What is it about The Grateful Dead that you like?

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jaimoe0
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Post by jaimoe0 »

I actually gave that story its first read when it came in at 11:15 p.m. I think our version might even have been first one on the wires. By the way, does it irk everyone else the same that he was the "Grateful Dead's keyboardist"? Dude was totally the Tubes keyboardist, and I don't wanna hear another word about it.
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Post by worpswede »

jaimoe0 wrote:I actually gave that story its first read when it came in at 11:15 p.m. I think our version might even have been first one on the wires. By the way, does it irk everyone else the same that he was the "Grateful Dead's keyboardist"? Dude was totally the Tubes keyboardist, and I don't wanna hear another word about it.
Kinda. And when Bruce Hornsby croaks, they'll refer to it as "Former Grateful Dead keyboardist, Bruce Hornsby died today, but that's just the way it is."
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Post by Saucy Jack »

The Dead is a load of bloody rubbish far as I'm concerned.
Garcia was an oaf!
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Post by Chris G »

> What is it about The Grateful Dead that you like?

I like the story of their name.
That's about where it ends.
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Post by worpswede »

It's being reported that Vince Welnick's death was from suicide. Some very angry comments regarding the dead from the site administrator of Welnick's website.

"Vince Welnick is gone. He was the sweetest human I have ever known. Kind, generous, funny and warm hearted. He was my friend. He was talented, so fucking talented. I was lucky to know him. So, damned lucky to know him and Lori. God bless you, Lori. I'm so, so sorry.

Vince never got over the cruel way that the Grateful Dead band members treated him after Jerry died. He never got over the sorrow of losing Jerry, facing his own demons without his friend and could not understand how the remaining fellow band-members treated him like shit the past several years.

I cannot possibly describe to you the hurt and anguish he felt when "The Dead" decided to have a "Family Reunion of the SURVIVING MEMBERS" of Grateful Dead, a band that he was no mere sideman for its last five years, but a full member of by order of Jerry Garcia. How damned insulting was it to have a "surviving members family reunion" and not invite your new brother? He was the proverbial red-headed step-child to them. Did it occur to you how that hurt him, Bill, Bob, Phil, Mickey? The truth is that you selfish bastards did not care if it hurt him. He's a big boy, he just had to get over it, right?

I remember seeing Todd Rundgren at the "Walk Down Abbey Road" show in Concord, CA around the same time when that "Family Reunion" was booked. He asked how Vince was, and I told him about this "family reunion" concert of SURVIVING MEMBERS and how Vince was specifically not invited, but in fact was playing a gig at a campground not far from the show. Todd said, "Uh, Vince isn't dead, isn't he a surviving member?" He got the irony. I got the irony, but I also saw the hurt like none of you can believe. Vince kept a brave face about it, trying to remain cheerful, hoping that somehow, someday the tide would turn, the phone would ring and it would be Bob Weir calling him. Calling just to say, "How are you, Vinny?" Something. Anything.

I am certain that Jerry would have been completely disgusted with the terrible, cruel and despicable way that Vince was treated by the band, the management, etc. following his death. The lack of compassion displayed toward him, the ostracizing he felt burned and hurt Vince very deeply. He was a sensitive, sweet soul. He just couldn't handle the rejection. He and I spent hours and hours talking about these things, trying to get the demons out, which led to him pouring out his heart when that show happened, right on this website.

I told Vince to get his story out, tell everybody what happened on that Ratdog bus, tell them everything. Tell them how Bob and Ratdog sent him, having overdosed on the tour bus, to a hospital alone in the back of a taxi cab, without a friend in site, and had him checked in as John Doe, while they played the show anyway. Tell them, Vince how you were despondent over facing life-threatening cancer, a simultaneous diagnosis of Emphysema, and instead of staying home to try to heal and get immediate surgery, how you chose to give the fans the ill-fated summer 95 Dead tour. Tell them how nobody in the band even acknowledged, though they damned well knew, that Vince was very sick.

