Man Copperhead - that's simply fantastic!!! Good for you.
I saw 90 GD shows before Jerry past - and didnt bother seeing any since. I saw a few RatDog shows, but the light had fizzled out with those last smack Garcia years that really made me upset. Fast forward 14 years - and i purchased the boards on this website and downloaded the shows nightly into my IPhone. In Vegas with my 2 kids and wife on business, concert, and golf with my 14 year old son. We went to bed at 2AM, and i rolled him out of bed to go golfing at a top PGA course. On the hour trip out - i was jamming the NJ show with Branford and my son woke up and said, "Dad, are we gonna go see the Dead?" I replied " do you want to? " and he said "Yes, but me and you only." I said we will see. During a concert that night (The Killers) i asked my 16 year old daughter if she wanted to see The Dead and she replied, "Live? i will see anything live!!". I looked at my wife and said - i guess i am taking the kids to the LA show on mothers-day weekend because she already planned on going back to Chicago where we are selling our houses - so she wouldnt be with us.... Thats were the trouble started.
I told the kids to pack enough for the weekend and lets hit the lot early for their first Shakedown experience. Also, after 90 shows starting in 1987 i never saw a FULL DARK STAR and the kids knew it( i talked about it all night). Here i was 5th row DEAD center for that sick 1st set - just rockin for The Dead standards. HOT! I looked at the kids and said - well are you having fun - and they both had a grin from ear to ear so i tried them on by saying - what if we drove after the show to go to Shoreline tomorrow? They started chatting the band came on and BAM an awesome second set Shakedown, Speedway, Scarlet/Fire, during space I am looking at my kids and Phil in the same view and screaming for DarkStar - they play it my kids give me a big hug and there i was CRYING like a little girl 5th row to my first and only Dark Star! I wasn't even supposed to be at this show let alone 5th row with my children and the ever elusive reward of my first live Dark Star.
TO finish this hilarious COSMIC weekend, i drove all the way to SHoreline after the LA show, took a morning nap and we were off to the show night 2. Pretty fun show - the kids had a blast and the band ended the second set. I laughed and said to my daughter, well honey i guess i wont see a St.Stephen because they wont play that as an encore - but they never played it in my day so who cares? Anyhow - i screamed Stephen when the band came(before they strapped up) out and sure enough I got my wish. To hi-fives all around - a sick eleven, and a Touch to end my reunion tour with the Dead.
Just sweet as could be. My kids understood way more than I did after my first show - seeing a license plate from AZ as we pulled into the Forum with WHARFRAT on it. I told the kids that they haven't played that song yet on this tour - but since they saw the plate - it will come tonight. Another cosmic sensation. The three of us called Wharf Rat - between my flippin Dark Star.
I'd had no intention of ever really going to a show other than to hang in the lot and party... I was living in Las Vegas. We'd go and hang for the weekend was about all. I did this in 93 and 94. I had a few friends and associates that were die hard heads and they'd always buy my artwork for shows and fliers and what not. Never considered going... I'd always thought "they'd be around..." Any who... circumstances in my life lead me to receive the phone call from Tage who'd become privy to some inside info on that days show. He'd meet this Haagan Das lady and she needed last minute help on a cart inside the show. My karma must of been good of sorts because it worked and in I go. I made my way to the floor with the help of some warlocks who'd distracted the nice unsuspecting usher to my ice cream abyss... haha. Thanks. So I am just following all these crazy deja vu signs at this point which keep happening to me nonstop like never before. I end up standing alone looking at those amazing tiedied tapestrys they'd had hanging on both sides of the stage when my dreamy miss steps up behind me, only to tap me on the shoulder. "Excuse me she said.... Do you have any carmex by chance?" I'd had my hiking gear on... perhaps I was an easy target.... but for w/e reason as soon as I'd made eye contact.... it was like the world disappeared and all I could remember was this dream I'd had.... the most incredible dream I'd ever had actually. I'd seen this girl in it. Immediately it hits me. I couldn't even talk. I was lit up like the sun..... to be continued.
It was July 2, 1989... before going into the show, my soul mate gave me a small ring sized box to hold. I was told that only if Sugar Magnolia played, would I be able to open it. Well, at the very end of the show, the tunes came together to form the melody of Sugar Magnolia. When the box opened, there was a small ring. The child's kind with a small polished stone and adjustable band. The kind that you can pickup at a tourist trap on the side of the ocean. It was perfect! A simple ring from a simple guy for a simple girl, no strings attached. He was becoming the master of anticipation (in more ways than one). Wherever you are, Caci, I send you my love.
