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  • Forensicdoceleven
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    I travel the garden of music, thru inspiration.....

    Providence June 26, 1974

    First show was Boston Music Hall December 1 1973, but we were relatively clueless and I didn't get it yet. At Providence, it finally kicked in. THAT'S the night I got on the bus. First life changing Grateful Dead experience.....

    Second was Augusta October 12, 1984. Minds boggled and restored our faith in the Dead, for ten years after that we were chasing Augusta..............

    Rock on,

    Doc

  • Tim Newhaven
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    Jerry on the Eel 8/29/87

    Best time I've ever had. Met all the right people. Showed up as a kid on tour, left as family.

  • Strider 808808
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    Jefferson Airplane

    Free concert Central Park Bandshell, May 1970. No rhyme or reason . Just was, for the obvious.

  • hnett
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    Sat Nov 18, 1978 Uptown…

    Sat Nov 18, 1978 Uptown Theater Chicago
    A great friend and I heard the GD were coming to town. We were just 16 and way out in the burbs. But we plotted and planned. We went the first night on Thur the 16th. It was kind of strange and fun. But it peaked our interest. So we independently decided to go again. And on the weekend we called each other and blammo we got into my ‘68 square back VW and headed into the city. My friend had scored 4 hits of some green dragon. We ate it as we drove. It kicked in as we pulled into the parking lot. And right away a head there had some Mr Natural tabs. I got two more just in case. We got out onto the street ticketless. Started asking for tix. Another head was selling hits in line and got busted by undercover cops right in front of us! What a freak out! We were having a hard time finding tix. It was getting dark out and cold! We were really feeling the green dragons. Then all of a sudden this disco Dan type guy in line with his dancing debutant date got out of line. He had two tix from radio station WXRT and sold us those 7th row center seats. We were “Jerry saves” kids now. We got inside. My buddy went to the bathroom. He Bought two Rising Phoenix tabs just in case while in there. I mean the Uptown was 1940’s shiek adorned out with the coolest accents and red velvet walls. Then we saw a good friend alone with balcony seats. Told him we can get him down to 7th row. We did. We waited an eternity for the band to come out. They did. Holy shmit. That first set put us on a serious edge. Or was it the extra hits we ate? Either way four hits in our mouths. And the set break nearly broke us. But we persevered. And they played scarlet/fire. They played a late ‘78 miracle. And that other one into a meltdown was way crazy. It was for sure the moment in Scarlet/fire that I was telepathically communicating with Jerry. I mean he was comforting me and sending me into a psychedelic spiral. They did a Olin Arrenge Jam out of drums that I was not even aware of. Not for decades did I learn that.
    Yah, that show was it. If the GD were within 500 miles of me I saw them. Didn’t care what was going on. Sometimes I’d get bored and a friend would say hay, the Dead are playing in Philly or Berkeley and I’d find myself in a car or a plane heading to a show sans tix and no longer bored. And yes, on the plane I’d meet heads that had extras, why? Who cares that’s the way it went on the road to find out the next show. For certain a trip to the Greek theater in berzerkeley 1982 had a playing/uncle John’s into drums that was one of the best things I’d ever heard the band play.
    Oh, outside the Uptown a homeless woman was sitting on the curb. 9 months pregnant with a sign on saying anybody want a baby with an arrow pointing at her tummy. With my suburban life I was like completely shocked. What kind of a band attracts people like that? It just added to the pageantry of wonders surrounding the Grateful Dead. But, it was the area. Not the band. She was not in a good way at all. It was a challenge after the show trying to drive home. But we did. And it helped me have the confidence in life to get through the strange. 101 GD shows under my belt. More various band member related shows. Donna to Jerry Bob Bill and more. The bus just keeps moving further. Happy trails campers. And avoid the opiates kids!

  • bentguy
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    Hollywood Bowl, June 17, 1972

    It was a beautiful early summer’s eve, it was the delightful outdoors setting of the Hollywood Bowl, and it was the Dead, a band I’d grown to love through the recordings, but as everyone knew, it was playing live where they shone.

    And it was the end of high school for me, forever.

    The concert was fabulous, though the windowpane might have been an influence. We were back from the main stage a fair distance, a couple of tiers from the floor level. The Dead played many of their classics, they wound up the crowd, pulled them in, pushed them away, pulled them back at higher volume.

    Except for my brother, who didn’t drop acid (since he was driving, thank the stars), we were all soaring, particularly one of my friends, who was swaying so much to the music I thought he was sure to fall over the small wall he was standing on, dividing us from a lower level.

