Grateful Dead Scrapbook Part 2

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Conversion Story Library of Congress Drumming Dead saves Mouse! Drums and Space Apple Drops LSD

Conversion Story writes:
>After the October 1989 shows at the Byrne Arena, The Village
>Voice ran a review by Joe Del Priore that was kind of your
>typical conversion story.
[partial repost deleted]

This is too good of a review to only post pieces of.  Here is the full
text of the article.  And speaking of old reviews, does anyone have
that hostile review about one of the Spectrum shows from a few years ago?
You know, the infamous Necco wafer slander!  A classic.  :-)

by Joe del Priore

The Grateful Dead are a lava flow - inexorable, spreading, seamless. Mick Jagger may spasm across the stage like a rhesus monkey burst from a vat of Ben-Gay. But Jerry Garcia shuffles and shimmies, hunches over and farts through his frets as legions lean forward to suck up his wind. I am 41 and have never been to a Dead concert. My only Dead album, Blues for Allah, hasn't been on the turntable since 1976. Pulling into the parking lot at Byrne Arena, I am confronted by a big porker asking if I have an extra ticket. I sell him my extra for $20, face value. A bearded guy sticks his head in my passenger window and screams, "YOU JUST SOLD THAT TICKET TO A FUCKIN' SCALPER!!" like I committed a felony. He pounds my car roof and curses me, froth running down his chin. I am off to a poor start. The entire parking lot is a setting for Outer Limits, with paisley alien hairballs rolling around in the glare of headlights and gasping, "One ticket, need just one". I have been sucked into a whining whirlpool of desperation. Peasant-skirted, barefoot, beaded, sombreroed, shawled, saucer-eyed creatures pour into the tunnel funneling from the lot to the arena. Beer cans abound, a patron pees between cars. In the waning daylight I'm certain my penis is bigger than his. Young women appear and offer anything for a ticket. Since my sex life is currently on a respirator, I sob. A teen in front of me young enough to be my son keeps goosing his girl. I sob some more. All snickers and beams, he turns to me and says, "I got a six-pack stuck under her shirt. Is this great or what?" I fondle the Life Savers in my pocket. I see a pair of Dockers, a three-piece suit here and there. Nubile women are pushed against me as we trudge onward like hostages changing safe houses. Checkpoints abound, where security asks to see tickets. More women jostle me, so I jostle back, heart racing. At the final checkpoint I am thoroughly frisked - my first time ever. When I reach the bland, hospital-waiting-room lobby of Byrne Arena I am panting in a burgeoning need for sex. Inside, people everywhere are rolling oat-bran cigarettes. At precisely 7:40pm the Dead take the stage and the audience yowls. I train the binocs on 'em. Garcia looks and moves like a constipated panda. Bob Weir is the uncle you were always afraid to be alone with when you were a kid. The others are spinal-tapped crustaceans. These guys are old, slow, and ugly as sea slugs feeding on fungus. I calculate if I leave now, and drive fast, I can get to Nassau Coliseum in time for the second half of the Torvill and Dean ice show. I stick it out.

Three hours later I want to babysit their children, cook and clean for them, balance their checkbooks, and trim their hedges.

Now I get it. Now I see what all the fuss is about. It doesn't matter what the Grateful Dead play. They do a song about rain, one about sunshine, one about a steam locomotive, one about Tennessee, a couple with the F-word in them. Everyone knows the words but me, except for "Blow Away", the best cut on Built to Last (Arista), the only new tune they play. Confused fanatics look to each other for help. I've got an advance of the album, so I lick my lips and set everyone straight. "Good shit", I tell the babe next to me. (She wants me; I can feel it.) This huge sound Slurpie causes an epidemic of twitching and howling. It's like watching Joe Cocker get off the Cyclone. Some of the stuff starts off too midtempo for my taste and there isn't enough interplay between guitar and synthesizer a la Santana-Tom Coster. Garcia still takes it to the catatonosphere, then drops into the barrio with a particle accelerator that tears off your shorts and pockmarks your ass.

