Disco Duck MV

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
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[t]ODD
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by [t]ODD » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:08 pm

I'm not trying to start rumors or anything, it just appeared that this particular MV had staff. I didn't confirm whether they were participants or hired help but they sure looked like they were on the clock. I found a photo somebody else posted on Flickr that illustrates what I saw:

Image
(credit to http://www.flickr.com/photos/twita/ from whom I stole this image)

I wasn't interested in boarding a sunrise MV party at the time anyway so I never inquired what the duck's ground crew was really up to. It was time for me to catch some sleep while the sun was still low enough in the sky. We speculated plenty of outlandish explanations for the uniformed duck crew and I'm sure some of these claims would make great fodder for the rumor mill.

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:01 pm

I don't get it... SO WHAT? Is there anything wrong with having a crew?
I can tell you from years of first hand experience, an official crew is a good thing to have. Why are people picking on this MV when I've yet to hear a legitimate complaint?

Sometimes MVs are full of expensive gear. Sometimes they need help navigating. Sometimes they need bouncers for drunk asshole ravers. Exactly what misconduct is anyone charging the Duck with?

By the way, I have zero affiliation with the goddamm Duck, I just see a rumor mill being cranked up and I can't find the substance in any of it.
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maladroit
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by maladroit » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:18 pm

If I had a spare $50k lying around, it would be fun to buy the Purple Palace and hire a few stern-looking bodyguards to ride it and not let anyone on. Just drive it around like an enormous golf cart.

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Jackass
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Jackass » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:18 pm

Wouldn't bouncers be covering the ramp instead of having a safety meeting off to the side? They look more like spotters to me.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Ano » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:21 pm

Quite frankly, I'd be horrified if a gigantic MV like this Disco Duck didn't have at least one or two sober-minded folks acting as doormen and general "stupidity security" to fend off high-out-of-mind ravers from climbing on fragile things or overloading the car. I saw this Duck multiple times this year, and it was always towed. It also always had a lot of folks on it, and I know more than a few folks from my camp got on and off of it without any VIP pandering or anything. So they are wearing safety vests... there's a problem with safety when operating a gigantic party barge with hardly any sober-minded folks on it?

Regarding the towing - who knows what happened? Imagine spending hours of work to build something that huge, it passes the DMV, and then on day two, the main vehicle breaks down... but there's a vehicle in camp, owned by camp, that can tow it. I imagine the DMV is a bit flexible about problems like this... I don't know first hand, but I feel like they wouldn't look at a solvable problem and go "NOPE! TOO BAD!" without good reason, especially considering the difficulty of getting it out there and the monetary costs involved with building what amounts to a one-week-per-year vehicle. I saw it getting towed by a construction-ish looking vehicle on a few days, with a few folks around it guiding it. The tow vehicle was visible, the party was going, and nobody seemed to be complaining. I also saw that the Dust City Diner had a tow vehicle, and I saw one of the large steamboat art cars getting towed as well.

Point is, mad respect to MV builders and operators. I have no fucking clue how you manage to do it. I feel like, if I owned a MV, I'd leave it in camp by Thursday due to all the high folks who can't seem to navigate. I'd be so terrified of a biker smashing into the side of my hours of work... I also heard rumblings on another BM forum of someone stealing an art car. Bad vibes!

I always have to wonder how many stories of "THIS ART CAR IS EXCLUSIVE!" comes from a group of ten folks trying to hop on a gigantic barge at one in the morning with a full party, being turned away, and morphing it into a "THIS CAR HAD VIP ACCESS ONLY AND I HAD TO PAY TO SIT ON IT AND THEY CALLED ME MEAN NAMES!"

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:26 pm

Jackass wrote: They look more like spotters to me.
WTF are you blind? They have reflective safety vests on! That's what bouncers wear, not spotters! This photo is clear evidence of wrongdoing!
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Savannah » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:33 pm

Official word from the main site: Ground guides (walkers) are required if the vehicle is large, has a limited field of vision or is dangerous to pedestrians. I'm guessing the Duck is 2 out of 3. And I'll bet people who are totally smashed are taking running jumps at that thing all night long.

It's a good idea to email the DMV or the owners if anything is unclear, or if anyone has factual information. The owners aren't here to answer questions or challenge rumors.
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maladroit
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by maladroit » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:35 pm

I was innocently walking past the Disco Duck, admiring the array of plasma discs, when suddenly the Duck offered me a bag of weed. Not someone on the Duck...the actual Duck vehicle itself leaned down and in a booming whisper asked if I wanted to smoke some "ganj" and pushed a three-gallon bag of green stuff at me, at the end of a creaking 15-foot metal wing. I immediately voided my bowels, sprinted back to camp, left Burning Man, and spent the last two three weeks afraid to leave my house. It's obvious that the Disco Duck was an undercover cop!
Last edited by maladroit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Savannah
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Savannah » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:35 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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[t]ODD
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by [t]ODD » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:21 am

Hmm, the spotter thing makes sense. I haven't seen other MVs with a clearly marked entourage surrounding it before and I wasn't even aware of the whole "ground guides" thing. My first impression when I saw the ground crew was that they were working a security detail for either the vehicle or it's passengers.

