Wednesday, April 09, 2008

two more choice quotes from the deadhead handbook

"My initiation came in the Winter of 72 in Wichita, Kansas. Strong grass and live dead put me into a stoned trance. Staring at Garcia, something popped in my mind as I realized that he was also staring at me. I beamed a huge, uncontollable grin at him. He winked back and jerked his guitar neck at me twice. I felt bolts of energy strike me and my grin was fixed in place for the rest of the concert. I've been a deadhead every since. My mother will never understand."

And if you're wondering what kind of reception we should strive to give to the Dead this saturday, here's another one:

I've been to a lot of concerts, a whole lot of concerts, thousands of concerts, concerts with new bands, concerts with old favorites, festivals with hundreds of thousands of people in the audience, but when those house lights went off, I heard something I've never heard in my life. It wasn't so much that the ovation was a loud ovation. It was very loud to be sure, but it was this TONE. There was a sound in the yell the crowd gave that was unmistakeable. The sound of pure unadulterated, unfettered Love. Shameless and fierce. Pouring out endlessly in one unbroken roar. And it was, no kidding, the most moving sound I've ever heard in my life. I will remember it until the day I die. Such affection!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I made a horrible decision one August night at age 14. I took a free ticket to a Dead show at Boreal Ridge in Lake Tahoe. I guess it's kind of great that I saw one of the worst Dead shows in history. Here is a review from "roebuck" about my first (and last) Dead show:
--------------------------
Subject: Fairly Hard Suckage

I have been to many dozens of Dead shows, from '72 to the end, and this one takes the prize as the all-around worst. Well, there was that show at SPAC in the late 80's that might be a close contender...

We drove up from San Diego and were made to park in some big lot somewhere and take a shuttlebus to the venue. As others have said, it was hot and dry, and the elevation ("highest Dead show ever") took its toll.

I'll never forget Bobby kicking his amp repeatedly. I remember just sitting there with my friends thinking WTF? Luckily, we were all veteran trippers and Deadheads, and were seeing pretty much a show per week all summer, so we had a good time regardless :-) But I would have hated to bring a first-timer to this show.

Not sure what happened, because I saw some fine shows in '85. But I went to a lot of shows that year, so I was bound to catch a few good 'uns.

I'm not going to download this, even for nostalgia's sake. I just wanted to see the comments to make sure it sucked as bad as I remembered. Yep!

- roebuck

---------------------------

Fairly hard suckage to say the least!

Urtie

beckler said...

my two sad grateful dead stories (some of you have probably heard these).

I never attended a show. Other people who graduated in '92 will probably remember how anything hippy was total anathema to us. Or maybe that was just Lincoln, where hicks were cool and hippies were not. Too bad, cuz I like hippy shit now. Anyway, in high school, me and my nerdy virgin crew went to the parking lot at Cal Expo to buy acid. We had never done acid or even smoked weed. I had probably never even been drunk. We wanted to buy enough acid to "last the whole summer", whatever that meant, and because we didn't get invited to parties the grateful dead parking lot was our only chance. We bought forty dollars worth and headed to my friends house to trip the fuck out. We each ate a tab and sat there waiting for it to take effect. I stared at the Persian rug really hard, thinking the colors were starting to swirl and move. They weren't. Luckily for us, it was bunk acid.

Second Cal Expo parking lot. I'm 19, and slightly less naive. I still have never smoked pot, however. I remember the parking lot as muddy, and I remember doing nitrous hits with a muddy hippy and then frantically making out with him, out of my mind, as my friends pulled me away. Gnarls. I successfully scored real acid, which I immediately dropped, and, long story short, went crazy for two days, including briefly going blind. People who had dropped the acid with me who were acidheads confirmed it was indeed the strongest acid ever.

Dani said...

My freshman year of college, my friends dragged me to see the Dead in Las Vegas. There's nothing really memorable to tell about that, except that I saw an old h.s. friend there who was topless and frying so hard she couldn't remember my name and started to sob uncontrollably. Oh, and I bought a pipe that was supposedly made from a piece of furniture the seller claimed he'd dumpster dived from George Bush the First's home. Uh, whatever you say Moonfetus.

My first encounter with the Dead was when I was a lifeguard at Water World in the summer of 1990. The manager got the wise idea to pass out 2 for 1 coupons in the parking lot, and yours truly got to do the passing. The best part was that I was TERRIFIED of Deadheads at that time. I was convinced that someone was going to run up and dose me with an acid-coated-AIDS-infested needle, so I basically ran as fast as I could thru the parking lot, throwing flyers at people.

