Thursday, July 9, 2009

Still Dead

It's just a box of rain
I don't know who put it there
Believe it if you need it
Or leave it if you dare
But it's just a box of rain
Or a ribbon for your hair
Such a long long time to be gone
And a short time to be there

The Grateful Dead closed their concert at Soldier Field in Chicago on this date in 1995 with a medley of "Black Muddy River'' and "Box of Rain.''

Then they were gone. Forever.

A month later Jerry Garcia would die of a heart attack at a drug rehab facility in Forest Knolls, Calif., where he had checked himself in for heroin abuse.

A group that formed in the early Sixties as Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions and morphed into the Warlocks would finally settle on a name that captured the spirit and timbre of San Francisco's psychedelic counterculture. And they would play, on and on. They played a fusion of blues, rock, folk and bluegrass, and it's improbable they ever played any song the same way twice because they were sonic innovators and, well, their stoned fans wouldn't have known the difference anyway.

The final Chicago show was No. 2,314 in the band's glorious career. That's a lot of concerts and a lot of Deadheads -- and a lot of joints to pass around.

Yet, as the song goes, it's such a long time to be gone and a short time to be there.


  1. They were good when Pigpen was alive.

  2. Me either. But that's one cool sneaker.