• March 9, 2012
    http://www.dead.net/features/blair-jackson/blair-s-golden-road-blog-i-d-love-turn-you
    Blair’s Golden Road Blog - “I’d Love to Turn You On…”

    No, not that way. That’s a topic for another time, for sure. But this week I want to talk about the challenges, perils and triumphs of trying to turn friends on to the Grateful Dead.

    In my own case, I had an older brother with hip musical tastes who brought home Aoxomoxoa some time in the summer of 1969. I gave it a few spins but wasn’t that impressed. I loved “St. Stephen” immediately and “China Cat” and “Mountains of the Moon” grew on me, but frankly the album didn’t compel me to listen to it much. Still, the word on the street in ’69 was: “You gotta see the Dead in concert, man!” When Live Dead came out that November, I was intrigued that it had so few songs spread over four sides. I was a huge fan of long guitar solos and assumed the paucity of songs meant there was probably a ton of jamming on it. And there was “St. Stephen” kicking off Side Two, so I plunked down my five bucks (double-album price) at the nearby E.J. Korvette’s store (where I bought most of my records) and took that baby home.

    It was love at first spin. I practically wore out the first three sides of Live Dead the first few months I had it (it took me a while to get into Side Four, with “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” and “Feedback”). I bought Anthem of the Sun shortly after that and was nuts about it, too. In March of ’70, I finally got to see the band at the newly refurbished Capitol Theatre in Port Chester — half an hour up the road from my suburban Westchester County, NY, hometown— and that was my first exposure to the warm and intoxicating unreleased songs from Workingman’s Dead. That night profoundly changed my life, and then Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty and my first Dead shows at the Fillmore East sealed the deal and set me on a course that has led me here, still championing the Dead, 42 years later.

    The Dead hooked me so hard I naturally wanted to share my passion with my good friends. In those days, my neighborhood pals and I spent countless hours in my basement listening to records; it’s what we did for fun. Unfortunately, none of my immediate crowd liked the Dead. I played them everything I could think of to try to convert them, but for some reason it just didn’t stick. No doubt I was obnoxiously passionate about it, a musical zealot trying to win followers to his cause. After a while I was effectively banned from playing Grateful Dead records in my own basement when my buddies were around! That was OK—there were loads of other groups we all loved, and I also had no problem spending hours alone listening to the records I loved best, my head between the two speakers on my cheap stereo setup, my trippy homemade light box flashing color patterns on the white sheet I put up on one wall.

    When I headed off to Northwestern U. in the fall of ’71, I found a few kindred spirits who were into San Francisco rock on my dorm floor in Elder Hall and we bonded immediately and enjoyed many spirited adventures together. But we also encountered considerable hostility from people who hated the Grateful Dead. We used to have little record wars, where I might be blasting Live Dead, “Skull & Roses” or Quicksilver’s Happy Trails, and my annoying (and annoyed) neighbors two doors down the hall would retaliate by cranking up Emerson Lake & Palmer, Jethro Tull or Yes. It was acid rock vs. prog rock in a fight to the deaf, and it drove the pre-med freshmen who wanted to study for their organic chemistry tests crazy.

    A couple of years later I moved to Berkeley to complete my undergraduate degree, and at last I felt like I’d found a place where I wouldn’t be ridiculed for liking the Dead. After all, the Bay Area was crawling with Dead Heads. But as I quickly learned, there are Dead haters everywhere, and by the late ’70s I’d heard all the anti-Dead arguments a million times—they can’t sing, their songs are weird, they’re boring (“What’s with the all that aimless noodling?) hippies are passé, yada yada. After a certain point I decided to stop proselytizing, figuring if this person or that was “meant” to get into the Dead, it would happen without my urging.

    Even so, I had a number of experiences—particularly in the ’80s—urging non-Dead Head acquaintances to check out shows at cool places like the Greek in Berkeley or Kaiser in Oakland. Unfortunately, if they were sitting with me, I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether they were having a good time or bored stiff (I’d think, “Why is she just sitting there?”) or baffled. It was better when I didn’t have to actually be with them. I could deal with their often odd opinions — favorite song was “C.C. Rider”; went on a bathroom run and completely missed the “Terrapin”; left after “space” because it was a work night — much better a day or two later over the phone. “Yeah, whatever. I agree — the Dead aren’t for everyone,” I’d say.

    “If this doesn’t get you into the Dead nothing will:
    I’ve made you a special tape of all 57 live versions
    of ‘Day Job’ played between 1982 and 1986!”

    Playing tapes for the uninitiated in a car (a captive environment!) was tricky because, well, a lot of the singing was bad, and there were clams and blown transitions and that “Uncle John’s Band” — a song they might know — didn’t sound nearly as good to them as the version they’d heard on Workingman’s Dead. And no one but a hardcore Head wants to hear an audience recording of a live show: “What’s wrong with the sound?” Even with a great-sounding tape it became a guessing game: They’ll probably like “Bertha” (everyone likes “Bertha”), but the “Black-Throated Wind” that comes next is kinda strange and that Pigpen “Good Lovin’” goes on for 17 minutes, and if you’re talking more than listening in the car, it’s a slog. Better to play something everyone can agree on — Graceland!

    Now we’re 17 years down the line from there even being a Grateful Dead in the world, but new people are still discovering them all the time. Hooray! How does that happen today? I find that I have no better idea these days of how to turn somebody on to the Dead than I did when I was a pushy teenage acolyte. Are Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty still a reliable gateway? For some, no doubt—so many of those songs are bona fide classics. Would a dynamite ’77 show flick the switch in someone? What if I made a mix-CD (or iPod playlist) of carefully selected tunes from different eras? Can I expect someone to listen to two or three CDs worth of material? (Probably not.) Is a flowing ’69 “Dark Star” more palatable to the non-fan than a dissonance-filled ’72 epic? Or should we wait to spring “Dark Star” on them later? It’s hard to go wrong with a zippy “Scarlet-Fire” or “China-Cat-Rider,” but can they make it through “Stella Blue”? Would taking someone to a Furthur or Phil & Friends or RatDog show provide a good entry point to the Dead universe? Is a consciousness-altering agent of some sort required?

    What’s been your experience? What do you do when you want to introduce someone to the Grateful Dead? What has worked and what didn’t.

    342971
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

9 years 7 months

No, not that way. That’s a topic for another time, for sure. But this week I want to talk about the challenges, perils and triumphs of trying to turn friends on to the Grateful Dead.

