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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PeggyO's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Hey Now...Just a reminder

Hey Now...Just a reminder that is hosting another My First Grateful Dead Show this Wednesday evening from 9:00-11:30pm/ET. This will be our first in the series to showcase one of our "international" Deadheads so it's gonna be a really special show.

Please do join us in the Deadvids chat room ( to participate in the interview. We're bound to cover just a little more ground! Peace...

Anna rRxia's picture
Joined: Dec 25 2009
If you really must know,

You must know that I hopped on the bus in May 90 at Dominguez Hills and had a Dervish flashback meltdown. Epic folks, epic. Got my halo and was an official twirler. Not the kind of twirler (post-Touch 87) that fought for space. I created space, or space came to me... How to put it? Doesn't matter. Hopped on the bus and did the entire summer tour. Lucky, lucky a Mob Mama like me caught the boyz on a good year.

Course, the first part of the story ends at the Polo Fields In Nov., 91

West LA Fadeaway indeed!

Been chipping up rocks from dawn till doom
While my rider hides my sawed-off in the other room

PeggyO's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Those who've posted in this thread might be interested...

I wanted to let you all know that we are hosting a special show on on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010, from 9:00-11:30pm/ET called My First Grateful Dead Show: International Edition.

Each month, hosts a new series called My First Grateful Dead Show. I host the show and each month a member guest hosts with me and we listen to their very first Grateful Dead show that they attended, and I interview them with 20 questions. During the interview, others that are present can ask additional questions of the guest host. We've been doing this show since late July 2010, and it's been catching on as people get to understand what it's about. We've found it really interesting and inspiring to hear each person's unique journey into this community and how it has impacted their lives.

So far, it's always been an American/US-based deadhead that is my guest host, but next month we will have our first "international" guest host - a deadhead from overseas. I can't tell you who, or what show (we try to keep those under wraps until show time), but I would like to invite all of you, US-based and those living outside the US, to please join us! I thought the topic of this thread might be full of some folks who'd be interested in attending this online series.

If you cannot make it, we post an archive on of all the past shows so folks can see whose show it was and the link to for that show.

You are all most welcome! Please stop by the Deadvids chat room to fully participate in the interview discussion. For more information, please check out info on the next show here:

And info on past show archives here:

Hope to see you all on November 17th!

Joined: Feb 15 2009
I saw the two shows at

I saw the two shows at the Electric factory in Philly April 1968. I do not remember much of these two shows. Then in May at Central Park in NYC they only played MORNING DEW.
The boys were in great form PIGPEN was awsome sure miss him. @ that point I was on the bus and had just so many great shows with the DEAD family around. I am still excited and am now waiting for the 2 FURTHUR shows in Eugene OR.
I am always the person walking and shaking hands to "welcome home" to the dead family.
Saw shows in the 60's 70's 80's 90' 00' and now still on tour in 10'.
Thanks for all the good times with the family.

Joined: Aug 17 2010

Was fooling around wasting time not going in any direction.Met 2 smoking pals was high one night some one put on deadset and the void was filled this was what id been looking for there it was right there and id stopped searching as well.

The music never stopped.

fabgd's picture
Joined: Aug 29 2010
late to the date

Just got really hard into all this a couple of years ago, despite living in the bay area for years and 20+ years in the retail music biz.

dwlemen's picture
Joined: Jun 23 2007
The Dead, 2004

I'd been into the music in my own little world for years but had not made it to a show until the Dead came to Deer Ck (Noblesville) in 2004. I dragged my wife along and had an amazing time!

Walking about before the show, people were so friendly and nice. Always offering a handshake, a beer, or more. I'd been to "alternative" festivals before (Lollapalooza, Warped, etc) and people were always so angry... fights, cliques, etc. But here it was like seeing old friends we'd never met before. So we walked about taking it all in.

Finally we went in. As we took our seats and the show began, I noticed all the different types of people there, grooving together. Behind us sat this cute older couple (grandpa aged). He in his overalls, she in her gardening hat, both in home made tie-dyes. Beside us sat parents and their 3 children. I thought, where else can you get so many generations together and have them all get along so harmoniously? It was really an awesome thing.

