Saturday, July 11, 2009

Life May Be Sweeter For This, I Don't Know . . .

After a grueling week at work, it's time to toss out a memory from something I used to love to look forward to doing on weekends, or anytime, which was heading out somewhere to see the Grateful Dead play. . . and that is something I did more times than I care to admit. Never had a bad time, on the contrary, every show was just an amazing trip. So here's to ya, Jerry, may you R.I.P.
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Did you ever see a Dead show ? If so, where ? When ? What did you think ? This one was from Paris, 1990, at the Zenith Theatre, where it was easy to get right up to the edge of the stage while Jerry was smiling over Crazy Fingers. If you didn't ever get to a show, have you maybe listened to any of their music, which spanned 30 years from '65 to '95, when Jerry passed on ?
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This piece of graffiti from somewhere in eastern France probably had nothing to do with the Grateful Dead, but it might have. . . you never know. It is, I admit, a fairly amateurish piece of graffiti, as graffiti goes.





























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33 comments:

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

I never did see one, sorry to say. It's nice that you have the memories! I like the amateur graffiti.:)
Thanks for stopping by tonight, nice to read your comment.

Have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.

Lydia said...

Why, yes I sure did! It was in Reno, Nevada, at the University of Nevada football stadium. I'm guessing the year to be 1975, based on the fact that I was with my first husband and we moved to Oregon in 1976.
It was a kinda disappointing concert because the Dead was trying out a new speaker system, using that crowd as the guinea pigs. So the sound was constantly being adjusted, sometimes to where you couldn't hear the band. Still, though, it was The Grateful Dead!

Flash forward to 1995, and to my honeymoon with my second husband. We were in NYC for a week before getting married there. Mike bought his wedding tie, a Jerry Garcia beauty, at Macy's in NYC. The Garcia tie line was fairly new at that time.

Enjoy a great weekend, Owen.

Margaret Pangert said...

Lydia, my kids wore them for four years through Catholic high school! Did you know he died in a hotel room in Bucks County, PA? It's nice to remember them and what an icon they are.

@eloh said...

Somehow I missed out on the Grateful Dead...I left the country in 1973 and really didn't get back till the early eightys..the music really sucked then.

Ozzy is all that is left from "my time"....well the Stones are still at it...kinda ooooo

The Dead Heads were really faithful folks...unusual for any band.

Sujata said...

Interesting post.

Jilly said...

I envy you your visits to the Grateful Dead concerts. I've always heard they were concerts like no other, not just for the music and Jerry but for the camaraderie in the audience. A lovely post.

SILVER said...

Hi Owen. Love your posts. Though i can't say much abt this.. maybe the next one, huh?

i have an award waiting for you at my place. Mind coming over to pick it up?

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

I never saw them. I'm very uncool with music and was more an Abba type of person. My partner is a HUGE Grateful Dead fan and so I'll show him this post. I'm sure he'll be jealous that you got to see them play! xx

Steve said...

I must admit (abashed) that my knowledge of The Grateful Dead is practically non existent. I couldn't name a single song and wouldn't recognize one if I heard one (unless someone pointed it out to me). I feel very inadequate now.

Jenny said...

Hi Owen,

You know, I listen to many many 60s 70s rock bands (am even a bit of a nerd on this area), but somehow I have missed The Dead.

Not sure why that is, as I like the songs I have heard by them and Gracia was so talented. I saw a good youtube documentary about him a while ago.

What album would you suggest that I buy, Owen?

Owen said...

Hi All, Just typed up a bunch of answers here to several of your lovely comments, and then when I clicked "Publish" got a message saying "An Error has occurred"... isn't Blogger/Google fun sometimes? Well, they still do a pretty good job... just the fact that we can all blog away for free, with a huge capacity for free photo uploads, that just amazes me... anyway, need to remember to save what I've typed before hitting "Publish"...