    One of the great contrasts in that concert was that I was in ecstasy over the music, yet rabid over some security goons who punched a couple of people from our level who’d dropped over the wall to get closer to the scene. The goons were apparently college football players who’d been hired for security and they popped a few people pretty good directly below us, and those confrontations happened a few times. So, when we weren’t flying to the music, we were yelling at the security to back off.

    Those guys had armbands that said “Peace Power,” but peaceful it wasn’t.

    The concert marked the last performance of Pigpen before his early death. He didn’t sing at all, and just played some listless notes, never going into the big blues persona he carried so well. Thus began the curse of prematurely dead Dead keyboard players over the succeeding years.

    We, however, lived, and returned to my friend's house, where his parents were gone for the night. We had bought an entire case of Peanut Butter Cups, one of my favorite candies, and we ate them all. Sweet.

  • dejapka
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    Watkins Glen was a great 3…

    Watkins Glen was a great 3 band concert experience indeed. However, the Dead started the show in the early afternoon which just didn't seem normal nor proper. The set was shorter than other shows because "The Band" and " The Allman Brothers" needed their time. What seems to have circulated most widely is the recording of the soundcheck. At that time the boys were loose and having fun as compared to the actual afternoon concert.

    Still have my ticket stub from '73 although my Summer Jam T-shirt long ago fell apart into the rag heap. So it goes.

  • RTEjr
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    First Show: Barton Hall @…

    First Show: Barton Hall @ Cornell University Ithaca NY 5.8.77. Yup--FIRST show. Didn't really dig the Dead until then. Was knee deep in Zappa, Yes, ELP etc, but always open to new music. Went to school with a bunch of Heads who had already been to 100 shows, and if you "don't have two copies of every Dead album then you don't have a record collection." So went with them and opened up a whole new world. Especially when they were saying, "I can't believe they're playing this--oh they rarely play that!
    Awesome psychemusic experience made me a fan for life!

  • sohoguy
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    William & Mary College 4/15/1978

    Most memorable concert. Celebrated my 22 birthday with friends from SUNY at Albany. Eighth row center.....great show!!!

  • memphis mike
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    my first was dec 26th 1969…

    my first was dec 26th 1969. got acoustic Jer and Bob, acoustic Dead and then a smokin" electric set. from Monkey and the Engineer to Lovelight with lots in between. didn't realize how lucky I was at the time. wish I could see that show again! luckily I can listen and relivve it in my mind.

  • memphis mike
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    Watkins Glen

