Now by the age of 15, I was already a seasoned concert goer. I was fortunant enough to have grown up in the suburbs of Chicago. Was also lucky to be the youngest in my family,my brother and sister being 5 and 11 years older then I. Lucky enough to have experience my adolecense during the 1970's when music in all respects and forms was readily available for me to be discovered and influenced by. I've been to probably around 500 or so concerts in my life.This musical journey began in 1968, when when I was 6yrs old. My sister and her best friend brought me along to see my first concert at Chicago's version of the Fillmore, a venue called The Electric Theater, where I was treated to my first of many to come awe inspiring musical milestones which began with sets by, The Lovin' Spoonful, The Grass Roots, and The Kinks. My Mom also made sure us kids got to see the Chicago Symphony once or twice a year along with the likes of Count Basey, Duke Elington, Artie
Shaw, and Sarah Vauhn. My best friend's Dad was a radio announcer for WGN Radio, and from the summer of '74 on through the next 5 summer's, was treated to just about every band that came through Chicago. By May of 1977, having been spoiled and probably even a little jaded by my rapidly growing milestone notches in my concert going experiences (Led Zepplin having been just a month before). Was utterly and completely caught off guard by the
the one band that up until that point had somehow eluded my friend Kyle Leonard and I.
The Venue was a familiar one but oddly intreging because of its shall we say stature of being
the home of the Chicago Symphony. The Chicago Auditorium Theater is a beautiful and elegant room where I had been accostomed to wearing my sunday best and hearing Chikolfsky, Moetsart and Betoven. The Chicago Auditorium has perfect accoustics with five balconies, red velvet seats rising perfectly from a low stage and not a bad seat in the house. However had never been priveledged enough till then to find myself seated in the 7th row on the main left 6 seats in from the main isle. Before the band came on stage, Was approched by a woman with long brown hair wearing a leopardskin leotard holding a silver tray with fresh strawberries and very discriminately passing them out randomly to those who's eye she caught, and both Kyle and I were transfixed by her deeply penetrating gaze as she approached and stood before us and offered us each the best strawberry I had ever had before or since. This was going to be a very special evening I thought, and the excitement and anticipation I felt inside was like nothing I had encountered before, and really had no clue as to why. but it was that feeling of "Toto. we're not in Kansas anymore" I had never had the chance to experience LSD yet. And knew when the Leopard Lady chose me, that I was finally going to know. When the house lights dimmed for the last time(They always quickly dimmed the lights three times at the Chicago Auditorium to let everyone know to take their seats), and the stage lite up and the Grateful Dead walked out on stage, the whole room thundered with the anticipation of what was to come. And Kyle and I had absolutely no idea this band was in the middle of what was already being come to be known by deadheads as the Grateful Dead's finest tour and run of magical shows in their already lengthy and mythical history. Kyle and I really knew nothing about this band(I maybe heard Truckin' or Sugar Magnolia on the radio once or twice). And suddenly there we were, in one of the finest acoustic and beautiful auditoriums in the world, 7th row, beggining to feel the delightfully exciting impessions of my first psycodelic experience and realizing as the band began warming up all playing their instruments not in song but as an orchestra might before the conductors raise of the baton reaching that final creshendo, that sudden moment of silence
and with Phil's slide down the neck of his base the band seagued into The Music Never Stopped, Ramble on Rose followed by Cassidy, Brown Eyed Women, New Minglewood Blues, Friend of the Devil, El Paso, Jack-A-Roe(the 1st performance of), Looks Like Rain, and ending the set with Scarlet Begonias>Fire on the Mountain(Still the best Scarlet>Fire I ever heard them play). And I (and Kyle both) were astonished and truely transformed by the end of that first set. I think it happened to me during the jam in Cassidy when bobby's break of "flight of the seabirds" to bring the song to its beautiful end. I was thought provoked all through Brown Eyed Women(the LSD was really growing inside my head) but was engaged by Jerry's sensitivity and his way of being able to convey imagery with his lyric was like that of no other I had ever seen or heard before. I could rattle off a list of legendary bands and concerts I had been to up to this point. And had experienced some really incredible performances by the Eagles , Pink Floyd, Peter Frampton, Traffic and even Bob Dylan. But, That was the moment I truely realized something more then just a concert was happening before me. It was the first time in my life I realized that I wasn't just listening and watching a musician play a song. But instead, had personally been transported and consciously brought into experience the song by the musician. And I felt deeply and personally moved and priviledged for being taken there. It happened again, only this time with Bobby's invitation into Looks Like Rain, where I found both the music's depth and lyric's vulerability and the dynamics of the interaction between all the musicians had me holding back tears as if I were the one who sang those love songs written in the letters of your name... I learned how to truely dance with joy for the first time in my life during the sets closing Scarlet>Fire. In which I for the first time became aquainted with everyone else in the room, that I wasn't just me with my ticket, my seat, my experience, my coat, my ride home. I was home... That was when I became a DeadHead. Was during that 22 minutes, that I was embraced not just