High Times With Guy Gerber on Coachella's Ferris Wheel
It's kind of amazing that Guy Gerber is still conscious right now. He's leaning up against his backstage trailer, minutes after a 90-minute set at the Yuma tent, sipping leisurely from a plastic glass of vodka. The DJ sports a fitted blue shirt, black skinny jeans and Beatle boots, and dark shades underscored by a gold henna lightening bolt above his cheek.
Nate Jackson Guy Gerber (center) with assistants Lauren Rolls (left) and Pao Lopez (right)
As he laughs and talks with friends and rail thin party girls, it's hard to believe that barely six hours ago, he was boarding a plane back to Indio for his second week at Coachella. The night before, he DJed for six hours straight at Marquee nightclub in New York, almost 3,000 miles away. The night before that, he was manning the decks all night at a club in San Francisco. It's a tiring schedule that sounds impervious to even the most potent party drugs. For what it's worth, the party the DJ left on the other side of the country sounded well worth the jet lag.
"I started playing and at 11:45 p.m., by 12:30 a.m. I was already drunk," Gerber says laughing. The DJ's thick, Israeli accent makes all his "Ts" sound like "Zs." "We had maybe 20 girls in the DJ booth and things got so sexual. Ze girls were all making out with each other. I've never seen something so crazy."
For plenty of Coachella goers, Gerber might be just another suave-looking, European DJ enticing enough to stumble upon during Day 2 of the fest. But the world traveling techno DJ from Tel Aviv has been a badass in the dance music world for well over a decade. He's also the founder go his own techno label, Supplement Facts. However, much of the the mainstream is just now learning his name thanks to his unlikely collaboration with Diddy on their ballyhooed forthcoming album, 11:11. But even with such a major co-sign and a golden career in his own right, he's not above leaving VIP land and actually partying at the festival, or having a journalist in his midst when he does. Joining us are his lovely assistants Pao Lopez and Lauren Rolls.
"To be able to come back a second weekend, not just play for a day and leave, it makes you feel like you are a part of Coachella," Gerber says was we walk out onto the field. It takes about 10 seconds for a fan with khaki shorts, blond hair and glasses to come greet him.
"Guy, hey man I just wanted to say a friend of mine turned me onto you and..." The dude barely gets the sentence out before he reaches out to shake Gerber's hand and accidentally knocks the DJ's vodka glass and spills it all over the Gerber's shirt collar."
"Nice move," Gerber says, grinning it off as he shakes the fan's hand and walks toward MGMT, performing at dusk on the Coachella Stage. At this point in his 24-hour party cycle, few things can really distract Gerber from a good time as he exchanges laughs and whispers with his assistants (who always seem to have at least three different inside jokes going at once). Lopez, a petite, dark-haired Colombian dressed in a fitted black two piece outfit, is a perfect playmate for Rolls, a thin, gregarious blond in a black halter top and breezy, multi-colored bell bottoms.
Gerber is quickly assembling a small tribe of people as he journeys deeper into the fest--Guy's manager, Jason Armon, his girlfriend and an array of festival pals are with him now. It makes the congo line weaving in and out of MGMT's set and into the VIP section a little tough to follow as Gerber talks about his relationship with Diddy since they started making their album. Meanwhile, his assistants are dancing and swirling around him to the playful synth lines of MGMT's "Kids" like it's the summer of 2007.