    wow!!! wish I had been there

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Which would it have been? Most life-changing, for whatever reason.
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I was 17 and an angry punk rock kid. My buddy from school gave me some doses and some tickets to a party called "Earth Ball" the coming weekend. It was 1986 in Hearts Desire just outside Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in Glenno's back yard. His folks were well to do and had a goodly amount of space. The folks in the local dead scene were throwing a bash. I showed up just as it started raining. I ate my goonie bird dose so it would not get wet and some kind folks called me out of the weather to smoke joints in their VW. Some time passed as it will and as I started to trip the sun broke out. I thanked my new friends, got out of the van and walked to the back yard. There, dancing in the mud to Sugar Magnolia, was a beautiful blonde deadhead girl in a skin soaked batik Indian cotton dress with dayglo paint on her face....that is when it happened for me. The band was called Longbottom (like Longbottom leaf the hobbits smoke in Lord of The Rings) and they were great. The image of that girl dancing is still so clear and the golden road opened before me. It was a year before I saw my first Dead show but I already knew..... Spent A Little Time On The Mountain, Spent A Little Time On The Hill
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all shows were life changing really.Of course,i`d have to say that my 1st show changed things that only Jerry knows how to do.It was 6/25/93 R.F.K,i will never forget the way Jerry`s guitar sounded that night,it`s magical,to say the least.But out of the 23 shows i attended,the one that holds a special place with me would have to be,8/1/94@The Palace in Auburn Hills,Mi..Just to be able to be there and wish Jerry a happy birthday in person is reason enough.Not to mention,they played the one and only Scarlet>Fire of summer tour`94 that evening.That ticket was one of the easiest tickets i ever scored.I traded 4gms of hash for the Jerry b-day ticket and still had 4gms for my head! I ate a 10strip before the show and another 10 at intermission,so the night was very colorful and wavey.Thank God for the Grateful Dead,i miss Him soooo much.He changed my life that 1st night in D.C. and there`s noway of thanking Him enough!
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My first show....Feb 69 Fillmore East...Just a tot..4 years. Memories are foggy as are the shows & days between..The deal..Braddah & Sistah babysittin' me...not to miss the show...almost lost me out the back of the jeep on the Brooklyn Bridge(carseat-no such thing back in the day)..back popped open (old army jeep style with chains to latch hatch) My sistah grabbed my arm as my braddah continued drivin' as they were hysterical laughin' (hhhmmmm wonder why)..Petrified bouncin' round n round...My bro pulled over off the bridge and latched the back. The show memoirs...No Jerry No Dead....Cloud filled smoke in the room (SRO) everyone dancin' n Gregg Allman jammin'...his long blonde hair and the pakalolo smoke filled room...Yup Allmans' opened up for the Dead...I just remember the ride on the bus(jeep) the smoke(made me ill feelin' so thick) and Gregg...wierd but fond memories...one that somehow stuck with me after all these years...Now another first for me...Coney Island...Furthur....woo hoo....Brooklyn Brooklyn Brookly...great excuse to visit da family......................Aloha from Paradise...........Stay healthy & Stay hippie
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For me, attending the Winterland show 6/17/75, billed as "Jerry Garcia & Friends" was a big one. The one & only show where I saw & heard the Dead on their home turf...I'd hitchhiked across country from Washington, DC in 1974, staying with a friend at 23rd & Church Streets for almost a year. Bob Weir & his band, Keith & Donna's band opened the show, so I was blown away by the Grateful Dead coming on stage, especially hearing "Franklin's Tower" for the first time. By then I was a confirmed Deadhead, but hearing them play in S.F. put the seal on the diploma! It didn't hurt that I got to dance with a cute lady there...serindipity in the moment. Jay
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my brothers got nabbed the night before - poker showed me and johnny hospitality by a campfire with tequila and friendship and sympathy - next day the show and it really made me want to get back into playing piano seeing bruce hornsby tink away with vinnie (never forgot how well bruce and vinnie handled the chair together, it was bittersweet to see vinnie alone later on, but I appreciated him nonetheless on his own and loved way to go) - jack straw opener felt like a crowd of people had just staked a claim and called this place home for however long - amazing how generations of people were present... grandparents, parents, little children - jerry's guitar was playing my arms - bobby played the clown during estimated - felt a part of the band and the music - people were sweet, inviting and oh so strange... but then it was mostly me ;) it was the only concert in my life that felt like a dream. waking up was a bummer. what now? what now? yeah, right now. ;) keep searching like a dummy for years after that or so it seemed. took me years to appreciate - but that's just the story. gratitude explains the feeling of my first show.... and we got around to playing the piano again and mixing old training with song after song from the dead songbook through the coming years. got a taste for playing grand pianos in college, in the dark, hearing the band in my head as fingers blindly moved over the keys. actually got a chance a few nights to jam with stu allen here in our hometown when we were both teenagers... always loved playing a terrapin though never saw one. every little thing can change a story, you're only as young as the last time you changed your mind --- first show brought me back to the piano and told me stories that would echo as all the years combined and melted into the dream. cheers. mosesgoldman
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I was 20 yrs old and it was 1985. Dead were playing Hampton-3rd night. I was listening to the studio albums and--- "Dead Set" during my teenage years--enjoying it immensely but still not "getting it." I was into the concert very much but then at some point I was close to the stage on the left side of Jerry looking directly at him right as they kicked into "Terrrapin". I'll never forget that feeling of hearing that beautiful song rendered so soulfully by Jerry himself. Right then and there I was a Deadhead for life. A few months later and I was on summer tour for the Dylan/ Tom Petty/ Dead stadium shows and Jerry's subsequent diabetic coma.
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I never got to see the band with Jerry as I was still a kid... But I saw them at the Forum in 09 and that was ORGASMIC!
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13 years 8 months
