June 25, 1993
with Bruce Hornsby on accordion - Sting opened
Set List:Mississippi Half-Step
Little Red Rooster
Tom Thumb's Blues
China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Saint of Circumstance
Uncle John's Band
I Need a Miracle
Attendees of this show
Jerry played with Sting on Tea in the Sahara. Excellent. We were in the upper deck and it started bouncing up and down so violently I got a little worried.
He said he was an artist but he really painted billboards
(This from a letter I sent to my best friend Mark, who went to the show with me).
Just when I thought that the parking lot scene couldn’t get any weirder or worse, I was proven wrong again. Never have I seen so many people selling T-shirts, beers (every brand imaginable), stir fry, veggie sandwiches, burritos, deep-fried egg rolls, jewelry, cigarettes (?), nitrous, juice, sodas... In the middle of this mess was the security force, which was trying to shut the whole thing down. I did see two nitrous tanks seized, but otherwise not much happened. A zillion people looking for tickets (for a 100,000 seat stadium!) although I can tell you from first-hand experience that some of the more serious space doggies were holding out for $5 tickets. (Face value: $27.50).
We stood outside the stadium and heard the sound check, which was great. Jerry singing New Speedway Boogie and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Bobby and Vince rehearsing an old Motown song, Ain’t That Peculiar.
Toward the end of Stings’ set, you and I moved way up front on the field. (D.C. is still the easiest place I know to sneak onto the field). We made it to the first row, way over on the left side. You are still the champ of front-row politics (a great grasp of who you may legitimately move in front of and whose position in the queue you must respect) so you surprised me when you decided to head back to your seat. In all fairness, this one can be chalked up to married life, since Sherry (Mark's girlfriend at the time) was still back at our assigned seats.
For the first time in years, I decided to stick it out. As I may have mentioned, I have developed some kind of mild claustrophobia in recent years (forcing me to abandon my plans to dig a one-person tunnel to the center of the earth) so smooshed into the first few rows may not have been the best place for me.
The security guards who were standing between the front-row wall and the stage were great. It was very hot and sunny out, and they spent the entire intermission passing out paper cups of water to us.
BUT... I always forget that D.C. draws a very heavy frat-boy crowd. What a nightmare. The frat boys had pushed their way to the front, and they were still pushing, yelling, trying to hoist their frat-girls up onto their shoulders (and then dropping them on top of the rest of us). Taking the cups of water that were being passed out and pouring them on each other instead of sharing them. It was awful, and caused me to mutter to no one in particular words to the effect of, “It didn’t use to be like this 10 years ago; Deadheads took care of each other.” (Or is this just wishful dreaming?)
This caused me to dig in even further, doing my best to help people get water, and letting several women who were shorter than me have my spot so they could see better. (Rather shocking behavior for a New Yorker; I hope no one who knows me saw any of this.)
The first set ended with one of the greatest Promised Land’s in recent history. As a long-time front-row pro, I tried to sit down immediately for the 45 minute intermission. The frat boys would have none of it. After the third one fell over me, they yelled loud enough until I stood up.
During intermission I saw a women near me looking at me and smiling and whispering to her girlfriend. I smiled back and pretended to whisper to the total stranger next to me. I gave several more short people my spot, and wound up next to the smiling woman. We chatted a little. She told me that she is a chef.
During the drums I gave her my spot so she could see Billy working on some type of percussion synthesizer while Mickey played the string synthesizer. Friends, I’m not exactly sure how this all happened, but she was standing in front of me and we were holding hands. Her friend had gone to the bathroom, and when she returned she looked sufficiently surprised to see us holding hands. I leaned over and said to her, “Oh, by the way; we’re engaged now.”
“I don’t know how we can be engaged; he hasn’t even kissed me yet,” the woman in front of me said.
Well, we spent the rest of the show hugging, kissing, drooling, etc. etc. Amazing in part because this is exactly the type of behavior that I detest in others in public. (J’accuse!) Had it been anyone else, I would have been making all sorts of ugly faces and uglier noises. But there I was...