Unlike benigh cysts like the Beach Boys, the Dead are still obsessed with directions of sound, its effect on the psyche, the way sonics can immerse into society's concerns. Built to Last blends cynicism, irony, anger, reckoning, and soothing assurance of salvation through solid friendships. We get isolation, disconnection, ecology, economic disparities, crime, and a spray-painted Mona Lisa all seen from a higher perspective. It's the kind of touch that the New Kids on the Block might have some difficulty pulling off. "You could be just another highway curled up in the night", they reassure us on "Just a Little Light". On "Standing on the Moon", they observe, "I got no cobweb on my shoe."

But to heck with all this rockcrit crap.

After intermission the Dead open with a rousing "Help on the Way" and later develop an extended piece that becomes a purgatorial odyssey into the Holy Realm of Whatsis. It takes off on a drum solo that begins deep underwater, rises to the surface, hurdles across a burning pier, sloshes through a marsh, meanders along a river, ascends into the mountains, flushes back down into the flats, sneaks into a suburb, stomps on the lawns and flower beds, bursts into a city, closes down the honky-tonks before drifting uptown, curlicuing up skyscrapers, higher, floating out into space, drifting around Jupiter, finally orbiting the third moon of Neptune. Don't these guys ever run out of Cheeze-Whiz??

I stagger outside, still not sure of what went on in there, but certain I had walked in wearing a mustache. Dim the lights, pass the oats, and roll away the dew. The Dead buried Pompeii.

|  Glenn Russell                                  |
|  ConferTech International, Inc.                       (303) 235-5323     |

The Library of Congress

From: "daniel j. slive" <DSLIVE@brownvm.bitnet>
Subject: dead citing--not for librarians only!
Reply-To: DSLIVE@brownvm.bitnet
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1993 12:05:40 GMT

In the recently received Library of Congress Information Bulletin dated May 31, 1993 (Volume 52, No. 11) is a cover story (6 pages long) entitled: "The Endangered Music Project: Cooperation Brings 'Culturally Threatened" Music to a Wider Audience." Very good introduction to the first release- entitled "The Spirit Cries"-of the project. Included are references to the Grateful Dead and especially to Mickey's work on the project. Also pictures of Mickey in a tie and jacket and of Jerry whispering Mickey a kiss while surrounded by various dignitaries. (Good thing he didn't turn the other way: he would have been nuzzling the ear of the Librarian of Congress! :-) ) Anyway, go ask your friendly cataloguing librarian if you can "check out" a copy.


I work in a library, so when I heard about Mickey and Jerry being in the Library of Congress Information Bulletin, I read it. I thought this might interest some people, so here's some excerpts (without permission, all typos mine):

"While the Grateful Dead has promoted environmental causes through benefit concerts and activist spokesmanship over the past 2 1/2 decades, drummer Mickey Hart has quietly developed his own brand of musical conservation. His CD series 'The World'--which comprises more than 17 releases ranging from collaborations with Airto Moreira and Phillip Glass to the soundtrack for 'Apocolypse Now'--provides a popular forum for musical traditions that may be considered endangered. For example, the songs of the Sudanese Hamza El-Din, a master of the oud sho is heard on the album 'Eclipse' and the Nubian music featured on 'Music of Upper and Lower Egypt' document the cultural disruption that followed the completion of the Aswan High Dam. The Gyuto monks of Nepal, heard on the album 'Freedom Chants from the Roof of the World,' were forced to flee Tibet after many of their brothers were killed or jailed by the communist Chinese.

Mr. Hart's twin commitments to musical and human rights and his pursuit of audio perfection find their best expression in 'Voices of the Rainforest,' an astounding 'soundscape' of music and daily life among the Kaluli people of the B Bosavi Rain Forest in Papua, New Guinea.

Mr. Hart arranged a six-week trip to Bosavi for [the author etc.]....then spent more than four months in the studio mixing the component tracks to recreate the 'spatial' sound central to Kaluli music.

Mickey Hart: "My selection process was mostly ear play. I didn't want to be an ethnography specifically of the area, I wanted it to be a popular work. I would listen to them over and different environments, on the beach, in the house, in the car.... I would listen in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening, and the selection revealed itself to me."

