I awoke from my final nap of Jam Cruise 8 at 12:30pm.
I am convinced there is an energy crystal on the Boat that keeps Jam Cruisers going. I had seen the sunrise and danced as hard as I could at Pretty Lights. All things considered, I felt pretty good.
After the second poster signing and chatting with fellow LOST fans I finally got to catch Zach Deputy on the Solar Stage. I had seen Zach tear it up in the Jam Room each night, but had never actually seen his solo act. Zach is a wizard with the loops- a one man band- and got the Pool deck jumping with his funky riffs. I dug it.
Next was Steve Kimock's Crazy Engine. After seeing Trevor Exter perform on cello the night before I paid more attention to the basslines than I normally would. I have always enjoyed Kimock's guitar compositions and I liked this incarnation of Kimock a lot. They finished off the set with one of the best versions of Stella Blue i've heard in memory. The sun was going down and Kimock's slide tone filled me with joy.
The last night's theme was Funk 'N Formal. Basically it gave everyone on the Boat to wear something awesome. I had brought just about every costume or prop I own, and decided to give away my white vinyl one piece fat Elvis suit to a fellow Jam Cruiser. I walked to the bar in the Zebra lounge and convinced Patrick from Alaska to wear it for the evening. If anyone has pics of Patrick in the Elvis suit, holla!
I dropped by Gypsy's room but she wasn't there. Her room was at the back of the boat and I once again was exactly where I was supposed to be. I stumbled out the back door to a viewing area for one of the most beautiful sunsets the entire Jam Cruise. Several people were out there with their cameras to capture the moment.
I threw on my funk clothes and wig (I told people that night I was just combing my hair a different way) then headed up to the Jam Cruise Awards Show on the Pool Deck. I felt good I had met most of the people that won awards and thought they were well deserved. The Touch of Class crew won the "best smile" award and Gumby won the "best dressed" among some very stiff competetion. My new best friend Brandon won the "nerdiest door decoration" with his hilarious interpretation of a Facebook page.
I found McFantastic on the Pool Deck and asked her to be my Prom Date for the Funk 'N Formal. We went to see Karl Denson's Sexual Chocolate. Karl D was one of the original Randy Watson band members in the classic 80's movie Coming To America. Yeah, that band. Karl D put on a Soul Glo wig and his band used every opportunity between songs to yell "Sexual Chocolate!"
They say that Jam Cruise is a marathon, not a sprint...and I had done 4 Phish shows in Miami before all of this. I was proud I had made it this far, and I had a little left in the tank. We were getting off the boat in the morning, and we were going to play through. I was tired, but I was leaving nothing on the table. I was all in.
In fact, the whole Boat was all in. Drink up. Smoke 'em if you got em. Kiss her if you have the chance. Eat it if its offered. Why the hell not? Its the last night of Jam Cruise. Go for it. I thought that the Jam Cruise party was wild the previous 4 nights...but on the last night we let it all hang out. If you made it to the end of Jam Cruise, well you are a professional. Everyone on the boat was going for it and we made that shit look good.
Pretty much, McFantastic was the best prom date to the best prom ever. Time flew by as we caught some of Galactic's set and the Lotus set. All of a sudden, its 1:30am and Laurie finds me in the Theater and grabs my arm.
"Dude, when are you going to PACK? You have to go PACK. NOW."
We had until 2am to put our bags out in front of the room to be picked up by the porters. I was more than a little spun but had enough sense to know I needed to pack. I went back to the room and started throwing all of the costumes, props, dirty clothes, posters, and other random shit into my bags.
A knock at the door, I answered expecting a familiar face. "Hi, are you The Joker? "I found your journal at Lotus." I was amazed. A complete stranger found my journal with all of my notes from the entire Jam Cruise in it, and returned it to my room before I even realized I had lost it. A JaMiracle. If it were not for David Morris, these updates would be a lot shorter. Thank You!
The rest of the evening was a blur. Gypsy and I danced and ate ice cream provided by the Ice Cream Man. Murph spun nasty beats in the Disco so Michelle, Laurie, Ethan and Cheryl could get down. I danced till the music stopped. I partied past dawn and had nothing left.
One of the last things I remember on the Boat was a conversation with Stanton Moore, the drummer for Galactic. It was 4am outside the Disco room, and I had no fear or filter.
"Hey Stanton, can I ask you a serious question real quick?"
"Sure. Anything. Whats up?"
"Are you an alien, sent to Earth, with a mission to funkify our lives?"-pause-
Stanton scratched his chin, then looked in my dialated eyes. "You know, no one has ever asked me that...but I'll say yes."
"I knew it!!!" I thought. Or maybe I said it out loud. But who cares. Pauly, you were right all along. With the "success" of that encounter, a few mintues later I spied Skerik standing outside the Disco room in the hallway, alone.
"Skerik, can I ask you a serious question real quick?"
"Are you an alien, sent to Earth..."
Before I could finish my question Skerik's eyes started moving independently. Back and forth, up and down. He spoke in his native alien language that sounded like jibberish to me.
I was born on the wrong planet, but I am thankful I can party with the aliens once a year on Jam Cruise.
Now, getting off the boat> going through customs> going to the airport> getting on a plane was by far the worst part of Jam Cruise. I thought the time it took us to wait to get off the boat was ridiculous (6am-10am). The secret service was out in force with drug dogs sniffing bags and Jam Cruisers as we went through the long line back into the good 'ol US of A. It was annoying; I was offended at the criminal like treatment of myself and my fellow Jam Cruisers going through customs.
But whatever. Work on fixing that next year, Cloud 9.
It was easy to find the Jam Cruisers at the Ft. Lauderdale airport- look for the kids still wearing sunglasses, boas and glitter. I was wrecked and passed out on the hard floor while others in the Colorado Crew drank more beer at the gate.
Can't wait for Jam Cruise 9! Ill never miss another one. See you next year!
Be sure to check out the Jam Base review.