Comments

sort by
Recent
Reset
  • 1stshow70878
    Joined:
    Oro

    Nice essay Pedro!
    It is about perspective I suppose.
    I had so few shows compared to everyone here but that timeline felt the same. Luckily I had nice venues so the ugliness just wasn't that noticeable. That said I knew I was done after my '94 show and even had the weird feeling that either Jerry or I wouldn't be around much longer. Somehow I'm still here, lol.
    Cheers

  • Oroborous
    Joined:
    Like sands through the hourglass…

    Saw a few shows between Jan 79 and at the last one, 29 years ago tonight!
    Not sure I remember as much free stuff early on, more so over the years for sure.
    Same with the folks that Daverock described.
    Basically no hangers early on, but by the end the ratio was phuched, with too many posers and way too many people who came just to party, (or worse, bye/sell bad drugs,) wether for only Shakedown street or the show itself.
    All I can say is I’m glad there were no phones yet…these folks were clueless enough! And I try not to be prejudiced, but I will always unfortunately have an aversion to extremely unwashed dudes wearing nothing but a skirt…

    And I’m not singling out touchers either, as there were always plenty of nice new young people coming along who were really into the music and wanted to learn the ways and means from us veteran heads etc,
    No, these folks I speak of were not heads!
    I have younger cousins who came up then who saw hundreds of shows and ended up working in and around the organization that are nothing like the clueless hordes that overtook us.
    Unfortunately, the sudden popularity brought a literal explosion of too many and the wrong kind, to an all ready fragile environment that could in no way sustain itself. It saddens me all these years later to think back to it while it was happening, experientially. The thing you loved more than anything, slowly dying right in front of you and not much you could do.

    You could feel it building slowly through the eighties, probably similar to how my “generation” of heads noticeably grew and thus felt to originals during the late seventies success, but it hadn’t gotten too bad yet.
    85 was perhaps the peak of how big it could get and still be fun etc.
    And boy was it fun ; )
    I don’t recall it in 90 as much as Daverock describes—probably perspective, and after 87 which became so unbearable I skipped fall tour (that and the venues they now played because of the population explosion)—so maybe after 87, we were just desensitized and 90 didn’t seem so bad? I’m also positive the venues I was at in 90 helped a little.
    But then you could still have some choices…
    Luckily, I recall things did settle back somewhat, though never like when I started, or before I’m sure, and by the end it seemed completely ruined.
    Too many people, most of whom didn’t know or give too shits for us, our culture, our host places, (or even the music )we so lovingly tried to keep alive all those years.
    Popularity, this kiss of death, like that Eagles song, the last resort “call something paradise and kiss it goodbye”

    All these years later I’ve had a long time to reflect on it, and get better acquainted with the music of later era (91-95) shows. What I’ve found is, it wasn’t so much the music that turned me off near the end, it was the set and setting etc. I grumbled then because I wasn’t seeing what I wanted to see, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Just perspective…
    No, I now think where and how I experienced the Dead then had much more to do with my dwindling enthusiasm at the end.

