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.
Crazy as it my sound my life changer was on the first futher tour.I was at pine knob and in the lot before the show as I walked between two cars I saw a head sitting on the ground with a garbage bag full of shrooms.He asked if I had a digi and I did.After looking at the scale he returned it without even using it.He then fed me proper and as I went on my way he yelled"you asshole".I thought to myself what was that about.A few hours later in the venue as I watched the stage melt the guy from the lot appeared front and center.He began to speak he told the story of the first time he met Jerry.He said he was backing up the futher bus and hit Jerry's BMW.The first words Jerry ever said to this prankster were "you asshole".As I was a late comer to the scene this was my first moment of the magic that had surrounded the scene at the begining.This experience let me know even thought we had lost our sheppard the apostiles would not let our (mine,yours,andJerry's)idealism die.THis was a renewal of spirit for me.For the first time the joy that had dawned before my time and had been thrashed by abuse and greed in the later years had made it throught the toughest time our community has ever seen and shone bright again for all.I now realized why this head threw me for a trip.The digi was the sign of business not pleasure on the lot .Why buy and sell when the best things(the music,the people, the art,and the birth of new joyous ideas) come for free.
I guess there's a few defining moments that created major memories. Red Rocks! Enough said! An amazing heat lightning storm on City Island near Harrisburg, PA and the boyz breaking into a tremendous Fire on Mt. Penn State '80 with friends and my ex-husband and a China-Rider just for me. Catching them at the Omni during a 14 hour layover in Atlanta- too much fun having just seen them up in Philly and soon to see them at Giants. The journey is the best place to start- the anticipation of going to the show, getting the tix via standing in line for day(s) with other DHs, making friends in line, swapping tapes, addresses, food, smoke, good karma, etc... The journey of the tours- getting set to map out the routes to the shows, from there to the next, where's the next KOA campground? knowing all the names of the rest stops along the way! The people! Selling my wares... too much fun. My 1st show (Philly Spectrum) when I was in 7th grade! Lucky to remember some of it! Ami
the whole three days were incredible. i think back to that experience and feel the warm glow of the whole vibe. the scene in philly was very mellow that week and even though i had been going to shows for a few years there i just felt changed after the whole experience and kind of felt like i had discovered myself in those few days surrounded by bliss and kynd family. my world changed that week and i am forever grateful!!!!!!!
Wow, I hardly know where to start.... Yes, the Grateful Dead experience undoubtedly changed the course of my life. And yes, I have pondered the "what if I'd never gotten on the bus" question. In some probable reality I suppose there is a me who never attended a Grateful Dead show. All I can is I'm glad I'm not him. I can't imagine what that life would be like.
There is not enough time or space in this virtual medium for me to go into how far I've traveled and all I have realized (physically, mentally, spiritually) from the time I saw my first show in Dallas, October 21st, 1988 -- Brent's Birthday. We picked up some Golden Zodiac in the parking garage outside Reunion Arena, but I saved mine for after the show! I wound up sitting next to an "old" hippie couple (I was just 18 at the time) who shared some GD lore with me & kicked down a button that said "Peace. Back by popular demand." that I still have to this day. I knew I wanted more of that good old Grateful Dead Experience immediately after that show!! I tuned in to the local LSD show (Lone Star Dead), subscribed to various GD mags, eventually found a few tapes here & there, and did everything I could to absorb the last twenty plus years of GD history & culture....
After a year & half or so of watching & waiting for them to come back to Texas, I finally realized that I had the whole Mohammed & the mountain trip going. So be it. It was time for me to go to them. I had always wanted to visit Colorado, so I set my sights on the December 1990 run & managed to score a mail order ticket for the first & third show of the run.
12-12-90 was it for me.
I remember standing in the arena simply awestruck afterwards thinking "I have got to find a ticket for tomorrow night right NOW". At the exact same instant I finished the thought, I heard a young lady behind me saying she was going to have to sell her ticket to tomorrow night's show... sound familiar? The next night I was literally on the bus filled with Deadheads from my motel in Aurora to the 2nd night's show. As I soaked up the conversations regarding the previous night's 'unfinished' Dark Star, I head someone say "Maybe they'll finish it tonight..." "No way!" another 'Head empahtically stated. "Well, maybe they'll finish it tomorrow night..."
I was only 12 or 13 when Jerry died so I never got to go to a show, but out of the couple hundred shows I have on bootleg, Swing Auditorium '77 is by far the most amazing show I have ever discovered. It was the first show that Terrapin, and Estimated were played at, and it was a great show all the way through the entire thing.