The other day in the Dead & Company thread on Facebook, some guy was complaining about getting a hard time from older Heads because he never saw Jerry and so would never get the real experience, yadda yadda... He thought this was especially unfair because he wasn't even born till 1997. Whenever we each got on the bus, we've all heard something similar, with people pontificating that we can't possibly be Dead Heads because we never saw a)Jerry b)Pigpen c)Keith and Donna .... We were all new once. So welcome, new Heads AND old ones. Tell your tales here.
It is odd how there seems to be a certain stigma or elitism whether you have "seen Jerry" or not. Sometimes our paths just don't work out. My trip was a little odd, or so I think. I was in HS in the mid 80's. There was not a Dead/hippie scene there, but there was a punk scene, which I fell into. I always listened to the Dead, had their albums, etc. but never had a buddy willing to go see them. It wasn't until 95 that I convinced my girlfriend (now wife) to go. We tried getting tickets to 95 Deer Ck. Hung a bit in the lot, but couldn't find tix so we left. So, in a way, I'm sad I never saw Jerry, but, I think I'm also glad that it didn't work out that THAT show would have been my only time seeing him. I feel like I'm a "real Deadhead" even though I missed Jerry. It would be sad to think that the scene is predestined to die as those who were there to see Jerry live ultimately pass along as well. I like the idea of the torch being passed. I may not have quite made it into the first generation, but I am fully invested, and I have 2 kids now, becoming young adults who know and appreciate the music as well. Anyways, that's my story. Peace, -Dave
how, when or where you got into the Dead, or didn't get into them, for that matter, is of no real consequence. all i want to know is, are you kind?
That comment mkavpeaceful groovy weekend everybelly
I've heard this type of narrow-minded sentiment since I first hopped on the bus after hearing my first Dead album in 1979. I even wrote a letter to Relix Magazine when I was 16 years old indicating that despite the fact that I was not at any shows in the 60s or 70s, I consider myself a Deadhead because I dream about them.... The response? "You belong here." That's the power of music, folks. The ability to travel the time/space continuum and reach people on the inside. Whether you got to see Jerry or not. Whether you attended shows at the Winterland, or Magoo's Pizza Parlor, or Giants Stadium. Or never made it to a show at all but wished you could have. What defines a deadhead is what it makes you feel, and how you may express that in your day to day life. Keep listening. Dead music ages very well, in my opinion.
where i was when JFK was shot, doesn't make me any better than anyone else, just marked an era. One up-man-ship exists everywhere, even in GD lore, although it seems a bit more less prevalent in the deadhead scene. I think many of us are eager to share the stories of the days gone by, if for no other reason than to re-experience and/or relive the memory. I wonder if an of the splinter groups playing cover songs have a pecking order, i.e. Bobby sat in with us on NYE or Mickey played drums in the second set, or Phil invited me me me to TXR. It seems that the rock and roll ego comes and goes, as does the elitism for who was at Woodstock or Cornell 77, as does who saw Pigpen. BMOGDCampus and all that jazz. Folks who wear the ego cloak in life wear it no matter what, folks who are more prone to tell matter of factly what went on, without the braggado and pompous tone, are interested in sharing rather than puffing up their chests, and those who do not have stories but are learning the scene, well, they are the meat and potatoes of the future. Amy is spot on, waay up in new York: it's about how you feel and how you express it in everyday life. Be open to the music, the debate, the tuning, and the tales, we are all half full or empty anyway. I for one am very happy the Good Old Grateful Dead kept following me around way back when. Too bad they took that disco break in the mid 80's. And I'm doubly happy and satisfied that Dead & Co, the numerous offshoots on stage as well as you reading this are here now to keep the music alive. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it until they steal my face once again....
