Is it safe to come out yet??? I mean, the world of antisocial media has been a battlefield for a few months. All of my favorite folks suddenly became Political Science majors and my newsfeed has been taken over by prophecies of the apocalypse. Some of the same people that needed a gofundme page to get their 1984 Chevy Van fixed suddenly have all the answers on how to repair the nation’s economy. Folks that can’t get along with their own family and friends have all the answers about how to get along with the rest of the world. It seemed as if overnight, people started trusting at least one side of the government. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never trusted either side. Back in my days on full-time tour, I thought everybody was potentially part of “Operation Dead End” and didn’t exchange much significant information or talk too much with anybody. I was certain the government was trying to listen to my phone calls or watch me through the peephole of my hotel room door. Maybe via a camera that was in the wall behind a cheap painting or a mirror. From ’85 on, I looked behind every picture that hung on a hotel wall and immediately put tape over the peephole upon check in. Any time a helicopter flew by, I was worried it was taking thermographic pictures of the grow house. Glad I made it through those days. I still don’t trust the government tho… None of em… I’d like to welcome all the Russian Hackers and spam artists that signed up for my blog in the past few months as well. I’m not sure what you’re expecting to find here but Good Luck! I’m cleaner than a newborn’s breath.
The thing that bothers me most nowadays is that jokes aren’t allowed anymore. Mama Mia… Make a comment about a person that happens to be female and you’re sexist/misogynist. Make a comment about somebody that isn’t white or republican and you’re the enemy of the Liberal universe. Seems like Donald “The Tangerine Latrine” Trump has messed up everybody’s ability to laugh about anything. I spent a few months in retirement just playing shuffleboard, getting fat and being accused of all kinds things I’ve never been. Dead & Company Tour can’t come soon enough.
After months of dealing with the constant barrage of toxicity, vacation couldn’t have come soon enough. The family headed to Florida’s west coast for a little R & R. If you’re ever visiting the Sarasota area, The Sunday night Drum Circle on Siesta Key is a must. It goes down around the same time as the sun and has to be one of the best drum circles in the world. It’s not that noise you might get from a few spun out wooks in a parking lot somewhere. It’s something very special. I highly recommend you make it there when you can if you haven’t already. It was an extremely cleansing way to kick off a great vacation.
Upon my return, I’d like to thank Steve Silberman, for hooking me up with a ticket to a partial preview of The Long Strange Trip. It was a pleasure experiencing the preview with Steve and he’s a beautiful soul. As an aside, DO NOT attempt to make any jokes on Steve’s FB page… I made a comment about Angela Merkel not being the warmest human being ever born and was immediately shot at like I was a gay deer on a Radical Islamic hunting trip. It’s not my fault that folks from Germany aren’t known for their inner warmth. I said her personality was “colder than a penguin’s asshole” but those of you that really know me, know I didn’t mean much by it. You would have thought I pimp slapped Mother Teresa while she was feeding orphans. The last time I came across that many irritated asses, I was at a Montezuma wing at a Mexican hospital. I’m done hiding because folks are aggravated. I Love everybody and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Y’all are free to say whatever you want, so am I. I won’t stop caring about you if we don’t agree.
Let’s move on from there… The Sneak Peak of The Long Stange Trip was exactly what we all need about now. I personally wish it would’ve been released a little earlier with a few Dead & Company dates in late Winter or early Spring. Folks really need an escape from their TVs and 24-hour news channels about now. The movie is a masterpiece that gives US everything most of US want. More Garcia! While I’ll attempt to refrain from giving too much away, the first 30 minutes revolve pretty heavily on Jerry. It’s a half hour before you get the first segment with someone other than Garcia with a clip from Phil. As nice as Phil’s clip was, I was looking forward to the next clip with Garcia. I prefer most of my Dead experiences to be as Jerrycentric as possible. If you do too, you’ll be extremely happy with this film.