"For many listeners the eclecticism of 'The Spirit Cries' will shatter monolithic notions of what rain forest music should sound like. African-influenced drumming, call-and-response singing and chordophone traditions are interspersed with Amerindian-influenced monophonic chants, two-part polyphony and Western-influenced popular music. For Mr. Hart, the ephemeral nature of these liminal experiences imbue the music with an elusive quality that takes priority over the mechanics of performance:

"There are two ways of looking at music," he said. "There's a technical way, which has nothing to do with the spiritual, and then there's a spiritual way, which has nothing to do with technique. The spiritual way you tune yourself into this music when you are making it has nothing to do with technique, it has to do with the transformational moment. It has to do with creation, not re-creation. These are individual moments that were made specifically for that moment, never to be repeated. Of course technique doesn't hurt, but it's not necessarily the prime ingredient for this kind of music."

--The article is much longer. Sorry to take up so much room--hopefully this was interesting for somebody!!!! Has anyone actually heard "The Spirit Cries"??? I sounds interesting. I wish I could post the picture that ran with the article--4 men and a woman in suits (senator so and so, etc.) Mickey, also in 3-piece suit, and Jerry with a T-shirt and leather jacket over it, whispering in Mickey's ear.

Ron Foster

Mickey Drumming Up Some Action

Subject: Mickey in the Indianapolis Star 6/24
Date: 24 Jun 93 22:28:49 GMT

Went out to the main entrance at work today to snag a paper and was surprised to find Mickey in the entertainment section. Included was a photo of him wailin' on a trap set, with several other drummers on bongos, congas, etc. The captions read as follows:



The Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart, who does a nightly percussion solo with partner Bill Kreutzmann when the band is on tour, had even more help Wednesday when he appeared at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis to drum with about 50 "kids" of all ages. The giant percussion event was part of an exhibit called Drumming that was inspired by Hart's books on the subject. He and the Grateful Dead were in town Wednesday for the last of three days of sold-out concerts at Deer Creek Music Center.

(Reprinted without permission, thank you very much)

Did anyone know about this? It would have been GREAT to check it out. They've always had some really neat stuff at the Children's Museum, so I'm not surprised that it happened, especially with all of the other community interest-type stuff that Mickey is known for (Drum circles, etc.).


Subject: Dead Citing in US House of Reps
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 1993 15:05:56 GMT

When the US House of Representatives voted to kill the Superconducting Supercollider project, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-NY, said, "The whole spending history of this project can be summed up with one phrase from a Grateful Dead song: 'Trouble ahead, trouble behind'".

Rep. Boehlert co-sponsored the amendment to close the project.

Dead saves Mouse!

Subject: Dead saves Mouse!
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 1993 17:20:34 GMT

Some of you might recognize the name Stanley Miller, AKA Mouse, but I'm sure all of you would recognize his artwork. Mouse painted posters for the Avalon Ballroom, Winterland, and the Fillmore. And when he needed a new liver the Grateful Dead were there to pick up the tab.

quoted w/o permission from the San Francisco Examiner

"said Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart: `One of ther great things about San Francisco in the '60s was walking down the street, and looking up and seeing those amazing posters by Stanley Mouse.'

"Then the Grateful Dead acted out its song 'I Need a Miracle Every Day.' Danny Rifkin, the Dead's de facto business manager, called Rosina to say the band would pay the entire $175,000 within 90 days. 'It was about Stanley being a cherished member of our family," Dead spokesman Dennis McNally explained. 'As Jerry (Garcia) pointed out, you don't get that many chances to save someone's life.'

"'Remember, in those days there were no radio spots, no newspaper ads,' said Dead drummer Hart. 'We Spread the word by posters, and Stanley's were everywhere.'

"'So many people came forward to support Stanley because he represents all that was good about the 60s,' said publisher Williams. 'The biggest generatiopn in history was young then, and Stanley's artwork is emblematic of their youth, a time when they felt inocent, godlike, and good. It was a time of happy dreams."

Just thought you guys would like to see this article.

