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.
Every show I saw changed me in some degree. Some shows I remember more than others, but it really wasn't until 1995 when the shit started to happen--gate crashers, etc--that I realized the magic was going away.
Even though I have seen Bobby and Phil, it wasn't until the boys got back together as The Dead--summer of '03--that I realized the importance of this community and what it meant to me. I only hope that the boys do it one more time--I've got some teenagers that need to see.
At the time, I thought that the sandwich show from the Boston Music Hall 11/30/73 - 12/2/73 run to be the most engaging. (in retrospect, most people disagree) The particular life changing moment which I distinctly remember taking my breath away, was the segue into Uncle John's Band. I had no idea. After that, I was hooked for life.
JGB Jerry Garcia Band
Cannot remember the date (sometime around Thanksgiving 1990) Just moved to California, staying with relatives in the East Bay. Took BART to San Francisco, Dropped A along the way and headed to the Warfield. Having come from the East Coast, I thought I was in Heaven that I was going to see Jerry in such a tiny venue. Anyway, long story short, Way Hot Show. If you have seen any show in the Warfield, you know how special a place it is. Having seen Jerry there dozens of time afterwards, I truly know and appreciate just how lucky and fortunate I really am. Love to hear your thoughts..... Eternityblue
p.s. Saw the Allman Brothers there too.(w/Dickey Betts) Not a life changing show, but one of the best.(they cranked up Jimi Hendricks ~ Blues) in its entirety before the show. If you have not heard the CD ~ get it and listen to the whole thing very loud.............
The all left a big impression! But a day I will never forget was at Spartan Stadium 4/22/1979. We had seen the last of Keith and Donna at the benefit concert a couple months earlier so we all were real excited to see the big unveiling of the new guy. I met uncle BoBo outside in the parking area before going in and had a nice chat with him-always admired his work and what he did for San Fran musicians. I had made a huge banner of the 'Egypt' logo and went high up on the bleachers to the fence at the top and hung it up(later stolen at the show) to welcome the day on the green. I then took my place near the front about 20' from the stage dead center. I then proceeded to 'help out' about 300 heads sitting nearby with some green dragon.
Charlie Daniels and his band started us off to a rockin start. Then the boys came out and lit a fire with Brent weaving his tapestry. We were all aglow! It was so cool to have a great show-Looks Like Rain,with rain! Then a rockin ,Miracle>Bertha bringing out the sunshine again. Really sweet scarlet- fire as well that day. Surrounded by some great friends and tons of folk all in the same space smiling so hard like your face was going to break and dancin' on the grass so nice. It was a day...........
Never had such a good time...........
on july 4 th 89..my old and best friends opened for the dead,, the 10,000 manaics..i was on crew that day ,,,i had just drove with my girlfriend back from foxboro to get back to jamestown ny in time to jump on the bus with the band to get to buffalo bills stadium..was one of those days...i was sent to the lot to grab some doses and ganj for the maniacs, and while out there i started talking to some nice west coast hippies, and a guy with them grabbed my laminate, and looked at me and didnt introduce himself....turns out it was ram rod..so im backstage looking thru a cooler for a beer,,and dennis from the maniacs says you wanna meet jerry..FUCK YEAH !!SO OFF WE GO ..AND THERE HE IS WITH RAMROD ..!!! The guy in t he lot was ramrod!! Jerry was smoking away.. a cig...classic!!! ramrod leans over to jerry and whispers something and jerry just smiles..and i am introduced...jerry says so you are one of those card carrying maniacs,, yes jerry!!and i just smile..He WAS JUST AS I THOUGHT HE WOULD BE DOWN TO EARTH VERY COOL and super nice and polite...i looked him straight in the eye and shook his hand..blown the fuck away....i realized then ..i was just comming on to a altered state or as wavy gravy would say ..under unusual circumstances lol that the universe was thanking me with that experiance for being a good human being...As i said jerry was all i thought he would be....beyond the muscian, i saw not just as a musical shaman, but as a simple very cool fun loving and sweet man...i try to be just the same..just like jerry sweet and fun loving!!Who would have imagined that a simple guy like me would ever meet him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i also was blown away at my second show wich was winterland 78....they had just returned from the pyrimids,, showing a slide show of egypt as they played,,, they did a double encore ,,shakedown and johnny b good...that was the only show i ever felt like i couldnt take another a song ...i was energised yet exhausted after that show,,the band and crowd had given their all as i left winterland i got a burrito from a hippie and it was the best burrito i ever had,,that was also the smallest venue i ever saw the band in....everything they say about winterland is true ,,that place was magic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! may peace prevail on earth remembering jerry a tear comes to my eye thankyou jerry thankyou God AND THANKYOU THE REST OF THE BAND FOR A REAL GOOD TIME!!!
I had already been to three shows in Philly the previous spring, but this show was in my hometown of conservative Cincinnati, Ohio.It was between these shows that I was able to learn more about the music the boys had made.I danced from start to finish at this show and was forever gratefully deadicated.Thanx guys and remember Jerry lives!!!!!!
Bill Graham died on Friday, and Saturday they were off. Sunday was a hard night for everyone, and the Weds show still grievous. Thursday was Halloween, and well, there was a lot of tension to release. It was clear when they opened Stranger? That there was going to be a meltdown, and Mickey brought lots of drums I'd never seen, including a big rectangular flat drum that fit into a frame allowing one to pound on it like a wall. And he did... During Dark Star, drums, holding the mallet up and saying "this one's for Bill". And the rhythm pounded while we danced. Jerry came out, with guest guitar player too, and then Kesey wearing an Uncle Sam costume. Kesey started telling about Graham, and how he sent money for a memorial site in Oregon for his son who died there in a motorcycle accident. And then a poem from E.E. Cummings about Bill the "Handsome Man" who rode on a white horse and shot clay pigeons one after another. Then raising his voice with intention and purpose along with the best back up band ever; he shouted; "BUT WHAT I REALLY WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IS HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR BLUE EYED BOY NOW, MR. DEATH?" There was a simultaneous scream from the audience, and a wild feeling in my blue eyes! I had by this time already seen many shows, but the family got closer that night. And I finally got to hear Dark Star with drums in the middle.
jackl921- Amen brother to that.
If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.