• 96 replies
    marye
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    So the other week I'm getting my hair cut, and Julie the hairstyling goddess, a young thing of twentysomething who's into tattoos, hair color as art form, and lots of black clothing, hears of the impending tour and my hopes of getting Shoreline tix, and says, "I have a question. What's a Dead Head? How would you define it?"

    You think that's a really easy question till you try to answer it.

    So I hemmed and hawed a bit. I said it was the kind of thing that if you said you were one, no one could say you weren't. I may have mentioned Ann Coulter. 

    I  said that it my experience it meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some were there for the party and that was pretty much it. Some were there for the community. Some were there for the life-changing spiritual experience. Some were there for the tunes. 

    Finally I gave up and told her the story of

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  • September 20, 2011 - 2:02pm
    namaste-lady
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    dead head
    every since my first show in 1976 the Dead have had an up-front place in my mind and heart. Almost every minute of every day there's a dead song in my head. The music of the dead is the song track of my life. I get goosebumps during certain songs, feelings that well up and burst out. Concerts are still a wonder. Even without Jerry, although something is missing. Festivals are the best with people of all ages there to honor the music that just speaks to certain ones. We're all there together feeling it run through ourselves, each other and back again. You look at a fellow dead head at a show and smile and you just KNOW. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox
  • September 20, 2011 - 11:36am
    chrispierre
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    while the politicians are
    while the politicians are throwing stones saying ashes to ashes we all fall down
  • July 12, 2011 - 12:55am
    Canyon Critter
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    Love is Real Not Fade Away.....
    Bop, Bop.....BOP BOP! ♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥ Twirly Banner
  • July 11, 2011 - 11:18am
    marye
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    heh
    welcome to our merry band...
  • July 11, 2011 - 12:08am
    Anonymous (not verified)
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    goddamit
    I am a loser, yes Sir. Just checked a previous post by jcpacini and it said the same thing. "ME!". Just to let everyone know though, that in my defense (better make sure i have enough concrete evidence, eh lamagonzo?) i wrote a quite childishly, cynical piece, nay character assassination!, of the typical Deadhead; all smug, self-congratulatory comments about "seeing them as The Warlocks, consider the only years worth a shit to be the '60's and '70's, seen over 200 hundreds (at the very LEAST, man), vegetarian, own all the Betty-Boards, first-in-line for the Europe '72 box set (and i have proof of that too mate, as the date on the cheque was the earliest they could find - yeah, i have a friend in the organisation, obviously; i'm, like, SO in there....). But....i thought "No"; take off the cynical hat Mr. Jonapi and introduce a little levity. A shake of the hands with Mrs. Joker. How i laughed at the witty conciseness of my description. And now look at me; a total buffoon! Don't worry, i'll take myself seriously tomorrow, though.....................
  • July 10, 2011 - 11:51pm
    Anonymous (not verified)
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    Me.
    Me.
  • July 8, 2011 - 4:32pm
    rainbow_trout
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    Grateful Dead at Red Rocks 1987
  • June 25, 2011 - 8:03pm
    blackeyed Susan
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    re: what is a dead head?
    my husband (of 19 years) is from Liverpool, Englanda punk rock drummer (in the 80's) he was punk & I was a dead head he didn't have a clue what that was, thought I was into BAD drugs... the music didn't translate...he just didn't know, hadn't exerienced it or heard it so I had to learn 'im & as I showed him my world, he learned that the knowledge & the attitude & mood & experience comes with the music and is enhanced by it its all part of bein a head!! I bought him a ticket for the Dead concert in T.O. yes the one that didn't happen I then took him to Further... it still translated & started the learning curve now he gets it & its a regular thing for him to say to me... we need to listen to the dead tonight!! I have learned that the translation of music no matter what genre builds a character that continues & carries you on & can translate & meld into other tunes & other worlds.. to quote my husband quoting John Miles, "Music is my first love & it will be my last" now I think that we could put better dead instrumentals to this one but it works!! I really don't believe I just used that quote... but it is such a great line! It gets better, Freddie's nephew (20 years our junior) thinks I'm the cool aunt cause I'm a "Dead Head" & he's muso (guitarist) in Liverpool too!! Q p.s. I wore beads the other day that I used to make & sell to pay for my tickets & guess what, they are still more important to me than any piece of jewelery you could buy in a shop!!
