Still one of the best for me doesn’t even revolve around the music too much but rather something else I am passionate about.
2002 was a “hard time” to be at the Festival as the World Cup was in South Korea and the games were usually on at 1.30am/5am/etc. Many nights at home before going down to the fest I awoke to an alarm clock in the middle of the night only to shut it off with some force wondering what the heck was going on and then remember a few minutes later I’d set it to watch a game.
I got down to Telluride with the United States having progressed farther in the tournament than they ever had. They were going to play Germany and the game was to start 5.30am local time Friday morning.
We setup camp Wednesday afternoon and I noticed across from me was a tent flying the Union Jack. “This guy will know where the games are” I thought. Finally happened to meet him in the late evening and we discussed the Cup and he invited me to his friends house to watch England v Brazil which would start around 2am Fri morning. I told him I couldn’t make it for that game and the US game, but still needed to find someplace that might show it. He told me that he’d heard some Irish Bar was going to be open to show it.
Thursday night after strolling the campgrounds I climbed into my bag. My friend had the only timepiece in the tent and he finally got so annoyed at me pulling on his arm to look at his watch every 45 minutes that he finally threw it at me and told me to leave him alone. I woke up just short of 5.30 and jumped out of the tent. I noticed the Union Jack was down so I knew Brazil had won.
I stumbled out of Town Park onto Main Street kind of relishing the fact there were so few people up and about. I laughed at the people sleeping in the town line and strolled on down the street. Suddenly, a man staggered out of a port-a-john and looked at me with glassy red eyes and slurred “You know where the game is?” I replied that it was supposed to be on at an Irish Bar and the only one I knew was O’Bannons.
Walking down the street I came to find he was from California but never did catch his name. We got down into O’Bannons and there were maybe 5 people at the bar and the bartender staring us down. “What do you want?” the bartender asked. My friend orderd a bloody mary and I ordered an ice tea, a hot tea, I don’t really remember. What I do remember was his reply. “I didn’t get up at 5 o @#$@% clock in the @#$@#$ morning so you could have . NOW DRINK!!!” So I ordered a bloody too. And the bartender did a shot.
Slowly other people came in only to be yelled at “I didn’t get up at 5 o #@$@#$% clock in the #Q@$@#$ morning so you could sit there. Drink or get the @#@$# out!” Some folks ordered, some folks left. One guy asked us what we were drinking and bought us a drink as he didnt want anything but didnt want to be yelled at any longer. And the bartender did a shot.
Everybody was really getting into the game with cheers and groans and we started to make quite a bit of noise. Which naturally drew in some onlookers to see what the ruckus was about. Which of course led to “I didn’t get up at 5 o #@$@#$% clock in the #Q@$@#$ morning so you could sit there. Drink or get the @#@$# out!” And the bartender did a shot. The US had some great chances but couldn’t convert and the Germans put one away before halftime to go up 1-0.
Into the 2nd half and the US was robbed and Germany started showing they were scared. The crowd in the bar was pretty full by now and lots of drinks were going down really easy. More people started coming in to see about the noise and “I didn’t get up at 5 o #@$@#$% clock in the #Q@$@#$ morning so you could sit there. Drink or get the @#@$# out!” seemed to start drawing laughs from those who were in the bar. Sometimes curses rained down at everybody laughing when new people didn’t understand why everybody was laughing and then left. And the bartender did some shots. The Germans started to get hot and got some chances on goal but no other scores came.
So the score ended 1-0 and people were cheering the US team’s effort and booing the Germans. And the bartender did some shots. The guy from California and I finished up our plethora of drinks and fell up the stairs into the sunshine. The language that came from our mouths upon the realization that we were blinded from the bright sunlight and the disappointment at the loss really startled all the people waiting in the long line for their morning coffee at Baked.
And I bet most of them still wonder, to this day, why those two guys who came out of O’Bannons so early in the morning hated Germans so much.
-that and the guy falling at least 25 feet out of the pine tree behind the right hand side of the stage into the waiting arms of Telluride’s finest. not sure if it was the same year or the one before.