    And I’m not talking about being electric, I mean in any psychoactive state or not, having to go to big, expensive cities with all they are, instead of kind small and/or awesome outta the way places like Maine, Roanoke, the Rocks or all the sweet little places: Greek, Frost etc Even Hampton BITD…
    Yeah, big, horrible venues in big horrible expensive cities, with uptight cops, overrun by selfish clueless rude wannabes, and worst of all, shitty sound!
    Although the dead’s legendary crew always did a damn fine job with what/where they were forced to work, let’s face it, sitting up on the side of a giant stadium hearing only half of an overly stereo mix if your an Audiofile tech is torture!
    We went to try to experience the MUSIC the best way we could, wether in the front row, or in front of the soundboard. Later, when GA unfortunately was not allowed, or only existent on the floor of huge stadiums, we’d just hope we could find a spot directly back but in the middle to try to get the best stereo sound we could under the circumstances, and hope some non DH regular civilian type concert goer didn’t show up half way through the first set and want “their” seats…
    Yep, I’ve loved the Dead probably more than is healthy lol, but getting in your thirties, and becoming a returning poor college student, having only horrible big crowded places to go to, it’s no wonder I wasn’t able to better grasp and enjoy the new music.
    Now, all these years removed, in the comfort of home etc, most of those negatively influential conditions and their memories are gone or smoothed over as age will do, and I’ve been able to finally get to know and really enjoy much of the later music. Im not suggesting that things weren’t changing musically too, just that I haven’t found things to be as dire as everyone seems to just off hand suggest.I blame that on the internet…
    But Add the setting changes, to the human practice of comparing now to “the glory days” and it’s perhaps too easy to just write it all off as undesirable.
    Im mean even if things hadn’t gotten so outta hand later on, it was never going to be the same for me as the early years in the front row, or say in 85 hanging out at the SB, just like that probably wouldn’t have felt the same to someone who experienced the music and scene ten years prior to me.
    As awesome as say front row Rochester in 1980 was, I’m sure it was nothing like hanging at the Fillmore west etc.
    So comparative experiences and personal change will always be an influential factor, but upon much further review, I’ve found the unfortunate changes popularity fostered a much bigger negative factor than just the music.
    I’ve said before, I’ll say it again, they should have taken another hiatus after Brent died! Or, if not then, after JG had the second health scare in 92.
    Sigh…
    Well, at least it was a Hellava run while it lasted!
    Singing, thank you, for a real good time!

  • Graceful_Dead
    Joined:
    Thanks DAVEROCK and question

    Your description of crowd behavior in days gone by is very interesting. I had a big gap in my show attendance, from later ‘70s to FTW 2015.

    I’m intrigued now by what seems more and more prevalent behavior:
    people walking around passing out stickers and other trinkets at no charge.

    How common was this in the 90’s?
    It may not have really gotten going until graphics arts software became widely available.

  • daverock
    Joined:
    1981 and 1990

    MKAV- they were great shows to be at, those in 1990, but I did sense a kind of disconnect, if that's the right word, between the people in the audience and those on the stage. The Deadheads at that time were quite domineering. Quite significant, perhaps, that the British press at the time spent as much time reviewing the band's following as they did the band itself. In a sense, the Deadheads, if that's what they were, became more of a media event than the band itself, and to some extent served as a misleading distraction. The behaviour of the crowd seemed incongruous with the music being played.
    We had to leave half way through the second night as my girlfriend couldn't stand it. It wasn't the music she objected to, it was the people in the audience pushing and shoving.

    It was very different at the two shows I saw in 1981, at The Rainbow in London. There was still plenty of dancing and high times of course, but it felt as though it was more in response to the music. In 1990 the music was more like a background to a party. In 1981 it was the party.

    Very subjective, all this of course! The first night at Wembley, 10/31/90 I was right at the front in the stalls, so there was less people between me and the band. Amazing watching Jerry so close, singing Black Peter. That couldn't have had the same impact if you were up in the balcony, where, if the following two nights were anything to go by, people could have been singing along. That first night was great - my favourite of the three.

  • mkav
    Joined:
    @DAVEROCK

    Sounds like you caught some good shows with some kind fans. Always talking, singing , dancing at Dead shows.
    I started going to Dead shows in 1975 (Legion of Mary)...I was probably median-aged at the show. Still attending, and I'm STILL median aged. It's amazing and wonderful how the various iterations continue to attract "youngsters" just hearing them, and to "oldsters" who still are hooked.
    I hope they won't fade away. In say, 10 years or less, there will be no original members left, but I'll bet the music will never stop.

    By the way: they were most definitely listening to AND feeling it.

  • mkav
    Joined:
    Sphere

    I'm counting on your being right about this. Going for one show: 8/9/24. Can't wait!

  • RoadTripper
    Default Avatar
    Joined:
    Sphere

    go to the Sphere and you wont regret it. easy to say because we live in Nevada. it is worth whatever price you pay.

  • daverock
    Joined:
    What's in a word?

    Thinking about this subject took me back to 1990, and those three shows I saw at Wembley. Listening to The Dead had really taken off for me in 1987, when I discovered a fanzine in England called "Spiral Light" which was devoted to the band. Through them a tapers library, and through them other tapers. Incredible shows coming through my letterbox every week. It was virtually all I listened to - on a very basic mobile cassette recorder. I didn't know anyone else who knew, heard or cared about The Dead. My girlfriend did, of course, but she wasn't really into music of any sort.

