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!
Bro, you ok? so negative. WTF
Basically being called a Nazi by Anarchist creep Touch of Gray heads. I'm totally not a Nazi, play just like Jerry . . . and the shows that I've been to in the past were BRAIN BLAZING experiences. Seriously, if I told you all that went down it would burn off both your ears.
Because of snobby cliquiness y'all missed the new acid test in the 80s. I tried to tell everyone about it but I got ignored.
So anyway, expect to see me and my friends in your face in the upcomming tours. We're not going to let my talent go to waste just because pushy, bitter angry anarchist creeps think people with relatives in the military are Nazis.
Geez. Maybe everybody is a Nazi. Next y'all will be saying that Ghandi was a Nazi.
Yes, the draft lottery # is what I meant. That part of my original post became a non sequitur after I edited the thing.
Congrats to you on "winning the lottery".
I forget many things these days but some of those old memories just stick. I recall the day the numbers came out. I was in class and the professor had the new list. He asked the class if any of us were eligible for that round of numbers. Each of us gave our birthdates and he told us which lottery number we got. The guy sitting next to me received #6 and just broke down.
BTW, at that time I was living in NY and the place I had to go to register was Whitehall Street - just like in Alice's Restaurant!
It's been a good long while since I've heard anyone announce their Vietnam-era draft lottery number (at least I think that's what you meant)...#306 myself. The only lottery that I ever "won".
....In more ways than one...That particular show was "re-created" by Darkstar Orchestra at my first ever DSO show...september of 2008 If i recall correctly...good times...got a smokin' Tennessee Jed, magical first set Playin', stellar 'Eyes' in the second set...high energy Casey Jones...and I think we got a Stella Blue that night too...beautiful evening..great sets...i can only imagine how the real thing must've been-I was blown away at a recreation...nice lil ending to your story too..funny stuff...as true as i could ever imagine...ironically that was the current keyboardist for DSO's first show too...we chatted with him for a bit after the show...good times...much love.
"In a bed, in a bed, by the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul."
...at least for me.
For several years prior to this date, I attended concerts (various artists) as often as I could. I recall discussing shows with a friend in one of my college classes each week. It got to a point that one of the other students who sat in front of us turned to me one day and with an annoyed and sarcastic tone asked me, "what, do you LIVE at the Academy of Music"?
I almost did :-)
But then 3/15/73 happened. Out in the parking lot of the Nassau Coliseum there were guys selling pot from overflowing "knapsacks". I had never seen anything like that before (Vietnam draft #352 if I recall correctly).
Once we got inside the venue, we walked around the floor and saw groups of folks with their freak flags marking their areas. Behind the stage was a huge Skull & Roses banner.
We made our way to some open seats and managed to pick up some programs and balloons all with the Swell Dance Concert #1 logo (I wish I still had those!!!).
As I mentioned, my friends and I used to attend lots of shows by different artists (McKendree Spring, It's A Beautiful Day, Mountain, etc.) and this was our first Dead show.
The music started. It was OK. We weren't very familiar with the Dead at that time in our lives. After the set was over, my friend turned to me and said, "that wasn't the Dead". Turns out, it was the Sons of Champlin (who wasn't announced as an opening band).
Later, the Dead came on. My life has never been the same since.
Hey Bilee, happy to see you around. Myself a stagehand for 38 years, I'm a brother from Local 56 for 18 now. Shake your bones well and have a grate time all of you. I'll do Nassau april 24 with my wife. Share the Love Brother.
I saw this on a shirt or bumper sticker somewhere years ago. It really has significance for my experience of finding the Dead (or the Dead finding me) and my finally getting on the bus.I should have been a Deadhead years before I actually became one. I've regretted the lost time, but things probably happened as they were supposed to.
I was born in 1956 so I was around when the band started. I listened to and loved a lot of music that prepared me for the experience. In high school I loved the Allman Brothers, Cream and Santana. I also loved jazz especially Miles Davis (I was a trumpet player). In addition I listened to classical music and since I grew up in a small rural community in Virginia I couldn't help but be familiar with country and bluegrass. I knew of the Grateful Dead at this time. I knew Casey Jones, Truckin', Friend of the Devil and Uncle John's Band which were songs that were ocassionally played on the radio. I had no idea who the guys in the band were (I owned CSNY's Deja Vu and had no idea who that Garcia fellow was who played the pedal steel on Teach Your Children) and had never heard any live Dead.
I just missed the bus in 1978 when the band came to Va Tech. They were on campus the day before I arrived to visit a friend. There were still Heads around and there was something about the vibe I liked. Maybe something to be explored further. I was at home getting ready for a trip to visit my brother in CA in 1979 when the bus came by again. I had on the TV in the background and a Dead concert was on. I was not paying close attention as I was busy with other things but when Samson and Delilah came on I was enthralled. Really got into the music. Later that year I was in a store going through a group of discounted albums when I found Terrapin Station. I saw Samson and Delilah listed as one of the songs and took it home. Loved the whole album! Made a note to check this out in more detail. (On my trip to CA I visited San Francisco and immediately felt as though I had come home. Loved the whole vibe. Didn't want to leave. One more step on my journey I guess.)
