Sunday, April 19, 2009

Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind

Dancing bears

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Trouble ahead, lady in red,
Take my advice you’d be better off dead.

Chris from Paris  at Americablog laid some hate on The Grateful Dead and the people who love them last night. Overall, not well received. Last I looked there were 84 replies – mostly suggesting that Chris knew not whereof he wrote, or as more than one commenter explained, “Fuck You!”  It was fairly entertaining. Happily, Joelle showed Chris the error of his ways and while he might not exactly be ready to shine his love light on the Dead he’s at least admitting he just might have come off like an arrogant ass. I didn’t care for the original post either, but I have to admire anyone who’ll admit to such an error. A couple more trips to YouTube and he’ll be on Dead tour. OK, maybe not, but stranger things have happened.

You know, even if you never, ever get the music, any blogging, internet type should be giving credit where it’s due. was bringing its own netroots together years before almost anyone. Macs were hippies before they were hipsters. And long before that the Dead was laying down the pre-digital foundation for viral marketing and allowed their live music to be freely shared. Encouraged it, in fact.

I doubt I’ll be going to any shows on this tour, but not because it wouldn’t be a great time. It surely would.

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  1. We took our kids to see the Dead in 1994 when they were 10 and 8. They loved the hoopla, and the older danced almost the whole time. I know that not everyone gets them, but I'm baffled as to why they attract such vitriolic criticism. It's like some people are pissed that that there's a club that they won't join.

  2. I may not be a Dead music fan - but I cannot help but be supportive and defensive of a group with such longevity - and an admirable philosophy of peace and sharing the music.

  3. My late wife wasn't into the Dead for a long time, although she tagged along from time to time. Then we saw them one Sunday afternoon at Stanford's Frost Amphitheatre. The 5000+ attendees were evenly divided between Deadheads and Stanford students. It was one of those spring days that make it easy to understand why people live in California. She was absolutely transported by the scene and the music, coming away more Catholic than the pope.

  4. K, see what I'm saying about Chris. If he could get to a show it could be a total conversion.

  5. Gotta say, I've been on both sides of the Grateful Dead divide--they, and the people who followed them, pretty much saved my life in highschool by showing me an alternative paradigm to my conservative high school. They also opened a lot of doors for me in terms of music--introducing me to blues, country, folk, and jazz when, until then, I'd listened to nothing but classic rock. Then, after seeing something like 69 shows, not counting Garcia Band and other solo shows, I burned out on the whole thing, and found myself getting incredibly frustrated with friends who couldn't listen to any music other than the Dead and traveled all over the country never seeing anything other than highways and parking lots. Then, after Garcia died, and the whole thing seemed to be over, I found I could listen to the music just as music for the first time and thought "hey, some of this stuff is really good!" So, I guess you could say I've seen the Dead from both sides now--both understanding how people can be so fanatical about them, and finding that fanaticism annoying. As for now, I'm not planning on seeing any shows either, but only because, nowadays, I prefer live music in places smaller than hockey rinks.