I do think that I got stuck listening too exclusively to the Dead for many years. Then in 2001 I saw a live acoustic show of various musicians at the Cactus Club in Austin, Tx. That really blew me away with the power of live acoustic performance and inspired me to take up the guitar to learn folk music. Afterall, that how Jerry & Robert Hunter got started. So it was kind of like going back to the roots of it all. I began to enjoy music as a performer in the camp grounds of a local folk festival. I even learned how to play some favorite Dead songs and they sound great acoustically and people love to hear them. Now I am even writing some of my own songs. I really feel that is how the Dead would want us to live our lives ...in a very creative fashion....just as they have done all these years....they have set the example...the solutions to the Earth's problems will come out of new creative ideas and spiritual experiences....not after going over the same old stuff time after time....that would more be like an addiction that hinders rather than heals....anyway I dig this new web site format.
Maybe the folks that say "get over it" are just secretly jealous because they don't smile and dance and have the joy that we do.
The dominant paradigm will always seek to marginalize those on the fringe – the seekers and dreamers, the countercultures.. Has been that way throughout history. I love being on the fringe, an outsider, a Deadhead. It is a great tradition. Better love and happiness to the tunes that touch me than greed and a frown. Better to know the possibilities are out there and try them than the straight and narrow.
Reading all these comments brings joy to my heart that there are all these wise beautiful people that are a part of our community.
Beethoven lives! Miles lives! Coltrane lives! Jerry lives! The Dead live! Deadheads live!
Let your freak flag fly!
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
Walt Whitman-Song of Myself
a relative late-comer to the music and lifestyle, but still a child of the 70's, i ignored the GD's music for the most part until i met my husband who took me to my first show in 1988 in Philly. I'd worked OT all week and promptly fell asleep in my exhaustion and exposure to the drift of the smoke in the air. Then we moved back to the west coast and a year or so later saw them in Eugene OR with Little Feat, etc. i was hooked! We followed them as much as we could and for the rest of the time the band was together, we made them part of our lives. i felt profound sorrow when we heard of the passing of band members. And I had tears in my eyes as we revelled in the band's opening show as "the Dead". Now every possible version of the music is available more than ever and it's something that is timeless to me. I can listen to other classic American music like Gershwin (Rhapsody in Blue), or big band music and get the same feeling that the GD music inspires. It's become something i listen to almost daily, and if i don't hear it for a week or so, i realize how much i've missed it and will always love it. So what if the band isn't intact anymore....the music certainly is!
"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
Dreaming the dream. The dream can last as long as we like it to. It's all an illusion any way, isn't it? Dream your Dream whatever it may be, as long as it's good for you and who knows hopefully it may be good for other's as well. The Grateful Dead music, makes me feel, happy. The music makes me feel connected with everything around me. That oneness. Now here's the Key, feeling that feeling of happiness, connectedness to all and to everything as much as you can. That's what it is all about right now. What ever brings out your passion, what you love to do, then that's what you should be doing right now. That's the future.
Like attracts like.
"When you get divorced you turn in your library card? You get a new license? You stop being Jewish? Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax... You're goddamn right I'm living in the fucking past!"
"Fuck it Dude, let's go bowling...."
There's nothing wrong with musical legends, but it was more than that. Live the way you want, follow your bliss, find what you want to do and do it. The Dead showed us the possibilities, along with many others, it's up to you now.
Well, for one thing, there is no logical reason why "getting on with your life" and being an intense deadhead or even a part time mild deadhead (which simply means appreciating and enjoying the music, whether recorded of the past glory days or current live remnants thereof)
have to be mutually exclusive! What a ridiculous notion. We can continue to enjoy the music while getting on with our lives. Duh.
Now if there are those among us who are or have become so obsessive/compulsive about listening to the music or following the remnant bands around that it has caused them to devolve somehow in the pursuit of their heroic life's journey thus making them less of the human beings that they should be, well then, that might be a bad thing. But I doubt it. And, really now, who really believes that? Life is for learning and it inevitably involves going through phases, so live and let live; I'm sure these poor souls who are "stuck in the past" will eventually meet their demons or angels and their life altering crisis and will "get shone the light, in the strangest of places if they look at it right."
And besides, I can't think of a better thing to be obsessed about. It sure beats an angry life of spousal abuse or signing up for the military to kill kill kill eat burnt dead babies. Lord knows there are worse things.
And for another thing, how can one "live in the past" in regards to music, especially good music, when we know that music is a universal language and good songs are TIMELESS!
Does "getting on with your life" mean we should just accept what the conglomerate media shove down out throats as acceptable commercial piped out music? Should I rush out to buy the next Britney Spears album? Must I succumb to hip hop? Should I just join the hordes of death metal sociopaths marching on towards hopeless cynical bloodthirsty dystopia? What are you telling me? You want me to abandon the most avant guard, mediocrity piercing, enlightening, consciousness raising, delirium creating, ground breaking, futuristic genre of music the world has ever heard? I don't think so.
Grateful Dead music just happens to be one of the few things left that still provides an antidote and antithesis to the evils of this world. It generates good karma and soothing, healing vibrations and is more needed today than ever. So there.
Considering myself to be a "Deadhead" since the early 1970's (I was a still impressionable 13 year old when I listened to "American Beauty"), I cannot grasp the point of view that holds that Deadheads are living in the past. Granted, the Grateful Dead played their last show at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 9, 1995 and Jerry passed on to the next level on August 9, 1995, but the essential spirituality, the sense of community that the band and Deadheads created for each other endures.
If living in the past means I still enjoy the memories of the music that continues to stir my being to this day, that relieves the stress of everyday life as I near 50 years of age, and that takes me back to a time when I was still a carefree youth (not a middle aged male faced with the reality that I have more days behind me than before me), I'll gladly continue to "live" in the past.
Are you kind?
Well, the energy just keeps on radiating like ripples in a pond. Imagine if u could travel in a spaceship fast enough and far enough away. With a powerful enough telescope u could see yourself and the family at the shows you attended. You could look back into time. Freaky huh!? IT is much bigger than the band or any of us. IT is eternal. All things must pass, but it isn't really a thing in that sense... :)
Believe it if u need it, if u don't just pass it on!
Once a Deadhead...always a Deadhead! And, if you wanted the Dead atmosphere, there have been plenty of opportunites with Bobby, Phil and all. Other than a very few personal events, I cannot remember any other times when I felt so much a part of something as I did when I was at a show, with other Dead fans/friends or even just listening to the music. Once you are into it, it's something that takes hold of your being. The feeling doesn't go away, regardless of whether or not you wear a suit to work everyday. :)