Fans cook up fantasy concert lineups for possible Desert Trip sequel

Led Zeppelin, shown during a reunion performance in 2007 in London, is one of the most frequently named choices among fans asked who they would want to see if promoters mount a sequel to Desert Trip.
(Kevin Westenberg / Getty Images)

One of the watershed albums by the Who, one of the six iconic rock acts at the inaugural Desert Trip mega-concert in Indio, is “Who’s Next,” a theme The Times put as a question to concertgoers to find out who they’d like to see on stage if there is to be a sequel to the event.

Desert Trip organizers have not issued a formal yea or nay to a follow-up. It’s pure speculation whether they’ll mount another grand-scale event next fall, or in subsequent years, with just a handful of major pop music artists performing full sets rather than the onslaught of dozens or hundreds of acts performing in daylong marathons, the template followed by virtually all other music festivals.

“A Led Zeppelin reunion — oh, my God, that would be a whole festival on its own,” said Victoria Hyder, 24, who traveled from El Paso with her friend Leandra Sanchez, also 24. “I just got goosebumps even thinking about it.”

Sanchez had never seen any of this year’s six Desert Trip headliners, and Hyder had only seen one, Paul McCartney, once — with her Beatle-fan mother when she was 12.


“CCR,” Sanchez said, referring to Creedence Clearwater Revival. “And Tom Petty, that would be amazing.”

Added Hyder, “I’ve been obsessed with the Beatles my whole life, with pictures and posters up in my room. So I’m hoping this weekend Ringo [Starr] will show up — he’s a legend too.”

Suzanne Cho didn’t have to travel nearly as far as the Texas pair to take in the festival. The Palm Desert resident is a juvenile court judge in Indio who said she’d come back for another one if the promoter, Los Angeles’ Goldenvoice, could score Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Electric Light Orchestra.

She also mentioned Bette Midler to add a female presence to the all-male lineup.

That issue, and another, came up with other Desert Trip attendees as well.

“It’s a pretty pale lineup,” said Jeannie Toshima, while strolling with her husband, Ron, through an exhibit of rock photography that’s one of the ancillary aspects of Desert Trip.

“They should get somebody from Motown, like Stevie Wonder,” said the South Pasadena resident. Ron Toshima added, “The original Temptations, even though I know that’s impossible. Smokey Robinson would be great. The Chambers Brothers. And Aretha [Franklin].”


After mulling for several minutes, Ron Toshima enthusiastically added Buffalo Springfield to his wish list.

Elayne Beng-Wilion of the San Fernando Valley came to share Desert Trip with her daughter, Beth Wilion, who has lived in Seattle for eight years.

Both suggested Springsteen for a future event, and commented on the absence of women performers.

“There have been some great women — unfortunately some of them aren’t still around,” Beng-Wilion said. “Janis Joplin. And Linda Ronstadt would be great, but she doesn’t sing any more.”


Both also mentioned a Led Zeppelin reunion, and like most other fans noted their awareness of singer Robert Plant’s staunch opposition to further reunions. They also added Crosby, Stills Nash & Young to their lists.

Daniel and Irene Cameron trekked more than 5,000 miles from Redding, England, rescheduling a previously planned trip to California so they could catch Desert Trip’s four English acts, plus one Canadian and one American artist all on the same stage on the same weekend.

The Camerons had seen the British contingent individually over the years, but never Young or Dylan. Their fantasy Desert Trip sequel concert list skewed toward California acts, with requests for Jefferson Airplane/Starship, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Beach Boys creative leader Brian Wilson.

They also included Northern Ireland singer-songwriter Van Morrison, who coincidentally just played Thursday at the Hollywood Bowl, on the eve of Desert Trip’s second weekend, with another still-active ‘60s rock scene veteran, singer Tom Jones.


A trio of friends in their mid-20s — Gabi Stadler, 23, of Washington D.C.; Nahal Poormasjedian, 23, of Santa Monica; and Henry Yaniz, 24, of Miami — sounded utterly beside themselves at the prospect of the first Desert Trip lineup about to get underway on Friday.

“It really is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Yaniz said.

“We’ve been to Coachella, and everything about this is so much nicer,” said Stadler.

As to who it would take to spur them to cough up whatever it might cost to return for another version of Desert Trip, they mixed reality and fantasy in naming Led Zeppelin, Springsteen, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and the Doors.


But the real-world lineup for this year’s Desert Trip was plenty for all three.

Said Yaniz: “This is truly epic.”

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