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!
my favourite band for a long time has been mewithouYou,
they are from Philidelphia. great music. anyway, they had never come out to Australia
until a couple of years back they got a small stage at one of our music festivals.
it was such a beautiful night, people were crying, people were singing together, laughing.
they decided to do a cover of ripple and before they did the lead singer told us to listen to Grateful Dead if we didn't already and went to talk about garcia's lyrics. the name seemed familiar to me but i couldn't remember if had heard the dead before, maybe my mother showed me. anyway when he started playing ripple that was it. it was one of those moments when the music really speaks to you. i went straight home to find out anything i could about them. and last year my wife came back from a trip to melbourne with a second double lp best of. it's not in the best condition but it still sounds great. i would like to buy one of the boxsets when i get some cash.
they really do make great music. and it makes me feel happy to know that there is such a large community of deadicated fans. would love to meet some you. but i live in brisbane, QLD, Australia. thinking about travelling round USA next january though.
-Dana William Ashford
My father was responsible for my interest in music, and more specifically, my journey with the Grateful Dead.
A little background: after a brief obsession with 80's metal, I moved on to classic rock throughout high school. The Doors, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix were my preferred sounds at the time. The Grateful Dead were very much under my radar except for the typical top hits overplayed on corporate radio stations.
One day it finally clicked for me. I was on a road trip with my dad and the Grateful Dead Hour came on the local public radio station. We were just flipping through channels so it wasn't like this encounter with this program was planned at all. Playing In the Band was the song at that moment. I never caught the date of that particular performance but my recollection of it tells me it must have been an early version, guessing '72 cause it went WAY far out. As I listened to this music something in me turned on. This was the music I had been waiting for! I was completely enthralled, and I HAD to get my hands on more of this stuff.
Sidenote:It is hard to pinpoint why this music hit me as hard as it did. I like to attribute it to the fact my dad introduced me to improvisational music early on (mostly blues and jazz). I recall dancing to fusion jazz (Miles Davis, Weather Report) when I was very little.
Anyway, on that same trip with my father, we went to a record store and I immediately went to the Grateful Dead section. I pulled out two cassette tapes: Blues for Allah (because I loved the artwork), and Two From the Vault (because I recognized the stealie). I brought my tapes to the counter and amazingly, the cashier was a Deadhead. He was very excited I was getting these particular tapes and proceeded to point out the gems on each (Franklin's Tower, Crazy Fingers, Morning Dew, Dark Star...)
I guess the rest, for me, is history. This band has seen me through every peak and valley in my life. I was fortunate enough to see Jerry one time- second night of three in Salt Lake City 1995 (thanks again dad!) Although things at that time were not the best they had been for Jerry and the band, I was forever a deadhead. That year I graduated from high school and had plans to go on tour for a year before I went to college. Unfortunately, we all know how 1995 turned out.
In any case, that one radio program led to something nearly indescribable. The relationship I have to this music is intimate. It is in my very soul and I live day to day on its underlying principles. Above all, along countless peaks and valleys, this one thing has remained true and I am ever so Grateful I got on the bus :)
My first show was at RFK in June of 1993. I was 14 years old. It really opened my mind to the Grateful Dead's music. I didn't know any of their songs. I was there with my Dad, my brother and my best friend at the time. We saw everyone jumping over the gates to get down on the feild. I figured it was a once in a life time chance, so I grabbed my best friend by the hand and we ran down to the feild! Sting was playing at the time.
We made our way up the field and found a good spot to stand! Everyone was dancing to the music and so were we. We liked "Uncle John's Band" the best because of the line "How does the song go" ... we could relate!
Ever since that show I have loved the Grateful Dead! Since then I have been listening to their music and in 1998 when I was 19 years old I hit the road with the Further Festival!
The Grateful Dead has brought me so much joy, peace and happiness! I hope to keep touring as much as I can!
Ever since I was in my mothers womb i was a complete dead head. From the night my mom found out she was pregnant up until she went into labor my dad would play the dead to her stomach every night, not missing a night. It's in my blood and bones I feel I was developed by the grateful dead. My first show (i remember vividly, not including shows of a young girl) was absolutly amazing. It was at the Gorge Ampitheatre and I had never felt so right in my entire life. Just amazing. All people reading this would probably agree The Dead isn't just music, it's a way of life that just moves you so deeply. To just dance under the stars, and feeling as free as I felt that night words can't even explain
It's my way of life, I live for the music, and it's the best!
I had a deja vous which began earlier that afternoon and kept recurring. The mini-journey into Red Rocks is quite trippy...like another land...I knew I was walking into a time standing still zone and just kind of went with that. I was with my sis so it felt like home. Linda Ronstadt was playing before they went on and somewhere in that space I entered the bus stop zone. Flash forward to today and all the miles inbetween...think being on the bus is the moment when you can completely show up as yourself and vibrate freely with the perfect c and g sound that's in everything. They have that sound going on..that gift, so it's really when you are able and ready to tune in to the offering...
all i can say was back right after harvest in 73 ish...i went to Winterland as i always did ..
i think it was a three or a five day run,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
but that did it
that's quite a show report!
