replaying some recorded music from Wakarusa off my portable recorder. Well into the late night action, Mack Bradley found himself alone on one of the comfortable beds in the quieter room. “A part of me wants to rage tonight, but I know tomorrow night is going to be even more worth it so maybe I will just hold off?,” he said. I let him know that it was 4am and he had already done his fair share for that night. Five minutes later, Mack is out like a baby and the snores came in time.
The sun rose, the rain came as it seems to do everyday in the Northeast this summer. Check-out was at 12:00, as one of the sexy full-figured Jamaican ladies informed me in passing. Kappeli and others knew what was ahead of them the next day as they found their beds for some shut Eye. I can proudly say that those of us from Beantown and NYC found no reason to let a free hotel room go to waste. The “Freedom Lounge” as it was called kept it going. Tamara and Adam got wind of a free breakfast near the hotel’s office and quickly made it their objective to find grub. I watched as they returned with a plate of food in hand. “We just made a scene in there,” Adam said over his glasses. “And Strawberry Banana yogurt…for the ladiessss of course,” Tamara said as she handed yogurt packages through the crack in the door to the FL. Adam proceeded to open an outdoor facilities closet-finding an old phone(non-cordless) inside! “Ooo hooo. Found a phone! We have to paint it gold!” I then felt the need to go and spend half an hour in the eating area of the hotel office, so i asked the creepy short Jamaican guy whom had been scurrying around the parking lot all night to escort me to the food. We both stood and waited as our waffles cooked. Early risers and families who had stayed over night in the hotel were all over the room. “I’m so tired. I usually get up earlier though, I slept in late today,” a small boy said to the large man in charge of servicing the food area. “Yeah? I’m pretty tired too,” the man-with one tooth on his top row of chompers-said. I left the lobby with two plates of food piled high and the eyes of tired strangers following me out. The Quality Inn and its patron’s knew something hit them, although they surely had no idea what it was.
Sleep of some sort happened. I woke up to the knocking of room service telling me to get the hell out of the room I had passed out in. Despite our extreme desire to remain at the Quality Inn for an eternity, we had to motivate to get out of there and move on to Philly and the show. I couldn’t tell you what state the Freedom Lounge was left in, but lets just say it was a casualty of rage. Someone let me know that the maids were only upset about the trashcan tags…pish posh! And we pulled out of the Quality Inn quite satisfied with what we had gotten done, Nobel Prizes should probably be given to us in the field of Rage of course. I returned both sets of keys to the manager, who seemed none the wiser to how we bent his hotel over and straight spanked the hell out of it. The caravan pulled out of the parking lot, headed for a quick pit stop for breakfast at Italianos