Tell them Vince, I said, how you didn't want to let the fans and the band down, and how eery it was on the tour knowing all these people who were your "friends" never asked how you were while on the road or even stepped aside with you to acknowledge that struggle you were facing. Tell everyone, Vince, how when you returned from the road, and Jerry was dead, how you were flung into the hell of depression facing lung disease, cancer and now your friend dying, and how you saw your world crash around you ever more when months later the band unceremoniously announced it was over. Tell them Vince, tell everyone and get the demons out.

Even more amazing than the band being cold to him, I could never understand why so-called "dead heads" and "fans" spent hours coming into this site and fucking with Vince, taunting him, posting evil, nasty lies about him. I finally had to turn this into a registration-only website to help shield my friend from the cruelness that some people took sport in on the message boards. Vince could take a joke, he could take a lot, but he finally couldn't take any more.

I had long, heart to heart talks with him for months before he told some of that story to you here, though not even close to all that detail. Vince didn't want to hurt the other guys, he just fucking wanted to play with them.

Do you hear me, Phil? Do you hear me, Mickey? Do you hear me, Bobby? Do you hear me, Bill? That's all he fucking wanted, was to play music with you guys. He loved you and you fucking treated him like shit. To see your "heartfelt" message on Dead.net today sickens me to no end, you fucking bunch of lying hypocrites. There is nothing left to hold back on now. Is it so hard to return the man's phone calls? Is it so hard to understand what he went through back then and how far he had come since that dreadful night on that Ratdog bus? Where is the love? Where is the compassion? Hippy love? Bull-fucking-shit. You guys could have been nice to him, invited him along, not made him feel like an ass and like he was bugging you if he called. Are you happy, Cameron? Are you? Go fuck yourself."
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Post by DJMurphy »

I knew Vince Welnick first through the Tubes, then through his work on Todd's albums. I wasn't a Deadhead ever, but I'm glad that at least a worthy guy with a sparkling pedigree got the gig. It's too bad that he took the slight from the surviving Dead members so hard; he should've told 'em all to fuck off.

God rest your soul, Vince Welnick.
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Post by grounded5am »

it doesn't sound like a slight though. it sounds like it's more than that. of course i could be wrong.
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Post by Jake »

worpswede wrote:I don't know how to explain it, but for me the Grateful Dead represented a Utopian rebellion against everything that just seemed wrong around me. For the entire duration of a set, I could lose myself and not think of one single thing except the music happening on stage and the community that surrounded me. I didn't worry about how much money was in my bank account, that my job sucked, that my relationships weren't working, that the douchebag in the White House wasn't representing my personal interests, whatever. I knew I was in the presence of a band that, argue if you want, was the ultimate punk band that somehow made millions doing things on essentially their own terms. For almost twenty years, they did it without a fucking hit and, to some extent, without the machine that most other bands solely rely on. They did it by building a network of people who felt a kinship to the Dead's original ideology and they spread it with live performances.
How I stepped into it was a complete accident: a neighborhood friend of Japanese decent, no less, had an older sister who left home and left her record collection behind. He wasn't a music fan like I was, and he let me take some of the records home to dub onto cassette. In that pile of albums were four Grateful Dead records. The covers excited me; I was full-on in my obligatory thirteen year old metal stage and the band had the word "dead" in the title and some badass skull logo. When I put it on, it was not what I expected. I hated "Blues For Allah," "Mars Hotel," "Wake Of The Flood," but I really liked "American Beauty" so I dubbed that one. There was one track that I got really attached to: "Brokedown Palace." It reminds me of growing up, literally, on the banks of the Mississippi river ("listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul"). The way Jerry sings "Mama, mama, many worlds I've come since I first left home" still manages to get me a little teary-eyed. His voice sounds so unbelievably frail and human, while again, offering a little fucking reassurance that things are going to be ok. I've been there. Keep going. You’re among friends. Is that "hippy?" Or is that something we all could use every now and then?
The Dead albums remained a deep, dark secret during the 80's until I went to catch Gone, Greg Ginn's post-Black Flag band one night at a club. The place was spotted with the obligatory punk gear and, here comes Worp, solo, with long hair and a Grateful Dead t-shirt. I endured looks from the "holier than thou" punks and took a seat at the bar away from the stares. One man approached me: Greg Ginn himself. I learned that he was a huge Dead fan and we talked briefly (this was around the time that Garcia was in a coma). The encounter helped me transition into someone who shouldn't "hide" things in their record collection if they really like them.
And the music? “The Eleven” was in 11/8 time, motherfuckers!
I'm bumping this because Todd's story is fucking awesome. I don't even like the Dead, but what Todd's talking about right there is the very definition of Glorious Noise. Rock and roll can change your life...even if it's just for a couple of hours.

