VOLUME 6, March 2, 1997 [Images of Jerry]
How are things out there? I really enjoyed Furthur and I'm disappointed Ratdog isn't coming to the DC area this tour. I know of this really funky place in DC called the "Capital Ballroom". Ratdog and Mystery Box need to play here. The inside is painted black and reminds me very much of a dungeon. There is a "courtyard" outside the stage area where you can see the Capital building. It's a great place to dance! !
I can't stop listening to and dancing to the Mystery Box CD. I'd really like to see you guys again. Has Mickey ever thought about collaborating with Merle Saunders. The music created between these two could be awesome?
Another random thought, is Robert Hunter thinking of touring? I have seen him a couple of times and think that there would be an audience for him to play to now if he felt like coming around and sharing his music with us. There is a great little hall called "The Barns of Wolftrap" that would be a perfect setting for Robert to play, although it's little. I think it holds about 200 people.
I am really enjoying Dick's picks and the Vaults! ! Please keep them coming. My friends and I think they are really wonderful! ! I have heard some people complaining about Dick's current choice because it is so widespread on tape, but I don't have a tape of this show and I really like having quality sound that the CD's give. So thanks and keep them coming!
Well, enough random thoughts for now. Thanks for keeping the music going.
October 24th '96
Greetings ! My name is Pat Jordan, and I have been locked up since shortly after the Bill Graham memorial show in Golden Gate Park. Naturally I've missed quite a bit- lots of shows, many drinks and a few good crys- I'm sure you know what I mean.
The reason that I am writing is because I saw a write up in the paper about the Grateful Red "Un wine". Now, the bottle looks awfuly nice, but un wine???? The first thing that flashed in my head was, "I wonder what Pig Pen would think about 'unwine'?"
I love getting the Almanacs with all of the merchandise- some of it I like, and some of it I have to scratch my head in wonder of, but those are y'all's designs and you have every right to but them on anything you like, but this unwine thing really stuck in my craw. I mean, couldn't you call it "bunk wine?" Perhaps some old locked-up tourhead's opinion dosn't matter, but in my opinion putting your logo on 'unwine' is lame. I mean, let's explore the concept: The Just Plain Ol'Koolaid Test. Psylocibin-free mushroom tea. "Unpot: Just like weed only it doesn't get you high." Do you get my drift?
I realize that there is a lot of image pressure, or there was, but I think that Unwine is going too far. If you really wanted to put you logo on a non-alcoholic bottle, couldn't you have put it on Grenadine Syrup?
See you in 1999
(I am not doing time for "unacid")
It has been a while since I wrote my last mail. First, I'd like to thank you for the kind letter you sent me. I was really impressed to receive a replay. I was not expecting anything, but it was very special for me, so thanks again.
I'm writing this letter to suggest that Bob, Mickey, and Phil should consider playing with Vince Welnick's 'Missing Man Formation" band. What I saw and heard in the Fillmore last week was incredible. The energy was high, the lead guitar Steve C. is an excellent player that has lots of potential, especially if you imagine how it could be with the other members of the Grateful Dead.Definitely Steve Parish who introduced the "Missing Man Formation" last week knows that there are lots of potential there, and the possibilities are wide open.
It was the first time for me to hear Cosmic Charley live!! and what a great song, not to mention, it was well played. They really did an excellent job that night, with all the songs they played, so please pass the word around.
We hope that we all can get something going for all of us. Phil, Bob, Mickey, Bill, and Vince have lots to offer, and together they can bring back the magic to all of us, so they ought to give it a chance. If they do, then they'll see how fun it could be.
"No Our Love Not Fade Away"
San Francisco, Ca
Dear Mr. Lesh:
This is a letter of encouragement, and- yes, a 'fan letter'. Having never written a fan letter, I promise not to write again.
First of all, I want to encourage you to tour, even if it is\ next summer. Whichever musical medium you choose, it will be well received. Phil with Yo Yo Ma, Phil with Ry Cooder? Many of us old time Deadheads favored you (and of course Jerry as well), and we miss seeing you.
I caught the Furthur tour in Eugene this summer. You would have been an outstanding part of that mix. Please consider making a trip, at least to Oregon, to perform in the future.
It has been reported that you are working on a 'new' release of Grateful Dead material. Dare I make a suggestion? (never was one to bark out song requests from the crowd, and now I am).
