Mayhem madness: Laura Bond's atypical rave article, "Home of the Rave" in the February 22 issue, was something I would like to thank you for. She provided an overview of the situation without resorting to phrases such as "drug-fueled mayhem" and the like. If only more papers could take such an intelligent, well-researched view as you did, then perhaps there wouldn't be so many problems.
via the Internet
The agony and the Ecstasy: Whatever happened to smoking a joint and drinking a cold beer? As far as I know, that never put anyone in a coma. And what's with the pacifiers and doctors' masks? Sorry, I just don't get it...
Girl, interrupted: Here's my perspective of the Boulder-Denver rave scene in the mid- to late '90s.
I enter my teenage daughter's bedroom. Clothes that stink of cigarettes, pot, alcohol, sweat and Calvin Klein are piled in every corner. Big baggy jeans with ragged cuffs, oversized T-shirts, chains, visors and layers of vests have become my daughter's uniform. Junk-food wrappers, Coke cans, unidentifiable pills, counterculture literature, pacifiers, condoms and rave leaflets litter her floor, along with quizzes and assignments marked with "F." On nearby shelves sits evidence of her childhood: a baseball mitt, Barbies staring blankly, tiny Beatrix Potter books and a copy of Alicia en el País de las Maravillas. I find letters from her high school warning that she has too many absences and risks failing. It's too late. She's dropped out. She needs to sleep all day to recover from the raves she attends all night. She comes home so wired she listens to throbbing house music until she fades into sleep. She defies me. I can't control her. Her friends pick her up. One boy with blond, spiky hair has piercings that cover nearly every inch of his face. My girl walks around with a haggard face and has no energy or ambition to do anything else in her life. She tells me to "fuck off" when I yell at her to take control of her life. I kick her out. She lives with friends who support her rave lifestyle. "It's not a temporary youth trend, Mom. It's a lifestyle. It's a whole world you'll never understand. You'll never understand the love I feel when I'm on the dance floor, surrounded by my friends. Dancing, spinning, sucking, drinking water, inhaling the night away. Dancing my life away. Away from you."
Name withheld on request
Survivor: I took drugs at raves in Denver, and I survived, despite overcrowded venues, overpriced water, a total lack of ventilation and any number of other health risks. Don't kid yourself about these "legit" venues: The Aztlan is a great place to go dance -- especially when you have older men at the bar partying with fifteen-year-old ravers on vet tranquilizers. I also like the slanted floor, and the chairs, and the always-overfilled capacity that gives people so much room to dance -- watch out, don't trip on that rebar in the dark! Oh, wait, I think I almost got shot there once, too.
Raves are big business now, I guess, but there is no new talent being brought to Denver, no innovative art at the shows, no good sound systems, and for $35 at the door, can I at least get a glass of water for less than three bucks?
As a truly jaded (dare I say it) old-skool raver, let me tell you, kiddies: Commercial trance music sucks, the Aztlan sucks, you're getting ripped off every time by shameless promoters, and you all look the same! Get some flavah! The only other thing I can say is that the rave scene started with people like you and me, and we have to make The Sound ourselves. Otherwise, you're just getting taken for all you're worth by a bunch of old guys with big fliers and greedy little hearts. Rave is Dead! Long live the Rave!
Party hearty: I have been raving for a little while, but my group of rave buddies has been raving anywhere from two months to six years. The party scene means a lot to me, as it gives me a place to go crazy. This bad publicity regarding parties and the drug scene at the parties has really frustrated me. (And I would like to see parties go until 6 a.m. without having to drive to the Root and pay an extra $5 on top of the $20-to-$30 pre-sale tickets.)
Laura Bond's well-written and well-researched article did so much more then a letter to an editor ever could. Thank you so much: That article will help many rave-haters accept and possibly tolerate parties.