Coachella and Crew, Day Two

In April of 2010, Patrik Sandberg traveled to Palm Desert, CA in order to attend the Coachella music festival, at which he kept a text-and-photo diary for V Magazine. This is part two of that diary.

I kicked off the second day of Coachella by stranding myself at a McDonald’s restaurant, following my one-on-one interview with Karin Dreier Andersson, at her hotel. It was somewhere near 95 degrees outside and I had no choice but to emotionally blackmail Cody Critcheloe and Actually Huizenga into picking me up. We met up with Beth Ditto and the Gossip at the Hyatt and piled into a van. Sans air conditioning, the ride was equal parts demented, exhilarating, and vaguely erotic. Being in a car with so many musicians, it actually WAS a scene out of a musical, a montage of flatulence, alcohol, vile insults, and threats. I could barely tolerate the heat, and we drove with the door of the trunk open for about 75% of the commute.

Once we arrived, an irate parking attendant barked into his walkie-talkie, “We got a whole lotta Gossips over here, send over some carts,” much to Beth’s amusement and chagrin. Having missed Girls’ set, I was unabashedly annoyed, but my emotional instability evaporated as soon as I laid eyes upon my old friends, the Black Lips. Playing with King Khan of King Khan and the Shrines as The Almighty Defenders, they had somehow slipped under my radar on the lineup and I was ecstatic to see them. It was a total surprise! Cole was in mid-conversation with Rosanna Arquette, who was rocking a fannypack and a straw hat adorned with sunflowers, leading around her very own film crew. What for, the world may never know.

Danny DeVito was back and in full effect, once again advertising his television series to anybody who would listen. It has become common knowledge that DeVito is working the festival VIP this weekend. It’s almost as though he is the “host”. He’s easy to find and ready to talk to you at any time. The cast of Yo Gabba Gabba! were particularly starstruck, and Danny commented that they’d work really well sautéed in garlic and served over a bed of linguine. Danny DeVito is ALWAYS ON.

After bumping into a few friends, it was time to book it to the Mojave Tent for the Gossip’s set. Beth was running a little bit late and we raced to the far end of the festival together on golf carts. I was astonished at the immediacy of Beth’s ascension to the stage. She literally hopped off her golf cart, took a microphone out of someone’s hand, and said “HELLO COACHELLA!” without missing a beat. Her band had already been playing on stage, an intro until her arrival. She launched into several of the band’s staple hits, segueing into a riotous cover of Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl” that had the kids moshing from the front all the way to the back, outside the tent. Midway through the band’s set, John Waters crept onto the side of the stage eliciting a hushed excitement from the other VIPs. After the Gossip left the stage, following a James Murphy-assisted remake of Grace Jones’s “Pull Up to the Bumper” featuring Tashi Condelee on guest vocals, Beth and John embraced for a good long while. Evidently they’d be emailing for quite some time and had never met. “Divine would have LOVED YOU,” John said emphatically, “But he could never be here because he’d be so JEALOUS!”

We capped off the day at MGMT’s ethereal and spectacular set, while Beyoncé and Jay-Z stood by, dancing. From there, it was off to Jeremy Scott’s house for the ADIDAS toga party, an orgiastic, art-directed blowout of Grecian proportions. That’s another story altogether.