Me on mail order day  ……   Me at the mailbox Saturday

Deanbefore                         Deanafter


Yes indeed, here we are… The week Peter Shapiro has been looking forward to more than anyone. The week he gets to scalp tickets before anybody else. VIP Packages go on sale Friday and guarantee you a ticket to the show and all of the mini hot dogs you can eat! Not only that, he’s learned how to scalp hotel rooms at the same time. Much like Peter Pan only entirely different, this week the Peter gets to take from the middle class and give to himself. When asked if he’s learned anything during the early stages of the Fare Thee Well Shows Peter said, “I learned there’s a lot of broke people that have an assload of money!” With new packages still being created daily it seems, CID’s page resembles Disney World’s “Plan Your Vacation” page. Nobody can figure out exactly what the hell they’re buying but can’t wait to throw money into the pot. Here’s a question, What the fuck is a “service fee” and why isn’t it already included in a $3,000 package? As of today, nobody has a clue what the mysterious “Service Fees” will be. Sounds like paying for Hookers at a Bachelor Party. In order to maximize sales, VIP packages go on sale the day before TicketMaster hoping to catch you too paranoid to wait one more day. It seems like somebody truly learned how to build a better mousetrap.

Quite possibly the greatest thing this event is missing, other than Garcia, is Bill Graham. The greatest promoter in the history of music. A man that was always thoughtful, considerate, humble and appreciative to the people that came to his events. Entirely approachable yet obviously a brilliant man in a cut throat business. We miss you you Bill. For those of you that have been proclaiming all the things Jerry would and wouldn’t do, keep in mind, the last time Garcia made any decisions about running an event it was hiring the Security at Altamont. From that day forward, nobody asked Jerry about planning an event ever again. They just accepted that it was his gift to melt your molecules through song and realized he was a terrible Party Planner.

Speaking of that, It was announced this week that Garcia and Hunter are finally being inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. An honor that is almost as overdue as Phil’s “Searching For The Sound” book I checked out at my local library. I wrote a piece honoring Robert Hunter some time last year that can be found here if you give a shit.

Phil continues to celebrate the 50th year at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael with shows nearly every week yet conversations about any of the shows show up slightly less than recipes for tapioca pudding on Grateful Dead message boards. That’s interesting since a trip to San Rafael to spend time with Phil would be way more chill and much less expensive than a trip to Soldier Field. The food at the venue is better as are the locals. While you’re there you could slide over to Weir’s joint and probably stand right next to him and ask him questions you feel are totally unique that he’s had to answer thousands of times over the years. Bill Kreutzmann’s band is out there throwing some Europe 72 sets down with his new band and tickets are still available, months after going on sale, in theaters that seat less than 2,000, for a fraction of the price of Fare Thee Well tickets. Phil’s 75th B Day shows at the Cap? Still tickets available for 2 nights of the run, months after going on sale. It’s clear why Mickey sent Trey the book about the synergistic relationship of Ants preceding this event. It’s unbelievable what happens with the collective hive mind of this group of players that can’t be touched by any of them individually.

I started training to make sure I have the legs and the wind for 3 nights in Chicago. I don’t want to be one of those geezers taking a nap during slow tunes. You know who you are. I’ve seen you at The Cap Center in the balcony. You pretend like you’re meditating during Peggy O. It’s always funny when you wake up from the sound of your own snoring and start to sing whatever you hear as if knowing the lyrics covers up for getting caught sleeping. Start training now and you’ll be in fine shape to stay up a whole 4 hours in Chicago! Here’s some inspiration…

Entries are trickling in for the Internet Dance Competition that will put a ticket in the hands of at least one lucky winner. You can enter by sending a one minute video clip of your best dancing to I’m not joking about this y’all! I will absolutely be giving a ticket to the winner. You can keep up with the competition and vote by liking your favorites here.

In closing, I’m gonna tell you this, I had the best date I’ve ever had in my life this weekend. Never before have I been so absolutely captivated by my date that every single thing about her spoke deeply to my heart and my soul. Her dress was gorgeous and I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful sight. Her smiles made my heart skip a beat. Her giggles filled me with gratitude. I was completely and totally lost in her presence. When she reached out and grabbed my hand, I felt like the only thing in the world that mattered was completely being in that moment, with her. It’s been a long time since I felt so proud and so lucky to be in the position I was on a Friday night. The conversation was funny and more natural and comfortable than any I’ve ever experienced. It was the stuff that dreams are made from. On the way to back to the car after a night of dancing as I opened the door for my special date, she grabbed my face with her little hands and kissed me on the cheek. It was like a little suction cup. She said, “That was the best night in the world daddy!” It was my first Daddy Daughter Dance with my 5 year old. I didn’t think about tickets. I didn’t think about writing. I didn’t think about Chicago. I thought about one of life’s greatest treasures that far outweighs the relevance of a weekend at Soldier Field. With everyTHING going on around you, don’t forget about the most important things that aren’t things at all. At times since January I’ve felt the old itch to quit on everything in life and rush to recapture this remarkable piece of me that thrived brilliantly within Grateful Dead Land 20 to 30 years ago. In the 20 years since, I’ve built so much more that’s meaningful and beautiful and far beyond the expectations I, or anyone else, had for my life. When we meet in Chicago at the fountain of our youth, The fountain will be there but the hands of time have surely stretched the fabric of our youth. Garcia’s voice, that was crafted by the maker to resonate at the same exact frequency as my soul will still be absent. I never thought I’d experience that sensation again, then I heard my daughter’s voice. Life may be sweeter for this, I don’t know… Feels like it might be alright…

Gratefully Deadicated,
Dean Sottile (pronounced SoTilly)

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2 thoughts on “The Bleak In Review… Beware Of Imposters

  1. len silvestri

    Your right bout your daughter. Mine are now 23, 25 & 27. Going to Philly this weekend to celebrate the 25 year Olds birthday. All of them want to go to Chicago too. Mom and dad will be there for sure. The girls, probably not. See you there dean.

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