- maryeJoined:May 26, 2007An 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!
- January 13, 2020 - 12:58pmOroborousJoined:June 19, 2007Twas 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!
- January 10, 2020 - 2:04pmBorn Cross Eye…Joined:August 25, 2008Truckin'!
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."
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.
- January 2, 2020 - 8:37pmgabelynnJoined:November 12, 2019On the Bus
In 2017, my dad took me to my first Dead & Co concert. He was a Deadhead but lost the passion after Jerry’s death, but when he saw Dead & Co would be coming to the venue only 5 mins from our house, he wanted to give them a try. Thank God he did. I did not know any of the music, but the atmosphere was intoxicating. Since then, I have seen Dead & Co eight times (seven with my Dad) and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Thank you Deadheads for being the best fans in the history of music. Our love, acceptance, joy, and kindness are needed more now in this world than ever.
- December 4, 2019 - 1:34pmnu@gede@dhe@dJoined:December 4, 2019I never had the privilege of…
I never had the privilege of seeing The Grateful Dead in concert. A friends band was playing at a venue where there was a Dead tribute band. I hung out, enjoyed the music and never stopped. Now, I make it a point to see all the bands I can, while they are still with us.
- November 13, 2019 - 5:41pmpjp7228Joined:November 1, 2010JGB 1978 Calderone Concert Hall
My first show, my first concert. Saw GD shortly there after!!!!
- September 18, 2019 - 10:58amZomby WoofJoined:June 5, 2007When I finally got on the bus
my earliest memories of the GD are mainly about the artwork. Based solely upon that, I thought they must be a dark, heavy metal band like Black Sabbath (another band it took me a very long time to 'get'). All those skulls!
At some point early in high school ('81-'85), I picked up Skeletons in the Closet. Definitely NOT dark heavy metal! but also too weird for my top 40 ears to fathom. I do recall thinking Mexicali Blues was ok.
Then in the summer between my Junior and Senior years of high school my friends and I were presented with a choice one night: attend a high school party at a guy's house, or go downtown to listen to a Grateful Dead concert from the park right next to the sports center where the band was playing. I was incredulous; why would anyone want to go sit outside of a concert? So we went to the high school party. That was 6/30/84. Oops!
After high school I went to a small liberal arts school in a small Ohio town. There was a large contingent of East coast former prep school kids at this place, and a whole lot of them were deadheads. This was in the era when CDs were just becoming the new thing (I remember being amazed that an upperclassman I sort of knew had 40 CDs. Forty!) I just happened to be visiting an off campus house when a couple of friends came in with the newly reissued on CD Europe '72. I had never heard of it, but they were excited. They got everything just exactly right for the listening experience, and we spent the next three or so hours pulling tubes and listening to the whole thing front to end. By the time we reached the climactic end of Morning Dew, I was on the bus for sure.
- September 18, 2019 - 10:45amCharbroiledJoined:June 19, 2007How I got on the bus
I went to Saratoga in 1985, had seen the Dead & JGB prior but that show was hook, line and sinker for me. Wherever they where it was the greatest party on earth that day and I had to be part of it when I could. Richmond 85 did not hurt either.
- September 18, 2019 - 8:46ammaryeJoined:May 26, 2007I'm not sure how this just happenedbut I nuked a spam post and in the process a nice new post disappeared, about the long strange path that led one of us here. SO sorry, not sure what happened, but please post it again!
- July 4, 2019 - 1:36pmdrc32-0Joined:September 29, 2008Riverfront Coliseum 1989…
Riverfront Coliseum 1989 Eyes of the Word.I was mesmerized,I needed to see/hear more,I was home,I was on the bus!
- January 8, 2018 - 6:55pmiNoURdrJoined:February 10, 20111977 - Spring TourListening to the live broadcast of the Capitol Theater concert on 4/27/77 over WNEW FM in New York on my headphones in my bedroom on a school night. I was sixteen. That spring tour was epic - and this was the show that hooked me... I went to see them 3 nights later on a Saturday night at the Palladium in NYC's Greenwich Village. We scalped $7.50 tickets for 12 bucks and our friends thought we were crazy to pay so much... Times have changed, but thank goodness the music history is preserved in the vault and lives on today with Furthur...