In my own case, I had an older brother with hip musical tastes who brought home Aoxomoxoa some time in the summer of 1969. I gave it a few spins but wasn’t that impressed. I loved “St. Stephen” immediately and “China Cat” and “Mountains of the Moon” grew on me, but frankly the album didn’t compel me to listen to it much. Still, the word on the street in ’69 was: “You gotta see the Dead in concert, man!” When Live Dead came out that November, I was intrigued that it had so few songs spread over four sides. I was a huge fan of long guitar solos and assumed the paucity of songs meant there was probably a ton of jamming on it. And there was “St. Stephen” kicking off Side Two, so I plunked down my five bucks (double-album price) at the nearby E.J. Korvette’s store (where I bought most of my records) and took that baby home.

It was love at first spin. I practically wore out the first three sides of Live Dead the first few months I had it (it took me a while to get into Side Four, with “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” and “Feedback”). I bought Anthem of the Sun shortly after that and was nuts about it, too. In March of ’70, I finally got to see the band at the newly refurbished Capitol Theatre in Port Chester — half an hour up the road from my suburban Westchester County, NY, hometown— and that was my first exposure to the warm and intoxicating unreleased songs from Workingman’s Dead. That night profoundly changed my life, and then Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty and my first Dead shows at the Fillmore East sealed the deal and set me on a course that has led me here, still championing the Dead, 42 years later.

The Dead hooked me so hard I naturally wanted to share my passion with my good friends. In those days, my neighborhood pals and I spent countless hours in my basement listening to records; it’s what we did for fun. Unfortunately, none of my immediate crowd liked the Dead. I played them everything I could think of to try to convert them, but for some reason it just didn’t stick. No doubt I was obnoxiously passionate about it, a musical zealot trying to win followers to his cause. After a while I was effectively banned from playing Grateful Dead records in my own basement when my buddies were around! That was OK—there were loads of other groups we all loved, and I also had no problem spending hours alone listening to the records I loved best, my head between the two speakers on my cheap stereo setup, my trippy homemade light box flashing color patterns on the white sheet I put up on one wall.

When I headed off to Northwestern U. in the fall of ’71, I found a few kindred spirits who were into San Francisco rock on my dorm floor in Elder Hall and we bonded immediately and enjoyed many spirited adventures together. But we also encountered considerable hostility from people who hated the Grateful Dead. We used to have little record wars, where I might be blasting Live Dead, “Skull & Roses” or Quicksilver’s Happy Trails, and my annoying (and annoyed) neighbors two doors down the hall would retaliate by cranking up Emerson Lake & Palmer, Jethro Tull or Yes. It was acid rock vs. prog rock in a fight to the deaf, and it drove the pre-med freshmen who wanted to study for their organic chemistry tests crazy.

A couple of years later I moved to Berkeley to complete my undergraduate degree, and at last I felt like I’d found a place where I wouldn’t be ridiculed for liking the Dead. After all, the Bay Area was crawling with Dead Heads. But as I quickly learned, there are Dead haters everywhere, and by the late ’70s I’d heard all the anti-Dead arguments a million times—they can’t sing, their songs are weird, they’re boring (“What’s with the all that aimless noodling?) hippies are passé, yada yada. After a certain point I decided to stop proselytizing, figuring if this person or that was “meant” to get into the Dead, it would happen without my urging.

Even so, I had a number of experiences—particularly in the ’80s—urging non-Dead Head acquaintances to check out shows at cool places like the Greek in Berkeley or Kaiser in Oakland. Unfortunately, if they were sitting with me, I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether they were having a good time or bored stiff (I’d think, “Why is she just sitting there?”) or baffled. It was better when I didn’t have to actually be with them. I could deal with their often odd opinions — favorite song was “C.C. Rider”; went on a bathroom run and completely missed the “Terrapin”; left after “space” because it was a work night — much better a day or two later over the phone. “Yeah, whatever. I agree — the Dead aren’t for everyone,” I’d say.

“If this doesn’t get you into the Dead nothing will:
I’ve made you a special tape of all 57 live versions
of ‘Day Job’ played between 1982 and 1986!”

Playing tapes for the uninitiated in a car (a captive environment!) was tricky because, well, a lot of the singing was bad, and there were clams and blown transitions and that “Uncle John’s Band” — a song they might know — didn’t sound nearly as good to them as the version they’d heard on Workingman’s Dead. And no one but a hardcore Head wants to hear an audience recording of a live show: “What’s wrong with the sound?” Even with a great-sounding tape it became a guessing game: They’ll probably like “Bertha” (everyone likes “Bertha”), but the “Black-Throated Wind” that comes next is kinda strange and that Pigpen “Good Lovin’” goes on for 17 minutes, and if you’re talking more than listening in the car, it’s a slog. Better to play something everyone can agree on — Graceland!

Now we’re 17 years down the line from there even being a Grateful Dead in the world, but new people are still discovering them all the time. Hooray! How does that happen today? I find that I have no better idea these days of how to turn somebody on to the Dead than I did when I was a pushy teenage acolyte. Are Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty still a reliable gateway? For some, no doubt—so many of those songs are bona fide classics. Would a dynamite ’77 show flick the switch in someone? What if I made a mix-CD (or iPod playlist) of carefully selected tunes from different eras? Can I expect someone to listen to two or three CDs worth of material? (Probably not.) Is a flowing ’69 “Dark Star” more palatable to the non-fan than a dissonance-filled ’72 epic? Or should we wait to spring “Dark Star” on them later? It’s hard to go wrong with a zippy “Scarlet-Fire” or “China-Cat-Rider,” but can they make it through “Stella Blue”? Would taking someone to a Furthur or Phil & Friends or RatDog show provide a good entry point to the Dead universe? Is a consciousness-altering agent of some sort required?

What’s been your experience? What do you do when you want to introduce someone to the Grateful Dead? What has worked and what didn’t.

