By request of Mike Edwards, who's making a documentary on this unique, memorable festival at Pyramid Lake. If you were there, tell us about it...
It's September 9th, 2 days past the 30 year anniversary of this 'once in a lifetime' event, I just found this thread, and being the artist for the full color poster, I thought I might enlighten some folk about the specifics of the art request as I received said request. But first let me say,as a long time resident of Reno, Nevada, I have visited Pyramid Lake on several occasions, however, as Sela, the promoter, mentioned above, the original location for the event was a ranch in Sierra County, Ca., which, in fact was green, with a brook running through it, and it was along side some rolling hills...
So you see, the poster was already in the works when the location was changed, if I'm not mistaken, it was already being printed, at great expense to the promoters (I charged nothing for my contribution)...
An interesting factoid... I was approached by the promoters on a Thursday, they needed to get the 'print ready' art to the printer that Monday, I didn't receive the info (copy) till Friday evening, so to create what was needed, I pulled what we artists just love, a 56 hour airbrush/typesetting marathon.... I also created a multi color t-shirt design (I have re-created digitally
The t-shirt design for the GDAO, don't know if they will ever print it however)
I was in between wives at the time, so I spent 2 weeks hand delivering those posters to record stores and head shops up and down the San Juaquin valley, good times,
I was the promoter of Ranch Rock. When Jerry was taken ill in 1986 I felt that a healing, comforting gathering was in order. Having never done anything like this before, there were many snags. While a good time was had by all, the changes to our nations political make up and the rescue of the Paiute Tribe's water rights are the real story! Ranch Rock sent a ripple effect outward that most are not aware of. Every year the Paiute still sing about the hippies gathering in the desert whose efforts saved their people. It was called Ranch Rock because of the California Ranch in Sierra County that was the original location. With only 28 days before the concert the Sheriff pulled our permit against the unanimous vote of the County Board of Supervisors who wanted the event to go on as planned. Lacking the 29 days for public notice for permit anywhere else we approached the Paiute Tribe as their Reservation is sovereign. The rest, as they say, is history! Would love to share the dramatic backdrop to this wonderful music happening! - Sela
if only you could track down that film crew today!
My friend and I arrived at Pyramid Lake a couple of days before the concert and car-camped there with some of the other early arrivals. We had a two-person tent for shade, but that was about it for cooling relief, so when I noticed on a map that there were some hot springs up on the north shore of the lake, I suggested that we take a drive, if only to make our world breezier. I was driving a Honda CRX that summer that was front wheel drive and had a five speed transmission, but the unpaved road we found ourselves on soon gave way to loose sand and it wasn't long before I had the thing buried up to the axle. I was pretty sure that we were screwed. We were in the Nevada desert in summer at noontime; we had a cooler full of beer and ice, but the nearest town was about a twenty mile walk away. Then I noticed something strange on a rock formation a couple hundred yards away from where we stood: it looked like hippie girls clad in diaphanous clothing posed on moonscape boulders. My eyes tracked downward from the place where this vision suddenly appeared and that's when I noticed what looked like a film crew near the base of the rock formation. It turns out they were students from San Francisco State who were out there shooting a video and after we established our premise--stuck in sand, beer on ice--they helped lift us out and got us safely back on our way. So, Ranch Rock 86 at Pyramid Lake was a parched moonscape, no doubt, but it's also, for me, clearly a case of Once-In-A-While-You-Get-Shown-The-Light Syndrome.
clearly never saw the place!!!
let's just say there was nothing green for miles. The Playa to come had nothing on that parched moonscape...
My friends and I scoped out the situation and opted for a campground in the mountains an hour or so out. Which had actual running water and bathrooms and showers. This was wise, as far as we were concerned.
I've found scans of two posters so far:
I went to that show. It was really fun being able to jump into Pyramid Lake to wash off the dust and cool down. There was a pretty small but enthusiastic crowd that day, probably due to Jerry recovering from the coma. Bob Weir couldn't play guitar that day because of an arm injury. The Paiute tribe was very gracious to allow the Deadheads to assemble on the shore.
My best memory of the show was that Kathi McDonald can belt it out!
I still have the promotional poster too.
Freddy Hahne, of the Black Rock Arts folks. Send me a PM and I'll put you in touch.
Hey, I was at the Greek. Burning Man, not my scene! Freezing at Baker Beach, also not my scene!
There are no errors on this playing field, marye, only events and their potential interpretations. What you call an error, I call the thing that helped me to see this more expansively, so thanks.
Who's Dr. Really? Sounds like a specialist I might need to consult.
that was me, so I don't mind a good error in a good cause.