Tila Tequila vs. The Gathering of the Juggalos: An Eyewitness Account
Tila Tequila, charming no one. Photo by Nate "Igor" Smith.
Tila Tequila's face turned bloody this past Friday at the Gathering of the Juggalos, and I was onstage behind her when it happened. Two rocks meant for her head missed their target and pelted my shins; no bruises, but I can attest that they weren't thrown lightly. The scene was ugly. Flanked by four security guards, Tequila refused to surrender, continued performing once objects started flying, and kept shouting, "I don't give a fuck!" Then, weirdly, in the midst of it all, she decided to pull off her top. As Tom Green whispered to my right, after he'd momentarily tempered the fusillade by unexpectedly running out onstage and dancing goofily, "That will make them stop throwing things." It didn't.
This was the first year the Gathering of the Juggalos, an annual Midwestern pilgrimage for Insane Clown Posse fans, had scheduled a Ladies' Night. Despite a loyal following of Juggalettes, "the most hated band in the world" (ICP's words) isn't exactly synonymous with feminism--the lyrics to "The Neden Game" should suffice--and ICP's label Psychopathic Records wanted, finally, to establish a female face. So they promoted the line-up, which Lil' Kim was supposed to headline, as the "Juggalettes' Revenge."
"We were just trying to bring in ladies who don't get a lot of love, so we thought we'd put together a night," explained Ladies' Night host Michelle Rapp, a/k/a Sugar Slam, the ponytailed icon of the Gathering's two viral informercials who went to high school with Tequila. We were side-stage waiting for a flight-delayed Tequila to arrive. "She has an album coming out, and we were like, 'Hell yeah.' And then when we called her to ask her, she was like, 'Hell yeah! I'm down with the Juggalos!'"
Juggalos were not down with Tila Tequila. It's worth noting that Insane Clown Posse fans routinely throw things at these annual Gatherings--many times at each other; many times at the humans onstage. And leading up to this, the Juggalos were so livid that a "mainstream" tabloid star was infiltrating their "underground" Shangri-La that a fever pitch of promises were made, via Twitter and Juggalo forums, to heckle her, to spray her with Faygo--the Juggalos' soft drink of choice--and to drench her in urine. Jazmine Voyce, a Juggalette from Washington State who'd traveled by Greyhound to get to the Gathering, told me an hour or so before this all went down, "Fuck Tila Tequila. Fuck MTV. She wasn't meant to be here. Tila Tequila has so many stupid-ass fucking shows. Stupid."
The whole thing became so precarious that on Friday, the two members of Insane Clown Posse had to address the situation at a previously scheduled public forum. "Everybody that comes--they know where they're going and they know who they're performing for," Violent J told tentful of at least 1000 Juggalos, mostly seated on bales of hay. "You wouldn't believe how many people refuse to come play the Gathering. And when we see somebody who actually agreed, and who was actually looking forward to it, get bombed onstage? That shit hurts, man, because we feel bad for them, you know. And we just want you to know, we're going to have equally as much love from us no matter what you decide to do, but we wish you wouldn't throw the shit, man. I'm keeping it real." The Juggalos applauded.
Shaggy 2 Dope, his other half, joked seperately, "I'll throw my dick at her"--y'know, on their behalf.
Dicks were actually thrown at Tila Tequila, but none belonged to Shaggy. There were several rubber dildos hurled at her--pretty sure the sex toys missed her, but it was hard to keep track at the time-- along with beer cans, Faygo containers, Stryofoam cups, liquor bottles, cigarettes, mustard, half a lemon, a pizza slice, a pearl bracelet, a pudding cup, an unopened can of ICP's self-branded energy drink Spazmatic, part of a watermelon allegedly soaked in feces and urine, a clothed baby doll, a mini Mag Lite, a bag of chicken tenderloin. When Tequila first came out, shooting Silly String at the angry mob, a sign reading CUNT was there to greet her. My photographer, who was shooting at the front of the stage, saw an egg hit her in the face. At one point, a Juggalo with a kerchief over his face climbed up and lunged at her; he was stopped. Then suddenly, Tila Tequila was topless, bleeding, and holding a cloth to her head. Security pulled her offstage and hustled her to a nearby trailer, where she says windows got smashed. I was standing there and I can admit that the scene had gotten pretty ugly.
The aftermath. Photo by Nate "Igor" Smith.
Later Tom Green, who'd been on Tequila's flight to the Gathering and done stand-up on another stage earlier, said: "A lot of people there did want to listen to Tila Tequila. But you got a 10 percent negative minority throwing things. And that gets things rolling."
So it did. Now Tequila's threatening lawsuits, promising to bankrupt "the organizer of the Juggalos," and eyewitnesses are being asked to sign sworn statements. Juggalette's Revenge? It was someone's revenge, alright.
all photos by Nate "Igor" Smith
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