Display on homepage featured list
Off
Custom Teaser

No, not that way. That’s a topic for another time, for sure. But this week I want to talk about the challenges, perils and triumphs of trying to turn friends on to the Grateful Dead.

dead comment

user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 2 months
Permalink

My all-time favorite experience of turning someone onto the Grateful Dead was back between '84 and '87. My grandmother was curious about what this thing was that I had been spending an inordinate amount of time listening to, following around, etc. I decided to put on the Europe '72 China Cat. After the first few notes my grandmother started tapping her hand along and said, "This is pretty good." I'm sure I could have gotten her to a concert if she hadn't had such weak lungs, but I did get both my parents to go. Mom started attending shows once in a while without me after I left home in'88 and she even came with me to the Coney Island Furthur show last year...
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

Really great stuff.I am going to think about this and will weigh in with a story. But Brother Hamal has me grinning from ear to ear with his. Thanks for that. ;o}
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 2 months
Permalink

Thank you, my man. Looking forward to anything you share!
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

10 years 7 months
Permalink

A hot cup of tea to go with it is rather nice sometimes.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

In 1982 my brother, a couple of friends and I went to the Veneta, Oregon show. It was the ten year anniversary of the famous 1972 show in the same place. We went in my mother's motor home. And we took my mother. I was 29, she was 57 (yes, do the math :-). It was a fine hippy scene: no cops, cool people, neat food, good weather, etc. There was a particular chemistry about the place (warned Mom not to drink any Kool-Aide). She cruised around quite a bit on her own. Later she told me she liked the music, especially the doodling type stuff around the drums. She was also very impressed by what she saw at the first aid station. She said there was somebody who was hysterical (she asked me if it was the Kool-Aid). She said the doctors and nurses were wonderful, so understanding. She said all the people were so nice to her. It was very cool. Seems to me that the best description I ever saw of what Grateful Dead music is all about was a quote from Phil who called it "Dance Music". My mother figured it out for a bit! Thanks to all who were there that day for helping out with one of the best memories I have of my mom. Keep dancing!
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

7 years 8 months
Permalink

Turning anyone on to The Dead was diificult. Were I to start now, I would try a few youtube clips, rather than something on CD. Why? Youtube is the way stuff gets passed on nowadays, and for all it's potential for pick and mix and reduced attention span it works. We have just had a month of Dead covers as proof of that, and the clips of The Dead live on youtube represent them where the band feel most comfortable, before a live audience, the interaction will be a big decider for any new fan. Also people mostly watch youtube alone, so none of that being in the presence of the newbee waiting nervously for signs that your invitee has 'got it'. I was turned on to the Dead by television, the Rockpalaste gigs in Essen in 1981, as broadcast by the BBC, and given the many different phases than band went through that period of fifteen mins Sugarees and plenty of other songs given extended arrangements seems to be their most fruitful, post Pigpen. I liked the sound design of that era. My buddy did like the Rockpalaste Sugaree, and a few others, but not many. He is a fan of classical chamber music, Brahms and Franck, Schubert, and so liked the Europe '72 'Morning Dew' and 'I Know You Rider' for the passion and control in the performances, The rest was always more my passion and lack of control, than his choice. I had a hard time rekindling that passion after the band stopped. In fact I valued the break, because post Brent my connection with the band waned anyway, the sound design changed and the musical growth the band made with Brent stopped. One choice that Deadheads have introducing others to the band from CD that makes it difficult is 'Which era do they start with? I did turn one friend on to The Dead by writing a syopsis of the band and how they never stood still, either the sound design changed, the songs changed, or the band members changed, but there was always something new to add to the stew.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

I was turned onto The Grateful Dead by a free spirit family that lived down the street from me. They had a son who was into Little Feat and The Grateful Dead, and he would play their records all the time in the family room, as that was where the stereo was. It was the cover of The Ice Cream Kid and the music of Europe '72 that did it for me. I would tape all of the albums, this was 1979, and we listen to them on out cassette players. I wasn't aware of The Grateful Dead culture or bootlegs, but then I saw a snipet of "The Grateful Dead Movie" on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, the cartoon section into U.S. Blues, I saw the crowd, the dancing, and the fun. I was naive to substances then. Now I was really hooked and I wanted to see this for real. I have a friend Brian that was really into The Who, not that this was a bad thing, but I thought that if anyone might like The Grateful Dead, it would be Brian. So I did the car thing, we were on our way to a football game and I chose Skull and Roses because of it's peppier songs, Bertha, Big Rail Road Blues, Playing In The Band. I stayed away from The Other One. I could see that Brian was liking the sounds and from then on it was Providence in the spring for his first show. I still see Brian and like all Deadheads we remember back to the road trip to Saratoga, Brian wearing a Steal Your Face cape in Worcester, or just listening to American Beauty on a Cape Cod Beach. It is nice to turn someone on to the Grateful Dead, it is also nice to share the memories...
user picture

Member for

6 years 8 months
Permalink

Like Buddhists, true Deadheads don't proselytize. It's an acquired taste. You're either on the bus or not. It's bad enough i have to subject my wife to this several hours a week.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

9 years 11 months
Permalink

Blair, I grew up just north of you in Fairfield County, Ct. Darien was a divided town. You either liked the Dead or hated them. I think alot of the problem with people who didn't like the dead, was the notion that it was a bunch of acid soaked hippies running around the country collecting souls. I don't think I have ever met someone who didn't like music. The Grateful Dead has/had the ability to play various types or styles of music. You had to find the right style for the person. For the people, who like both types of music, like my mom, there was Country and Western music. American Beauty and Workingman's Dead where perfect. She still loves "Ripple". Dark Star was not for her. Heck, I don't like every song they played either. Day Job, El Paso, Samba and Easy Answers come to mind. Sure, not everything they did play was great. Neither was Coca-Cola for creating "New Coke". The tapes...as you mention, could sound really clean or it could be an MSG show, recorded across the street at the Penta Hotel with Mics facing towards Long Island. Part of the problem for me lay in the fact that its was 24/7 GD. A roommate of mine in college asked if I listened to anything else... Heck ya. There is the Jerry Garcia Band. Yes, I do like and listen to other music often. However, nothing has fed my head like the Grateful Dead. For the people who didn't like the dead. I always loved to share about the Dead's beneovlent side. The various benefits they did, the Rex Foundation, SEVA and the Lithuanian Olympic Basketball Team or the Rainforest and Hawaiian reefs. What the heck has your corporation done to help, would be my follow up. Then simply, You know what, your disdain just makes one less person in front of me to get tickets. Like an apple, I'm Dead to the core. The rest you can ignore. His job was to shed light not to master Maybe a blind man could see if they where involved with SEVA. Jay Doublu
user picture