    Fast forward to Wembley and I am in the balcony surrounded by crowds of shouting, singing, talking, dancing people. On average, they looked younger than me - I was 33. A lot of noise before the band came on, and it increased when they did. They responded as loudly to Stella Blue as to U.S.Blues. I wondered if they were actually listening to the music at all, or if they had seen so many shows that it was just background music to them for their own partying. In a way it was more like being at a giant football game than a music concert.

    When I got back home, my mates asked me what it was like. I told them it was incredible - and that there were all these people from America there, who had followed the band around Europe. I told my mates these people did this all the time, across America and that they were called " Deadheads". They seemed very different form the kind of people who write on the board - but maybe they are the same people.

  • mkav
    Joined:
    continued Deadhead commentary

    I am sure I am a Deadhead by most definitions, but I still don't necessarily like being called a Deadhead (or being labeled as anything, for that matter). The narrow connotation of the unemployed unwashed drifter may not even be current anymore. I've enjoyed the music, overall scene, concerts, etc. since the mid 70s so I guess I'm still hanging onto a passé trope.

  • Forensicdoceleven
    Joined:
    I guess the definition of a lunatic is a man surrounded by them

    Hey rockers!!!

    Previous/other definitions of deadhead:

    one who has not paid for a ticket
    a dull or stupid person
    a partially submerged log
    a faded blossom on a flowering plant
    to make especially a return trip without a load
    excess metal in the riser of a mold

    I guess that explains it...............

    Rock on,

    Doc
    Deadhead

user picture

Member for

17 years 1 month
Forums
The bus came by. We got on. That's how it all began. Almost as soon as the Fare Thee Well shows were announced, folks started planning to meet in Chicago. They met. They connected. Things were never the same. And now, further! Or maybe Furthur.
user picture

Member for

17 years

In reply to by marye

Permalink

same here...my son introduced me to JRAD. really enjoying t.

user picture

Member for

15 years 6 months

In reply to by Graceful_Dead

Permalink

Hey Graceful Fred,

We'll be in Boulder this year -- if you feel like meeting up, please let me know! What an incredible weekend it was last year. You guys won't be disappointed!

user picture

Member for

13 years 4 months

In reply to by ASL

Permalink

Weeeeellllll, ASL,
we have a financial squeeze at present and likely will not travel out there.
We're looking into selling the tix, but maybe someone out there can give me some insight:

There are lots of tickets offered on Stubhub, but it appears that the Folsom box office site also still has many on offer.
Do people just not look at the stadium site first?

user picture

Member for

15 years 6 months

In reply to by Graceful_Dead

Permalink

Hi again.

Ugh, sorry to hear you won't be there. I'm not sure if people go to Folsom first or not. I remember last year there were still a lot of tix available leading up to the Boulder shows, but by the time we got to Boulder, people were having a hard time finding...so not really sure how it goes.

Hope you guys are doing well! Happy Summer!

user picture

Member for

17 years
Permalink

"Whether you love the Dead or have never listened to them (no one who gives them an honest-to-goodness chance ever ends up disliking them), these two concerts are not to be missed."

from the Chicagoreader in anticipation of 2 nights at Wrigley.

user picture

Member for

13 years 4 months

In reply to by mkav

Permalink

For each of the 3 two-night stands so far this summer, the first night has had a song debut;
It Must Have Been the Roses being the latest.

What's left for the rest of the summer? Place your bets:

Attics of my life
Dupree's Diamond Blues
Cosmic Charlie
Born Cross-Eyed
Mason's Children
Me and Bobby McGee
Might as Well
Money Money
Mountains of the Moon
New Potato Caboose
Operator
Rosalie McFall
So Many Roads
The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
Till the Morning Comes
To Lay Me Down

user picture

Member for

17 years

In reply to by Graceful_Dead

Permalink

is it true D&C have played no Brent songs? I "heard" that recently, but have not researched it. Maybe they'll surprise us!

user picture

Member for

13 years 4 months

In reply to by mkav

Permalink

I have not seen any record of Dead Co performing a Brent song.

