Monthly Archives: September 2015


In hopes of moving the learning curve ahead a little more rapidly, it’s been rumored that somebody in the Inner Circle dosed John Mayer’s cookies and milk prior to rehearsals this week. Having grown up in the “Bath Salts” Generation, John was a virgin to LSD. About an hour after puddling some of the Family crystal wash into Mayer’s afternoon snack, things began changing rapidly. What began as John’s strings feeling a little bit sticky ultimately turned into his entire guitar becoming a giant slug, according to sources. As things began to unfold, Billy was treated for severe abdominal cramps due to excessive laughter. It was a long and educational day with a spiritually cleansing result. The details have been hazy as reported from people further toward the outside of the insiders.

Apparently, while going over some songs, the LSD that an unknown individual named Billy, slipped into John’s snack began to come on stronger than initially expected. While making a few runs through Bob’s “Looks Like Rain”, apparently Mayer began crying and feeling as though it was mandatory for him to do love to Katy. Katy, who shared the cookies and milk with John, was feeling nervous as her stomach was churning like a bag of kittens in a washing machine for reasons she couldn’t understand. There was a sense of nervousness that had come over them both simultaneously. Her and John ran off but while attempting to make love, Mayer, a little too filled with acid, could only get hard in the middle. It looked like a garter snake swallowed a mouse. They both felt a little confused and decided to try to paint instead. On their way to purchase painting supplies, they purchased thousands of dollars of absolute and unrelated shit that appeared really beautiful at the moment. They were struck by an intense desire to walk on grass and headed to a park they saw in the distance. They found liberating conversation regarding the variety of animals that were all created for special and significant reasons and for a brief moment in time, had each one’s purpose completely figured out within the grand scheme of life on the planet. They hoped to remember all of this forever but forgot everything the minute they realized how completely green the grass was. Their combined discovery of every small item, seemingly overlooked for their entire lives up to this point, had them in a state of toddler like excitement at the planet around them.

It was reported that John came across an orange and was compelled to care for it like it was a baby bird. He felt the balanced and nutrient dense energy of the living food had summoned him to be a paternal force in the life experience of the fabled fruit. It was at this point the trip turned to unexpected places. While lying on his stomach in the park, a worm crawled into his visual field. His mind turned back to Pink Floyd’s The Wall Album as the worm quickly became a powerful judge within his spun mind. He sat before a Court of his peers and flashed back to his interview in Playboy Magazine. As the files in his brain began feeding him the contents of the interview, John saw himself in The Court. He began to realize as he revisited the contents of his interview that in all reality, he was a complete dickhead. He couldn’t remove the self image that was placed before him and etched in his hallucinating mind.

He spent an hour or two in a bathroom inside of a Starbucks location to reflect on his past ills and sat before the jury in his mind nervously awaiting a verdict. Time nearly stood still as he sat repentant in a stall. His mind forced him to repetitively review his past transgressions until a loud knock came on the door scaring the living shit out of him. His meekly said to the door, “I’ll be right out…” He looked in the mirror, frightened and somewhat alarmed about his state of mind as well as his grayish green skin color. As he exited he tried hard to make eye contact with nobody and begged whatever listening deity exists in his world that he wouldn’t be noticed by anyone in his scrambled state. As he walked briskly down the street, the sun shone brightly on his face and he felt the release of the tension within his Soul as he realized he was as free as he chose to be regarding his past attitudes and ill ideas. A sense of relief came over him as he began hearing Althea play in his head. Even the thought of the sound of Garcia’s voice in his imagination seemed to cover of him with a profound sense of comfort. He reached for his phone that he totally forgot he had for the past 5 hours and put on the Althea that started this entire experience. The sound of the familiar lick that hooked him in the first place, along with the tone and delivery of Jerry’s vocal took his rough and weathered brain and cosmically embraced it. His entire being was totally engulfed in the sound that couldn’t be found prior to his initial Dead Dream. He saw each day of his life since that moment as if they were all recorded on pages in a book. The gentle breeze that blew began turning each and every page in a manner that was so orderly and perfectly paced that he believed the breeze had to be sent from a mystical place that was perfectly designed to turn pages in the book of memories that people keep. He smiled on the inside as he recognized the serendipity of it all. He felt deeply at peace as he came to the conclusion that he faced the scrutiny of the Acid Test and passed through to the other side. His Soul was purified and purged of its past iniquities and was born again anew to fill a role that was predestined for him ages ago in the vast ether of the unknown substance from which all life emanates.