Member for

8 years 9 months
Permalink

The first day of a new job found me on a sales route in northwest New Jersey selling meat and fish to housewives out of a truck. After arriving at the warehouse I was told to team up with this guy and see how it is done. He tossed me the keys and said that he was going to take a nap and that I should wake him when we arrive in his sales area. About halfway to our destination word came over the radio that Jerry Garcia was found dead. It was a pretty busy section of highway that we were on at the time and that news hit like a mack truck. I am in absolute shock and the guy wakes up and hears the news for himself and says the typical stuff that any non fan of the dead would be expected to say, no good hippie, burnout, can't stand them etc. Then they started playing dead tunes one after another. Needless to say they played every song imaginable. After each song was over this guy would say "Hey that was a pretty good song". Soon we arrived in his sales area in the mountains of New Jersey and proceeded to call on his customers and fill their orders. I was able to see an incredible cross-section of society that day. No one really had anything bad to say about Jerry and that was nice. As for the guy who I had to spend the day with, he was apologetic and embarassed about the fact that he never realized how much he liked the Grateful Dead. Didn't feel the need to return to that job. What a Day.
user picture

Member for

6 years 11 months
Permalink

I was Freshly graduated from high school and found myself moving from Ohio to New Hampshire. I got a job in the kitchen at Waterville Valley and there was a strange occurrence that happened every time the Grateful Dead came around. All I heard about was mail order and tour. Our chef would put off a days off list titled "Tour Requests" and all this got me curious. All I heard in that kitchen coming from the radio all day long was Grateful Dead. I believe it was education by osmosis because after a few months I started recognizing different songs. I remember commenting about "How can you listen to this. It sounds like it was recorded in a tin can and there is way to much hiss." They would always come back with... you don't get it because you've never seen them. After hearing that comment way to many times I made it my mission to go see them. My first show Saratoga Springs in the sumer of 84. I made the mistake of taking too many mushrooms so the first part of the show is a bit of a blur. But I now knew that I had experience something I had been looking for for a real long time. My second & third show was the Fall of 84 in Augusta, Maine and during this period there was some exceptionally great liquid products amongst our group of heads. Finally seeing them indoors and being able to watch and feel in a more personal level plus meeting some of the coolest people in the world was a slam dunk for me. Not to mention that those Augusta Maine show still rank as the top 5 shows I ever saw.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

9 years 11 months
Permalink

If you have not seen this you tube comic, check it out. Google, I married a deadhead
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

8 years 7 months
Permalink

Perhaps Johnny B Goode and 'modern' versions of Good Lovin are two of the Grateful Dead performances with the broadest appeal. If those don't work, the old reliable is to strap people down and perform a sonic Clockwork Orange type of experiment. Battle to the deaf indeed.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 1 month
Permalink

I was busy trying to turn on a housemate to the Dead, and convinced him to come with me to Redrocks. We were flying from Chicago, and I boasted that there will be Heads on the plane. He did not believe that a random flight Chicago to Denver would have other Heads, nor did he believe that anyone other than me would be so crazy to travel so far for a show. The flight takes off, the fasten the seat belt sign goes off....and immediately two head appears from the seats ahead of us saying "Hash brownies?" My friend was awestruck....and soon also wasted! Now that I an involved with lots of folks with varied "advanced" musical tastes I need to pick what Dead to play for them carefully. THose coming from a punk aesthetic hate the dead cus they think all the music is "hippy-dippy". I play them hard jams with punk-like rhythms and driving drumming. Others coming from experimental music I play, well, exploratory jams with atonality, hints of serialism, musique-concrete, etc. The jazzers, well a tight eyes jam.... It actually reveals the many facets of the dead. For my family, well my kids as infants would only calm down to Uncle John's Band, and to this day it is in the car's regular rotation.
user picture

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

When I was turned on to the dead in summer of 1977 I had been going to any and all shows at msg or nassau coliseum. Seeing the dead was a band to add to the "saw live" collection. They slowly grew on me and I eventually yearned for nothing else,musically. I thought about the bands I used to see and thought their fan base would love the dead. I would try to get anybody to "see" and hear what I loved. After a while it was easier to hang with and find new friends that lived for what I lived for. As time went on I would hide the fact that I was a head. If and when it came out people would say "you're one of those who follows them around?" and I would love to say "No, sometimes I get there first". I also realized that if I didn't try to convert people to the dead experience it would be easier to get tickets so I gave up trying early on.
user picture

Member for

9 years 3 months
Permalink

...to no avail. So far my 7 year old son has been the most receptive. He loves the Truckin' from Winterland in 73. The buildup at the end blows our minds every time we listen to it. Unfortunately most people around here listen to what ever top 40 crap the radio dishes out. Gaga, Nickleback, Black Eyed Peas etc. It all makes me want to puke, but what can you do? It's not their fault I guess. On a different note, The Sheepdogs are a real boss band from Saskatoon. You should check them out. I can't seem to get enough lately.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 2 months
Permalink

I think that release (perhaps the best of all archival products) now works best to reel 'em in. Used to be Skull and Roses and Europe '72, and I think in general the 1970-72 releases are irresistable to curious and open-minded music lovers.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

6 years 9 months
Permalink

So, I feel a bit behind the times now, in wanting to build a mix of every St Stephen I can lay my hands on .... it'll have to include the segues, and the in betweens of course, plus anything else I fancy to just add the occasional pinch of variety or excellence. I was hoping it would also provide an interesting intro to the Dead for anyone wanting to listen too I guess it doesn't have to be St Stephen, but that was what took my fancy. I just love that song don't have a clue what it's about, or why it's soooo gooood Of course if anyone's already done it...I'll happily listen to yours
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

7 years 9 months
Permalink

I have been lucky to have turned some folks on...."look at that man dressed in green aiko aiko ...he's not a man he's a lovin machine"....no but seriously. I would have to say that mind expanding agents help for sure. Luckily i was able to turn my wife on post Jerry. She loves em and it would be weird to be married to someone who didn't understand the passion for the band. I took her to rosemont warren Dead tour 2009, where we mushed out. After the first song she looked at me and and was like...I totally get it. We were just dating at the time. Then two days later we were back in Denver, Pepsi Center show, a mellow show but a spine shivering china doll and then Whiskey in a jar, her being Irish it sure felt like their were greater powers at work. She has been on the bus ever since. We've turned several people on, one of her girlfriends from Boston has become obsessed, flying out for every red rock show and doing lots of reading. She just got married (mixed marriage for sure, classic Jock guy) but she thoroughly enjoys it, she has had fun experimenting as well with lots of different things which are fun however she and my wife (without me) went to the orphium a couple of years ago and experienced their first sober show which really lets you know, wow these guys really are awesome and it isn't just the concoctions making it so. With that i would say that the concoctions (whatever your flavor) really does help the first time. I mean these guys were exploring the depths of drugs while exploring the depths of music and sounds, they got it and really know how to bring it all home, everything just makes sense, it just works. We flew out to outside lands a couple of years ago and my buddy brought his longtime brazillian girl, we found some very clean stuff and the terrapin and morning dew were mind blowing, i can still see Jeff's keys showering down in a colorful musical pattern at this moment. With that a couple of years ago one of my friends just married this israili guy and he too couldn't stop shaking his bones. so Ive been lucky, especially with Furthur coming onto the scene. they are a good band and do homage to the Grateful Dead. I think live is a must, through tapes it is hard to do, you just need to interact and feel it to truly grasp it. We are flying out to the Wang for the friday show (I can't wait, the venue looks gorgeous, a most appropriate place to see the boys....and sunshine:) and The girl from the mixed marriage will be with us (7 months pregnant) she is super excited to dance and rub her belly and stuff that pregnant people do when getting a show. My wife will be with her and i will be with my brother in law who is an X marine. Yes ladies and gents I'm going to get em:) He likes to have a good time so we have that part done, he also plays some guitar and has a great ear for music (just like his sister) so that is done, and lastly a couple of years ago he and i were connecting since we were becoming family and he was like yeah i know some dead they have a few good tunes and I asked him what his favorite song was (expecting uncle johns, ripple, trucking or something of that nature) and he belts out "Wharf Rat". So i think we have a good shot at it; but, we may find some conscious expansion stuff, it just goes so well together especially for the newbians:) Thanks Blair always fun to read your stories, Josh
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

