Volume #25, Issue #1
When Les Kippel went to his first Grateful Dead show in 1970, his initial reaction was a desire to relive his music. So, when he attended his second Dead show, he took a tape machine along. Of course, this was before people were actively taping shows and there was no need to hide the fact. It wasn't until 1974 that the Dead began to stop tapers from bringing machines into shows. But that didn't stop Les or the many friends he'd made by then who were also into documenting their musical experiences. It was a long battle between the band and the Deadheads who wanted to tape and, eventually, the Dead realized that its popularity hinged on the accessibility of these live shows. Somehow, a peaceful coexistence came to pass and, with it, came the realization that the taping subculture within a subculture needed to be united.
Les's idea of bringing tapers together brought about the First Free Underground Grateful Dead Tape Exchange. From that early concept, Dead Relix Magazine was born to provide an outlet of communication amongst the growing legions to tapers.
Here were, 25 years later! I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said that I've been anticipating the 25th anniversary of Relix Magazine since I started wit the publication 18 years ago. I had no idea it would come so soon! I've often wondered what I'd do with my life once I moved on from this space.
With the letters of encouragement and the overwhelming support we receive, I get a sense of responsibility in putting Relix together. When Jerry died, it seemed nothing could give me the inspiration I needed to continue, but that inspiration has come from you, our readers. Through your expressions of sorrow, I found solace; through your optimistic views of the future, I found continuation. I've learned that it wasn't just the Grateful Dead that made our culture grow, it was us-all of us. The energy initially sparked by the music took on a life of its own inside each of us. And all those little flames are enough to light nights for as long as we care to project into the future. So, when faced with what to do next, the reality is starkly vivid-ain't no place I'd rather be.
We all still suffer moments of isolation but you readers have made me understand how important a role Relix plays in distancing us from that isolation. Knowing there are so many of us out there is heartening and the "We will survive" mentality has taken on anthemic proportions.
We Deadheads are the storytellers. The Grateful Dead gave us the canvas and the paints and left us with the task of painting the pictures. Use bright colors and let your imaginations run wild. Pass it on!
All the years combine, they melt into a dream…
Wishing you all a magically musical 1998!
In peace, love and light,
Toni A. Brown, Publisher
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