By Wendy Fonarow
My best friend and I recently found ourselves boarding the Weezer Cruise. The red eye from L.A. took us to Miami, where we departed for a five-days-at-sea music carnival, featuring Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, the Antlers, Ozma, and, yes, Weezer.
Our shipmates included quirky 30-somethings, bros with cocktails, mermaid muses in bikinis, and pale scensters who never go outside without 70 sunscreen. I was one of the last group. The ship pushed off to Weezer playing the open-air Lido deck.
There were all the trappings of a cruise — appalling décor, endless food and cocktails in theme containers — but everything else was Weezer. Weezer tracksuits, light up sweaters, ping pong balls, and even mustaches that were comprised of the Weezer logo.
There was a Weezer television channel in the rooms and Weezer napkins with the drinks. Events included Rivers reading The Pinkerton Diaries — his book documenting the Pinkerton era — and a fan led Q&A, featuring questions like “show us your underwear.” Rivers' were blue.
In Cozumel, Brian Bell joined fans on an excursion to some Mayan ruins. Rivers went snorkeling. Dinosaur Jr. went parasailing. Bands showed up for activities like wine tasting with the Nervous Wrecklords, rock bingo with Free Energy or the flip cup tournament with the Knocks.
I hooked up with the Sebadoh posse; I had my breakfasts with Jason Loewenstein, woke Lou Barlow up by calling too early, and got Bob D'Amico to dance in the Casino, which is a rare thing. Sebadoh were judging the Cannonball contest and they initially suggested I go in as a ringer and do a terrible cannonball so they could give me perfect scores and everyone could boo.
The alcohol, music and bathing suits created a sexual vibe; a guy at the singles party said he was going insane from lust. I know Weezer fans have a non-sexual reputation, but believe me highjinks were ensuing. A couple got it on during the Dinosaur Jr. show, my friend spied an indelicate moment in the glass elevator, and there were guys camped out in the “secretion soup” Jacuzzi (as I called it). I went in, but only to a point; “no orifices” was my motto.
Bands played enough times that you could see every one of them at least twice, which I did with most. There were theme nights. My favorite was the '80s prom, complete with lacy, sequenced and taffeta dresses, pastel tuxedos and a girl dressed as Joan Cusack from Sixteen Candles. Rivers appeared in captain's regalia.
It was there that I was caught by the randy 21-year-old Australian who kissed god knows how many people in his four-day alcohol fueled love spree. I looked over to see Lou Barlow singing along to the Backstreet Boys. Hours later, I went to my room. I propped open the door so I could hear the ocean and wondered, “How did I get here?”