i started listening the dead in the early '80's. i was completely absorbed by their music - my life has never been the same. i wonder how many other heads wonder what direction their lives what have gone if they had never gotten into the music. i never had much of an opportunity to see them, so i am forever thankful of the shows i got to see. i didn't plan on 09-26-91 being my last show, but WHAT A WAY TO GO OUT! the setlist speaks for itself, and the last ever "bid you goodnight" should hold a special place in dead history. take care!
My first concert. I was fifteen. My brother Kevin took me after his wedding that morning. I remember him warning me that not all concert's were like this, and that he might be starting me off at the top of the mountain. Pure magic that night. The music went right through me, right into my essence. It stayed there. How lucky I am. Thank you Kevin. ;)
The first one.
Literally bumping-into the same guy at every show for years during space walks - turned into hugs - never spoke, never knew his name........Finding myself alone on the side of a road in an altered state somewhere in Ohio wearing only a pair of shorts and no shoes, then rescued, showered, clothed, fed, driven, and show-ticketed to the next city by anonymous Heads......let a Head I never met before sleep on my hotel floor, ran into him a year later when I was tour-broke, he bought me a plane ticket home, two years after that, I heard he was in trouble, ended-up bailing him out of jail.....getting stickered by Mikel at shows, writing each other forever, and then not getting to see him again before he died.....lost my ticket, got a miracle, found my ticket, laid the miracle on someone else......
Like never before and never again since then.
hard to say exactly which show... hard to remember which shows I went to, actually. I was never very good at saving stubs, and I never kept records or stuff like that. (much regret in my voice)
but the 'experience' at A show which changed my life...
it might have been my 5th or 6th or 7th show, (might have been the 17th??-- not important) but up until that night I had always been with at least one buddy, or a group of friends. I never liked to eat lunch at school by myself. and I had never been to any concert all alone. I was a youngin' just getting into the scene, just getting into all of the music.
I do not even remember where the show was, (somewhere east coast) but for some reason I went alone. maybe everybody else wasn't willing to make a long drive to go to another show, maybe my buddies had to go back to something; but I had tix, and I was on the road all by myself.
so, point of the story is; I cruise into the lot. all by my lonesome. the CC Joe of yore was actually a very shy guy in real life. but no sooner did I park, was I able to get into the groove with a group of total strangers. and then another group, and then another... naturally we had much in common, and deadheads are an easy going bunch but it was that welcoming quality of heads that really clinched it for me as far as a life changing experience. the music was always the deep reason, but the scene was the spice.
I suppose life/attitude was different for the west coast or Haight heads, but as a child from the harsh, cold streets of NYC, it was a most special experience for me.
this experience generated my life work and my life quest: to stop no less than one stranger every single day just to shake their hand no matter where I am. (and to smile smile smile... while doing so)
"The highway is for gamblers, you'd better use your sense
Take what you have gathered from coincidence"
Our usual crew (10 years so far) all made it. I was cruise director as usual. We came down from a good RIC show the night before.
Set II, Shining Star - Garica et al. manage to get all ~11,000 of us to sing the chorus in unison a cappella. It was the polar opposite of a NFA chant or something like that, we were really SINGING!!!!
You could hear a pin drop between words. He was band leader, guitarist, crowd orchestra leader all in one, and never missed a beat in the song.
His maneuvering to get everyone on the same beat and note and timing was just, and still is, basically mindboggling. Although I should really know better. We are talking about Jerry Garcia.
It was so moving that at the end everyone was hugging, smiling, trying to grasp what just happened.
I have never seen nor heard anything like that ever before or since. And I certainly know now, that I will never see anything of that magnitude again.
It still gives me goosebumps to listen to that show.
And the show itself was awesome (Lay Down Sally, Dont Let Go, Lucky ol Sun, etc..)
I would have to say Barton Hall in May of '77 and the following night in Buffalo. We were up front for Barton Hall (gereral Addmission) and had 3rd row for Buffalo. I'd been seeing the Dead since '74 and they were all-ways amazing but there was something truly special and Magical about these nights. there is no way to put into words what was happening between the band and the audience, any desciption would limit the experience. I felt a connection to spirit and timelessness that I had never felt before or since. It was in that moment that I decided to throw caution to the wind and move to San Francico, with no job, no friends, and really no plan at all. I just knew deep in my Soul it would all work out. The Dead those nigts gave me the courage to trust my intuition, and for that I will all-ways be Grateful
Maybe you'll find direction around some corner where it's been waiting to meet you!!
Buckeye Lake 94 was my first show. Even when I went to that show, I wasn't completely into the Dead but that show changed everything for me. I know that it was not the best show by any stretch of the imagination, but what got me was that after the heavy rain, the temp dropped and it was cold. I remember standing there shivering and not moving although I was enjoying every minute of the show. Of course just about everyone else was grooving away, I wondered how and why that was happening to everyone else. Then during Althea, Jerry and the boys went into the post-lyric jam and I don't know what happenned, but I went into some type of mini trance and I was grooving too. I didn't know it until the song ended. When the music stopped, I openned my eyes and I caught myself finishing a little groove manuver. I never had that happen to me before and I can unequivically state that at that presice moment I became a a Deadhead.
Do or do not; there is no try.
I would have to say buckeye lake 94 the last show i ever saw. I can listen to the show now and it's really not that good but there was just a feeling around like change was coming . and there was the next year I found myself married and jerry was dead I've been to 15 shows total but if i could go back to at lest one more show that would be it
Seems like Alpine Valley stands out for me. In 1986 I realized that if I played my music around town we could create a good scene that didn't exist in our town-IT WORKED! In 1988 my wife and I realized we were going to have our first baby-if that ain't life changing I don't know what is!