He Wakes Up in the Morning...
posted by Dave on 2/27/01
The year was 1994. That Spring I pledged my fraternity, achieved a career low 1.13 GPA, and my favorite musician, Kurt Cobain, had killed himself. I ended up living down at school that summer to take classes in order to make up for the ones that I had failed. Myself and six other guys had just moved into our first off-campus residence... a sweet little ranch-style house that had been passed on from generation to generation in our fraternity, that was cleverly known as "The Ranch".
Basically at the beginning of the summer, I went into that house as the clean cut, upbeat guy I had always been. By the end of that summer, I had transformed into a totally anti-social scumbag, who was all about giving the rest of the world the two finger salute...
I guess a summer of doing nothing but pining over an unattainable girl, smoking weed and drinking every single day.. and listening to nothing but Nirvana, NIN, Tool, Rage Against the Machine and Pink Floyd will dampen anyone's outlook on life.
The Fall Semester started and my whole attitude was basically, "Fuck all of these people. They're worthless.".
"We believe in nothing, Lebowski!" --Karl Hungus
I went to fraternity cocktail parties and even the formal at the end of the semester, solo. Many a time that semester my roommates would relay to me what was on a lot of people's minds.. "What the fuck is Dave's problem!?"... to which I would always just giggle sinisterly.
At the end of that year, one of my roommates, The Vo, had just gotten back from visiting a friend of his down in Virginia. In his hand was a cd he claimed that we all just had to listen to.
Upon looking at the cd cover, my initial thought was... "Pffft.. Dave Matthews Band? Geez can I have a band too?".
Get it? Dave Macchia Band... Sheesh. I'm clever.
The first song he played for us was "Satellite" and I wasn't impressed by it at all. Then he played "Ants Marching" and from the first verse, that song just drew me in. Something about the lyrics to that song just made complete sense to me in a way no upbeat song had in a long time. That was the song that suckered me into listening to the rest of the album... and I really liked all that I heard. It actually helped bring me out of the funk that I had dug myself into.... and subsequently, "Under the Table and Dreaming" and then later on "Crash" became the soundtracks for my last two years at college.
The thing was, everybody at Villanova University was hooked on the DMB. All you ever heard at parties, late night bong hit sessions, etc... was the Dave Matthews Band.
To this day, not a week goes by where I don't listen to one of their cd's at some point. Through almost seven years of fandom, I have had many memories that I can directly associate to this band (some good, some bad, some bizarre)
Here are a Few Memorable DMB Inspired Moments
Seaside Heights, N.J., Summer of '96
I need more.
There are just some things in life that are just infinitely more fun if you're smoked up. High up on that list for me (pun totally intended), was going to the boardwalk at Seaside Heights. I mean, there's Jersey people galore and walking around is just a surreal experience. Once you're over your astonishment that these people actually exist on the same plane of reality as you, it's time to hit the rides.
Now being that my friend Mike's family has a condo within walking distance to the boardwalk... we used to have our little routine. We would drink all day at the condo, then smoke a few bowls on the walk to the boardwalk. The first sign of civilization when walking in that direction to the boardwalk is... the go-karts. Now being that at this point, we'd just be starting to feel really fuckin high, the go-karts would beckon to us like a mother screaming, "Dinner's ready!!" in the direction of a hungry child.
Fucked up and behind the wheel of a small motorized cart, racing against your friends and a couple of anonymous strangers. Life just doesn't get better than that. On this night for me, life was good for exactly one lap. As I rounded the corner, a guy totally cut me off... and brake pedal dyslexia overcame me. Now maybe if I didn't do anything at all, I just might have tapped the guy... but in an effort to brake, I ended up slamming into him right in front of the ride operators and on-duty cop. I was escorted by a real police officer off of the go-karts. It was one of those moments where I never needed time to pass to look back on and laugh. Oh no, I was just standing there watching my friends all finish the race, almost in tears, laughing at my boneheaded move of slamming the gas pedal as hard as I could.
