Volume #23, Issue #1
The news cam down hard and fast…the Grateful Dead have called it quits. No more sitting at the edge of my chair, waiting for news of rehearsals. No more pestering the Dead’s publicist, Dennis McNally, for the latest word. No more anticipation of that next show, of who would be playing, of what they’d be playing. No more anticipation, period.
I suppose it couldn’t be any other way. Jerry Garcia is gone and things could never be the same. And after 30 years of sharing their magic and devoting their lives to the music, the Grateful Dead deserve to come up for air. But…the day the announcement came, it was as if the knife that had been plunged into my heart on August 9th, 1995 was turned and finally removed. Yes, there was more pain, but there was also long-needed closure.
Most Deadheads responded that the Grateful Dead’s announcement was the right one. Some optimism has surfaced regarding the fragmented members and their potential output. Bob Weir’s Ratdog is touring successfully, Mickey Hart is finishing the mixes on his new album and the remaining band members are listening to live and studio versions of the new songs, trying to come up with an album. Promoter John Scher has been working on a "Deadapallooza" tour, expected to feature Ratdog, Mickey Hart and Hot Tuna, which is anticipated for next summer. H.O.R.D.E. officials expect the summer of 1996 to be their biggest yet and they’ll be making a special effort to include Deadheads as part of the trip.
It’s true the Grateful Dead have called it a day, but we Deadheads have more than enough life in us to see us through. 30 years of music, 30 years of inspiration. The band is packed and gone, but that doesn’t mean the party can’t go on. Gather with friends. Have picnics, parties, jams and drum circles. Go see your favorite local bands and check out some national acts. We’ve come so far…don’t pack your tie-dyes away if you like wearing them. I’ve said it before…we’ve etched our place in society and the Deadhead culture is thriving. We are a minority, but we must continue to be recognized for our humanity, responsibility to our planet, our individual ideals, our freedom and, most of all, our incredibly good taste in music.
Our next issue will be a Grateful Dead Special. We will feature an in-depth interview with Bob Weir, an interview with Garcia about Janis Joplin that was done a year before his death and several other projects still in the works.
Life is ahead of us—just look back every now and then and remember what we had, Then, look ahead and see what will be. Your day is what you make it, so make it count!
We weren’t just an audience; we became part of the event. The energy was passed on as a gift—it is our responsibility to perpetuate the dream. Dream on!
As always, in love and light,
Toni A. Brown
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