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Bowling For Soup
It’s Fun to Be Rockin Dirty
(A Festival Reflection by Jaret Reddick)
So when TrashPit asked me if I would once again document Bowling For Soup's trip to Download, I was a little worried that I couldn’t quite write the same type article I wrote a few years back, but, I agreed to do it for the following reasons....
1. Because Rob is one of the coolest people I know and he thought it was a good idea
2. I almost like to read my thoughts as much as I like the sound of my own voice
3. I figured at least one or two people might enjoy reading what BFS did at the festival
4. Writing this gives me something to do on airplanes
Jaret enjoying a cool beverage
There’s a certain thing about festivals. Especially multi-day festivals. But ALL festivals in some regard. It’s basically an excuse for a shitload of us humans to get together and recall our days as cavemen. I mean seriously... We all crowd into a small place, Dance around ritualistically, Throw mud on each other, Fight, Have sex in the trees, Poop and pee in holes (Porta potties count as holes), No one showers.... and no one cares, We drink until we can’t see, We spit on each other, Show our boobs, Show our willies AND we worship the Gods of Rock!! In summary... We are freakin SAVAGES!!! And it's amazing!!

FRIDAY - 8 JUNE 2007

Our show the previous day was to be in PARIS, and it was cancelled. Moral was low. Days off suck in foreign lands, because we are often parked in the middle of nowhere and have no idea where a pub, food shop, or even a bathroom are located. So, days off can be boring, hot and stressful.
Today was a day off - but it would be different. Our day began on a ferry, or at least getting ready to get on the ferry. We had a hold up at Customs, but squeezed through quickly by signing a few things for nephews and nieces of Customs Officials.
The ferry was nice. In fact, after two hours, all of us wished we could stay a few more hours. Wine and Beer had started flowing and we were in "hang out mode". It sucked to have to get up and board the bus again, but we did, and continued to have some cocktails.
The drive to the festival was long - Three more hours. I was a little stressed because we had missed some press opportunities at the festival.
The road seemed never ending.
I awoke from a quick nap at the DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL 2007, and I think I was still pretty hammered from the earlier binge..... what to do?
We ventured to the Artist Area to get checked in, and the first thing I saw was SLASH….MOTHERFUCK!!!!
"It’s Slash!"
I drunkenly decided I would be getting my photo with Slash this night. No questions asked!
I walked towards him. There was a huge sea of nothingness around him, like everyone was scared. I woulda been too, but I'd had some cocktails, which basically turns all of the BFS camp into stuntmen. I was stopped by the biggest English dude I’ve ever seen. I say....
"I just wanna grab a photo"
"He’s Busy"
"He’s just standing there"
"He’s about to do an interview"
"But he’s standing there by himself"
"Please wait over there"
"Look, I don’t wanna fuck him. I just want a photo"
"Over there"
Okay.... This is where I start trying to be funny for my friends who are behind me and obviously think there is no way this photo is happening.
"Look, he’s gonna wanna meet me..... I’m kinda famous in this country"
Friends laugh. I wait.
Slash starts to walk away. Jaret gets photo. Smiles at bodyguard. Everyone walks away. Friends 'high five' Jaret. Jaret smiles.

Bowling For Soup and Slash
We had missed everyone but the headliners by the time we were checked in and had said some hellos to our Live Nation friends, our new buddies in Dragon Force (whom we know much too well now!), and anyone else we thought we knew.
So we go to the stage to watch My Chemical Romance. We first met MCR on Warped Tour 2004, in the US. Since then a lot has changed for them. So we didn’t really know what to expect. We got to the stage, and evidently, playing Main Stage doesn’t get you a pass to go "Anywhere You Want". We approach the stage. Up the stairs. Start to watch. Security comes over.
"Can I see your pass?"
"We have these bracelets. We're playing tomorrow"
"Okay.... Well we will see you tomorrow. You can’t be here"
Sean (Tour Manager) and Dave (Merch Guy & Assistant to everyone cause he’ll do anything) both attempt to talk us back onto the stage. (I look for beer)
"That’s the singer from Bowling For Soup"
"Who??"
"BOWLING FOR SOUP"
"Sorry mate"
Security guy in a different colored shirt walks over.
"Do you know who that is?"
First security guy says, "NO."
"That’s the singer from Bowling For Soup. Let him watch"
Dave and Sean motion me back. (I didn’t find beer)
MCR were good. Big show and the crowd was friendly, which I was told would not be the case. I was happy for them. Had fun.
Next, it was off to the bar. The free bar. Things get blurry from this point. We ran into the Army Of Freshmen. Lots of folks from our label, lots of friends etc. Next thing I know I’m locked out of the bus in my underwear. Evidently, went out to pee and forgot the lock code. So our driver woke up and let me in.
Sam from Dragon Force called me fat... I gave up...Went to bed...


