The Last NEWSLETTER, 1980

February 1980

It's been interesting times since the Egyptian concerts in September of 1978, and it looks like they'll continue that way, so here's a catch-up on the news. The Sphinx Theatre concerts were recorded and filmed. At the moment, a video special is in production, with scenes of pyramid exploration, Cairo marketing, tomb archeology and Nile boating, and the concerts themselves.

Jerry and Phil are both playing custom-made guitars by Doug Irwin. Bobby still plays an lbanez and Billy and Mickey are now playing Sonar rosewood drums and Zildjian cymbals. Brent plays a Hammond B-3 organ and Yamaha electric piano.

The band has played four benefits in the last two years, each one emphasising a different community problem: for Pacific Alliance's campaign against nuclear energy and for more solar development; for Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden's movement against Environmental Cancer; for SEVA's (Society for Epidemiology and Voluntary Assistance) campaign against cataract blindness and other eradicable disease, beginning in Nepal; and for Joan Baez's Humanitas Foundation's direct aid to Cambodian refugees in Northern Thailand. The Dead's next benefit in the works is for the Committee on Worldwide Nuclear Disarmament, which seeks to gather support through education, starting with the Bay Area.

On the Summer Solstice weekend, concerts are planned in Alaska (Anchorage and Fairbanks); there will probably be other summer festivals and weekend dates, but mostly the band will take a break from recording and touring until the fall and work on individual projects, some of which are now in progress.

Mickey is working on a percussion- based record from the music he did with The Rhythm Devils for the film-score of Apocalypse Now, soon to be released by Passport Records.

Robert Hunter's new album, Jack O'Roses, which he recorded in England, and is distributed there by Dark Star Records, will also be released in America soon.

Jerry is in the process of recording an album with the band he has been working with recently (John Kahn, bass; Johnny d'Fonseca, drums; Ozzie Allers, keyboards).

We'll try to get more news out later. Thanks for your letters, advice, good ideas, helpful complaints, and artwork.

DeadHead Definitions

"I made a mixture with clear water, and filtered it to take away the dead head of it. " (Husbandry & Gardening, 1707)

"When castings are required to be particularly solid, they are generally made with what is called a dead head." (English Mechanic, 1869)

"Dead head, a kind of dolphin or stout post on a quay head to make hawsers fast to; a rough block of wood used as an anchor buoy." (Smyth's Sailor's Wordbook, 1867)

"Dead head: One who returns without a load. " (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary)

"The forest covered slopes of Deadhead Hill, whose summit rim is always outlined in black by the crowding figures of the deadheads assembled to see the game. " (0. D. von Engeln, At Cornell, 1909)

"As I had never experienced the blessed privilege of deadheadism, I could not naturally miss the opportunity of enjoying so new a sensation." (N. Y Tribune, 1857)

"In Pittsfield, recently, he is reported to have advertised that he could furnish a free pass to glory, but very few of the unrighteous population seems anxious to be dead-headed on this train." (N. Y. Tribune, 1871)

"He had been dead-headed into the world some fifty years ago, and had sat with his hands in his pockets staring at the show ever since." (O.W. Holmes, Elsie V ii, 1860)

(Quotes from Oxford & Webster's dictionaries)