Confessions of a Coke Dealer Part 1: Glastonbury

Not everyone goes to Glastonbury for the mud, music and drugs. Some just go for the drugs. And to make lots and lots of money. Just as long as they go easy on the 'personal'.
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Not everyone goes to Glastonbury for the mud, music and drugs. Some just go for the drugs. And to make lots and lots of money. Just as long as they go easy on the 'personal'.

This needs to be a big one for me and Spanish Pete as, for various reasons, money is not as plentiful as it should be; There is no shortage of hard cash, but our ‘financial department’ are regularly insisting there should be more of it heading their way, considering the amount of ‘product’ being moved.

Either our business ‘loans’ have been too plentiful and not collected on time, which is probably not true, or we’ve been taking far too many class A drugs that we should have been selling, which possibly is. Regardless, we need to expand operations if we are to continue ‘in post’ and earn more cash over the summer months so Glastonbury is to be the first stop on my ‘comeback’ tour. The flat Pete and I are renting in Notting Hill, costs nearly 300 quid a week, factor in taking taxis everywhere, holidays to Kos, giving away whatever amount of coke/pills often required to persuade a female to remove her knickers, plus the ‘undisclosed’ narcotic ‘slush fund’ and other assorted sundries that contribute to having a good time, all the time and our outgoings all added up to a tidy sum, getting messy costs money basically. Do we slow down on our own ‘personal’ intake?

That’s the ‘personal’ we tell each other about and not the personal that’s, well…. Personal! Of course not! Its fucking summer man, we are having the time of our and possibly your lives.

We decide that this year, the festival service we intend to provide will require, amongst other things, a marquee of our own that obviously will need manning for at least 72 hours non-stop for the duration of the weekend. If you are going to be at the centre of such things at Glastonbury, it’s no use pitching a two man tent in a hedge miles away from your ‘people’ and being in a coma for the duration is it? As for the ‘other things’ and how to best distribute them, that was very much my department.

Nine ounces of 95% pure Colombian cocaine, into which we cut an ounce of babies teething powder, creating an ounce of ‘free’ Charlie for ourselves and other ‘important’ people who might need bringing ‘onside’

Over the previous year’s I’d made some very useful connections on the site, not least ‘Keith the Bastard’, the man who controlled the main gate in the month prior to the festival and ‘Greg’, the bloke who distributed the backstage passes.  Essentially this meant we could get in undetected  and then get even further ‘in’ to avail ourselves to the great and the good in the backstage area, so now, it was just our basic camping equipment and our ‘set-list’ that needed sorting out.

We visit an army surplus store to try and buy a decent sized ‘marquee’  but end up leaving with a 15-man green tent, not quite what we’d been after but it looked pretty good when we’d eventually erected it against the hedge behind the pyramid stage. We then purchased the biggest portable stereo we could find and about a million batteries, a couple of rugs, some lanterns, and a small wood burner, as an afterthought, we also got a couple of sleeping bags….just in case.

I phoned Keith the bastard and after a bit of haggling secured the use of a four-berth caravan, to serve as an office/secure place to stash ‘things’ which would be parked a safe distance from the backstage area, up in the traveller’s field.

Most importantly, he agreed to meet us outside the festival in Pilton village and get us and our ‘equipment’ in, for a price of course.

We also rented four long-range walkie-talkies, two expensive mobile phones and after a few lines of coke later that evening, nearly managed to book a helicopter to take us off the site on the Sunday from the backstage compound, failing at the last minute to secure the necessary deposit money, seeing as we were actually a bit strapped for cash, ring-fenced as it was, for the rest of our weekends shopping list.

The finished list?

Nine ounces of 95% pure Colombian cocaine, into which we cut an ounce of babies teething powder, creating an ounce of ‘free’ Charlie for ourselves and other ‘important’ people who might need bringing ‘onside’ thus leaving 252 grams of coke to sell for the weekend, which felt about right.

500 very strong E’s (speckled doves if you must know)

200 hits of acid.

