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    marye
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    An excellent suggestion from Hal R., picking up on a thread in another topic: how did you get on the bus? What was that moment that left no room for doubt? Probably no two stories are the same, but they're all probably pretty interesting, so tell all here!

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  • rschneider1974
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    On the Bus

    My first show was on March 10, 1981 at Madison Square Garden. My father knew someone at Sports Illustrated and he got me maybe 4 tickets in their club box which was high over the blue line on the left side of the stage. Maybe 4 of us drove up from NC and wandered into the box where there was beer in the fridge, a bathroom, couches, and bar seats at the opening into the air of MSG. This was before the days when they put plexiglass between you and the air. It was a bizarre introduction but it sure was comfortable.
    We were all thoroughly dosed by the time the lights went out and the Dead shambled onto the stage, a far cry from other concerts I’d been to where the entrance of the band was full of fanfare. They opened with Mississippi Half-Step which, within 5 minutes, exploded something through the speakers, startling everyone, especially the band as they stopped and took a second to re-group, and then entered into a groove that I still remember as one of the most enticing and relaxing things I’d ever heard. I learned later that we’d entered what I consider the beauty of the Dead within the first song.
    Somewhere in the first set, an adult and his two college-age kids came in. I ignored them until the intermission when I got the fear that they knew my father and my condition was not reportable. But he became much more concerned about his sons who couldn’t understand how all of us seemed so messed up but without even touching the fridge full of beer. They proceeded to try to get on board and by the end of the night were puking in the bathroom. We paid no mind. There was so much amazing music enveloping us.
    I can still hear the songs. “It Must Have Been the Roses,” “Scarlet/Fire,” and “China Doll” are particularly vivid sight and auditory memories, what I call “lean-in music.” I was leaning in so far that I overheard the man ask one of my friends if I was going to be alright because I was leaning so far into the space of the Garden, trying to absorb every note.
    I recall the drums taking us down and down and down into a hellish fire of red and orange lights. I wasn’t sure we would make it out.
    The double encore began with “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” which I listened to many years later and found to be horrendous, but at the time I was far too preoccupied with the giant black swirls of material flying through and filling the air. And the bats. I was amazed and a bit concerned, but “Brokedown Palace” relieved every concern and left me wanting nothing more than to see the next show.
    Of course I still had to get home and that involved heading into some nearby bar with my friends and becoming certain that the floor was flooded with several feet of water and why wasn’t anyone more concerned?? And then having to wait for a bus in Grand Central and having the driver threaten to kick me off if I blew the bird-water-whistle I’d been playing with. Eventually I got to Providence and decided I couldn’t deal with the wait or the bus anymore and so I got off and hitched the rest of the way to Cape Cod where I tried in vain to tell anyone who would listen how different and amazing the show was. To no avail. But I was on the bus. Hundreds more shows, but that one was something.

  • Chillaxin
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    What REALLY got me on the bus?

    Probably Dave Lemieux.

  • dmcvt
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    their first album

    Early 1967, high school buddy Charlie and I heard about the first Human Be In and decided we should host one for our high school peers... the music video we saw of that growing scene included Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Quicksilver and Country Joe. Acid had not been made illegal yet but being 14 years old, we had no clue, just wild, observing the emergence of SF counterculture from our east coast suburbia. Jerry had been given the nickname Captain Trips. When the first psychedelic albums appeared that spring into summer, we devoured Surrealistic Pillow, The Dead, then Sargent Pepper's and Are You Experienced. The Dead's album stood out, as it still does today, prototypical, iconic. Never missed picking up asap everything else, still have original vinyl. Was fortunate to have a number of friends into music as much as I was, constantly refreshing what was coming out, the latest records. First real concert as previously noted, my father had to drive us down to the Washington Hilton March 1968 to see Jimi Hendrix and Soft Machine.

  • nappyrags
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    Elysian Park September '67...

    I got the first LP from my Pop...he worked at a record wholesaler and label salesmen would come by and drop off boxes of promo LP's with the corners notched...Instantly grabbed by Viola Lee & Good Morning Little Schoolgirl...still too young (according to my Mom) to go out at night for a gig (I was 16)...so mid September (the weekend before my Senior year in high school began) one of the neighborhood kids ran over to my house to tell me that the Dead and Jefferson Airplane were doing a free park gig in Elysian Park...we convinced various parents to let us go and one of my friend's Mom dropped us off...we had her drop us off about a block away from where the concert would be happening, we didn't her freakin' on the freaks....Pig killed it...Grace was an Earth Mother Goddess...And Away We Go! My last shows would've been the December '94 run at the LA Sports Arena...what a dump...

  • Forensicdoceleven
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    Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.....

    Got on the bus June 26, 1974. Never got off......................

    Experience is a revelation in the light of which we renounce our errors of youth for those of age......

    Rock on,

    Doc
    Revelation and the nature of truth must be viewed in reference to the structure of language.......

  • 1stshow70878
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    Red Rocks '78

    Guy across the hall freshman year 1975 at Colo. State was from Cali and wise in the ways of The Dead. Bought some albums, heard some tapes but didn't have the bus come by until 7-8-78. A legendary show and not something you can just dip your toe into. Enraptured by Jerry of course but the sheer power of the band and the sound in that setting was transformative. Only got to eleven shows and missed some key opportunities. Found taping in the early '90s thanks to David Gans GD Hour show on radio which really added fuel to the fire. Thanks Deadnet for keeping it alive.
    Cheers

  • gratefulgregor14
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    On the Bus

    My first show was 6/17/75 at Winterland. Thought the Blues for Allah was a bit spacey, but by the time Sugar Magnolia came around I rose outta my seat , started moving my feet, and clapping my hands. 11 shows later I had Thee Profound Revalation again at Winterland on 10/21 78. With more fun than a frog in a blender, I realized during Ramble On Rose that This Song, It Ain't Never Gonna End. I was a Deadhead for Life, and proud of it . Gonna see DeadCo in June, and Wolf Brothers in Feb. Looking forward to both.

  • Weidrich
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    What got me on the bus was a…

    What got me on the bus was a friend didnt have the ten bucks for the ticket he promised he would pay for so I was asked if I wanted to go and buy his ticket with ride to the show and back - I said naw , I like van halen and led zeppelin , they said it will be a party if nothing else, I was 8 days from 17 and thought why not its ten bucks - it was an afternoon show and the forecast was rain, it poured all morning - but it cleared right before showtime and the parking lot was allright and the show was hot best ever for me 7-2-87 up tempo, and tight - unfortunately it won't go down as a special show because high humidity and rain the recordings are only so good - the best version is on youtube as a local tv station filmed first 4 songs - there was a step back there was a phil zone with signs and chanting jerry even addressed the phil zone and broke the fourth wall , and a mexicali hat dance warm up by jerry that show if you use archive .org try the unmixed version the crowd is louder and the crowd played the band all that pent up emotion wondering if the thunderstorms would pass in time it was real bad that day before the show rain thunder lightning whew the hydroplanning on the thruway - I was deadicated that day

  • Oroborous
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    Twas a Dark and Stormy Night....

    ....not really, actually it was a process, but that sounds better, lol.
    Knew of the Dead a little like most kids in the late seventies, but not very well. I was really into Hendrix and Zeppelin, and had already been exposed to The Beatles. They were the first Band that we really got to know. Frampton Comes Alive was the first album I ever bought, but by late Jr, High I was way into Zepplin and more so Hendrix. Meanwhile, my best friend John’s sister was dating this Guitar player Dave Homel who played in a Dead band. He started indoctrinating John and I, probably late 77, feeding us bootlegs and sitting us down for “sessions”. About that time Terrapin cane out and we heard that, and that was so weird and different I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I remember playing some of that song for my folks cause they were into classical, and they really liked it. I was still more into Hendrix/Zepplin, but the Dead were becoming more important as the months went by and we listened to more tapes and albums.
    At school there were only literally a few actual Dead Heads, but I was getting to know them at parties etc, and because they were different and didn’t care what others thought etc, so that misfit/outcast thing resonated with me big time, these folks were pretty cool! So all this socialization combined with increased listening got me where my top three were Jimi, Zep and now the Dead, but the lightning bolt hadn’t hit yet.
    In those days we’d go to almost any concert we could, Rock and roll at least....so I’d seen many shows but the Dead hadn’t come around locally to Buffalo yet, and my parents wouldn’t let us go to Rochester yet “all that way for a concert?”, so I didn’t get to see them right away even though I was really itching to finally see what all the fuss was about. Then three things happened, the first being I started to learn guitar and Dave was showing me some Dead tunes, so I started to see how different the Dead was in a really musical way. The second thing was the first lightning bolt.
    I was at John’s one Beautiful sunny April day in 1978 and we were listening to Skull Fuck, and all of a sudden Johnny B Goode just hit me! It was a favorite that I knew because everyone played it, and of course Jimi crushed it. I’d heard this version before, but for what ever reason that day it just blew me away. I made John keep playing it over and over. So now I really had the Jones, “I’ve git to see this band”, but alas, still no local shows,
    Finally, one day after pops picked me up from Skiing I just barely heard something on the radio about the Grateful Dead and turned it up just in time to hear something about them coming to Buffalo? So immediately after we get home I call John and because of Dave he’d heard about the upcoming show at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre of all places and filled me in. Everything was word of mouth back then, there were no cell phones or internet, and the Dead were truly “underground” as they used to say.
    So I was supposed to get a ticket via Dave but they couldn’t get me one because they had to get tix for literally like a whole row of folks, all in the balcony, so I was crushed. But as would become a repeating X factor of serendipity in years to come, I managed to score a third row ticket from a guy at school. Tickets were probably less than five bucks but he wanted twenty because it was third row at Sheas etc which I gladly paid. Not sure how many driveways I had to shovel but no way was I not going! It’s funny decades later the guy who sold me the ticket was still apologizing for scalping the ticket as he became a “full” card caring Deadhead himself. Of course the show was worth every penny, but the added bonus of busting his balls and joking about it all the decades later were worth every cent!
    So finally on 1/20/1979 I fully was on the bus, and 41 years later I consider it one of the greatest days of my life! Seeing them live was like turning on the proverbial light bulb, like “oh, now I get it!” Great show too, Dark Star and TOO, a little Serengeti like drums. I remember they played a lot of songs that were on Steal Your Face that I knew well by then. That and Skull Fuck were huge influences. Oh, and typical Dave, “hey buddy, you want to sit up here with John and everybody, I’ll take your ticket and you can sit up here?”.......yeah, thanks Dave but I don’t think so, I think I’m just fine in the third row, lol!
    I still like Zepplin a lot, and will always dig Jimi, though perhaps not as much, but no one will ever come close to the Dead for me. Was fortunate to see 109 Dead shows and dozens of solo shows over seventeen years before Jerry passed, and still go when it’s convenient all these years later, but nothing will ever compare to that first one! Nothing!
    Thanks to the boys for all those wonderful years/experiences etc, all of it incomparable!! Truly a band beyond description! And thanks to Dave and that whole gang for teaching us, and thanks to Chuck for that $20 ticket! It all rolls into one, and melts into a dream” and what a dream it’s been!

