diana (ddodd) Fri 28 Jul 00 21:25
er, misogyny, that is...
david (ddodd) Fri 28 Jul 00 21:39
The 700 pager would've been more comprehensive, including song lyrics, and definitely interviews with Weir, Hart & Kreutzmann, Barlow, et al. I wanted to include one of my annotated lyrics. And we wanted LOTS more photographs, including the one mentioned at the Booksmith reading the other evening by Steve, by Jim Marshall, of the band playing Haight St. from the back of a flatbed truck. But as I said before, I think it's just as well that this book got trimmed down (unlike the trimming that happened to Blair's *Garcia: An American Life* (topic 50)). The bibliography I co-wrote with Rob Weiner resulted from my speaking at a conference, in Tulsa, OK, of the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association, to which Rob had invited me based on my Annotated Lyrics web site. Rob pointed out to me that there was no bibliography on the band, and I agreed to work with him on one. I was, at the time, on a tenure track as a librarian at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and it was necessary for me to publish. Bibliographies are notoriously librarianly publications, and so we worked on it for about a year. Greenwood Press, our publisher, makes you do everything, down to delivering camera ready pages, so I did all the work on building a ProCite database, converting it to Word, dealing with the headers, building a series of indexes (indices!), and all this leading up to the period when our daughter, Rosemary, was born. Whew. It was exhausting. But it's basically a good bibliography, with quite a few errors and omissions that may, perhaps, get fixed someday. Maybe by Rob. And if we're going to talk about who WASN'T in the Deadhead scene, there are plenty of social, economic, and ethnic groupings who qualify. Isn't that always true everywhere? Opera fanatics don't worry (or maybe they do) about the lack of working class people at the opera, do they? I'm a Unitarian, and I'm very familiar with the tendency of our church to obsess about who is NOT there on Sundays (almost everyone). So I guess I'm willing to let go of that. The great integrator in my life is the library itself, and that's where I dedicate my energy towards diversity: it's a natural in the public library.
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Sat 29 Jul 00 06:22
One of the things about being a Deadhead, in my experience, is that to us, it was so OBVIOUS, on various levels, what a miraculous thing was going on here--it positively beat you over the head and changed your life. But, just as Steve describes, people could be there for the most amazing moments and flat-out Not Get It.
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Sat 29 Jul 00 06:40
On a related subject--as noted, I came along relatively late, in 1981, and at that time at least, there were so few African-Americans on the scene that it seemed like you knew them all by name. One time when I was still working at Payless, having found the local contingent of Deadheads (which, come to think of it, Steve, included at least a couple of gay guys working at the store), some random customer wandered by in a Dead shirt. I pointed out to one of my bosses, a black guy himself, that whoa, there was a black guy going by in a Dead shirt. "Must've been in the service," said Al, a military brat himself. And indeed, for reasons I've never entirely fathomed, there was a large contingent of military Deadheads, and that's where a lot of people seem to have gotten the message. Preconceptions about the demographic usually turned out to be useless. The scene managed to bring together a lot of like-minded people, but also a lot of people who were in utter disagreement about practically everything, from politics to the merits of the most recent Scarlet/Fire.
Steve Silberman (digaman) Sat 29 Jul 00 08:26
RE: Military Deadheads In Provincetown, the owner of a little shop there was formerly in the Army, stationed in Texas. He said that he and his Deadhead buddies used to put on their full-dress uniforms, drop acid, and go to shows dressed that way to walk around freaking people out. Hilarious image.
David Dodd (ddodd) Sat 29 Jul 00 09:06
I was always amazed by the huge clean-cut, beer-drinking frat boy crowd!
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Sat 29 Jul 00 09:29
And there was also this huge split (with much grey in between) between those who were there for the religious experience, as it were, and those who simply saw it as a context for partying their brains out. One thing that struck me very early on was how much the Grateful Dead was the salvation of generations of kids who would otherwise have had a remarkably whitebread, if privileged, existence. And, of course, how these same kids took the experience back to those existences as they attained high-status positions.
Steve Silberman (digaman) Sat 29 Jul 00 12:04
What mary said!
Steven Solomon (ssol) Sat 29 Jul 00 14:28
Being a fellow who's bringing up the rear on that "high-status" thing, I'm continually grateful for the very, very bright and good hearted friends that I've gained through my decades-long dance with the Dead. As a middle-aging professional, I grow more and more impressed with the models provided by those friends as they conduct their careers with compassion, cleverness, ethical rigour, and a friggin' amazing sound-track. Something happened to us in that Dead-space. The Grateful Dead provided the sonic and lyrical scaffolding of that space. It was majestic. We got it and took it with us. We did it each in our own way, but from a common, community-intuited center. For this, I'm kind of proud of me and my friends. We spend our whole lives being told by most everything in our mass culture and powers-that-be, that this ain't possible. The "this" I refer to, contains several "impossibilities", I figure. Yet, more or less in line, we pull it off.
