Grateful Dead

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!

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Olompali's picture
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Joined: Jun 5 2007
GratefulApril

Great stuff. Best wishes.

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Joined: Oct 29 2007
The Bus

I bought Wake of the Flood, and played it constantly. 1972, and I was also listening to a lot of Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin. The Dead just sounded different, I dunno, like music for your head but also feel good for the heart. Here Comes Sunshine....
When entering high school we had dances and at first I thought it was the strangest thing I'd ever seen, people dancing to Dead Music. But lot's of fun! My first show was at Oakland, outdoors, a double bill with the Who. The stage was beautifully decorated with a Mars Hotel scene hanging over the speaker towers and with plants on the stage. I was puddled, and just couldn't believe that Playing in the Band. Wow!

Never joined the bus exactly, but saw a lot of shows in California.

Congratulations to "Grateful April" . Some advice about marriage-If you do fight, fight naked!

That Nice Hippy Guy's picture
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Joined: Jul 8 2007
The Bus

I think it was when I was 17 or so, I had a couple grateful dead greatest hits and stuff at the time but I ended up at the local pawn shop at the right time one day and purchased another 10 or so grateful dead cd's including one of the dicks picks and live dead. After that there was pretty much no going back.

"You know the one thing we need is a left handed monkey wrench....."

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Joined: Jul 11 2007
What got you on the bus

tourdog12 I was 13 years old in 77 sleeping at a freinds house with his parents away for the weekend. around midnight his older brother came home sat me down smoked two bowls put on mars hotel and handed me the Hobbit and told me to read. I got on the bus that night hand in hand with hobbits and a bowl of pipe weed. it took two years to get to my first live show but i listened to every thing i could get my hands on till then

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Joined: Oct 26 2007
I would say it was my first

I would say it was my first show. Which (sadly, I never saw jerry :( ) was Phil & friends, July 23rd (i think?), 2001. I was invited by a guy who was the manager of a different department in the garden center I worked at. I had listened to the dead a little, and thought it would be fun. Plus this guy was just sooooo cool and soooo impressed me with his vast knowledge of plants and music and life. He was 2 years younger than me, and so friggin smart! So, I went. And we clicked like souls separated and now drawn together. I loved the music, the atmosphere, and this cute sweet happy little hippy man next to me. He had been to tons of shows since the time he was 16. Had owned this boss VW bus that he sold on his 18th year the day after Jerry died. He IS the ultimate fan if I ever met one. He knows every single song, and his photographic memory helped him to give me this wonderful gift. Alas, he had a girlfriend- live in- that he was to scared of hurting her to break it off with. To him, I was this happy little gypsy-like girl, who was fun, but no one thought we should be together, he should be all business - or whatever. So, about a year later (and 5 shows together), he ran away back home to Florida. I didn't see or hear from him for 5 years. It broke every piece of me. I never felt happy about love, life, or even the music for that whole time.
Then, in about... November of '06 I found him on myspace. He doesn't even have a real page, he just signed up. But I pm'd him, and surprise! He emailed me. We started chatting. I was married and had just had my baby. So, we kept it very nice and proper. Then I guess, when my husband started acting like a complete retard, spending our rent money and then eventually our couples counciling money that his DAD had to give us, on pot. Well, I guess I figured it wasn't worth it. And I thought about how my sweet little hippy man had always said that we were 'tangled up in blue'. That we'd end up having to go our separate ways for now, but that one day, we'd meet again. He'd made me a c.d. (5 years back) with jerry's version, and it killed me to listen to it after he had left. Now I was thinking about how he just happened to come back into my life, and so I told my dumb ass husband, to hit the bricks. And I had my first visit to Florida in July. About 5 years and a month to the day of our last seeing each other, we were together again. And we knew it was fate. I moved here (to Fl) officially on September 3rd. And as we were pulling into the gates of his home, and my new one, with my beautiful little girl in the back seat... everyone's happy and smiling... what do you think came on the radio? Yup, ol' bob dylan, singing tangled up in blue. I threw my notebook and pen that I had been drawing in at my honey and started bawling! I couldn't believe how fate works and how crazy it was! We were out of the blue. We were home. Forever.
On november 17th we're going to see bobby in Boca Raton. Our first show in 5 years. Our first show as a legitimate couple. He's the reason I got on the bus. And he's the reason I will always stay. Because he gave me this beautiful music. From the heart. It stayed in my heart and soul, even while he was away. Jerry sang me back home. Jerry told me that it must have been the roses. Jerry sang about how it looks like rain. And jerry, sang the heartbreaking truth about being tangled up in blue. Now, Jerry sing's my baby to sleep with if I had the world to give, standing on the moon, and ship of fools. He sings Days between while my honey and I make love, and terrapin station while I wash the dishes. I vaccume to franklin's tower, and then I take a nap to stella blue.
My whole life is the bus now. And I am takin it to shakedown street, baby.

143or245's picture
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Joined: Oct 18 2007
Got On the Bus 9/24/76

I was only 13 years old and had listened to a few albums the week before the show. Went with two great friends and heard my first live help>slip>franklin and the most incredible Stella Blue i ever heard and have been on the bus ever since but what really kept me on the bus was Hampton, VA 4/13/84...

