Dazed and Confused

because every once in a while, I dip in my rather, ahem, eclectic collection of music and put whatever I get my hands on first (sometimes it can be atmospheric d’n’b, other times chopin), I was listening to some old Led Zeppelin stuff and through a brief association of thoughts, ended up reminiscing about a rather random party snapshot from a few years back…

It was in the heydays of what eventually became the pathetically meaningless SF Rave scene…
before it became the matter of a dozen shady promoters packing stadiums with 3000 suburban teenagers in a major drugfest to the sound of excruciatingly bad commercial techno music… when it was more about a few hundred weirdoes getting together, dragging a sound system at 3am to improbable locations and dancing their asses off in between random beautiful conversations with complete strangers sometime without even being high (although that happened too)…

Anyway, I was at the time following an unwritten pattern of alternating straight-edge-cold-sober attendance, along with a more, hem, experimental, approach to partying… this party definitely fell in the latter category and i had pretty efficiently worked on a complete rewiring of my neurons by the time the sunrise started hitting the wonderful californian beach where a few hundred people where still dancing to some sickly deep house beats… and i had this t-shirt that I occasionaly wore in such circumstances, in what my friends considered a typical display of my nasty practical joker childish soul… It’s a custom t-shirt I created when moonlighting for some uk mag to celebrate their anniversary:
on a black background, one can simply read the words “Dazed and Confused” (see, there was a connection, after all), in white letters. The trick (a pretty common one) is that the characters are done using an average dot matrix technique (pretty much like the Benday-dot technique Lichtenstein used) that makes the text look like a bunch of dots from close, and a very blurry out-of-focus text from a certain distance…

No need to say that nobody needs this kind of visual stimuli in such parties. And I usually ended up having conversation with people who would do their best to look over my head or at their toes, but whose eyes would naturally always come back to the irritatingly out-of-focus text on my t-shirt…

Well, this time was my turn to be quite out of focus, to say the least… not in a bad way, strictly speaking, but let’s say I had reached a point where the naturally already overwhelming surroundings – pacific ocean, foggy spring sunrise, wet sand under bare feet, trippy electronic music, brightly colored hairdoes – was simply bewildering. I was kinda wandering around, mostly enjoying it, walking the fine line between paranoia and exploration, looking around me with the eyes of a 4 year old… The world and the people around me were not yet scary, but they definitely looked strange…
When some guy sitting out of my eyesight who had probably spotted my t-shirt started singing in a pretty decent aching Robert Plant style, the first few lines of the song… “Been Dazed and Confused for so long it’s not true” etc.
And not only did it sound frighteningly close to the original but it was also one of these incredible coincidental stranger’s comment that seem to make a perfectly fitting legend to the absurd comic strip of your life.

Well… to this day, this is still what the words “dazed and confused” immediately evoke in my mind… little dave, back to about 4 year of age, hoping from star to star in an unknown sandy galaxy, sun and waves in the background, weirdly dressed people in the foreground, hearing robert plant calling on his advanced state of mental regression…