  • Born Cross Eye…
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    Truckin'!

    In early 1971 I was listening to my new discovery, FM radio. Most radio stations were just so-so, not really interesting, "adult-type" of so-called easy listening. AM radio on the FM. Then I tuned in to a distant one just above (or right of) 92.1 it was at 93.3 and the calls were (and still are) WMMR Philadelphia. I wasn't too sure what I was listening to, but I thought it was another Steppenwolf song, I liked the organ but the whole song was a slower tempo and I liked it, then the announcer came on and said "... Truckin' by the Grateful Dead from their new album American Beauty."
    The hook.
    Backing up a bit, back to 1969 and Woodstock, I read about the event in Life magazine and enjoyed the photos and read the list of bands who were there. Some I heard of, others I did not hear of (yet). The Grateful Dead were listed. The name stuck in my memory. What sorta music did they play?
    When the triple album was released in 1970, I didn't have the money to buy this cool thing. The Grateful Dead were not on this album. I heard about the movie, but the GD were not in it.

    A little bit later, I heard a shorter version of Truckin' on my local top-40 AM station. The sell.
    I went to the record department at my brand new local department store and I saw the big American Beauty album and the price tag was too high - $3.98, then I went over to the 45 singles rack and found Truckin' backed with a song called Ripple on the B side. 49 cents - the buy!
    Not too long after that, I bought American Beauty with earnings from my new newspaper delivery route job. Later on, I bought Workingman's Dead.

    My 1st rock concert and my 1st Grateful Dead concert was June 10, 1973. But that's a whole other story.

    Looming above the Grateful Dead in favorite bands at the time were The Beatles and The Who - they were more important to my interests at the time.