SATURDAY - 9 JUNE 2007

"Yo Homie"
I thought I was dreaming. There was Chris Jay from Army of Freshmen with his face in my bunk.
"Sup dude?"
"We are on in 30 minutes. Can you come sing?"
"Are you serious?. What time is it?"
"Almost 11"
"In the morning?"
"Yeah. I came to get you. Would mean a lot for you to come out and sing with us."
"Fuck! Yes. Let me brush my teeth and put on shoes"
"I got a shuttle waiting. I’ll be outside"
I was shocked that someone could have so much shit organized so early in the morning. But that’s Chris. He always seems to have his shit together, which I believe to be in defense of anxiety, but he has it together none the less, and I love him and I love his band. I GOTTA get up and do this.
I sat in the back lounge. Piecing together the previous nights last few hours and trying to figure out which way my socks went on.
I made it to the show and I was so glad.
For those that don’t know, I met Chris and the Army of Freshmen at Warped Tour 2003 and since then, they have become little brothers to us. We have toured together a ton. I produced and wrote some songs with them on their EP 'At The End Of The Day' that they released a few years back. I would do anything for this band.
Seeing them play DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL was amazing. They say it was the greatest day of their lives, and I could see that as they played. It was an amazing thing to watch, and then to be a part of when I sang a song with them towards the end of their set, was very cool.
After the AOF show, some of the guys stayed to watch Damone, who are freakin great!!!
I had to get food. Hangover, sour stomach, and other things were kicking in.
We ventured over to Catering and had some pasta. We sat next to Vinnie Paul (Pantera, Damage Plan, Hell Yeah). He’s from Texas as well. We didn’t say anything to him as he was surrounded by people. And we were sober - know what I mean?
After eating I found myself on the couch, face down, in our dressing room. I slept for a bit and when I woke up, was surrounded by friendly faces - Label Folk, Agents, Friends etc. I apologized. Went to the bathroom.
Bowling For Soup crowd
The smell made me vomit. Went back to the dressing room. Made a drink, and started trying to get motivated for the day.
We took some photos with some folks and the next thing I know, we're in a van headed to the stage. I didn’t realize we were actually ON in ten minutes when we got there. Thought we were just getting to the stage to chill for a bit.
The crew were running around like crazy. I guess we were having some issues with the bass rig. When stuff like this happens, just before a big show, it's best not to watch. You can feel their anxiety, their nerves - and it will drive you crazy not to be able to help.
Intro music starts.....
The show is hard to describe. This is a predominately METAL festival, and even though we've had such a long career in the UK, you always wonder how it's going to go.
Like always, it was amazing. I can never say enough about our relationship with the UK music fans. People in the UK just "get" BFS. We have a connection. And today was no exception. I’ve never seen so many people at a stage before, and to be the one ON STAGE was an amazing experience. The crowd sang. They laughed. I never wanted the show to end. This is the part where I say "thank you". Everyone that watched us this day - You, seriously, gave us one of the fondest memories, not only of our careers, but of our lives!
Bowling For Soup and the giant sheep
Show ends. SCUZZ TV cameras role as we head back to the Artist Area. The next few hours are a blur - TV, Radio, Magazines, Meeting bands, Meet & Greets, Photos...
I never complain about these types of afternoons. It’s a lot of pushing and pulling and can be a lot of work, but it could always be worse. What if no one wanted to speak to us? I always have that in the back of my mind.
Next, it was off to the NOKIA ROCK UP AND PLAY stage for an acoustic set and some Q&A. Questions were first, so we all sat on some couches on the stage and had drinks while the audience asked us things like......
"What’s your favorite beer"
or
"What song do you most like to play on stage?"
Next, Erik and I took the stage and played some acoustic songs and had some fun with the audience. Honestly, it was the friendliest crowd EVER and we could have played for hours. We were, however, late for our Kerrang! signing.
Bowling For Soup acoustic number
The line for the Kerrang! Tent signing was insane. And the clock was ticking - Motley Crue were on in a short time. We made sure to meet everyone that stood in line and even some folks to the side that couldn’t get in. As we are walking away, who walks by? Steve Harris from Iron Maiden!!
"Hey Steve, can we get a photo?"
"Go on then"
Flash. High fives, he walks away. I sing "The Trooper" to myself and am thankful I am able to do this for a living.
Shuttle arrives, we've missed 30 minutes of Motley Crue. There is no way we are gonna make it on the stage. We sneak through a fence and watch from the side in the crowd…It was cool hearing the show like that, but all we could see was TV moniters, so that blew, but hey, ya take what ya get…
It was nice for people to walk by, do a double take, say hello, or ask for a picture.
The Crue were really good. The have little breaks in the show - I call it "TOMMY TIME". This is where Tommy Lee leads the crowd in cheers and chants while the other dudes catch their breath. Also, Mick looks bad and it's sad, but he can still play like the wind. Nikki is still the coolest guy ever, and when Vince actually sang, he sounded pretty good. It was a happy end to a great day.
We leave the gate. Shuttle is driving away and we are told they are done for the night. This poses a problem. The only way back is through the MASSIVE crowd. If we walk around the track, it will be a three mile walk. Luckily, a security guy is sympathetic to the situation. He gets a team and walks us a "secret way" all the way to the dressing rooms.
The bar is open. The difference between the ending of this night and the ending of most festivals, is, we have to leave soon. Long drive and Early flight. But it's nice to hang out. Reflect on the day. We board the bus and play the DVD of the days show. Making fun of ourselves any chance we can... Me fucking up the Lyrics to "I’m Gay", Erik crawling under one of our giant inflatable sheep and almost not getting up. It was cool to see the crowd singing, flashing boobs, the guy that crowd surfed in a blow up raft and everyone having such a great time with a smile on their face. I seriously could have walked off the bus and gone and done the day again... but that can wait until next year…
"Someone hand me a warm beer!!!"
Jaret will be on tour in the UK once again this October with Bowling For Soup & the Get Happy Tour
Bowling For Soup and the Get Happy Tour
Photos were credited by Scott Cole www.myspace.com/scudmonkey
To read Jaret's first Donington Diary in 2005 please pick up a Back Issue of TrashPit 5 from www.myspace.com/trashpit
 
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