Saw this article/interview with the director of the "Long Strange Trip" documentary. He had a reply relevant to this thread: JamBase: So, this scene was obviously a big thing growing up. What’s your live show experience: in the hundreds? 50? Or a few here and there? Amir Bar-Lev: You know, this sounds kind of a dickey thing to say but I’m getting a bit tired of talking about how many shows I’ve been to! I think the whole jam band world is too status conscious. We shouldn’t be asking each other about how many shows we have seen unless it’s really germane. I’m happy to discuss the film and my thinking behind it and the underpinnings of it, but who really cares how many shows I’ve seen? I’m not in the film. Why do we always talk about that? JamBase: It’s funny, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this in a Dead related interview. Bill Walton kept chewing me out for a similar thing. He kept saying, “There you go again trying to rate and rank everything.” I guess for people like me who grew up with jam bands around the same time as the internet really coming about, our age group wants to know all the stats. We want to know the best versions of everything and we want to know about all the best shows. I think it helps focus your attention on the listening. But I agree with you on the status thing. I was mainly asking you that to get some context of how deep in the weeds we could go with this interview. I always thought that was stupid though and basically a way for a bunch of nerds to put themselves on a pedestal in this arbitrary hierarchy. Amir Bar-Lev: [laughs] Yeah, I’m with Bill on this matter. The ratings and the rankings are anathema to what our whole scene should be about, because with live music, the whole point of it is getting as close to being in the now as we possibly can. So, when people start to advertise how many shows they have been to, it becomes a way of one-upping each other — it’s hierarchical. It should be illegal to ask another Deadhead how many Dead shows they have been to. Whole interview is here: https://www.jambase.com/article/typical-daydream-director-amir-bar-lev-… Peace, -Dave
I like Amir.
So my first show is actually Tuesday in ATL and I have no idea what to expect. I won't lie, JM brought me here but Jerry made me stay (I adore JM but the crunchy grooves of Jerry is something I wish I could have witnessed live.) I'm interested to know what I should expect, the biggest no-no's, if anyone else if going to the show, if people would like to meet up. It's my gf and I are driving up from FL to come witness the magic happen. I've only recently been getting more interested in the Dead but it's been hard find likeminded people to help us navigate this vast wide ocean! I've watched the Bob Weir doc and that's what's been fueling the fire for me to enjoy myself Tuesday, but it's always more enjoyable to have good people around who know more about the ins and out than I. If this is the wrong place to post this I'm sorry. I just saw the post and though it would be cool to post something here cause its relatable to us cause we are both in our 20s!
Expect to be blown away Listen carefully with total abandonment Breathe in the music through your soul Prepare for the trip of a life time and one more thing... Don't talk during drums and space. Peace, and welcome aboard the bus.
This is absolutely the right place. Welcome!
Today is the day and I'm overly excited! Thanks for the warm welcome!
Kenny, I'm sure you will have the time of your life!!! Do report back and let us all know how your experience went! Stay Grateful My Friend, -Dave
Have a beautiful, groovy time and may the four winds blow you safely home Peace
I'm with dwlemen:"It would be sad to think that the scene is predestined to die as those who were there to see Jerry live ultimately pass" There is a whole second generation of my extended family getting WAY into this; if this really IS anything, it is about something that goes on (and on).
Nobody ever had enough Grateful Dead shows, so counting is a drag anyway. My first show was great and my last show was great and the ones on between were great, too. Dead and Company last night in Cleveland, also great. Somebody wants to tell me about a show I didn't see, also great. It's not a contest, folks. It's just the wonder of the experience.
