As we close in on finally blowing off all the steam that’s accumulated since January, It’s time to alert you of the various tribes you’re likely to encounter on your travels. The announcement of the 50th has given birth to more tribe leaders than a woman on Rainbow Gathering Tour with a drinking problem. Here’s what you need to know when encountering various species of Deadheads and their associated tribes.
AMFC is a tribe I started as a joke that has turned into one of the most loving and good natured groups on Facebook. Initially this group was a fan club for Allison but she chose to remove her name from it after the behavior of our membership proved to be a bit more frisky than she is comfortable with. If Grateful Dead Land was to have a Minnie Mouse, it would definitely be Allison. She’s a dear friend and I Love her! We’ve kept membership extremely small compared to the others by choice. They can be identified by clams. While you will never see me attempting to use the word clam in place of any word that contains the letters “AM”, most of them will. If anyone in this group was to win a vote, the ballot would read, “Who is Most likely to intentionally lose their pants while swimming at the lake and attempt to make it look like an accident?” I assure you that if you interact with any of them, you will be grateful and blessed by the experience. They’re a special bunch of folks for sure!
Limbo Heads were a group that started following mail order when so many folks were sitting in Limbo. They’ve created a painfully long video detailing their journey that can be seen on their page. If you have half a day, check it out! It’s special! These folks are a wonderful mix of everything the Dead Culture has always been about. Random gifts by mail are a hallmark of their clan and I’ve been blessed to be a part of this special bunch. You’ll be glad if you run into any one of them. Jeremiah Romero is like their Bob Barker as new members are always welcomed with a special “Come on dooooooooown!!!” As opposed to someone just clicking “add”. You’ll see them in their Limbo Batiks, give em a hug if you’re not too sweaty!!!
Tour Vets of the 80s, while not always the most cheerful bunch, are far less aggressive than their cousins in Tour Vets of the 90’s. 90s Tour Vets undoubtedly win the award of “Group most likely to have a member tell you to “Go Fuck yourself” for little to no reason at all during The Fare Thee Well Weekends. Being from the northeast I’ve never been put off by anyone in either group and both were the groups I initially called home. The 80s Vets are just as likely to tell you to “Go Fuck yourself” but are more likely to do it in a slightly subtler fashion. You can find Steve Silberman there mentioning the Autism book he’s written at least 1,000 times. He’s certainly the kind of individual we’re lucky to have as a tribal leader as he’s intelligent and a calming force in some typically stormy groups. Eric Schwartz is much like the Rick Harrison, from Pawn Stars, of the community. He can be found posting links to endless memorabilia that nobody in either of those groups can afford. He was one of the first people to block me on Facebook and incredibly enough, we’ve become good friends since that day. Rob Rennie has to be mentioned as his brand of fuckery, 9 times out of 10, initially comes off as having the potential to actually be valid prior to crashing by the 3rd sentence. Regardless of our feelings about either of these groups, they really have been responsible for the creation of all of the others and I love the folks there unconditionally. If you get hit in the head with a Pretzel that somebody threw, just flash the goat horns and yell, “TOUR VETS!!!!” Chances are, it wasn’t an accident…
The Ripple Dead 50 Tribe will likely have better seats than you. Their tribe leader Lynne Haugh is a wonderful woman with incredible organizational skills. If there’s anyone that could’ve planned and executed the Fare Thee Well events as good or better than Madison House, It’s the group of Ripplers. They’ve actually pulled off their own party, Thursday night in Chicago at the Hilton. It’s complete with an auction for charitable fund raising and all kinds of other items only highly organized people can accomplish. Anybody can attend and I’m certain it’ll be run smoother than a Jerry Lewis telethon. Ripple Dead 50 folks sleep a maximum of 2 people per room so you ain’t scoring floor space with them. Another bunch of folks I’m happy to have had the opportunity to get to know! You’ll be able to identify them by the absence of wrinkles on their clothing as well as the smell of fabric softener instead of body odor and essential oils. Love y’all Ripplers!
Fans Of Jeff Chimenti is another group that, much like Jeff, have totally flown under the radar. Quite possibly the most fortunate musician in the band, Jeff has avoided all the bullshit that everybody else has had to deal with. Jeff is like the Don Sullivan and Mike Luba of the group. While Don and Mike are both promoters associated with the event, Nobody has given them any shit at all. They feel as fortunate as Jeff I’d have to imagine. Trey… Let’s just say him and Shapiro have a lot in common…
Weir Here Listening party is a HUGE group started by my good friend, Miko Steinberg. They’re an eclectic bunch that try like to Hell to allow freedom of speech while attempting to enforce kindness at the same time. Their freedom of speech motto has allowed trolls to have an alternative place to hang out when they get tired of the 80s and 90s Vets groups or have been thrown out of Ripple or Limbo. It’s another place I’ve called home since the beginning and have had a pretty balanced number of folks that both love me and want to punch me in the face. I did the entire Summer 2000 Phish Tour with Miko as a rider through many stops along the way which helped me from getting thrown outta there, several times, a year or 2 ago. It’s a group of folks I’ll always love, just don’t ever make a statement in there like, “This dick isn’t gonna suck itself!” Many there frown upon this form of humor… True Story…
Rob Neff runs the #NFA Group that’s responsible for planning the biggest Fan Appreciation moment in History! Check it out!!! Below is a message directly from him!
Join us at the Chicago shows: http://www.nfadead50.net/meetups
You all probably know by now we are Gratefully Deadicated to organizing deadheads around the world in massive expressions of gratitude to the Grateful Dead during their 50th Anniversary Fare Thee Well shows:
1) Sing “Not Fade Away” to the band, start of 2nd set, all 5 nights of FTW.
2) Donate to the Rex Foundation
3) Upload thank you videos directed at the band
But you may not have know we are also are organizing a “ground game” at the shows to spread the word to EVERYONE!
Join us at the Chicago shows: http://www.nfadead50.net/meetups
Another group of mine, The Official Home of Unofficial Grateful Dead and Music News is a great crew as well. While I don’t participate there a whole bunch, there’s always been a cool vibe there as well. Part of the reason is that I kick dumbasses out of there the second they make their presence known. You might troll us once but you’ll disappear with quickness, never to be seen again…
All of our worlds are colliding in the days ahead and I can’t wait to meet some of y’all!!! For those that have only had profile pics of Garcia on FaceBook, don’t expect anybody to recognize who the Hell you are solely based on your clever comments. The stage is set… The band is prepared… 2 Major cities await the arrival of the greatest gathering of tribes the world has ever seen… We’re ALL getting in!!! Every night!!! See ya soon!!!
Dead To The Core,
Dean Sottile (pronounced So Tilly)
The Long Strange Trip
Preparation for The Dead’s Fare Thee Well shows https://youtu.be/hl8kTU2YgOg