Sunday, November 30, 2008

96. Grateful Dead - American Beauty

I went through a Dead Head phase in high school. Almost everyone in the 70's did. But even in the absolute deepest of my Dead Head days, I could not hold a candle to my friends who spent their summer breaks following them around the country, who went to hundreds and hundreds of shows.

I went to about 50 Dead shows all through high school. I enjoyed the shows, but I didn't immerse myself in them the way my friends did. Yes, I got stoned or dropped acid and grooved with the band for the first few songs. It was all well and good until they broke out into Morning Dew and you knew there was a 700 minute space jam coming. I tried to get into the whole "dance like a crazed banshee in the aisle" thing, but there wasn't enough acid in the world to keep me from falling asleep during those jams.

But as much as I distance myself from my Dead days and as much as I try to deny I was a huge fan, if you put this album on in front of me, I will sit there from the first note of Box of Rain to the last note of Truckin' and I will know every word and enjoy every single minute and I will ask to play Ripple at least two more times.

I think it's time to reconcile myself with my 14 year old Dead Head self.

Favorite song: Ripple
Me, in my Dead Head days


Woody said...

Worst bad ever.

Besides The Smiths, of course.


Carin said...
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Carin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carin said...

Lemme try again:

Woody, you are dead to me.

I attended Miami of Ohio (86-90) and they had the BIGGEST deadheads there. I had never heard of 'em before. I mean, perhaps I heard the name, but I actually didn't know a soul who was a fan, and I certainly had never heard a single song they had done. All of a sudden, I was immersed among Deadheads.

I never developed an appreciation.

Of course, my roommate freshman year thought I was a freak - she'd never heard of the Smiths.

Timmer said...

I went through a brief Deadhead phase, probably the same time you did. Frisbees were involved. We'd drive our high school physics teacher crazy with some of what we'd do. I think it was the summer the Red Dragon blotter came to Chicago. She was one of those, "You know, they're not even supposed to be able to fly." people. Sigh.

Never saw them live. Had lunch with Mickey Hart once and didn't know it until after...LONG story.

Best of the Dead is in my car any time I'm going to be on the road for more than an hour and I've been known to break down in tears during Ripple.

HRH Courtney, Queen of Everything said...

The only Dead album I own, I think. No, wait, I have a greatest hits somewhere.
Ripple alone makes this album magic, never mind all the others. And Box of Rain...damn.

davis,br said...

Whoa. Two stories, one night.

More Northcoast music trivia. Brookes Otis is (probably was by now) the half-owner of Wildwood Music in aforementioned Arcata California.

Brookes is a big bluegrass guy (their store is/was - dunno, ain't been back in almost 20 years - all about acoustic music).

So, it seems, was Jerry Garcia.

Brookes told me so. Uh, Jerry was his roommate in his college days. (And a fairly frequent visitor to the Otis home.)

...I saw the Dead exactly once, in a concert at Winterland in, oh, 1968 or so. They headlined. (Quicksilver Messenger Service led, followed by Jefferson Airplane, and some African guy who's name now escapes me.)

And I never followed the band, but I liked a few of their songs. Never got the whole Dead-head Merry Pranksters thing though.