Pilgrimage Campout No. 1



November 2018


The Pilgrimage CampoutRecipe for a good time:

1 cool as fuck dive bar and restaurant out in the middle of nowhere
5 bands
7 porta potties
NO neighbors
As many minibikes, quads, tri-wheelers, choppers, dirtbikes
vans, vans, vans, vans, vans
and vendors you can squeeze in (ha ha, to the open desert)


= the Pilgrimage Campout


*Give yourself a good two days to recover when it’s over


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Gabe and BenThe minds behind this weekend-long crusade were Ben Shaw, a Long Beach Vanereals van clubber, and Gabe Beard of Covina. Leave it to these two to find the coolest desert dive for hosting a wild weekend for us vanners (and assorted two and three wheel ridin’ hooligans).


Friday night started with the slow and steady trickle-in of vehicles and tattooed scruffballs setting up camp in the desert dirt behind the Palms Restaurant and bar. The Palms is one of those out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere places that’s a goldmine of a groovy hangout. It’s like a throwback in time. $3 beers, $4 shots, cheap but tasty eats, and the kind of atmosphere that feels weathered, worn-in, kooky and cool. Every Friday The Palms starry nightnight the Palms hosts an open mic, and this Friday was no exception. Us punk rock pilgrimagers were met with the local motley crew of Palms regulars hitting the stage. Seeing folks like “Grannie” — a toothless old lady with a cute wig and cowboy hat crooning “Stand by Me” acapella in a gruff “I’ve been smoking a pack a day for the last 60 years” voice was truely endearing. My band the Wastedeads was set to play Saturday night, so we signed up for the open mic and gave the small but rambunctious audience a preview, incuding the horror of my distortion-less electric guitar (plugged directly into the PA seeing as there were no amps available) version of the Cramps’ “New Kind of Kick,” and a couple others. Seeing as the room of revelers had been drinking for hours, our cacophony went over quite well. The whole evening inside the bar felt like being on the set of a David Lynch movie. Veeeery strange, but cool. Outside partying was going on in various vans under the stars (stars that could be seen almost to the horizon — a beautiful backdrop and perk of being in boonie-ville).




Saturday started slow and we woke up to a lot more vanners who’d arrived in the night. Vendors were setting up and motorbike engines were revving. Booths popped up throughout the day selling cool shit. Sacramento No Cal vanner Misty had made a cool van pinata (see photos) literally STUFFED with cool swag and was hawking raffle tickets to win it. Handmade metal dash plaques were being sanded down by Black Sheep Metal, and I picked one up for ten dead presidents. There were flash tattoos available from Howlin’ Wolf, vanner pinback buttons (by me), cool jewelry and leather goods, vintage clothes and toys, t-shirts, all kinds o’ stuff  to check out. Beers were cracked early Dash plaqueas the heat creeped in, setting most of us up for sweat soaked mid-day naps. Not just one but SEVEN clean porta potties were at our disposal, and they amazingly stayed fairly clean all three days, which helpled make the hangovers and heat more bearable. The day proceeded with lots of moto riding around camp — I saw wheelies galore and beer-in-hand riders ripping it up all over. Someone was pulling a sled like thing behind a motorcyle and whipping around a passenger who was holding on for dear life, blowing dust all over. The atmosphere was ripe for chaos, teetering on the the edge of danger, but as far as I know accidents were kept to a minimum. (I only heard of one mishap that happened early Sunday morning, a torn up foot from riding a minibike shoeless (DUH!). Hope the ER wasn’t too bad and that you are mending up Joey!). Killer all day and night DJing of old punk rock and other good shit by Grant “Vintage” Hudson — who I dubbed Coke Zero for the event, as DJ Lola Cherry Cola had cancelled.


  • wow slider
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
image slider by v8.7.1m


After dark an outdoor stage behind the Palms blasted live music from my punk rock zombiecore two-piece the Wastedeads (complete with zombettie go-go dancers — thanks Laura and Amy!), thrashy hardcore from Killing California, garagey Party's over!Dwarvesy punk of Lady Hump (my new favorite band!), awesome METAL from metalheads Livin’ Alive, and killer rock from the Flytraps. What a line-up! 


The first annual Pilgrimage Campout was a successful sold out event. There were a lot of rowdy rockers and not much sleep to be had judging from the boisterious partying that went on all weekend… and I mean ALL day and ALL night. Get your tickets early next year kids (18 and over only), you snooze, you lose!


PICTURED ABOVE: T-shirt design for the Pilgrimage Campout; Gabe Beard and Ben Shaw the organizers hanging at the Palm’s bar; starry night outside the Palms; Video by Shozie Rocks; bad-ass dash plaques by Black Sheep Metal; Misc pics of vans (thanks Jim Thompson!! and bands; Party’s OVER!





Don’t Come Knockin’