Date: Mon, 28 Mar 94 13:41:27 PST
Subject: FMR - The Legend Continues
We got to Bonny Doon in record time, 1hr 15min from SF, parking at 4:15am. By the number of cars, it was obvious that this was big, the biggest Bay Area Full Moon Rave ever. I scoped out the scene as we descended into the frenzy and by comparison to the now famous Halloween Full Moon Massive, I estimated a crowd size of at least 3,000.
Garth was on as we set up camp and linked up with various friends and friends of friends. The Normals and Gil showed up with their tent and joined our contingent. We also ran into Ovid, Seth, Geoff, Ravi, Scott (Cloud Factory), Cap'n Crunch, and a few others who I'll probably remember immediately after posting this. As is typical of weekend FMR's, there was a certain amount of people hollaring, being drunk, shooting off fireworks, etc. There seemed to be a lot less nitrous present, though. Janie & I just relaxed during this period, and things settled down into a pretty cohesive vibe just before dawn arrived. Initially, I thought there was something wrong with the sound system cause there were so many people crowding around the speakers that the sound was almost completely muffled. This situation improved by the time Markie took the helm, somewhere around 6.
I'm still struggling to find the words to describe Markie's set, which was at least 4 hours long. I've been a Markie admirer for a long time, and this was the best set I've *ever* heard him spin; acidic, trancy, funky - a totally incredible musical journey. He never faltered and you could sense his focus, like a wizard mesmerized by his own spell, yet still in command of it. Around 9, the generator died for about 45 minutes, after which he came back to pick things up right where he left off.
This party pretty much proved to me that the scene still has a lot of momentum in it. There were a lot of new (to me, anyway) faces there, but just about everyone seemed to know exactly what it was all about. I wonder how many there were brought there by the April Rolling Stone article that has now lifted the FMR parties into official cult status. There were certainly a few tourists in attendance, but I don't think that this detracted from things at all.
By the time the generator came back on, the few hundred of us who remained were totally under the spell of things. At this point, I felt like I really was part of some of a quasi-religious cult: The shamen-DJs in conjunction with nature's energy and the altered states of consciousness of the participants created a religious atmosphere - its vague dogma loosely defined by the unspoken sharing of feelings and sensations. It is fascinating to me how there can be so much understanding without words, where the experience that is taking place at that moment says it all. Bonnie Doon beach, surrounded by cliffs and the ocean provides a very spiritual setting for a rave. But I have to wonder how much longer these parties are going to be allowed to continue there, now that the're getting so much attention.
When Jeno came on, the music jumped to an even higher energy level. The type of stuff he played in this a set is hard to describe. It's kind of hardcore, but not in the high bpm or stripped down head pounding way. The music is incredibly thick and tribal, an all out manic assault of multilayered sound timbres, music so rhythmic and intense that going along with it either requires that you already be tripping, or it makes you trip just as you allow your psyche to be absorbed by it. I was pretty much blown away during this period, with my occasional attempts to rest consistantly curtailed by music that demanded my soul's participation. I was able to come back into my surface-self when Jeno's set ended and Thomas came on with some horribly cheesy disco, as if to tell us, "I'm not Jeno so don't even expect anything like that from me." Don't worry Thomas, I don't think we will ever get you two confused.
Thankfully, Thomas ceased torturing us, eventually veering off into some pleasantly funky grooves. But we were totally spent and had already had too much sun. So at around 1:30 we packed things up, making sure to take our garbage with us. I was bummed about forgetting to bring garbage bags to help with the overall cleanup - something I normally do at free outdoor parties. Oh, well. This party was a particularly messy one.
Back by the road there was an army of towtrucks and CHPs doing their thing. What a bummer it must of been for those who left the party completely drained and still buzzing only to find their vehicle missing. I'm not even sure if there's a payphone within walking distance.
Although it is true that raving in the SF Bay area has to some extent lost the sense of excitement that comes with anything new and "on the edge", it is parties like the Full Moon Massive that will keep the scene alive here. Why? Well, while most indoor raves now seem to be basically a very nice variation of the club scene, FMRs remind us that the roots of raving are really intertwined with ageless tribal rituals of music, dance, trance, and the partaking of mind expanding sacraments, where reaching a oneness with our inner nature links us to a oneness with the forces of nature around us and in each other. You don't have to watch many National Geographics to see the obvious similarities between parties such as these and the religious ceremonies of more "primitive" cultures. Ritualistic raving will remain viable because it appeals to the sense of spirit in us that has been viable since the dawn of human consciousness. I think the Wicked people who put on the FMRs understand this; that the scene is about much more than making money by helping people have fun. It's about what it means to be alive in a way that goes beyond the artificial limits imposed by modern society. On Sunday we were a tribe of the Universe, of the basic essence of life and energy, body and mind. And in addition to all that, it was a fucking blast.