Last night was my first Dead and Co show and It was a mixed experience for me. I actually came here and made an account just for this post so I could process my thoughts some, hopefully with a bit of feedback. Im twenty years old, I've been listening to the Dead probably since I was 14. Wasnt until I was 17 probably when I had a few Dicks Picks albums that I was listening to consistently that the Dead started to really stand out for me as a band, and as a cultural phenomenon. Around this time too I was really getting into smaller contemporary electronic/funk/rock/jam fusion type bands. Papadosio, Tea Leaf Green, etc.. Papadosio was my favorite band probably safe to say that it was because of the seen. I loved the people. I felt like they were a real loving family away from my own biological one. I was elated just to be standing in the venue with the crowd. We took care of eachother and made friends in the show. We danced hard, transcending just simply listening to the band. It wasnt just a concert. It was a curated experience where we could gather with the same values, the same intentions and celebrate. I recognized that The Grateful Dead were the trailblazers for this experience, that they started it all back in the acid tests. But they were like the Beatles to me, legends in the past to maybe read about. When the had their 50 reunion tour I thought it was cool and was a bit sad I didnt get to go, but felt eh it probably wouldnt be worth it. When Dead and Co started a few years later with john mayer I felt they sold out some and thought "why would they choose someone with a fuckboy voice to play jerrys part" (I've since taken a complete 180 on my stance, but mention it simply for authenticity and context. Since the resurgence of the hippie and new age fashion over the past couple years I've been kind of turned off to a lot of the music I listened to because folks I knew were getting into it for the fashion statement of it, which I think makes it a lot harder to really engage in the music, experience, and community. I know its no real reason to not listen to music, but its how I felt about it, you know I'm out here still learning. But anyway, I was turned off to my contemporary music for a little and took the time to experiment with the Grateful Dead. On archive.org I found neat shows, contextualized with reviews of people who were there, I started to piece together what the grateful dead really were. I did a big paper and project on the grateful dead in an ethnomusicology class and it sent me down a rabbit hole of Grateful Dead. For nearly that whole year all I listend to was the Grateful Dead. I took mushrooms a few times and simply sat outside and listend to shows for the entirety of the experience. I found nuances in songs that touched me deeper than I ever would have thought. The Dead is one of the only bands that can bring me to tears. So - A few months ago my mom (went to a few 80's - 90's shows), got tickets for my little sister, her, and I to see Dead and Co. I was excited. I knew it was going to be a beautiful experience, although probably pretty distant from the old Grateful Dead. I didnt have my usual show drink, a tripple vodka redbull, just two joint but I figured that was cool. I was anticipating being there mostly to appreciate (nearly from a historical perspective) Weir, Hart, Kreutzmann, and basque in their legendary sounds. This was the 2018 show in Cincinnati last night. So my mom and sister and I were out in the lawn, had a blanket, it was nice. The music played and people crowded a little tighter but that was fine we were all standing. I lit a joint but no one around seemed interested so I kept it between my self my mom and my sister and tried to not make a scene of it. We swayed a bit for the first couple songs. Then they played "They love eachother" and my whole perspective on Dead and Co changed. John Mayer was playing his heart out. Bob was playing his heart out. The drums were killing it. This is one of my favorite songs right now, simply for the drums. So when they played.. wow I was happy. I realized what I bigot I was ripping on JM. It's not his fault the way he sounds - It was me projecting my ugly preconceptions on to him that made me uninterested and not like his voice. I took a second to think positive, and be compassionate to my self for being a bigot, and be mindful of my appreciation for JM and the hard work he puts into the band. In my mind I offered an apology and made peace with JM and Dead and Co. JM and Bobby singing they love eachother had me feeling the love. Bob and JM love eachother. The band loves eachother. I love them and they love me in one way or another im sure. I was dancing good and hard, the first set was slow and steady as usual. So there was ebbs and flows to my energy for sure but I thought it was beautiful. There was a group of people a little older than me maybe 25 or so and they were dancing and having fun. I was next to a mom whos teenage son seemed to be being a brat and didnt want to be there but she seemed like a sweetheart so I danced extra hard for her. She had a beautiful smile on her face and I know she was in the same place as me. It was nice. Then the first set was over and I went to buy a tshirt. The guy in line behind me and my mother asked how it was going, I was excited and told him it was my first show and I thought it was beautiful and I like john meyer now and told him about how I felt during They love eachother. The man responded with that They love each other is his least favorite song. Then went on to talk about how the band sucks and its not what it used to be and I dont know and I'll never know. I went along with it but was a little hurt that he was invalidating all the passion I had and all the time and experiences id spent listening to the band. I turned around and left him to my mom so they chatted for a second and then he left the line without even buying a shirt. I'm a sensitive guy and was