Coachella can be brutal: Dry desert heat, sand storms, endurance tests. It's hard for folks to survive with their health intact. That is, unless you're in the Marine Corps.
Nate Jackson Collapsing at the campsite
Jimmy English and Tidas Friday (not their real names) repair tanks and other military vehicles. They recently returned from a rumbling military convoy in Kuwait, where they were shouldering 60 pounds plus of equipment. Neither are old enough to rent a car -- which makes them Coachella's prime demographic. For the past couple of years, they spend their leave roadtripping to Coachella. Is it about the music? Somewhat, though they didn't seem psyched to see any artist in particular this weekend. But man, can they party.
"This is like freezing weather compared to Kuwait," says English, 22, in a syrupy, North Carolina accent. When he walked up to meet us, his long thin legs holding his 6'1 frame were about as white as his Nike Shox. "Right now it's about 120 degrees there. In Afghanistan the hottest it got was 156 degrees. You walk outside and you're just cooking."
LP Hastings Jimmy English (left) and Tidas Friday
To his left is Tidas Friday -- a shirtless, fast-talking, wise-cracking 24-year-old sporting a six pack and bomber shades. He chimes in: "And we were in uniform. So the fact that we get to wear shorts today is fucking amazing, bro. Time to start sippin' on something!"
We bump into them while they're emerging from their campsite around 2 pm Friday, after a night of Jäger shots and beer pong tournaments. They're on their way to see Dam Funk, whose glammed out Prince-era synthesizers weaved across the lawn.
Nate Jackson Gotta stay sober long enough to remember a few performances
Wasting no time, we kick things off early with a trip to the beer garden near the Coachella stage, on a mission to get sauced in broad daylight. With a Jack and Coke, two shots of Jameson and couple beers couple beers down the hatch, things are getting off to a solid start. As the buzz takes hold, English and Friday take the time to sweet talk a few of the female servers. English's fake British accent is definitely impressing.
Adding fake accents on top of their military mystique is a tried and true gimmick that often results in phone numbers, they say, oh, and free drinks.
"We don't really hide the fact that we're Marines," says English. "But there's a lot of aspects of our experience and our job that are just depressing and we'd just rather not talk about. And it's fun to divert attention from that by using these fake back stories or whatever, it's comedy for us. And if the ladies buy it, then all the better." Stoked by the success with the suave U.K. accent , English breaks out his best James Bond impression a few times before the end of the day.
Below: Bootleg Mixed Drinks They Learned In The Military!