The next ride up was the small "Wild Mouse" type rollercoaster. As we sat down and pulled the bar down on our laps, my friend Mike's girfriend Julie jokingly asked the guys running the ride if we were going to survive. Their reaction to that was just what one might expect.... they pulled out waterguns, aimed them at us... and said, "Probably not.". This led to one of those thirty second rollercoaster of emotions, in which Mike and I looked at eachother, laughed because we knew that these guys were just as fucked up as we were... and then had the realization set in, that this might not be a good thing, considering they were in charge of running the ride.
Next stop was the ride known as "The Poltergeist"... The Poltergeist is basically, just one of those types of rides, that has like 4 "spider arms" with 4 bench seats atteached to each arm. The arms themselves spins around in a cricle and the base of the ride goes in circles as well. Aww fuck the explaining, you know the type of ride I'm talking about. The only thing about the "Poltergeist" is that it's indoors and all about the strobe light and smoke machine. Being the veterans of the Jersey shore that we are... we knew that basically whoever is the first person to slip the ride operator a dollar, gets to dictate what song will be played for the duration of the ride.
Well, we gave the guy a dollar and said, "Dave Matthews Band..." then paused. "Well, which song do ya want?", he replied. None of us could decide which song we wanted at that moment in time, so we just told the guy, "Your choice, man."
As the ride started up, all we heard was the blaring saxophone of the beginning of "Too Much".. and for the next three minutes, the joy and emotion of the ride itself, mixed with the looks of enjoyment on all of my friends faces, mixed with the recollection of getting kicked off the go-karts and the stoned, water-gun toting roller coaster ride operators... made for an image in my mind that is still more potent than any director's vision of what a video for "Too Much" could have been.
To this day, whenever I hear "Too Much", a piece of me is still riding the Poltergeist. The rest of me is probably doing the dishes or cleaning my apartment... because I'm old and boring.
DMB Concert at the Sony E-Center, Camden, N.J., June 5, 1996
Stop, only the old and wise,
During the Spring of '96, right before I graduated, we had played the "Crash" album pretty much to death. Any sort of bootleg or pre-Napster version of obtaining non-album songs was always a welcomed change of pace. Well, the one bootleg my friend Justin had gotten, had the song "Granny" on it. For like the last month of school, "Granny" was always in heavy rotation in our apartment.
Well, that summer, Justin was still living down at school taking the last couple of courses he needed in order to graduate... and since I was living down the shore that summer, I jetted out to Pennsylvania to visit him and some of the guys that were a year below us... and we all went to see the DMB show at the Sony E-Center in beautiful Camden, N.J.
Well, upon arriving at the concert, we proceeded to get completely banged out. The kind of stoned, where sitting on the grass in an outdoor stadium feels almost like becoming one with the earth. During the concert, our friend James ended up almost getting into a fight with some other guy from Villanova over something stupid, (aka: a girl)... and when somebody came over to inform us of what was happening.. I turned to Justin and said, "Dude... I can't even stand up right now. Plus, I'm a pussy anyway, so is my presence really going to make a difference back there?"... to which Justin replied, "....".
Yep, I was too banged out to even stand. Justin... too banged out to even form a sentence. As the concert progressed, it was coming very close to the last song of the set. As we looked in the cigarette pack, we saw we had one joint left. Neither of us wanted to smoke it... but I guess bravado at that time made us agree that if they played "Granny" during the encore... we would light that bitch up; figuring it would never happen.
Sure enough... they come out for the encore... and what do they play? Uh-huh... "Granny". A song up until that point, I had never heard in concert... and through research... a song that DMB played only a handful of times throughout the entire tour... and only one time as an encore. I like to think that in the back, before DMB came out for the encore... they had a conversation about what song to play.... "Dave and Justin really don't wanna smoke that joint... Let's make'em.", is what they said.
DMB Concert Giants Stadium... June 7, 1998
I remember this concert was being held on the same day as my Dad's company's 20th anniversary picnic party. I actually was working for him at the time... and a month earlier, when people were trying to decide on a mutual date to have the party, every date in the surrounding timeframe, somebody either had a wedding or some other event to go to. I was actually laughed at when I said that the 7th of June was no good for me... cause I had tickets for a concert that day.