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Hi Jenny, yeah, there's alot of stuff out there about them, plenty of videos on YouTube, a large number of CDs and DVDs of concerts available at the Dead website or on Amazon or wherever... perhaps the best advice I could give though is to visit this website :

http://www.archive.org/details/GratefulDead

On the archives you can listen for free to over 5000 recordings of live concerts, and the majority of them are excellent quality sound. Just go to that site, type in a year where it says "Find items from year", and hit "Go"... then choose a concert and enjoy. One period I particularly enjoy is anything from around May 1977. Their energy level at that time was unreal... ;-D

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Hey Steve, are you sure those feelings of inadequacy aren't related to the subject you just published about males being made redundant ??? Well, hey, try a quick trip to the link above and check out a few of the concert recordings there... I often get a show running on that site while I happily blog away... for me their music is always a big positive mood force.... but I full well realize there's no accounting for taste, and beauty is in the ear of the beholder... :-D

louciao said...

Nice photo of Jerry! I won't make you green again with bragging about the free Dead concert I was at...and really, I was waaay back in the crowd. In fact, I think I may have been up in a Ferris Wheel for part of it...or was that impression just a result of something I'd....er...um...inhaled from the smoky air around me. Yes, indeed, what a long strange trip it's been.

louciao said...

About the graffiti--I think it was done by a drunken, homesick Canadian who was trying to draw a moose.

the watercats said...

Any day is sweeter when it contains music!.. the dead have been one of those bands who, for some reason, have always remained on the periphery of my musical loves.. When I hear their songs I go,, yeh.. I must get an album... then i forget to! There are loads of bands and artists like that, so I suppose I've missed out of them accidentally..lol. Think the same can be said for the Ronald..

Owen said...

Dear Jos, I'll be curious to hear what he thinks... I guess the Dead never made it down under, which is too bad, I imagine there are plenty of folks who would have enjoyed them...

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Silver, many many thanks, that is very kind of you, I'll come take a look :-D

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Jilly, that's exactly it, the sense of community at their shows was unbelievable, and started on the road going there, in the parking lots, during the shows, and well after; a village sprang up around the venues... it was too much fun... with lots of good people, the spirit of the '60s lived on into the '90s...

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Sujata, thanks for dropping in, do come back... the more, the merrier...

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Hey @eloh, for sure, the followers were very faithful, it grew on people, many people found a family there. Not sure I agree that the music sucked in the early 80s, but taste and beauty are very individual things; for me, some of the best shows I saw were 81, 82, 84, 85, and late 80's also. Sure wish I could have seen them in the late 60s, early '70s, but I was still running around in short pants then...

Dedene said...

I've seen them like a jillion times! The two most memorable times were; on Ken Kesey's property outside of Eugene, OR in 1973, so stoned on LSD; and then in Sante Fe in around 1980ish. We were so stoned on mushrooms and ... Ahem! You get the picture!

Owen said...

Hi Margaret... so your kids wore Jerry ties ? That's great ! Ummm, just for the sake of accuracy, not that I'm the nit-picky type, but I think it's fairly well documented that Jerry died at the Serenity Knolls Chemical Dependency Center, Forest Knolls, CA., on 9 August, 1995. The reports say he passed away peacefully in his sleep, smiling. He had suffered from a variety of drug related problems, as well as being overweight, he had an enlarged heart which finally failed. It is quite true in every sense that he was one big-hearted guy.

So now I'm wondering who died in a hotel in Bucks County PA that you're thinking of... ?

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Hey Lydia, That's great !!! Actually, I think it would have been the show on May 12th, 1974, at the University of Nevada, Reno. The set list from that show looks like fun !!! They did almost no concerts in 1975, and starting really touring again in '76. Wow, that's history... too bad about the sound, hopefully some of it was good anyway ? Funny, I saw them at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Silver Bowl, in 1990 I guess it was, with Carlos Santana who opened, and then playing with them on a couple of songs...

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Hi Sixpence... well, there's always the Archive site (see above comment for link) to listen to them... Thanks for dropping in here !!! :-D

Owen said...