Two omissions from my list of possibles (besides Brent and Keith-Donna songs):

Alligator
Candyman

This summer's pattern for debuts by Dead Co held over the weekend:
the first night at Wrigley had the first "To Lay Me Down".

But as they come East, there are no more two-night stands on the schedule; the next is the finale in Boulder.

So no more premiers? Inquiring minds want to know

user picture

Member for

13 years 4 months

In reply to by geomeister

Permalink

I can't even bear to say it. Another loss, seems more close and mournful.

user picture

Member for

13 years 4 months

In reply to by mkav

Permalink

I know it's been a while, but I'm moved to write by last night Nuggs broadcast of the Halloween show from MSG last year.
It started with the Ripple tribute to Hunter, but that was not all:
every song that night was a Hunter song (except the Werewolves encore).
I was at that show but don't think I realized as it was unfolding what the connection was.

It made it more meaningful to listen to again knowing that each song was chosen with Hunter in mind, and appreciating how many lyrics referred to songs: of course,
Let there be songs to fill the air;
Light the song with sense and color;
Sometime the songs we hear are just songs of our own; and of course,
How does this song go?
And Oteil sang his heart out on China Doll; really moving.

And ultimately,

The storyteller makes no choice
soon you will not hear his voice

user picture

Member for

17 years
Permalink

where DOES the time go?

Sure glad that was not really the final shows.

user picture

Member for

10 years 1 month
Permalink

Hello again everybody. Just happened to click this link, and lo and bee-hold, we're still here! How reassuring is that!?! Hope you've been managing to negotiate the pandemic gauntlet okay. All's well here. (Drop of Dew) Pam and I both had light bouts with covid last October, but are back up at full steam.

This time SIX YEARS AGO we were just beginning to reach out to shake each others hands. FTW was still over five months away and the Pic-A-Nic wasn't even a daydream! Tempus sure is fugitting big time! I'll try to stop by more often from now on.

Onward!, (Oat Willie) Jeff

Glad to hear you're both well. I check back in occasionally to see whazzup.
knock on wood...no Covid here.
I was dialing to get a Covid vaccine appointment the past few days and it reminded me of the spinning circle trying to get tix way back then. I was more successful getting FTW tix than Covid vax appointment...first things first!
Stay safe .

user picture

Member for

9 years 5 months
Permalink

Hey Hey Hey,
Hope you all are well. We scored tix to Dead & Co Dallas on 10/14. Hit me up if you will be there!
Cheers, GOB

can't make it, even though only a mere 4.5 hour drive north. Age is catching up: I'll be recovering from hip replacement surgery at that time.
if the Covid don't getcha, then arthritis will

user picture

Member for

10 years 1 month
Permalink

Hey now GOB, Mkav and SSDDers,

Man Mkav, bummer about the hip replacement conflict – still, in the big picture its great you're getting that taken care of. All the best. And stream on!!!

GOB: I've got a ticket for Dallas, but starting to have second thoughts about using it. I won't be eligible for the booster until November, and my two Moderna's are apparently staring to wane. Got a few weeks to decide.

user picture

Member for

10 years 1 month
Permalink

RE: Dos Equis Pavillion, Dallas October 14: I’m driving over on Wednesday. Once back out in civilization, my cellphone will come back to life at 432 249 0032. My seat is Sec 205, Row B, Seat 1.

What finally made the decision for me was when, during a visit to my doctor a couple of weeks ago, I happened to ask what she thought about going to live music. (we had covid last October, and had both Modernas in March). She said as long as I maintained indoor protocols during the trip, I should be okay and responsible. As I was leaving she asked who I was going to see. "D&Co", I answered. "We are too she replied." That cinched it.

Onward

user picture

Member for

9 years 5 months
Permalink

Greetings Daydreamers,

Just a quick note to say hello and hope you all get to many shows this summer.

