I have spent the last few days talking about pretty much nothing but Tila Tequila. It is a weird thing for me since I didn’t know a thing about her before Friday. I vaguely had some sense of who she was, but I had no idea she made music until I saw her on the Gathering of the Juggalos schedule. I still, days later, haven’t figured out why Juggalos hate her so much. Some girl told me it was because she is on MTv but so was Tom Green and the Juggalos loved him. Tom Green actually came out on stage during her set and no one threw anything at him. If you look at the picture of him below you will notice that the Faygo bottle flying in the air is actually going past him.
Now let me explain how I got these pictures. I had actually just left Tom Green. I was hanging out with him before his set at the Gathering. I was a big fan growing up and I love his web TV show, so it was great to meet him and I wanted to see his set. Plus Gallagher was hanging out so the level of surrealness was through the roof. I didn’t want to leave but I was afraid I would miss something exactly like what ended up happening.
I had heard all these rumors that people were going to attack her but I didn’t really believe it. I hadn’t seen any of the Juggalos throw more than a half full Faygo bottle at anyone. Everyone was so nice to us I couldn’t really see them throwing rocks and fireworks and shit and piss at her. Still, if they did and she got kicked off stage it would be something I needed photos of for the Village Voice story I was working on. I made my way over to the second stage and waited, and waited, and waited….
I didn’t think she was ever going to show up but I was having a pretty good time hanging out on the back of the stage. I was the only photographer there and I was talking to Sugar Slam who is the star of the Gathering of the Juggalos infomercial which was like talking to Tay Zonday or Chris Crocker or something. I also was flirting with this cute girl with one leg who is an internet sensation of her own. Maybe an hour after she was booked to go on security came by and kicked everyone off the back stage but with my VIP pass I managed to stay on stage.
I was towards the back when Tila Tequila finally showed up. As she played people immediately started throwing things at her. I had already been hit with a glass liquor bottle and I was in the back. She was getting hit by everything her security guards couldn’t knock down but she kept going. She was going full steam as the juggalos tried to take her down. She got hit in the head with a rotten egg and just kept on using it like styling gel. At this point all my shots were from the back so I decided to do something stupid. I walked out on stage.
I asked a security guard if I could come out on stage and he told me that I would be an idiot to try it but he wasn’t going stop me. So I set up camp on the front corner of the stage while she stayed to the back and started shooting. While I was on the stage I got hit with all sorts of shit, literally. I got covered in what was probably a mixture of beer, Faygo and urine. My back hurt for two days from stuff I will never know. I saw on the stage rocks and dildos and garbage and rotten everything. It was so gross and the rocks were so big. M-80s were going off and I am pretty sure people were intentionally trying to hit me with stuff. Still, I didn’t care. I was the only member of the media there and I wanted to get my shots of this epic show. (Click here if you want to see a video of the show so you can see where I was shooting from.)
Eventually my editor at the Voice showed up with Tom Green (read her account here) and Tom came out on stage to try to settle the crowd down. It did not work. After he left it became a battle field. A guy tried to charge the stage and security ran into the crowd to take away a huge barrel from an angry juggalo. It was chaos. For some reason she took her shirt off to try to persuade the juggalos that she was awesome. And she was awesome. She was killing it and taking so much fucking abuse. She needed to be playing in front of chicken wire or something. She is the GG Allin of reality TV or something. Seriously, I was so fucking turned on by how bad ass she was. I have never seen anyone take that much violence with out even blinking. And she never stopped playing.
I didn’t see what hit her in the eye, I heard it was a brick and I heard it was a fire cracker. Either way she was holding an afghan scarf to her face while she sang. She looked at me for a second and held it to her head and she played on. A few minutes later she was hit by something else and was leaking blood out of both sides of her face. When security saw that they basically carried her off stage, but she never relented and talked shit until the very end. It was so bad ass and I got the only shots.
The juggalos chased her into the trailer and started rocking it and breaking windows. We left with Tom Green and crew and I didn’t see what happened but she did eventually escape with her life. It was one of the more fucked up things I have witnessed but it was pretty amazing to be part of a national news story like that. I just want to say that as cool as the juggalos were to me, shit like this is pretty hard to forgive. Most of the people I talked to thought that bricks went to far, but I didn’t find many people who didn’t think she deserved some of it. That’s pretty hard for me to imagine.
Anyway, Tila Tequila is a fucking bad ass in my book. I would go see her any time and I will have her back any time anyone is talking shit. That girl is a bad ass fucking front woman and she has my respect forever. The juggalos are still mostly cool in my book but this was by far the low point of the trip.
But let’s get on to the pictures finally: Click here to see pictures of Tila Tequilla attacked by juggalos at the 2010 Gathering of the Juggalos. NSFW.
For complete 2010 Gathering Of The Juggalos coverage please check out the Driven By Boredom GOTJ archives.