Think kinder, gentler Sodom and Gomorrah…
Rockfest 2014, nothing wildly outrageous, just your everyday mash up of 50,000-plus at Penn Valley Park by Liberty Memorial engaging in fine art of sex, drugs and rock n roll – to the 10th power.
Or as Arthur P. Loatman, Jr. of Sweet Springs put it on Rockfest sponsor The Rock 98.9 FM’s website, and I quote:
“IT WAS AWESOME AS HELL MUD, TITS, BEER and MUSIC had few MOSH PITS TO GET AWAY FROM AND SOME SEXY WOMEN SURFING THE CROWD AND GOT A FEW TITTIES IN MY HAND AS WELL AS SOME ASS CHEEKS WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!”
Get the picture?
For Lawrence electrician Bruce Findley it was the best bash he’d ever attended. And that includes recent concerts by Slayer at the Uptown and Mushroom Head at the Granada in Lawrence.
“We waited until after the showers around 2:30 or 3 p.m. and had pig snoot sandwiches at the Tenderloin Grill on Southwest Boulevard beforehand,” Findley says. “It had the texture of a boiled chicken neck.”
Ah, the perfect Rockfest repast.
However, with the odd exception, the music took a backseat for many – who like Findley – were there for the party vibe. Staring an eclectic mix of reefer and boobies.
“It took a while for all the alcohol to get going,” Findley says. “But of course there were boobies – you know, all the young men were freaking out because they were seeing boobies.”
To Findley’s thinking there are two types of Rockfest attendees.
“It’s kind of like going to the country club,” he muses. “Some people go for the golf or swimming and the rest go to see or be seen. At Rockfest a lot of the people don’t care so much about the music, they’re there to party. And the guys want to have a hot chick on their arm, you know, the trophy wife.”
To that end the flashing of female breasts was practically epidemic.
“I dunno, when did that start, Woodstock?” Findley wonders. “I mean, in the 1950s when they went to see the Big Bopper they didn’t pull up their shirts, did they?”
Findley’s unofficial boob count:
“Oh, it was endless, it was just endless,” he says. “Probably every five minutes a young man would go up to a girl and give her beads and she would flash. My favorite boobies were like four girls and they all had no top on and they had marijuana leaves painted over their nipples.”
Speaking of which…
“You know, in my day we had to hide marijuana – it wasn’t that open,” Findley says. “But at Rockfest smoking marijuana was as acceptable as having a beer. I thought I was in Denver, Colorado. I think there may have been more reefer there than cigarettes.
“There was a band that told everybody to hold up their lighters or cellphones – it was Five Finger Death Punch – then he made the comment that, ‘Hmmmm, more lighters than cellphones. You know what that means.’ ”
How about the cops, was there any drug bust action?
“No, there were just a couple standing there at the gate as you came in,” Findley says. “But it was a well-behaved crowd. I didn’t see any police inside the festival.”
Meaning the KCPD gave potheads a pass at Rockfest?
“Yeah, the whole country is,” Findley says. “What were they going to do, stick their hands down everybody’s pants? It was a constant smell and pretty much everywhere you looked somebody was smoking. I mean, what are they going to do, write a ticket? That’s what they do in Lawrence, Kansas.
“It’s a different time. Pot is acceptable. It’s as acceptable as drinking. It’s not that (the police) turned a blind eye. What were they supposed to do, throw everybody out?”
“It’s all very innocent – innocent debauchery,” Findley says. “That’s why (police) let it go. You know, smoke a little weed, get a buzz and watch some boobies. You know, boobies are innocent; the business end is down below.
“And it’s really no big deal because the City Fathers aren’t being bugged. Where they are being bugged is on the Plaza. It’s kind of like strip clubs; they don’t want them next to the school, but they do know they exist. These are different times and it’s just nice to see there are people addicted to partying, not addicted to drugs.
“You know the people there, they smoked pot, but they weren’t there for that. They were there to party. It was fun, I’m going back next year. It’s a young man’s game, but it’s fun for older men too.”
As for stick-in-the-mud naysayers, “You know, some people don’t see innocent debauchery, they see debauchery. You know, here comes Jesus – Gym Coach Jesus – one person screws up and the whole world’s going to suffer. But debauchery’s not criminal – it’s the best party I ever went to.”