Say it’s 1987 and you have tickets for Reggaefest at the outdoor concert space formerly known as Great Woods. Oh, Great Woods! You sounded so earthy, so forested and grassy. Say you have nice parents who have a honker of an old Jeep. Say you’re a freshman in high school and have lots of friends who love music and are older and maybe some of them have dredlocks and some of them have piercings and some of them are preppy kids dressed in cast-off clothing from their older brothers or their fathers. Some are black. Some are white. Some have shoes on. Some don’t. Some like green eggs and ham, others don’t eat ham.
Say your parents have agreed to drive you to Reggaefest – Reggae Sunsplash! [do not forget the exclamation point – Reggae is happy music!!] ’87. And you are so glad, you don’t correct them for calling it Jamfest.
This is because a) they are nice parents and b) because they do not want you to do drugs and c) figure that if they drive you places you won’t and d) your dad went to one of Bob Marley’s last concerts and wishes he could go, too. And also, b).
Now say that you’re so so so so excited to ReggaeSunsplash! ’87! yourself that you maybe mention to one or two people that sure, you could give them a ride, because Great Woods for all its cool and mosquito-evocative name is really a pain in the ass to get to – especially if you’re at boarding school and need to be signed out and spoken for and so forth.
Now say your kindly folks pick you up in their clunker of a Jeep and you sort of suggest there might be a couple of people coming along for the ride and they, in their good-naturedness maybe sigh but say well, okay.
Now load not two or four but TWELVE people into the car and head to fun fun fun ReggaeSungplash ’87!! !!!
Now wish you had something to give to your parents when they drive, wait for you and the others, return everyone to their rightful places after Ziggy sings his upbeat Tomorrow People. When you are alone with them, think to yourself, Wow, my parents are like the coolest people ever!!!!! Until your mother turns to face you and says, I mean, TWELVE people? Are you high already? And proceeds to examine your pupils.
I wasn’t, Mum and Dad. And I really, really appreciate the rides. I think Althea left her flip-flops in the Jeep – don’t suppose you still have them?
If it were now, I’d give you jam. You know, for the Jamfest?