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Goof and I heard numerous rumors of guests appearing at PJ20 both before and at Alpine Valley. Some utterly ridiculous (Beth Liebling); others pretty sensible (Bruce Springsteen). These are the top 5 rumored guests we heard were going to make an appearance at PJ20 but didn’t.
Why he didn’t show: because Wisconsin wasn’t “Africa” enough for him. In the past decade, the once great U2 frontman has devolved from an earnest musician into a pompous windbag. There are literally support groups on the internet to help people deal with it. We could cite various articles supporting these assertions – but then we’d be sinking to his level. Though he and Ed are friendly, they’re not BFFs. Kinda like when you say you love someone but you’re not in love with them. Stone and Jeff actively dislike him and in fact are the proprietors of the Facebook group linked above. Boom likes him, but then Boom like everyone – even tax dodgers.
When approached by Ed in July, Bono launched into a 15 minute diatribe about the ills of Africa and how Wisconsin just doesn’t understand the plight of impoverished African babies; that Wisconsin has so much food their state hat is a cheesehead. Closing with the comment “It’s just not Africa enough for me.” sealed the deal. Ed held out both hands in front of Bono as if warming to the hot air of a fire. Bono asked, “What’re ya doin’?” To which Ed replied, “Nevermind.”
Who said he would be there: Ten Clubbers on the hill. At PJ20, a sizable section of the venue was cordoned off for Ten Club members – it looked like this. Situated at the top of Alpine Valley, the area was members-only, replete with resplendent views, a charging station for your phone, and overpriced beer ($13!). Although we can’t source the member who started the rumor, by the time 5pm rolled around, 10 minutes wouldn’t pass without hearing that “Townshend was in the house.” Wishful thinking.
Why he didn’t show: he’s deaf as a post and nepotism. Ed tried to get in touch with Pete in May – however since this happened Townshend no longer uses e-mail and the only way to reach him is by phone. Unfortunately decades of playing next to 6-foot tall, 1000-watt amp stacks have turned Townshend’s eardrums into a waxy jelly. So, he can’t hear the phone when it rings. You can see where this story goes. After repeatedly calling Townshend without reply, Ed handed the reins off to a Ten Club intern named Kyle Curtis. Recognize that last name? You should. He’s Kelly Curtis’ nephew. If you don’t know who Kelly Curtis is – why are you here?
Kyle Curtis is lazy. He’s the guy you knew in High School who would forge a doctor’s note so he could take the elevator instead of the stairs. He got the internship at the Ten Club because his uncle has been band manager since 1991. But Kyle didn’t want the internship; he took it because the Dave Matthews Band fan club turned him down and Kelly forced him.
A resentful Kyle called Townshend once: on September 2nd, the day before PJ20 began. On September 6th Ed called Townshend. His wife heard the ringer and answered. With the volume set to 10 (or 11 for Spinal Tap fans), Ed spoke loudly into the phone to Pete about the success of PJ20 and how proud he was. Townshend listened intently, subsequently asking why he wasn’t invited. A confused Ed explained that he tried to reach him in May, but then handed off the responsibility to Kelly’s nephew. A few minutes later it became clear: Kyle.
Who said he would be there: everybody. If you had asked anyone in the crowd at PJ20 who was more likely to appear as a special guest, Chris Cornell or Neil Young, fans would have undoubtedly said the latter. Uncle Neil, as he is often referred to, has storied history with the band dating back to the early 90’s.
Why he didn’t show: his wife wouldn’t let him out. Just as we predicted in the High 5, “Why You Couldn’t Go To PJ20”, some men answer to a higher calling – their wives. But because this is gremmie.net, it’s not as simple as “My wife wouldn’t let me.” Neil’s wife, Pegi established three ground rules before they got hitched.
- I don’t care how willing she is, no threesomes.
- Don’t call David Crosby, let him call you.
- Don’t forget our important dates.
The third rule kept Neil from PJ20 which is bullshit because it casts such a wide net. An “important date” is subjective. Birthdays are important. Anniversaries are important. But is the day your dog died 10 years ago important? Most gremmies would say “No.” Pegi wouldn’t agree with you. See, her dog “Backspacer” (where they really got the name) died on September 3rd, 1998. A pure-bred Lhasa Apso, the pooch suffered from acute hip dispersia. Ever since 1998, both Pegi and Neil have mourned the loss of their dog. Some say Neil does so begrudgingly. When approached by Mike McCready about PJ20, Neil declined in the same way a kid claims he can’t go out to play because his mom said so. Women.
Who said he would be there: Dirty Mike Dougherty. gremmie.net has a new contributing author. A friend of mine since High School, Mike also happens to be a screen writer in Los Angeles. As such, he’ll be penning articles for gremmie.net going forward. He also happens to be a hardcore Chicago Bulls fan. No one knows why.
Why he didn’t show: no one invited him. On the first night of PJ20, goof and I managed to snag excellent pictures of who we thought was Dennis Rodman. Turns out the photos we took weren’t of Dennis Rodman, but RuPaul dressed up as Dennis Rodman. True story.
It’s widely known that Ed wrote Black, Red, Yellow about Rodman. In the middle of the song, the listener hears a voicemail left by Rodman on Ed’s answering machine. In short, Rodman asks Ed to call him back. He didn’t and Rodman never let it go. Though Ed had planned to return the call, touring and being Eddie Vedder prevented him from doing so in a timely manner. It was too late before Ed realized his mistake. An obsessive Rodman began spamming Ed’s voice and email – with each attempt progressively more rancorous than the last. Within one month Ed had to file a restraining order. Shortly thereafter he wrote Lukin II which has yet to see the light of day. Rupaul heard through the freak grapevine that Rodman wasn’t going to PJ20 but didn’t know why. He/she jumped at the chance to go as Rodman, thinking he/she would be welcomed with open arms. Within minutes of arriving at Alpine Valley, he/she was ejected.
Who said he would be there: Gabrielle Sessa. Who is Gabrielle Sessa? She’s one of the many gremmies goof and I met on the plane from New York to Milwaukee; the flight was 90% Pearl Jam fans. Goof and I felt bad for the rather pleasant lady next to us. Not only was she trapped in the window seat with goof in the middle and me on the aisle, but she was literally surrounded by hardcore fans who’ve eagerly awaited PJ20 since at least May. The lone sane person in an asylum full of loons. Perhaps that’s why she ordered the double Jim Beam on our brief 1.5 hour flight.
During the course of the weekend goof and I got to know gremmies from Mongolia to Madison (what’s up Brad!), but Gabby, Cynthia, and Diane were the ones we got to know best. How well? This well. On Sunday night after the show a clearly worn out Gabby asked the lot of us, “Where’s Kurt Cobain? Why didn’t he show up? Are he and Eddie still feuding?” The room went dead silent. Each of us looked around, scanning our purview to see if it was ok to laugh. Seconds later we erupted in a morbid, overtired laughter.
Why he didn’t show: he had a head-ache. Too soon?
Who said he would be there: stoners still camped out at Alpine Valley from the last DMB show 3 months ago who stuck around thinking PJ20 was a festival celebrating peanut butter & jelly. You see a couple of these guys at every show. They’re the ones who took the Grateful Dead comparison a little too seriously.
Why he didn’t show: he was there, no one noticed. Click here for the evidence.