  • March 21, 2011 - 7:18pm
    numdud
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    Drugs
    Deadheads are a fan club that never grew out of being a fan club. Most of them are not completely wasted and they do lead normal lives. Many Deadheads even appreciate REAL music and not just 4 hours of jam session hogwash. If you'll excuse me now, I must get back to playing the same two guitar chords. The drum solo is almost over and I've got another hour to waste before the buzz wears off completely.
  • March 15, 2011 - 8:21pm
    ramblin__rose
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    Tell me about being a Deadhead
    Hi everyone, I'm a college student and Grateful Dead lover working on an in depth research project on Deadheads. I want to know peoples' personal relationships to the music and the culture to understand why the Deadheads have existed and endured so prominently for so long. I would DEEPLY appreciate an interview with anyone who feels that they have something to say about the Dead and their personal history with them! It's easy, anonymous (when integrated into the paper) and a nice way to reflect upon and appreciate how the Dead and their community have affected your life. It'll also help me out a lot :) Please send me a message if you're interested! Thanks, Jackie
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So the other week I'm getting my hair cut, and Julie the hairstyling goddess, a young thing of twentysomething who's into tattoos, hair color as art form, and lots of black clothing, hears of the impending tour and my hopes of getting Shoreline tix, and says, "I have a question. What's a Dead Head? How would you define it?"

You think that's a really easy question till you try to answer it.

So I hemmed and hawed a bit. I said it was the kind of thing that if you said you were one, no one could say you weren't. I may have mentioned Ann Coulter. 

I  said that it my experience it meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some were there for the party and that was pretty much it. Some were there for the community. Some were there for the life-changing spiritual experience. Some were there for the tunes. 

Finally I gave up and told her the story of

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Take a look around on deadnet, I think the coments speak fo theirselves.SO THE KIDS THEY DANCE AND SHAKE THEIR BONES! Phatmoye
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I have been asked if I am a Dead Head and I always say no. I listen to the Grateful Dead a lot and have seen them 8 times. I always say no because I have always viewed a Dead Head as someone who has followed them. Then a friend of mine asked how I felt about the Grateful Dead. I told him they are one of the best groups that have ever been formed. I couldn't imagine there not being a Grateful Dead. He said you my friend are a Dead Head. So I guess it all depends on the feeling. What A Long Strange Trip It's Been!!!
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A deadhead is a person whom the music gets inside,and they get it- and who can give and take the love of the community of others who do too.********************************** It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine
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i think it is a person like you and me:-)(-:
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Someone who doesn't care if gasoline goes to five bucks a gallon everywhere, his car is on blocks out in the yard anyhow, and the snow is blowing so hard you ain't goin' nowhere nohow anywho - as long as he can play his Dead on the big speakers on the stereo... or even the little earbuds on the mePod... "The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer." - Ken Kesey
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is someone who can take in a Dead show and walk away feeling like they had just had the best experience of there life, until they go again and experience that same feeling all over again!!!Peace
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To me a Deadhead is anyone who has been brought to tears or had they're fur stand straight up or had unbelievable chills just from a certain song or moment during a jam-and maybe someone who cant wipe that goofy grin off they're face whenever they hear Dead music.To me the bottom line is like I seen at a Foxboro,Mass show--this dusty ole VW bus w/Colorado plates, had one single sticker on it and it read:DEAD HEADS-THEY LOVE EACHOTHER- for one reason or another that really struck a chord with me. ♪♪strangers stopping strangers-just to shake they're hand.♪♪
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A lover of all things Grateful, the music, the vibe, the friends,the peace, the scene, the groove when its in you , you know it, you can feel it and you never want to leave you! We are Grateful for it! Deadheads unite!!! We are everywhere!!!! Peace,Gigi
