The Unbroken Chain
Unbroken Chain was a symposium held at UMass, 16-18 November 2007.
Just wanted to weigh in on the Unbroken Chain...
This conference brought it all back for me. My partner, Brent Wood, was invited to give a paper about Hunter's lyrics at the conference - great panel with David Dodd and James Revell Carr. It was a blessing to hit the road again - good chance to listen and discuss. The conference was excellent - UMass was good to us. It was refreshing to gather together and consider the manifold aspects of the Dead - total celebration. Highlights for me were: meeting Mountain Girl, Ms. Stanley, Herb Greene, Stanley Krippner, Rolling Thunder's Grandson - Sidian Morning Star, Johnny Dwork, hearing Bralove's midi presentation, and hearing such a receptive audience for Brent's talk about psychedelics and poetics.
Thanks for the great jams and for opening up the discussion to include many aspects of Dead culture. Loved the homegrown media talks, great art displays, the spirituality talks, Rebecca Adams' research on DeadHead culture... the whole cornucopia. Let's do it again!
They should keep going, I hope they do as so many other people. The music is changing and it is sounding great. Keep up the good work fellas!
Just got my Tixs for the 5/4 show in Chicogo, can't wait. My last Dead show was here in Saint Louis, next to last show before The Fat Man departed this planet!! Have several Dead concert DVDs willing to trade for a old Dead Live in Las Vegas T or sweat! UPDATE! Somehow my month old post did not post! And The Dead have come and gone from their Chicago stop! Got there a couple hours early having drove in from St. Louis. Wondered around trying to find old friends but only made a few new ones! Bought a couple Ts and some fine chow. It was quite a bit different from my last Dead show July 5th 1995, the crowd was very diverse in both age and behavior! Some of those kids had to have just gotten out of diapers in 95, any way the cops that were patrolling all seemed pretty cool; saw no one arrested and there was a pretty heavy cloud of Herb floating around, along with open containers, the only comment from the law was over glass bottles and they just told peeps to get a cup and drink out of that. The show was awesome, Warren played Jerry's part with his own style and blended well with Bob on harmonies! I thought Warren's rendition of " Imagine" was a fine touch. All in all a very good show!! As was the next nights offering, where they played almost all of my favorite tunes!! Well worth the trip and $s spent! Just wish they would announce they were going to add 2 shows in Saint Louis!
Drangd1 and very happy to be here!
Start to finish, it was wonderful. Mountain Girl's reflections on gender and the early scene was definitely the highlight for me. She recalled having to shop and cook for the band, playing house mother. Having earlier commented on Janis Joplin's being regularly at the house, someone asked what her job was -- the response..."Janis' job was to drink with Pig Pen."
Perhaps the thing that most got me, though, was the return of the full ritual. It's great being able to see Ratdog, Phil & Friends, or DSO when they come around, but what I miss is the full routine -- the hours on the road anticipating, the communing in the campground/parking lot with people you haven't seen in who knows how long and meeting new friends you didn't know you had, rolling into the show with your tribe, hours of dancing, and then spending the rest of the night bubbling from the show laughing, analyzing, and reliving it. With long drive to Amherst, the American Beauty Project and the DSO shows, and the conference sessions during the day acting like a less muddy parking lot, and hanging out with the other folks at the conference, I got back the complete ritual. It really was magical.
It was a lot of fun, from the welcoming sounds of the Kind Buds playing in the Campus Centre Hotel foyer Thursday evening to the tailgate party in the carpark Sunday afternoon. Best question I heard award to David Dodd for "Phil said that Jerry was the reincarnation of Claude Debussy. Do you think Phil was the reincarnation of some other musician so Debussy could finally get to play with him?" The seminars and panels were great but the highlights were the two shows in the evening - American Beauty Project on Friday and Dark Star Orchestra on Saturday.
The students were on strike, a flashback experience for many veterans. Students were complaining, among other things, about undercover cops in the dorms. Apparently one of the favourite disguises is the pizza delivery routine.
Scholars, fans, artists, performers and members of the extended Grateful Dead family gathered on campus for the first major university conference on the enduring legacy of the Dead experience.