The film is brilliantly put together and the seeds that are dropped early on seem to grow steadily and are found sprouting throughout the various scenes and segments as it moves along. One of the things that is most impressive to me is the amount of high-quality video that obviously exists that we haven’t seen yet. You’ll be amazed by the footage from shows and events that we’ve all heard, read about or experienced but never knew were filmed. It leaves you wondering how much exists beyond the boundaries of this film and if or when we’ll get to see more. One of the things I miss most from GDP is the View From The Vault series. It’s wonderful to hear the releases as they trickle out but for me, watching Garcia and everyone else play while I listen is something I definitely crave more. What do you say GDP? How about getting some more Views From The Vault out?
One of my favorite clips from the movie was a brief piece about Robert Hunter. I won’t ruin it for you but when you see the movie, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about! Hunter isn’t nearly as interested in participating in our world as we are to have him participate. It’s definitely something I admire about him. He’s had little desire to be seen much over the years. Even less since Garcia’s passing. He’s not interested in helping you figure out what he meant by his writing and songs and one might assume, even if you seemed to have a little insight, he would likely refuse to confirm or agree with you regardless. He might even change his own mind about what he meant just to make sure you’re not right. I love that and what I love most is that he probably wouldn’t give a shit if anybody loved it or not.
The next segment of the film could aptly be named, “The Life And Times Of Steve Silberman”. Steve plays a pretty big role in talking about US. The community of Deadheads and our view of the scene. He articulates our collective feelings and experiences in a profound and meaningful manner. I’m certain that his commentary will ring true with those that are reading this. In the segment that revolves around US, you’ll feel like you know or at least have seen everybody that’s been captured on film. There’s a small piece about Tapers that I appreciated as someone that spent 2 years as one of them. Weir comments about how tapers just showed up and business people have talked about how smart of a marketing move it was to let people tape the shows. He said they had 2 choices, be the police or let them tape. They didn’t want to be the police so they just let it go. I guess they became brilliant marketers by just refusing to create more rules that would limit the freedom that was always a hallmark of the experience. Another segment that really stood out was a young lady talking to someone with a video camera that will remind you of all of the incredible, charismatic, snarky and intelligent DeadHead women you’ve known throughout the years. You’ll know her when you see her and you’ll love her to pieces!
The Long Strange Trip movie is exactly like The Long Strange Trip we’ve been on. The number of moments that command your attention occurs so often that seeing the film more than a dozen times won’t be uncommon. I had the feeling as I was watching that it was impossible to take it all in at once. The only times the smile was removed from my face were the moments it was replaced by a few tears. The movie captures the emotion that’s at the center of our experiences and passes it on in a way that makes an hour feel like a fraction of that time which is good since the film is over 4 hours long. Just like our experiences on tour, there are countless moments in the movie that will drive commentary about it for years to come.
In the post-viewing Q&A, Amir said the film was acquired by Amazon because of DeadHeads in high places there. He said there would most likely be opportunities to view the film on the big screen around the time of its release and that events were being planned by Amazon in order to do so. I believe some of them have already been announced. A film this big definitely should be experienced on THE Big Screen! I’ll be sure to take advantage of that in the NYC area. Aside from FTW and the emergence of Dead & Company, this will definitely be the best thing to come out of our community in a long, long time. See ya at the movies in late May!
Dead & Company will be firing up their rehearsal sessions in a week or two and we’ll be seeing shows together again before ya know it! There will be some exciting news to report between now and then and I’m not responsible for letting you know what’s fake and what’s not. You’ll have to figure that out on your own.
For those of you that dig The Blues, my cousin Bobby Messano has a new CD out. Cuz is KILLIN it on the Blues charts with this one. I’m glad he’s taken a rough stretch of time in the life of the planet, as well as his own to create this work of art. This CD might blow up huge for him after 40 years in the business. You can check it out along with Tour Dates at http://www.bobbymessano.com/ His live shows are definitely geared toward the jamband crowd with solos and improv jams taking songs deeper. Maybe he’ll get to play Lockn or one of our Festivals some day. He’ll be touring extensively in the months to come, if you see him on the road, tell him I sent ya! He’ll sign a block of government cheese or a tortilla for ya!
I’ll be posting a lot of stuff via https://fans.com which is similar to FB without everyone bitching about the government. Check it out if you haven’t already.
Talk to y’all soon!
Dead To The Core,
Dean Sottile (pronounced So Tilly)
@gd50th on Twitter
Grateful Dean on Facebook