We naturally count off milestones to mark achievements in life. When it came to our attention that we were going to reach our 150th issue, it didn’t seem like much. After all, 150 hours of live Grateful Dead music would barely make a dent in anyone’s collection. But upon more careful thought, 150 pints of Cherry Garcia is a lot of ice cream and multiply that by the number of calories in each pint—well, you get the point. So, sitting down and looking through the Relix archives, there’s no doubt that we have achieved something monumental. We have chronicled a musical sub-culture, helped it to thrive and provided enough information to inspire an entirely new generation of musicians. In addition to all of the musical aspects that Relix has shared with its readers during its 27 years, there’s been so much more. The nurturing of a lifestyle is a responsible task.
When Relix came into my hands, I was nervous. I’d never run a magazine and it was a challenge. But what is life without reaching beyond the dreams and goals we set for ourselves? In calm reflection, the most important thing I realized about my role as editor and then publisher of Relix was that I must use it responsibly. No greater tool exists than the media and I take this position very seriously.
In an effort to take full advantage of as powerful a resource as a magazine, it was an easy decision to provide more than just musical news to our readers—we alerted people to a vast variety of environmental issues, describing how even one person can make a change. We carefully observed the scene we thrive within and cautioned the masses that not everyone out there is a friend. We spoke out against the injustices of the War on Drugs and the implications of the unjust Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Acts that continue to plague our society. We’ve given musicians’ perspectives on touring, fans’ grievances with parking lot problems and stood strong when east coast Deadheads took a bashing from their west coast Deadhead brothers and sisters. We rifled through the gossip to give readers actual news, waded through lawsuits to preserve our right to share that news and labored with massive egos in the wonderful world of rock stardom. At times we were disheartened, but there was always a stronger hand at play in this entity. It was never about what “I” wanted—it “is” about destiny and the part we each play in that which “will” be.
So, in the remarkable scheme of things, we continue to push the boundaries, paving a road through the rough terrain of the mainstream and mundane. And as the journey continues, so does the hard work. There are many people behind the scene that I need to thank. They’re the good folks that help bring each issue of Relix to you—and, in spite of my own self-imposed distractions, they’re always there. First, thanks to all of the loyal Relix contributors that have stood beside us through the years. Thanks to my friends and editors Claudia Falzarano and Phyllis Antoniello, two beautiful, brilliant women that I adore working with. Also thanks to Rick Spanier, who has been designing Relix for 12 years, and Jacquie Bloc, Rick’s valued protégé. Ian Brand has taken on many of our most industrious covers in recent years and his artistry is appreciated. Thanks to Tom Canova for his trusty advice and Enis Moran, who diligently pushes us into the expansive void of cyberspace. Thanks to John Lucchese, who helps in the office. And thanks to Les Kippel, who wasn’t satisfied to just go home after a Dead show—he had to take the show home with him! Les has led the way for tapers and with the initial vision with which he created Relix—as a Deadhead and as a music enthusiast, I thank him. Once in a while, you get shown the light…and Les saw the light big time!
Remember to leave only footprints, watch each card you play and let there be songs to fill the air. Have a great summer. See you somewhere out there…
In peace, love & light,
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