Posted On: Monday - May 8th 2017 3:52PM MST
In Topics:   Lefty MegaStupidity  Music  The Dead  Americans  ctrl-left
(I may not get to a political point I wanted to make today due to this story that just came across the PeakStupidity features desk - OK, we don't have a features desk, or any desk for that matter, just this old 386-clone from the yard sale with th big 15-in CRT.)
Here's the deal:
I'd never admired, but still always liked the Deadheads, whether the girls were twirling around in the parking lot of the shows with their dresses up high, or the guys were selling trinkets and dope for tickets with a big "I need a miracle sign" (a miracle meaning a ticket to the show, but from the song too). Though quite a bit deluded about what the real world is about, and their lives following the band were not what you would now call financially "sustainable", they meant no harm, and were a fun bunch.
The cops were shooing them off a hillside in California, from a spot where, without a miracle, one could still hear the show in the bright beautiful sunshine. Well, they were mooing like cows to show Johnny Law how they felt about it, but the cops could spot everyone of them in the weeds - those tie-died shirts don't make good camouflage, I'm here to tell ya. Then at another show at a big stadium venue, 100's of the audience kept somersaulting down the steep slope in the end zone. Good times ...
Now this rich prick, former Deadhead, is auctioning off one of Jerry's old guitars. He played "the Wolf" in the 77-78 shows, I'm reading here that this guitar may fetch a million bucks. That' just fine, were the money to go to a good cause or to anyone but this hateful cntrl-left organization called the Southern (they're in Atlanta) Poverty (no, get-rich-quick scheme by it's multimillionaire founder Morris Dees) Law Center. These guys have are probably just out to make another 50 million from donations from rich people riding the pop-wave of stupidity, but they do it by being against any and everything that is American!
The reason I think the fat man would be reelin & rockin is that, believe it not (not, if you never really knew them), The Dead musically and spiritually were an All American Band. Listen, Jerry started out playing banjo, the devil's instrument, as he called it one of his early bluegrass shows in old California (Pablo Alto, it was) as "The Wildwood Boys". You can't get any more American than bluegrass. As The Dead, in addition to many 100's of their own songs, they would play blues, old traditionals, folk, Merle Haggard songs, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, straight-up rock-n-roll, or a psychedelic or jazzy version of all of that stuff. How about the lyrics? Songs about riding trains that don't run anymore, high-tailing it down to Mexico, truckin' (got my chips cashed in), and don't forget the Cumberland Blues and the rest of the Workingman's Dead.
Speaking of working men, though many would not call it work, the core* of the band, Jerry (vocals and lead guitar), Bob (vocals and mostly rhythm guitar)' and Phil (bass and backing vocals) played over 2,000 shows without any of them missing a one! That is a pretty good work ethic if I've ever seen one. It is said they played to over 25,000,000 people live, in total. They toured for 30 years together, not counting any reunion stuff.
It's true that this band hung out on the left side of the political spectrum during one of the most turbulent American times, but they were pretty apolitical. You would not hear any of the blatant campaigning, or the Bono-like verbal diarrhea during shows as you do now (if you pay your $200, vs. The Dead's $6.50 - if you had a miracle!). It was just about the music, and The Grareful Dead had the best sound I've ever heard. RIP, Jerry, sorry 'bout your guitar.
"Oh, all American", you say, "what about all the drugs?"
What? I didn't get that. Your lips are moving, but there's nothing coming out.
I cannot speak for
This is a slow version of " round and round", which I call "reelin and rockin", but you could skip over to just under 5:00 in, as they speed up and then transition to "Goin Down the Road Feelin Bad".
* Not to take anything away from the two drummers, Billy Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, nor the various keyboard players, nor Donna Godchaux, who came into the band as a package deal for a few years with her husband Kieth who played keyboards.