Drums & Space?

Date: Mon, 12 Jul 1993 03:06:52 GMT

Found this in the WEEKLY WORLD NEWS, and thought it was entertaining-

Reprinted w/o permission

Some deadheads are less than thrilled with the Drums and Space segment of free-form drumming and electronic noodling that goes on forever during Grateful Dead concerts.

But they better get used to it. "We're going to keep on doing it," says Jerry Garcia, head of the Dead. "If people don't like it, so what? There are times I hate it, too. There are times when it goes nowhere. But I don't care. That's not the point. The point is that it doesn't have a point."

Kesey booted at Apple Party

From: Jeff Hellman (
Subject: Kesey booted at Apple Party
Date: 17 May 1993 19:49:50 GMT

Taken from the San Jose Mercury News--Front page article
By Rory J. O'Connor

"They thought we were all loaded and dangerous"--Ken Kesey

Invite author Ken Kesey to take the stage at a 1960s "groove fest" party, and you might well expect the former leader of the Merry Pranksters to wind up mentioning LSD along the way.

But it apparently surprised the producers of jsut such a party at the San Jose Convention Center Thursday night: They unceremoniously threw Kesey and his friends, including former pranksters, off the stage, saying the outfit paying the tab couldn't abide its stage being used for "promoting drugs."

That might be expected at an American Legion fete. But what surprised Kesey was that this party was produced and paid for by Apple Computer Inc., the Cupertino Company that built a counter-culture reputation for its computers in the 1970s and 1980s as strong as Kesey's Pranksters did for their causes in the 60s.

"It came as a total surprise to us. We were absolutely straight,"---to back page---


Speech is acid test of ill-planned event

Kesey said from his Oregoin home Sunday. "But they thought we were all loaded and dangerous."

Apple hired Kesey, author of "One flews over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Sometimes a great notion" to be part of the entertainment for the theme party, one of several the company held for 3,500 independant programmers and Apple employees as part of its Worldwide Developers Conference last week.

Kesey, who was headed to San Jose anyway to meet with a film producer, drove to the party from his Oregon farm in a replica of "further", the bus the Merry Pranksters drove from Kesey's home in La Honda around the country while experimenting with LSD in the mid-60s. Kesey the Pranksters and the bus trip were immortalized in Tom Wolfe's best selling book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test."

Kesey parked the bus in the courtyard of the convention center. Then while a band Kesey described as "dressed up like Paul Revere and the Raiders, wearing lots of paisley and day-glo" took a break, he began "telling his warrior stories" from the 60s, a local friend of Kesey's recounted.

" I was trying to relate what was happening with computers and microtechnology and virtual reality to what was going on in the 60s, which was to use new programs instead of the same old programs," Kesye said. " I said we weren't there to join in the 'Laugh-in.' I said we were going to crash this program."

But about 20 minutes into his monologue, Kesey suggested to the audience that the federal government should have dealt with the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas, by spraying the compund with LSD instead of bullets. That's when a woman helping to produce the show rushed onstage and told Kesey he was through because of the drug reference.

"Frankly, the producers weren't even born back then," said Kesey's friend, who didn't want her name used. " They didn't have a clue what to expect. They had no idea who they were dealing with."

Kesey and his entourage then got back on their bus and started to leave---only to have the producers insist he couldn't drive it away while the party was going on. They called extra security guards, including one armed with a gun, Kesey said. But Kesey eventually got the bus out, and headed back to Oregon.

A reporter's call to Apple for comment Friday initially was answered by a secretary who asked how to spell Kesey's name---and then asked who Kesey was.

Eventually, an Apple spokeswoman returned the call and acknowledged that Kesey had attended the party at Apple's invitation. But she declined to discuss the what happened, saying the event was "a private party."

Kesey said he was just as happy the producers pulled the plug on him, noting that there were non spotlights and it was hard for the audience to hear him. "The whole thing was ill-programmed to start with," kesey said. "They didn't want live people. It came as a surprise to them."

Conversion Story Library of Congress Drumming Dead saves Mouse! Drums and Space Apple Drops LSD
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