Grateful Dead

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The Woodcutters Daughter's picture
Joined: Jan 4 2009
How could you?

How could you marry someone who's not a dead head? That's a very good question and one that I was recently asked of me (with a tone of actual shock) by a couple at a fall ratdog show. They didn't know my history so I explained that in the end, it was fear, self preservation, and wishful thinking.

My first husband and I met my freshman year in college. We instantly became best friends and fell deeply in love, all to the backdrop of the Dead. We'd actually walk around campus together singing dead songs in between classes...cried to the dead, made love to the dead... you get the idea. All dead, all the time...going to as many shows as we could afford and that time would allow. You know... great times, high times, the best of times....

We married upon graduation and although we had been party buddies thoughout our four years in school, it was time to start living life as adults and keep it all in perspective. Long, painful story short, 12 years and had 3 beautiful children later, the excessive drugs, drinking and endless stream of hiding and lying finally destroyed the relationship. Still breaks my heart to this day. Anyway...

Unfortunately, he (and the pain) seemed to be sadly tied to the Dead "lifestyle" so when i began dating and seriously considering a new husband, the fact that the man WASN'T into the Dead seemed like a bonus at the time.

It all comes down to tradeoffs. Lets face it; i was fearful of deja vu all over again, so despite my new man's disdane of my birkenstocks, his inability to comprehend my freaky dancing and his obvious lack of love for all things Jerry and Bobby, I married him. At the time, i wasn't THAT into it any more anyway...or so I thought.

About 6 months later, I happened upon my Englishtown 77 disc. It was literally like reuniting with an old familar lover, without the guilt! And so it went... I slowly but surely drifted back to it all, chosing to focus on how much I love "it" (the music), rather than how much I used to love "him" (the first husband). While this approch works for the most part, I'll be the first to admit that Bird Song still make me cry like a baby... but I digress...

My second husband and I have been married 5 years now and have seen a few shows together...the Other Ones, Phil and friends and a few Ratdog shows. Although I know he'll go if asked, he makes a point of reminding me that there are "so many great bands we can be spending our money on..and besides, I don't dance and never will."

To that comment, all I can do is . So much for wishful thinking...

Bottom line:
Since his tolerance is a poor substitute for actual enjoyment and tends to take away from my experience, here's how we make it work.

1. One "dead' related show together per year max. I can go with friends to any shows anytime I want. No guilt in either direction allowed.

2. Sirius 32 subscription. That was my birthday present from him along with noise cancellation headphones. Best present I ever received. I listen all day long while i work and he dutifully listens to me recount what happened today in GD history or what might have been discussed on the Golden road. He may not actually care, but he'll listen nicely and appreciate the fact that if it makes me happy, it makes him happy.

3. Long car trips. We both try to be reasonable. We'll tolerate listening / or not listening to our preferences for as long as we can before one of us grabs the sirius radio and changes the channel.

The good news is, he's IS making some progress. The other day i was watching an online video and from the kitchen I heard him say "Is that Eyes of the World? That's a nice version" Big grin... why yes, yes it is.... Now, if I can just get him to start singing with me....

it goes to show you don't never know...

TxJed's picture
Joined: Dec 30 2008
Middle ground?

My sweet Significant Other doesn't really care much for the dead. There are some tunes that she likes, but overall she feels that they are too country. I've pretty much given up on convincing her that they are really roots rock in the grand American tradition.
She is a Wiccan, and is much more into trance music and other forms whose names I don't even remember. Strange thing is that she loves to turn up the volume and dance, but just can't relate to doing that with the Dead ( no matter how many times I try to explain that the Dead is really a dance band, her kind of dancing). I wish I could have taken her to a Dead show. Then maybe she would understand a little better. We manage to work it out though, me listening during my commute and when outside doing yardwork and other errands, and she listening to her music during those times I am away.
Fortunately, we do agree on the middle ground, groups like CSNY, Cake, Neil Young to name a few. After all, we're all just dancing in a ring around the sun!

Joined: Jan 1 2009
My Honey

He is by no means a Head. He doesn't like going to live shows much either. But we've worked for 8 years now. He knows about my life on the road and my love for the Dead. There are bears, a Jerry Doll, drawings all over our home. He just smiles and says "As long as your happy." This past week when the news was announced and I was dancing around our tiny apartment he just laughed and said it was good to see me smile again. We give each other space and respect musically. We click on many other levels and music differences is just a small part of who we are as a couple.

Joined: Jul 20 2007
My hubby

who I met at a show is starting to fade away!
We went on tour together in the 80's, what a long strange trip.....
Im not gettin off the bus..
He is not much of a head anymore, it makes me sad :(
He is a workaholic now and we never spend time together anymore.
I go to shows with friends now,
Thank god for cause I met lots of new friends to tour with me in 09!!
Dont know how to pull him back in :/

Joined: Jan 4 2009
Here's another (unusual?!) example

Husband and wife first meet working event security at a concert venue. He-basic classic rock type(Boston/Kansas...)/She-basically musically multi-faceted(being in that business, I think that should be a job skill but that's just my opinion.) She admittedly did not become a Dead aficionado until after working her first show. Turs out the music tastes are given mutual respect in the house and has been for over 21 years now.

