Volume #27, Issue #4


            When I used to think of summer, I pictured an idyllic time when school let out and there was nothing to do, but be lazy and silly and take whichever path looked most appealing at a given moment. I guess we all have to grow up. Now, summer is a hectic time filled with the manic need to fit it all into one season. And with so much happening, it doesn’t make the choices any easier—what to do, where to be, riddled with indecision instead of a simple promise of adventure lying around the next corner. I sit here facing deadlines while trying to stifle the profound need to feed the musical monkey that lives on my shoulder, trying to relax because it seems an appropriate time to do so, picking the weeds instead of smelling the roses…summer—when did it all become so complicated?

            What’s happening this summer? A lot! We try and give you some info throughout the pages of this issue, but, inevitably, many events don’t contact us or supply info in time for publication, so we can’t cover all the bases. But with a little research, you’ll likely find a worthwhile event happening right in your own backyard.

            I spent some time with Bob Weir discussing the upcoming RatDog album, the Furthur tour and some recollections from the past. RatDog was playing in Asbury Park at the Jersey Shore, so I got to hang with Bob at the pool. I now have a thousand sand fly bites that are a perceptible reminder of our visit. On a better note, we have a great interview to share with you next issue.

            Wavy Gravy called from Camp Winnarainbow to remind me of the 14th annual Hog Farm Labor Day Pignic. This year, the gathering will feature Jackson Browne, Richard Thompson, David Lindley, the David Nelson Band, Henry Kaiser, Ben Harper, Indigenous and many other performers. The site is located five miles north of Laytonville, California. Check out www.pignic.com.

            It’s hard to believe that Jerry’s been gone for five years. His spirit is so present—perhaps more so than when he was with us. As unaccepting as he was of his role as a living icon, there’s no denying his legacy. His music lives on the wind, his memory breathes life into everything around us. The dance is still in his honor. Since his passing, I hold the highest regard for all living things. I’m unphased by the intrusion of even the tiniest creatures in my environment. It’s a wonderful gift to appreciate the treasure of life, for in its wake lies the future. Our very mortality beckons us with the promise of immortality in the grand scheme of that which lies beyond the foreseeable horizon.

            Last issue, I asked you to share your memories and thoughts on the Grateful Dead and ways in which we can perpetuate the culture. I feel the isolation of sitting behind my desk and long for the road where I can see what you’re doing, hear what you’re hearing and know what you’re thinking. I look forward to finding you out there somewhere. The song remains the same and we dance and spin and fall dizzy in fits of laughter. The sun beats brightly down, infusing our auras and regenerating our weathered souls. And our voices echo in the hills as we gather together to share the dance…the dance of life.

            I know you’re out there somewhere…Be safe and enjoy the musical bounty of the season!

In peace, love and light,
Toni Brown

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