Volume #23, Issue #3


            Summer…so busy noting the many things coming up, trying to fill my time with anything that will keep the realities at bay. Summer…and no Grateful Dead.

            It’s easy to forget all of the negative aspects of the Dead’s final tour, so easy to remember the community in such a bright light. I miss it. I miss the ritual of preparing for a show. I miss the parking lot and its sights, sounds and smells. I miss the hazy cloud of dust that made it hard to breathe, yet comforted me in its familiarity. I miss running into old friends and making new ones. I miss people recognizing me and coming up to say hello. And most of all, I miss the band—the magic, the music, losing myself in reflection during a jam and coming up for air with the answers to life’s questions. I miss it all.

            “If all you’ve got live for is what you left behind, find yourself a powder charge and seal that silver mine…”

                                                            Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleooo (Hunter/Garcia)

            Okay. The time has come to look forward. The sun blazes high overhead and the sky is as bright as it’s ever been. There are many bands hitting the road this summer, so watch for them. Nothing lifts the spirit better than a smile and a dance—do it!

            Major interest this summer will likely be in The Furthur Festival with Bob Weir’s Ratdog, Mickey Hart’s Mystery Box, Hot Tuna, Bruce Hornsby and Los Lobos. This event will be hitting over 25 venues nationally, providing a much-needed gathering place. The H.O.R.D.E. Festival will keep lots of folks busy with its multi-cultural events and Phish is headed for Europe, loyal followers likely in tow. Local festivals seem to be happening everywhere. Woodstock ’96 (that’s 69 backwards) in Bethel, New York promises a large gathering in spite of local complaints. The open road awaits us still.

            Walk in the sunshine
            Watch for the bright sign
            Be all of the things you’re able to be

                                                                                    Walk in the Sunshine (Weir/Barlow)

            More than ever, I look forward to hearing from you. Our column “Where to Go Now That There Ain’t No Shows” is open for your input. Please share local news and gatherings with us, so we can pass the info on to our readers.

            Now, for a little personal news: You may have noticed over the last few issues of Relix that I’ve been out singing. My debut album, Blue Morning, has just been released and I’m working with my own band as well as sitting in with such friends as the Memphis Pilgrims, the David Nelson Band, Juggling Suns, Living Earth and Illuminati. While I was in Paris this past spring, I had the pleasure of singing with the French Grateful Dead band, Deadicace. It was incredible to be amongst close to 400 French Deadheads! We really are everywhere.

            A likely progression for me, after spending so many years around musicians, was to give in to my desire to sing and write music. I encourage anyone with the burning need to create to do so without hesitation. The inner rewards are incredible.

            Have an extraordinary summer. Maybe I’ll catch you at some shows!

            Tread gently wherever your feet take you and let your mind take you as far as it can reach. Be careful, be safe and most of all, be happy.

                                                                                                With love and peace,
                                                                                                Toni A. Brown, Publisher

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