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I've never seen the Grateful Dead with Jerry, on account of only being 19. But I literally just got back from Furthur at the UCF Arena and it was amazing. "Strawberry Fields" > "When You Wish Upon A Star", "Truckin'", "The Wheel", and so many others. Now the old expression is cemented in my brain, "There is nothing like a Dead concert." I loved the people (they were polite and awesome for the most part) and the music was incredible. I'm going to go to every Furthur and Dark Star Orchestra concert I can from now on.
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I saw two shows at the Uptown in Chicago (11-16-78 and 8-19-80) before I caught up with the boys on a crazy Saturday night in Paris, 10-17-81. If there's such a thing as a deadhead, that's the night I became one, meaning it all came together for me there: psychedelics, music, dance, and community. I had just turned 21 then and I'm 50 now; the journey just keeps getting longer, stranger and trippier.
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I'll start out by confessing that I blew off what SHOULD have been my first Grateful Dead show - Syracuse, 10/27/71. I was a freshman at Colgate, and a whole bunch of guys from my dorm, including my roommate, were going. Damned if I know why I didn't ...l I thought it was for a World Series game, but the Baseball Almanac tells me that the '71 series ended on 10/17, soooo ... So if I wimped out on that, how did I catch the bug? Sophomore year at Colgate, I was living at a frat house. I was assigned to clean the house living room on the Saturday morning after the first big Friday night party. I found a copy of Europe '72 - musta been damn near brand new at the time (9/72). I took it back to my room, wrote up a bunch of 3x5 cards describing the album, where I found it & where to contact me, & posted them on the bulletin boards at frat houses, dorms & the student union (1972 ... NO INTERNET!!). Nobody ever got in touch, or asked anyone else at the house about it. Still, I was oddly reluctant to listen to it - at the time I was into Beatles, Stones, Who, CSNY, & other stuff that they call "Classic Rock" today, but was sorta new back then. Liked the Airplane, but they didn't play any Grateful Dead on WABC or WMCA-AM, y'know? But after Thanksgiving break, I began to feeling that I now owned this album, & figured it was high time I listened to it. The initial feeling, listening to that mad Cumberland, was "where has this stuff BEEN all my life??!!", and so began a beautiful lifelong obsession. ------------------------------------------------------ The simple fact that the "new right" has consistently been wrong does not mean that wrong is the new right.
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you don't ever know. Wonder whose album it was!
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Most life changing thing was my first show in Chicago.My mom and dad took me to it.. They werent dead heads but i wanted to go. We sat in the upper deck and it was amazing.. After the show my mom goes to me and said " you will never go to one of these again" Too bad for her... i went for the next 5-6 years.. And listen to them today.. Wow what a good time in my life Thanks everyone
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The first show in Paris 1990. In college at the time, I ran into friends from high school I had not seen in years (I am from Huntington beach, california). Met Parisians who were into the Dead and wanted to know more about America and how popular the Dead were. Enjoyed some really strong goodies and wondered the streets of Paris afterwards in a glow. Had an epiphany during Saint of Circumstance- details not important, I just remember I had an epiphany. Something about that show and experience made me embrace my love of the Dead more than any other. J.T. Gossard http://thehallucinogenicbible.blogspot.com/
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gone now...
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12 years 11 months
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My 1st show was JGB 10/31/89' Concord Pavilion. I mean it was my 1st live music experience...ever. My friends mom was a deadhead (did not know it then tho)and she said we was all going to Forth Bragg CA for the Halloween festivities to party, and to hang out. Somehow, we landed in Concord, CA. I had never knew of the GD or Jerry or these thousands of gypsy hippies that lived off this music. So to say that seeing deadheads was one thing, the fact that it was freakin Halloween was another. We all piled out of the car & three of us split to go wonder around. Within about 45 seconds, I thought to myself ' man, what kind of a thing is this?'.....look at all these freaks! All of a sudden some dreadied guy came up and asked us if we'd had our medicine. I responded by saying that we weren't sickly or nuthin', why ...did we look sick? That dude just looked at me like I was crazy er sumpthin' and walked off.....I got to admit that this music didnt do it for me at first. I was watching all these people twirling around, and rushing about like they were in some sort of church. Of course, like the book says, the adventure of getting to the shows & the scene is what initially had me going back at the beginning of 1990 for more. It's hard to believe now that this music has been ingrained into my dna. By 1991 i was on the bus. I skipped going to college to follow the band in those latter days. I have returned back to college ( w the current economy it's not a bad place to be now ) but still get out to as many shows as my pocketbook will allow. Ive wanted to say this for awhile now...... THANK YOU ALL FOR A REAL GOOD TIME! brent "...fields of fragile thunder..."
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just realized after re-reading my above post that this prolly isn't the right thread/spot for my story. although technically it wasn't the first show that "did it for me." In fact, the 1st gd show that did do it for me was 7/18/90 Buckeye Lake/Hebron OHfrom mid 1st set on we camped in front of stage rt about 100 ft (if memory serves me). tripped pretty hard that night .... on a giant piece of paper lying on the ground that is. good vibe, some older cats took me under their wing for a while...had a absolute blast & somehow, may have been that Terrapin, it seemed like everything was perfect. Thats what I got hooked to....if the fellas were playing on a stage then things would be ...ok oh, and..... hope this doesnt sound sexist or whatever, but back then I remember being very turned-on by all these beautiful women that was tied into the scene. still to this day the hottest women on earth hang out at dead-related events. peace "...fields of fragile thunder..."
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12 years 10 months
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Hershey 1985 was like my 7th or 8th show. Everything just clicked. No reason to pontificate anymore than that.
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Fresh out of LA, only knowing the band had a strange name, as Kqed Ops manager, I HEARD the music for the first time! Like Saul on his way to Tarsus, I was knocked to my knees. Thus began an odysey that never ends. Once in awhile you can get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
