Still Crazy After All of These Years

Can’t sleep, and neither can Shawn, so I have been corrupting him with the Grateful Dead all night (sorry, haters, he likes them, although he really likes the Jerry Garcia Band better), and we just listened to the Dead live at Buckeye Lake on 1 July 1992.

That was a big concert for me, because I got out of the Army and Germany just three days before, and went to the show with my brother, both sisters, and Jesse, my brother’s buddy. As soon as I got there, I ditched them, and this was pre cell phone days, so I just let my freak flag fly all day and was off on my own doing my own thing. Young, happy, in shape, and free.

I’d spent the last couple years swilling German beer, so the only thing I drank all day was Guiness, and I was wearing a white t-shirt and my Vuarnets and red Alpha Sig hat. All I really remember is majoring in street pharmacology (I would go into details but it would make my mom cry) for the day and having Guiness and grass stains over my whole body when I woke up the next day, but the best part was that Steve Miller was the opening act and actually showed up on stage with them for the second set.

I vividly remember feeling like 200% as the sun set and the sounds of the Steve Miller Band were rolling up the hill, calling us down to the show. And the encore was Baba O’Riley.

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30 replies
  1. 1
    AnotherBruce says:

    Christ, your musical tastes are more dated than mine, and I’m about 15 years older than you.

  2. 2

    Reminds me of the time I saw Jethro Tull at the East Grande Ballroom in Detroit in 1969 with an opening act by some group called “Chicago.” $5 to get in and all the freak you could fly in an old restored movie house.

    Never let those days go.

  3. 3
    Calming Influence says:

    John, I wouldn’t have pictured you at a Dead concert, but that just shows that you can’t really know someone by reading their blog. And from personal experience, getting out of the service definitely puts you in the mood for exploring conduct previously frowned upon by the UCMJ. Including grass stains. FREEDOM!

  4. 4
    JGabriel says:

    And the encore was Baba O’Riley.

    You’re all WASTED!

  5. 5
    moderateindy says:

    Remember that show. Last in a five show run for me at the end of the summer tour. 2 at Soldier Field, 2 at Deer Creek in Indiana, and then that one in Ohio which ended with a Lovelight, the Baba O ‘Riley, and I think Tomorrow Never Knows (I was with both a Beatles freak, and a Who freak). Really fun couple of weeks culminating in spending the 3rd of July watching the fireworks for Chicago on an actual yacht in Lake Michigan, then the Annual 4th of July concert in Grant Park with Robert Cray, Squeeze and, If I remember correctly, They Might Be Giants. It was a fairly epic couple of weeks facilitated by a very cool boss that told me to take the extra week of the 4th off since nothing was going to get done anyway.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    Passing strange, this. Keeping someone born in 1857 on the active missing persons roster seems a bit of a stretch. Investigating for academic or training purposes, sure; at least some other designation of lesser priority and immediacy.

    Switching gears, Tuesday’s Fargo was, if not riveting, intriguing, walking a very fine line between suspense and caricature. That an entire cast can underplay their roles and have the entirety of the piece hold up is impressive (and demonstrates some serious acting chops). In certain scenes, can vividly picture the director repeatedly admonishing the actors to take it down a notch.

  7. 7
    Amir Khalid says:

    The post title isn’t an attempt to quote Paul Simon, is it? Because if it is, it’s off by just a teeeensy little bit.

  8. 8
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: Well, if they find him, maybe they can also help the FBI find DB Cooper.

  9. 9
    raven says:

    When I came home from the Nam I spent 3 days on a concrete floor on the Oakland Army Base (no, no hippies spit on met) before the morons were able to muster us out. My buddy lived in “the City” so I went to his place, copped 100 hits of purple mesc, ate one and went to the Fillmore. Who is this Santana I asked? Here’s the poster.

  10. 10
    Lavocat says:

    Is this really what you remember or was it just an acid fever dream?

    You forgot to mention the winged monkeys.

    That is all.

  11. 11
    CASLondon says:

    Prep school deadheads on the east coast pretty much spoiled it for me, much like Duke basketball or any Philly fans will do that for a sports team. That being said, American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead are true classics.

    Living in Rhode Island. for a summer, working for a deadhead chef and his attractive co-chef/girlfriend/co-deadhead, with a surprise invite to go to see Jimmy Cliff. Roofless jeep, we’ve all been tuning up before the 45 minute drive up to Providence, so we have him behind the wheel because he hasn’t been drinking/smoking. Nearly there on some rural R.I. roads, when he turns to us at one of those hanging from a cable across the road red lights, he asks if that is a dragon.

    WTF? Oh shit. Deadheads.

  12. 12
    Manyakitty says:

    I saw the Dead at the Rubber Bowl in Akron. Tom Petty and Bob Dylan opened. Without too much additional detail, Tom and Bob’s appearances were exponentially more startling than usual. The ugly just dinnit stop…good show, though!

  13. 13
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Thanks for the link to that archive John. I just found the first Dead show I ever went to and am looking forward to listening to it later.

  14. 14
    Waynski says:

    I saw the Dead in Saratoga, NY 1985. Took something called Gooney Bird and had a really bad trip. I ended up hanging out by a tree right next to the temporary medical center, just in case, which was awfully busy that night – I guess I wasn’t the only one who dropped a bad dose. The only saving grace was that they had set up speakers in the trees, so I could still listen to the music.