David Gans (tnf) Sat 29 Jul 00 14:35
>As a middle-aging professional, I grow more and more impressed with the >models provided by those friends as they conduct their careers with compas- >sion, cleverness, ethical rigour, and a friggin' amazing sound-track. Yes! It's great being part of a loose network of accomplished, bright people with a secret link.
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Sat 29 Jul 00 18:30
Very nicely put!
Linda Castellani (castle) Sat 29 Jul 00 19:16
Mike says he was a military Deadhead! He was in the Air Force, stationed in Monterey, and he says that they were given a big long list of places they couldn't go in San Francisco, but it didn't include going to the Haight, dropping acid and going to see the Grateful Dead! I just went to get some of my friends off my frigging back fer chrissakes, but the experience just whacked me over the head and changed my life. Mary describes herself as a latecomer, not having started until 1981, but my first show wasn't until December of 1992. Recently, there was a flowchart making the rounds called something like Flowchart of Music Deadheads Like and Don't Like, and I was amused to note that "anything from 1992 or later" sucked! Guess I came along too late, according to that, but I sure was happy with what I got.
David Dodd (ddodd) Sat 29 Jul 00 21:08
Another idea for a book: first times at a Dead show. This could be fun, and could be one of those compiled-on-the-net things. Not that Diana will let me consider such an idea... (She says she would let me consider it.) But what's that line from Ecclesiastes? Ssomething about the making of many books being a weariness of the soul. An anthology is a great context, isn't it, in which to discuss diversity? Because it is supposed to be a diverse thing in its nature. (I did feel some disappointment in the binding Oxford gave the book. All my life I have had, around me, on my parents' bookshelves and in libraries, those wonderful Oxford anthologies with the dark blue boards and the gold stamping. No such luck. Ours is white, with a red-ink printed spine. Dern.)
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Sun 30 Jul 00 06:19
They probably think it's more appealing.:-) But I'm with you. I'd like to see it looking like the OED.
David Gans (tnf) Sun 30 Jul 00 11:16
I read the long interview between Jerry Garcia and Ralph J. Gleason, conducted on the eve of the release of the first GD album (March 1967). It is just great -- Garcia knows what they're up to, and Gleason appreciates 'em knowledgeably.
David Dodd (ddodd) Sun 30 Jul 00 16:31
Yes! That interview alone is a good reason to have this anthology. It came out initially in Gleason's book, The Jefferson Airplane and the San Francisco Sound, in a sort of tacked-on chapter entitled "Jerry Garcia, the Guru," which is how he was credited on Surrealisitc Pillow (I'm pretty sure). Ralph Gleason's son, Toby, was wonderful in helping us through a small labyrinth of permissions work to get the Gleason pieces into the book. (By the way, he's working on re-releasing many of Gleason's jazz shows, done for TV, on DVD on the Jazz Casual label. REports are that they're excellent!)
David Gans (tnf) Sun 30 Jul 00 16:35
Jerry was credited as "musical and spiritual adviser" on _Surrealistic Pillow_.
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Sun 30 Jul 00 17:28
To people who came along after Gleason's time, it's difficult to explain how different things are as a result of his work. Before Gleason, "rock journalism" was things like Dick Clark and Tiger Beat, smarmy adults talking down to ostensibly stupid youth while enthusiastically picking their pockets. Gleason, whether by virtue of being at Ground Zero during the '60s or by uncommon good sense or whatever, recognized that something real was going on and said so, early and often. In the post-Rolling Stone era that's hard to envision, whatever the obvious faults of rock journalism today.
David Dodd (ddodd) Sun 30 Jul 00 21:16
Makes you want to look around and see what's happening now that's not being taken seriously, eh?