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I'd been to several shows before this one, but none stood out like this. Santana played also, but it was years before I remembered that. The sugar cube and squiggly phosphorescent light show and frisbees flying around the room I do remember though. After this show, we went years without hearing any other music. The Dead were the best, and nobody was even in second place!
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13 years 7 months
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For me as well. For me it was the greatest Sugar Mag of all time. I have many intense memories of the show (including Donna coming out with a wig at one point).
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14 years 11 months
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My second show was the life-changing event where I GOT IT.And the most unlikely place of all, in the county south of me, Shakey Town (L.A. Uptight City In The Smog) at the Shrine Auditorium on 15 October 1976. Go to that show on this here website and read my description of what was going on outside courtesy of the Los Angeles Police Dept. and LAPD Chief Ed Davis and his ill-conceived idea to stamp out pot-smoking at ALL rock concerts in the city limits of Los Angeles back in 1975-1976. The first victims of his campaign were at the 1975 Pink Floyd show at the LA Sports Arena, the Wish You Were Here album tour. Heard ugly stories about that. But the Grateful Dead on the second night of the Oct76 stay was amazing! ESPECIALLY the second set. That's when this here Country CowFreak GOT IT.
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My first show should have been in Phila at the civic center in 1974. I wais about 15 yrsk old and was in Mexico at the time, so I guess I was doing ok.anyway. Then they "broke up" and i thought i would never get to see them. Kind of funny to think about that now. My first concert was JGB at the tower on Halloween night 1975! Next I saw two dead shows at the tower theater in Upper Darby Pa. Spring of 1976 but I'm not quit sure which two of the 4 nights. They hadn't quite got they're mojo back yet but I enjoyed enough to keep coming back (that and I knew how good they could be form some bootleg tapes I had collected).
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My First Dead show was Oct 15TH at the Shrine Aud,,I was 14 and well it changed my life for ever,Does anybody have a copy of the Flyer that was handed out before we all entered telling us"This is not a Pot Smoking Sanctuary......."Any way WHAT a great first Dead Show or CONCERT for me
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I had the opportunity to listen to these recordings on 2 cd´s and is one of the most amazing recordings of the Dead. Main tracks that Iiked and enjoyed:Lazy Lightning,Sugaree,Deal and almost all the songs recorded here.I keep on the listening!
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Bob Dylan opening up for Phil and Friends, July 1st 2000 at the Del Mar Racetrack/Fairgrounds. It was my first dead-related show of any kind. I had only gotten into the dead in 99, That story is in my introduction post. But I begged my dad to take me to go and see Phil or Bobby or whoever I could before they passed as well and having seen a show or two in the mid-seventies, he wasn't keen on taking his younger son to a show. So I rope-a-doped him by informing him that Dylan would be opening for Phil at an upcoming show and that was that. Dylan opened and it was terrible, I do remember that. We were up in the grandstands as my dad was trying to avoid a contact high and he went to go and get a beer between Dylan closing and Phil setting up. As soon as he was out of eyesight, I charged down to the general admissions area and a few dready mama's swooped me up. I remember smoking a roach and watching in amazement as the event staff that flanked the audience pulled out altoid cans just before Phil took the stage and started passing them inwards. It wasn't that they wanted all of us stinky hippies to have fresh breath, they were actively dosing us. I met up with a friend years later who actually worked as "event staff" for the fairgrounds that summer, he is six years older than me, and he confirmed that a few of the heads had been plotting that move for weaks. I don't know if any of you remember the liquid going around in the late 90's and early 2000's but those were some of the most colorful years of my young life. Anyway They opened with a strong Dancin and there were some amazing highlights throughout the night. The older dready mama's really did take care of my young crazed ass, one got upset that i had indulged in the altoids and another kept trying to take all roaches out of my fingers as they passed. It was an incredibly sweet notion and I remember being overwhelmed with gratitude for them at the time. Although I was mildly upset that they were "taking away my fun" they were looking after my stupid 12 year old ass. They probably had kids my age. As a father now I would damn sure do the same! All that aside, the terrapin station, tennessee jed and fat man in a bathtub still stick out in my head. I've been sold ever since. So 13 years of shows under my belt. Laughable to most of you older heads. But as a younger cat, Thank you so much for always being welcoming, encouraging and supportive to all of us younger heads. You might not know it, but the welcome alone makes a world of difference! I was one of 4 deadheads I knew and grew up with until I was 18 and it was only at shows that I didn't feel like a "hippie" or another stoned freak. Anyone else would consider it completely retarded that I dosed when i took my SATs. I got a 1410 so I would like to think I wasn't a complete moron but, hey, what can you do? thanks again for the wonderful camaraderie!
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It might be inappropriate and if it is, I will take it down and let me know as to never do it again, but I also remember having to drive home with my dad after the show and I was still HIGH AS A KITE. He just sat there sighing, laughing at me, looking over, giggling and then he would sigh some more. We've since talked about it and he has told me he was really disappointed that I had done that to myself but he didn't want to "send me on a bummer." What a guy. Karma will get me back for that one and others I'm sure.
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cosmicdavid, the only thing I see that's out of place in your post is you don't mention that you were 12 when this happened until the end of your fourth paragraph. That's a key piece of information that a reader needs right away in order to effectively envision the scene you describe. Whether it's inappropriate or not is for others to decide; as a writer, I'm mostly concerned with effectiveness.
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11 years 11 months