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An excellent suggestion from Hal R., picking up on a thread in another topic: how did you get on the bus? What was that moment that left no room for doubt? Probably no two stories are the same, but they're all probably pretty interesting, so tell all here!
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(sorry if this post rambles a bit, my first post here) For me, getting on The Bus wasn't the best part. It was the journey there that took the better part of a year that is most memorable to me because of what i had to challenge in my own life to get there. When college rolled around, I decided to volunteer for the Lutheran Disaster Response Team at my church because i figured it would look good on the resume. Our First deployment was to New Orleans we went down for the week of spring break. While Down there we almost got busted on bourbon street(hint hint) for having a few too many underage drinkers in our crowd (woops) we were able to get around the police and back to the camp and eventually back home. Where I told my roommate (I was in the dorm) the story and he laughed saying "You guys went Truckin!" I Didn't Get it so he threw a CD at my head and said "Listen and all will be explained" The Album was American Beauty and i put it on and didn't know what i was hearing something a bout a Box of Rain and a friend of the Devil. I didn't really get "it" until I hit Ripple and Then my world changed. for the better, o so much better. I Put it on the ipod and put it on repeat until i scrounged enough cash for more albums Because whoever this "Grateful Dead" was, I didn't know but i liked it. The spring of 06 was the first time I had ever heard or heard of the Dead(I know very sad). The problem was my family was very very conservative and didn't want their son dabbling in this hippy bullsh*t so i hid my passion which only grew over the year and became much harder to hide. After many albums and Dick's Picks were bought my greatest wish was to see the Dead in some form or another. Then I see a newspaper ad for a band called Dark Star Orchestra Picked it up and ran to the closest ticket outlet in town and grabbed the very last ticket. I was pumped to finally see some live Dead no matter the form. The show was the fantastic and it was the first time in my life where i felt connected to something higher than myself. and accepted unconditionally which as of late was rare even in my own family. The Show they replayed was 11/20/1985 somewhere in the Iko Iko >Lost Sailor >Saint of Circumstance >Terrapin Station set I realized I didn't care anymore what people thought. I was going to be who I was and damn everybody else who doesn't like it. So after that I flew my Grateful Dead flag high and proud... and have been for a while and plan to continue to do so. Peace. "Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss." -Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
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I'd started listening to GD albums as a young teenager in the mid-80s....if I remember correctly, the first of their albums I bought on vinyl was Dead Set, though it might have been American Beauty....anyway, a couple years later, a friend of mine gave me my first two live tapes:9/3/77 and 11/1/85. I grew up in a fairly strict household, so it was not until freshman year of college, away from home as it were, that I actually saw my first show even though I'd been into the band for awhile by then. Within about a year after that, though, I'd seen the Dead and JGB in ten states.....
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Should of seen them in 88 in Hotlanta, but only tried the wares. I was headed for a 6 year ride in the navy and most of those on a sub. I happened to be in Cleveland, OH visiting some family for the last time before I'd head for boot camp. Well, I was supposed to fly back the day of the show and my cousin was going so I changed my flight and went along for the ride. C,S, & N were opening so how could it be bad? Seeing the scene and feeling the vibe I was not about to go with the original plan, but most of all the music changed my mind. To this day, my only regret is missing the JGB show shortly there after. Still hooked to this day. Thank you Jerry for all the happiness and the incredible ride.
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So, it's spring 1982 and some enlightened college friends call me up on Sunday and suggest we truck from Davis, California to the Greek Theater in Berkeley for the Grateful Dead. Funny thing is we don't have tix. So I go along, mosey up to the gates of the theater just as the 2nd set is starting. A friendly head walks out of the show with 4 backstage passes and says, "here you go, I'm not using these." We're in, and before we know it they're kick starting a motorcycle during space into The Other One. What the heck is going on? Backstage for a toke and some ice cream. Is this for real? Little did I know that this was just the first of 26 years of magic moments. The latest...the Penn State show in 6 days... right in my backyard (I'm a professor here). I'm so happy to still be on the bus.
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I graduated high school in ’73. That summer was the Watkins Glen concert. I primarily wanted to see the Allman Bros as I loved the Eat A Peach album. My older sister had the Working Mans Dead and I kind of liked Uncle John’s Band but overall wasn’t there yet. Funny cause now I consider Dire Wolf one of my favorites. I must admit as a self developing hippy trying to find my own way their name with the word “dead” in it kind of turned me off because I didn’t get the goof of it all. One of my favorite albums that year was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and had a new girlfriend that introduced me to Yes and all that area of music…. A guy I worked with, Leo, drove an old retired ambulance. Me and my friend Sean wanted to go to the concert…Leo did not want to go but agreed to give us a ride up. Which is pretty amazing given a 4+ hour trek one way from NJ to Watkins Glen. So we ride up in this ambulance. We didn’t have tickets. 500,000 people are arriving…when we get to the check points it is the middle of the night and he just flashes his headlights and the security lets us right thru without stopping….we arrive at least a day before the concert, maybe two, in the designated parking/camping area….thousands there and arriving nonstop….so we begin partying…. Leo left after a few hours it seems in daylight…and I have never seen him since…. Those of you who were there can correct my memories but it seems to me that the dead came on the night before unscheduled….and I really liked that show. I can’t truly say I saw them because the area was so vast…but it was my first show. Got very wrecked and being in a crowd of that size it was all pretty unbelievable. Sean & I ended up hitchhiking home…that was the plan all along…lots of adventures on that scene but it makes for a whole other story…. In upstate NY for the next 4 college years and at first not really on the bus. Did not go to a show at the Syracuse War Memorial in 73-74 time frame. Then 74-75 roommate John introduced me to Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, Kesey, Cassady, and then a lot of the pieces all came together. A lot of the flashing stuff I was having on my own way got put into context. John was more into the cowboy side and of course my girlfriend was still into the euro Yes theatrical side so it was kind of a tug of war on music styles. But it all worked. Went to bluegrass festivals in summers in Vermont. Was on the bus for Old and In the Way. Must have been spring 75 that went down to John’s home and we trained it into NYC for a Dead show at ?? Beacon Theatre maybe?? Didn’t save tickets and don’t remember play lists. Lots of dealing going on. All memories are pretty ragged for reasons I think you can understand. I know I went to Dead show in Ithaca in the 76-77 time frame. Very cold, raw day. Is a solid hour+ drive from Syracuse ….it seems that until then every time I saw them I was always somewhere I had never been before and in circumstances and state of mind very much on the edge …. very trippy stuff. I remember on the way home in the middle of the night, very cold very dark and all very burnt out…we passed a broke down vehicle…and presuming they were fellow dead heads we stopped…it was instead some local musicians returning from their own modest gig in some bar somewhere…and it all turned out fine…glad to have done a good deed. 77 moved out to Boulder CO sight unseen just cause I heard it was nice. End up in framing carpentry building houses along the foothills. Lots of hippies/dead heads. My favorite bands then were Little Feat and Marley’s Wailers. Saw Dead at Red Rocks but can’t remember how many times. Saw them at a great venue one summer at the Univ Col (CU) football stadium on a nice day. They cut the field in half and played to one end zone stands. Can’t remember the year…. 81?? Great day…for once I didn’t have to hassle with driving a car or not knowing where I was….Warren Zevon was the opening act and he was really wrecked…almost couldn’t function…BobWeir came out on stage and tried to help move his show along…. Saw Jerry solo at a small theatre on campus somewhere along there. Sometime along here spoke with old roommate John that now lived on west coast and he said he saw Dead with Santana at some venue and pronounced that the Dead were boring. Was a little shocking. He was moving into edgier newer music I guess.…. Carpentry went bust when housing collapsed (just like now…I’ve been thru it all before I feel sometimes….) Had moved on to graduate school at CU and had a good regular job by 83 and so heard about SunSplash concert in Montego Bay. First time I had any money to do anything. It was a thanksgiving weekend I think…84?? Maybe not sure….so once again ventured to an unknown place…camping in Jamaica and within walking distance to concert venue….very wild stuff. Lots of bands. Went with friend Jim a carpenter also, older, long hair and beard but only so so into music…kind of a cynic but very smart. I am very straight appearance by this point (relevant later…)… Met up with guy dead head that I remember was from Wisconsin. He gave me a hit - - and I don’t really remember too much beyond. I was very experienced by then but that one knocked me for a loop. I hope Wisconsin ended up ok - I was still very very looped the next day and Jim I don’t think even bothered to go into the concert area cause you could hear it from the camping area plenty loud and he had found a girlfriend…but he was in far better shape and corrals me to catch the bus to the airport to return. Everybody smoking on the bus because the paranoia is starting to set in about the reality of going thru customs security and so might as well get rid of it. We arrive I guess into Miami to clear customs and connect to Denver. Now in airport customs area it isn’t just concert returners..but lots of everyone, business people etc. I see Jim get tapped on the shoulder and he’s taken to a private room while I’m in line – the security guy starts going thru my back pack…and I am still very looped from the hit a day before plus smoke on the bus…he’s asking me questions which I answer honestly and he asks me what I do in Colorado and I tell him the truth that I work for the telephone company. And immediately he stops searching me. Zips up my pack and tells me everything is ok. It was like the term ‘telephone company’ was some sort of code word or something… weird…. Poor Jim finally clears and really got the 3rd degree even though he never had anything except long hair……we make it back to Boulder and later unpacking I find this huge spliff about 3 fingers thick that I didn’t realize I still had !! wow. Accidental smuggler…. Anyway it is several days before I really settle down and that’s the last hit for me ever since…. I went and saw Dead at CU’s Event Center some time later…. ~86?? Can’t remember. Gym where the CU basketball team played. First time I went solo. No trip. Kind of detached. Sat in back and did not really connect like other times. I regret not moving down front and enjoying that show more. Along that time made the vow that I was never going to any concert in stadiums any more. Too big. Music quality bad. I remember Springsteen came to Denver and I didn’t go unlike all my friends because I had sworn off stadium shows. Then I reasoned that young people like young music and therefore the Dead will wear off in popularity - - start playing smaller venues - - and then I will go because I love the experience. But that of course never occurred. Totally wrong on that one. They just got more and more popular up thru Touch of Grey. Moved to east coast in 87. On the job interview that ultimately took me from Boulder to Hartford I am returning to Denver via Chicago O’hare. Wearing a suit. Go to my gate and look over and there is Jerry Garcia standing there. I am not one to fawn or ask for autographs. We catch eyes and frankly I am so startled at the completely unexpected recognition of