Paul Janeway of St. Paul and The Broken Bones has a special place in The What Podcast lore. His interview with Brad and Barry was so good, they made two episodes out of it back in 2018. During the conversation, he told one of the funniest Bonnaroo stories ever about his early experience on The Farm -- back when he was attending as a volunteer and not a performer.
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It's The What Podcast High five, which means Barry up top, buddy.
High five, man.
So a quick little clip from a what podcast from the past.
I always like when our guys, our people tell the story of how they went to Bonnaroo before
they actually played Bonnaroo.
Those stories are always my favorite.
And this might be my favorite of those.
Yeah, I agree.
This was so funny.
And it was early on in our show, right?
I mean, it's first year.
And if you remember, and I know you do, we had so much fun with Paul Janoway from St.
Paul and the Broken Bones that we made two episodes.
Our first double.
It was our first double episode.
I just love hearing how much the artists that play Bonnaroo loved Bonnaroo before they ever
got on stage, right?
And the just joy that comes out of his voice when he's telling the story of walking around
being the, what was he, parking cars?
And he's walking around loving this festival and saying to himself, all I want to do is
play this festival one day.
And Andy actually, and he talks about it in this clip, he says, I can sing as well as
Yeah, that was huge.
Yeah, just, yeah.
You don't say, Paul.
Yeah, you don't say.
That's really cool to hear him talk about that.
It changed his life.
And honestly, this interview was one of those interviews that changed the course of the
podcast, really, because it gave us this, it buoyed us to talk to more artists and be
a little light and fun.
And boy, this story, I tell this story all the time.
I love this story so much.
It's one of my all time favorites.
Yeah, you're exactly right.
When it happened, I think we both said that was, I think you and I both, when we hung
up with him said, that's one of the best interviews I've ever done in my life.
Well, let's get to it.
What podcast high five Paul Jane away from St. Paul and the Broken Bones, telling a story
about his first ever Bonnaroo.
We also talked at Bonnaroo.
You told me a great story, which is one of the reasons we wanted to talk to you.
You actually worked Bonnaroo, right?
Didn't you volunteer?
I was, I had actually, the first time I went slept in my car.
I'd spent, I'd spent, I was working at a tanning bed.
I was the most untanned person on the planet.
You're like a freshly peeled apple.
I, you know, I think Radiohead was playing.
It was the first year Radiohead played.
And I was working at a tanning bed because I didn't have a car.
So I had to drive, I had to walk through.
It was the closest thing to go walk through.
And so I spent my whole month's paycheck on a Bonnaroo ticket to go see Radiohead.
And I was, and I slept in my car and it was, that was terrible.
So the year that Jay-Z and Stevie Wonder played.
God, that was my favorite year of Bonnaroo history.
I couldn't afford a ticket.
You know, the whole, the whole thing that they dangle is like, Hey, you can work security.
We'll pay you like minimum wage, but guess what?
You do a 12 hour shift and then you get 12 hours off.
And you're like, this sounds amazing.
This is an amazing deal.
It's not an amazing deal.
That 12 hours off is pretty good.
The 12, sure.
But, but when I got sun poisoned on Thursday on my legs, I was just like, this is awful.
So what is funny though, like, so the first night I was so tired, I was like, I can't
go see it.
But Stevie Wonder and Jay-Z were playing and I was like, I was like, all right, I'm going
I gotta go see that.
So I just do you wonder, he gets off, Jay-Z is about to go on.
I'm trying to get close and I feel something warm running down my back and I turn around
and there was a giant man who was on some sort of drugs, peeing on my back.
Oh my God.
I am not kidding.
I am not kidding.
And I turn around and I just, I was like, what's going on right now?
And by the, like, what has my life come to?
And then I turned back around and the guy's already like shot out.
And I was like, you know what?
I've got sun poison.
This is awful.
I'm going to watch Jay-Z with pee on my back.
And that's what I did.
The delicate touch of Paul Janeway when a man is peeing on him, he turns around and
he says, Hey, so what's going on here?
I was, he was a giant.
What was I going to do?
What was your post?
What did you actually have to do at Bonnaroo?
What was your job?
I was there.
There was like a VIP or the VIP, like I was at the door or at the gate or gate and it
And so there was two things I had to do, you know, check credentials and then also, um,
also make sure that hippies did not stay in the road because there was trucks going, you
know, 40 miles an hour back there.
And people just like, man, just chill out.
And I'm like, you're going to die.
That was right around the same year.
The guy got hit by the porta potty cleanup truck, wasn't it?
That's my point.
And so, and so what was so magical for me, I even get like kind of emotional thinking
about it because doing that and Bonnarooy being so close to Birmingham and me, you know what
Like spending all my money on a Bonnarooy ticket.
And then in 2014 getting to play it, it was honestly like, I, I, there are a few points
in my life or professionally in this that I vividly remember.
And that's one of them because it was just, it felt like a dream.
It felt like I can't, I remember being a patron and sitting and going, I think I sing better
than they do.
Then having a moment and then being on stage.
I just tried to soak it in all day.
Thank you so much, Barney Rue.
We are St. Paul and the Broken Bones from Birmingham, Alabama.
What podcast high five, Paul Janeway, St. Paul and the Broken Bones.
Next week, another high five from Paul Janeway.
This interview that you can go back and listen to the full thing is available on the whatpodcast.com.
But next week is a story that, you know, when they get big and they blow up and they don't
really know that it's their time and it's their moment, that's next week with Paul Janeway.
There's so much in this interview that we could have pulled, but we like these clips
And you can also hear it on the, the Consequence Network where we are, you can find all of
our podcasts, but just definitely go back and listen to this, both of these.
Like we said, it's two episodes and it's a lot of fun.
It is so much fun.
And he, I think that the great thing about Paul is that he feels as though a dude that
you could literally do this all day with.
He has got stories and he loves music so much.
He loves these artists so much.
We could, I mean, I just want to hang out with him.
You know, I just sort of like, wait, we have to go.
Yeah, don't hang out.
He's also that guy that every single person who sees the band for the first time says,
this guy sings the blues?
There is, there is something about St. Paul that the first show is always the one that
makes your head turn, right?
That comes out of that mouth.
He looks like that.
He looks like my accountant.
Or the guy who works for my account.
He's not even the accountant.
All right, so next week, another high five with Paul Janeway.
Until then, love you, Bye.