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it was during the "decline" of the band (or maybe the crowds) as i guess some people have put it, but that beautiful june day in '92 at soldier field changed my view of the dead and my life profoundly and permanently. Up until then i had only been listening to their music when a friend of my ex said to me "you have to see them in concert because there is nothing else in the world like a grateful dead concert". That's all i needed to hear!! i scored tickets from the local ticket disaster outlet and scooted on over to chi-town. I was sitting in traffic on lake shore drive (ironic isn't it?) looking at the parking lot and knew instantly i was home. It wasn't just the psychedelics, i had plenty of experience with them starting in '79 and it wasn't just the music. for me it was 90% the heads themselves. I have never, ever in my life been in such a swirl of colorful, beautiful, caring, fun,accepting and like-minded people in my life and highly doubt i ever will again. The entire experience simply blew me away,left me sobbing in tears of joy, and created a "smoking crater" in my brain that has only been able to be filled by dead heads and the music of the dead. "see how everything lead up to this day!!" harry houdini may have been a great magician in his own right, but what kind of universal cosmic magic did it take from albert hoffman's bike ride all the way until these collections of stardust convened together in the early to mid sixties to form the experience that was presented to me in june of '92???? Cosmic f@&^%ing magic indeed!!!! God i have loved the dead and all those that are orbiting in this brief space of time we are blessed with between birth and death ever since. love to all and take care
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This thread has been Dead for awhile so I'm going to bring it back to life. :) Had the chance to see my first show in '78 but passed it up. I was familiar with the Dead but wasn't INTO it yet. First show was The Spectrum in Philly in the spring of '82. We were only a couple hours early so I didn't get to do much of the parking lot scene but what I saw really intrigued me; all the circle jams everywhere you looked. Came home and put a guitar on layaway. It was paid off by mid summer. Spent the fall and winter learning with a chord book and the GD Anthology. Back to Philly in the spring of '83 with my new guitar and looking to jam. I wasn't disappointed. I wasn't very good yet but I knew some songs. I wandered around to the different circles hoping to hear a group playing something I knew. The second group I stopped to listen to asked me to sit down and join them. I mentioned that I had only been playing for about 6 months and wasn't very good. They just blew it off and told me to sit down. They asked what songs I knew and then played them just to make me comfortable. When it came time to pack up and head inside I'd made some new friends and partially learned a few more songs. That was it. I became Deadicated that day. Went on to tour up and down the East coast through the summer of '91. I pretty much learned to play guitar in venue parking lots. So many shows. So many good people. So many memories. I am so Grateful to have been able to be a part of the whole scene. If I could go back in time, I would do it all over again.
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12 years 3 months
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It wasn't a particular show for me it was the copy of Bear's Choice I got in the cutout section of whatever the record store was at the time. I must have played side 2 a thousand times, Smokestack Lighting and Hard to Handle. Then flipped it over to hear Katie Mae and the rest. That was in 1974 I was 14 and I never looked back. Even today I don't listen to much else besides the Dead, I'm currently on a 74' kick streaming every show for that year, pretty much the best year in their history.
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8 years 3 months
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For Me , the life changing show was Jerry Garcia Band and Bobby and the Midniters at New Haven back in 1982. The reason was I was able to see both sides of the coin,as well as have it stand on end! Jerry and His band opened and played extensive sets.Then Bob Weir came out and did the same, then both bands jammed for a tremendous encore set or two! If anybody has the set list for this show please reply to this comment. The reason it was a life changer, was I found out that their music inspired me to appreciate what life is all about!
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6 years 5 months
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9/21/82 MSG. It wasn't my first show, which was also awesome (3/9/81),but although I already considered myself a deadhead, it was the first show where I let the music take me totally away. OK, the red gels helped, but I had dosed many times before. It was a magical night, opening with PITB, and the first set ending with an astounding China>Rider. And the second set was great too- I recall a really soulful Black Peter. Someone mentioned east coast vs west coast deadheads. Growing up in NYC and the environs in the 70s and early 80s, when you saw someone with a GD shirt, there was an instant connection, like we were brothers or sisters. When I moved to California in 85, it was very 'so what'. Strange.
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6 years 8 months
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Didn’t see the Dead until 1972, so am a newbie. But my life changer was Fare Thee Well. Yeah, hokey, I know. Must have been half a million Deadheads in downtown Chicago. No, Jerry didn’t do the lead work, but they were back. The old and the young laughed and cried together. A five month old baby in headgear to protect his hearing, sat thru his first Dead concert, behind me. I felt in a very timeless place, watching a new birth. Love to all
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Shoreline was always my favorite venue. The sun setting through the spinners, the vibe of the crowd, good sound.. and mostly because they always seemed to kill it there. September 29, 1989 was no exception. China rider into set 2 was sweet, terrapin into drums and space was crazy... but when Jerry dropped his glasses to the end of his nose, looked at Brent like a father about to give his boy a whoopin, then pushed them back up and started Death Don't... ho - ly - shit. I still get goosebumps. Leaving the show I remember the buzz - the simultaneous elation over the fact they just pulled one out they hadn't done in almost 20 years (giving credence to the hope they would someday do more than tease St. Stephen or others) and a sort of panic trying to figure out what it meant.. quickly overridden by the aforementioned elation. Brent was gone 6 months later.
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14 years 3 months
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Sacramento... 1-17-78. It led me on the road to being a "born again x-tian" of all things. I had a home-made sign that said "Welcome to Sad Sac" They must have seen it. They did "Black Peter " that night. Could've sworn they did it just for me! It was psychic!