Hey Dedene ! You slipped that in while I was answering others... Wow, that's incredible, I think you and I are going to need to talk about this at some point ?!? A jillion times ??? That's "J" as in Jerry, eh ??? LSD ? Mushrooms ? You're going to have to tell me more, what does LSD stand for ????? :-D And what do mushrooms have to do with it ????? Is that what you were frying to put on burgers in the parking lot on a tailgate barbecue??? :-D Oh my goodness, haven't heard anyone mention such things in a long time... and Kesey ??? I've read One Flew Over, and Sometimes a Great Notion... he was a trip for sure... Yeah, I'd sure love to hear more about your experiences, feel free to drop me an email, my address is on the profile link... :-D Did you see them in Europe at all ? '72, or '74 ? Have a great weekend !

Owen said...

Oh dear Watercats... well, it's never too late, try the Archives site at :

http://www.archive.org/details/GratefulDead

There are thousands of free shows to listen to there in streaming audio, many are downloadable for free also. You all might particularly enjoy the acoustic shows they did from time to time... one run in particular stands out from Radio City Music Hall in 1980 I think... but heck, it's all feckin' good in my humble opinion, and try electric shows from May 1977, Cornell University, for example.... well, whatever, have a fine Saturday... me, I'm off to work... again...

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Lynne ! That's one funny looking moose !!! So, you were up in the clouds of the ferris wheel crowd... hmmmm, sounds suspicious... all sorts of strange magic happened way back when... Gosh, I'm gonna watch out for drunken Canadians, they're clearly dangerous with a spray can... :-D

A super fine weekend to you and Pierre and whoever, oh, the bats !!! Squeak !!!

Jenny said...

Thanks a lot you the great tip, Owen! I will check it out now.

/Jenny

Margaret Pangert said...

Wow, Owen, I apologize. Jerry Garcia did not die in New Hope (Bucks County), PA. Abbie Hoffman, political activist, died in New Hope, PA, in 1989. There is an art gallery in New Hope, PA, devoted to the art of Jerry Garcia and others. You can take a visual journey at www.imagemakersart.com. Some great stuff. See Banyan Tree (color), California Mission, Dawn at the Ritz, Drummers, Feeding on the Light, Moon Mountain, and Paris in the Rain. I'd better go back to Journalism 101: check the facts!

Marguerite said...

Although I've never seen them live, I have a friend who was a "Dead Head" and followed them all over creation. Their concerts were a trip, alright, in more ways than one. My favorite song was "Truckin'".

jeff said...

Je vois que tu as ressorti les vieilles pelloches pour ton post ! Alors, comme je suis un brave garçon, j'ai pensé à toi et à ta demande de rajouter Grateful Dead sur ma playlist ! C'est pas beau ça !?! ...<8:(
Ne saute pas de joie, car je sais que tu aimes qu'on pense à toi ! A la tienne Owen ! Tchin !...Heu... ByeBye ! Bosse pas trop quand même !... Bon WE pixpotOwen !...;)

Au fait, alors c'est quand ?... Hein !...

Owen said...

Margaret, great link there, I'd never seen the works that are on that site... beautiful... he was a talented artist in many respects.

Abbie Hoffman was another character from that time frame... I saw him give a speech once in Pennsylvania, he started out saying "I'm a man of strong convictions... in fact, I've been convicted several times...".

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Marguerite, so, you've had some peripheral contact... Truckin' is hot, an anthem... "Busted, down on Bourbon Street..." Hope you're not having too hot a July down your way, and plenty of good things on the table !

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Jeff, you didn't !?! you did ?!? Will have to go look when I get home...

Lydia said...

Now that was interesting having you tell me when I saw the Dead concert! What a kick. Certainly, even with the bungled up sound there were high points. One in particular was when my husband (then boyfriend if it was 1974!) went up the bleacher steps to a top level. We were hoping the sound would be better there. It really wasn't but we had such an amazing view of the whole scene, one big happy family celebration.
Interesting, too, that you saw them in Vegas with Santana. I saw Santana inside the old UNReno gym. What a great show that was!

robert said...

