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Lebowskifest NYC '05

A minute-by-minute account
of beer, bowling, and overall
dudeness

By BRUCE HUTCHINGS
STATIC and FEEDBACK correspondent

While all you guys and dolls were out hooting and
hollering, boozing and cruising on the weekend of
Oct. 21 and 22, I was told to write down my
experiences at this year’s Lebowski festival in NYC,
a gathering of lovers of The Big Lebowski. So keep
in mind — as I was writing this and experiencing all
aspects of the festivities I was “on duty.” It was a
tough task but some Achiever had to do it. So sit
back, relax, have a white russian and enjoy my
experiences, ‘cause I surely did.

10.20.05                                                       

It wasn’t until my junior year in highschool that I had
even heard of
The Big Lebowski. I was at my buddy
Will’s place where we watched the film on HBO. It
was wild; I really had no clue what I had just
watched. All I knew was someone’s rug was
“miterated upon,” nihilists believed in nothing,
bowling was a main past time and the F-bomb was
dropped every 30 seconds! A high schooler’s
dream flick.  

Right after watching the Coen Brother’s hit, I believe
Will and I went bowling. This became a ritual
between Will, my buddy Brad and myself. We would
watch the movie and listen to the soundtrack in the
car on our way to Wonderbowl or Holiday Lanes.
We were huge fans of the film. We would have
these irrelevant conversations with all the quotes
from movie. It didn’t make any sense to an outsider,
but to us we knew exactly what was going on. In
between rolls we would say “I’m throwing rocks
tonight,” or do the infamous Jesus dance.

Skip forward a few years; Manchester, Tenn., site of
Bonnaroo Music Festival.

This is where I found out that The Big Lebowski
was a cult film. People that I worked with knew the
movie as well, or if not better, than I. We even had
the irrelevant conversations in between picking up
the trash and recycling (Side note: I worked for
Clean Vibes, picking up all the trash and recycling
the attendees left behind).

Working for the same company at the last Phish
show in Coventry, Vt., I found out that there is even a
Lebowski Festival! I was shocked and overjoyed. I
couldn’t wait to go home (the show was so-so) and
learn more about the festival itself. After doing the
researching, I come to find out that it is similar to a
Star Trek convention but much cooler; followers of
The Big Lebowski have less of a demeaning name
than “Trekkie,” calling themselves “Achievers!” And
that is not all; they have celebrities, music and, of
course, bowling.

With all that being said, it is the day before my friend
Will and I make the trek to New York City, to
experience first hand the power of the Lebowski!

Advisory: The following ramblings are not edited,
as I wanted to show the reader the real deal of the
festival. I am showing you the true life behind an
“Achiever” at the Lebowski Fest, so if you are willing
to take the risk, continue reading; if not, I do not
know what to say, ‘cause I had a blast!

I am putting it now to word processor truthfully and
exactly how it happened to the best of my
knowledge (it gets a little hazy in a few places).

10.21                                                             

2:15 p.m. Music — “Turn the Page”-Bob Seger

Our adventure beings!! Woo hoo! We are staying at
Will’s apartment in Manhattan. ETA- 4 hrs- 6:30 pm.
“Traffic can be a bitch.” — Will.
Bruce and Will in the car. The journey begins.
This guy gets an 'A' for 'Achiever.
The Day 2 lineup
The best Dude and Walter in the joint, complete with ringer
packed with undies.
Continued  1  2
Now me playing reporter with Will:

Q) What do you expect to see at the festival?

A) “Hippies, definitely hippies. White Russians, people with long, frizzy hair. I don’t expect a lot of girls though
(laughter).”

Q) What do you hope/want to do?

A) “I want to drink a white Russian and bowl a perfect game; and smoke in the bowling alley. Fuck it!”

3:32 p.m. “49 Funk” — James Gang

“I feel like a lemming!!”

“Do you think we will arrive by 6:30?”

“If I have anything to say about it, I will!!”

Here we spotted a nice “headway car” that let us go through the state of Conn. quite smoothly. I got a little
paranoid, but what else is new.

5:09 pm. Arrival to New York. ETA= “hopefully 6-6:30 pm.”

6:10 pm. We just arrived at Will’s apartment in Manhattan. Sirens blaring, Seinfeld on the tube. Time to
celebrate!!!

8:07 p.m. Sounds of the TV and NYC nightlife.

One hour to go! I can just imagine (what) it is going to be like. I had really good Chinese food. Not the same as
Ying (Dynasty) (Local Chinese food hotspot for me in Dartmouth, Mass.)

9ish. We are in the Knitting Factory. (My writing is chicken scratch so bear with me)
We are in!! Watching Hair Supply (metal tribute band to Air Supply). “This song is about being lost in love! It is
called “Lost in Love!!!” (metal rock n’ roll sounds)

Song lyric: “Making love with nothing at all”

During the highpoint of “Lost without you,” “rockers smooch!” They were rockin’ it!!

Show is over, we mosey on outside.

“People circling ranting and raving about Hair Supply”

Random quoting (from the movie), quite frightening.

Back inside.

“Bling Kong” is on stage —a band that has 3 sets of drummers, and a team of cheerleaders as vocalists.

“Cheerleader on the left is hot!!” — me

“Yah, out of the 4, I choose her, take a picture!” — Will

“God Damnit! The batteries ran out of power!” — a very disappointed me.

“Sexually energized music”

“Be Aggressive” “cheer” — sex song

“V-A-G-I-N-A. VAGINA!!!!” (cheer)

Playing CCR straight into “Backdoor Lover,” back to CCR!

I actually had the chance to practice my on site reporting again with one of the drummers from Bling Kong.

“Awesome job man. I really enjoyed your music.” “Thanks.”

BH) How did you come up with having 3 drummers and a cheerleading squad in your band?

BK) “We were drunk. Grateful Dead had two drummers so we thought we would have three.” (laughter on both
sides)

Bruce — “I liked the cheerleader on the left”

Drummer — “Hmm. Let me think of who that was.

Will — “She was the one that ripped off her skirt” (she had biker shorts on underneath, get your heads out of the
gutter).

Drummer — “Oh yah, she is pretty cute.”