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  • huntergatherer
    Joined:
    What/Who is a Deadhead

    It's a simple answer: whoever loves and identifies with the music. I used to (36 years ago) resist the label for myself, but who am I kidding? It is just a love for the music, a love for sharing the live experience, and recognizing the very real alchemy that exists between this music/band and its listeners, especially in a live environment. There should be no gatekeeping, nor any stigma. Are you kind? It really doesn't need to go any farther than that. And we are especially kind and caring to each other at a show. Sometimes we are absurdly nerdy about the music (somewhat like an obsessed sports fan), but even this is not a requirement. Go to a show, and celebrate life with 15,000 of your best friends, most of them complete strangers! Maybe even convert others to the joy of subsuming your ego to the greater whole.

  • mkav
    Joined:
    @Jeff

    very elegantly, and accurately, phrased.

  • 1stshow70878
    Joined:
    Jeff

    Nice essay!
    A+
    Cheers

  • JeffSmith
    Joined:
    We are Deadheads . . . we are everywhere.

    To me "Deadhead" connotes a state of mind. "Deadhead" can’t be fenced in by a dictionary. It’s an elusive, subjective proposition. It can’t be reduced to a lifestyle or checklist or dress code. "Deadhead" seems to begin with a love of and fascination with the Grateful Dead and their timeless, transcendent, mesmerizing music. Almost from the start, at gatherings for Grateful Dead shows, "Deadhead" took on a broader, inclusive meaning that embraced folks from all walks of life. Just as individual shows coalesced into runs and tours and years, those in attendance merged into a dynamic, seamless experience that surpassed “ego” to become “tribe” or “family” or maybe something more cosmic. Whether attending a single show or following a tour, Deadheads eventually returned to their respective realities, but they were never quite the same. They became and always will be “Deadheads”.

    Sadly, I didn’t get on the bus until a few years before the Fare Thee Well shows of 2015. In the weeks leading up to FTW, some of us banded together here on dead.net. After helping each other through “ticket madness”, we stayed together as a motley group we decided to call Sunshine Daydreamers. This Sunshine Dreamers Keep On Truckin’ thread is an artifact from that time. From our original homepage:

    "Strangers stopping strangers, just to shake their (virtual) hand. We’ve been searching for miracles for our needy, gossiping, singing and dancin’ while counting down the days ’til FTW. There’ll be fireworks, calliopes, clowns and celebration.  We are Deadheads . . . we are everywhere . . . and WE MISS JERRY!"

    We grew to just over fifty from fourteen states and two provinces with lots of other followers. We made a shirt that listed each of us along with our first Grateful Dead show. Unfortunately, for some of us FTW were our first shows, but we were quickly accepted as “Deadheads” by the more seasoned Deadheads. Maybe with a lowercase “d”, but “deadheads” just the same. Better late than never.

    Because the Grateful Dead unselfishly allowed taping at their shows, catch-up for us late-to-the-bus has been an amazing journey. Maybe not like passing an Acid Test, or wondering if the show at Ugano’s really happened, or being at Veneta or Watkins Glen or Cornell . . . or. . . Maybe not like cherished first-hand memories, but, still, searching for the echoes (to paraphrase Phil’s book) has turned out to be a rich, never-ending, if vicarious trip.

    Since Jerry shuffled, the various permutations of remaining band members with other incredible musicians, not to mention all the excellent tribute bands, are tending the flame and passing the torch to the next generations of Deadheads. Dead and Company became an annual pilgrimage for many including Sunshine Daydreamers. Not sure about the Sphere, but, then, maybe what’s over-the-top for some, is actually what keeps the Grateful Dead alive and relevant and meaningful for Millennials and Gen Z . The Music Never Stop(s).

    The Sunshine Daydreamers got it right: “We are Deadheads . . . we are everywhere.”

  • mkav
    Joined:
    @what is a deadhead

    I have turned on literally dozens of people of our generation, who, as you said, made a judgement about the band without ever having heard them. All of them were surprised by the breadth of songs the Dead played. I usually start out with a very curated list of songs from studio albums and/or shorter live versions of others' songs (Me and Bobby McGee, e.g.). This whets their appetite. Eventually, I'll introduce them to live shows. Some get the live shows; some don't.
    All become at least luke - warm fans.

  • mkav
    Joined:
    Graceful manuscript

    I left my contact in your inbox. thanks. I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

    PS: you've initiated an interesting exchange. Thanks

  • daverock
    Joined:
    What's a Deadhead?

    I always thought that it was basically someone who followed the band around over a number of years, and saw them...many many times. I first heard the band in 1975, and have been listening to their recordings ever since. But I only saw them 5 times - in 1981 and 1990 in England where I live. So despite the fact that I have far more music by them than by anyone else - and listen to 3-4 shows a week - I wouldn't call myself a Deadhead. I am not really keen on labels of any sort, truth be told.

    Sometimes I wonder if the image of the band puts off some people of my generation, who have never previously heard the band. People in their 60's who weren't living the freak lifestyle in their youth. To me, the band transcends the freak lifestyle, and some of the associations of that lifestyle that are linked to the band may actually be a bit reductive.

    I'm not sure about linking moral qualities to rock bands. I would have thought you got all sorts of people following all sorts of bands. Apart from when I was a teenager, I have never concerned myself much with the moral implications of liking any one group or artist. Maybe it's this also that stops me from being a Deadhead.

    Sorry for going on a bit - great idea for a book, Graceful and I hope it comes out so I can read it.

  • icecrmcnkd
    Joined:
    Deadheads

    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.

  • Graceful_Dead
    Joined:
    Graceful Can-you-script

    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

  • icecrmcnkd
    Joined:
    I’m a Deadhead

    And I shower every day and have never had long hair.

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Member for

17 years
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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.
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16 years 11 months

In reply to by marye

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

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15 years 5 months

In reply to by Graceful_Dead

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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!

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13 years 3 months

In reply to by ASL

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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?

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15 years 5 months

In reply to by Graceful_Dead

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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!

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16 years 11 months
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"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.

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13 years 3 months

In reply to by mkav

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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

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16 years 11 months

In reply to by Graceful_Dead

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

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13 years 3 months

In reply to by mkav

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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

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13 years 3 months

In reply to by geomeister

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

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13 years 3 months

In reply to by mkav

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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

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Member for

16 years 11 months
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where DOES the time go?

Sure glad that was not really the final shows.

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Member for

10 years
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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 .

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Member for

9 years 4 months
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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

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10 years
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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.

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10 years
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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

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9 years 4 months
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Greetings Daydreamers,

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

Cheers, GOB

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10 years
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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

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16 years 11 months
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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.

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10 years
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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.

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16 years 11 months
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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.

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10 years
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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.

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16 years 11 months

In reply to by JeffSmith

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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.

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17 years
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so great to see this still lives!
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10 years
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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.

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17 years
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Are you still out there? Going to the Sphere?
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13 years 3 months

In reply to by marye

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

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17 years
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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.
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7 years 5 months

In reply to by marye

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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.

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8 months 2 weeks
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that decision which is "top of mind"

uncle_tripel

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13 years 3 months

In reply to by uncle_tripel

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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)

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13 years 3 months

In reply to by Graceful_Dead

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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

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16 years 11 months
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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

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14 years 6 months
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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.

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16 years 11 months

In reply to by Graceful_Dead

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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.

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13 years 3 months

In reply to by mkav

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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.