really high and a little paranoid and this guy had me shaken so I rushed my shirt and got one that was a bit small but it was okay because my sister wanted it and I got another in the lot after the show. Anyway, second set started and it was very lively and I was dancing very hard again. It was here maybe that I noticed that folks werent really dancing as hard as me anywhere that I could see. Up on the rail of the lawn they were just swaying, on the far right and left folks were kinda just moving and sipping there beers. It was only during their special hit songs when people really danced but I didnt really see anyone who looked to be dancing freely and uninhibited as I was and how I'd experienced at smaller shows. The rest of the night was great, musically it was great, but the crowd was kinda lacking and had me curious for the whole show. I remember thinking at a point that I was going to come to this forum after the show and try to understand what was happening. I would have expected there to be a section of the audience that was dancing more than the rest but I could find them. So it felt like I was having my own party with this mom to my left the whole show, bless her heart. My mom has a bad back so she couldn't really rage, she was just swaying, but appreciated the music. I dont know where all the dancing people were. Or all the dead heads. I saw a lot of hipsters and country folk. Which is great you know, I hope they had a great time and I'd love to dance with them again, but they just weren't very engaged. Beyond the hipsters and country folk, there were a lot of teenagers wearing really loud bright tie dyed shirts and clothes with marijuana symbolism. There was a few people wearing khakis, button up type shit and they weren't really dancing that hard. The people who seemed most engaged were the 50-65 year old mom looking women and the teenagers. They still weren't dancing very hard. I guess the point of this post is am I missing something? Do people who really enjoy and engage in the Grateful Dead music not go anymore? Everyone seemed like just a casual fan. Do the people who are passionate buy the more expensive up close seats? Is there a defined place they are all hiding? Can I get in on it? I really thought the band was great. The music was incredible and I'd like to see them again maybe catch them later on the tour, but if I do I hope my experience with the crowd with be more fulfilling. If not then I'll be happy to dance with the Moms again. Another final thought, on the old heads and purists who whine about Dead and Co. I think getting caught up on the changing sound and then bringing that frustration to the music is sad and missing the point of the Grateful Dead. Take it back to the acid tests, if JM was there they would have jammed and it would have been wonderful im sure. I think its certain that it is a value of the grateful dead to accept change and to groove with it. Just be Kind. Yeah it doesnt sound like when they had Jerry in the 90's but the band sounded drastically different ten years before that too. I dont think people should give up on Dead and Co. The music is great. To me, all that was missing was the fans. The young folks I think are the ones carrying on the music and the party that the grateful dead started. I dont know why I couldnt find it at Dead and Co.
ChinacatRider98, congratulations on your first show! I am glad to hear you overcome preconceptions about John, he is a saving grace for the band and possibly the future of it. I often see him saying and acting humbly and that is important, he knows the Dead are bigger than he is and Ego is the first thing to go when you drop .. out. You cover a lot of questions but i can answer a few IMHO. i am sorry you ran in to "that guy" at the vendor stand. Just ignore him, people like that tend to be insecure and he was simply trying to make himself seem more of a deadhead then he is. Sounds like he misses one of the fundamental ideals of the Grateful Dead - we are a Family. Including him the weird uncle floating around.. As for the dancing - that is a very personal thing particularly at a show. Sometimes people are just tripping too hard to dance like a banshee, and i also think age has a lot to do with that. you answered your own questions with that one, Don't worry about what others are doing, just listen to the music play. Dance as you like and enjoy yourself. Often times especially if people are trying to talk to me or something; i close my eyes and just spin my head and arms around and focus on the sound. These shows are extremely personal events. So much the better if you can share with loved ones but you can do alone. - you are NOT missing anything most people who are still alive and healthy enough to make the trip are going to these shows, they are Amazing! I always notice that A LOT of people at these shows are trippin, i would say something like 60- 70% maybe more. It seems like the entire place - The people who pay for the upfront tickets are either lucky to get them in lottery or they have money to burn. Either way it doesn't make you more or less of a fan.- in short your seat assignment has nothing to do with your love. In old MSG the hard core family would often be in the hallways just spinning around. eyes closed, not in visual range (but great speaker / audio). If you want to find where all the good people are you will have to go a little early and start shaking strangers hands. Go meet people, say hello and introduce yourself. be honest, kind and welcoming (non judgmental) and you will find people to hang out with. Which will bring your show to the next level.Going with your mom and siter is family love, nothing stronger. Perhaps mom will get Ricky Ricky Rekt on shrooms? Its possible your mother shielded you somewhat from the heavy heads? - there is a dark side to the scene as well, hard drugs like Heroin are a problem for some unfortunate souls. stay AWAY! For Realz
Well said BigAlNYC...