Flights of fancy can lead to many theories explaining why a golden duck with laser eyes might be surrounded by a well organized group of men in safety vests. I have plenty more that are way more far-fetched than pedestrian safety team.

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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by tamarakay » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:19 am

I think the original concern was the towing aspect more than the crew.
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Simon of the Playa » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:24 am

[t]ODD wrote:Hmm, the spotter thing makes sense. I haven't seen other MVs with a clearly marked entourage surrounding it before and I wasn't even aware of the whole "ground guides" thing. My first impression when I saw the ground crew was that they were working a security detail for either the vehicle or it's passengers.

Flights of fancy can lead to many theories explaining why a golden duck with laser eyes might be surrounded by a well organized group of men in safety vests. I have plenty more that are way more far-fetched than pedestrian safety team.

do you have a Fucking PROBLEM with Hired Goons?


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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by gaminwench » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:06 pm

TK gets it in one...

the duck was always towed this year, never ran under its own power.
I know many MV owners, the ones I've spoken with have assured me that NO WAY would a broken MV be allowed towing out to the deep playa for parties.
There are 'towed MV's', but the tow vehicle is visually part of the presentation, and a following geni (as in the photo above) would also be 'mutated' ...
Front Porch is a good example. (old tractor pulling Porch followed by geni in the "outhouse', all part of the art)

So I'm asking, here, cuz there are many MV owners on this board, for opinions.

The duck also left camp, full, every time (that we witnessed) ...
leading us to believe that it was 'private'.

I'm happy that at least one person got to 'tour' the stationary duck in deep playa;
my concern is that a PnP, private camp had unprecedented privileges regarding a non-functioning MV.


(there was definitely paid staff for the duck, 6 guys to operate the machinery to haul it out and keep it 'safe' ...this straight from the guys in the vests.)
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maladroit
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by maladroit » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:28 pm

Well, as far as I can see...there is no place for a driver on that thing (unless it always traveled in reverse). If it wasn't an art car, maybe it was classified as some other kind of art installation, and the tow vehicle got an art support pass from the Artery?

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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:33 pm

The first year El Pulpo was out the base vehicle broke down and the DMV permitted a completely un-mutated pickup truck to tow the thing around for the rest of the week.

Don't know if this was the case with the Duck or the original plan was to hire a crew of goons and heavy equipment and tow it around.

Since we're letting the rumors fly all willy nilly, I've heard that the DMV can be surprisingly flexible with its guidelines and rules. Cars get grandfathered in that don't meet new requirements because they've been around so long, or were around and then weren't and then resurrected, car owners have friends inside the DMV, give great BJ's or whatever.

"Hey, we're getting the Duck back together and its only feasible if we use the original base that was designed for the duck but it don't run and we won't be able to get it to run so we gotta tow it with rented equipment. Can we bring an epic piece of art back to BM and drag it around?"

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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Captain Goddammit » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:37 am

gaminwench wrote:TK gets it in one...

the duck was always towed this year, never ran under its own power.
I know many MV owners, the ones I've spoken with have assured me that NO WAY would a broken MV be allowed towing out to the deep playa for parties.
There are 'towed MV's', but the tow vehicle is visually part of the presentation, and a following geni (as in the photo above) would also be 'mutated' ...
Front Porch is a good example. (old tractor pulling Porch followed by geni in the "outhouse', all part of the art)

So I'm asking, here, cuz there are many MV owners on this board, for opinions.

The duck also left camp, full, every time (that we witnessed) ...
leading us to believe that it was 'private'.

I'm happy that at least one person got to 'tour' the stationary duck in deep playa;
my concern is that a PnP, private camp had unprecedented privileges regarding a non-functioning MV.


(there was definitely paid staff for the duck, 6 guys to operate the machinery to haul it out and keep it 'safe' ...this straight from the guys in the vests.)
Jesus fucking christ.

The Duck left camp full of passengers "leading us to believe that it was 'private'."
My MV left camp full of passengers many times. Please indicate exactly where the rule can be found requiring MVs to leave their camp empty and can only pick up passengers from the playa.

So the thing had a breakdown and the only way to take it out was to tow it... well I give that an "A" for effort to get the thing out there one way or another after spending all the money and doing all the work to get it to BRC.

What else was wrong? Did you not get to camp at First Camp with Larry? Did you not get to DJ a set on Robot Heart?
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Tanzremix » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:40 pm

maladroit wrote:Well, as far as I can see...there is no place for a driver on that thing (unless it always traveled in reverse). If it wasn't an art car, maybe it was classified as some other kind of art installation, and the tow vehicle got an art support pass from the Artery?
I have been told the driver sits in a cockpit surrounded by LED screens and no actual windshield. That's the only rumor about the duck I'm interested in.