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When I first saw this posted, I figured I would think about it and come back a couple of daze later and write, it was harder than I thought just like you said Marye. A deadhead is someone who loves music, peace, kindess, understanding, love, wilderness, experience, sharing, has not a care in the world type attitude, people, all things good, real people, perception, the environment, shining the light, helping one another, dancing, nature, and going to that different place in your mind where universal thoughts abound. It's a community. It's really hard to describe. Let's try an analogy: A guy and his wife go down to the beach and set up a spot on the sand. Everything is perfect, the sun is shining, the waves are soothing, they are just chillin enjoying the day. After awhile, some stanger straggles by, smiles, and notices how happy they look. That stranger, walks a hundred yards and stops! Then turns around. The stranger was holding a bottle of wine to take up to the house he was going to have dinner at, just up the beach. After seeing that happy couple and thinking a bit, that's when he turned around. The stranger gives them the luscious red bottle of wine and says, "You two look so happy, I just had to give you this bottle. I'm going just up to the beach to a cookout and bonfire. Later this evening if you two would like to come and join us, you are more than welcome." So the happy couple finishs the bottle some hours later, thing about how perfect that day was, and then decides to join the stranger and his friends. They have a life changing experience after enjoying the gathering. The stranger is no longer a stranger, and they still know the "stranger" to this day. That's the only way I can describe it. ____________________________________________________ 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!
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I through my balls out there with that last post....what else do you think?____________________________________________________ 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!
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Can we make it to the Promised Land? tell me what you think a "Deadhead" is if you are so inclined.____________________________________________________ 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!
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Shall we go, you and I, while we canThrough the transitive nightfall of diamonds? A Deadhead is a person, animal, plant, mineral or art form that begins to smile and glow and vibrate and pulsate and dance when the sound waves and/or visions of the band enter that being’s senses. (don’t tell me you haven’t seen those smiling, glowing, vibrating, pulsating, dancing forms) If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
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when in doubt.....twirl!!
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This is hard.. I have always said "either you get it or you don't, and if you don't I can't explain it... But since this is for folks that get it... it is a person who allows themselves to experience the music in all their senses, and knows that the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts. To participate in a ritual not unlike the ancient American Indians dancing on the plains, and feel the connection to the infinite, and the joy of the experience. - Mickey Hart says "Grateful Dead music is Healing music"... and so it is. 4971 days since my last healing 78 days until my next
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A great question that can't be answered due to the variation of the subject/object synthesis.Some people are Deadheads from what they've experienced at shows. Some never went to shows and only heard music. Some only heard post-Jerry shows. Some never went or listened much but still have the keys to the kingdom. What is a Deadhead? If you answered the question at all you'd have a bunch of people arguing with you! If you asked a trucker what a deadhead is s/he'd answer: "Hauling nothing to some place to pick up another load..." The subject is the person listening to music and/or interacting with people gathered. The object is the music itself and/or the people gathered to listen. Subject & Object create a new synthesis: All as different as snowflakes...
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I got on the bus in KC in 1972 and was afraid to admit being a Deadhead, because of all the drug associations. Must be an Acidhead, too and I really didn't want to admit to that. Now with the 2009 tour, if anyone asks, I just say I'm a Wharfrat and let them try and figure it out.
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Before I'd even listened to the Dead I'd seen Yes, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Lynrd Skinrd?, Supertramp, Jethro Tull, and a few others and had no desire to play an instrument. Then, when I heard the Dead, think Terrapin, I saw someone with a magical gift and told myself, "dude, I'm gonna learn how to play guitar! " 32 years later I'm still playin, totally grateful. Don't play much in public, not yet, have a 15 year old dogg I have to take care of and love and that's not touristically feasible, but I been practicing. So here's the lesson, music is the fabric of the universe and love's evolution knows no bounds. May your light shine forever!