Cheers, GOB

user picture

Member for

10 years 1 month
Permalink

Hey now GOB (and the crickets that seem to have taken up residence here since FTW), Also hope lots of SSDDers get to a show or two this summer. I'll be at the two Folsom concerts. The only other SSDDer I know of going to Boulder is Spascarella. . . Lisa Deadgeek couldn't get away. Neither could James M. or Geomeister. Not sure who'll be driving the bus, but I know WE WILL GET BY! Onward, Oat Jeff

user picture

Member for

17 years
Permalink

We had a thunderstorm after midnight last night. Lightning, thunder. I then opened Deadbase 50 and remembered June 17, 1972 was the last time Pigpen performed with the Grateful Dead. Albeit without singing. A major turning point for the band. They were never the same band again. But as with the winds preceding a monsoon storm we also experience the winds of change. Storm over the land (Carl Sandburg) indeed.
Last go round. Thank you Pigpen.

user picture

Member for

10 years 1 month
Permalink

Meeting up with SSDDer Steve P. for all three at Folsom. Any other Daydreamers going? Can't touch the close-in seats anymore, but you can find $90 tix if you poke around.

Interesting Pigpen tribute from Strider, but I think we're now back to the Sunshine Daydreamers thread (plus lots of crickets).

Onward.

user picture

Member for

17 years
Permalink

I went to Dallas show and was disappointed. sigh. The high points were excellent but there was just too much low energy, pointless noodling....very well played but no "zing". It was sort of boring IMO. I left early for the first and only time in seeing GD and related spin-offs since 1975.

user picture

Member for

10 years 1 month
Permalink

I'm meeting SSDDer Steve P. for the Boulder shows. Anybody else heading to Folsom?

Bummer MKAV, Sorry Dallas was disappointing this year. Couldn't make it this year, but thought the sound at last year's Dallas show was lacking – maybe sound-level restrictions from Fair Park? I talked to others who were in "lawn" and they thought the same thing about the sound. Could that have been part of the problem this year? Still sorry we missed connecting then last year. Onward.

user picture

Member for

17 years

In reply to by JeffSmith

Permalink

Hey Jeff, enjoy the show.
Sound in Dallas was fine, the musicianship was excellent, the crowd was cool, Shakedown St was all good...so all ingredients were in place...the energy was just not there consistently. I've caught 3 or 4 D&C and/or Bob Weir shows, and this one was just ...ehhhh. Videos from other stops seem more energized.

user picture

Member for

17 years 1 month
Permalink

so great to see this still lives!
user picture

Member for

10 years 1 month
Permalink

Hey "Crickets". . . Holy shitoly what an amazing 3 days at Folsom. As usual, D&Co took it up a few notches up from under Boulder's Flatirons at Folsom. And there were a full moons, double rainbows, cooling rain sprinkles (well, one intermission replacing "weather delay"). Dave Matthews sat in to end set 2 on the final night. And after Boulder banned 4th of July fireworks, D&Co et al trumped with hundreds of lighted, color-changing drones forming the Earth which morphed into several Stealie variations and more during drums/space, and then returned after the show as bears reminding us to "Please Be Kind" as we left the show and returned to Earth.

The baton now passes to Lisa and Chuck at the upcoming Gorge shows. Hang on.

user picture

Member for

17 years 1 month
Permalink

Are you still out there? Going to the Sphere?
user picture

Member for

13 years 4 months

In reply to by marye

Permalink

Hi Mary
Glad you checked in on us
I keep getting Red X errors about "no HTML"

user picture

Member for

17 years 1 month
Permalink

I take it there is no html in the post? Send me a PM and tell me what you're seeing so I can alert the tech folks.
user picture

Member for

7 years 5 months

In reply to by marye

Permalink

I'm not sure Mary was actually talking to me, but I'll jump in anyway.

I feel like I am going to regret it if I don't go - the Sphere 'n Bob Weir! And yet my heart isn't in it. A large part of that is about my sobriety - Vegas and I have rarely played nicely together on that score, and things feel fragile for me right now. Even though it's months away, I think it's wiser if I do the couch tour again instead. And honestly THAT makes me happy just to think about it, so despite the misgivings about regrets, I feel like it's the right call for me.

user picture

Member for

9 months 1 week
Permalink

that decision which is "top of mind"

uncle_tripel

user picture

Member for

13 years 4 months

In reply to by uncle_tripel

Permalink

Hoping gremlins are banished.