who he is that I just more or less just give him an arched eyebrow look that says “hey you’re…” So I go and sit down in a deserted gate area and start reading the book I was on..Naked Lunch by William Burroughs…and a few seconds later Jerry is sitting a couple chairs down from me in the same deserted gate writing into a notepad..in the end I realize he is keeping his eye on the gate across the aisle that is loading..just before the door closes he gets up and goes in..last guy on board……….Did not go to Dead show in Hartford Civic Center where I was living….88?? maybe. Was traveling for business that week, when got back heard comments from office workers about dead heads peeing in the park and generally trashing the area…oh well. Living in Portland Maine at birth of my second child 8/8/95 late in evening…stay at the hospital well into the early hours of 8/9 and drive back to the house…see a shooting star. Wake up and hear the news that Jerry had passed. The Dead experience is very central to what I became. It opened my eyes in ways that have benefited me as a person. One could honestly argue that other bands, blue grass for example, have tighter harmonies and more virtuoso guitar work. But it misses the point. I saw the flash and the goof. I see beyond labels, surface appearances and dogma. It was like getting beyond the dead’s name that turned me off at first until I got it. In the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, Kesey & pranksters are at an anti war rally and watching the leader of the protest up at the podium he says that you know that guy up there is just like the fascist he opposes. Malcome Forbes of Forbes magazine use to travel around repressed countries in eastern Europe and in/around China and had this caravan of motorcycles and hot air balloon named “Capitalist Tool”. Here is a prankster using capitalism to open peoples minds. Not to take a political position - - it is the mind opening. Its like turning political correctness inside out. At the same time capitalism was repressing people in Latin America…socialism was improving their situation but the same socialist dogma was repressing people in the Russian realm. The recently past China premier, Deng, that “opened” up China was quoted as saying “White cat, black cat – it doesn’t matter as long as it catches the mouse.” And I thought then – hey this guy gets it. I can only explain it in these broad political parables but it is very personal too. The whole dead experience got me to see things as they are and to break out of the system of thought and roles that kind of envelopes us all via the media & via social norms of the moment. Hard to explain – and am rambling… I would welcome other posts that may have crossed paths either in the same time space or thoughts that experienced the same thing….
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...actually it was great & I really enjoyed it, but I wasn't "hooked" from it. It was Pittsburgh Civic Arena 7/6/87. The thing about that night that REALLY intrigued me was that I remember it being the day the boys released "In The Dark," and didn't play ONE song from it...I thought, "Now THAT'S anti-establishment!!" ;) What got me on the BUS was the following summer, someone bought me "Aoxomoxoa" on CD. When I heard "Dupree's Diamond Blues" and "Doin' That Rag" back to back...I was in love. I played those 2 songs OVER & OVER until I learned every little nuance of both songs both in my head and on the guitar. Then I hopped on board the bus the FOLLOWING year (now 1989) when the boys came back to the 'Burgh for a 2-night stand...never got off the bus. ~ Pappy www.theCAUSEjams.com "Once in a while you can get shown the light in the strangest of places, if you look at it right." - Robert Hunter
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Pappy those are great tunes, those two are some of may favorites. major contributers to my trip as well. Aoxomoxoa is one of my favs too. Helped to complete that unlimited devotion thing.
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I'll start at the beginning, age 13 drunk as a skunk at a party, someone plays "Go To Heaven". What it that ? sounds kind a cool, not heavy like B.O.C. or Deep Purple, but very cool none the less. Got a good look at the cover before I crawled off to pass out somewhere. Find myself in a Caldors (remember those ?) department store about a week or two later and see the record again. It was still in the new releases section and happened to be on sale. I brought it home and basically played the shit out of side one, ocasionally giving side two a whirl. Alabama Getaway was getting airplay and some of my fiends started going to shows, my parents were like "No Way". Picked up a few more records and tapes and enjoyed their music at home till one day in April 1985. Went over a friends house early in the day, when I got there he said "Dead are playin' in providence dude, let thumb it". Being that we lived near a I-95 exit/entrance ramp, I said why not. We were quickly picked up and brought part way, our second ride was from a lone head traveling to the show. Once we got there we ran into a friend of my friend, who gave both of us a tab or two, Once that had kicked in fully I realized I had lost my friend who I had come with and his buddy. He knew the guy much better than me, so I figured they would be fine. To be honest I was glad to be rid of them at that point, they were both a little nuts (for real), and the thought of tripping out with them all night held little appeal for me. My next order of business I figured was to get a ticket, then it started raining, hard. I went to one of the entrances which was blocked from the rain, and started the "need a ticket" rap with a finger up. I also realized at this point that I only had $13 and the ticket cover price was $15, was starting think I'm staying outside. Just then a head comes up to me and says "I got one for you man", I say I only have $13, he says "No Problem". By now people are waving offering $20 and such to the guy. He was like "sory man deal is done", I handed him $13 and he handed me the ticket and I thanked him several times. Into the Providence Civic Center which was warm, dry, and even carpeted. Someone asks me if I need any hits, I tell the guy I'm down to about a dollar in change. He says that'll do, and another tab goes down the hatch. Somehow met these two cute girls about my age who were also trippin' out pretty hard. We found some seats did some smokin', and then the show started, before the first song was over I was hooked. After that point things are a psycedelic kaladescope of light color and sound, though I could tell what song they were playing about 1/2 of the time. Stepping outside sobered me up considerably, and I easily hitched a ride home. Two days later I talked one of my fiends into hich-hiking down to Philly, and I saw my second show. After that I saw at least 50 more shows between then and 1995. I enjoyed almost every minute of it (nothings perfect), and really miss those days considerably. I still go to a lot of shows of various groups, but things are different. A few venues still let you party hard (within reason), but there seems to be less and less of them around here.
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16 years 1 month
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hard_to_handle In May 1992 I went to my first and only Dead show. My experience at first like so many of us was I liked a couple of their songs and I had been told by others that I had to go to a Dead show at some point. So here I was I traveled from Idaho all the way (driving) down to Las Vegas with a couple guys I hardly new. The Steve Miller band was the opener and at the time I was more into that band than I was the Dead. We were up in the nosebleed seats and the other two guys that I was with were smoking some weed and I was chillin tryin to get into the music. I hadn't ever smoked weed at that point so I passed on the party favors but I can drink with the best of them. I was there for the Friday and Saturday shows and on Saturday when the sky turned a light purple behind the stage and eventually there was some lightning where the purple sky was. I remember Jerry making note of it and talking about it a bit and then that was it he didnt say anymore about it. I was thinking to myself 'ok we definitely have something here'. I was in total awe just staring at the lightning and the sky was a shade of purple Ive never seen before or since. Ive heard people debate when this show took place. 1991 92 or 93 but Im here to say first hand that it was in late May on Saturday in 1992. I wasn't one that went to hundreds of shows and did all these tours so I didnt get one show mixed up with the other. This was one and only show that I attended with Jerry in it. I wish someone would get that on CD cause that was a great show with alot of meaning in it. Of course Ive been to Ratdog and P & F a couple of times too. I even hit two shows when they all toured as 'the Dead' in 2004. When they opened up with Shakedown St I thought the crowd at the Gorge (WA) was going to completely lose it. LL Rain sounded great too when the downpour came (local show) down on everyone. It was a warm rain which is uncommon for this area so it felt great. Jerry's presence is still felt at those shows and Ive even seen him dreams a couple of times but without his presence he cant easily be replaced. Its good to feel his spirit is present though. 'The first time I laid eyes on Jerry Garcia I believed in Santa Claus' 'I still believe!' Fellow deadhead after hearing that Jerry had passed away.
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16 years 10 months
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My brother Chuck dragged me kicking and screaming onto the bus in the summer of 1987. Thank God.
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15 years 3 months
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My first and most memorable show because my friend and i got a stage pass to see the Dead. I was 18 and knew little about them, but my friend was a bona fide Deadhead.We didn't have tickets, so we hung out at the backstage door hoping we could get in somehow. We heard some voices and guitar playing a few feet away coming from a partially open window. We walked over and peeked through and there was the Dead practicing before the gig! A stagehand saw us and said if we got them some coffee, he would give us a pass. We ran across the street to a coffee shop and bought some coffee, brought it back, and handed it through the window. In return he handed us the pass. We knocked on the stage door , flashed the pass and got in and was back stage for the entire gig. After the concert we left through the back door and were told to give the pass back. We were hoping to sneak out with it. Anyway, that was my most memorable Dead concert. Just the other day, i was going through all my Dead stuff i hadn't seen in probably 35 years. I found a handbill from their gig at UCLA Pauley Pavillion with NRPS Nov 20, 1971. I also found a bunch of stuff from the Dead fan club i joined around 1972.Well... that's my favorite Dead story. I did see them subsequently at the Inglewood Fourm, at the Hollywood Pavillion, at UCLA and other places i just can't remember I may have been to stoned at the time to remember where i was!!
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16 years 7 months
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I was seeking the bus, or not necessarily the bus as we know it, but it fit the bill perfectly.My Dad had/has Old and in the way and NRPS albums, but was not really a Dead Head or even a hippie really, but other than that, basicly the bus came by... First show was JGB in 91 in Minneapolis, during thanksgiving break in high school, I had such a good time, I damn near fell off the balcony (midnight moonlight)! The Dead have been my favorite band ever since...
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16 years 10 months
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First off, there are some great stories here. They'd make a great book!Mine starts after meeting a hobbit (long-haired, bearded guy in pesent clothes--taken from Hal's earlier post) in the lot at my first Jerry show. I just turned 16 and thought he was the coolest person i'd ever met--i wish i could remember his name, but i did run into him at a couple of later shows. He talked with my friends and i for awhile, spun us, and went on his way. We went in to the show and it was AMAZING! The music, the spinners, and all the people. I'd never seen anything like it and knew that's where i wanted to be. After the show I wanted to go with them, but a friend held me back. The next day everyone was gone, but i still wanted to be with them. During school the following week my friend and i found out when the next tour started (i think it was in SF) and started saving our pennies. We mapped out a route and since we didn't have a car we planned on hitchhiking. I went to school that morning with a stuffed frame pack ready to go, but to my dismay my friend hadn't packed. He was backing out because his parents caught him packing. I was Pissed! An older girl that we had just started hanging around with heard us arguing and said she would go with me. We went to her house to pick up some stuff and were on our way. We didn't make it very far, only to New Pultz, NY, and had to call my grandfather to come get us. We had a heck of a time though---i think it took us 2 weeks just to get to New Pulltz! After things quietd down at home all three of us decided that we were really going to do it, and Highgate would be the place. It was and we finally made it on the bus! All 3 of us got rides and we were off to RFK! Wow, i only planned on a few sentences and all this came out--and I even left out all the fun details of the shows!
