So i have been on this journey with the Dead and it’s been awhile since I mentioned Dick’s Picks Vol’s 10,11 and 12. Respectively Winterland Dec 29th 1977, New Jersey Sept 27 1972 and June 26th 1974 Providence Rhode Island/June 28th Boston.
My journey with these three began sometime in May and June and has gone all the way through July. They have flown around 12,000 miles on my iPhone and travelled almost 1,500 road miles in the UK from London to Liverpool to Carlisle and then as far south as the Cheddar Gorge, from neolithic monuments to massive cathedrals.
Then back in Oregon they have rode up and down the road from home to work for two weeks, until today as I sat with the roof off at a light feeling very hot and the ancient Deadhead in the jeep next to me grinned and named the date of the show I was listening to before the light changed again gave me the thumbs up and shouted I was there.
All along the road the Dead have chugged along with me. Their familiar songs holding me grounded as I cried with my Mum and hugged my Dad at the end of the day. They were also strangely there as we pulled through the debris of a festival to the strange town of Glastonbury to climb the Tor and visit the abbey and commune with the strange pilgrims of the past and visit with the burned out new age wacksters left over from the weekend. But truly nothing can beat Glastonbury for a strange event.
As we left the site of the Uffington White Horse I did the calculation to see if we could make it to the Rollright Stones and it was just too far. I think the picture may have been better if I had a plane to take it from.This was more disappointing as it would have been good to write about that for Bruce. This was a truly sad decision to turn the car north but two more hours driving was more than Michelle could take at the time just to see another stone circle. By this time it was all getting a bit Spinal Tap.
All along the road those 8 or 9 hours of Dead music kept me entertained and Michelle and Ben rolling their eyes until we hit the Kinks. That however is another section of the story. So the shows, from 1972 until 1974 is prime live Dead and I have never heard a bad show, although they must exist. Consistent is the word for this period and it is happy music. The 77 show is a tougher prospect, it’s still a great live show but the Dead are back after a three year break and sound a little harsher, more jaded less Sunshine Daydream and more Jack Straw, it’s hard to place but tangible in the vibe.
So the odd thing is I spent time communing with the neolithic sites of my culture listening to that most American of bands. Touching ancient stones while Jerry and the boys led me along that long strange trip and no substances involved. My son got to walk in the steps of ancient man and he came to terms with an ancient band.
I am not much of a reviewer but if you have a long trip to take you could do worse than the Dead. These 10 or 12 hours are some you may not regret taking in the company of America’s jukebox.