Howdy brothers and sisters, Marty Freeman here. This journey started for me a couple of weeks ago in Boulder when Oteil Burbridge and The Devil’s Lettuce played Folsom Field. I quit my job without notice and have seen every show since then. I decided at SPAC, during a lucid trip, to change my name to River. Please call me River from now on. According to Dean, several people asked about me, wondering what happened to Marty. Well, Marty is the man I used to be, River is the man I am today. I learned a lot of things on the road, if you have a few minutes, I’ll tell you all about it…
As I travelled the country the past few weeks I made some interesting observations. First of all, this band doesn’t play music. They have a conversation with the universe using their instruments. It’s an extremely loud and motion filled form of group meditation. They send up questions to the heavens, by way of song and if you listen closely, the almighty gives you the answers in the same manner. I learned the answers were initially encrypted, possibly for my own protection, but with time and repetition, I was able to unlock the code. This happened at every show.
The guys in the band are just guys in a band but something much greater passes through them. The pipes that bring water to my home are wonderful but they’re not much without water. This group is the largest pipeline I’ve ever known. At certain shows there was more sediment coming through in the water than others but I ultimately realized that my own soul was the filter whose job it was to clarify what came through. I had the most incredible revelation that the mistakes were there intentionally. Not intended by the musicians but by the source of it all that goes unnamed. That source occasionally puts a bump in the road as a reminder of who’s really in charge. They were there to remind me regularly that the whole thing was much bigger than the guys that were playing in the band. They were there to help me understand that the guys in the band were just guys in a band and what came through them was much more important than what came from them. Bob Weir appeared to be the most upset member when mistakes happened. I wonder if he understands that?
I also discovered that the greater the amount of life changing information an individual is able to channel, the greater the likelihood of them acquiring habits that are hell bent on their destruction. Being a pipeline, through which special information required for life travels, is no easy responsibility. It comes with a bullseye from forces that want the information kept secret. Those who possess these abilities are very regular people with a very irregular gift. While they’re the pipeline, they’re often confused with the water itself by people that don’t know any better. They’re well aware they aren’t the water but have to deal with people that insist they are. Jerry Garcia.
I learned that LSD makes you very smart until it makes you very dumb. While my brain was busy putting the universe in perfect order, my mouth was never able to talk about it at the same time. While various mysteries were all resolved internally, I was completely unable to express them externally. It was like having the mind of a genius with the vocabulary of an infant. I wondered at times if newborns had all the answers but no way to tell us about them.
The scene around the venue is like a giant bathtub filled with love and kind energy. I noticed that the band is the plug that keeps the tub from draining. The chain on that plug only reaches as far as the band’s hotel and is tied to the buses. When the band is finished in any town, they pull the plug from the tub on the way out. The energy is instantly drained from that tub and what’s left is somewhat frantic emptiness around the venue. It happened in every town.
There’s a big bus that looks like a latte with people in it that wanted me to go make furniture with them in the woods somewhere. I initially thought they must be very successful fans but came to the conclusion they’re crazier than a chair made of soup. If you need a band-aid, go to CVS, not the Cult Caravan.
If you go close to the stage, don’t ask questions during Ripple. People up there don’t seem to be very restrained and will tell you to shut the fuck up. The further you go from the stage, the less likely this is to happen.
While I was told by Dean before Colorado that the band’s name was Oteil Burbridge And The Devil’s Lettuce, that’s not true. It’s Dead & Company. I think I like the first name better. Oteil’s name isn’t even in the band. Perhaps this was done so nobody would confuse a pipeline with the water that travels through it.
Dean told me something I’ll be sure to be mindful of in the future. He said, “While you’re busy enjoying the pure water, never forget who dug the well!” Jerry Garcia… Pigpen.. Bill.. Bob… Phil… Mickey…
After the CitiField show, I couldn’t find my car. I decided it was more important to get to Camden than find it. It really didn’t bother me at all since I was able to catch a ride with some Caucasian Rastafarian people. Now that tour is over, I’m a little concerned. As long as there were more shows to catch, I didn’t have a worry in the world. Well folks, I’m all out of tickets and starting to be a little concerned. I’m not sure I fit in with the rest of the world anymore. After having the veil of my own blindness lifted, how does one live again among those that are permanently veiled. A few days ago I was a nomadic Beacon of Light and now I’m in the midst of a stationary emotional blackout. I was told about post tour depression but I feel like my insides are completely vacuous. I’m not sure I care to do anything other than go back on tour or eat cookies. While I find some comfort listening to the recordings, I can’t dance with 40,000 people while doing so. I can’t experience the tension that fills a venue waiting for the band to take the stage. While listening to the recordings, rainbows don’t appear during Looks Like Rain and the breeze doesn’t blow after John sings, “if you plant ice, you’re gonna harvest wind!” It’s like playing golf in a simulator. Sure it’s cool but you can’t smell the ocean on the 18th at Pebble Beach.
Since my car is somewhere near NYC, maybe I’ll go see Phish at MSG. Half of the people I asked insisted that I do that while half of the people insisted that I don’t. Since both sides were emphatic about their opinions, I think I’m going to go to see for myself. While I was in the street after the final show at Wrigley, a man eating Stir Fry said to me “West New Year Mexican vacation!!!” I’m not sure what that means…
Until we meet again my brothers and sisters, Keep The Faith!