There are so many wonderful pieces that are not on already released C.D.'s. Examples are: any of your Dylan tunes not on current releases, unreleased stuff from Seastones, Hey Pocky Way, Women Are Smarter, the list goes on and on. Can you find enough recordings that have not been released, that match your quality standards? We would love it, and buy it by the zillions.
A personal note. I first saw the Dead in Rio Nido, (Russian River) in 1967. After many shows, and so many years, the positive message of the band remains strong. I teach at Umpqua Community College, and for years I have played "Uncle Johns Band" to each class. This nearly always starts a wonderful conversation. So we're now all carrying on in so many little ways. So many roads.
Would you be so kind as to drop me a quick note, even a quarter note? I would treasure an autograph from you. A "S.A.S.E." is enclosed. Keep up the great work, it is appreciated,
9 August 1996
I've wanted to write this letter for a long time, even started it once or twice, but I never had the words to finish. I first heard GD on Saturday Night Live in 1978. I was 17, a smalltown intellectual with no exposure to anything but heavy metal & top-40 love songs, not a clue. SNL also turned me on to Talking Heads & devo & lots of other great music, but when I went to smalltown college 'twas a deadhead I met, named Susan. She was beautiful with long blonde hair & big brown workboots, the first "bohemian" I ever met. She played GD concert tapes & I didn't get it at all, it sounded wrong to me. But, God bless her, she kept playing them, & I was in love so I stayed & listened. One day, "the other one" suddenly sounded like the only real song ever written, suddenly I understood! I went & bought my first GD album, "Anthem of the Sun". Then my best friend came back for Christmas break from a semester at Cornell with Dead tapes, & I knew I was onto something. My first show was Rochester NY April 1983 (I still need it on tape, if anybody has any clues). I saw about four shows a year, never did a tour; most I ever saw was 3 in a row in 1987. By 1990 I was down to one/year, the scene just got too big for this fan. In the meantime I moved to Denver, & I managed to get tickets to one show here in '94 at McNichols. I kept (selfishly) hoping that the need to play in huge arenas would vanish, I wanted the scene to shrink a little. I expected that I'd be seeing GD well into the next century, acoustic tours with Jerry playing banjo & pedal steel... When he died, a year ago today, it really shocked me. I only know one 'head here in Denver, so on that day, as today, I made long-distance calls to friends back east & played some of the beautiful music that is preserved. I was very sad when GD stopped being GD; I know you can never replace Jerry Garcia, but I think those songs are meant to be played; as many band members have said, something truly magical takes place. T hope there will again be a Grateful Dead, & that there will always be such a thing even after all the original members have left...
I just wanted to thank EVERYBODY. I have received tremendous joy with Grateful Dead, in person & in my life. I have learned from the music & the whole "trip". I'm glad I got to be on the bus. Not only that, but GD took me to world music & jazz, jazz is IT...as well as Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Cassidy (moved to Denver due mostly to the Beat legacy-- I hope I'll be living in 'frisco in a few years mostly for that & of course musical reasons)... all kinds of cool places I might have missed on my own. I really don't think I'd have become this ME without Grateful Dead. I am extremely thankful, dare I say grateful, for all the worlds opened to me due to the band & organization &, of course, the deadheads.
I wish you all continued success in your endeavors, I mean everybody. We're all in this together. Take care, & once again, undying thanks for every moment.
I've called merchandising twice trying to get a catalog of STUFF (especially the Dick's Picks CD's), but have never received anything. Somebody might want to look into that.
·I hope FURTHUR is annual, but please please please don't play Fiddler's Green in Denver. Awful place, I know many people who refuse to go there for any reason. Mile High Stadium is cozier.
W P.S. Check out San Francisco band A Great Laugh, on Magnetic Records. Love,
Greetings to y'all from Atlanta,
The spirits are still with us as the call from opening ceremonies still reverberates through the city and hopefully the rest of the world. Thanks to you all for opening it all with Furthur and allowing us the space to keep it open even today. Carlos Santana played here during the Olympics and said he wouldn't have missed it for the world for he knew Atlanta was the heart center of the universe. He couldn't have been more right.