Also, I think it's funny that Sab admits that he only just started downloading Dead shows from the Internet Archive, and that he doesn't actually get the Dead yet as a band. Four years later: a total head.

I saw Jerry's penultimate Dead show. My cousin went to both nights, but I only went to the first night. I freaked out very very badly. I'm sure I've told the story before but I was down on the floor of Soldier Field and I had two voices speaking into my head. Very clearly. One kept telling me to just lay down on the ground under the seats -- just need a little nap. The second voice told me that if I listened to the first voice, I was never going to wake up and that my vital organs were all shutting down, and if I laid down I would surely die. A couple hours later, I was perfectly fine and drove back to Michigan.
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Post by worpswede »

Jake wrote:I saw Jerry's penultimate Dead show. My cousin went to both nights, but I only went to the first night. I freaked out very very badly. I'm sure I've told the story before but I was down on the floor of Soldier Field and I had two voices speaking into my head. Very clearly. One kept telling me to just lay down on the ground under the seats -- just need a little nap. The second voice told me that if I listened to the first voice, I was never going to wake up and that my vital organs were all shutting down, and if I laid down I would surely die. A couple hours later, I was perfectly fine and drove back to Michigan.
I missed the penultimate, but was at the last show. We had our class reunion that same weekend, and as the class president, I had to represent.
The last show was not very good. It was obvious that Jerry was fucked up and I was in a pissy mood to begin with. The reason? Walking up to soldier Field, I noticed that security was frisking people, and here I was trying to walk in with a fucking hitter box full of weed. I scrambled into a Ky-Bo and put the hitter between the sole of my foot and my shoe. It hurt like a mother, but I walked to the gate, got frisked, walked to my seat, and immediately went to retrieve my hitter. The lid to the box had opened, spilling most of the weed into my boat shoe and caking the bottom of my feet with bud. It was impossible to retrieve it, and it entertained many of those who were sitting around me. Thankfully, they kindly shared their own weed with me during the show.
Another story. A friend and I drove to a Dead show in St. Louis. On the way down, we were sharing a few nips, smoking some weed, getting prepared, you understand? She lets out in her inebriation that she was a week late in her period, but she attributed it to stress. We dosed in the parking lot, walked into the show, and in the middle of the first set, she says that she has to go puke. Troubling sign: this girl was an Irish Catholic and could drink a dude under the table. But that night, she could keep nothing down. Two beers and she's ralphing by the rear fence. I'm not in any shape to babysit, so I stay put. After the show, we went back to our motel room (La Quinta Inn!) where I promptly began to deface the Guideon's bible. The vomitorium continues at La Quinta as I begin screaming verses from the Bible to no one in particular.
The next morning, we head over to the West Bank with our cooler and fill it with meats and cheeses from an Italian deli. They got mad at us because we couldn't figure out their opressive "Take a number and wait your turn" rules. We walk right up and start blurting out "I need two pounds of prosciutto..." before they cut us off and point to the sign.
A week later, she stops by my house crying because she's-you guessed it-one with child. She's freaking out, thinking that the acid is going to totally jack up her baby. Several years later, the baby is a beautiful reflection of her Mom-albeit not in the drinking, tripping, Dead show watching way-healthy, smart and getting ready to enter Notre Dame.
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