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 Curvature. Which is a story Robert Hunter wrote a couple years back that kind of speaks to the issue: "We're one and all addicts of the wings and won't rest easy until we're back on a ship searching them out again. Once you've seen them, nothing in life seems worthwhile but the thought of seeing them again."
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
YOU WOULD NOT UNDERSTAND
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.
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
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!
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!
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!!!
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!!"
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
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!
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.