Immediately, the flood of Deadheads entered Water World, and we spent an endless week fishing confused, acid-crazed Deadheads out of the tide pool, asking parents to put bathing suits on their children and occasionally calling the ambulance to pick up a dead Deadhead (OK, that only happened one time, but still).

Anonymous said...

Try this bad boy on for size:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqF32XzL09U&feature=related

It's china cat sunflower from an unreleased 72 movie of a concert in oregon. lots of good hippie footage (the dead shows up at 1:46).

Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Deadheads are the worst tippers ever should you happen to waitressing at the vegetarian restaurant closest to where they're playing. $100 total for some dude and his buddies and instead of tipping you, "How 'bout a hug, 'cause I need the bread to see Jerry."

Also supposedly the staff at the Good Earth supposedly had to hire guards during the Dead's stints at Cal Expo in order to keep them from breaking in after shows and (among other things) taking all their TP and clearning out the walk-in.

beckler said...

I like the part in that video where they zoom in on that huge bowl. The good hippy dancing starts at about 4 minutes and 30 seconds in. Also, wow lots of boobs.

Anonymous said...

I too naively went to the Dead parking lot in 1992 thinking I could score drugs. I was 15 and had braces and I had made some blueberry muffins that I hoped to trade for some weed. Of course no hippy was going to make that exchange, so I ended up just giving them out to the people who were the most fucked up.

I love how deadheads have those crazy big ass tape cases filled with every Dead bootleg ever made. When I was hitchhiking back in the day, I got a ride from one of and he gave me a picture of himself taking a bong rip surrounded by a ring of fire. Ragin!

Brew

beckler said...

That's really cute to picture you trying to trade your blueberry muffins. A lot cuter than picturing me making out with a barefoot guy with nasty dreads over a nitrous balloon.

Anonymous said...

They didn't buy your muffins because you're a narc.

-- Patrone

Alice said...

i actually like that china cat song. it's probably one of the only songs i ever really liked and still do like that the dead wrote. i went to two shows between ages 17 and 18. i can't say it was for me in the long run but at the time, i guess i was happy to be standing around on acid surrounded by a bunch of hippies. although in reality the enclave i was surrounded by were mostly rich, white high school kids that went on to get master's degrees and become environmental lawyers and such. sell outs!

anyways, the shows smelled real bad and you had to contend with lots of sticky things like bubble fluid getting dumped on you, someone touching your hair who had just eaten a gross pot brownie, massage oils and other such things.

i don't think they played 'terrapin station' at either show i went to but that was supposedly when you knew you had hit gold. the laser shows were decent enough but i can definitely attest to the sloppy, mind-bogglingly long and boring jam sessions that would happen on stage. i don't think acid was really the right drug for dead shows because it makes you pull things apart and observe the world in very discrete terms. the dead's music is anything but discrete. probably just getting fucking tossed would've helped more.

Anthony said...

As far as Deadheads and food service, I was night manager at Del Taco when the Dead played Cal-Expo in 1986. Tipping doesn't happen at Del Taco so that wasn't a big thing anyway, I am going to believe not a great crowd for tips. Earlier that year Motley Crue had also played Cal-Expo their fans were so bad we closed the dining room yelling, throwing food, complaining about the service. Deadheads, didn't whine about the lard in the bean burritos and were content to wait the 15 mins or more it took to get the food out to them after they ordered. They were great customers and the guy in the VW microbus who smoked a joint with me while we did our transaction at the drive-up window was the icing on the pot-brownies. Though I am in the demographic I never saw the Grateful Dead live I am only so-so on the songs, but the fans were the best.

Anonymous said...

I successfully bought the worst acid ever in the Cal Expo parking lot when I was 16. This resulted in me blacking out for a few hours and then hanging outside my parents bedroom door with the worst panic attack ever. I thought the hippies were at least good for one thing....but I guess I was wrong.

jg

Liv Moe said...

i lived a block and a half away from the capital when jerry died and the 24hr drum circles were insanity inducing. they went on for a couple of weeks and when they ended i still heard drums periodically even when there were none.

smitty said...

That reminds me of the cartoon of his autopsy. It's pretty funny. Seven inch thick layer of adipose-rich torso meat!

Jerry's Autopsy

Anonymous said...

I only went to one dead show and I remember purposefully keeping my back to the stage the whole time, so I could say I never saw the dead. Stoned but yet still stubborn.

Ella

Anonymous said...

Ella, didn't you go to one with me? I went to a few but they're all completely hazy experiences!

-miller