This is a new release from a good friend of mine. Not music related but she has shared my love for music for as on as I’ve known her, and it’s my blog so I’ll post what I want! She’s really talented. Read her other stuff and follow her blog too!
I haven’t posted here in a long while. Way too long. I plan to remedy that right now. Because I cannot be silent anymore.
To those who do not know me, I am a huge fan of the Grateful Dead. I have been so since 1992 when I first heard the album Workingman’s Dead. It simply blew my mind, and not because substances were involved. Ok I cannot say that with complete honesty because lets face it, they were there.
I heard Uncle John’s Band and was entranced by the guitars, the rhythm, and the voices. And the lyrics were incredible.
I had known about the Grateful Dead “scene” for a while at that point. There was always a big spectacle when they came into town (I’m from the Chicago area. Dead shows were plenty). But until that night I wasn’t interested.
To put it simply, the music moved me.
And it was always that way. As the years went on I definitely became part of the “scene.” I wore Patchouli, I wore those poncho things. I let the girls put hair wraps in my locks. And all the “other” stuff that was involved, well lets just say I partook. It was great. But to be honest I was never really into the scene. I was there but always felt left out in a way. I just didn’t completely “get” it. It seemed highly exclusive and divisive, despite everyone heralding the contrary. I was there and I definitely had some experiences that were quite magical, but I always felt like I was on the outside looking in. It took a couple doses of a certain substance to get me to realize there was a reason for that. I was there for the music first. Really first, above all else. Many (if not most) who were there were there only for the scene. No judgement but it’s true. I saw Jerry many times and the last couple years were just sad.
I have always been a fan of the studio stuff. That puts me on the “outside” with many of the diehard Deadheads. I am an audiophile and will never apologize for it. My favorite albums start in 68 and end in ’74. Enough said. I also became a big fan of Jerry particularly as well as Pigpen. I became a historian of the band because I wanted to understand where all this music, this inspiration came from.
What the Dead (and particularly Jerry and Pig) did, with the help of Robert Hunter, was honor American music by putting their own spin on it. Blues, Rock, Jazz, Country, and Bluegrass all intertwine their early stuff. They gave this very American music a stage, albeit in a very tumultuous time in the US, irreversibly implanting it in the hearts and minds of music lovers everywhere. What they did was massive. It cant be understated.
I’m going to genuinely lose friends for saying what I am about to say. But I have to say it. I respect the music and the name of the band too much. When Pig and Jerry left this earth, so did all the magic that WAS the Grateful Dead.
And this “last performance of the Grateful Dead” is complete and utter bullshit. The last performance was in July 1995. I was there. End of story.
When the remaining members announced this “last concert” horseshit last month I did not, would not, buy into the hype. This is simply ridiculous. Are you kidding me? And you have that hack Trey playing for Jerry? Hornsby I love, and God knows I love the remaining boys but lets get serious. Using the 50th Anniversary is disrespectful. And guess what? Only people with serious money are going to be able to afford these shows. Just like in the late 90s.
I hope they pull it off. I wont be there.