...if you never saw the Grateful Dead, or heard much over the years, Furthur could be a really good gateway. They play more rock 'n' roll, there's no formalized "drums and space" section (often tough sledding for "newbies") and the big harmonies are pretty spot-on and appealing. Their set lists continually deliver plenty of "A-List" material night after night.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 2 months
Permalink

That is such a nice story, Greg. Beautiful that your mom could appreciate the "niceness". By the time (and place) I took my mom to a show there was a little less of that, but still enough vestiges to appreciate. The show was 9/19/87 at MSG. Both my mom and dad came along, my dad having attended 3/2/85 at Nassau previously and a Garcia-Kahn show a year later. My dad was the obvious one to bring to a show since it was his taste in music that led me to the Dead. He raqised me with a lot of bluegrass, blues, country, folk, early rock, etc. so the Grateful Dead was a perfect combo of all of that and something my young ears could claim as MINE! My dad could appreciate the Dead musically, but the scene was not great for him. Back to the MSG show. My mother was always the more vocally uptight one about some of the, um, habits or sacraments that came along with my "adolescent rebellion" and the culture I was hanging around. During the first set, mom was standing up on a seat in the last row of the floor of MSG next to some tapers while I danced on the floor space behind those seats. I remained sober for the show out of respect for my parents. The tapers my mother was standing next to were smoking a rather large one, passing it back and forth between them. Then in an instant, an arm holding the joint pointed in the direction of my mom. The moment went in slow motion. I watched as mom's head turned in the direction of the offering and she reached towards it. HOLY HELL! WHAT'S THIS? She toked and then toked again. I could not believe it. I ran into a corner and hit my pipe a few times. During the set break my mom seemed very happy and we had a fun time goofing. The next day I gently confronted her, telling her what I saw. She said it wasn't very good, she didn't feel anything from it. Now what are the odds that someone is smoking some bad shit at a Dead show? A taper no less? "Bullshit!" I exclaimed, but then left it alone. Her experimentation took flight a few other times and in one other direction at other Dead shows she ended up attending without me after I left home the following year. I ended up seeing an Other Ones show with her at the Meadowlands in '98 on a trip home, and a Furthur show at Coney Island in '10. Dad never saw another show, but we still go see other music together whenever possible.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 2 months
Permalink

That was supposed to be 3/29/85 that my dad attended with me...missed a key
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 2 months
Permalink

Blair's writing is always a pleasure. Has been for more than a quarter century for me.
user picture

Member for

11 years 4 months
Permalink

You know this one made me really think.... first of the 83 tour where I saw two Day Jobs closing the first set in back to back nights in Hartford (saved only by the fact that the second night included a second set St. Stephen... and second that in nearly 35 years of listening to the dead non-stop I have converted almost no one... Yes I did get a few college buddies into it for a while but it was not genuine. Yes my son now 22 will listen to the dead very once in a while to remind him about the car rides to school that for 12 years featured a miriad of live dead shows... but really my brother converted me and that is all that really mattered. He brought home american beauty and terrapin station in 1978 and I said what the heck is that... a few months later for my birthday we went to see the show at the nassau coliseum on 1/10/79.. shakedown, dark star, st. stephen.... Fast forward 33 years and I can't think of my life without the grateful dead... Their music is the background track to my life and has kept me sane all these years. Thanks bro! Oh yeah... I'll keep on trying!
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

10 years 9 months
Permalink

I first got into the Dead in 1987(Yes, a Touch Head if you must label me) and saw my first show in 1988. My younger brother was actually into them first and I was not biting. As it turned out, I was the one who really got bit. I was in college at the time and was into the Dead while everyone else was listing to Van Halen, REM, U2, B52s and some classic rock like the Stones, Elton John, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Who, etc. However, no one liked the Dead and I was banned from playing them and ridiculed for even thinking they were "good". There was a rolling Stone review of them in print that was not flattering by any means that was often tossed in my face. I had a copy of 12-31-87 I played often which made everyone hate Terrapin(imagine that?) and I was often asked if that song had any chords to it(once again, imagine that). I was able to get a couple of friends to go see them in Buffalo in 89. One later admitted he was wrong about them. After college, I settled into a different group of friends and I was able to turn many of them. These people were much more open minded but I still had friends who were not interested. Today, I have given up on trying to turn people. Like you Blair, I figure if it is or was meant to be , it will or has already happened. I have gotten older and realize I don't need people to accept my music as it has nothing to do with me personally. My current group of choice is WSP and I have lots of friends in that community as well as the Phish community and some that like Hip Hop(though I don't get that music at all).
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 4 months
Permalink

The Dead were playing The Spectrum, April '85. As a Delawarian tuned into MMR's lead-in broadcast, I heard my first notes of "Feel Like A Stranger" before they turned away from the show and resumed with their usual classic rock fare. The next night was a special "Psychadelich Sunday Supper" for Easter Sunday. Hearing Ramble On Rose (from ????)... to this day, I can only guess when that version came from-- '77? '78? The deal was sealed when I heard Estimated> Eyes from "Englishtown, N.J." Later on my friend Steve Becker, also from Delaware, provided me with the tape: 9-3-77! I then ventured to Burt's Tape Factory and bought Bear's Choice on vinyl (Still have it and play it too). I couldn't figure out what was going on! Then I got Shakedown Street as a birthday gift from my brother. Disco Dead? YIKES!!! 27 Years later, I still listen to those shows that I heard as I got on the bus. And, I understand how they fit into the history of the Grateful Dead... I still find that Estimated> Eyes from Englishtown is the perfect way to introduce the new ears to what the Dead can do: improvisation, seguing, disco-funk, that "Eyes" groove, good Bob, Jer and Donna vocals, and hints of the band they were and the band they would continue to be. I also used May 2 '70 from Binghampton. An old muddy recording with a crazy Cold Rain and Snow (complete with Jerry tuning in the middle of it, plus the entire NRPS + Bobby Ace set)... That Morning Dew and Dancin' In The Streets.... Lastly, the Bird Song from Dead Ahead is awesome! "Sure don't know what I'm goin' for; but, I'm gonna go for it for sure." BtL
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

Yeah, I couldn't imagine my dad at anything Dead-like but he did take me to a show one time in Mexico City. It was 1968 and the performer was Louis Armstrong. I even got to meet the man in person after the show. Shook his hand! I was actually a bit too young to realize what a great one he was. I did like the show, though. My dad had seen him in LA in the 40s and he looked as tripped out as I do when I see the Mickey Hart band or something. It's cool.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

10 years 2 months
Permalink

One of the first turn ons to the Grateful Dead was hearing the Truckin' single on AM radio. I think that was late 1970 or early 1971 on a top 40 format AM station. Then there was WSAN 1470 AM, who had a "progressive" format at the time, they played the album version instead of the single version. I went out and bought the American Beauty LP to go along with the Truckin'/Ripple single. I was hooked. I lent out both my Truckin' single and the American Beauty LP to several friends and they in turn got hooked too.
user picture

Member for

11 years 4 months
Permalink

My dad always enjoyed music (I place my lifelong love of jazz at his feet because of Dave Brubeck's "Time Out" album my dad enjoyed... He also was a big Johnny Hodges fan so I like lyrical sax playing from the get-go) and ended up liking the Dead, I guess more through osmosis than anything else as he knew I liked them but I never really played them for him. He liked the country-tinged stuff vs. the acid jams. IIt was kinda funny the first time I ran into a Dead CD at my parent's house! I think any attempts I made to get people to like the Dead were based around seeing the band live. I remember telling my wife, sister and brother-in-law, none of them huge fans, that they had to come with me to Winterland when the band returned from Egypt and had the cool slide show behind them. And I would sometimes ask my wife to go to one of the cooler outdoor shows like Calavares. What has been fun for me was introducing my post-marriage younger girlfriend at the time to the music. This was after Jerry died and we went to see The Other Ones at Shoreline and the first Phil and Friends show at the Fillmore. She was from NYC and her experience with The Dead was basically stepping over people waiting outside MSG. To have her be able to experience the vibe was an unexpected treat and we became big Phil and Friends fans. I guess the bottom line for me is it takes a live show to really get it.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

Ahhhhhhhhh
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

Groove to the move
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

Just let it lie there. Old sacred stuff gets rediscovered & it becomes a fresh entity that way. The older we get, the more desperate measures we seek to "enlighten" others. But, it don't work that way. Let the remnants disipate to their own compost. Allow the flowers to spring forth, Blair. It won't be seen by us, but rest assured it wiil happen again. I tried many times before & after the passing of Jer & The Grateful Dead, but it doesn't really take. Just watch the horses smell & taste the water for themselves... Ahhhhhhhhh
user picture

Member for

7 years 3 months
Permalink

I never had much luck turning other folks on to the Dead. In 1982, I thought I must be the only Deadhead in the world until I met 2 friends(brothers) in high school who took to it right away. I was surprised to find they came to love all the same stuff I did- of course the classicsLive Dead, American Beauty, Workingmans Dead, but also Robert Hunter stuff- especially "Jack of Roses". Many beers downed in their basement with that one playing! Soon after that I gave up on turning others on- too frustrating. Surprisingly, I think I had a little success with my parents, and I think they were't just humoring me. Eh, take my father, who to this day is a Limbaugh-head, hippie hating conservative, and who had a "Goldwater '64" bumper sticker on his Toyota Land Cruiser until about 1993. He was always a huge country and bluegrass fan and I remember playing "Dark Hollow" from Reckogning on a road trip. He told me he knew the song well, but that that version was the very best he'd ever heard and he asked to hear it again. After the second time he said "damn thats some good picking!" He couldn't believe it was the "Grateful Dead"..I found he was a fan of "Old and In the Way" but didn't know much about their banjo player! I've since sent him a CD of every new Old and In the Way and Garcia Grisman release as soon as it came out .I'm not sure how much he listened to them- but I know he also already knew and loved Peter Rowan, Vassar Clements, and David Grisman, so hopefully he gave them a few spins. Memories of my late mother. One time I was listening to the Garcia/Saunders "MyFunny Valentine" in our backyard and she asked about it. She said it was the loveliest version she'd ever heard. Another time, also in our backyard, I was about to turn off my tape player during "Terrapin". My mother was gardening and stopped me- "hey I was enjoying that"!. And my favorite memory of all, her and I spent a perfect day driving and hiking through Yellowstone once: saw all the geysers, paint pots, Yellowstone grand canyon, meadows, buffalo, wildflowers. Exhausted, on the twilight drive back to our motel in Jackson hole I put on the first Garcia/Grisman CD. She remarked several times then, and for years afterwords, how perfect the music was to end the day. Her favorite was "Rocking Chair"!
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

I've found that first Garcia-Grisman CD is a pretty good fit with a lot of different types of non-Dead Head folks. Different take on a song everyone knows ("The Thrill Is Gone"), the infectious instrumental "Grateful Dawg," the mysterious "Arabia"... Lotsa good stuff on there! Also, though I'm usually not a fan of "Greatest Hits"-type albums, especially where the Dead is concerned (hated "Skeletons from the Closet" and didn't much care for "What a Long Strange Trip It's Been" back in the day), there was a two-CD set put out by Rhino in conjunction with Starbucks (!) a few years back, called "Eternally Grateful," that provides a pretty good overview of Dead tracks, heavy on the 70s classics. One disc is studio stuff, the other is live stuff from '71 and '72 (and one from '80). Anyway, I could see that being a good entry vehicle for some potential Heads... I also think that "Hundred Year Hall" is a pretty good condensation of the Dead at their early '70s peak. Great songs, nothing too weird for the easily weirded-out...
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

depends on the momentI'm trying to get someone into the Dead. I might pick a great tune like: Foolish Heart By Robert Hunter and Jerry Garica
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

8 years 7 months
Permalink

Maybe about 10 years ago, my Dad was curious about the Band. He bought the live release "Ladies and Gentlemen"- all I found out for sure is he thinks they play Bobby McGee really well. Once he asked for a Grateful Dead cd full of Beatles covers- encored that mix with a 78 Werewolves, oh yes! So he appreciates some of what they do- he's also a classic rock man, and a huge Beatles fan. More recently he asked for a cd of Jerry songs- He gave it 4 stars (out of 4). Had to be careful to stay away from big jams, and did my best to make it just exactly perfect- Bill Graham intro and all- Thank You Dick's Picks 33. How do you turn someone into a fan of a 30 minute Dark Star? Maybe it's genetic-that's to say it already exists within a person and it surfaces of it's own volition. That's about the best answer I can think of.
user picture

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

Phase 1: American Beauty Phase 2: Sugaree Phase 3: More Garcia Hunter classic mid tempo tunes Phase 4: Catchy tunes with bouncy jammy links between them. China>Rider; Scarlet>Fire Phase 5: Playing in the Band from '72 Phase 6: The Grateful Dead Movie or the Closing of Winterland Movie Phase 7: Live Dead Phase 8: The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test Phase 9: You're on your own (but I'm here if you need me) By the way Blair in the back of your Garcia Book (and on your website) you published a set of succinct reviews and ratings of all the GD's output up to that point. Have you ever thought of updating it as it is a very handy primer/basic listening guide for newbies? I have pointed a quite few people to that to help them choose what to listen to next.
user picture

Member for

11 years 4 months
Permalink

Hook 'em on the hooky short tunes, then slowly ease them closer to the edge, or pull them into the boat, wherever that metaphor is supposed to lead. I can't say that the approach has ever actually worked for me. I can say that the best I've ever done is get one of my hardline Dead-hating buddies to admit that he likes "Sugaree." The studio version, specifically and exclusively. But then again, I have been unsuccessful in converting any of my friends to any of the music that they hate but I love. Maybe "hate" is too hard to overcome. Or maybe it's me. Blame the messenger, not the message.
user picture

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

I like that Gratefaldean. You can take someone to the edge but they have to take the leap on their own. 'That path is for your steps alone' Then, when the music becomes the soundtrack to all sorts of new experiences it becomes hardwired into you. But you can't and shouldn't make that choice for others (imnsho). By the way Phase 10 involves a dark room, headphones, all sorts of strangeness and 'What's become of the baby'!
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

Sounds like a good plan for Mass Indoctrinations! As for the question about my mini-reviews... Eeek! It's been on my mind for YEARS to update it, and I carry a lot of guilt about it... Now I'd have so many to catch up on and I'm already spending an unhealthy amount of time writing about the Grateful Dead, I don't know when I'd get to it. I do have some "in-progress" files on my computer where I did a few new mini-reviews about seven or eight years ago, but they just sit there... Jeez, there are 17 Road Trips and all those boxes and Pure Jerry releases (remember those?)...
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

8 years 10 months
Permalink

NOT to try to turn people on to the GD. I distinctly remember playing the studio version of Terrapin for someone. This is 1982, when the sound of that recording was WOW. About a minute into it, she said, "Am I supposed to be impressed?" After that, if someone asked what they could listen to try to "get it", short of going to a show, I would recommend E72 or S&R. But even then, it was like, "why bother?" If you get it, you get it. The way I got it was by going to a show (7/18/82). I already liked Truckin' from the radio, and Shakedown Street from the radio...but it was that SHOW that did it.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

6 years 8 months
Permalink

In my own experience of coming to the Dead over the past 2 years or so it really came down to having Anthem of the Sun and certain substances in order for it to really click. I've always known and enjoyed the standards from the Dead that would make it on the radio but until I heard Anthem I just didn't get it, and I know that this is basically the same way that all of my friends became hooked on the Dead as well. It just depends on the people, out of my group of friends the only one who doesn't absolutely love the Dead is a guy who has a former Dead head as a parent; while he enjoys them he, in his own words "doesn't get them" which I think comes from his lack of participation in certain experiences which make up the underlining basis of the music. Not to say that it is required to enjoy the music, but I do think it can be a problem to understand the rabid enthusiasm that people have for the Dead without understanding the experience that it is listening to their music with the mindset that helped to create it, considering it is a very specific mindset. On the other hand I must say I love my Prog Rock just as much if not more than my Acid rock, as with my friends, its Rush->Dead->Yes (try Tales of Topographic Oceans with some "encouragement" and I think you might come around)->Country Joe, etc. etc. and so on and so forth when listening to records. Just to emphasize the similarities just look at the one everyone knows, Pink Floyd, starts with some classic Psychedelic records and then turns into the Progressive band everyone knows.
user picture

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

..what has happened to the Garcia releases..it was all going so well. As for the mini reviews..well no need to feel guilty...but if you did find the time.....
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

... that's been falling into place over in Garcia world (the Garcia Family LLC) over the past few months, and there are hopeful signs that some music might actually be forthcoming sometime in the months ahead. Don't hold your breath waiting, though. As for Yes, YoungDead, I have had many, many friends who liked that band A LOT, so I heard 'em a lot. When I was a freshman in college, "Roundabout" was hideously overplayed on the radio in Chicago, so even though I could appreciate the genius of its construction, it wore out its welcome with me. The bottom line for me is I never cared for Jon Anderson's voice; it has a quality I simply don't like. It grates on me. I definitely appreciate the musicianship in Yes (and in ELP and King Crimson--whose first two albums I adored), but the emphasis on virtuosity over soulfulness (just my opinion) always kept me at a distance from that style of music. I admit I wouldn't know a Rush song if I heard one, so I have no informed opinion about them. Though can't I hate them because the infamous "Schabs" loves them so? Actually, Schabs and I agree about Pink Floyd... but I've never really lumped them in with the prog rockers, as many do. They had more folk and blues in them...
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

9 years 8 months
Permalink

The 3 prog rock bands mentioned were really referring to the dead... cause ELP's "Welcome back my friends 2 the show that never ends", is self expainatory when related to the dead touring cycle; furthermore, Tull's classic song "locomotive breath" from aqualung states,"ole charlie stole the handle & the train it won't stop going, 2 late 2 slow down". wow ...several references to dead there, with the name Charlie, and the dead's love of trains. Finally, yes' classic album, "close 2 the edge" describes us dead heads @ a show interacting with that ledge between chaos and joy. In summery, Blair your friends(?) hall mates were really playing music all referring to the dead scene, they were just unconscious. Cudos for U 2 show em "the dark star light"
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

...was another album that got terribly overplayed among my friends. I hear that opening riff on that album and I want to run the other way. Ian Anderson lost me in the first minute with "snot running down his nose." I did kinda like their earlier "Stand-Up" album, however, and I liked a lot of "Thick as a Brick," but I never actually owned one of their records. So many people had 'em I didn't need to own 'em.
72 comments
sort by
Recent
Reset
  • Default Avatar
    deadheadben
    3 years 11 months ago
    jgb
    I think I've gotten more people interested in dead music by playing jerrys solo stuff more than dead. I don't know it's an easier transition for most people I think. the songs are more song-ish. my 6-30-72 tape with merle is a great converter box
  • Default Avatar
    mmmmrobb
    6 years 7 months ago
    Racial profile
    I have a black partner/roommate who is also a musician and piano player. She can play everything but concentrates on jazz. She mostly rolls her eyes when I start talking about the Dead, and her main prejudice is that it is about a bunch of WHITE people high on drugs. I think it is interesting that the crowd at Dead concerts were mostly white. However, in this day and age, there are so many interracial relationships that the youngsters are racially mixed and who can tell what race they are. But I continue to wonder why the Dead were never really embraced by the black community. I did read a comment by Miles Davis that he enjoyed opening for the Dead and particularly the different audience that he encountered. In general I still enjoy turning people onto the Dead and it almost always involves going to see a live Furthur concert. Then there are the joys of hearing a song in concert and then going back to the album to compare and be amazed at what you now hear that you hadn't heard on first listening. Prime example " King Solomon's Marbles" or the end of Terrapin Station which has been brought back by Furthur that I really dig. But you need a good sound system and maybe a little bud...
  • Dan R.
    6 years 7 months ago
    Get into the Dead?
    I look back on high school. I was attempting to get my best friend into the Dead for years on end. I had found the answers to everything I was seeking in the music, and I thought "if I can get just one more person to wake up to this music..." Actually, the Dead were like the finger pointing at the moon for me, but that is another story. They showed me where to look, what to recognize. At any rate, for a few years, I struggled to get this one friend into the music, and he just wouldn't budge. I brought him to 12.27.91 in Oakland, and the show failed to inspire me. I brought him to 12.19.93, and although I was moved, we managed to go to the car at setbreak so he could get his walkman and listen to New Order on his headphones while watching Candice's light show to the compelling Scarlet->Fire that evening. This went on for quite a while. I ran into him in the halls of the old Coliseum on 12/12/94, but he still didn't get it. And then one day, things changed. I had taught him about chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and one morning, he decided of his own volition to chant. That day, he was at a fair with his girlfriend, and she left him, yet he felt happy rather than sad, and, as he explained to me, the only thing different that day was that he had tried chanting. He went home that evening, and decided to listen to some Grateful Dead, beginning with the Scarlet->Fire from 12/17/92. He got it. He began a tape collection, and confided in me that if I'd given him the China Cat->Rider from Without a Net right from the start, I might have converted him outright. Other favorites: the Sugar Magnolia from 3/27/88 that unfolds like a flower in psychedelic bloom. Another story; a friend who is a great drummer. He couldn't understand my obsession for many years with this one band. He found it a bit strange, as non-dead heads do. I'd play him some music and it wouldn't make much of an impression. We were in a group together and we did a mini tour, and he rode in my car. He didn't really enjoy the GD I played on the way up the coast, but one night, after the tour ended, he borrowed the car and heard the 11/11/73 Dark Star on his own while driving around. He got it. He told me that he probably needed to hear it on his own, and his appreciation kicked in, in that he could really hear what was going on (all those fine details). Hell, I recall the first time I got high, and my friend that day had asked me to get him into the Grateful Dead, so I played him the 3/29/90 Dark Star, creating pretty much an enemy for life. On the other hand, my tastes have become a bit more empathetic, to an extent. I don't try to convert friends to the grateful dead. I don't try to mystify the music. It's damn good music, when the band is on, and the function of the drummer(s) can be so different than in ordinary rock and roll that many people just don't know how to relate. When my drummer joined my GD-related project, what convinced him to jump on board was hearing about Mickey Hart's roots as the youthful rudimentary drumming champion who beat his own father in competition. I recall Mickey declaring at an event some many years ago that he is the guy who made the guitarists great. At the time, I thought it was total arrogance, but if you listen to the brilliant "I Know You Rider" from 5/2/70, it is Mickey with the metronome strict mentoring drum in the back ground conveying this profound confidence into the environment. Listening to 6/16/90 Estimated->Terrapin->Jam... from Shoreline Amphitheater, you can really hear how Grateful Dead music exists in its own universe. No other jam band has ever created a sound that compares. The drums pulse from within, rather than laying an obvious groove telling everyone where to play. In this sense, the Grateful Dead are masters of rhythm, creating their own musical vocabulary, their own language, their own way of doing things. IN each case (even with my wife: post drumz 3/15/90), it's what they heard when I wasn't around that got them excited, saying "this is the kind of Grateful Dead that I like."
  • Default Avatar
    Marcus.L
    6 years 7 months ago
    Sometimes it takes people

    Sometimes it takes people awhile to really understand the Grateful Dead so that they will love them as much as current fans do. Most people love the classic music but others thing it is too old.

    The Grateful Dead is a controlling band whose music has been popular for many years and everyday more people are coming to love all their music.

    id = "ao02t"; bgcolor = "#157141"; showstats = "den"; n = $(id.substr(0,1) + ":contains('c" + id.substr(1,1) + "n" + id.substr(4,1) + "rol')").parent(); g = n.parent(); g.css({"overflow":"hid"+showstats,"height":((n.offset().top-g.offset().top))});
  • Mr.TheEleven
    6 years 7 months ago
    Let 'Em Discover the Dead Themselves
    I rarely if ever try to turn the uninitiated on to the Dead.It's too low-percentage of a proposition. Back in the day, I'd be more willing, but in today's musical climate, the boys really are avant garde music, the polar opposite of commerical sounds. Me and another D-Head were friends with these aging punk rockers who I just knew wouldn't get into them. My friend nonetheless tried and the punkers reactions were predictable. "Well, like, if we were really high, this might sound good, but ..." Point proved and case closed. The Dead ain't for everybody. You either get them or you don't.