Lollapalooza ‘94 was the first and last time we at the future Step On would get to see our beloved Beastie Boys perform live in our corner of the world. But damn if we didn’t have a great time.
Lolla came about during the last hurrah of the ‘zine, and was full of gems like this (but none as great as this) one from Adam, Adam and Mike. You’ll note, they counsel against being “a knucklehead!” and “kicking up dirt”. They progressively argued for girls’ right to mosh just like anyone else. They reminded us “DO help people”.
Recollections are by now unclear whether we personally had this instruction sheet on Thursday, July 28th when we saw this historic performance. But we can confirm that this how-to-mosh manual presented with a tone of gentle irony also signaled the BBoys’ new enlightenment when they aligned their chakras and began marrying great strong Feminist ladies and shit. It turns out this guide was both a great souvenir, a statement, and contained highly useful information. It was a thousands strong, barrier free, wave of people on a perfect, high summer festival day in Barrie, Ontario and moshing (or even jostling) was a playground for boys, in packs, only. It was the glorious era of THIS.
One of the Step On Magazine founders, Dave was
chillin’ at the back with a nice view and our friends,* was holding on the other’s, Jackie’s jeans belt loop when a wave of people pulled her away from him. Caught up in the moment and very naive, she continued headlong into the fray, called by the siren song of her first love Adrock’s irresistible (to this day) unique tenor and the promise of his crinkly grin. She blinked out of her stupor a few minutes later in the midst of a rambunctious crowd of mid-day drunken ruffians, alone, without a manual or a pal. The storm quickly got rough and no place for a solo traveler. A look of panic came over her face as she struggled against crushing bodies.
Just in time, a stranger took her by the hand and silently led her toward the back of the huge crowd, for minutes and minutes, weaving in and out of packs, then groups, then the open area with signs of similar evacuees, looking dazed and lost, but not unhappy. They parted there, as it was in those days. It was a time when friends could appear and disappear just like this.
The nameless boy might have just been kind and had a sister, or he might have been a conscientious enlightened male as the Beasties were encouraging their crowd to be (come). Upon reflection, we think it’s quite possible he spent a few minutes while in the beer line reading over the Emergency Lifesaving Techniques- Mosh Pit DON’Ts and Dos for Lollapalooza ‘94, as so graciously presented by your big brothers and mine, the one and only Beastie Boys.