Good morning Owen,
hope you are fine and your ships are floating again.
With regard to this band, no haven't see them playing, but listen to them, even introduce them to some students. Music has always been a great part in my life. Played even once below a window for a girl...thanks for reminding.
You might like to click upon the 'island' picture at my site.
Thank you once again for your comments! Please have a nice weekend.

Janie said...

Never saw a concert, but I enjoy their music. My sons turned me on to it!

Rev. Dr. Moller. MDMA, THC and BAR. said...

Must have been great to see 'em live, never managed it. I was living in London in 1981 at the time they played the Rainbow and the city was flooded with orange barrel lsd, coincidence? Cheers.

Neil said...

Hi Owen - I've navigated to your site via Roxana - I first saw the Dead in London in 1972, still with Pigpen - a really transforming experience. Then in Paris in 74, with an enormous stack of speakers designed by Owsley. Fantastic. Then twice in London afterwards - both good, but with the tempo junkie-slow. The graffiti reminds me of the great Brassai photographs of Paris graffiti - so interesting to see the same graphic eye at work in such a different medium.

Owen said...

Hi Neil, welcome ... how incredibly lucky you are to have witnessed that early '70s period when the music was totally loose and rambunctious, from what I can gather from the surviving recordings. And to have seen Pigpen... as well as in France way back when. I didn't see them in Paris until 1990. Was just over looking around, browsing on your blog... will have to go back and read more, looks great. Are you familiar with the Archive.org site :

http://www.archive.org/details/GratefulDead

They have over 6800 recordings of Dead shows available to stream for free. After reading your note here, I just put on a '72 show... fantastic resource there... Well, I'm rambling, but come back anytime !

PS Roxana is a trip too... a good trip...

Owen said...

Hey Dr. Moller, odd how orange barrel was rampant at that time... must have been a coincidence, I'm sure the presence of the Dead had nothing to do with that... :-D

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Hi Janie,
Well there you go, having kids has sometimes surprising positive side effects on our education ! Love all that wildlife you posted there from Yellowstone... !

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Robert, excellent, glad to hear you are aware of them and share them... sharing music is one of the best things two people can do... ! The ships are almost all floating again, and I've got two days off to recover from the stress of the mess... thanks ...

Heather Ainsworth said...

Yep, was privileged to see the boys many a time before Jerry's untimely passing - at which time I was living in S.F., and saw the grief hit the street like spray paint to a train. Too many shows to recall one in particular. Jerry's birthday and anniversary of death are approaching I believe. Not perfect nor to be confused with a deity, he WAS responsible for providing and spreading much joy and hope. Not a lot of people can say that. We should all be so lucky. I remember when he passed, how sad it was. Must have been like what a lot of people were just feeling with M.J.'s death... I'll never forget when either Bobby, or Mickey (?) came onstage for his memorial at Strawberry Fields in Golden Gate Park, to a massive, lovely crowd and said into a mike - "we didn't do this for nothing," and basically encouraged everyone who had ever gotten ANYTHING from these boys, from Jerry, to take that and do something with it! With that energy, with the gift of music - don't let it go to waste. Be productive, joyous, loving... I often wonder if I'm living up to that expectation.
***Owen: SO GLAD you are enjoying Grace Potter! She is so rad! I like that blogs can do that - spread pertinent info.! Cheers to you!:)

Owen said...

Hi Heather, thanks for this lovely note. Must have been a trip to be around San Francisco in that Summer of '95... am wondering if you have a few photos from those days? Would love to see some of those events as seen through your eye... For sure Jerry was all too human, but when he got his hands on a guitar, he took us all on a trip into the upper atmosphere with him...

Hope you are enjoying plenty of live music where you are this Summer !