Grateful Dead – Not Just another “Like” on Facebook!

I have hesitated to put my enjoyment of the Grateful Dead on my blog until now since it there is so much Dead blogging on the Web, but then I thought, I put up other things that I enjoy and find interesting, why not a band that I have enjoyed for 44 years??? It’s a little like writing about Bob Dylan or the Rolling Stones, do we need one more article? But, hard as it may seem, maybe you have not heard of the Dead, or have not heard their music other than their one top forty hit “Truckin”.  So, for those of you late to the show, or just coming of age to search the web for a new flavor, here are some thoughts.

If you want to hear Dead songs and their spawn, you of course can go the the Grateful Dead site and listen to your heart’s content.

How would I describe the Dead songs, surprisingly, with the exception of their electronic sojourns, firmly based in Americana and traditional folk music forms of ballads and songs well as the fundamentals of the Rock scene.

As for this blog, I will relay some personal encounters.

I enjoyed  the Dead, but was not one who went to hundreds of concerts, maybe 2 dozen.

I first heard them when I was a freshman at Clark University, in Worcester, MA in April, 1969. It was really a great to see them in a smallish hall. After that it was all coliseums.

My brother Bob Segal was able to get a “tapers” tape of that concert for me. My brother Garry Segal heard that concert recently on the radio. Actually, I saved the promotional poster from that concert and Garry has it framed and protected.

In 1973, I saw Jerry Garcia play with Nicky Hopkins in a small club in San Rafael, CA. After the show, Jerry walked up between the tables and I said, “Great show”, he said “Thanks”. What can I say, it’s the little things sometime.

So let’s see, I saw them in 1976 in Colt’s park in Hartford, see the ticket stub below:

And when Jerry Garcia died, I made a contribution to the Grateful Dead charitable organization the Rex Foundation. Below you can see the thank-you letter on their stationary, which still has Jerry as a member of the board.

So that’s it. As far as recommendations (these are links from Amazon where you can listen to samples from tracks), I enjoy American Beauty, Workingman’s Dead, Garcia’s Shady Grove but there is much much more.

Now I have a challenge for you reader. In 1995, when Jerry Garcia died, I wrote a commemorative poem called “Not Fade Away”  and posted it in The Well web site. I cannot for the life of me find it on the internet anywhere. My poetry has vastly improved since then, but it was a snapshot of the emotions of the moment. If you can find it… let me know!!!

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About Don Segal

See Commentary, Photos, Drawings and Poetry on my blog at donsegal.wordpress.com.
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