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15 years 3 months
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Simple. I had heard some GD on 8-track tape (not kidding) when I was a kid. I was in high school in 1977 when a friend took me to McNichols that October. The first set was all nice, and stuff, but then the jam during Sugaree... that did it. Then Red Rocks 1978...and 79...and... I've never been the same.
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15 years 3 months
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I never really heard any of the deads music till I went to a Richfield show in Ohio back in 91. At first the parking lot inspired me, and I can remember the three heads I went up with telling me "just wait till we get inside"By the second set, I was spun in the crowd. I know now that its all about the music and the drugs only enhance it. But I guess that I would have to say that LSD got me on the bus. I haven't tripped since the Dead Heads For Obama show and probably won't till the Philly run. Been collecting shows since 91. Phatmoye
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Found a Japenese import copy (vinyl) of American Beauty in a dumpster at work in 1974. Played the freakin grooves out of it. October of 1974 was the Winterland run for the filming of the movie. Sat on line all day and my life has never been the same. Only regret that I didn't see them more.
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I have to agree w/Marye,ever since the first time I heard Jerry's sweet voice(there's just something about it that soothes my soul right to the core)cant really explain it.......
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chinacat1954 On the Europe 1972 Tour Grateful Dead gave 3 shows in Denmark. The April 14 show was broadcast live. I read about it in the newspaper, and as I had nothing else to do that Sunday evening I taped the show. Wow. I was hooked. In general great music that I had never heard before. More consistent I think than Jefferson Airplane that I was in to. And very appealing. Playin in the Band, I will never forget it, and then Dark Star>Jam>Sugar Magnolia. I heard that passage over and over, and still do. However the Jam is "difficult" and has scared most of my friends away. Actually the show was later televised in a number of fractions and of course in black and white. I have heard of a friends friend who should have the televised show on VHS. In 1981 I had a chance to see the guys in Copenhagen. I was realy turned on but the show was a disappointment. I had been at work all day, and Jerry was looking as if he felt uncomfortable, hiding away behind the pedal steel in the left corner of the scene seen from my seet pretty much in the front. Also the sound mixing / the acoustic was very poor, so you did not realy hear the music and the place never rocked. I missed the collective vibe I had hoped for. In 2007 I was lucky to see Ratdog in Red Rocks, that was awesome. In 2008 we crossed the ocean once more to see Ratdog in Stroudsburg. Fine concert in a small venue. Very good experience but the Band was playing kind of on the routine. But OK, the crowd was nice and I don't regret we went there. And now we have got tickets for The Shoreline Amphitheater May 2009. We are realy looking forward to that. Look four me in section 202. I may be the one in the tie die you know. Peace to all of you!
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15 years 2 months
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Once they played Music Never Stopped, my life hasn't been the same since. If you haven't listened, go check out set 2 from that night. UFB
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I read Tom Wolfe's book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test in 11977 and I was on the bus. I dropped acid for the first time in 78 and found out the bus was me & I was the bus! What got you on the Bus? Kind of brings you to ask the question "What does being on the bus really mean?" A lot of deadheads use it as a metaphor for getting hooked on the Dead. But "The Bus" is a bigger concept than that, in my mind. It means tuning in, turning on and dropping out of your "typical city involved in your typical daydream." Which is saying, like, how did you get deprogrammed from the bummer of middle-class oblivion? How did you find alternative ways of thinking and doing things? If you went back to the plastic mightmare and got caught up in accumulation (he who dies with the most toys wins!) then you got off the bus! At least, thats what it means to me... Kesey and the pranksters put an ersatz bus in the Smithsonian and then took a wild, wild freshly painted one out on tour some time around 97. I caught up with their act in Ann Arbor and it was just like in the book. Hangin' out, blowin' bubbles. Totally comfortable with being a freak. What did Hunter Thompson say in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas? "Just another freak in the freak kingdom." Like the bumper sticker says, God save The Freaks!
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Well, this is a long time coming I guess. People around here that know me, know me through The Vineyard forum topic as I am an addicted regular. I saw my first live Grateful Dead show June 30th, 1985 out of necessity. I was 15 years old and had run away from home that May. I was living in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. I was a bus boy and lived in an apartment above a pharmacy on the main drag. I lied about my age to work, and attract roommates. Well. I was a stupid kid, and one afternoon I decided to try and shoplift a carton of Marlboros from the pharmacy downstairs. To make a long story longer, I got caught by the owner (who also owned the apartment upstairs…you see now how stupid I was!) trying to leave with the smokes under my shirt. He told me to stay put while he called the cops. I ran out the door WITH THE SMOKES! (This is important, as you will see later). Well I ran clear across town and hid in a cluster of bushes until way past sunset. I basically tiptoed back to my apartment, which was also the scene of the crime. I knocked on my door and a very pissed off roommate answered the door, as I started to step inside, he pushed me back out. I won’t tell you what he said to me except the fact that my belongings were in the dumpster in the back. Luckily my belongings consisted of a red frame Kelty backpack with a sleeping bag, and assorted summer cloths, OP shorts, Van Halen Tee-shirts, maybe one pair of tighty whities, a sleeping bag and a journal. I collected my belongings and took my remorseful ass to the beach to sleep. I had maybe $20.00 and could not go back to my busboy job to collect my tips in fear of getting busted by the local police, so I went to sleep hungry that night, but I sure did have a lot of smokes. I awoke the next morning probably more scared then I have ever been in my entire short life. I had no idea what I was going to do. I collected my things and started to walk towards the highway to hitch hike back to my parent’s house in Wilmington. I was going to give up my burst of freedom over stupidity….I deserved it. I walked about 15 minutes without a ride. I remember it being a hot dry day, which was uncommon for the Middle Atlantic States on June 30th. Humidity usually prevails, but there was almost like a hot Santa Anna wind. Finally a big hulk of an American gas-guzzling monstrosity pulled over. A guy with shaggy shoulder length hair and a woman whom I instantly presumed was either his sister or his girlfriend because they were dressed very similarly in some kind of very colorful Indian looking clothing. There was a scent in the car, that I never smelled before, but I would smell it a lot that day and on into the future. (I later learned that this smell was patchouli oil; a scent worn by road weary hippies to mask the smell of their natural “musk”). The back seat was full of shopping bags and two coolers, but they made room for me. They asked where I was going and I proceeded to tell them a lie of how I was just visiting some friends at the beach and hitching home. They told me they could only take me about 5 miles until we came to the highway, because they were going south, and me north. It seemed, as they were going camping so I asked. They laughed and said, “well sort of”. They told me that they were going to catch 3 Grateful Dead shows on the east coast and then they were driving to Ventura, California. I had heard of the Grateful Dead, but never gave them much of a listen. I was big time into David Lee Roth and Van Halen. They optimized what I wanted to be at the time, a hard rocking beach bumming party animal. I loved Van Halen. Then, fate stepped in. They decided to pull over to a Tasti Freeze to grab lunch. I was starving so I spent some of my limited funds on cheese fries. They ordered cheeseburgers without the meat, which created quite a stir amongst the teenage employees. They started talking about the Dead. I was very curious so I asked questions further while wiping cheese wiz off my face. They explained they made and sold some kind of vegetarian wrap at these shows to fund going to more shows. I asked what would ever possess then to see the same band in concert over and over again. It just did not make sense to me. They tried to explain Jerry and the music in combination with the community and acceptance. I still did not get it. I asked for the third time, why would you ever want to see the same songs over and over again? Finally the woman (who was the guys wife) said; “why don’t you come and see for yourself”. The said I could ride with them to Columbia Maryland and go to a place called Merriweather Post Pavilion. They also said that I would be able to find a ride up 95 no problem, as it was a straight shot from Columbia to Wilmington. I said OK. The truth was, I had nowhere else I felt I could go. I did not want to go home so this was it for me. We showed up at the Post in the early afternoon. They (sadly enough, I never remembered their names, gee maybe I could have found them on Facebook) said that I could leave my stuff with them and that I should go look for a ticket. I had not told them I had but $16. So I grabbed a pack of those ‘Boro’s” and went on my merry way. I walked around the rolling hills of the Post just checking people out. Everyone seemed to be in such a state of happiness, and were all in a hurry to do nothing. I remember thinking later that the lot seemed like a colony of technicolor ants, all scurrying with purpose. Show time approached, and I did not have a ticket. I was not really looking for one either, but I was growing more curious about this attraction inside the fence that all these thousands of people were here to see. I started walking around the parameter of the venue (and this next part I am not proud of, but like I said, I was a stupid kid) and I noticed these guys climbing the fence behind the concrete bathrooms. They were just climbing the fence and walking in. So I tclimbed the fence, and I seriously just walked right in. No security guards were even 100 feet from me. So, sorry boys, but I scammed ya outta $12.00 for a lawn seat. I walked around the lawn for a long while. There was that smell again! I remember seeing and feeling the anticipation in the crowd. I could just not help but feel that everyone was waiting for something really important to happen. I remember hay. I was thinking that this was such a strange thing walk on. I realized that this hay was creating an immense build up of dust between my toes and on my ankles. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of the dust! I had stopped to talk to this group of people sitting on a blanket. We were just smoking and chatting and laughing. I was really starting to have fun. In the midst of this chat up came a roar from the pavilion and the folks I was hanging with just dissipated from my existence. BAM! They were gone. They scattered like rats at the 34th Street Herald Square Subway Station when an N Train screeched in. At this point it was hard to know what was going on because everyone was jumping and screaming. Then suddenly, “On the day that I was born, my daddy sat down and cried!!!!” People started twirling, pointing triumphantly towards the sky, hugging, high fiving and were generally were absolutely captured by the moment. At this point I became somewhat intimated by what was going on around me. It was an experience that was completely foreign to me. It was quite a sight to see thousands of people grooving on the same thing but all being completely SO different at the same time. It was overwhelming to me, and I kind of had to back off a little bit. I went to the back left side where there was fresh air and trees and sat myself down against a tree, lit up an infamous Marlboro and proceeded to collect my thoughts. I just sat against that tree and watched it all happen for the entire first set. As the set wore on, I felt more at ease. These multitudes of people were revolving around this music. I watched group conversations, hackie sack circles, smoke outs, busts, wandering lost souls, a naked man, again, a bust, twirling, falling down, back rubs, more smoke, a deal, a jealous boyfriend, a chase, another bust (there’s that smell again!), rejoicing, uncontrollable laughter, a heavy make out session, scared preppy girls walking rapidly towards the exit, summersaults, juggling, piggyback rides, someone sleeping, and then I heard my first “We’ll be back in a little bit”, and it all came screeching to a halt! Funny though, I was feeling kind jealous that these people were so care free and were having so much fun. How was it possible that this music (which was barley audible all the way in the back) could create such an invigorating, soul-reviving scene where people just did not care about what anybody else thought? Well I decided to see for myself. I smoked another stolen butt, and made my way down the decimated hay stack, or lawn if you will and camped out along the fence separating the “hay” from the money seats. The sun had started to go down and I started to feel that anticipation rising thought the throngs of dusty deadheads (I had learned that was the name of these people). The darkness seemed to add a whole other dimension to this scene. It was hard to see where you were or who you were next to. Things were getting a very surreal feel to them. This scene was a little piece of irony of events forthcoming in my magical evening. Suddenly a skinny bald guy with a beard, no shirt, and some of those colorful Indian looking shorts with a fanny pack so full it almost looked like an old time life preserver stopped and sat next to me. He stared at me for a second before saying hello. He was very nice, a little strange, but nice. He kept staring off in different directions as we spoke. I told him briefly my story of the day, and how I was determined to see what made this scene tick. He asked me if I really wanted to know? I replied something like “Yes of course, that’s why I all the way up here in the middle of it.” Then he fished around in that fanny-pack of his and took out what looked like a silver cigarette case. He took something small and held it out to me. I asked him what it was and he gave me a brief technical explanation and then said (and I will never forget this) “If you really want to know”. He put this small thing on his (very large) tongue, swallowed and smiled. I somehow felt that I trusted this guy (only God knows why!) and did the same thing. He hugged me and told me not get scared and he was gone. Vanished! The lights went down. Absolute pandemonium broke out. The dust became a consistent part of existence. I honestly thought I heard thunder, but it was just the opening of what I think is now was top 5 Shakedown Street. For the first time in my life, I felt bass. The sound was so much clearer and louder then my first set experience. I started to move to the music without even realizing it. ‘WELL, WELL, WELL, YOU CAN NEVER TELL!’ The final jam seemed to never end. It would gain momentum, hit a crescendo, and then fall, or change speed, and it would gain momentum again to a fever pitch. I was open mouth; drop dead flabbergasted by this music. Shakedown ended to what seemed like a drum solo, but then I got my first “feel” of Jerry when he ripped the first note of Samson and Delilah. That note injected my soul with Jerry and he is still in there today. By the end of the song I was jumping up and down pointing at the pavilion and screaming “I’M GONNA TEAR THIS WHOLE BUILDIN’ DOWN! Then a pause, and then some tuning. Then a very familiar riff. I just knew the song, but couldn’t put my finger on it, but boy I was shaking my ass to it. “Well, my temperature's rising' and my feet on the floor, Twenty people knockin' 'cause they're wanting some more, let me in, baby, I don't know what you've got, but you'd better take it easy, cause this place is hot. I’M SO GLAD YOU MADE IT! It just all started to really make sense to me. What was making sense, I had no idea, but I started understanding something. Lost in the music was this little thing the skinny guy and I lunched on about 30 minutes before. I had really forgotten about it until I started laughing hysterically during He’s Gone, because I really thought the lyric was “Steam Locomotive, FLOATIN” down the track”, and I was actually seeing a brilliant steam engine locomotive floating above the crowd under the pavilion! The funny thing is I remember not feeling surprised by this. I just went with it. Not surprisingly the rest of the show is really foggy, and I honestly have little recollection of anything after drums. The show ended and I know that I found my way back to the car where my pack was because my next memory is walking around the dark lot with my pack and a beer in each hand. It was a chilly night and while I was walking around the raucous campers and coming back to Earth after my first Grateful Dead inspired space walk, I noticed that I was starving. I had had nothing but Tasti Freeze cheese fries in the last 24 hours. I rounded a corner and came upon a campsite. Two guys were sitting at a picnic table talking and drinking beer. On the table was this enormous spread of bagels, cream cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes and other assorted goodies. I thought about asking if I could buy a bagel off of them. I reached in my pocket to see how much money I had left. Much to my dismay I could find nothing. I looked all through my backpack, but the only thing I had that had any monetary value was 8 packs of Marlboro’s remaining from the carton I jacked. I mustered up the will to approach these guys hoping they smoked, and needed smokes. I said hello. They turned and greeted me in a cheery fashion. I remember telling them that the spread on their table looked so good and I would love to trade them some smokes for a meal. The guys looked at each other and one of them told me that neither of them smoked. I started to turn away when one of the guys stopped me and invited me back. I joined them. A full beer and an empty plate were put in front of me. They told me to dig in. I spent the next hour eating, drinking, and talking to these guys. They were college students from the University of Pittsburgh. I told my story. When they understood I had no place to go, they invited me to spend the night with them. First they led me to a water source because I was brown. I had a layer of dust on me that must have been a quarter inch thick! I washed up, they gave me space in their tent, and I passed out. I do remember it being a very restful sleep. I ended up spending the whole next day with them, and getting a free ticket from a friend of theirs. We went are separate ways for the show. My memories of that night are not nearly as vivid for me. I remember being completely comfortable being one of those people I was jealous of the day before for having the freedom and comfort be whatever they felt like being. What a feeling it was to be one of those people. After the show my Pittsburgh friends would not hear of me trying to leave that night and they fed and took care of me again. As a matter of fact, they invited me to ride with them to Pittsburgh the next morning for the final show of the East Coast summer swing. And so I went. I ended up hitchhiking back to good ole’ Wilmington after the Pittsburgh show and sucking it up by going back to my parents, but I was well on my way becoming part of this community. For the first time in a long time I fely like I belonged. In 48 hours, I had been shown so much kindness and generosity, while having more fun then I have ever had in my life. I had also challenged my own mind and perception of reality and came out on the other side smiling. I felt like I was an explorer at the beginning of a voyage. There was so much yet to see. I was home. I think back on how powerful this experience was in my life, as it really has defined me. 6/30/85 defined where I have ended up. It defined who my life long friends are, and it truly defined my journey in life. Just think, how shoplifting .a carton of smokes changed it all. What a day. P.S. Being a parent now, I realize how bad this story may make my parents look. Well, it was pretty bad, but I was no joy to them either. We are all tight again now. Being a kid is hard. The morale is: try your hardest to make your kids feel accepted and loved no matter what. Love will prevail! "Circle songs and sands of time, and seasons will end in tumbled rhyme, and little change, the wind and rain."
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My first shows age 19. 6 of us pile into my toyota pick up and drive from Colorado straight to the Shoreline parking lot. To see Estimated Prophet in California on various hallucinagens with my friends whom we shared a trying drive to CA and back was just unreal. then we meet some very cool Heads from the area who led us up this hill .... sorta by the beach ... somewhere ... sorry very foggy .. memory terrible ... :-) to where a lot of people camp out and we hung out there for 3 days. That whole experience was when I knew I was on the bus and in the family. It was more than just going to a concert. I was a part of a whole environment. Great memories! "And I'll call down thunder and speak the same. My word fills the sky with flame. Might and glory gonna be my name and they gonna light my way."
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15 years 9 months
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It was quite the day. "Circle songs and sands of time, and seasons will end in tumbled rhyme, and little change, the wind and rain."
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16 years 8 months
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The bus came by & I got on... Where is really began for me was my sister (I call her Toots). Why, because we would go to these huge outdoor shows & we needs a way to find each other. I would yell TOOTS in the crowd. Since no one else would respond or look over it worked for years. Anyway it was in my room, She brought in a album what is now known as the Skull & Roses album. We listened to it a bit & put it away. I was more into Yes & Pink Floyd at the time. Then in '74 I stumbled across it again but this time I really got into it. Then i started to get into Working Mans Dead, American Beauty & Mars Hotel. This is all before my 1st show a Roosevelt Stadium. I was getting into it pretty much by now. Then Englishtown rolled on in. We road tripped their bought a little gas grill which I kept till a few years ago. NOw that was the icing in the cake. 155,000 people at that show!!! I waited all day & night for that Terrapin Encore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "No matter where you go, there you are..." Buckaroo Bonzai
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I posted this a little while back when an archive post for the Europe 72 album popped up. I realized later that it was the best description I could think of that explained how all this happened for me. There's more, of course, but this definitely was the start... Freshman year in college, my buddies were off on a trip for the weekend. I'd come down with some killer flu-ish thing and had to opt out of the trip. I had been starting to get into the Dead at the time, Live/Dead and Skull and Roses were the two albums I had and the only two I'd ever heard. I liked them, but I was a long way from considering myself a Dead freak (old-school terminology) or even thinking of the Dead as one of my favorite bands. One of my departing friends dropped off his newly-acquired Europe '72 for me to convalesce with. This was a godsend, as it was a 3-album set, so I could stack it on the record changer and listen for a long time without having to move. I threw it on the record machine, plugged in my headphones, and collapsed into bed. Aside from bathroom trips and an ill-advised venture to the commons for food, I pretty much holed up in my room from Fri night to Sun morning, wracked with fever dreams and flipping the stack over whenever I could work up the energy. Somewhere along the 3rd or 4th listen to Jack Straw, everything became clear...you know, it clicked, I got it and everything else on the record and every other thing I'd heard from the GOGD. I was definitely in an altered state of mind from the fever (oddly, I thought at the time, not unlike tripping), but the musical infusion triggered an epiphany that weekend. A tranformative time for sure....I probably haven't been quite right since -- but I sure wasn't wrong. I get amused when I read the compilation-vs-full show debates that rage with every RT release right now. Compilations were all I had to go by back then, and without this one...well, I sure as hell wouldn't typing away this long boring reverie about my favorite Grateful Dead recording...Europe '72.
