What Got You on the Bus?
An excellent suggestion from Hal R., picking up on a thread in another topic: how did you get on the bus? What was that moment that left no room for doubt?
Probably no two stories are the same, but they're all probably pretty interesting, so tell all here!
So, it's spring 1982 and some enlightened college friends call me up on Sunday and suggest we truck from Davis, California to the Greek Theater in Berkeley for the Grateful Dead. Funny thing is we don't have tix. So I go along, mosey up to the gates of the theater just as the 2nd set is starting. A friendly head walks out of the show with 4 backstage passes and says, "here you go, I'm not using these." We're in, and before we know it they're kick starting a motorcycle during space into The Other One. What the heck is going on? Backstage for a toke and some ice cream. Is this for real? Little did I know that this was just the first of 26 years of magic moments. The latest...the Penn State show in 6 days... right in my backyard (I'm a professor here). I'm so happy to still be on the bus.
Should of seen them in 88 in Hotlanta, but only tried the wares. I was headed for a 6 year ride in the navy and most of those on a sub. I happened to be in Cleveland, OH visiting some family for the last time before I'd head for boot camp. Well, I was supposed to fly back the day of the show and my cousin was going so I changed my flight and went along for the ride. C,S, & N were opening so how could it be bad? Seeing the scene and feeling the vibe I was not about to go with the original plan, but most of all the music changed my mind. To this day, my only regret is missing the JGB show shortly there after. Still hooked to this day. Thank you Jerry for all the happiness and the incredible ride.
I'd started listening to GD albums as a young teenager in the mid-80s....if I remember correctly, the first of their albums I bought on vinyl was Dead Set, though it might have been American Beauty....anyway, a couple years later, a friend of mine gave me my first two live tapes:
9/3/77 and 11/1/85. I grew up in a fairly strict household, so it was not until freshman year of college, away from home as it were, that I actually saw my first show even though I'd been into the band for awhile by then. Within about a year after that, though, I'd seen the Dead and JGB in ten states.....
(sorry if this post rambles a bit, my first post here) For me, getting on The Bus wasn't the best part. It was the journey there that took the better part of a year that is most memorable to me because of what i had to challenge in my own life to get there. When college rolled around, I decided to volunteer for the Lutheran Disaster Response Team at my church because i figured it would look good on the resume. Our First deployment was to New Orleans we went down for the week of spring break. While Down there we almost got busted on bourbon street(hint hint) for having a few too many underage drinkers in our crowd (woops) we were able to get around the police and back to the camp and eventually back home. Where I told my roommate (I was in the dorm) the story and he laughed saying "You guys went Truckin!" I Didn't Get it so he threw a CD at my head and said "Listen and all will be explained" The Album was American Beauty and i put it on and didn't know what i was hearing something a bout a Box of Rain and a friend of the Devil. I didn't really get "it" until I hit Ripple and Then my world changed. for the better, o so much better. I Put it on the ipod and put it on repeat until i scrounged enough cash for more albums Because whoever this "Grateful Dead" was, I didn't know but i liked it. The spring of 06 was the first time I had ever heard or heard of the Dead(I know very sad). The problem was my family was very very conservative and didn't want their son dabbling in this hippy bullsh*t so i hid my passion which only grew over the year and became much harder to hide. After many albums and Dick's Picks were bought my greatest wish was to see the Dead in some form or another. Then I see a newspaper ad for a band called Dark Star Orchestra Picked it up and ran to the closest ticket outlet in town and grabbed the very last ticket. I was pumped to finally see some live Dead no matter the form. The show was the fantastic and it was the first time in my life where i felt connected to something higher than myself. and accepted unconditionally which as of late was rare even in my own family. The Show they replayed was 11/20/1985 somewhere in the Iko Iko >Lost Sailor >Saint of Circumstance >Terrapin Station set I realized I didn't care anymore what people thought. I was going to be who I was and damn everybody else who doesn't like it. So after that I flew my Grateful Dead flag high and proud... and have been for a while and plan to continue to do so. Peace.
"Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss."
-Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
Cactuswax and docks of the city.......
Great memories from the young and the not as young
I still miss Pigpen, too, but totally enjoy hearing the old music of his..........on the bus for the rest of our lives! xoxo Gypsy Cowgirl
thank you for sharing your marvelous times. How many of us here have dreamed of being where you were. You've been blessed. But then so have all of us that have been on this incredible ride.
I was about 13 or 14 when "I Want to Hold Your Hand" came out. It was so upfront happy, so basically affirming. That was the first tribal vibes I felt. Next came "Satisfaction" that gave the shine the polish and everybody was not only happy but cool too. I grew up in a big old victorian in San Francisco (Eureka Valley). My grandma had a restaurant on the waterfront (Rincon Hill), and we were and are seafaring people. Joe and Mrs. Garcia, Jerry's parents owned the bar across the street. My family bought a place about 50 miles north of the city in Sonoma County in '62, so I had two environments that in the early years were connected by the greyhound bus. I saw Bob Dylan on December 11, 1965 in the city. Soon after I went to the Filmore for the first time. I have no idea who played. I felt like I was going to go into the spins even before I got there and spent most of the evening sitting out on the fire escape smoking cigarettes, talking, listening and laughting.
I saw the Dead for the first time in the summer of '66. There was a weird little handbill taped in the window of the Rexall drugstore in Sebastopol, Sonoma County. They played at the Vets Building in Santa Rosa and about 20 people were there. I was with 5 of the 20 and probably 8 to 10 of the others were with the Dead. Of course we all hung together. That was the night we got on the bus. By the next week ,we were sitting in the house (710). Any Deadhead who comes to the city should walk by 710. It's either 3 or 4 stories, with 18' ceilings. They had a payphone in the foyer. One of the great things about the Haight was how you go in one house and everyone was from Texas. The house next door everyone was from Ohio or New York. I have a friend who rented an inside stairwell closet for $10 a month. It was a nice little room.
I got on the bus and I stayed on the bus. I still miss Pigpen. I love this good old bus.
Welcome aboard. If you like jam oriented stuff, it does go beyond Workingman's era. Check out live shows from 72 and 77. The official early releases are just the tip of this tasty iceberg.
I just got on the bus about a month ago. I’m 43, and having been a teen in the early eighties, listened mainly to metal. I was aware of the Dead, thought the bones and roses design was cool, but never listened to them past the odd playing of Truckin or Casey Jones on the radio. Lately I have been listening to Quicksilver Messenger Service and a friend mentioned that I should check out LiveDead. That hooked me. To be honest, I am not too keen on much past Workingman’s Dead, I prefer the more jam oriented stuff like Anthem. Fillmore West 69 has not left the CD player in weeks.