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11 years 2 months
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Since 3/28/73, it hasn't been the same. All these years the energy grew, culminating in the publishing of my co-authored book (with Barry Barnes): The Grateful Dead's 100 Essential Songs: The Music Never Stops. Still listening to the Dead just about every day -- it never gets old, at least not as old as I am. :-)

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Ever since 1971 when I first heard Bertha and 3/28/73, I've been on the bus and never getting tired of it. All the energy combined to help produce our (with Barry Barnes) recent book: The Grateful Dead's 100 Essential Songs: The Music Never Stops. (We hope you'll like it.) Still listening to the Dead every day -- it never gets old.

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1972. I left my job managing a large headshop in a poster and blacklight manufacturing company in
Houston to go hitch-hiking with a friend to Colorado and then out to Hermosa Beach, California. While
out in Hermosa Beach I got word that the Grateful Dead were playing at the Hollywood Bowl. I went to
my first Grateful Dead concert. I had been a fan since 1971 but my stereo got stolen and my "Dead" album
was on the turn table. I have never been able to find a video of that concert. Life-changing? You bet.
Their music and videos take me to a better place.

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Hard to pick just one... 4/27/77 - wasn't there, but listened to the WNEW live radio broadcast on 102.7 FM as a precocious 16 year-old. Was really excited to get a listening preview of what I would be seeing in person in just a few days. That Capitol '77 show was the first time hearing 'California' (Estimated Prophet) and 'Inspiration' (Terrapin)... as we called the tunes at that time. (Very soulful & heart-felt Morning Dew on 4/27 too...) What a preview for my actual first show on 4/30/77...

Saturday night, last day of April - great show at the Palladium in the Village. Beauuuutiful Peggy-O... Scarlet>Fire>Good Lovin... St Stephen>NFA>Stella Blue>St Stephen... Terrapin encore...Need I say more?

Next up was Englishtown - MONUMENTALLY HISTORIC show! The Dead finally nailed the BIG ONE.

November 24, 1978 - scored an 'Invitation Only' Golden Ticket to see the band at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ. Egypt slides on the video screens flanked the stage. Hamza el Din & Mickey front and center for the intro into Fire on the Mountain - mind blowing!... Felt like we were in the Dead's living room with their new Egyptian friends and they were sharing their summer vacation to the Pyramids with us... helped along with some consciousness enhancing vitamins that - coupled with the muse - made the old Capitol vibrate and shake with energy...

And, it went on and on from there... MSG 1979, three nights at Radio City 1980... Santa Clara 2015... Fare Thee Well!