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is to say, a dead head is a state of mind, or a puppy with unconditional love.everyone is a dead head, they just don't know it yet
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I was just editing an article about Jackie Greene that referred to a recent post he made on his blog, concerning a time he and P&F almost got rained out. I strongly recommend reading the whole thing, because the epiphany just bursts forth from it. But here's a taste: "I mean, here’s a band (the grateful dead) who’s body of work is SO important, SO revered that fans are willing to wait for hours in the rain to go to the show!!! And there wasn’t any definitive call on weather or not there would be a show that night! They waited just for the CHANCE of a show…. "…it was as if the storm NEVER happened. ... "Honestly, I’ve never seen such dedication before in my life. Most bands are lucky if they have fans that will go to two shows a year. The deadheads are unprecedented in their passion and unmatched in their appreciation and kindness. "Halfway through the first tune, it all clicked: 'The love you take is equal to the love you make'. Of COURSE we had to go on. How could I have doubted it? These fans have been coming to shows for decades. Probably not the first storm they waited through either!!"
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I don't consider myself worthy of being a Deadhead because I never saw them live. I do, however, listen to their studios and live CDs and mp3s 24/7. I can't get enough GD!!!
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By definition a DEADHEAD is one without ticket. look it up is in the dictionary, as is Grateful Dead. Really. funny ey. Which also creates the ? where did the name of the band come from. Some turn on, some don't. And yes there is the getting in touch with the music, the soul, americana and life past present and future. There are many HEADS as a term, METALHEADS, GRANOLAHEADS, Mushroomheads. Acidheads, pot, pan, knuckle. flat, shovel, the Deathhead? (AFFA) what about Phishheads, Creekfreaks. motorhead, point is the term "HEAD" can be related to anyone with a special interest and liking to, either it be be music, motorcycles, cars etc. Deadhead as we know is not to easily defined, WE are DEADICATED and have slept in the cold, rain and snow only for the next show. Some things about Grateful Dead we can not explain in words, and only in actions and smiles. (a song is always playing in my head, and always seems to relate to all I live) As times and the world changes, and where we have trekked before, now and into the unknown future there will be always one thing that brings happiness, love, pain, frustration, anismosity, anxeiety, and satisfaction, peace. brotherhood and a common goal of FUN! the Grateful Dead. Where else can you live a thousand lifetimes in a day. live to see another thousand. Travel the world over and still return home. Sittin back with a royal flush, I am a Deadehead, oh no theres the song, listen to the thunder shout. have FUN see the show, ride the rainbow and don't forget to share!
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How did they get the name?In Blair Jackson's book on the Dead, Garcia is quoted as saying: "One day we were over at Phil's house...He had a big dictionary. I opened it and there was 'Grateful Dead', those words juxtaposed. It was one of those moments, you know, like everything else went blank, diffuse, just sort of oozed away, and there was GRATEFUL DEAD in big, black letters edged all around in gold, man, blasting out at me, such a stunning combination. So I said, 'How about Grateful Dead?' And that was it." The dictionary entry reads along these lines: GRATEFUL DEAD: The motif of a cycle of folk tales which begin with the hero coming upon a group of people ill-treating or refusing to bury the corpse of a man who had died without paying his debts. He gives his last penny, either to pay the man's debts or to give him a decent burial. Within a few hours he meets with a travelling companion who aids him in some impossible task, gets him a fortune or saves his life. The story ends with the companion disclosing himself as the man whose corpse the hero had befriended.(Funk & Wagnall's Dictionary). The name has also been attributed to this quote, though it's generally believed that they came across this one later: "We now return our souls to the creator, as we stand on the edge of eternal darkness. Let our chant fill the void in order that others may know. In the land of the night the ship of the sun is drawn by the grateful dead." -- Egyptian Book of the Dead Grateful_Dead_Folklore ____________________________________________________ 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!
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Critter, thanks, and hope the research ting was enlightning. Heard same story about the name, as well as many others's but that one I belive to be true. Is all good stuff and relative to each other pretty wild ey.
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am sad about your "not worthy" statement. Is unfortunate that you never saw them live, but heartily disagree about that necessarily being a criteria. Think you just have to love the music, and you said you do, so... hey Deadhead Bipolarbear1968! ********************************** It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine
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Right on G O . Let's share the LOVE!
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And very few rules to guide!____________________________________________________ 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!
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on a philosophical note: While you're here Spread cheer !
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Some great comments here and all so true. It is one of those things that is hard to explain. I thought for a while about a good answer and didn't really come up with one. For me it is mainly about the music which then leads to some many other things like community, love, sharing, ADVENTURE. It is also a cosmic thing - I have had so many exceptional things happen to me involving the DEAD Experience from that amazing day in the rain in Merriweather in '83 to the Boston Garden in '91 (I think that was the right time) to this past fall at VA Beach and Penn St. And not all of those were what one would call outstanding shows but it was the experience that went with it. And yes I agree there are a lot of 'heads out there (pot, parrot, phish) but I really believe being a deadhead is different - and I think the clearest example of that is when you are out in the world and you discover a fellow deadhead and the knowing smile that is shared - and yes either you get it or you don't. And speaking of adventure etc. see you at Greensboro and let the games begin.
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A couple of days ago I walked into a convenience store to buy a soda. I had on my Stealie ball cap. The guy behind the counter says "It's been a long time since I've seen a Grateful Dead hat." I say "Yeah, we are a dying breed." He says "I've seen hundreds of concerts but I never got to see the Grateful Dead." I say "That's probably why your life feels so empty." I smile, he smiles back, but he doesn't contradict me. Then I say "I can't take you to a show, but I can hook you up with the next best thing - live recordings."I run out to my car, grab my CD wallets and dash back into the store. I laid a big stack of CDs on the guy. He was speechless. I left with a really good feeling in my heart. I may have saved a man's life that day. When we got back in the car, my friend who was with me says "You're weird." I said "Just spreading the love baby. That's what it's all about."
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is a fine story. Way to go Richard.
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I'm giving free CDs to all my homies. Free stuff rules!!
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of course if yer friend had called ME weird, i would have said " thank you "..........heeheehee
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Beautiful story Richard. That's exactly what I'm talking about, giving cd's to a guy in a convenience store, only to be told "you are weird" from your friend....and all you can do is smile, smile, smile. And rangerjoe's if you get confused...It's a cosmic thing...it's the most amazing feeling to share the untold grin, without saying a word, and just knowing that people are strange. WOW...I love it! _____________________________________________ 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!
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nice story richard who wants to be normal anyway? If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
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Just my way brother!
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It is personal to the dead heads,and to the outside people looking in, it is controversial that's for sure. The term "dead head" has had many context's... I like the views around here the best!! :)
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Unfortunately, I never got the chance to see the Dead in concert, but I do consider myself to be a DeadHead. I do because their music, whenever I listen to it (in an enhanced state or not; not for a some time), profoundly affects the way I look at life and what comes my way. It's not all fun and games, and neither is the music of the Dead, but at least they were honest and really seemed to be playing for the audience and themselves, which created a symbiotic whole. So, I have to rely upon old albums and live CDs to get my fix. I'm not bitter, I just wish that I'd seen them one time. BTW, the best lineup was with Jerry, Bob, Phil, Bill, Pigpen, Keith and Donna Jean (I think she was on Europe '72). In my opinion Keith and Donna Jean have been shamefully overlooked by the casual fans.
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Hung out with a guy for the past couple of weeks who described his sister as living on "Jerry Garcia Island", I told him I was there with her on that one. If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
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This question came up several times during Rothbury, posed once by my brother-in-law (the latest in a long line of family/friends I've been compelled to share "the bus" with) and several times by people I met at the festival who weren't drawn there specifically by the Dead. I found myself saying a lot of the same things that have been posted on this thread, but I never felt like I "nailed" the real description of what constitutes a Deadhead. And then, just as the show started on Saturday night (a rousing version of Sugar Magnolia followed by Eyes...yee haw), I spontaneously blurted out to the people around me "Of course! A Deadhead is one who can't help but dance when they hear a Dead tune!" And as I looked around, the truth of it became evident. Some stood stock-still...a few swayed...and the rest? They (we) were all lost in the moment, moving our bodies in whatever way resonated with the song being played at that moment.