Then, as the music began and everyone started grooving in their own way, I saw how a bunch of individuals became also one, and how the band too became part of that one. It was magical.

Anyway, after that, I was hooked. Tried to see them when I can. They don't come through Indiana much anymore but when they do, I go. And, I am trying to teach my kids to follow the path as well.


Alaskahead's picture
Joined: Jan 5 2009
delayed reaction to 12/22/70 Sacramento Memorial Aud.

So some friends to a group of us to the see the Dead. We were all a bunch of dedicated pot smokers, having graduated from HS at the time of protests over the war, women's rights, civil rights, we were pretty alienated from "normal" society and trying to find our way in this stupid world. Nobody was normal that I knew, but being from the mostly white, safe suburbs we didn't have anything to really replace our "normalcy" with other than smoking pot and not feeling connected to anything. The whole world was mad, but there was no sane island. The show itself was indeed mad, the energy was almost visible, the crowd was like a bubbling, frothing sea of arms a flapping, bodies jumping, hair a flying. We were off to the far right, in a slightly elevated area where we could see. I can't remember anything of the music itself, just the energy and interplay of the crowd and band, it seemed like the band was sweeping the crowd with waves of music and the crowd would respond by breaking upon the shore of the music, it was too powerful and mysterious to fathom or absorb. Months later I was alone at my friends, smoking again, and found "Live Dead". I must have listened to that album all night, over and over, I certainly got it, the first so many chords of that Dark Star will forever be apart of my DNA of the neural pathways to rebalance and transcend all BS of the "normal" world. So I'll always look upon the music and the scene as a personal experience of awakening, and wonder if it's the same or similar for others? Even now when I attend a show I'm lost in a near trance like deep space of thought that goes out and out...

Ouizzzl's picture
Joined: Jun 19 2007
August 13. 1975 *** The Great American Music Hall, in SF

I had met some new friends (they were a family three sisters and a brother) at school, and they had just moved up from Los Angeles. They invited me to come along with them to a show. My younger brother always was playing Grateful Dead records early in the morning so I thought that since I was somewhat familiar with their music, it would be interesting to go with them.

Boy was I in for a treat. It was a bonbon of epic proportions. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that my life was about to drastically change forever. I felt so at home, the music hit such a nerve in my soul and could make my mind and body feel so grand. I never ever felt anything like it in my life. I loved seeing everyone dancing together and when a song would start, people knew the names of the songs within notes of them playing them. I noticed people writing the songs down on paper. It really struck my curiosity for they were so into them with such passion.

I look back now, and I would have never have imagined that going out to hear a rock band was actually taking a part in some real American musical history. I feel so blessed to be a part of it. I was a fan from my first show and I loved going to hear Jerry play at the Keystones and the Stone often.

My first ride on the bus was certainly a doohickey of a ride and I would never take it back it I had to in a million years. I am eternally grateful.. Oh and by the way I want to thank you for a real good time.

Jesus paid for our sins, let's get our $$$ worth.

Joined: Mar 30 2010
Uncle Mickey

Growing up my Uncle Mickey would let me borrow his Terrapin Station and Workingman's Dead albums and I would listen to them over and over. He started seeing them at Englishtown in 77 and I can remember him going up to MSG and down to the Cap Center. I kept nagging my mom to let me go, but her response was always the same "I know what going on at those Grateful Dead shows". Once I got to college I headed up to the Spectrum and caught 3 out of 4 nights and I was hooked. I knew there something special going on!!! After a few outer body experiences at the Pitts. Civic Arena and JFK back in Philly, I was lucky enough to go down to a mecca in Hampton Va for the two Warlock shows. I knew then that there was no looking back from there!!!! Nassau with Branford was another night that reconfirmed that I was with my kinda of people listening to my kinda music. It a been a beautiful ride so far and I'll keep coming back!!!!


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What Got You on the Bus?