I perceive a number of interwoven threads both internally and in the comments I've read here. Did the soul-shaking "Dead experience" as a experience to get in the world die with Jerry? Subquestions within that are whether Phil or Ratdog can supply that experience and whether other jambands can do it. The deeper question is what was/is the necessary ingredient? Jerry? Not just Jerry but those individuals known as the band? That type of music? That kind of community?
Brewing underneath that question, ironically, is the hope that something that felt unique and magical when we had it was actually something formulaic and reliable!
Another thread is whether or not "It" -- any peak experience, really -- is something whose purpose in our lives is to be repeated over and over as an experience. How do I get back to "It"? Listen to recordings of favorite shows? Attend other musical events, or Burning Man, and hope to feel the same things?
Or is "Go out and do something with it" the best course? And, if I "go out and do something with it", will that bring me back to that feeling or to something else?
A lot of weird thoughts went through my head the day of the Golden Gate Park memorial event. One of them was about my (skeletal) understanding of Martin Buber's metaphor of the "God-shaped void." I thought that day that perhaps the void isn't like a lock into which God fits as the key but a void carved by God that one can't fill and which is the place from which one's own creative impulses act. I felt the loss of Jerry as that incurable void, and the sense that whatever comes from it in my life will probably not look like or feel like attending Dead shows!
Thanks for hearing the rambles.
So now I'm 34, I have a real job and don't skip classes and summer jobs for the Tour but I still sport the SYF on all my cars and have yet to cut my hair, not that that means a thing but you will always find a bootleg playing in the office or on the road, and tears come to my eyes when summer tour is supposed to be upon us at RFK or JGB in Albany or MSG, Shoreline Amp. etc. where ever Life goes on and so do the Grateful Dead, Jerry will live inside of me forever, blind or deaf, I'll never forget his sweet music and incredible presence!!!!
On my Birthday I woke up, excited to enjoy MY DAY......I worked in a little bead/head shop in Reno, Nevada called Beads Etc. and I was gonna have a kick ass day. Not long after waking up, I heard on the radio...."Jerry Garcia dead at age..........." Needless to say, it was a surreal experience. My world had been the Grateful Dead, I used to call myself the "Party Director", I was the one in my close knit group of friends, that had that ESP radar, I just knew when to call the hotline to know that tickets would be going on sale, I would then coordinate the Motel reservations, and put the info out for my friends.....I never really had much in the way of valuable posessions, my tapes!, my t-shirts, what more did I really need? So when it all stopped, so did I. I couldn't fathom going to any other sort of concert, so I just didn't. It wasn't until this past summer, what?...12 years later that I went to my first Dead Family related concert, it was Melvin Seals with JGB up near Squaw Valley, years earlier I did attempt PHISH, and String Cheese.., but it just didn't cut it for me. Needless to say, the music was magical, I cried like i'd never cried before......I think just for the fact that Jerry died on my birthday was a grip of trauma for me.....But now, my ears are opening back up.....shit, I even listen to country, and that was never ever in the picture for me before.
Thank you Dead Net for letting me speak......heidi
The music is timeless.
No past, present or future.
When i read comments or talk to Deadheads who have not ever checked out any of the Dead's post-Jerry bands, all I can tell them is that they are missing out on some great music. I have seen The Other Ones, The Dead, Ratdog, Phil & Friends and even the DSO multiple times each and have witnessed some amazing shows. In particular, the first nite of a 3 nite stand for Phil & Friends at the Orpheum in Boston back in '03 was one of the best concerts I have ever seen. Perhaps the finest version of "Mason's Children" EVER!
On a personal note, last summer I saw Bobby and Ratdog at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City. A wonderful outdoor venue. My gf at the time and I had just got back together and were in a difficult long distance relationship. We have since broken-up for good but I will never forget the feeling of slow-dancing under the stars with her on a perfect summer evening listening to Bobby and the boys play a beautiful version of "Stella Blue". It's a song that has always been special to us, as we used to cover it when we played together as an acoustic duo. We were both in tears and smiling at the same time. All i can say is "thank you Bobby" for a moment I will cherish the rest of my life.
So, to me there is nothing to get over. Just great music to still be enjoyed and cherished.
music & vibe is necessary in life.
Plain & simple, NO.
There is no "getting over it". One look at the crowds at jamband shows, youth and old heads, tells us that music that opens up and leaves the "pop" and todays so-called "rock" in its dust is still alive and well. We're fortunate to have one of the major jamband influences at our beck & call, even tho Jerry,Piggy,Brent,& Keith aren't here.
Whenever you get stuck listening to a radio for a while, just reach over, grab a tape,cd or iPOD, pick the show or tune of you choice and you'll instantly start to smile, relax and lose that FM tension.
Go to see Phil, Ratdog, Micky & Billy, Dark Star Orchestra, Splintered Sunlight etc, and feel the vibe come back. Yes, it will be a little different, but isn't why we went to the shows? because the Dead (and us) were 'different"?
So again, get over it? No. Bring it on!!!!!!!
Just because a band or musician doesn't tour or release albums under a certain name or not anymore at all does not make them less relevant. People today still listen to and play music from composers dead for centuries because the music is timeless. I'll still be playing my Dead records, tapes, and cds long into retirement.
I think Cornsmoke did an excellent job of explaining the way many of us think abot this subject. I stopped going to shows in '82 and felt that the Dead would always be there. I took them and their gifts for granted. When my wife and I had a daughter I told myself that I'd take her to a show someday . But when Jerry died it hit me a much harder than I thought it would. I had not bought or really listened to much music as much of it reminded me of the dear friends I'd lost in the late '70 and early eighties. Anyway after Jerry died I started listening again and on some days it was like a time machine and I could remember clearly things I hadn't thought of in years. I felt like I came out of an emotional coma! I now listen to Dick's Picks or downloads of older shows almost every day. I don't think it's over, as it's still the soundtrack to mine and millions of other's lives. We didn't get locked in a time warp, we continued to live and love and to work, start families and to get old, but I'll tell ya, my heart still soars and it makes me feel like a young man again when I listen to the Grateful Dead!!
Oh, we won't give in,
we'll keep living in the past.
- Jethro Tull, "Living in the past"