Al's words are wise. Welcome to the extended family!
Hello marye, it's been a long time. Hard to believe I been a member here for ten yrs. I just turned 50 this year, been a deadhead since the early 80's been to a lot of shows seen a lot , it's been a awesome ride. I recently had new neighbors move in, they are all in their 20's and into the dead, it fascinates me to see young people into the dead and the culture . I have no kids but now I have someone to share my life's collection with. So welcome to all younger heads and hello to all who may remember me from here .
Great to see you back in these parts! Don't be a stranger! Bring your neighbors!
Chinacatrider98:Really liked your comments. Lol, a lot of us just sway because we’re old!! Don’t let people get you down, we all had our first show. I became a Dead fan while in college during the 60’s. The band has changed so many times there is little need to belabor the point. Jerry thought they buried the GD with Pig. One drummer? Two? The music never stopped. So many tears shed at the 50 in Chicago. The wife and I thought it was over, then out af the ashes came Dead and Co. John isn’t Jerry, Oteil isn’t Phil, and Jeff is Jeff Enjoy the music, that is the whole shot. Have seen them on more tours than I can honestly remember, and am grateful to be alive for one more show. So glad you are part of the family. Always be kind...
Thanks for putting all those sentiments out there.I love this comment: "she seemed like a sweetheart so I danced extra hard for her." You, my friend, are on the right track. I was brought to tears by They Love Each Other in Camden last summer. And I'll add one more to your interesting list of who's loving who in that sentiment: the Dead Heads all love each other. Lord, you can see that it's true. Even the douche in the t-shirt line; just shake your head and move on. To say "its not what it used to be" is ignorant: it never was. I knew someone who said he lost interest in the band when they started playing "songs". Ok, fine, close yourself off. But don't tell me I'm not moved by their high artistic expression. And finally on Justin's contribution at Alpine Valley: his first few notes singing Black Muddy River were like fingernails on a chalkboard to me (i first came to love that song through the Persuasions version). But he DELIVERED on Bird Song, which is tough territory to venture into as a first-timer. It rolls on: there must be innovation to remain vital.
And where are the Daydreamers hiding?
we be Sunshining or Daydreaming, your Gracefulness. Couch touring shows, popping up on chat, visiting here and there, gassing up bus, enjoying a bit of licorice once in awhile. Discovering new bands playing old songs, Old bands trying new songs, and smiling when any of us OF (Over Fifty) kids forget the words. How does that song go? Cheers-see you at the next stop.
great post. regarding the Grateful Dead everyone remembers but who is no longer around: were they ever here at all? just keep on dancin' (or swaying ,in many of our cases)
...especially the "about to go swimming" part "The Grateful Dead’s music seemed really dark and really light at the same time. A dungeon with great natural light. Or being hungover but about to go swimming. They sounded tragic and broken but enduring, ageless." Bill Callahan
YA Marye I agree!! I like the "kids into the Tribe" got to keep the kool water flowing!! OLDSKOOL!!