Stoner Rock Royalty

Queens of the Stone Age finds tipped-out serenity in its private desert oasis

Queens of the Stone Age got that chance again when it toured with Hole after Courtney Love and company defected from the ill-fated Marilyn Manson bill. "I'm pretty sure Courtney gave out at least one guitar or two to some girl in the audience every night. It was pretty wild," he laughs. When the tour made a stop at the Mesa Amphitheater, the little girls in the audience screamed like Beatlemaniacs during Hole's set. It was something that didn't happen during the Queens' riff and spliff performance. "I don't know if we're much the young kiddie band," agrees Oliveri. "I wouldn't mind some screaming, though."

Oh well, there's always those adults. The band can leave the chaos of the road behind when it returns to its desert home, where no one over 30 even knows who they are. "It's kind of cool to come back after a tour to a slow-moving place like Palm Desert," says Oliveri. "If you're not playing music here, you're not doing much."

So let Palm Springs and the neighboring counties ignore the contributions of Queens of the Stone Age, and the trails it's blazed in the field of "stoner rock." Once every person three times Queens' ages dies off and wills all their orange and green golf jackets to thrift stores, maybe then the chamber of commerce will get around to erecting a plaque or something. After all, it took 30 years and a major motion picture before Lubbock, Texas, gave its most famous son, Buddy Holly, a bronze statue. A wooden cutout of Josh Homme in front of Blimpie's could take even longer.

Queens of the Stone Age is scheduled to perform Tuesday, August 10; with Ween, at Alice Cooper'stown. Showtime is 8 p.m.

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