So what's a young professional male to do? I said "Fuck it". Oh no, I didn't just say, "Fuck it." on a spur of the moment decision... I said, "Fuck it." an entire week in advance.. and actually took the preplanning to rent a van for all of us to ride in and tailgate on.
So on the day, that I should have been at my first company social function... I was instead doing shrooms for the first time with my friend Tom in the parking lot of Giants Stadium. It was a perfect day... about 80 degrees with a slight summer breeze.
I'll never forget... we were having a blast.. and the beers were going down like water. I guess I waited until the last possible second before I asked if anybody wanted to go with me to use one of the porta-potties.... Well, as I arrived with my friends Tom and Mike, I was just about to burst. The thing was, there were so few bathroom facilities, that the line was about twenty people long.
By the time the line had shrunk down to fifteen people, this had already become without a doubt, the worst piss I've ever had to take in my entire life. No doubt. Security was crawling around everywhere, so it was impossible to just go off behind a dumpster or something to relieve myself. We were also, so far away from the van, that I would never have been able to make it.
By the time the line was down to ten people, I had resigned myself to the fact that I was most likely going to piss my own pants. Meanwhile this whole time, with the shrooms in my system, I was having an intense internal war between my mind and body.
When the line was down to five people, Mike and Tom had totally stopped even trying to talk to me... because for the past five minutes, I couldn't even speak, I was in so much pain.
Then it happened... with one girl in front of me and another one currently in the bathroom... I knew I could make it. What I didn't count on was Tom's diarrhea of the mouth almost sabotaging all of my effort. Basically, when the girl that was currently in the bathroom came out, she said all giddily to her friend, "Wow, I've never used a portable toilet before!". That's when he said it.
He looked directly at this girl and with an almost pissed off look in his eye and about as much Jersey sarcasm and attitude as is humanly possible, he exclaimed, "What planet are you from?".
The look she gave him of complete bewilderment almost made me piss myself right then and there.
I almost lost it. I pretty much doubled over in an attempt to hedge against any flow coming out of me. Well, once the next girl came out of the bathroom... I made my way in. Hell, I had unzipped my fly and pretty much had my hand in there and ready to go before I even walked in the door.
The second I started to go, it felt sooo damn good, that I just dropped the empty beer cup I had in my hand... and let out a sigh of relief that bordered on orgasm. I actually heard everybody on line out there laughing at me... but at that point somebody could have kicked me in the nuts as soon as I walked out of that bathroom... and the smile of relief wouldn't have left my face for a second.
So what do these meaningless stories have to do with Dave Matthews new album coming out today you might ask?
It's simple. DMB is one of those rare bands where it's not just about the music itself... It's about the good times and memories the music brings. I've seen the guy in concert thirteen times... and each show, I could tell you a random story about something that happened that day....
I mean, sure, I could sit here and expound on how great the band works together and plays off eachother... but it's pretty much all been said before.
Now I know, there's some other DMB fans out there reading this site... and we here at W-D would love to hear some of your own personal stories.
Knowing that people are shy when it comes to talking about things... how about I say this: The top three entertaining stories, selected by a handpicked panel of apes and very agitated lesbians... will win a free W-D T-shirt and have their story published in a future post.
Anybody that has seen these shirts... knows that they're sweeter than Yoo-hoo.
Now some of you might be out there saying to yourselves: "But I don't like Dave Matthews... and I have no funny story to enter your contest."
Well, that's okay!! Other acceptable substitutions for personal stories include:
Tugging on Sam Elliott's moustache; or Playing Mortal Kombat against blind people; or Watching naked midgets do jumping jacks while wearing only cock rings... All of these are also acceptable.
Please, no Rosie O'Donnell fanfic porn stories though. That's just not right.
So get off your ass and Enter Today!!
I was walking with Rosie past Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. It had just started to rain, so we went to one of the nearby souvenier stands to try and get her a fitted Yankees cap. We walked into the store and I asked the man behind the counter if he had any. He looked at me and said, "Kid... I got fitted hats... but not for someone with as big a fuckin head as your gorilla of a girlfriend over there.". I looked at Rosie and said, "C'mon baby... Let's go home and get you out of those wet clothes."....