|Collapsing at the campsite|
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.
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.
|Jimmy English (left) and Tidas Friday|
“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.”
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!”
|Gotta stay sober long enough to remember a few performances|
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.
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!
|Jimmy English pours himself a Brain Hemorrhage|
After returning to their campsite — anchored by a few tents and a rented, silver Toyota Prius Friday — English schools me on the various bootleg mixology techniques they've mastered during their time in the military. Here are a few:
Jameson, Jägermeister, Blue Monster Energy Drink, Tropical Punch Kool-Aid and mashed blueberries
Drink with caution; from our experience, this shit is black out in a cup.
Two shots of peach schnapps, Bailey's Irish Cream and red grenadine
Grab half of a used water bottle, and pour the peach schnapps in first, then you pour the Bailey's in over the spoon — it floats on top as it curdles. Then you take the red grenadine, pour it in the spoon and drop it in the center of the cup. It drops a straight red line to the bottom “so it looks a brainstem,” English says. “It'll take you a few you nice and buzzed. I had five yesterday, you just gotta bomb 'em back.”
Jack, Coke, and Listerine
Because when you're drinking like a fish all day, it's important to maintain fresh breath for the ladies.
Below: Their Secret Booze Stash
The rest of their stash — hidden under the spare tire hatch in the back of the Prius, and piled with water and luggage, seems far more classy: Several bottles of red wine and a full mini keg of expensive Heffeweizen. Also, a stash of Bacardi 151, more Jägermeister, Jameson and cases of Bud Light.
|He may be drunk, but at least he won't get stranded|
As the weather starts to cool off, Friday's buzz is turning into a full on stupor. An afternoon of keg guzzling is taking its toll — so much so that he's resorted to writing his campsite address on his stomach. Just in case he needs assistance getting home. After all, can never be too careful, even if you are a Marine.