Then out of nowhere, he remembered where the whole day began and immediately picked up his pace to return to the sessions that are preparing him for the task ahead with Dead and Company. He thought to himself, remarkably detached from any sense of guilt or worry, “I wonder where the fuck Katy is???” Since there was a deep internal knowing that she was experiencing whatever it was she was supposed to experience, he headed back to the rehearsals as a brand new creation. He understood the connection to his internal voice and the sense of complete surrender to its call. He understood that he didn’t need to know exactly what was up in order to know that, whatever was up was exactly what was supposed to be up. With a newly installed sense of psychedelic intuition and certainty he immediately returned to his inherent state of self confidence and strength. As he returned to the practice location, Katy was there blowing Bubbles and drinking Champagne. It didn’t bother John, even though Bubbles is one of the Crew members… He strapped on his guitar and found himself totally immersed in the sonic experience like never before. He was playing with his entire being and could feel the dramatic shifts in environmental energy in the various parts of each song. He was recognizing that the music made from the remaining members of The Grateful Dead actually goes deeper than the magma of the earth and further out than the most remote stars known to man. He has officially come on board for life’s greatest musically journey to a place reserved for those capable of breathing in the rarified air that circulates around the core of The Dead. His place was determined long ago from beyond the great unknown horizon of destiny to take his place amongst the legends assembled as Dead and Company. Those that have been harsh, you can all stop hating him now as he clearly was chosen by the guy in the sky to be part of all of this since the beginning of creation. I don’t know if any of this story is true but if it is, He has passed the Test with flying colors. While the rehearsal videos absolutely wreak of the aroma of mediocrity, they don’t include the most important ingredient, US. Don’t get me wrong, I believe by show time, this group of guys will be OUTSTANDING! I just wasn’t overwhelmed by the possibly premature previews. I’m certain by the time Albany comes around, the fragrance will definitely be one of unequalled excellence in spontaneous creation and development of fantastic flavors of sound. John is merely at the very beginning of one of the most fulfilling journeys this abundantly talented individual will ever take. We will take it alongside of him as brothers and sisters in the greatest musical family every assembled on planet earth, US!!!!

Countdown to kickoff y’all!!! See ya in a few!

Dead To The Core,

Dean Sottile (pronounced So Tilly)

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Fresh off the highs of Lockn’, the preinstalled Health app on my phone informed me for the 5th time in a week that I had exceeded the fitness goals given to me by some programmer in Japan. Apparently I have doubled the number of steps that some unknown entity feels I should walk in a day and was awarded a gold coin on my phone that I’m certain is good for absolutely nothing, much like me after 5 of the last 7 days swimming in the Psychedelic Soup. Surprisingly enough, with all the health related goals I was apparently crushing, I returned from Lockn’ with a Wook Flu the size of Chewbacca. Voice is totally shot, the whole nine yards. After getting a text about some comp seats for the Central Park Show, I decided to go even though, as a working stiff, I knew I’d only make the second set. Nothing like a little hair of the dog that bit ya to get the immune system jump started. I finished up at the office and headed into The Big Apple to see Phil for the third time in the past week. I’ve never been to Central Park’s Summer Stage, mostly due to the early start times, but here we go again…

It was a beautiful day and a gorgeous, warm Summer night under the stars in Central Park. We picked up our tix and got to the stage just as the band came out. Phil’s pack of wolves included Chris Robinson, Neal Casal, Eric Krasnow, Adam MacDougall and Tony Leone. The one great thing about living in the NYC area is that bands always seem to push a little harder when they’re here. The Metropolitan area may not be one of the kindest places you can play but WE show up BIG every night. The energy is always fever pitched and the musicians always deliver the goods. They opened the second set with He’s Gone which isn’t the quickest route to Valhalla but it did possess a tasty tempo and eased us all into the groove. Once it was done all melting and falling apart, Next Time You See Me emerged and upped the ante as we all began lifting off to that place you go when everything is just right. The first notes of St. Stephen always create a visceral response that goes way past our ears. It’s the musical equivalent of walking through the gates at Disney World. The impending magic grabs you before you’ve even experienced it. The tempo was fast all night, yet another thing that New York City tends to do to you. I can’t help but think to myself when I hear this stuff, “Why the fuck didn’t they play this Garcia’s last decade?” Getting on the bus in 85, I missed hearing a bunch of stuff with Garcia that I still think about to this day.