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17 years
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Long ago and far away, I mentioned to my father that I thought I wanted to play banjo. He was horrified. Scandalized. Violin, yes. Piano, yes. Banjo!!? Over his dead body. After several months of begging, he decided if I wanted to play banjo so badly, he'd take me to see Kingston Trio, a respectable band with a respectable banjo player. He took me to his old stomping ground, the Tangent - more accurately the Top of the Tangent, where the Trio was scheduled to play. There was a FUBAR. Rather than Kingston Trio, some rag-tag, motley group in flat-top cuts was arguing over their play list, who was going to sing what, and even what key to play in. They were a scream! Dad was furious! They had kazoos!! What kind of band was this?? Still bantering among themselves, the drummer sat at his set, everyone else picked up his instrument and somehow a decision on what to play was made. My attention was immediately drawn to one guy, on a stool, kazoo in mouth and banjo! With his foot hooked in under the stool's rung, leaning back far enough to make one wonder how he didn't tip over, and laughing hard through the kazoo, he never missed a lick on that banjo. Not a note, not a string. It was bawdy and rowdy and I was smitten. It was all about the banjo. When I told Dad, "THAT'S how I want to play!" I thought he'd have a stroke.
Over the years, I'd run into these guys again and again, under different names, sometimes the banjo swapped out for the guitar, and once he played Happy Birthday to me on a mandolin, but the banjo was always the passion, and that first "show" remains the match and gas of the flame. The group was Mother McCree's Championship Jug Band.
I was an adult before I got my banjo, but the image of "that guy" kicked back on his stool, laughing through a kazoo and doing 120 MPH on the banjo never left - and I'm pretty sure Dad spins in his grave every time I pull my own banjo out to play.

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I got into the Dead some time in1974 during high school. Unfortunately, growing up in KC I didn’t have much of a chance to see a show (they didn’t play KC between 1972 and the fall of 1977). Jerry played there in ‘76 but no GD. Finally got to a show in St. Louis, 5/15/77. I don’t know if I was expecting magic but I got it. Heard the first ever Passenger and the 1st Iko. At one point I tried to make my way from the nosebleeds to the floor. Working my way down, the crowd got thicker and thicker. About 5 rows from the floor I couldn’t get any further when I saw an empty seat to on the aisle to my left. I sat down and looked up into the face of a good friend from KC, there with a bunch of other folks I knew. I don’t know why the gods provided that space for me among a community I knew well, but it was only the first of many miraculous coincidences I experienced with the Dead.

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The year was 1987. I had been on the bus for 8 years at this point (MSG 1/7/79)
It was Halloween and Jerry was playing on Broadway in my hometown of NYC. All of us had tickets to the evening show, but my friend and I didn't have any for the matinee. We decided that since this was a show that couldn't be missed we walked up and down 42nd street in search of tickets. My limit was $50.00; an exorbitant amount of money for a ticket at that time.
Up and down that street we walked looking for a pair.
Hundreds of Heads were also looking and it seemed that we were going to get shut out. We justified our sadness by telling ourselves that at least we were going to the late show that evening.
At this point my ticket holding friends get on line to go in as the doors have just opened up.
We were moments away from giving up when all of a sudden a woman grabs me under my arm and quietly asks me, "Do you need tickets to the show?"
I emphatically reply, "Yes!"
She asks me, "How many?"
"How many? How many?" I asked in disbelief. "One for my friend and one for me."
She says, "Come with me."
At this point my New York skepticism meter is deep in the red!
But this soft spoken woman leads my friend and me to the side stage door, walks us through the theater, to the box office and instructs the person behind the window to give me two tickets.
She hands them to me and just tells me to have a great show.
After a hug and probably more thank you's than I can remember, she walks away into the incoming crowd of Dead Heads.
At this point my friends who had tickets are just coming in through the door and I call out to them.
They're freaking out that we got in and asked how. I let them know it's a long story and I'll tell them later, but first we need to get to our seats as the show is close to starting.
I show my tix to an usher and ask him where my seats are. He points downward toward the stage. At the next checkpoint the usher there does the same! Finally we're seated in the 3rd row right in the center!
Seated behind me is this woman AND Bill Graham! I get Bill to sign my Playbill, and I ask the woman one question, "There were so many people looking for tickets out there, why did you pick me?"
She smiled and replied, "You just looked like you needed to see this show."
I tell this story often because I was fully expecting to pay for my ticket, but I was miracled that day. And as a result, I've done the same for many people throughout the years. I know the feeling and it's a good one!

I'm almost totally with you on this because I view 11-1 and 11-2 as all part of one long strange trip. if I had to pick one night, I was a little more blown away by 11-2 with all the Phil bombs during the monumental Morning Dew etc etc ...But I include 11-1 as all part of one long mind-blowing Richmond Dead fest that culminated in 11-2 and that blew my mind more than any other show (except maybe my first one at Hampton).