I was intrigued by the U2 sampler from the Sphere during the Grammy's.
But my aversion to Las Vegas will prevail (plus, oh yeah, budget)

user picture

Member for

13 years 4 months

In reply to by Graceful_Dead

Permalink

and so happy to see Mkav, Oat Jeff, Geo and GOB!

Oh, the memories!

I have begun working on a book manuscript about Deadheads and have some thought to share about how to classify the newer generation that acts like us but wishes not to be called Deadheads.

Either, they associate that with older people, or they are more generally into "Jam" and not exclusive to the Dead

user picture

Member for

17 years
Permalink

wow...that captcha almost made me not logon!

Anyway, I'm going to the Sphere for the 8/9 show. I was not going to due to $, time and I was generally disappointed the last time I saw D&C (Dallas May 23...NO energy in that show)

After watching YouTube videos and seeing the videos, feeling the vibe, well...I just HAD to dance.
Anyone else?

FWIW, I don't like being called a Deadhead. I've been going to Dead and Dead-related shows since 1975. I hope no one is offended by this comment: Deadheads have a connotation with which I do not associate. I love the music, I love the vibe of the shows, I love Shakedown (even before it had a name), I have not met a single person at a Dead show that I have not found interesting. BUT, the connotation of unwashed and unemployed wanderers never appealed to me.

I KNOW the "outside world" perception is greatly exaggerated and overly stereotypical. Again, sorry if I offended anyone.

Maybe this phenomenon can be a chapter? Many of my fellow Grateful Dead fans feel the same way. We're all "older".

Hey MKAV
Thanks for taking the time to share your point of view.

One of my goals in trying to get this published is to counter the stigma of the unwashed drifter.
Not unlike the writer of Acts of the Apostles who seems to have had a goal of convincing the mainstream folks of the Empire that the Jesus followers were not so different from them.

Each chapter of the book includes a common trait of Deadheads (open and engaging; looks for the best in others; relishes hearing new versions of their favorite song) that cannot be proven statistically but is amply demonstrated by getting to know some. And so the working title is "Ask a Deadhead" and encourages the curious to go out to a Shakedown and see if they, like you, don't find many common, and likable, traits in the crowd.

One of the prompts for this was what took place at a Congressional hearing last summer when Fed Chair Powell was asked about attending a DeadCo show; Yes, he happily replied, and related that he has been enjoying the music for 50 years. The curious member of Congress then made the sweeping statement: "I like people who like the Grateful Dead". Which would also be a good book title.

PS Vegas makes me itchy and twitchy; I am content with at home big screen versions posted by generous YouTubers

user picture

Member for

14 years 7 months
Permalink

new band I heard the other day, nice and spacey.
Tangerine Dream Legend
Alan Parsons Project Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Jade Warrior Last Autumn's Dream
Stomu Yamashta, Steve Winwood and Michael Shrieve Go
There are a lot of good titles left in my record collection.

user picture

Member for

17 years

In reply to by Graceful_Dead

Permalink

I would absolutely love to read this when it's complete.

In a way, I was always jealous of those who could drop everything and go on tour for a summer, year, decade.

I'm not a Vegas fan at all, so I understand not wanting to subject yourself to Las Vegas, but that's where Mohammed is right now.

user picture

Member for

13 years 4 months

In reply to by mkav

Permalink

Hey MKAV (or MaryE?)

I’ve got a book proposal ready to send to publishers if you want a preview; send a contact to the Inbox if you desire.

A fuller list of traits that I say are common (but of course not exclusive) to Deadheads:
Open and engaging;
Look for the best in others;
Value new experiences over new possessions;
Can describe (in detail) a life-changing listening experience;
Are optimistic about the future of the GD world (and maybe in general)
There are no mean Deadheads;
No one stops being a Deadhead

They love the Grateful Dead.
It differentiates them from hippies, who have many of the same traits, but aren’t necessarily obsessed with GOGD.
And not all Deadheads look like hippies.
Good luck with the book Graceful.