4/13/84 was Magical !

it was an unusually warm spring nigt in Hampton Virginia. the pre-show parking lot was exceptionally magical and it seemed that everyone was having schweet, positive mind experiences to get what was later proven to be a legendary evening.

Hampton again prooved to groove with a melodic sound system which JG and the entire gang played off of each other and melted into/outof every tune. the second set opened with a scarlet>fire>estimated with every voice in the crowd singing every note as if we wrote it ourself.

the set ended with every single person, boy, girl, old, young dancin to Good Luv'n then all together took a relaxing break to mellow down organize our minds and begin to anticipate what they could stir up and serve us for an encore?

as we were trippin down, relaxing and smile'in as one... there was the faint sound of thunder and the flash of lightening through the small>blue>triangular> windows like crashing saphires that encircle the ceiling of the Hampton Coliseum.

they eased us into a powerful U.S. Blues encore and when all wrapped up we left as one body as we left the building for the parking lot. We were fully expecting and anxiously awaiting to enjoy a warm, April thundershower. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED, it was actually cold with no wind, no lightening, no rain, no sound....nothing!

as i looked around all my brothers and sisters were doing one of two things (1) standing still looking up at the sky or (2) laying down looking up at the sky. Eventually, it seemed that all 20,000 of us were laying down and looking up at the sky as we were in the EYE of a very organized storm GoD and GD layed out just for us that night.

we soaked in a perfect circle in the sky with the most brilliant stars of diamonds and pitch black around them with a brilliant and bright sunshine moon. we could see and faintly hear the lightening and thunder way off in the distance outside of our personal circle but that was of no concern to any of us at that moment.

it took about 20 minutes for the storm center to pass over and we then enjoyed our belated, refreshing, spring thundershower. We were given a schweet and magical gift that night in Hampton-84 not to mention and never forget the MUSIC!

that is how i remember it....anyone else remember that MAGICAL NIGHT?

143or245
stay safe and feel good!

marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
I can pretty much pinpoint the moment in my case.

Back in 1980, some of my friends were into the Dead. Despite having had their first album since I was in college, I'd never had occasion to get into the band, though, and didn't know much. But I'd learned enough to be intrigued, and bummed when I couldn't get tickets for the Warfield run.

When the new year's run came around, it turned out that my friend Bennett could not use his NYE ticket, so I took it and went with my friend Steve, with whom Bennett had been planning on going as they were old pals.

Didn't really know what to make of the scene, except to be tickled that there were 14-year-old hippies in 1980. Band started playing the acoustic set, and I didn't really know the songs, but I was already starting to get a little put off by the ecstatic one-minded adoration directed at the stage. It struck me as straight outta Triumph of the Will.

Then they went into Ripple to close the set. Thousands of people surging, singing, dancing in unison, utterly focused on Jer -- and above the crowd, that voice: "If I knew the way, I would take you home."

I'd always been a sucker for Jerry's voice; back when it was a single, I thought "Sugaree" was one of the spookiest songs I'd ever heard. But to have all that power being handed you on a silver platter by adoring hordes and TURN IT AWAY-- this was something I wanted to know more about.

Obviously there were many other epiphanies along the road, but that was the turning point for me.

Olompali's picture
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Joined: Jun 5 2007
Barn Party!

A blue double dome and Live/Dead. Waaaaaay back then.
Thanks to The Flying Eyeball Express for piquing my curiousity

Hal R's picture
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Joined: Jun 13 2007
back to you deadicated and Iknowyou rider

Iknowyourider - thanks for your kind words, glad to share and give someone a smile, that's what it's all about and thank you for sharing too

deadicated - the Keith and Donna record wow, I mean the girl with the Keith and Donna record; all sorts of entry points I mean openings I mean portals, to the world of the Dead aren't there?

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
Wiliam Blake

Hal R's picture
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Joined: Jun 13 2007
I Got On The Bus - Part 3

So shoot ahead to 1978 and listening to the band all that time, even finding awesome bootleg records (sorry, but one was 2/13/70 which blew me away) and it all being wrapped in with reading the Beats and learning to meditate and having the Whole Earth Catalog be my bible and backpacking and hitchhiking and altered hikes in the woods. The show was 2/5/78 at the UNI Dome, University of Northern Iowa and only a few in our group of extended friends had seen them because they hadn’t played around here for four years. Some of us had been primed for this for six or seven years. There was the actual Jerry Garcia on stage playing for us! It was so much better than we had ever even imagined. We were yelling at each other “I can’t believe we are finally seeing the Grateful Dead” and they played Truckin’ and we were blissful dancing screaming beaming fools. We were hearing our band at last. We were home.

Postscript
This year I jumped at the chance to see Merle Haggard and he did Mama Tried. Besides the joy of the Dead’s music and scene itself is the fact that it opened me up to so much including all styles of music.

Peace and love and joy to all of you my fellow heads

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
Wiliam Blake

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What Got You on the Bus?