My camp runs a converted 71 passenger, 45'+ long former school bus as an art car. We have a driver and a minimum of three spotters working at all times when it's on a sail, plus usually a bartender and camp members unofficially working. We're full the minute we leave camp because our neighbours usually figure the schedule out early in the week: when the generator starts and the lights go on we're going to leave in the next twenty or so minutes. That way when we fire everything up people from all over the neighborhood come and hop on to catch a ride into the city, come party with us, etc. When we're full we'll have the rear spotters close the bus.

We're not being exclusionary when it's closed, we're just too full to be sure everyone is safe, much less left with enough space to move. In the meantime we'll have people climbing all over our sound equipment, hanging over the edge, trying to climb the ladder to the DJ booth while the bus is moving, etc., I mean crazy stuff. We had a guy (who I had talked to a couple times already for being out of control) climb our center mast this year. I've never seen anything like it. Shit gets crazy out there, and it's easy to dislike something without practical experience but a lot of time the actual operation of an art car involves a tenuous relationship with all the randoms who don't care about the work put in (derp, was all this soldering hard?), the safety implications of a 30,000 pound vehicle or it's forty riders, and so on. That part can get really insane.

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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Jackass » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:12 pm

"Tanzremix We're full the minute we leave camp because our neighbours usually figure the schedule out early in the week: when the generator starts and the lights go on we're going to leave in the next twenty or so minutes. That way when we fire everything up people from all over the neighborhood come and hop on to catch a ride into the city, come party with us.

We're not being exclusionary when it's closed, we're just too full to be sure everyone is safe, much less left with enough space to move. In the meantime we'll have people climbing all over our sound equipment, hanging over the edge, trying to climb the ladder to the DJ booth while the bus is moving, etc., I mean crazy stuff. We had a guy (who I had talked to a couple times already for being out of control) climb our center mast this year. I've never seen anything like it. Shit gets crazy out there
Spot on. If it's not this kind of shit then it's the neighbor guy on all fours presenting all his bits and pieces, meanwhile trying to lick/suck on all the women's boots as they dance...shit does get weird! Actual occurrence.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Eric » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:25 pm

Tanzremix wrote:I have been told the driver sits in a cockpit surrounded by LED screens and no actual windshield. That's the only rumor about the duck I'm interested in.
Image #95, which I can't direct link to for some reason. You're welcome. :D
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Tanzremix » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:36 pm

Eric wrote:
Tanzremix wrote:I have been told the driver sits in a cockpit surrounded by LED screens and no actual windshield. That's the only rumor about the duck I'm interested in.
Image #95, which I can't direct link to for some reason. You're welcome. :D
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/weird/Bu ... 99081.html
Oh wow, that is just nutty. Very cool, thank you sir.

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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Captain Goddammit » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:38 pm

I'm glad to see there are others with a little sanity here! I've said before, I have no affiliation with the Duck, but I do know what it's like to work all year building something, spend way too much money, haul it all the way to BRC, then meet some who idiots think I'm not doing enough for them! This thread really pisses me off. The Duck did no one any harm. I think it's extremely cool.
Rant over.
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by gaminwench » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:42 pm

I've got nothing against the duck.
I didn't want anything from the duck.
I'm not a disgruntled customer.
I'm curious.

As stated before, the MV owners that I know, that witnessed the duck, all said that they would not be allowed to tow.
One said that the second year out his died the third day (Wednesday), and that despite having access to a tow vehicle, he was told by DMV that it had to park in his camp.
I started this thread to ask other MV owners' opinions and experiences.

Thank you, Captain and Tanzremix, for yours.

I talked to the crew. They were hired to resurrect and run the duck. The camp folks had nothing to do with it, other than paying them and riding on it.

( FYI: I have been involved with MV's every year. Build, decorate, pilot, first mate, docent, fluffer, doorman, spotter, younameit)
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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Fiver » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:42 am

El Pupo was towed in 2011 buy a luxury SUV after it broke down mid-week.
Fluffy the Scorpion broke down early in 2012 and sat unused for the event in large art car parking.
So it's up to the owner's and/or the DMV to decide if they get tow rights.
Spider Jelly (smaller sibling to the Jellyfish 12,000) broke down early in the week and only left camp again on burn night being towed by it's larger Jelly sibling.

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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by Fiver » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:34 am

Bleh, seeing grammar/spelling errors after you can no longer edit a post... book


"by" a SUV, not "buy".

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Re: Disco Duck MV

Post by kerb » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:38 pm

All I know is that I tried to board the Disco Duck one night and was told that it was a private party that night, but that I would be allowed on the next day (by one of the spotters/"bouncers" whatever).

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