I think the most exciting development in Grateful Dead Land this week had to be The Iron Sheik calling me out on his Facebook Page. Peter Shapiro is in the process of securing a venue for a No Holds Barred, Steel Cage Match between the Iron Sheik and Yours Truly in Chicago, 4th of July weekend. Mail order ticketing and VIP Packages to the event will be announced shortly. I promise to get tickets into the hands of the faithful and out of the hands of scalpers. As for the Sheik, I put him in Hateful Dead Lock of Dread, I break his neck, I kick his lifeless donkey head, I make him humble!
A venue will be hard to come by since, as of now, every jam band that ever existed has booked dates in Chicago for 4th of July weekend. Apparently, the carcass the Dead drag around can feed every single Dead inspired configuration with enough meat to be eaten for over 4 days. Everybody knows that the best way to celebrate the weekend is to have every Dead cover band that ever existed play the Dead’s music before and after the Dead, all weekend long. With dozens of options before and after every show, I have a question, Does anybody sit the fuck down and have a conversation anymore??? Does anybody else wanna chill with some jazz being played by relatively unknown local musicians, at volumes that permit us to talk about something either completely relevant or completely irrelevant? I’m not fueled by narcotics any more so I doubt I’ll be up to 7 concerts per day. Either way, there’s more than enough for ticketless people to do in Chicago 4th of July weekend.
I’m sure I’ll see y’all at some after parties and I’d like to thank everyone that’s offered to buy me a beer. If I took everyone up on their offer, I’d be absolutely comatosed. I’d have a weekend filled with those moments I had in the 80s and early 90s. Those moments when you think you’re dancing until someone steps on your fingers. The moments you realize, once the sun starts coming up, that you’re somehow asleep… In a shopping cart… On the median of a highway… Without your shoes… In a different state of the country other than the one you started in… While those days are fun to talk about now, they weren’t always as fun as it is to tell the stories 20 years later. I’ll take a club soda, Thanks! At least when I spill nowadays, stains are actually removed.
What comes back to me this week is a couple of things. One is a peculiar run in I had a while back. The year was 1989. It was the New Year’s Eve run at the Oakland Coliseum. Space seemed to be getting less spacey and I was running pretty quick to get back to my spot before the music started again. While doing a poor job of watching where I was going and making a sharp turn, I ran full speed into what seemed to be a hot book bag full of bowling balls and vinegar. It nearly knocked me out. What I ran into was Bill Walton’s nuts. I looked up past the circling tweety birds and apologized to this tree of a human being that at the moment was like The Jolly Red Giant. He didn’t budge 1 inch as I ran at nearly full speed, directly into his groin. It hovers at about the same height as my head apparently, when I’m in a running posture. Happy faced and totally unscathed by the incident, he just smiled and said, “Happy New Year!”
That brings me to my other memory. The impact the Dead have had throughout the years on everyone and everything around them. Every Internet news site has gotten involved in writing pieces about the Dead simply because the mention of their collective name drives thousands of people in their direction. Name any one of them individually and not nearly as much happens. Write about “The Dead” collectively and absolute magic happens. Even the Sporting News got in on the action this week after the Jolly Red Giant and long time friend of the Dead, Bill Walton, tweeted about the Dead playing in Santa Clara. It seems as if Walton got a call from Weir after the tweet that went something like this, “SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!” as the tweet was deleted shortly after it was posted. EVERYBODY wants in on the action. Hippie chick dresses and tie dye sales have increased astronomically since January as everybody is dyeing to get a piece of the massive wave of financial increase the Dead leave in their path, wherever they go. The Dead have done more to simulate the economic activity of people generally opposed to working altogether than any President or stimulus program in history. The amount of prosperity directly tied to their recent activity is immense. Their event is directly responsible for the abundance that thousands are experiencing as a result of just showing up around them. Are The Dead “cash grabbers” or is the community that instantly appears all around them? I wish I had some kind of talent that made me something other than another customer about now… Clearly the answer to every problem that exists in the world is The Grateful Dead. Most of us knew that all along…
David Gans contacted me last week and informed me that the Grateful Dead Hour is still on the air. For those that may not have known, you can find where it airs near you right here
If you’re able, you can drop a donation to The Grateful Dead Hour here
Radio, like everything else has become dominated by Big Corps selling their artists. It’s not as glamorous today as it was in the past. Do your part to contribute and give back to the scene that created you. It’s healthy for your existence. Those that live to give are always more blessed than the rest.
Will this be a week of total Dead Domination with the Official Santa Clara Announcement? Stay tuned…