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the old days of vinyl and killer flu in college...
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First it should be known I was born in 1983 and never got to see Jerry or The Grateful Dead live...I'm a modern day Deadhead- I drive a new minivan vs a VW bus and maintain a full time job/career but still catch shows as much as possible....I always thought "The Grateful Dead" was some sort of gothic, dark music and it just never piqued my interest. Ahhhh...ignorance-not always blissful...I grooved "The Doors" and mainstream classic rock primarily because my Dad did and went on listening to a variety of music (country, rap, rock, modern radio hits) until I believe 2004...I had experimented with psychedelics in CA after high school a handful of times but none of my trips involved music, usually just exploring, walking around, watching pixar movies (another story) all that good stuff-still good times of course...3 or 4 years later-after moving to AR-I heard about a music festival in Salem, MO called "Schwagstock" (held and founded by a GD Tribute band called "The Schwag") that presented an opportunity to revisit my post-high school "experiments"...so I went...I went to a couple of these festivals without even experiencing the music...just kinda showed up, got what I was seeking (usually staying in the tent watching it breathe) -still thinking the music was dark and gothic I went home and enjoyed the party favors there...NYE of 2005 I was waiting to meet a "friend" who said he'd be there after the show to take care of my "needs"...the show ran long and I found myself waiting for The Schwag to end the show so I could get what I wanted...already in a psychedelic state of mind I finally heard the Dead's tunes...it was the very end of the set when I showed up... I remember them playing "NFA", "casey jones", and I believe "one more saturday night" to close the set...I was quite shocked...these tunes were anything but "dark and gothic"!..quite to the contrary...I had a revelation then and there...I went online when I got home and ordered a DVD-"Truckin' up to Buffalo"...dosed myself...and put it in....the rest is history...WOW...Jerry's soul on Ship of Fools and Morning Dew brought tears to my eyes...the jams on Playin and Terrapin, the variety of sounds: blues (walkin blues), country, jazz, raw pschedelia (space), love songs (LLR) it was all there...it embodied everything i had always liked in music but it was all in one amazing band!!!...I watched it twice throughout that trip alone and was mesmerized both times...seeing Jerry and Brent playing back and forth during NFA had me smiling...goosebumps...the keys on Man Smart, Woman Smarter...ahhhhhh....I was thoroughly "ON THE BUS" after that....4-5 years have passed and I've got every Dick's Pick, every studio album/live release, every DVD, I'm a self-proclaimed "vine slut", and my now GF and I work at the Schwagstock festivals hosting a wine tasting-it's a blast (imagine a hippie wine tasting)...Dead tunes just don't get old to me-it's the improvisation, the love, the community, its a package...they've opened my mind up to soooo many other bands/sounds I would have otherwise never listened to (String Cheese Incident, Keller Williams, Widespread Panic, Yonder Mtn., New Monsoon, I could go on for pages)...I am forever GRATEFUL...I feel I would have seen the light at some point (all good things in all good time) but definitely have to give credit to "The Schwag" for officially turning me on. My only problem is that I can't understand how some folks don't FEEL this music-it borders on frustration but ultimately acceptance...I've attempted, successfully and unsuccessfully to turn others on and it's literally hit or miss-the "hits" make it all worthwhile though....The GD have changed my life...for the rest of my life...I never truly heard music...I merely listened to it...The GD cost me a relationship (thankfully)-and helped me to find my current love and soulmate-we also met through "The Schwag" indirectly and my current GF truly *feels* the music like I do, whereas with my EX every song was "that same ol' shit on again"...she just couldn't appreciate the improvisation or instrumental jams the way I do-every Playin' was the same ol' song...anyway, good riddance! I WILL listen to the GOGD for the rest of my life, it's just a shame it took so long for me to allow it into my life...I totally see my current GF and I 80 years old in our recliners and walkers smiling back and forth jaws ajar when Jerry catches a hot groove or laughing when Brent or Bob drop a F-bomb-it cracks me up ;) ...The Grateful Dead and the whole community has made me a better person, added a soundtrack to my life, and introduced me to the love of my life...I am certainly GRATEFUL for The Schwag and other GD tribute bands for keeping the vibe alive and for exposing younger people to the LOVE The Grateful Dead bring to your lives and ears. This music transcends time, age, sex, color, and creed and will continue to do so forever...there will always be torchbearers...it will never die...Jerry will always be with us. "not dead...just grateful" :) THANK YOU GRATEFUL DEAD!!!!! and THANK YOU DEAD TRIBUTES!!!! "In a bed, in a bed, by the waterside I will lay my head. Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul."
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I especially agree about how frustrating the hit-or-miss quality of who gets it and who doesn't can get. But the WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE? moments do kinda make it all worthwhile.
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and how cool is it when you do turn someone onto it and they are totally as entranced and consumed by it as you are? It also makes it all worthwhile...I tend to target my efforts twds younger(than I) kids who like heavy metal and are into the whole gothic trip..I've got a few lil prodigies under my belt ;)I've seen some totally 180 turnarounds with some of these kids...their well-being, their lifestyle, their social interactions...it's super rewarding....makes me smile :) "In a bed, in a bed, by the waterside I will lay my head. Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul."
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In the winter of 1978, at 18, I saw Cheech and Chong at the local Music Hall and that summer I went to the Willy Nelson picnic at the local Triple A and Collage World Series Ball Park in my home town. Those 2 events changed my life. I went to the picnic with some friends to see a rock band, I don't remember that band but I saw the Dead for the 1st time and was really interested and excited. I got a couple of boot legs from some friends and in 1981 I got a cassette copy of Dead Set and played it until it broke...fuck I love that album.....starting out with Samson and Delilah....Fuck!!....well any way I started going to shows and 100 plus later here I am. I'm going to a couple of shows this tour 1 with my wife and 1 with my 25 and 23 year old sons.....should be fun. I can't wait to charge my batteries. I missed the last go around thinking that I could catch the next leg who knew that would be 5 years later. I miss Jerry, I think of him every day. I think of the band every day, I miss every one of these guys, and I'm looking forward to connecting, I don't care what they play as long as they do. In this part of my life, since 1996, I live backstage, I'm a stagehand; I do hundreds of shows a year. I don't get excited about most shows, I’m pretty jaded and it is a job, I have stuff to do during the performance. I have been around some bands I never thought I would be around, in 2007 we did Paul McCartney, Simon and Garfunkel, John Prine, Bob Dylan, and John Forgery I called it “67 or 07” . I have seen legends, the up and coming, the on-the-way-down, and the “on the come back”. Shit I’ve done so many Kiss reunion and “final tour” shows I’ve lost count. I did Cher’s final tour 3 times… 3 shows 2 different buildings at least 6 months apart! Since November I have done: The Eagles, Metallica, New Kids on the Block, Nine Inch Nails, AC/DC, Motley Crue, plus many Broadway shows (just moved out Grease last night), corporate shows, trade shows, small concerts, comedy shows, sporting events and competitions. Right after the 1st of the year I received the news that Cheech and Chong were going to be at the Music Hall, which I’m now the house lighting tech. I was told that I would be doing the lighting for the show, I was totally excited. A couple of weeks later the Dead tour was announced! I knew then that this is going to be a grate year! I did the Cheech and Chong show, it was almost the same show as in '78, which was funny and great to see (my dog ate my stash, I had to follow him around for a week), I had a blast doing some light tricks (simulate cop lights, stuff like that). The week In May that I’m going to see the dead shows goes like this: May 4th Travel to and see The Dead in Chicago, travel home on the 5th, then I’m the Steward for James Taylor on the 6th at the Music Hall, then at the arena, Fleetwood Mac on the 7th, Kenny Chesney on the 8th, I fly to California with my sons (who are also stagehands) on the 9th see the Dead on the 10th , fly home on the 11th and be the Steward for Elton John and Billy Joel on the 12th . I can't wait for the 4th and the 10th, the rest sounds like work. If the Dead come back here (the Picnic was the last time they did) I'll be torn, I'll have to work but I might actually watch the show. Really I hope that they do an amphitheater tour not this summer but maybe next. Nothing and I mean nothing compares to a Grateful Dead Show, not even close.
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I saw this on a shirt or bumper sticker somewhere years ago. It really has significance for my experience of finding the Dead (or the Dead finding me) and my finally getting on the bus.I should have been a Deadhead years before I actually became one. I've regretted the lost time, but things probably happened as they were supposed to. I was born in 1956 so I was around when the band started. I listened to and loved a lot of music that prepared me for the experience. In high school I loved the Allman Brothers, Cream and Santana. I also loved jazz especially Miles Davis (I was a trumpet player). In addition I listened to classical music and since I grew up in a small rural community in Virginia I couldn't help but be familiar with country and bluegrass. I knew of the Grateful Dead at this time. I knew Casey Jones, Truckin', Friend of the Devil and Uncle John's Band which were songs that were ocassionally played on the radio. I had no idea who the guys in the band were (I owned CSNY's Deja Vu and had no idea who that Garcia fellow was who played the pedal steel on Teach Your Children) and had never heard any live Dead. I just missed the bus in 1978 when the band came to Va Tech. They were on campus the day before I arrived to visit a friend. There were still Heads around and there was something about the vibe I liked. Maybe something to be explored further. I was at home getting ready for a trip to visit my brother in CA in 1979 when the bus came by again. I had on the TV in the background and a Dead concert was on. I was not paying close attention as I was busy with other things but when Samson and Delilah came on I was enthralled. Really got into the music. Later that year I was in a store going through a group of discounted albums when I found Terrapin Station. I saw Samson and Delilah listed as one of the songs and took it home. Loved the whole album! Made a note to check this out in more detail. (On my trip to CA I visited San Francisco and immediately felt as though I had come home. Loved the whole vibe. Didn't want to leave. One more step on my journey I guess.) In 1986 I moved into a row of townhouses in Newport News, VA. Two of the six townhouses in my block were occupied by Deadheads, Scott and Jeff introduced me to the world of live audience tapes. One day while sitting outside drinking a few beers with Scott the Eyes of the World from 9/3/77 came on. I was transported to another dimension! I had never heard music like this before! I was definitely standing on the bus at this point. In the spring of 1987 the Dead came to the nearby Hampton Coliseum. Scott and Jeff took me and my 8 year old son Paul to our first show. Paul had been intoduced to the music along with me and really liked the band. He also was attached to Jeff's dog named Iko. Before the show Paul kept saying he couldn't wait til they played Iko. We didn't want him to be disappointed and told him that there was no guarantee that he would hear Iko that night, but he kept on insisting that we would hear it. The show started with Touch of Grey and the crowd went wild. I had never experienced this kind of energy before. I was transported once again. Later in the first set after a hot Big River the band stopped to tune and to my amazement (but not Paul's) the crowd started clapping out the rhythm to Iko Iko. The band took their lead and played what is still my all time favorite Iko. Jerry was grinning and exuding a lot of energy! At that moment my son and I both got completely on the bus and took a seat! We've been on ever since! Scott, Paul and I will be taking my younger son Joshua to his first Dead show on April 15 in Charlottesville, VA. It'll be great to ride the bus again with my two sons and one of the dear friends who got me on the bus in the first place. Jeff if by chance you see this let me hear from you bro. Hate that we've lost touch.
