The band never put much weight into fanbase-building outside of playing shows. So how did Deadheads multiply to reach a number so overwhelming that we threatened the band’s existence? Well, giving folk that we are, the answer to the equation is us and our unconditional love of the band. Deadheads made more Deadheads and as we all know now, that ultimately wasn’t for the better. How did the best fans a band could have at the same time be the worst?Continue reading Dad Rock Dead: Deadheads – The Best/Worst, Hardest Music Fans Ever To Figure Out
“No, don’t change the station. I should probably find a Grateful Dead song I like.”
Continue reading Dad Rock Dead – A Quick Unrequested Explanation To My Kids
This statement came out of my son’s mouth the other day as I was driving him off at school in the morning. Generally, I’ll let my kids pick the music for the drive but sometimes, and not always as a punishment for being late, I’ll leave The Grateful Dead Channel on SiriusXM. My daughter won’t have any of it. My son has a bit more tolerance. So, on this day, I left it on. I can’t remember which song was playing, but it wasn’t the hook that set a new path for him as a Deadhead. He did tell me that at his school, there is one Deadhead and even the existence of that lone freak in 2022 surprised me.
Looking at me now, you’d think that my thirty-something years as a Deadhead have been a sort of lesson in consistency. But that’s not the case. There were a number of years when I didn’t actively listen to The Grateful Dead.
Join me, readers, as I turn another long story into a two-thousand-word post.
Seeing how us Deadheads are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Europe ‘72 tour, I thought I’d add my piece. I had a dubbed cassette of it, whose origin and present location I can’t recall. But I loved this album so much when I was 18 years old. I wasn’t even a year old when these shows took place. My NYC-born father was a season shy of his 41st birthday when the Europe ‘72 shows happened.Continue reading Dad Rock Dead Tells a Very Long-Winded, Barely-Europe ‘72 Story
Without research, I will say that approximately 94% of all bassists started out as guitarists but were somehow relegated or intimidated to become the band’s bassist. That happened to me when I was 18 years old and had just joined my first band. Along with my drummer brother (or brother drummer), previously-mentioned Head-friend Dave and a drama school mate of my brother’s, we formed a Grateful Dead cover band. I vaguely remember that first jam where I reluctantly picked up some lousy Japanese 4-string leaning against the wall and proceeded to play lead guitar on it. This went on for the better part of three months as I learned that to be a bassist, one actually had to understand how to play the bass guitar. For better, or for worse, the bassist I was studying day and night was none other than, declared non-bassist, Philip Chapman Lesh.Continue reading Dad Rock Dead: The Esoteric Ramblings of a Leshian Scholar
I recently responded to a tweet I read about the Fourth of July ’89 show with “Imagine if this was your first Grateful Dead concert.” Yep, that was my first. While the saying goes for many topics, you never forget your first, the details today aren’t blade-sharp. But I will do my best to recount the feelings from the day. I attended the show with my brother so while writing this, I kept sending him text messages for clarifications. He wrote me back a long email with all his notes, so I have to thank him for all the research he provided for this post. Thanks, J’air.Continue reading Dad Rock Dead: First Show Glow
The Grateful Dead’s first album was a self-titled effort released through Warner Brothers in 1967. As blatant a snapshot of the Summer of Love as any album can be, it sounds pretty goofy these days and the band members generally didn’t have good things to say about it. Surprisingly, only two of the nine songs on the album were original compositions. Yet four of them remained in the band’s live repertoire for the next 28 years. But the opening track, The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) served, like many lyrics from the band’s compositions, as phrases used by fans to describe a shared moment. In this case, the moment one got the music and self-crowned themselves a Deadhead. From That’s It For The Other One, a song released not long after their debut, the phrase ‘got on the bus’ meant the same thing. The depth of language that was created by fans about the experience of being a Deadhead is vast.Continue reading Dad Rock Dead: The Lure to the Golden Road
My last post here was, what feels like in the hopefully pre-post pandemic times, a million years ago and several prior, revolved around a fitness journey. I was working hard to lose weight that arrived first when I was ten years old and I struggled to accept for the better part of four decades. That journey was important and reaching a goal I set was monumental. The way I had been attacked for being a fat kid by my friends and non-friends and the way I attacked myself undoubtedly seeded my psyche with traps that would spring in unexpected ways for years to come. Not that hitting my goal ultimately freed me from something, but it gave me a view from a different side.Continue reading Dad Rock Dead: A Swerve
I know it’s a bit premature to do a ‘final’ report but these comments and observations aren’t going to change that much, so I may as well get them down before old age hits in 3 weeks and I forget everything except for the phone number for my landline when I was 9.Continue reading No One Wants To Read About Your Stupid Fitness Journey – The Destination
2021 is a year that started unlike any other in recent history. Following our solitary New Year’s Eves spent at home, locked away for safety, we didn’t get to toast our hopes and dreams for the coming year in the company of our friends and family. With some perseverance, perhaps we did still put the quest of self-improvement into action come the new year, despite how wracked and depleted our mental strength may have been. Personally, I stumbled into what is now a four-month-old commitment to improving my mental and physical health this year. I didn’t really think about what I would do, what my goals may have been, or even what the first step should resemble. But the springboard to where I am right now as spring has arrived – earlier bedtimes, working out several times a week, being hyper-aware of what and when I eat, incorporating yoga and meditation into my week and the resulting loss of almost 30 pounds started as an accidental new year resolution.
With these good habits in place, I realized that I needed to not just expand on the decreasing numbers I was seeing on my old scale, I needed some data to show me what was working and what wasn’t. Data was a missing piece and only technology could help provide it.Continue reading No One Wants To Read About Your Stupid Fitness Journey – The Tech I Use