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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mona's picture
Joined: Sep 28 2008
my birthday and robert cray

brought me to eugenbe 8/28/88. loved cray and was a birthday present to go see him. oh ya and also jimmy cliff and the grateful dead who both i knew of and heard acouple of songs by both. robert was great, jimmy very energetic. the scene on the lot were my type of ppl. BUT when the dead played! magical. i was dancing, everyone was dancing! and i was singing words to songs i didnt know. i got highjacked by the bus and its been a wonderful ride! :)

Joined: Mar 19 2010
I came to the Dead late...

I came to the Dead late... 1984. Canada's Wonderland... and it was. June 21st. 1984. Grad form High School that same day. Summer Solstice. The Band opening for the Dead... WOW. Looking for old buds who went with me to this show. Dave C. from T.O. Whos out there...

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

head over to the Deadheads of Australia topic and make yourself at home!

Joined: Mar 15 2010
hi guys, my favourite band

hi guys,

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

otherstu's picture
Joined: Mar 2 2009
Thanks Dad, and Public Radio

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 :)

Joined: Jan 10 2010
First GD show

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!

Thank you!

deadhead828's picture
Joined: Nov 17 2009
From The Beginning

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!

Linder's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2009
on the path into Red Rocks

I had a deja vous which began earlier that afternoon and kept recurring. The mini-journey into Red Rocks is quite 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...

Wino's picture
Joined: Jun 14 2007
wow all i can say was back

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

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

that's quite a show report!


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What Got You on the Bus?