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Mon 31 Jul 00 19:23
Looping back a bit to answer my own earlier question, I've got two pieces in here. One is an interview I did on May 23, 1984 with Robert Hunter for The Golden Road (thanks, Blair!), which was certainly a high point of my life, then and now. The tape of that interview was lost in a fire three years later, and I mourn it still, because there was all this other stuff on it that never fit into the interview. Just typing this I'm remembering a part I hadn't thought of for years--Hunter's account of how, in making Amagamalin Street (the ostensible reason for the interview, which is a good deal broader) and in particular the last track, he had hauled recording equipment into the room of Rodney Albin, then dying of cancer, and they had propped Rodney up with his fiddle to play that part on the last track, so the last note on the album is Rodney's. And a hell of a note it is, too. The other one is the Jerry Garcia obituary I wrote for BAM in August 1995, and boy, was that tough. One of those things I couldn't do and had to, a familiar state in those times. And, due to my muddled brains and also long-distance editing over the phone from Colorado (where I was at the Newtfest--don't ask, it was a surreal time), I misattributed a speech Annabelle made to Mickey. (This is fixed in the book.) We got an irate letter from this woman that at least BAM could have had a Deadhead write the damn obituary. I remember the day Jerry died really well, because I wasn't going to the office because I had a biz appointment in South SF. I got in the car and, like any number of false alarms before, there was wall-to-wall Dead music on KFOG, and the news was soon out. And when I got to SSF, I found that my friend wasn't going to be at lunch because his wife had had a baby the previous night. So I went over to Dennis and Susana's, and hung out in a daze with them for I don't know how long. They weren't expecting me and I didn't call. Just showed up on the doorstep and they took me in.
David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 31 Jul 00 21:31
Thanks, Mary, for telling those stories. I remember being SO GLAD that it was you who wrote the BAM obituary, knowing that it would be good before I even read it. And it is good. Here we are on the eve of August, and it's five years later, and I feel in some ways as though it was yesterday, and in others as if it were all just a dream. Tomorrow is Jerry's birthday, then next week will bring August 9. Hunter with his "August" lyrics! Is the man a prophet, or just covering all the bases? Your Hunter interview is a great piece, and I mourn the loss of your tape, too! I remember meeting you right around that time at the old Berigan and Brown's record store on Piedmont Ave. I was browsing the Dead bins, and your said hi and introduced yourself, and we started talking about Hunter's lyrics. You had a tape of Amagamalin in your car, and you actually went out to your car, got the tape, and gave it to me! Gave it to me-- someone you had just met! (Really, I don't usually use this many exclamation points in a single paragraph. Not that this should BE a single paragraph. What was it Salinger said about all your short paragraphs getting lost?)
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Tue 1 Aug 00 06:30
Hey, I remember that meeting well. (We must remember to send Berigan a copy of the book!) And hey, I am sure you went out and bought the record when it was out!:-) I forgot all about that tape. But I remember vividly when Jack O'Roses came out how my friend Bennett (co-founder of the gd conferences in later life) came hotfooting it to Payless where I was stocking shelves and handed me a tape, and I was basically playing it to shreds forever in the car. (I bought the record as soon as I could!) Hunter was not thrilled with that record by the time of the interview, and since I remained convinced it was one of the great things ever committed to vinyl and argued that the Terrapin was incredible, he sat me down in mid-interview to read the version of Terrapin HE thought was right. Died and gone to heaven would be something of an understatement.
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Tue 1 Aug 00 13:10
So David and Diana, aside from the obvious fact that it would be lovely if this book sold several million copies and your kids' college was assured, who is this book FOR? And why?
David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 1 Aug 00 20:35
I think there are several potential audiences. I do hope that, contrary to its review in the current issue of Library Journal, it is not for Deadheads only. (Whatever "only" means. How many of us are there, anyway? In how many walks of life, at what varying places on the socio-economic spectrum? Perhaps a book that was only for Deadheads would find a fairly broad audience!) But Diana's participation is an overt attempt to be sure that the book can be appreciated by non-Deadheads. The writing was chosen for quality, and for the illumination it brings to the music and to the subculture surrounding the band. So it is for friends and family of Deadheads who seek to understand, as well as words can give to understand, what their friend, son, wife, or nephew may have experienced. Or grandchild. Or grandparent! Another target group is students of popular culture generally, whether in an academic setting or as casual readers. Along with that target audience goes the library audience; many people will check this book out of a library, but would never go so far as to buy it for themselves. And finally, as Steve Silberman stated in a recent interview on Dead to the World, the KPFA radio show David Gans hosts, this book might even be looked at in the future, say, 200 years from now, by anyone seeking to get a hit of what was going on back now. I would love that! A book is a time traveler, it's true.
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Tue 1 Aug 00 21:03
Yeah, back in my grad school days I used to really wish I could get ten minutes with, say, Hartmann von Aue, and say "Yo, Hartmann, what were you getting at in this part of Der Arme Heinrich anyway?" And never mind the fact that ol' twelfth-century Hartmann might have had trouble putting things in twentieth-century terms, it would still have been great. Back around that time it seemed to me that the real power was to change the way people thought, and in the 12th century there were quite a few guys like that. So when the Dead came along and were doing it in real time and I could actually ASK, "Yo, Hunter, what's up with this?" and GET AN ANSWER, I was doing it for me, but also for the future version of me X centuries hence trying to figure it out. True, some of the questions are arguably stupid, but sometimes it's part of the job to be stupid.
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