Now that I have all of this built up energy from three of the Furthur shows, seven Olympic events and 3 Paralympic events, I felt I needed to share some of it. For three years I had tried to get my then 1 2-year old niece to a Dead show. The first event was to be in Atlanta in April of 1994. My sister and her daughter Sara packed up the car in Gainesville, FL and headed north. They had gone 50 miles when the car broke down: 1994 was not meant to be for Sara. In the fall of '94, Sara and family moved to Martin, TN. Sara informed me that I still owed her a Dead concert and Martin, TN was still within driving distance so she was holding me to it. Low and behold, April Fool's Day, 1995, in Memphis seemed oh so much more appropriate. I mail ordered for tickets and bought a plane ticket for myself. When I received the tickets, only the four Atlanta shows were covered. The demand for the first show in Memphis in 20 years was just too great. I called Sara and broke the news to her. She ended up consoling me and telling me there was always next year.
The events of August 9, 1995, hit Sara as hard as they hit my sister and 1. Sara knew from Paula and I that it was always more than the music. Yes, the music has a way of getting you in the heart and taking you to places only the heart knows. But it was the community and the comradery of the event Sara thought now was to be no more and would never be hers to experience. Paula and I kept telling her that she has the power to create her own sense of community and comradery and once defined she can take it out in the world wherever she chooses to go. But Sara kept floundering in the thought that it was only a Dead thing and with Jerry gone, so was the experience.
But then we all began to hear the roar of the bus as it started out Furthur. Sara's excitement level began to build and hit record proportions when she found out that one of her favorite groups, the Mint Juleps, were playing with Mickey. I had told her not to get her hopes up too high until I saw the show in Atlanta and sure enough, the Mystery Box was full of surprises. The Mint Juleps were not only on the record but were also traveling in full force with the show. Needless to say, by the time we got Sara to her first show in Kansas City, she was already on cloud 9 in anticipation of what it was going to be. She was not disappointed. In fact, I got 5 hugs and 6 kisses from her during the show and for that I am forever Grateful to you. You helped us show Sara that community and comradery are where you are at, any time and any place. You also let us all see that that sense of community, love, companionship and acceptance was as strong as ever. No, it sure won't fade away! My sincere gratitude to all. It has been and will be a real good time!
I have enclosed a tape on connecting to the power within us all that a friend and I have put together. We call it Organic Mind Expansion (OME) and it is a real fun experience. Give it a try and let me know if my hanging up my accountant spikes last August was worth it I think so!
PS To Mickey; can you let me know how I go about getting permission to use some of your Dafos, At the Edge and Planet Drum compositions? They are so helpful in healing meditations that I would like to use them in workshops and support tapes like the one enclosed. As you know, percussion is the language of the planet and as we begin to learn how to connect back into the body (although transcending was certainly a fun time) I am finding the grounding provided through percussion is integral to the healing process. We are not a big company, in fact we haven't earned a dime yet. We are still just developing the products. But we know where we are going is the right way for us. Our goal is to leave only footprints on this earth and those footprints are going to count. They will be footprints that lead people to healing pathways that they can traverse for themselves. Before we can begin to heal each other, we must heal ourselves. We are just trying to make it a little easier for them to find a way. Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you soon.
August 14, 1996
Dear Grateful Dead and Staff,
Please allow me to convey an idea that may have some merit. I believe that you have the potential to put on a concert using DAT tapes, etc. without the band being present on stage. Reviving the very same sound system that the band had been using would give fans a chance to once again hear that spectacular sound quality and that wonderful music that has always been the core of the Grateful Dead experience. The concert could be enhanced using video or live entertainment, and of course it would be great to see a real Grateful Dead audience come back to life. At a Star Trek convention original cast members actually told anecdotes on stage. I for one would like to hear another chorus of "We want Phil'"
Perhaps a New Year's Eve show could be a prototype this year, and picking a venue could pose an interesting challenge. The more I ponder this 'crazy' idea, the more it seems like a good idea. I believe that many of us have had this idea, but the Grateful Dead organization has probably not deliberated upon the widespread acceptance it would surely have. What we need though are those who can do the idea. Just think. Wouldn't it be nice?
Yours in friendship,
Paul V. Ziesmer, M.D.
Santa Ana, CA
31 st. July, 1996
Shillong, Meghalaya, India
Sub: Request for Grateful Dead Audio and Video Tapes,
Cataog and Dead Merchandise Catalog if available
Please concede to my request for as mentioned under "sub" since Dead Tapes are not available in my country. Also indicate suitable mode of payment for tapes. Would also be grateful if you could include the Band's history jup to 9th. August '95 and after, if available.
Manoj Kummar Shah