I don’t know if you saw Eric Bogossian’s shows Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll or Drinking In America, but in each he does a character who is sort of the classic Brooklyn hard-drinking, woman-chasing, young lout. You know; every story is about a car crash, drug binge, or a babe.
In Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, he tells a miserable garish story about the character going to a bachelor party at his friend’s house.
“So... I’m sitting on the sofa, with the babes in bikinis. I’m doing ’ludes and snorting coke. I’m drinkin’ beer. Watching football on TV. Eating potato chips -- you know, the ones with those little ridges? And we got that dip that you make from onion soup mix. And I’m saying to myself...this is civilized.”
SO... I felt like that at the show. I’m in the fifth row center, seeing my favorite band in the world, I’m hugging and kissing a beautiful woman who is a really terrific kisser (I haven’t kissed anyone who could kiss this well in at least three years!), even the frat boys have given us a little room, and I can’t help saying to myself...THIS is civilized.
Somewhere in the back of my brain I’m also thinking that this is a pretty good show, but I’m “missing” most of it, because my attention is focused on this woman. It’s love and sex vs. music and culture and the kissing is winning.
The show ends, and I asked her with great trepidation where she lived.
“New Hope (PA), but I’m moving to Sacramento next week.” Ah me. New Hope was close enough to deal with, but Sacramento is a bit much.
Now I’m sure that I’m going home with her, or to a hotel, or just staying here and kissing her, or SOMETHING, and I’m thinking rapidly about what to do about Sherry, you, and Tina (the person I'm supposed to be staying with). My pack is in your car, and I foresee a lot of embarrassing questions that I don’t think I’ll be able to answer easily. During the show I had leaned over to the friend of the woman I was kissing and whispered, “If you think I understand what is going on, I do not!”
I had a key to Tina’s place that she had mailed me. I was supposed to try to sneak in after the show without waking up her and her dog. I figured that I would go home with this woman I met, then call Tina in the morning and tell her that I had stayed with you at your cousin’s house.
So I was rather surprised after One More Saturday Night when she said, “Well, I’m going to go with my friend now.” During The Weight we stared into each other’s eyes and sang along.
And she was gone.
I don’t know her name. She doesn’t know my name.
It was great. Not just for the kissing, which was way much swell, but for the magic, for the events that might have happened next but that we’ll never know about, for the mystery, and for the humor. On the days when I believe in God, I believe that God has a great sense of humor. I kept saying that I was going down to D.C. to get kissed, and I did. Just not by Tina, the person I EXPECTED to kiss! There is also the fact that I have been relationship-less so long that doubts about my physical attractiveness have started to creep in. (“Creep in”? Stampede in!) so this helped my fragile male ego.
SO... I came out of the show a babbling wreck. Offended every one of my friends by my erratic behavior, and had to offer a whole flock of apologies later.
But wait! Don’t tell us yet how much you’d pay, because there’s more!...
(Written after the show and posted here now...)
ha! just had to say that.
That wasn't me this time, but I've been That Girl before.
unlike izzy, its never been me....
and to think you were having that awesome experience and my buddy next to me for most of the show turns to me during The Weight and says,
"I finally took that hit. Shit's kickin in now!"
ooooooohhhhhhhh brother. What a night that was.
Itsnt it neat that we all have different stories that are all telling the same tale?
PS - That Cumberland was a modern day classic. .5 Step was not 1/2 bad either. !!
“The Omnipotent Grateful Dead!”
So many great memories from this show! Mark and I were on the floor waaaayyy in th back during the first set (after floating through the crowd and hacky sacking during Sting's set). Someone in the upper decks had a tamborine and shook that thing for all it was worth-- and more too! I remember seeing a glow stick tied to the rope of the balloon (tied to somewhere near the sound and light structure). Man; when someone grabbed a hold of that stringm that glow stick's "dance" made many, many heads happy that night!
When Jer joined Sting (wearing shorts no less), my friend Mark said, "Man, he has bigger hair than me!" Ha! Great memories of shows past, but the friendships are still going and going....
These stories really bring many memories back from RFK.
