Friday, July 9, 2010
A case of Deadhead envy?
What has become of the Deadheads? There is still the Grateful Dead, sure, but the dynamics certainly changed for the band and its fans without Garcia -- the unwilling cult leader -- in the lineup.
We're just wondering if all those aimless fans decided to go make something of their lives, or do they still sit around smoking weed in their tie dyed shirts, eating Cherry Garcia out of the container and listening to long, looping dirges? (The Sanctuary has no problem with that, but we do prefer pistachio ice cream.)
We remember a couple of occasions when the Dead were playing the Omni in downtown Atlanta, the city of our employ at the time, and it became very nearly impossible to get to and from work on those occasions. It's possible we wished we were high at the time like all the drones around us, and headed for a concert instead fighting our way toward a dysfunctional newsroom. Perhaps that is the root of our problem.
Whatever the case, we suspect it has been different for the clan without Garcia, who died of a heart attack exactly one month after his final concert on July 9, 1995 at Soldier Field in Chicago. We have live streaming audio of that performance, so here you go. Although some fans who attended the show swear it was the best Deadhead concert ever (and who would know better than them?), the music suggests otherwise. Touring no doubt took its toll on Garcia, who had significant health issues for years. We read somewhere that the Dead played 2,314 shows during the three-decade span Garcia was on lead guitar.
That's a ton of shows, and a lot of dope if you happened to be a Deadhead.