Year of the Dead, well thats it or the other one…

Things have been a little quiet around here. I seem to have not really been able to get my act together enough to write a coherent sentence that was positive. So on the drive this evening as I finally got finished with the three day snow experience that managed to paralyze Portland Oregon but was just a lot of fun to work in I figured out how to end this Year of the Dead for me.

No I never managed to play all the Dick’s Picks albums, or even all of the studio albums. I never managed to go see any of the Dead live although several elements past through town or are appearing soon. I never managed to deepen my appreciation for the 80’s on in any meaningful way. I did however manage to confirm for myself that the albums I really like, I really do like. Also that I can manage to enjoy just about any show recorded from the late 60’s to about 78 and that Donna Jean may be a great singer but she can almost certainly manage to ruin just about any rendition of Playing In The Band she appears on.

img_5987So as I struggled through the frozen landscape of Clackamas County I figured the best panacea was some warm weather music from the Dead. It’s a strange timeless experience traveling on frozen deserted roads, fog rolling across the highway as you struggle up hills and around corners. The best bit about the side roads is that people tend to avoid them, preferring the highly polished major arteries. That are populated by insane people driving all wheel drive nightmares far too fast. Slow and steady is not the by-word for the majority of drivers. Of course the lazy rhythms of the Dead can manage to keep you alive in these circumstances.

As I was working and driving I figured that the best choice was Workingman’s Dead.  Itimg_6041‘s slow paced  blue collar tempos did not cause too much consternation for the passengers as they sat white knuckling the ride to work. High Time relaxed them with it’s familiar pedal steel and strolling bass line. Actually they were having a great time sipping their latte’s and laughing.

I am after all an engaging and fun filled driver. The plea for some Lady Gaga from the young folk in the back was shushed by the grizzled veterans next to them as Dire Wolf taught them what may happen if we broke down and New Speedway Boogie and Jerry and the boys tried to come to terms with the tragedy of Altamont. By the time we got through the whole album on a journey that usually took 25 minutes or so but was stretched to 40 plus by the weather they were singing along to Casey Jones and had the sunny disposition of the Dead convert and no  I did not let them stop at any to the 7 marijuana grows we passed on the way in.

Three days of driving for work, picking up people to make sure the kids were looked after, making hot chocolate with marshmallows, two igloos built, helping four strangers put their chains on and sleeping the sleep of the exhausted all to the dulcet sounds of Jerry and the chaps in their prime. Successful end to the week, however the winter weather warning for tomorrow was not welcome as I would really like a weekend.

So there it is, my year of the Dead, I have not managed to keep track of any of this in an orderly fashion, guess I have a lot to think about for this blogging thing. This thing probably all began with the gift of American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead around this time last year so it’s fitting that it should all end here as well. Not sure if any of this made sense and I never had a schedule and I know there are a lot of records I missed but hey it was my trip and like the last few days it was a fairly strange one.

So these are my last two pictures, the drive home tonight.


4 thoughts on “Year of the Dead, well thats it or the other one…

  1. Two great albums … I actually try to perform Box of Rain … wonderfully philosophical lyric!

    In fact, forgive me, can’t resist posting them …

    Box Of Rain
    Grateful Dead

    Look out of any window
    Any morning, any evening, any day
    Maybe the sun is shining
    Birds are winging or
    Rain is falling from a heavy sky,
    What do you want me to do,
    To do for you to see you through?
    For this is all a dream we dreamed
    One afternoon long ago
    Walk out of any doorway
    Feel your way, feel your way
    Like the day before
    Maybe you’ll find direction
    Around some corner
    Where it’s been waiting to meet you,
    What do you want me to do,
    To watch for you while you’re sleeping?
    Well please don’t be surprised
    When you find me dreaming too
    Look into any eyes
    You find by you, you can see
    Clear through to another day
    Maybe been seen before
    Through other eyes on other days
    While going home,
    What do you want me to do,
    To do for you to see you through?
    It’s all a dream we dreamed
    One afternoon long ago
    Walk into splintered sunlight
    Inch your way through dead dreams
    To another land
    Maybe you’re tired and broken
    Your tongue is twisted
    With words half spoken
    And thoughts unclear
    What do you want me to do
    To do for you to see you through
    A box of rain will ease the pain
    And love will see you through
    Just a box of rain,
    Wind and water,
    Believe it if you need it,
    If you don’t just pass it on
    Sun and shower,
    Wind and rain,
    In and out the window
    Like a moth before a flame
    And it’s just a box of rain
    I don’t know who put it there
    Believe it if you need it
    Or leave it if you dare
    And it’s just a box of rain
    Or a ribbon for your hair
    Such a long long time to be gone
    And a short time to be there
    © Universal Music Publishing Group

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