Canyon Critter's picture
Joined: Oct 20 2008
I'm laughing reading these

I'm laughing reading these posts. So I'd thought share my experience:

My first girl was my high school sweetheart...I introduced her to the dead and the funny thing is even though we've been broken since '94 I just got an email last week from her saying that it was the thing about me she was most thankful for.

"Not doing to bad ol friend. Still got the Dead in ya...I see. Good Good. Best thing ya ever showed me. Been going to nearly every availbale possible show for years. Also a Big Ratdog fan now. quite a love story- you and me. 10 years. "

So fast forward to June, 2006:

My girlfriend and I had just got to Milwaukee's Summerfest to see Tom Petty & Pearl Jam play (good show by the way) on the 28th. So after that, I "talked" her into seeing String Cheese and Ratdog on the 6th of july. I was all pumped before the show and totally diggin the vibe, I was home with my family. Bobby opens up with Monkey & The Engineer, energy was like the summer night HOT. As I'm dancing around like a head on the picnic tables to the second song in the set, my favorite, Cassidy, she says to me, "These people smell like patchouli oil and haven't taken a shower for weeks." Being a head for along time I was completely offended by that statement. It was right then and there I had a total ephinany....she's not even close to being the right one for me. I'm in it for love. I tried to love someone I'm not, high maintanence and judgemental. I should have known the first time we went camping ;-) It took me a little longer to realize it was true and broke up with her a month later.

I was done looking for my Sugar Magnolia....and WHAM out of the blue comes a girl that was closer to my roots. She didn't care about how cute she looked, there's no outlet for a hair dryer, or what kind of jeans someone was wearing. She was beautiful to the ends of the earth and kind with all her heart. We started dating and first thing I did was say, "Hey Babe, you wanna go to Ratdog and The Allman Brothers at the Charter One Pavillion with me?" She's only 22 (believe me I was very reluctant at first but after meeting we just knew) and didn't even know who Bobby was. She was really excited to go and learn about where I came from.

In the parking garage at Soldier Field (alas the last place Jerry played) we hung out before the show....she was totally at home and really diggin the GD Hour tape I was playing from '98. It wasn't like the Oakland Coliseum lot D or anything but we had alot of fun with the "fams". So we walk around the harbor to get to the pavillion dancing around the people along the way. It was an amazingly cool summer night with a perfect breeze coming from Lake Michagan. As we get into the show, it's just a chill vibe.

Jam > Playin in the Band > Ramble On Rose, Cold Rain and Snow The mode of the show was a real slow tempo chill night. I was sing every word and we both were rockin out around the bleachers. She said,"Om my god, you know every single word to these songs...that's awesome! These people are amazing." We keep dancing and singing until Ratdog pulls out Dear Prudence, she's a huge Beatles fan, she say every single word smiling from ear to ear. It was amazing. Allman Bros played, needless to say we had a perfect night.

As were driving home from the show, she tells me that the show made her feel like she was at home....boy did she know I felt.

I fell madly in love with her after that night. If I had the world to give, I'd give it to her. As long as I live.
Will you come with me? Once in awhile you can get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right!

steviecharles's picture
Joined: Sep 22 2008
my S.O.

stevie c
We have been together for 23 years, 3 kids, 2 states and several dogs and cats, and parrots. When we met, she was into airplane, hot tuna, csn&y, and the dead. She said that she saw the dead in central park and in madison square garden. However, the only music of theirs she was familiar with were their studio albums. Now back in the late 70's early 80's I had about 400 casette tapes of concerts, 20+ dead shows, and 10+ jerry and bobby shows under my belt. Nowadays she tells me I am a fanatic and I made her not like the dead anymore. I LOVE the dead, and miss jerry almost as much as my son that passed to next world last jan. I play my guitar everyday and it drives her crazy because anything I play i do it in traditional dead style. Even in church, I play psalms and hymns like jerry would have. We don't even listen to music together anymore because of our tastes. I think I try to meet her half way but she just doesn't give it a chance.Anyone with any thoughts? stevie c

Joined: Jun 12 2007
Not sure how it works...

I was in a long-term relationship with another Head and it worked very well - well, until recently. Not sure I could be with someone who wasn't as into them as I am or more. Can it really work?

Gypsy Cowgirl's picture
Joined: Aug 14 2007

OH MY GOD! how can any one of you people be Dead Heads & not marry another dead head? The funniest one I read is the one about the guy who's got his 6 yr. old son singing with him now-I can only hope my 4 yr. old grandson & 2 yr. old granddaughters will so the same soon! & his father grew up with the band.......I was one of the lucky ones-both my ex & current hubby of the past 14 years (although we've known each other for 30yrs) were into the GD..............ok, back to work......enough play for

thndrbill's picture
Joined: Oct 17 2007
It's like beets

either you like them or you don't. For years my wife loved to go to shows and dance and check out the vendors in the parking lot, but she never has had much use for any kind of recorded Dead and for some reason cannot stand Bobby. My solution is not to play it much when she's around. The way it has worked out over 18 years is that I like most all music she likes and she likes some of what I listen to.
Ami, I know how you feel. One of my best friends, who I used to play with, is a tremendous jazz musician (way better than me) and he was appalled by the shaky harmonies and less than stellar execution that came along from time to time. We have agreed to disagree. However once he walked in the room while some version of Scarlet Begonias was playing and had to admit he liked it.


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