I grew up in a town where all of my friends were Deadheads, these are fans that listened to and went to Grateful Dead concerts. We listened to other music also, Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin, Cream, CSNY, Joni Mitchel, Hendrix, the Band, the Allmans and many other groups, but nothing beat the Grateful Dead for pure party enjoyment. We learned the lyrics and sang along with their music, even if we had some of the lyrics wrong. Of course, drinking and smoking pot was also always involved when we listened to their music and we could never get enough of them. When the Grateful Dead toured the East Coast, we would try to get as many tickets to see their shows from Boston down to Washington DC. Many of my friends quit their jobs when the Grateful Dead were in town just to go to all of their concerts.
Being a Deadhead was a big commitment, as you had to know all the members in the group, what instruments they played, all of the songs that they covered and what songs they played at their shows, but this was fun for all of us. I used to bring my tape recorder to the concerts and on the ride home from the shows we could listen to them again. I went to 35 Grateful Dead concerts and the best show ever was Watkins Glen where they played with the Band and the Allman Brothers. I brought my tape recorder to that show and I got the clearest recording of Jerry Garcia singing ‘Tennessee Jed’, as it sounded like he was singing directly into my recorder.
I had Grateful Dead posters on the walls of my room and I had this very rare double poster that had eric Clapton on one side of it and Jerry Garcia was on the other side and I always displayed the Garcia side. I was lucky enough to get to shake Jerry’s hand once after he played a show at Douglass Collage, which was part of Rutgers. I told him it was a great show and he said, “Far out man.”
Written for Throwback Thursday which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Maggie’s turn and her topic is Music Memories.