Huell Howser, the host from TV's California's Gold came
and filmed parts of the festival on Saturday.
From left to right, Huell Howser with event organiser Graham Doe and
cameraman Cameron Mitchell Tucker.
||Darryl Anderson greeting
Huell Howser from Californian Gold with a good Australian G'day. Graham Doe
the event organiser is on the right.
||I thought I’d bring an
Australian flag to the Didge Festival. I hung it up high with the American
||The Joshua Tree campground
and the amazing landscape of the high desert country in California. The
campground was empty when we first arrived to set up the festival.
||Some of the booths at the
||A Native American in The
Didgeridoo Store tent trying out some didgeridoos. Some of the Native
Americans would play the didgeridoo and the Native American flutes
together. It was the first time that I heard the Native American flute and
I liked its haunting sound very much. The two instruments sounded very good
||The guy on the right is
holding one of the Native American flutes.
||Ben Hicks and myself in his
Hicks Sticks Tent. He had bought some of my didgeridoos in Sydney.
||Some colourful tents at the
festival. That is one long didgeridoo in the picture! Wow!
||The ‘Illuminated Fools’.
This bunch travelled around America in their sixties-style bus. They had
some amazing puppets that were 12-14 feet tall. They also let me ride one
of their bikes, which was twice the height of a normal bike. These guys do
||Some of the Illuminated
Fools making and selling their masks.
||Stephen Kent, famous
didgeridoo player and instructor. He gave classes at the festival.
Stephen’s classes focus on ‘powerising’ your technique and playing complex
rhythms with confidence.
||Some people making didgeridoos
from local Yucca and Agave wood.
||Barry and Mark and Myself in the LA Outback tent.
||Barry and Mark from LA
Outback and myself inside the store at Laguna Beach. Take a look at all the
Australian gear in the background.
||Marko Johnson, didgeridoo
maker, player and teacher. He is testing out a didgeridoo on the left hand
side of the picture.
||On the left is Don
Lombardo. He will give you the best Thai Massage you have ever had. He is a
certified massage therapist.
||This is where I found one
of the former Ansett employees. Chris is now working for JAVAGOGO.
||Barnett from JAVAGOGO.
||Unmasked, Chris and
La Outback in
The didgeridoos and store
||Left to right, Eva and Eddy
Halat from Germany who make didgeridoos and knives. Barry Martin on the
Didgeridoo Store in Fullerton,
Grahme and Trish Doe,
the event organisers.
||Geoff and Pam Frost. Geoff
produces custom-made yucca and agave didgeridoos.
||John Villa, didgeridoo
||I had a dramatic
end to my trip, just a few hours before I was flying out of LA. I decided
to go and see Barry and Mark at LA OUTBACK in Laguna Beach. I was sitting
down eating lunch when all hell broke loose. Some had tried to rob the herb
shop in the background. There were about 20 - 30 shots fired, an officer
and a sales clerk were wounded and the robber ended up dead. I was one of
the first people at the scene with a camera.
This was the scene outside the herb shop just minutes
after the ordeal.
Didge Fest 2002 Trip Story by Darryl Anderson
On Tuesday 15th of October I left Australia to go to the
Joshua Tree Didgeridoo festival in the high desert country of California.
On my arrival in Los Angeles I met Graham and Trish Doe at LAX Airport. We
went to work straight away. We rented a RV and headed to The Didgeridoo
Store in Fullerton. We packed a lot of the gear into the RV and also loaded
Graham's van full of didgidoos for the festival. Grahme and Trish were the
event organisers and my help was going to be important over the next week
because he was running the festival for the weekend. We arrived at the
festival grounds at 12.00 midnight and by then I was completely exhausted
from travelling. I dropped my ‘swag’, a type of roll up bed that
Australians use for camping, out on the ground. Graham and Trish were quite
taken by this and insisted I sleep inside. “What about the scorpions and
rattle snakes and all the critters,” they asked. I replied, “I’m so tired,
I won’t feel a thing.” So off to sleep I went. A few hours later it was
daylight and the tent hire companies arrived to pitch all the tents and
marquees. We organised our booths that night and the next morning and on
Thursday people started arriving in droves. They included David Blonski,
Stephen Kent and Lewis Burns from Dubbo, Australia. Many other vendors like
my good customers from LA Outback In Laguna Beach and JAVAGOGO Coffee Bar
also came. On Friday, the festival started with live concerts and walking
hikes to the Joshua Tree National Park, which I missed because I was in the
booth most of the time for ‘The Didgeridoo Store’. I didn’t mind because I
was to be able to meet people from all over America. I met some Native
Americans that play both the didgeridoo and Native American flutes. It was
the first time I’d heard the Native American flute and I was very impressed
by its haunting sound. The didgeridoo and the Native American flute sounded
very good together. On Saturday, there was another great concert. The
weather in the desert was hot during the day and the nights were cool,
almost cold. On Sunday, the festival slowed a little and by Sunday night we
were all done for, so we headed for the INTEGRATRON. I must admit I went to
sleep downstairs and did enjoy the experience. Like all festivals and
shows, Monday morning comes around and most of the people are gone so the
grounds seem lonely and quiet. It was time to pack and head back to LA. On
our way back, we stopped at Palms Springs for a hot dip in the Desert Hot
Springs Spa Hotel. This was a wonderful and relaxing end to a busy week in
the Californian desert. We met up with some of the players and the
Illuminated Fools. What a blast they were! We arrived back in LA at around
midnight again. I drove the RV van from Yuuca Valley. This was also an
interesting adventure. Night driving a 26-foot left hand drive RV through
Los Angeles is not the easiest thing for an Australian to do. Tuesday came
around all too soon. We were up and unpacking and sorting all day until we
got to bed at 10pm. Wednesday was my last day in LA so I decided to hire a
car and go and see Barry and Mark at LA OUTBACK in Laguna Beach. I’d heard
that Laguna Beach was a really nice part of California. On my arrival ,my
first impressions were great. I met Barry and Mark and checked out their
store. The didgeridoos and the store looked great. We decided to have lunch
down the street. I’m not sure if we finished lunch before the shooting
started, but we heard two shots then all hell broke loose with about 20 to
30 more gun shots. I left my camera bag and money on the street when all
the shooting started and headed straight inside a building. Remembering my
bag I realised I had my camera so I headed up the street to get some photos
and see what had happened. After the shooting stooped I headed up the
street. Realising I was the first on the scene with a camera I started
taking close-up photos with my zoom lens. I got some gruesome shots,
including a couple of a dead robber. It seems that a young male was trying
to rob a Herb store, shooting the store clerk in the process. In the end,
an officer and the clerk were wounded and the robber was shot dead. It was
a shocking end to my trip.