Friday, December 6, 2013
Burning Man Stories: 2013 Impromptu Naked Rock Jam Session
So after a morning of attempting to annoy people with my shirtcocking, I went ahead and took off my shirt, deciding to experience a naked day at Burning Man.
It was early in the week still, and I had yet to explore much of my neighborhood. I knew there would be a camp that was serving coffee to the community, I just had to find it, which I did with a little help from the official guidebook. Sadly, I don't recall the name of this camp which graciously shared its bounty of cookies and coffee with me, mostly undaunted by my nudity.
Soon after, I wandered over to a nearby camp that I'd seen on the way which had a jam dome set up. The prior year, I'd stopped at a similar, or perhaps the same, dome on the Esplanade, and had jammed for awhile on the provided guitars, bass, keyboard and drums with some other impromptu rockers.
This time, after I'd jammed on my own for a bit, a few other rockers wandered in off the road and before long a band had coalesced, and we just sort of clicked. As often happens on the playa, I didn't really get to know any of the other members, nor do I remember any of their names. The guy who grabbed the guitar was able to lead and picked out the signature riffs of many famous songs. The bassist and drummer were competent, making up a solid rhythem section. Someone was jamming on the keyboard, and I sang and yelled into the mic while shaking a tambourine and dancing my naked ass off. I remember only a few of the songs we covered: "Get back" by the Beatles, "Rock and Roll" by the Velvet Underground, "Cocaine" by Eric Clapton, I'll probably remember more later.
At some point, we drew a small crowd of "groupies", as we called them: girls who were rockin out to our sound. They laughed uproariously and cheered at my wild frenetic dancing. It felt great to be so in the moment, creating music with others and entertaining ourselves and anyone who may have been within earshot.
As all good things must come to an end, after a few hours we ground to a halt and said our goodbyes. I would later end up running into my old playa pal, Damon. He was riding with his campmate in a golf-cart-turned-turtle. I caught a ride and caught up with him. At this point my nudity was a bit awkward, but that's just life on the playa.