Saturday, September 17, 2005
the music never stopped.....The Grateful Dead
"They're a band beyond description
Like Jehovah's favorite choir.
People joinin' hand in hand
While the music plays the band.
Lord, they're setting us on fire. "
Well for me this is where it all began as a young lad. My first experience seeing these guys at RFK stadium in 1990 (with a very beutiful and talented Edie Brickell opening the set!)
forever transformed the way i saw and heard music forever. They turned me onto realms of music that was foreign to my naive white suburbean brain. Jazz improvisations, bluegrass, african and new orleans rythms, disonance, melodic synchopations, lyrical revelations and the AWARENESS of vibrations both negative and positive........that along with the vast variety of colors, sounds, 'tastes no tounge can know' and pleasant herbs, aromas and essential oils that tantalize the olfactory senses...its like an orgy of the senses.
It would lead me well on my way of the bohemian lifestyle of spontaneous improvisation and travels to where ever my feet would lead me on.
But slowly the demise of the band was evident..
especially in the late 80's and 90's
The crowds of so called peace loving hippies grew unruly
and UNKIND kids everywhere were creating violence
like crashing the gates, stomping cops to get into shows, people selling out their own kind to the feds,
trashing the environment etc.etc. (a far cry from the
peace and love and Acid Tests of the early 60's)
'one way or another this darkness has got to give'
and it did, but it was in the form of the Fat Man dying.
(aka Jerry Garcia, singer,lead guitarist,banjo, pedal steel)
it was the straw that broke the camels back ...
what to do? where to go?
it seems that the inevitable was at hand... all the older heads (myself included) joined the rat race with a late start...trying just to get by with a conciousness that was/is less than the 'norm'.
The Grateful Dead were not only pioneers of their sound, but also pioneers of the recording industry and the now known 'jamband' scene. They were the ones that popularized live recordings and allowed the 'free' trading and taping of all of their concerts. They preferred to be recorded live instead of the artificial settings of a recording studio. (much like earlier jazz musicians did) And so did their listeners...myself included (ive probably got at least a few hundred live shows!), which is why many deadheads are bootleg collectors..
even some of their best released albums (Live Dead (69') Anthem of The Sun (68') which infused both studio and live stuff) and One from The Vault (76') for starters.....though 2 studio albums that stand out above the rest to myself and a many heads' are Workingmans Dead and American Beauty which to this writer are masterpieces that cannot be denied.
Now in the computer age, all of the tape traders traded in our magnetic media (8tracks, reel to reels, vhs, and cassettes) for the cheaper, higher quality, more efficient cds and dvd's.
Anyone interested in hearing some free shows needs only to click on a few of my web links for the chance to listen to incredible SBD (soundboard) or AUD (audience) recordings.....
soundboard recordings are recorded from the soundboard and are of the highest audio quality. audience recordings are recorded from the a member of the audience and can sound poor to very good. (but never as good as a soundboard recording in this authors opinion!)
AHHHH LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
but they will never roll for me as good as it did from 1990-95 when i followed the Dead from around Philadelphia, N. Jersey, Maryland, NYC, Boston MASS, VT through the south in KY, TN, GA, AL, AK, FL to the mid east in Chicago IL, IN, OH (then off to the rainbow gatherings in Colorado) to the great west... Vegas NV(not so great) southern to northern California (great redwood forests and the drive thru tree, to the rainforests of Oregon and the clear cutting trees of Washington...where in seattle the mayor has his own Barleywine....
and all those years i helped kick start the
micro brew revolution, by selling and
thereby sampling hundreds of the worlds finest beers,
all the while I was helping to shape our
poor countries homoginized taste buds!!
in the words of homer simpson...
It all rolls into one
and nothing comes for free
There's nothing you can holdfor very long
And when you hear that song
come crying like the wind
it seems like all this life was just a dream