  15. 15
    Hawes says:

    Saw them on that same tour. In Las Vegas. Nothing quite as surreal as Deadheads on the Strip.

  16. 16
    Soonergrunt says:

    I went to a couple of Dead shows in Telluride, CO when I was in high school. I went to one with a friend, and one with a girlfriend. Skip school, drive down from Grand Junction, sleep in my car, stay wasted all day and into the night through the show and the next morning, eat at some point, and drive home, get a shower and go to school on Monday morning.
    Those were great shows.

  17. 17
    Rudi says:

    If anyone wants to rip/convert this or any shows, it’s done in two steps.
    1) if available, download lossless format from bt.etree.org.
    http://bt.etree.org/?searchsss.....#038;cat=5
    This show not available at this time.
    2) Use an app like Win Amp or FooBar200 to convert to mp3 format. One can also convert to CD format.
    http://www.foobar2000.org/

    A Hunter’ Trix matrix is available. HT does a great job creating a SB/AUD matrix.
    http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=528649

  18. 18
    Gin & Tonic says:

    One of many places I saw them was at Watkins Glen in 1973, along with a couple of other groups named The Allman Brothers and The Band.

  19. 19
    low-tech cyclist says:

    the best part was that Steve Miller was the opening act and actually showed up on stage with them for the second set.

    Where you said ‘best,’ I’m hoping that was a typo and you really meant ‘worst.’

    @AnotherBruce:

    Christ, your musical tastes are more dated than mine, and I’m about 15 years older than you.

    Hell, I’m 60 and my musical tastes are way fresher than Cole’s. Maybe we should strap him to a chair and play some Decemberists for him, or some Arcade Fire.

  20. 20
    Gus says:

    @moderateindy: I was at one of those Soldier Field Shows. Great show, though, as happened in Chicago twice, bought some blank blotter paper. There’s a special circle in hell for dealers of bunk drugs at Dead shows.

  21. 21
    newnumbertwo says:

    @moderateindy: I did that same 5-night run of shows. Had an amazing time. My friend Mike had woken up at Buckeye Lake on the parking lot, gotten stinking drunk, and lost his ticket. Later on I saw him inside the show, no he hadn’t found his ticket but he couldn’t tell me how he’d gotten in, either.

    I think 91-92 were the last fun years of Dead shows, at least for me, and Fall Tour 1989 was the last great Dead tour.

  22. 22

    Cole was shakin on shakedown street.

    I used to sell grilled cheese sandos and burritos at shows. Trades accepted!

  23. 23
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    The post title isn’t an attempt to quote Paul Simon, is it? Because if it is, it’s off by just a teeeensy little bit.

    My guess is he is trying to annoy eemom.

  24. 24
    BobS says:

    @Mustang Bobby: My first of more-than-I-can-count Grateful Dead shows was at the Grande in the early 70’s- I forget the exact year, maybe ’71 or ’72. By the way, you appear to be conflating the Grande Ballroom (which was on the westside on Grand River) and the Easttown Theater (a similar eastside venue, at Harper &Van Dyke), which was where I stumbled onto a previously unknown-to-me electric English folk-rock band named Fairport Convention, featuring a very young Richard Thompson on guitar. 40-some years later, RT is the only musician I’ve seen perform more times than I’ve seen the Dead, most recently last summer on the same bill with Wilco and Bob Dylan. Jeff Tweedy invited him onstage where he and Nels Cline shared jaw-dropping leads on the old Fairport song ‘Sloth’, and the great man himself honored RT by covering ‘1952 Vincent Black Lightning’.

  25. 25
    moderateindy says:

    @Waynski: Gooney Birds are infamous in my circle of Deadhead friends, not for being bad, but for being really amazing!!! One man’s trash……

  26. 26
    moderateindy says:

    @BobS: Richard Thompson is truly one of those gems that goes unnoticed by the majority of the planet, even by those who are into music, along with guys like Townes Van Zandt, and John Prine. Sad, beause they really have so much to offer.

  27. 27
    LT says:

    Good stuff. On a related note, except that it involves a pissed-in resevoir in place of a Grateful Dead concert, that story out of Portland, Oregon, about the guy pissing in the resevoir on Mt. Tabor – with the photo of the wrought iron fence-surrounded resevoir – brought back memories of an adventure I had at that very spot. My face against that cold fence…for a really long time…I can still feel it, man…

  28. 28
    LT says:

    @moderateindy:

    Richard Thompson is truly one of those gems that goes unnoticed by the majority of the planet, even by those who are into music, along with guys like Townes Van Zandt, and John Prine. Sad, beause they really have so much to offer.

    You are a rock star with those three names. Top floor. Saw all three of them multiple times, even Townes, last time being months before his death, barely able to walk, but grinning like a wolf. Those are three of my songwriting guides and gods, El Loudo being another.

  29. 29
    J R in WV says:

    Was at the Rubber Bowl in Akron for that show. Never really was into Tom Petty until he played with Bob Dylan and the Dead. A great show. My old college room-mate had to stay home with a bad back that night.

    Everyone named above is a great talent. John Prine knew about the evil of strip mining 30 years ago, before the giant drag lines were common.

    I am still crazy, after all these years!

    That is so much better than being a Republican, after all these years!

  30. 30
    David says:

    Sorry, JR, but re: John Prine, it’s 40+ years ago.

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