In 1986 I moved into a row of townhouses in Newport News, VA. Two of the six townhouses in my block were occupied by Deadheads, Scott and Jeff introduced me to the world of live audience tapes. One day while sitting outside drinking a few beers with Scott the Eyes of the World from 9/3/77 came on. I was transported to another dimension! I had never heard music like this before! I was definitely standing on the bus at this point.
In the spring of 1987 the Dead came to the nearby Hampton Coliseum. Scott and Jeff took me and my 8 year old son Paul to our first show. Paul had been intoduced to the music along with me and really liked the band. He also was attached to Jeff's dog named Iko. Before the show Paul kept saying he couldn't wait til they played Iko. We didn't want him to be disappointed and told him that there was no guarantee that he would hear Iko that night, but he kept on insisting that we would hear it. The show started with Touch of Grey and the crowd went wild. I had never experienced this kind of energy before. I was transported once again. Later in the first set after a hot Big River the band stopped to tune and to my amazement (but not Paul's) the crowd started clapping out the rhythm to Iko Iko. The band took their lead and played what is still my all time favorite Iko. Jerry was grinning and exuding a lot of energy! At that moment my son and I both got completely on the bus and took a seat! We've been on ever since! Scott, Paul and I will be taking my younger son Joshua to his first Dead show on April 15 in Charlottesville, VA. It'll be great to ride the bus again with my two sons and one of the dear friends who got me on the bus in the first place. Jeff if by chance you see this let me hear from you bro. Hate that we've lost touch.
In the winter of 1978, at 18, I saw Cheech and Chong at the local Music Hall and that summer I went to the Willy Nelson picnic at the local Triple A and Collage World Series Ball Park in my home town. Those 2 events changed my life. I went to the picnic with some friends to see a rock band, I don't remember that band but I saw the Dead for the 1st time and was really interested and excited.
I got a couple of boot legs from some friends and in 1981 I got a cassette copy of Dead Set and played it until it broke...fuck I love that album.....starting out with Samson and Delilah....Fuck!!....well any way I started going to shows and 100 plus later here I am.
I'm going to a couple of shows this tour 1 with my wife and 1 with my 25 and 23 year old sons.....should be fun. I can't wait to charge my batteries. I missed the last go around thinking that I could catch the next leg who knew that would be 5 years later.
I miss Jerry, I think of him every day. I think of the band every day, I miss every one of these guys, and I'm looking forward to connecting, I don't care what they play as long as they do.
In this part of my life, since 1996, I live backstage, I'm a stagehand; I do hundreds of shows a year. I don't get excited about most shows, I’m pretty jaded and it is a job, I have stuff to do during the performance. I have been around some bands I never thought I would be around, in 2007 we did Paul McCartney, Simon and Garfunkel, John Prine, Bob Dylan, and John Forgery I called it “67 or 07” . I have seen legends, the up and coming, the on-the-way-down, and the “on the come back”. Shit I’ve done so many Kiss reunion and “final tour” shows I’ve lost count. I did Cher’s final tour 3 times… 3 shows 2 different buildings at least 6 months apart! Since November I have done: The Eagles, Metallica, New Kids on the Block, Nine Inch Nails, AC/DC, Motley Crue, plus many Broadway shows (just moved out Grease last night), corporate shows, trade shows, small concerts, comedy shows, sporting events and competitions. Right after the 1st of the year I received the news that Cheech and Chong were going to be at the Music Hall, which I’m now the house lighting tech. I was told that I would be doing the lighting for the show, I was totally excited. A couple of weeks later the Dead tour was announced! I knew then that this is going to be a grate year! I did the Cheech and Chong show, it was almost the same show as in '78, which was funny and great to see (my dog ate my stash, I had to follow him around for a week), I had a blast doing some light tricks (simulate cop lights, stuff like that).
The week In May that I’m going to see the dead shows goes like this: May 4th Travel to and see The Dead in Chicago, travel home on the 5th, then I’m the Steward for James Taylor on the 6th at the Music Hall, then at the arena, Fleetwood Mac on the 7th, Kenny Chesney on the 8th, I fly to California with my sons (who are also stagehands) on the 9th see the Dead on the 10th , fly home on the 11th and be the Steward for Elton John and Billy Joel on the 12th . I can't wait for the 4th and the 10th, the rest sounds like work. If the Dead come back here (the Picnic was the last time they did) I'll be torn, I'll have to work but I might actually watch the show. Really I hope that they do an amphitheater tour not this summer but maybe next. Nothing and I mean nothing compares to a Grateful Dead Show, not even close.
and how cool is it when you do turn someone onto it and they are totally as entranced and consumed by it as you are? It also makes it all worthwhile...I tend to target my efforts twds younger(than I) kids who like heavy metal and are into the whole gothic trip..I've got a few lil prodigies under my belt ;)
I've seen some totally 180 turnarounds with some of these kids...their well-being, their lifestyle, their social interactions...it's super rewarding....makes me smile :)
"In a bed, in a bed, by the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul."