FUTURE 86 Live Journal
Saturday, June 10th in Montauk, NY
Montauk: The End & The Beginning
Our shows at the Memory Motel in Montauk have always been some of our most eventful and memorable, and I gotta say that this last one there was the most brilliant thus far. Many people will tell you, there are four things you can do in Montauk; eating, drinking, fishing, and drinking. Well none of us fish, so you can imagine what we did all weekend. The crowd at the Memory kept us rocking on stage from 11pm to 3:30am in the morning, thanks in part to Jason for keeping the front row riled up and for letting Larry and I borrow his baseball cap for the evening. The influx of cute "Irish Girls" staying in Montauk for a working summer vacation didn't hurt either.
We got just a few hours of sleep from about 6am to 11am when we were awakened by a barrage of over 300, louder than hell, Harley Davidsons pulling into the Memory's parking lot for a quick "refueling" stop. I don't think there could possibly have been a more beautiful Sunday morning... not a cloud in the sky, and hundreds of pounds of shiny motorcycle chrome in the parking lot. Artie asked us to jump on stage and pump out a few songs for the bikers, which we did, followed by a brief walk out on the beach. Some call Montauk "The End", and some call it "The Beginning". I really don't see any difference between the beginning or the end, and would say that Montauk is both. After all, whenever anything ends, it marks the beginning of something else, and nothing can really begin without something else ending. Fittingly on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon, all of Montauk was celebrating the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer with their annual Blessing of the Fleet. The Blessing, in tourist guides and local Event calendars is described inconspicuously as "a kick off to the summer season combining a festive atmosphere with a somber reminder of those lost at sea the previous season". Sounds like nothing much right? But in reality it's a gigantic, super-fast paced, almost chaotic water fight between about 35 Charter Fishing boats in Montauk, supervised by the U.S. Coast Guard. The choice of ammunition was good ole' fashioned water balloons, which were loaded onto the 35-55 foot fishing vessels in just about anything large enough to hold them, gigantic fish coolers, 35 gallon garbage cans, laundry baskets, you name it, they were full of water balloons and being loaded 7, 8, 9, 10, containers to a ship. There were anywhere between 20 to 30 people to each boat, some armed water balloon launchers, slingshots, and others were pelting those things like major league ball players. Artie from the Memory invited us on the 55' vessel called the Lazy Bones captained expertly by Mike and Cathy. In fact all the boats were expertly maneuvering in and out of each other's way, trying to get close enough to clobber the opponent with water balloons, then back off quickly before they can retaliate. Being on of the larger vessels, the others had it in for us and at one point we were being attacked on all four sides by four different boats, one equipped with a fire hose, just hosing down everyone in sight. After taking a rather large balloon to my face, I took cover by kneeling down and saw an outburst of balloons flying over my head in every possible direction. When I stood back up I saw Larry hit someone directly in the face. What appeared to be too many water balloons ended up not being enough and we had almost exhausted our supply before the fight was over and the other boats were closing in on us like a pack of wolves on a defenseless sheep. The anticipation of being hit and of hitting someone else was getting everyone's adrenaline pumping, and there was a frenzy amongst everyone on our boat as we tried to grab more ammunition, use garbage can lids as shields, while others were acting as ammo suppliers digging balloons out from the bottom of the containers and using fishing nets to grab the ones that landed in the water. The Blessing came to a halt by a Coast Guard signal and everyone exited the boats drenched completely from head to toe and in a state of bliss, and we all made our way over to Liar's Saloon to continue drinking, eating, and celebrating at the outdoor barbeque party. Sadly our short stay in Montauk had ironically come to an end. As we had to head back to the city, we got a pizza pie for the road, and when they mixed up our order they quickly made amends by offering us what else, but a complimentary beer each. We will definitely be back in Montauk, which is truly a quaint little drinking village with a big fishing problem.
We'll see you all there again next time. -Armand