My buddy Ritzer had somehow convinced my roommate Laurie to let him crash in her bed sometime that morning. It was a sad sight to see - Ritzer was taking up 3/4 of the small twin bed and poor Laurie had her face in the armpit of a man who had nearly sweat to death in a Boba Fett costume the night before.
To say that I had a hangover wasn't really accurate. I felt like I had been partying for about a week and a half straight - and I had: 4 nights of Phish and 2 nights on Jam Cruise is a lot. I couldn't go back to sleep so I went to get something to eat in the cafeteria.
As I looked over the deck I realized we were docked at Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I saw Mcfantastic with a crew of people eating and joined them. We had all missed the planned excursions in Jamaica - but most of us felt an obligation to get off the boat and do something.
Eventually Laurie, Ritzer, Ethan and Cheryl got out of bed. After finishing up a bite to eat in the cafeteria we walked off the boat and set foot in the country of Bob Marley - Jamaica. As soon as we got off the boat and walked out the gate from the Port Authority, we were given the Ocho Rios Hustle.
"Hey Mon, want cab?"
"Hey Mon, want smoke?"
"Hey Mon, come here look my t-shirts!"
"Hey Mon...Hey Mon...Hey Mon...Hey Mon...Hey Mon...Hey Mon..."
My guard was up. Every 5 yards it felt like someone was trying to get us to buy something. Drugs. Souvenirs. Bob Marley crap and more Bob Marley crap.
Laurie, Ethan, Cheryl and I agreed we wanted some jerk chicken. Ritzer and his roomie Merl disappeared into a cab. We walked down the main road in Ocho Rios and eventually gave in to a sales pitch from a man with the build of The Notorious BIG.
"Hey Mon, you want jerk chicken? Come in here. I Big Poppy. I take care you. Best jerk chicken in Jamaica."
Big Poppy was a fat 6'5", 350 lbs. He was dressed in a XXXL green striped short sleeve shirt, matching green pants and matching green baseball cap. He had a silver and gold cross about the size of my hand hanging around his chest which reflected brightly in the sun. He led us into his restaurant and we had a seat. A waiter came by and took our drink orders and gave us menus. Big Poppy continued the Ocho Rios Hustle.
"Hey Mon you like party? You like smoke? I got best party in Jamacia. You like Bob Marley? You like hip-hop? I put on anything you want. Just tell Big Poppy you want. You want some smoke? You like party?"
"Listen Big Poppy," I said. "We've been partying for 2 days straight and all we want to do is eat some jerk chicken."
With that, Big Poppy finally left us alone. The jerk chicken was good. After a quick meal it started raining and we decided we had had enough of Jamaica. I bought an umbrella on the street for $5 and we walked back through the second round of the Ocho Rios Hustle to the Boat.
Back on the Boat we headed to the hot tub and checked out some official merch. I decided to take a 2 hour nap from 6-8 and crashed hard core.
At 9:30pm I made it to the Pool Deck for Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. Karl D is a Jam Cruise veteran and it seemed like he was everywhere on the Boat that week. We ran into some rough seas and it was as if the Boat was encouraging everyone to dance by swaying us. I always love horns and was into the Tiny Universe set. I saw Karl D playing sax a lot on Jam Cruise 8 but during that set I wrote down "funky flute." Karl D is one baaad mofo.
It wasn't an official costume night, but it seemed like no one was wearing "normal" clothes. I was in the Dharma Jumpsuit again and I met Brandon decked out in his Jesus outfit. I followed Jelly a bit and watched as he used his skills on the ladies. JT and I spent a little time in the Jam Room where Skerik was hosting. When our wanderings took us back to the Pool Deck, it seemed like the volume was turned up to 11. Lotus was playing as fast and loud as Ive seen them and I was into it.
The Lotus slot was 1am-4am, and Kyle Hollingsworth only was playing for an hour from 2-3am, so after 45 min or so of Lotus we wandered back to the Theater where the Dance Police were out in force to see Kyle Hollingsworth's band. This is when I was ambushed by JCTV again. No one should be interviewed on Jam Cruise at 2am...but I was.
"What would you do for a Klondike Bar?" the cute interviewer asked.
"I would dance like I was at a Kyle Hollingsworth show", I responded.
I did my best noodle dance, but the small crowd by the elevators watching the exchange felt I could do better and I even got a couple of Booos.
"What would you do for a Klondike Bar?"
I sighed. I couldn't think of anything clever so I said the first thing that popped into my spun out brain. "I would run like and antelope, out of control!"
I closed my eyes, ran in place then started jumping up and down as hard as I could. I went for it. I earned a few cheers and a tasty ice cream treat. JCTV... if you are out there, please destroy that file.
ADDITION: Pics of the interview by Ice Cream Man/JCTV
I checked out Kyle and then again the Jam Room where I heard George Porter singing Just Kissed My Baby and Steve Kimock was ripping it up on guitar. But I had enough funk that evening and headed back to the Pool Deck where Lotus was still playing their monster set. Lotus was throwing the fuck down. I completely lost my shit when they segued one of their own songs into a Daft Punk's Around The World.
Then, I met Gypsy. The girl in the green wig. Some people you meet over and over again and you never connect. Other people, there is an instant connection. Gypsy had the vibe. That instant was special. I could see her energy and we connected. Ill never forget it. Friends for life. I spent the next couple of hours hanging out with Gypsy.
At some point I finally ran into Scotty B in the Jam Room. I say finally cause it seemed the first 2 days our paths never crossed. Scotty B and I made a commitment to see the sunrise which didn't seem that hard cause at this point it was 5am. Zach Deputy must have sensed there were some Phishheads in the Jam Room and launched into First Tube. It was just a 2 min tease, but it was enough to get our attention. Zach then segued into Superstition. It was straight fire.
I was wearing the crown, but I knew it was time to give it away. I gave my crown to Zach Deputy, The King of Late Night on Jam Cruise 8.
After some pics at sunrise, for me it was time for bed. Scotty B stayed around the pool deck- find out what I missed out on.