Grateful Dead

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marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
as if

that were possible!

PalmerEldritch's picture
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Joined: Jul 25 2011
paradoxes

Yeah. Funny, I just remembered an interview with Jerry where he answered a rather philosophical question with "I don't think there is a good excuse for not being happy". Simple, but kinda pithy also. I'm sure he didn't mean "perfectly happy", though...

marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
Festival Express

I thought the scene where Jerry was trying to reason with the gatecrashers was quite telling. And what year was this?

But I agree with you in not thinking any of the movies are "sadder" than the others (and of course how typical that this twit does not recognize, or bother to find out, who the breastfeeding woman is, sigh. The Atlantic has fallen on evil days). In some ways, that totally fabulous show we had in the theatres a month or so back had "sad" things--Brent looked like absolute hell and pretty much tore your heart out, but boy did he and Jer have the chemistry....

One of the things about the Dead in general and Hunter in particular is their ability to deal with paradox and carry numerous things and their contradictions at the same time.

(Hey, we were ALL part of the neediness of the scene, we couldn't not be.)

PalmerEldritch's picture
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Jerry

Some interesting thoughts marye that I hadn't quite considered in that way before. The neediness of the scene- the "need" for a Grateful Dead guru to adulate. Maybe I've been (or am) guilty of it. Maybe Jerry felt similarly towards Neal Cassady? Personally, I never saw any more sadness in "Dead Ahead" than "The Grateful Dead Movie", or even "Sunshine Daydream" or "Festival Express". I mean, there was always an element of sadness in the music,no? Isn't that true of most great music, songs, and artists? Jerry always seemed so merry in interviews, but I'll never forget that interview with Robert Hunter, where he said about Jerry "there's always been a little bit of sadness somewhere in there, I think..." Just paraphasing from memory.

marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
one thing I will say

is that when I came along in 1981, I had owned the first album since it came out, I was aware of the more obvious songs, etc. I had friends who were Deadheads. I had also run into people I considered nutballs whose eyes would glaze over with worshipful awe at the mention of Jerry Garcia.

So when I got the direct experience, I certainly got the Garcia Whammy, all right, to the point that I turned myself into a journalist because I didn't see any other way I would get to talk to the guy. But from the get-go it was tempered by the feeling that he was carrying all these worshipful people and in a very real sense it was killing him. It was obvious, just walking in and feeling the sheer neediness of the scene, and being PART of the sheer neediness of the scene because that was the effect Jerry was stuck with having on people.

So while I do not care what is tolerable for some dweeb at the Atlantic, I think there is some accuracy in noting that aspects of the scene were intolerable for Jerry. And history seems to have borne this out.

fluffanutter's picture
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Joined: Feb 25 2012
Or, perhaps Mr. Parker

thought to write a piece at the level he felt most of his readers would be able to connect at. Perhaps he wrote at that level not to embarrass himself to his own social circle. Whatever, the superior attitude was not appealing. Is it not impolite to pass judgement on the Dead?

Mr. Pid's picture
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Joined: Dec 22 2007
Exactamundo

Mr. Edwards. There really is something to that whole Yin Yang thing. It is impossible to define "good" without "bad" as a point of contrast. Homogeneity is the realm of the feeble-minded. Mosquitoes are unpleasant to have to deal with, but if they didn't fulfill some role in the biology mix, evolution would have dispensed with them long since. Never regret unpleasant occurrences, learn from them instead. Every touch of grey occurs inside a silver lining.

As for Mr. Parker's analysis in The Atlantic, I found it curiously refreshing to get a non-Head's spin on it all. He so clearly did not want to like his assignment, but in the end, he couldn't quite get there. So props to him for choosing the Parachute mindset model.

Mike Edwards's picture
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Joined: Jun 17 2007
Longer and Stranger and Trippier

In his essay "A Long, Strange Trip", James Parker finds the GD's performance of Fire on the Mountain in their video Dead Ahead to be

"Intolerably sad, yes, but it makes me feel better about the Dead and their people. I knew there had to be a low in there somewhere. Drug-tingles and swoopy dancing will only get you so far. To make the big-time connection, the one that lasts, you must confess to brokenness."

That sounds about right to me, except for the word intolerably. Sad, yes, but hardly intolerable, which Parker himself seems to concede in his acknowledgment of a connection made. Of that sadness, Beyonder writes in his blog The Formality of Occurrence,

I have to say, personally, "Far out, man. That's a new one. I never, ever thought of anything the bozos did as sad."

My thought upon reading that line went like this: Sweet William he is dead, pretty Peggy-O. In other words, I can't imagine the GD, or life itself, without sadness in the mix; otherwise, how do we know when we are feeling joy?

PalmerEldritch's picture
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Joined: Jul 25 2011
nice articles

enjoyed both articles, beyonder. "distressingly tiny shorts"...hehe

Anna rRxia's picture
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Joined: Dec 25 2009
like Lynyrd Skynyrd performing in an antigravity chamber

thanks for the link beyonder. it's funny reading this guy's perspective. he pretty much sums up the sneering, down-looking attitude of the mainstream. like i've always said, the grateful dead is an acquired taste and not many stuck around to acquire the taste or when they did appreciated it for what it was...

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