Up next was Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and I’ll never forget the night The Dead busted that out. March 17, 1993 at the Capital Centre in Landover. I was a twisted pile of a mess that tour. I started looking like the last chapter of a book called, “What’s The Use?” Heavy into the bad stuff. The entire scene was going down the drain but there were a few last glimpses of glory that were left. This was definitely a BIG one for me. I can remember how happily we all shook our bones as Jerry’s voice came over us like warm syrup singing such an epic tune. The first lick that Garcia shot off during the chorus is still etched in my brain forever. Regardless of what anyone says, the best version of any bustout is the night they busted it out! Even when it wasn’t… Central Park bloomed into an Electric Wonderland as L.S.D. kicked into high gear and all 5,000 folks couldn’t help but sing along with each chorus(QUIETLY PLEASE)!

The opening notes of Lovelight kept all the energy heading in the proper direction and Chris Robinson was having a night and a half. I thought for a minute he might get to breakin out some of those old dance moves I talked about yesterday. He was animated and right in the pocket all night long. Sugaree helped us all continue to shake it and was always among my favorite Garcia tunes. There’s so many ways to approach that groove from a perspective of getting your boogie on! I rocked it double time, I rocked it half time, we rocked it THE WHOLE DAMN TIME!

The feelings associated with the memories of seeing Garcia dropping the first notes of tunes you traveled thousands of miles and saw hundreds of shows hoping to hear will never go away. Having seen hundreds of shows by the time I got to the New Year’s run in 1990, 12/27 is another show I’ll never forget. Blazing Hot Scarlet-> Fire, great Estimated that dribbled down into complete jelly at its finish when the first notes of Comes a Time stepped forward. I remember that feeling as well as I remember the birth of my 4 year old and it gave me the same sense of euphoria. The only difference is that Comes a Time didn’t continue to destroy all my shit and deprive me of sleep for the 4 years that followed… While we’re talking about babies, The Phil and Friends family seems to either be making a bunch of ’em or renting them. There’s always a beautiful blonde baby on stage and it seems like it has been that way for a while now. Strange to think when I got on the bus those babies were Phil and Jill’s kids and now they’re grand babies. Time is flying… The older I get the quicker it goes. Maybe its not going so fast and there’s not as many babies as I think… Anyway, Comes a Time was great and a wonderful time to grab the one you love and just live through the song together.

It seems like The Franklin’s that Phil and Friends have been playing picked up a Crystal Meth addiction. Franklin’s came burning outta Comes a Time like a rabbit that was on fire. I’m not sure there’s a better tune to dance to than Franklin’s. That one just brings out the very best in US and last night was no exception. We were all stamping it out like kids at an ant hill! Sweat flying, smiles galore!!! That song is a total sprinkler of Joy and we were all getting soaked by it! What a set! Great sound, great venue, great tunes! What the hell else could you want out of it all? How about a double encore bitches! Mr. Charlie rekindled the flame left behind by Franklin’s and the joint was back to a blazing inferno in seconds! Tons of Chuba-chuba and Wooley-booley plenty of
“Well you take a silver dollar, Take a silver dime, Mix em both together in some alligator wine!” I don’t know exactly what the fuck Alligator wine is but that tune makes me sing about it like it’s my favorite thing on earth! LOVE Mr. Charlie! Then the rare double encore in Dead Land as the hook in U.S. Blues rocks us deep to our core as we acknowledge, “Summertime done, come and gone, my, oh, my!!!” The jubilation experienced by the tune mixed with the realization that the Summer of 2015 has brought us more to be Grateful for musically than we’ve had in a long, long time. I know The Summer of 2015 will be remembered a lot like The Summer of ’89 for me. The Summer of ’89 was my own personal Summer Of Love. The year I broke through and conquered the Acid tests, ran the tables at every venue I entered without missing a show and became so much of the human being that I am today. There’s a lot that’s changed since then… My cars don’t run out of gas anymore but my body sure does… Regardless, this Summer has done more to infuse new life into me and to reawaken old dreams than any I’ve experienced in a long time. I’ve reconnected with my tribe as opposed to just dashing in and out of shows like I’ve done for the past couple of decades. A part of me that I thought had severely aged or possibly died has come back to life. The Summer of 2015 has been a Summer I’ll cherish forever… Se y’all down the road!

Love You Long Time!

Dead To The Core,

Dean Sottile (pronounced So Tilly)
Twitter @gd50th