A kilo of weed.

9 ounces of Indian Hash.

2 ounces of base amphetamine.

3 bottles of Chivas Regal.

Four crates of Stella.

400 Marlboro Lights

20 packets of Rizzla.

Digital scales.

1000 little plastic bags.

Toilet paper, 10 rolls.

Chewing gum.

There was also some other ‘stuff’ neither of us admitted to having, which was.

Heroin.

Tin foil.

Bicarbonate of soda.

A large spoon.

A Blur CD.

As lists go, for a long weekend in the countryside, it looked adequate, maybe could have done with a few more pills, but hey! We’d survive.

On departure day our festival equipment was packed into a large blue hold-all, chucked into the back of a hire car and along with the ‘marquee’ then driven, very carefully from the flat in London to a pub a few miles from the festival site where we are met, as agreed, by Keith the Bastard who wanted payment there and then.

The people came, the sun shone, I wore a Leopard Skin top hat and looked stupid, but didn’t care as various pop-Stars, attendant crews and liggers mooched around backstage

“Keith, give me a little while to get a fuckin’ drink, then I’ve got to get this lot backstage and put this fucking tent thingy up, bastard thing weighs a ton mate, your ‘wages’ are packed away somewhere in the middle  anyway”

Keith the Bastard smiled his bastardly smile….

“Oh no problem I’ve got an on-site security jeep here, come on”

I didn’t get to have my pint; Keith was suddenly in a hurry.

We drive, lights flashing, pulses quickening, straight through what seems like the whole of Avon and Somerset’s finest, manning roadblock after roadblock, then numerous other festival security checks before getting onto the site driving right up behind the main stage where Keith deposits us in a corner of the field 150 yards from the main backstage bar.

Fuck jumping the fence!

We (Keith) had our ‘hospitality area’ erected in half an hour, finishing just as my mate Greg  appeared, he’d spotted us as we’d trundled past his caravan/office so the four of us went inside and sat down to chill for a while.

An hour later we are suitably attired with the requisite AAA passes to ensure our safe passage through whatever backstage areas we will need to travel and we are back in the Jeep driving across site to see the caravan, where we spend a few hours unpacking, drinking, sniffing, rolling and talking about the weather forecast, which according to Keith is looking good. Personally given the amount of drugs we had in our possession I wasn’t too bothered what the weather was going to do, it seemed unlikely that I’d notice.

It is Monday, there are still three days to go before the general public are allowed in, and six before The Manchester City Frisbee team are due to play, which is the only band I am contemplating going to see, I consider them my friends and also the only band that really matter at this particular point in time, partially because I actually believe they like me as a person, which I mistakenly think gives me some much needed self worth or at the very least makes me feel important as I attempt to cling to their supersonic coat-tails and partially because, just maybe they almost were. The truth of course is, as was often the case I would have ‘liked’ them either way, I have a habit of mistaking people ‘tolerating’ me as a sign of friendship.

They all seem to know where I am pretty quickly, just by word of mouth; gurning, spittle-flecked, word of mouth mainly

Pete and I congratulate ourselves repeatedly before both excusing ourselves to a bit of ‘personal space’ to ‘chill-out’ a little more, which involves Pete going for a wander to possibly try and locate some tinfoil from somewhere and me not having to because I brought some of my own which I’m not prepared to tell him about at this point in proceedings, after-all, ‘we’ don’t do gear anymore do we?

How do people know how and where to score the best drugs at a festival?

Dunno, never asked ‘em, never had to, I always took my own and they all seem to know where I am pretty quickly, just by word of mouth; gurning, spittle-flecked, word of mouth mainly.

After I had ‘sorted’ myself out, there were other people who also needed to be looked after in order to allow things to run with the minimum risk of interruption.

