Sometimes crazier shit happens in the name of music. While staring at my bruised feet, trying to think of something to write about, I remember how I got the bruises. We’ve all been there (my biography will be titled, “Where Did I Get This Bruise? The Ashley Dean Story”), so I’m going to reminisce in print and hope it reminds you of your own misadventures.
South By sleep deprivation
Drinking and walking around for hours and hours a day, for five days at South By Southwest is pretty tiring to begin with. My coworker and I, for some reason, chose not to sleep for about 48 hours — the last two days.
By the time I got on the plane, I was shaking. Turned out I was also coming down with a cold, and when I returned home (to find my electricity had been shut off), I spent the next few hours trying to sleep. There was a bad case of the shakes, cold sweats, seeing spots, probably a fever and a total loss of my voice.
Then I went to see that coworker play with his band in Denver later that night. Sources say I looked like the living dead.
The problem with wanting to be near the front is… well, it’s a lot of things, but mostly it means getting crushed. And if you’re at certain kinds of shows, it means running the risk of having a mosh pit materialize around you.
I briefly lost a shoe and got bruises all over my feet and thighs during Iggy Pop’s set at Riot Fest. During a Wavves’ set at Bonnaroo, I was groped by a moshing kid who couldn’t have been more than 15. My shoulder ended up bloody after 50 percent of the people at the hi-dive started moshing during a show from The Men. I’m still not sure how that happened.
Sleigh Bells and the flu
Sleigh Bells is one of my favorite bands and easily put on one of the best live shows I’ve ever experienced. So the first time Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss rolled through town since I’d moved to Colorado — it was the fall of 2011 at the Ogden Theatre — there was no way I was missing it.
Then I got the flu. I didn’t even go to work (note to editor: uh, yeah, sorry) but you bet your ass I loaded up on cold meds and got on a bus to Denver and was front row at that show. I got the setlist.
The scars on my knee
I have three long, thin scars on my right knee. It looks like I had some sloppily sutured surgery or got swiped by a mountain lion. Well, one is in fact from an animal — a jumping dog that needed its nails cut — but the others are from a barbed-wire fence somewhere outside Lyons.
On an ill-fated trip to Oskar Blues, to see a band I can’t remember now, I had to pee. Bad. Super bad. I’d had a few beers beforehand and didn’t think to make a bathroom run before the trip from Boulder. There isn’t really anywhere to stop on those winding back roads and the situation reached a critical level. My friend mercifully pulled over and I ran into a field, planning to go behind some bushes. It was nearly pitch black. As I blindly charged into the brush, I collided knee-first with a barbed wire fence.
Blood gushed. Those fences are no joke.
The Governor’s Island Ferry
I rode it with hundreds of drunk and drugged people. That’s all. I should be dead.