The touring world is a small, insular ecosystem. The pervasive narrative about life on the road being a nonstop party isn’t entirely accurate. In reality, an existence in which the events of every day are confined to transit, venues, and motel rooms can get kinda lonely.
The nature of touring life creates a sort of tribalism. When the only people who see each other every day for a length of time are the ones on the road together, family dynamics develop. The relationship between the members of the circle can make or break a tour.
A quick glimpse at the lineup of the Lollapalooza 1993 festival tour invokes a sense of awe and wonder. Co-headlined by Alice In Chains and Primus, the main stage lineup was rounded out by Tool, Rage Against The Machine, Fishbone, Arrested Development, Dinosaur Jr., Babes In Toyland, and Front 242. Enduring bonds were made between bands over the course of the summer concert run. “Lollapalooza was probably the funnest tour I’ve ever done, and it’s probably the funnest tour I’ve ever seen because there was so much interaction between the bands,” recalls Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell in the book Alice In Chains: The Untold Story. “Everybody was playing with each other, doing it onstage. It was great.” Bassist Mike Inez echoed the sentiment, calling it “one of those tours where lifelong friendships were made.”
Co-headliners Primus and Alice In Chains particularly hit it off. Known for their devious senses of humor, an on-stage prank war developed between the bands. In one instance, the members of Alice In Chains went on stage during Primus’ set in the middle of “My Name Is Mud,” dressed in Les Claypool-esque and playing bass guitars while miming the Primus frontman’s signature style.
Not to be outdone, Primus devised a plan to get back at Alice In Chains. In the book Primus, Over The Electric Grapevine: Insight Into Primus And The World Of Les Claypool, the bass master recalls a pivotal on-stage moment at the end of the tour:
“For the final show, everybody was ‘gagging,’ which you always do. There’s always some sort of shenanigans for the last show. So I said, ‘Rent me a chicken suit, I’m going out there for ‘Rooster’.’ So I put on this chicken suit, and here I come “Here comes the rooster”
and I come flying out onstage. They were kind of ready for some shenanigans, so they start hurling eggs at me! And I can’t see shit! If you watch the footage, I can’t see shit through the damn chicken mask. I’m out there dancing around, and I can’t dodge these eggs. That was cool and all funny, but the best part about it is I come off stage, and I’m heading back to the dressing room, and Timothy Leary had been out on the tour a little bit. He was a big Primus fan. So I’m walking along, and there’s Timothy Leary walking with these girls. And, forgetting I’m dressed like a chicken, I’m like, “TIMOTHY LEARY! WHAT’S GOING ON, MAN?!” And he just looked like he was scared to death. Like some demon from his past had come back at him or something.”
Poop, poor Timothy Leary…. Check out the video below!