Always, always, always, sort out the head of backstage security, he will most probably be Scottish, not really into drugs, but aware that many of his work-force that weekend will be requiring something to keep their eyelids apart. You give him as much speed as he requires, when his workforce are pretty much all from Glasgow, that’s a lot of speed, this is a narcotic loss leader but you can now be sure you are unlikely to get nicked and your ‘punter’ will also feel safe when they are reclining in your hospitality area racking out lines, swallowing things or attempting to roll a joint while coming up on a…..

“Fuck me! This pill is strong”

If, as you are always quick to inform new punters, your product is as good as you say it is, they will come back, usually with friends who also want some and therefore hoping to get something ‘free’ for introducing them to you. That’s how it works, always has done always will.

It did.

The people came, the sun shone, I wore a Leopard Skin top hat and looked stupid, but didn’t care as various pop-Stars, attendant crews and liggers mooched around backstage.

We saw them, they saw us, our ‘hospitality area’ often had people waiting outside to get in, money and plastic baggies changed hands. People told us they loved us; we took their money and thanked them as they left with their little plastic bags….hundreds of little plastic bags, hundreds of idiotic, smiling, platitudes and drug-fuelled,

“Mate you’re the fucking best dealer at the best festival in the world”

Yeah I know.

Any sign of paranoia?

Not really, the Scottish security guards are doing their job just fine and we feel well looked after as we look after our punter well.

How much money is there?

280x£60 is nearly £17K and that just the coke, anyway who’s counting?

Thankfully not me, someone else, namely Fatty, Primal Screams ‘security’ fella, is looking after all that.

You can trust the ‘Scream team.

My friends from Manchester arrive and I make sure I am the first person they see as they fall out of their bus.

The singer saw me, left his ‘girlfriend’ to put up her tent alone and came back to mine, where I gave him his festival survival bag and packed a chillum full of skunk weed just for starters. Like a good rock star, he smoked it in one big hit, the next 20 minutes turned out to be the longest period of time I ever spent with him without hearing him speak.

The plastic bags were all gone, shortly after which, so were me and Pete, but not by helicopter, still you can’t have it all can you?

Pete calls me on the walkie-talkie and I shut up shop to get re-supplied back at the caravan, leaving my Rock’n’Roll star to wander about trying to find his head, the rest of his band and the stage he is shortly due to perform on!

Trip to HQ over I  wave my AAA pass to just about everyone within a 5o foot radius then get myself onto the side of the stage to wait and pay homage to my ‘friends’.

I watched from less than 20 feet away as they went through their set, smiled back at the singer as he walked off at the end and signalled for me to follow him, I didn’t want to follow him, I wanted to actually be him. This is a good an indication as to how incredible I thought his band was that day and how little I thought of myself on a regular basis if I didn’t have enough drugs in my system.

I gave him some drugs. He didn’t bother asking if I wanted any money, I didn’t bother asking for any.

Within minutes he was surrounded by people demanding a moment with a proper Rock’n’Roll star, offering praise and adulation, I was surrounded by people wanting drugs on credit until we were all back in London.

We both did what was expected of us.

Towards the end of Saturday afternoon, those seeking

“Something on tick ‘til we get back to London mate”

Start to outnumber those with cash in their hands to spend.

What to do?

I am a dealer.

These people are the customers.

We are all on way too much E.

So it’s a yes then.

We love each other anyway so it’s no big deal.

The Scottish security guards pass by to say hello, just as I am counting some money.

“Yah alright mate?”

“Yeah, cool mate, you ‘wanna line?”

“Nah, that stuff turns ya intae a cunt laddie”

“Oh, ok”

It occurs to me at some point on the Sunday afternoon that the backstage area of Glastonbury this particular year is probably the coolest place on earth.

Or maybe it’s the effects of all the money and drugs?

Hope fantasy, good drugs, bad drugs and the people who take them?  Whatever it was, it was fucking amazing, the sun shone all weekend too, until eventually, the plastic bags were all gone, shortly after which, so were me and Pete, but not by helicopter, still you can’t have it all can you?

To find out more follow The Cat in a Hat on Twitter @simonmasonsays

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