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Hey Bilee, happy to see you around. Myself a stagehand for 38 years, I'm a brother from Local 56 for 18 now. Shake your bones well and have a grate time all of you. I'll do Nassau april 24 with my wife. Share the Love Brother.
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...at least for me. For several years prior to this date, I attended concerts (various artists) as often as I could. I recall discussing shows with a friend in one of my college classes each week. It got to a point that one of the other students who sat in front of us turned to me one day and with an annoyed and sarcastic tone asked me, "what, do you LIVE at the Academy of Music"? I almost did :-) But then 3/15/73 happened. Out in the parking lot of the Nassau Coliseum there were guys selling pot from overflowing "knapsacks". I had never seen anything like that before (Vietnam draft #352 if I recall correctly). Once we got inside the venue, we walked around the floor and saw groups of folks with their freak flags marking their areas. Behind the stage was a huge Skull & Roses banner. We made our way to some open seats and managed to pick up some programs and balloons all with the Swell Dance Concert #1 logo (I wish I still had those!!!). As I mentioned, my friends and I used to attend lots of shows by different artists (McKendree Spring, It's A Beautiful Day, Mountain, etc.) and this was our first Dead show. The music started. It was OK. We weren't very familiar with the Dead at that time in our lives. After the set was over, my friend turned to me and said, "that wasn't the Dead". Turns out, it was the Sons of Champlin (who wasn't announced as an opening band). Later, the Dead came on. My life has never been the same since.
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....In more ways than one...That particular show was "re-created" by Darkstar Orchestra at my first ever DSO show...september of 2008 If i recall correctly...good times...got a smokin' Tennessee Jed, magical first set Playin', stellar 'Eyes' in the second set...high energy Casey Jones...and I think we got a Stella Blue that night too...beautiful evening..great sets...i can only imagine how the real thing must've been-I was blown away at a recreation...nice lil ending to your story too..funny stuff...as true as i could ever imagine...ironically that was the current keyboardist for DSO's first show too...we chatted with him for a bit after the show...good times...much love. "In a bed, in a bed, by the waterside I will lay my head. Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul."
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It's been a good long while since I've heard anyone announce their Vietnam-era draft lottery number (at least I think that's what you meant)...#306 myself. The only lottery that I ever "won".
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Yes, the draft lottery # is what I meant. That part of my original post became a non sequitur after I edited the thing. Congrats to you on "winning the lottery". I forget many things these days but some of those old memories just stick. I recall the day the numbers came out. I was in class and the professor had the new list. He asked the class if any of us were eligible for that round of numbers. Each of us gave our birthdates and he told us which lottery number we got. The guy sitting next to me received #6 and just broke down. BTW, at that time I was living in NY and the place I had to go to register was Whitehall Street - just like in Alice's Restaurant!
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Basically being called a Nazi by Anarchist creep Touch of Gray heads. I'm totally not a Nazi, play just like Jerry . . . and the shows that I've been to in the past were BRAIN BLAZING experiences. Seriously, if I told you all that went down it would burn off both your ears. Because of snobby cliquiness y'all missed the new acid test in the 80s. I tried to tell everyone about it but I got ignored. So anyway, expect to see me and my friends in your face in the upcomming tours. We're not going to let my talent go to waste just because pushy, bitter angry anarchist creeps think people with relatives in the military are Nazis. Geez. Maybe everybody is a Nazi. Next y'all will be saying that Ghandi was a Nazi.
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Bro, you ok? so negative. WTF
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Thanks for the concern. I'll be okay when I'm no longer blacklisted by the very people I grew up with learning about the Dead and guitar. I'm a total hippie and could tell you things about the Dead that you probably don't know - even if you've been a Deadhead for decades. Look man - I'm just trying to earn a living doing what I was trained to do - play guitar. Of course I'm provocative. Of course I'm starteling. All of my energy comes from a good, nurturing place and if I wasn't so poor I'd probably give you a couple of buds and play you something that would melt your brain (in a good way).
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Bro it's all good, would love to hear you play. Though seems to me you are angry or pissed off at something or someone., carry on the music, I play some but wish I could be better, started kinda late in life, but can blow a good harp, got some good ol rythym and heart. your "in your face" statement does not come across to friendly. Where you at man so maybe our paths might cross this spring. i'll be in the northeast for some shows and then gotta go way north to Alaska.
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Being ignored can be brushed off for only so long. Eventually it can be fatal - when people want to ignore you when you're hungry or need to get some sleep. I don't complain when all of my wishes are ignored - but when my basic human needs are ignored and I'm being brutalized . . . AND being called the Nazi while I'm the victim . . . yes I tend to get a little pissed off. That just means I'll have to play some harsh city blues before I get into the bright and sparkling jazzy Dead stuff. I hope to see you at the show. I have a CD now (with 5 songs on it) that call "Almost Live" because most of it is live except for a couple of studio songs.
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You really kinda sound like an unhappy soul...super negative digital vibes bro...I try to avoid that in my daily life as much as possible..and I definitely avoid it at shows under heightened senses of perception...It's almost like a dark aura or cloud of sorts hovering over those poor, confused souls that I can sense within seconds oftentimes without verbal communication...PLEASE don't be one of those people to me or anyone...It's not worth it to you-change your vibe man...hate and anger is baggage that should be checked at the door and lost forever...in my opinion...anyway... your statement(s): "Here's what's going to get me on the bus... Basically being called a Nazi by Anarchist creep Touch of Gray heads. I'm totally not a Nazi, play just like Jerry . . . and the shows that I've been to in the past were BRAIN BLAZING experiences. " How is THAT what's "going" to get you on the bus? BTW, it's "Grey", not "Gray"....you seem super angry in your life bro...I hope you can find inner happiness...your post comes off as a personal attack towards somebody who wronged you in the past or made a harsh judgement of you...and well, to each their own...i personally would throw that monkey off my back and get on with my life in a happy, peaceful state...harboring that amount of anger since the 80's (acid tests) can't be healthy for your emotional well-being or that of those around you...it seems toxic to me. I sincerely hope u find the apologies and more importantly the love and acceptance you are clearly clamoring for...IN THE WRONG FORUM TOPIC...this thread is for stories (generally postivie) of how you got turned onto the music we all know and love so dearly...that being said, I too would like to hear you play...i bet the lyrics are interesting to say the least...hopefully it's not as disturbing as your post(s) are...anyway, much love, kyndness, and happiness to you and yours :) smile....let your soul shine -familyfluffhead "In a bed, in a bed, by the waterside I will lay my head. Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul."
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Who called you Nazi? think maybe you may be bringing on things to yourself which really don't exist. If you bring your own pain you gotta deal with it. We can go all day saying to other's "hear what I say" the question is are the intended audience "Listening" get it, food for thought man.
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As I've said before - I'm going to have to play some city blues before I can relax and get more jazzy. Thank you for . . . saying that you would at least listen to my music. At least you have a sense of curiosity. I really need to play and party out with cool heads. Especially the young and blonde variety. Geez - how can ANYONE complain about the government or Americans in general being so grumpy when they'd turn around and deny them basic human rights . . . like food and shelter? That's what people are doing when they won't listen to a note of my music because they think I'm a Nazi. What's next? Internment camps . . . like with the Japanese? That's just small step below liquidation, son. Sure makes you think twice about the whole Communist thing. BTW there was a hippie movment in Russia recently. Smart, medium-length Greenpeace type hippies. The older Communists didn't like them and were just as intollerant as Redneck Republicans. Now that the hippies are all gone - a growing skinhead movement is what Russia got. Seems simple doesn't it? You chase off all the people with long hair . . . the logical outcome is NO HAIR. And blue hair Bush supporters (old biddies with scowls and blue hair) still love John Wayne and not Ted Nugent. And old blue hair Deadheads still tell me I'm not Jerry . . . geez I'm going to say that when I meet Ted Nugent. "Yeah man . . . you ain't John Wayne and I ain't Jerry." Then we'll both laugh. I'm even going to tell Nugent the story of how when I was a canvasser for Greenpeace I brought a suit and tie along for our meeting with Roy Mills, the mayor of Ward Valley where they were planning to build an unlined nuclear dump site. In my honest oppinion, my fellow canvassers were more interested in being shock jocks than getting their job done. I myself was in the zone - and I engaged in sober, intelligent debate with both the mayor and the Chief of the Native American tribe there. The Chief was wearing a suit also, btw. Just F.Y.I. I wasn't playing around - Pete Wilson was trying to destroy my home with radiation for proffit. At the site, I saw the wash that lead right to the Collorado river. I also saw the trenches. It's no wonder Greenpeace called their plan "Cat box technology" instead of their name . . . "Shallow trench technology". Greenpeace succeded. We saved Needles, California from nuclear catastrophy. Good thing - the Collorado provides 80% of California's water. There would have been kids brushing their teeth and washing their face with radioactive waste. People like ME get things done. Just something to think about when you plug your ears with your fingers and go, "La la la la la" to yourself so you won't be "corrupted" by my whimsical singing. Peace, Eric Finch
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People like you just bitch about shit that is far beyond their control...oftentimes bitching about the same people they themselves have become... "In a bed, in a bed, by the waterside I will lay my head. Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul."
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"Please don't dominate the rap, jack, if you've got nothing new to say.If you please, don't back up the track this train's got to run today. I spent a little time on the mountain, I spent a little time on the hill I heard someone say "Better run away", others say "better stand still"." ............................................................. "One way or another, one way or another, One way or another, this darkness got to give." "In a bed, in a bed, by the waterside I will lay my head. Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul."