Grateful Dead

Welcome to My (Blog) World!

Why a weekly blog? Well, for a while now I’ve wanted to have a place where I can talk about music, issues, events and people related to the Grateful Dead and the post-GD world on a regular basis — and also hear what you have to say about this unique and fascinating universe we’re all wrapped up in to varying degrees. Basically, for the past few decades, much of my mind and spirit have been dominated by my interest in the Dead and the many tangents that have led from that incredible source of light and life. Of course, I’ve held jobs that have nothing to do with the Dead, raised two great kids, led what for all intents and purposes is a “normal” life, and listened to thousands upon thousands of hours of non-Dead music. But the Dead have always been at least in the background, and often in the foreground, of my life ever since Live Dead came out in November of 1969 and I subsequently saw my first show at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York, March 20, 1970. As Bob Weir sang (of a woman, I presume) in “Lazy Lightning,” “it’s an obsession, but it’s pleasing.”

I suspect most of you have seen my byline around this site on stories or product promos, have read liner notes I might have penned for various Road Trips and other releases, and some may go back to my days as editor/publisher of The Golden Road Dead fanzine, or even further to my years at BAM, the free Bay Area music magazine I worked for between 1976 and 1983. If you went to Pelham (New York) High with me in the very early ’70s, you might’ve read my first-ever Dead review—of the Vintage Dead album.

Golden Road magazine publishers
Regan and Blair on duty
at Red Rocks, 1987
I moved to the Bay Area from suburban NY in the fall of ’73, arriving just in time to catch the 11/11 Dead concert at wonderful Winterland — quite a contrast from my previous GD show at giant and decrepit Roosevelt Stadium in Joisey on Jerry’s 31st birthday. For a few years, I’d felt I was destined to live in the Bay Area someday. Then, spending some of the summer of ’73 living with my older bro in the Oakland Hills and going to see several Garcia-Saunders and Old & in the Way shows (not to mention Van Morrison and all sorts of other faves who played in clubs here), pretty much convinced me to transfer to UC Berkeley for my last two years of college. I got my degree in Political Science (was and still am a political junkie), then went to the graduate School of Journalism there, with an eye toward being a rock critic. That segued into my long tenure at BAM, and that’s what allowed me to write my first book about the Dead, The Music Never Stopped (which, at the time, 1983, was the only history of the band available). The following year, my wife, Regan, and I started The Golden Road, which took me even deeper in the Dead world and gave me the opportunity to interview and write about so many of the cool folks who have been part of the scene through the years. We put out 27 issues between the winter of ’84 and the middle of ’93, by which point we were about to have our second child and didn’t have the time or space in our house to keep putting out a magazine. During that time my main gig was being a writer and editor at Mix, the leading U.S. sound and recording magazine, and I continue to write for Mix to this day.

After Jerry died, I spent a couple of years working on the book Garcia: An American Life (published by Viking in 1999), co-produced the So Many Roads box set with my buddies David Gans and Steve Silberman, and also got involved with helping put out posthumous Garcia releases, including the All Good Things box. When Rhino took over the management of the Grateful Dead’s archival release program a few years ago, I signed on to work occasionally for the re-vamped Dead.net website and joined with Vaultmaster Supreme David Lemieux to play a small role in shepherding the Road Trips series.

So, that’s who I am. In coming weeks, I’ll be bringing up various issues connected to the Dead world that we can bat around and (hopefully) have some fun with, I’ll talk about some recent books and films (good and bad) that have connections to the scene, no doubt take a trip or two down memory lane, and we’ll see where it all leads. If there are issues or questions you’d like to see addressed, let me know. Don’t be shy! We’re all friends here…

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johnman's picture
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Joined: Dec 26 2007
I had pics of the thing

in Portland, but my phone got "unhappy"....still tryin' ta resurrect them...

cosmicbadger's picture
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Joined: Jun 13 2007
that banner

Canyon Critter said he was going to post a pic of the banner, but he has had some other stuff to deal with of late so I don't want to bother him with it....

sorry too about the hijack if that is what it is ..but it feels sort of comfortable in here while we wait for Blair's next post...

johnman's picture
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Joined: Dec 26 2007
Sorry Blair....

we kinda hijacked yer blog...

johnman's picture
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Joined: Dec 26 2007
Hey!! It was the LEAST I could do...

In payment for all the contributions to the Portland show that mona, mouse, and I attended...I still haven't thanked everyone involved....Twirlingirl did the tie-dye work, and it is AWESOME!!

simonrob's picture
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Joined: Jun 7 2007
Euroheads banner

Please try and post a picture of that banner.

The good old Grateful Dead - a good reason to change wives!

cosmicbadger's picture
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Joined: Jun 13 2007
Europe 2012

On behalf of the Euroheads, Canyon Critter and friends have been displaying a banner at many Furthur shows asking for them to come and play in Europe. Johnman and Mona and others were involved in making the banner. It is so kind of all of these folks to do this for us. Hopefully it will have the desired effect

JeremyP's picture
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Joined: Jun 8 2007
Europe 2012

Don't :-)

My first wife accompanied me to the first night at the Lyceum in '72, but was not that into the Dead. Problem with the singing... but she was cool; we had an agreement - Dead come, I go, bless her!

Problem solved now as my second wife is a Deadhead...

And then in 2031 we can start saving for the Europe 2012 box...

simonrob's picture
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Joined: Jun 7 2007
Maybe so

But I survived - and wouldn't have missed it for the world.

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Joined: Jun 6 2007
simonrob=

weather wimp! ;-)

simonrob's picture
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Joined: Jun 7 2007
Europe 2012?

Featuring all the venues played during Europe '72 - except Bickershaw.

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