26 years ago today, in fact, at this very hour 3 PM, I at 19 arrived in Richmond VA with a general admission ticket to see the Dead at the Richmond Coliseum. This was about the 8th show I had ever seen and it was different because I was brave enough to go the show with quite casual friends, In effect, this was truly my first Dead show basically alone.
The weather was a day very much like today. Fall in the south, crispy bright sunlight, upper 70s, to cool down to upper 50s on the overnight.
These were the days of Dead shows where the floor was all general admission and they were never sold out.
Anyway, I do not remember much of the pre-concert festivities, I do remember that the party materials were awesome.
I remember the inner joy when the lights went down and the band took the stage…..I was on the floor near the sound board in front of the tapers……The band tuned up for what seemed like an eternity….a full 2 minutes of tuning….endless…..then broke into a seriously musically intense Song 1 Feel Like A Stranger…..Jerry’s jam at the end showed he was seriously on tonight and I remember him teasing us with a few Franklin’s Tower licks…..then, another long tuning and I moved closer to the stage….the folks that had crowded up dissipated some……Song 2 Friend of the Devil, a crowd pleaser but not my favorite….slow song that doesn’t match my buzz….The jam was long and mellow…..more people left the floor in front of me so I moved ever closer….by now perhaps half the floor from the stage….Jerry-side…..Song 3 New Minglewood Blues…..body rush, great song, tight band, great smoking version….it was an on music night……I danced my way closer…..from Minglewood…into Song 4 BROWN EYED WOMEN….one of the best songs ever….closer and closer I danced up…..at this point I was 10 or 15 feet from Jerry and mesmerized……..I had plenty of room, owing to the huge barf splat and a naked dude dancing to left of me….no matter, I had the Dead and I was so dancing with glee….and Jerry and I made eye contact….my first direct eye contact….Jerry - such a nice person…..Song 5 Cassidy...yay…Song 6 West LA Fadeaway….Song 7 Hell in a Bucket….at this tour both songs were brand spanking new…..finally Song 8 DEAL….a great version, great first set……
Set 2….after a lot of dithering and tuning….Jerry, obviously playfully annoyed with Bobby, who Jerry wanted to pick the song and Bobby didn’t….breaks into a set opening Day Job….odd but true…..then…..and I say then with incredibly body rushes as I type this…into Playin in the Band – Jam – Crazy Fingers…..this was and remains one of the best 80s dead playing in the band jams…..and crazy fingers…..”something new is waiting to be born”…..drums…space….s smoking Truckin out of space….incredible Spoonful….Wharf Rat….again me, maybe 4 or 5 people deep directly in front of Jerry….mega eye contact….into the continuation of the Bobby play fight…Jerry starts Sugar Magnolia….then Bobby changes it to Good Lovin!.....”you may be weak you may be blind…but even a blind man knows when the sun is shining….cuz he can FEEL IT….”……oooooo got to have lovin!
US Blues encore….and me from this moment on a forever Dead head. This show, this day, changed my life. God Bless the good old Grateful Dead.
Generally, it was hearing their WB albums and seeing The Grateful Dead Movie. Oh yeah, and one of the New Year's concerts in which "Hell in a Bucket" just steadily blew me away. Big time. Unfortunately, I was never able to see the Dead in concert. Came this close sometimes, but something always seemed to happen and the tickets never came through. Did get to see the '94 Floyd tour, though. 11th row on the floor, dead in front of David Gilmour. When the fireballs erupted, I just basked in the heat, since I'd given my flannel shirt to a friend so she could cover up. Gets cold up in Birmingham at night.
I found the dead purely by accident, a punk with multi colored hair until i entered into the military. Came home got a job and boy was that security gaurd cute. took me to a hockey game and played scratchy dead tapes all the way there. I kept thinking what is this crap. By the second date I was hooked. In fact I was so hooked, that I listened to my first show on the radio, back when they used to play the new years shows on the radio. Had no idea what I was in for. I slept over night for the tickets and drove to the lot the night before my first show july 89 and never looked back, I don't know if it was the drum circles or the food or the people or that feeling of belonging or the strawberry pancakes in the morning before the show or just the kindness. I was soooooo into it I drove all the way to Giants stadium non stop just to experience one more time less than 24 hours after my first show. 20 years later I have the same butterflies as I pull out the old stuff that has been boxed up for the last few years and prep for tour. I have never gotten off the bus, time just marches on faster that I can and leaves none for slowing down to listen to the music play