But Wandering Soul from here, and I are both certain that we have met in person at one of the Chicago area shows. We have exchanged photos, and we "recognized" each other.
It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine
I made a cosmic connection w/a BEAUTIFUL little blonde hippie chick (nick?)named Melody Star Waters in a sleeping bag in the Foxboro Stadium parking lot...does that count? she gave me her number and wrote her name in symbols,something like ♪☆~ ahhh to be young,single and care-free....
HippieChuck-i just watched the videos posted on the site...holys@#$% it still gives me goose bumps and stands the hair on the back of my neck up whenever i hear these guys talk!i love you guys,all of you guys the deadheads too.hope to see everyone at the show!all my peace-n-love-hippiechuck
I guess a fitting conclusion to all this is that I didn't end up finishing my college degree until many years later, at another institution (Williams). and yes, one of the many reasons for this was that it was just a lot more interesting at the time to be "on the bus"....I can say for sure that I learned a lot more out of college than I ever did in college!!!!
I could write an entire novel about this one, but shall attempt to keep it fairly brief.....long story short, this story begins in December 1990....I was in college in Ohio at the time, and some friends of mine and I received a phone call from a bro who had just seen the 12/12/90 show in Denver, who reported with absolute glee that the Boys had just played a kicking snow that included a DARK STAR (as most of you will remember, this was a period of time when it was an especially cool treat to hear a D. Star, since it had just been broken out the previous fall for the first time since, well, that 7/13/84 encore at the Greek technically, but even longer ago than that in terms of regular performances)
Anyhow, after receiving this call, my friend Lara and I concluded that the next two nights in Denver were bound to be great shows, and that if we started driving prettty close to immediately, we could make it to Denver for the 12/14 show. Keep in mind, though, that by this time it was the morning of 12/13/90, we had no tickets for the 12/14 show, and we were in Ohio. Nonetheless, we basically packed some stuff really quickly, said goodbye to some other friends who told us we were totally nuts for actually attempting this (but who also gave us some, shall we say "heavy" goodies to wish us a great "trip"), and we were on our way.
We drove essentially nonstop to Denver, stopping only for gas and food when it was absolutely necessary. Somewhere around Kansas City, I think it was, we decided to consume part of the present that had been given to us. Now, as many of you likely know, mid-Decembers are a time when one of the two most spectacular annual meteor showers occur, and 1990 was an exceptionally spectacular year for these. It was wild, to say the least, watching countless meteors on the horizon in front of us as we drove toward Denver, with the added knowledge of course, that Dark Star had just been played there.
Ok....a fast forward, even though there are all kinds of other subsets to this story.....we arrived at McNichols Arena in Denver literally less than an hour before showtime on 12/14/90.
We had no tickets. After parking, we jumped out of the car as quickly as possible and immediately I started vocalizing the journey we just made, how we simply HAD to get into this show, etc. Within just minutes, before we'd even ventured more than a few yards from the car, a guy came up to us and noticed the sticker from our college (Kenyon College) on the back of the car, "holy cow, I WENT there!!!!" he exclaimed....(for any of you who know Kenyon, he, like us, was a Peep: a co-ed group with a lot of Deadhead members)...we exchanged a few stories about the place and suddenly BAM, he gave us a free ticket for the show.
only now we still needed one more ticket. I immediately told Lara that should we not find another, this one was hers. Remembering, however, that I had some kind we'd been sharing on the road, I decided perhaps it was time to start trading that for a second ticket. Sure enough, only a few minutes later, I actually succeeded in scoring a second ticket!!!! We were both into the show!!! (it should be noted at this point that in 1990 it was not exactly easy to score tix to the show an hour before showtime, let alone two of them - both of which, by the way, we got for less than face-value)
anyhow, the real clincher of this story is what happened out of Space that night....(you see, we'd only heard from our friend that they played "Dark Star" the first night, but what he had not told us is that they only played the first verse, going into Drums)....so, while it was the LAST thing on our minds we ever expected to hear, since we thought at that point that they'd played the whole thing on 12/12, coming out of Space, they played my first Dark Star. and hey, I'll grant that it wasn't one of those unbelievable ones, but it was Dark Star nevertheless, plus, I heard my second To Lay Me Down of that year - amongst my favorites,and a very-rarely played tune at the time.
during the show, I turned around to see a friend of mine I had not seen in a long time sitting a mere couple rows behind us.....the next day, we headed up to Boulder and I randomly ran into yet another friend I hadn't seen in quite awhile. We ended up seeing JGB in San Francisco together the next week......again, this story has all kinds of further subsets and tangents I won't go into at this point......suffice it to say that it's one of those many great Grateful Dead memories. What a long strange trip it's been indeed.