I was 20 yrs old and it was 1985. Dead were playing Hampton-3rd night. I was listening to the studio albums and--- "Dead Set" during my teenage years--enjoying it immensely but still not "getting it." I was into the concert very much but then at some point I was close to the stage on the left side of Jerry looking directly at him right as they kicked into "Terrrapin". I'll never forget that feeling of hearing that beautiful song rendered so soulfully by Jerry himself. Right then and there I was a Deadhead for life. A few months later and I was on summer tour for the Dylan/ Tom Petty/ Dead stadium shows and Jerry's subsequent diabetic coma.
my brothers got nabbed the night before - poker showed me and johnny hospitality by a campfire with tequila and friendship and sympathy - next day the show and it really made me want to get back into playing piano seeing bruce hornsby tink away with vinnie (never forgot how well bruce and vinnie handled the chair together, it was bittersweet to see vinnie alone later on, but I appreciated him nonetheless on his own and loved way to go) - jack straw opener felt like a crowd of people had just staked a claim and called this place home for however long - amazing how generations of people were present... grandparents, parents, little children - jerry's guitar was playing my arms - bobby played the clown during estimated - felt a part of the band and the music - people were sweet, inviting and oh so strange... but then it was mostly me ;) it was the only concert in my life that felt like a dream. waking up was a bummer. what now? what now? yeah, right now. ;) keep searching like a dummy for years after that or so it seemed. took me years to appreciate - but that's just the story. gratitude explains the feeling of my first show.... and we got around to playing the piano again and mixing old training with song after song from the dead songbook through the coming years. got a taste for playing grand pianos in college, in the dark, hearing the band in my head as fingers blindly moved over the keys. actually got a chance a few nights to jam with stu allen here in our hometown when we were both teenagers... always loved playing a terrapin though never saw one. every little thing can change a story, you're only as young as the last time you changed your mind --- first show brought me back to the piano and told me stories that would echo as all the years combined and melted into the dream. cheers.
For me, attending the Winterland show 6/17/75, billed as "Jerry Garcia & Friends" was a big one. The one & only show where I saw & heard the Dead on their home turf...I'd hitchhiked across country from Washington, DC in 1974, staying with a friend at 23rd & Church Streets for almost a year. Bob Weir & his band, Keith & Donna's band opened the show, so I was blown away by the Grateful Dead coming on stage, especially hearing "Franklin's Tower" for the first time. By then I was a confirmed Deadhead, but hearing them play in S.F. put the seal on the diploma! It didn't hurt that I got to dance with a cute lady there...serindipity in the moment.
WoULd I Be a DeAdHEaD ToDAy....JuSt LiStENiNg To Da MuZic PLAY! ????
My first show....Feb 69 Fillmore East...Just a tot..4 years. Memories are foggy as are the shows & days between..The deal..Braddah & Sistah babysittin' me...not to miss the show...almost lost me out the back of the jeep on the Brooklyn Bridge(carseat-no such thing back in the day)..back popped open (old army jeep style with chains to latch hatch) My sistah grabbed my arm as my braddah continued drivin' as they were hysterical laughin' (hhhmmmm wonder why)..Petrified bouncin' round n round...My bro pulled over off the bridge and latched the back. The show memoirs...No Jerry No Dead....Cloud filled smoke in the room (SRO) everyone dancin' n Gregg Allman jammin'...his long blonde hair and the pakalolo smoke filled room...Yup Allmans' opened up for the Dead...I just remember the ride on the bus(jeep) the smoke(made me ill feelin' so thick) and Gregg...wierd but fond memories...one that somehow stuck with me after all these years...Now another first for me...Coney Island...Furthur....woo hoo....Brooklyn Brooklyn Brookly...great excuse to visit da family......................Aloha from Paradise...........Stay healthy & Stay hippie
all shows were life changing really.Of course,i`d have to say that my 1st show changed things that only Jerry knows how to do.It was 6/25/93 R.F.K,i will never forget the way Jerry`s guitar sounded that night,it`s magical,to say the least.But out of the 23 shows i attended,the one that holds a special place with me would have to be,8/1/94@The Palace in Auburn Hills,Mi..Just to be able to be there and wish Jerry a happy birthday in person is reason enough.Not to mention,they played the one and only Scarlet>Fire of summer tour`94 that evening.That ticket was one of the easiest tickets i ever scored.I traded 4gms of hash for the Jerry b-day ticket and still had 4gms for my head! I ate a 10strip before the show and another 10 at intermission,so the night was very colorful and wavey.Thank God for the Grateful Dead,i miss Him soooo much.He changed my life that 1st night in D.C. and there`s noway of thanking Him enough!
Nice picture Bayedog....
I was 17 and an angry punk rock kid. My buddy from school gave me some doses and some tickets to a party called "Earth Ball" the coming weekend. It was 1986 in Hearts Desire just outside Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in Glenno's back yard. His folks were well to do and had a goodly amount of space. The folks in the local dead scene were throwing a bash. I showed up just as it started raining. I ate my goonie bird dose so it would not get wet and some kind folks called me out of the weather to smoke joints in their VW. Some time passed as it will and as I started to trip the sun broke out. I thanked my new friends, got out of the van and walked to the back yard. There, dancing in the mud to Sugar Magnolia, was a beautiful blonde deadhead girl in a skin soaked batik Indian cotton dress with dayglo paint on her face....that is when it happened for me. The band was called Longbottom (like Longbottom leaf the hobbits smoke in Lord of The Rings) and they were great. The image of that girl dancing is still so clear and the golden road opened before me. It was a year before I saw my first Dead show but I already knew.....
Spent A Little Time On The Mountain, Spent A Little Time On The Hill
My 2nd show. Had had a chance to do a little more homework by then, including watching Dead Ahead (meaning I was totally psyched for Lost Sailor).....
General admission, we ended up standing right in front of Jerry, just a few standing rows back from the front. All our heroes took their places, and I had nearly a Dead Ahead view of their interaction (and even of a soap bubble momentarily floating into Bob's view mid-jam). I was blown away. Even songs I'd never heard were burned into memory that night. That's really when it all began.....
up next that Spring: HAMPTON!
...ha ha ha. Excellent. I took a buddy to Cal Expo in June of 90, and messed him up a bit so to speak.
I told him "Just watch the Jerry and everything will be all right." Hilarious, Those were really fun shows. (he later told me that was the trick- "..........just watch Jerry").
Hallelujah! nothing like sending a new recruit down the road.....
It didnt change my life a whole lot, but he still talks about it 20 years later