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I think some of us are folks who growing up could see through the injustice of war, greed and the fouling of the planet and did not want anything to do with their insanity. We created our own little space of love, justice, and great music and fun times. And it sure helped to have a guitarist to look up to who I think has come as close as anyone to channeling God through the guitar. I need a miracle everyday
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a break from whoever you are
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Whats a DeadHead:ME <--- !! I try my best to be a good human,share trade music,recycle,have a sense of humor,create a better planet,one person at a time,I feel my most at home at Dead shows or Dead related events be it Phil & friends,Ratdog,Billy's Band or Mickey's Band,going to there book signing events at our local independant stores,around the San Francisco Bay area,when they had Crusher's Grateful Dead Day I was 1st in line to get in,Phil showed up,Mickey,Bob,Steve Parish one of there origional roadies,Raffles,Jerry look-a-like contest,venders with cool stuff,so when they said theres nothing like a Grateful Dead Concert it was the deepest truth,I've ever encountered,I find things that make me happy and Grateful Dead is top of the list.Be Well~Larry P.S.I want to say hi to Jerry in Cyberspace :}
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You know recently I've been asking myself that question " what is a Deadhead ". I saw my 1st show in 1978 at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic NJ at the ripe old age of 13. Since that show Ive never missed an oppurtunity to see the band when they were in my area. Being a east coast Deadhead is a wonderful thing because they played the hell out of NJ - NY and Philly which met Tim got to see 8-12 shows a year ( not including the JGB shows ). I'd have to say I've seen at least 300 shows and continue to go see Bobby - Phil and a shitload of the DEAD shows just recently played. I love it to this day, I'm now 43, married with a 13 year old daughter and i own a garden center here in NJ. I've been drug free for 23 years ( I sometimes get tempted big time though) and have seen shows straight and fucked up out of my mind and i can honestly say it's good both ways. so whatever your bag is it's all good , enjoy the ride.Well thats my resume, does it fit a standard profile of a Deadhead ? Yes it does along with Senators - Doctors - Lawyers - Plumbers - sports figures etc .Why am i telling you all this ? I really dont know but as a deadhead ive been bothered big time about the reviews i read on Archive.org about the 95 shows.I treasure these shows. My last one was at Giants Stadium in 95 when Jerry played a long wierd intro to Wharfrat, what was it - zoning out or a long strange intro. WHO THE FUCK CARES. We knew what was going on - we paid to go - we cheered flubbed lyrics and have the balls to critisize a man who would be dead in August that was giving the best he had to give,how much we'll never know. And by the way 95 was filled with many great shows - cherish them along with the off nights. It wasn't just the music,remember the Grateful Dead were the MCs of a 30 year party and we all had a good time. Think about how much you miss it - people it was'nt bad. it was what it was and I wish we could have it back. Hey we're real fucking close with this new Dead incarnation and Jerry is still there ( somewhere ). Thanks for hearing me out, best of luck to all.
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Blind Catfish WillieBeing a Dead Head is seeing the light, hearing the music, being one with a positive karma that can never die."Hey hey, my my." Its being part of the long strange trip and finding sunshine daydreams. It is not a chronological age or number, its a realization.
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10 years
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i love you guys. i can never say that enough. deadheads love. we're infinite - our hearts are infinite, our spirits are infinite, physically we are infinite (matter cannot be created or destroyed- on the atomic level and on every other level, we are forever). it's not that these characteristics are specific to deadheads; we've just woken up. song that the morning brings and all that. it's all vastly transcendently beautiful, what a long strange lovely trip :)
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49 years 1 month
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A deadhead loves greateful dead music,can listen to it again and again ,blasting all over , even rest with it .The other dimension I discovered about deadheads I met when in america was their friendship ,awareness on political and spiritual issues ,sense of communauty in diversity . I could trust them with my life ,nights and days ,to travel for shows ,have fun in their parking lots ,talk, toke ,trip ,groove on the music all around . Definitly ,without most deadheads I met between early eighties to mid nighties ,I could never have been to so many concerts ! These deadheads are precious memories ,as equal to the GD band ,at least . But ,nowadays I simply do not feel I could trust my life among deadheads ,and I thought it important to add this detail as to what is different between now and then .