by the band by the audience that wasn't just an audience, that this was tribe, not just friends, but acceptence not unlike family( like I had finally been introduced to all tha cousins I'd never met yet), A happy and loving family reunion without drama, and narrow pigheaded indifferences or petty unforgivings. True unconditional acceptance to just be embaced back. That is the story of the second set. In which Where the Grateful Dead had graced and had given the collective of the university's gym at Cornell University just five days prior. Those of us in the Chicago Auditorium Theater that night were given and graced( in my opinion and in retrospect) with what I feel to be maybe the band's most beautiul and quite possibly most moving and awe inspiring journey into that rhelm of what lies beyond us and just out of reach in our conscious lives. It started out fun and tight and just that feeling of cathartic release of collective yahoo. Beginnig with Sampson and Delilah, Bertha and then deliberately, but gentley being brought into the rhelm of having to focus attentively and retrospectively by the band to deliver Chicago's first reading of Estimated Prophet which we all listened to finding that it demanded a sort of feeling of reverance, like we were in church. Bobby Weir the firey minister with a sermon both filled with fear of the unknown and reassurance of it's being alright "Don't worry about it" this led to Billy and Micky transporting us all and delivering us into the place where none of us (including the band) had ever been or experienced before. This became one of those very rare indeed moments(one of only maybe three I experienced in over the 274 shows I attended over the next 17yrs). The accoustics of the venue became itself an instrument of the band's to play with. But, everyone knew that this was a moment where the music was actually playing the band. It was like a portal opened up and for the next 17minutes, Jerry, Bobby, Keith, and Phil and everyone for five balconies above us were given a glimpse of Mana. Jerry, Phil and Bobby, on stage, Then suddenly just Jerry left alone with Bobby and Phil at the side of the stage watching and intently gazing at Jerry as he played an enthrallingly beautiful and "other worldly" solo for the next five minutes by himself on stage. The rest of us standing there in disbelief, silent open mouthed some with their hands covering their mouths and shaking their heads in complete and total amazement as Jerry almost seemed like he was literally physically phase in and out of physical reality caught somewhere between here and there...Then demanding Boby's presence then Keith's , Phil and then Micky and Billy. Seaging into the Other One with the thunder of a Saturn Rocket breaking gravity, but for only one verse. This complicated array of time signatures and dinamically tonal textures broke down into its simple and construct components and opened the door and inviting us into the living room of Stella Blue.Possibly to this day the most moving compelling and vulnerably heart breaking reading of it I've ever seen played. There wasn't a dry eye in the house and with mouths once again covered eyes wide open, and even with tears in Jerry's eyes and on his cheeks we mourned for Stella Blue, as if he was able to seen a glimpse of the future and somehow knew this was where he would last ever see her again some 18 years later.. you could hear a pin drop. This WAS now indeed Church. Just then Phil had the ability to pull us all back into ourselves and we were Goin' Down the Road. And Bobby happily reminded us that this was indeed Saturday Night(Not sunday morning). U.S. Blues made for a feeling of the evening having just been nothing at all except for maybe a little ironic. All I know is that you only need ask anybody that attended this show on May 13th 1977, was transformed... Even seasoned Deadheads were reborn that evening and none of us walked out as we had come in... If you have the opportunity to listen to this show you will experience something special indeed happened.
Moment for moment, this show to me was "THE" show of that wonderful spring '77 tour
It changed my life forever leading me down roads I never would have traveled and known to be the experiences of my life. THANKS GUYS! THANK YOU KYLE LEONARD, I miss you!
frisko-mobb shop tattoo aurora,co 16868 E. Iliff 3033695446 snack sunday kezar stadium someone passed me a carton of o.j. and jerry n friends came out ripping thru blues 4 allah album allinstramental iwas 13 yrs old at the time and blown away. definetly been stuck ever since now i am 46 and listen every day all dead all day if inhad it my way. just found a picture of me in 76 wearing a blues 4 allah shirt i got at mervins with my moms
there are two: 7/18/82 and 7/13/84.
Willie Nelson"s Fourth of July Picnic 2003. Sat in traffic from Austin for a few hours longer than expected. I was prepared for everything. Food, gas, beer, sleeping bag, etc. Met my best buds and in we go. Much celebration!! Walking down the hill, beers in hand, I notice a rainbow in the sky as the band plays "leavin Texas, fourth day of July." An indescribable feeling grabbed at my soul, and never let go. Like lightning hitting me. I felt like all the problems in the universe just VANISHED!! Many noodle dances later it was time for my friends to leave and me to return to my Jeep to eat, sleep, hangout,etc. Wait...I've lost my keys! Can't find 'em, don't have 'em, lost 'em. Now what? There they are, on the ground, RIGHT NEXT, to my jeep. I turned around to all the people and just said "THANKS!!" I opened up the jeep and shared. Couldn't sleep there though, Had to drive a few miles to a rest stop, where i saw a VW van with a tie-dyed sheet over the back window. Something told me, this was the place. Woke up the next morning and headed back to the festival for day two with my friends and Niel Young. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!! While Jerry was only there in spirit, the joy I got seeing " the DEAD" will live with me forever.
"Without love in the dream it'll never come true"
hey now, deadheads everywhere:)
my life-changing show HAD to be july 16,1972; Dillion Stadium, Hartford, ct. I didn't have to travel far. I was born in hartford. i remember it was incredibly hot and humid, at least 95 degrees, with a dewpoint around 70 degrees.around the middle of the last set that day, i started seeing people with Allman Bros t-shirts. rumors started to spread that,some members of the allmans would jam with the the Dead, for an extra encore. as it turned out, dickey betts and jerry, among others jamed...this is what i wrote on the back of my ticket stub for that show..."no b.s-allman bros jammed with the dead.'" i believe they did "johnny b. goode", and "goin' down the road feelin' bad." also, as it turned out, members of the dead and the allman bros started talking about playing together, somewhere. that somewhere turne out to be Watkins Glen, N.Y.-july 28, 1973..we all rember that as the "summer jam. I was there, along with over 600,000 others" "truckin-up to Watkins Glen;"-y'all know the rest of the story
31 years ago today was my 19th birthday and we had tickets to the Springifeld show. I had been listening to the Dead for several years and had seen a couple '76 shows which I thoroughly enjoyed but this show was truely life changing. It was a general admission show so we checked into a hotel at noon and decided to go stand in line at 2:00 to get close to the stage. Torential downpour all afternoon. The people in line were drenched. I was standing there questioning my sanity thinking I was becominig a total loser wasting my life away. They finally opened the doors around 6:30 and we were able to sit on the floor about 10 feet from the stage. Everyone down front was soaked. The lights went out and the band came on, everyone stood and after a minute or two of tuning, they broke into Sugaree. Jerry was laughing, smiling and dancing around. Everyone around me forgot they were drenched and just starting dancing, smiling and singing with Jerry. Then Jerry looked right at me and broke into this huge grin and sang: "You know in spite of all you gained you still had to stand out in the poouuurrrring rain". I lost it. I never questioned my sanity again and I've been on tour ever since.
tory it wasnt the cowboy suits,it was when they lit up. one other. When they played with the Beach Boys at Day on the Green. I could go on...beauty is surfer girl
8/18/89, I was saved by Jerry during Terrapin Station. I saw everything anew. I imagined during the Terrapin that if I peed where I was dancing, everything negative in my soul would be released. It was the most liberating moment of my life. I found another friend Jane, the beautiful red-head deadhead from Colorado who also "lost her mind" during the Terrapin that night and ran into the streets of Berkeley screaming at the top of her lungs.
Later, when I came to, with my back against the black marble sign of the Greek Theater attempting to "ground" myself, I realized that my pants and poncho were wet and cold. Then my friend from Jersey helped me back to his school bus to "mellow-out". Guess what the name of the bus was, Terrapin Transportation. I was saved by Jerry and the Terrapin, hence the name, Terrapin Tommy !!
As a VN draft dodger from San Francisco, seeing the Dead in Toronto in 1969, my first year there, was an unbelievable comfort. Unlike the shows I had seen at The Carousel and The Fillmore, this was so poorly attended that is was like a private show. I could sit right up front and watch Jerry and Phil's fingers flowing together like never before or since. It was magic, right to "And We Bid You Goodnight."
My 2nd show was April 28, 1971 and surely was a life changing experience. I have never come down from that show, and consider it the best show to this day, of the hundreds I've seen.
On a side note, the dead played Box of Rain that night, but because it was not recorded, there is no record of this in any source I've read. It was played. I not only remember the song, but remember the Joshua Light Show in the back round with a Box of Rain floating through the streets and fields. Another song not recorded that was played that night was Candyman.
From the moment the first set opened with Truckin, the buzz in the air felt like it would be a special night, and it was on every level. To this day I can see the dead returning to the stage for the second set, and Jerry strumming the first chord to Morning Dew; a moment that will continue to infinity. Later in the set, TC came on as a guest and played the finale of Dark Star, St. Stephen, Not Fade Away, Going Down the Road, with Sugar Magnolia as an encore.
Based on song list, this night was to die for, but we all know set lists don't make a show. The dead played their hearts out that night, and the angels were on all their shoulders for every note and chord.
Hendrix was my hero up to his death. The Dead, this night, brought magic back in my life in a way I had never experienced it before, and that magic has lasted my entire life time.