Yes, the frat boys were always a problem at RFK. I remember in 1990, one of them was on his friends shoulders right in front of the stage yelling "Hey Garcia, Get your ass on the stage!" It was at that point that we retreated to the sweet spot next to the soundboard for my first Dark Star.
There are totally different experiences to be had in the RFK lots depending on where you park at RFK. At the '93 shows we parked over by the river. There was a whole in a chain link fence that we followed the ant-like stream of deadheads through. When we came through the trees, there was an old wooden bridge that was being demolished. (A certain death trap for any normal person who wasn't tripping) Fortunately for us, we had checked our inhabitions at the door and we swaggered our way across a litany of missing boards out to the middle of the river (with everyone else) There were heads hooting and yelling, setting off fireworks over the river and having a grand old time. Now that I am older and wiser (with kids) I would never condone such wreckless behavior, but at the time, it seemed like the most perfect place on earth with RFK right there as a backdrop. - No regrets.
In '89, I drove by myself to the RFK shows. (My brother, now an Attorney, had been in an auto accident and was in the hospital, but he demanded that I go without him) So I drove up, not knowing a sole. I made calls to friends of friends, and found a place to stay. (across town) I went to the shows alone via the METRO. At the time, I was relatively new to the Dead scene and I was determined to go ALL IN for this once in a lifetime opportunity. I bought a bag of shrooms (my first time) and ate the whole bag with a Snickers bar to make it eatable. As soon as they started kicking in, I knew I was in trouble, so I wrote the address of the place I was staying in sharpy across my hand. After the show, I approached the entrance to the METRO station and just started laughing. The haoarde of folks cramming into that tunnel was almost more than I could endure, but I finally jumped into the mass and made my way onto the train. Which train? I had no idea. Fortunately for my earlier preparations, I leaned against the doors of the car and held my hand out to several people who were laughing at me and mumbled something like "I need to get to here" A kind head scribbled the correct train and exit I needed on a piece of paper. When the doors opened for me to find the train, low and behold, there was a cop standing on the platform right in front of me. This happened to be a god send, however, because I walked right up to him with the intention of having him help me find my train, but instead I yelled "I'm gonna puke!" He got this pannicked look on his face, grabbed my arm and thrust me in front of a garbage can just as I lost my Snickers. He then pointed me in the direction I needed to go. What a helpful civil servant!
Anyway, there are plenty of other fun stories from RFK, but they will have to wait for another time. I have to pick the kids up from school. God help me.
My brother and I climbed that damn fence to the 2nd level both nights!! The lot was a zoo, and i remember seeing 10 - 15 nitrous tanked seized. Once you climbed the first fence, you had to jump on the roof of this truck, then up the 20' foot fence? to the top. Wavering on the top of the fence, you needed to call up to the others on the outside ramp, where you needed them to pull you up the last 3 feet, as this was flat cement. We could of died both nights if anyone let go, but of course they didn't and were glad to help you get in. Awesome story, and most don't beleive it happend, but there it is!!
First,i`d like to say how much i like R.F.K.everything to do with the venue seems relaxed.From Jerry and the "faithful fans" to security and even JohnnyLaw.This was my 1st trip see the boys and they met all my intentions of what i never thought i`d see.I still see that locomotive on the big screen,and vaguely helping a friend build sand castles on the lawn(there was no sand,but LSD can play tricks on ya!..lol!)The 2nd set opened with China>Rider and at the time,i really wanted to hear that.Oh yeh,New Speedway from the 1st set was sweet!Along with Cumberland Blues.So anywho,this date means alot to me.Not only was it my 1st show,but something happened to me that night when i heard Jerry on that stage.Most of you know the feeling that i`m trying to explain,but can`t.But i got that wonderful fealing at each and everyone of the shows that i saw after that night.I wouldn`t trade it for anything!Thank you Jerry.
i loved seeing the dead here at r.f.k. the lot was terrific. there was this giant drum circle in between the bridge buttresses. everytime i went to r.f.k. i would be lucky enough to have floor tickets and the floor was general admission. me and my touring brother would sometimes be right up against the stage. it was always a delight when jerry would scan the crowd and smile so brightly....