on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2012 3 Jul

Easy Ed’s first look into the Grateful Dead’s sadness

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off


For a little over a dozen years from the late sixties until the summer of eighty, I was immersed in everything Dead, from listening to the records, seeing them play multiple nights in a row in various venues, playin‘ their music at a weekly gathering and getting the chance to work with some of their management and promotion people when they left Warner Brothers and went indie with their own GD label and the Round Records offshoot, their deal with Untied Artists and finally with Arista … home of Clive Davis and his hit machine. It was as much lifestyle as it was theater, one that has sustained time, death, departure and still lives on today.

I loved that they came from the early roots sounds descended from jug bands and the Smith and Lomax anthologies and the threads to Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac … the blues and bluegrass beginnings and the love of acoustics and harmony … the discovery and introduction of George Jones and Merle Haggard to city kids … the love and the Haight. Before the Dead I was into the Youngbloods, Lovin‘ Spoonful, Byrds, Springfield, Love and other groups we now think of as early Americana. My first time seeing the New Riders of The Purple Sage with Jerry Garcia on pedal steel open for the band, and then watching Pigpen carrying his bottle and harps as the rest of them took the stage and blew out the walls of the college gym, I was mesmerized. It was the orange juice, not Kool Aid.

By the mid-seventies when Blues for Allah was released, I must tell you that the front of the house was a happier place to be than backstage. My first look into the sadness of this band was watching Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux walk off something disagreeable, be it bad dope or spoiled food. They were fighting that night and it felt intrusive, so I took my leave. A year or so later while talking to Bobby Weir after a Kingfish show, my eyes tracked the dope dealers, pimps and painted ladies as they walked in and out of the dressing rooms. And a similar scene at a New Riders gig, now with Buddy Cage on steel and the Stone’s Sam Cutler as road manager, left me feeling like the scene had eclipsed me. My last Dead show was a magical one though, so damn good and perfect that I decided on the spot as the sun sank behind the Golden Gate bridge that I was done. (source:

This entry was posted on Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Manafonistas | Impressum | Kontakt | Datenschutz