When was your last Dead show?

Talk about the recent Tours

Postby strumminsix » Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:55 am

Mick wrote:Suddenly, the impression of a Dead show as a bunch of hippies smoking some weed ...


Impression vs.reality, IMO.

I have known lots of people who "dropped off the touring bus" at many phases due to many reasons. But the overall feedback was that it was never this lovey-dovey scene that lots of people try to make it out to be.

The dead used the Hells Angels and lots of bikers for security and as part of the crews for many years.

The Dead themselves weren't the sweethearts many make them out to be either.

Listen to how pissy Jerry and Bobby and Phil have gotten towards people back in the small venue days when things were more intimate!

Drugged dummies just happened to become the majority somewhere in the mid-80s and that, IMO, is when it all went downhill...
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Postby CountryMile Cadillac » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:16 am

Well then I'll blame it on the Republicans
"Think I'll come back here again,
Every now and then from time to time"
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Postby Tennessee Jedi » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:24 am

"Drugged dummies just happened to become the majority somewhere in the mid-80s and that, IMO, is when it all went downhill..."
Yeah its sucks Jerry got all fucked up on junk.
:?
Its too easy to blame "the other guy" when things go bad.
Jerrys drug use ended the band in my opinion ..not the "scene".
They should have done the "Terrapin Station " thing when they had the chance.Let the crowds come to them.
All "scenes" go bad sometime .....
:smile:
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Postby Mick » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:28 am

strumminsix wrote:
Mick wrote:Suddenly, the impression of a Dead show as a bunch of hippies smoking some weed ...


Impression vs.reality, IMO.

I have known lots of people who "dropped off the touring bus" at many phases due to many reasons. But the overall feedback was that it was never this lovey-dovey scene that lots of people try to make it out to be.

The dead used the Hells Angels and lots of bikers for security and as part of the crews for many years.

The Dead themselves weren't the sweethearts many make them out to be either.

Listen to how pissy Jerry and Bobby and Phil have gotten towards people back in the small venue days when things were more intimate!

Drugged dummies just happened to become the majority somewhere in the mid-80s and that, IMO, is when it all went downhill...


Yes, when I said "impression", I meant impression. Clearly the Heroin crowd and the psychadelic crowd were always there, at least in all of the time I was seeing the band. Not everyone at any of the shows that I went to was a person I would describe as a "hippie" either. But that impression was so persistent, I still run into it today. When someone asks me what kind of music I play on the guitar, I usually say something like "classic rock". When pressed for artists and the Grateful Dead come up, I get the usual array of ignorant comments about pot-smoking hippies.

For a time, that impression worked in the favor of Dead fans; people thought of "Deadheads" as essentially harmless and concert venues for the most part left us alone from a security/police presence standpoint. Contrast that to something like a Rolling Stones show of the time , where the militant atmosphere was rampant, and there was clearly a different feel to the parking lot. Inside the venue as well. Some of the first Dead shows I saw at Brendan Byrne, you could buy a beer in the venue until the end of the intermission. Late 80s and early 90s shows, no beer at all in the venue and open container laws were being somewhat enforced in the parking lot.

I believe that not all of the change was as a result of the change to the Grateful Dead fan base. At around that time, here in NJ anyway, a lot of heavy metal bands were playing the same venues and several incidents that essentially amounted to riots occurred at their shows. I remember the pictures in the paper of overturned cars and the like. I think those incidents had to have contributed to the change in attitude toward policing parking lots before concerts.

I don't think anything I wrote indicates that I thought the atmosphere was "lovey-dovey" at any point as I clearly do not. It just seems to me now that it was more laid back at the early shows I went to than the later ones. An atmosphere that was largely "keep to ourselves" became very "in your face". I'm not an "in your face" kind of guy, and it was a major reason why I stopped going in '91.

As to "Drugged dummies just happened to become the majority somewhere in the mid-80s and that, IMO, is when it all went downhill.": I see that a little bit differently. Like I said, the heroin crowd and the psychadelic crowd were always there. Were they a minority in the early 80s and a majority in the late 80s? Maybe, but nothing from my experience stands out in support of that idea. I clearly remember some yahoos with big tanks of nitrous being carted away by the cops at one late 80s show, which did seem to be a new thing at some point. But if there was ever a time where the overwhelming majority of the crowd was completely straight and sober during the show, it must have been before I went to my first show, or after my last.
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Postby astroman99 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:02 am

Mick...well said, always stoners, always freaks, but it was mellower in the early eighties, and especially the seventies, and the vending did have something to do with it... Vendors at one time actually liked the band and went into shows, maybe one or two a tour, how strange.
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Postby strumminsix » Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:25 am

Mick, I wasn't talking directly to you about "impression". You used that word, accurately, but it made me think of the impression that the mainstream of people have about the Dead and scene...
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Postby Mick » Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:54 am

strumminsix wrote:Mick, I wasn't talking directly to you about "impression". You used that word, accurately, but it made me think of the impression that the mainstream of people have about the Dead and scene...


I understand. I also don't claim to be any kind of expert on the scene for the reason that I didn't go to all that many shows (twenty something ones that I remember clearly), and I never "toured" with the band. All of the shows I went to were in PA, NJ or NYC, and they don't span that wide of a time frame either ('85-'91). I am sure that those who went to hundreds of shows and traveled from city to city, often running into people they had met at other shows in other cities, would have had a completely different experience. I was only giving my impressions of why the parking lot "experience" changed for me over the seven years I was going to shows. I didn't mean for it to be any more than that.
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Postby Mick » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:00 pm

I should also add that there being a large number of assholes at a stadium show is far from peculiar to late '80s and early '90s Dead concerts. Basically the overcranked asshole crowd seems to be at all of the big stadium shows I've gone to (Rolling Stones, The Who etc.), and I have refused to take my kids to Giant's games when offered the opportunity because I don't want to expose them to that element yet and that crowd is at every Giants game in force.
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Postby Tennessee Jedi » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:09 pm

Mick - you could bring your kids to the Link to see the Birds.
The fans love out-of-towners.
They are nice and friendly too.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby astroman99 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:29 pm

Tennessee Jedi wrote:Mick - you could bring your kids to the Link to see the Birds.
The fans love out-of-towners.
They are nice and friendly too.
:lol: :lol: :lol:


Is that a semi-pro team? I heard they is good.

WORLD CHAMPION NY FOOTBALL GIANTS..
I know I am an asshole... but my tears have paid for that!
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Postby Mick » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:59 am

Tennessee Jedi wrote:Mick - you could bring your kids to the Link to see the Birds.
The fans love out-of-towners.
They are nice and friendly too.
:lol: :lol: :lol:


They wouldn't have a problem with me, I grew up outside of Philly and am a life-long Eagles fan.
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Postby Tennessee Jedi » Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:13 am

Must be tough up their with the all the Giants fans - that would drive me nuts ...
Them being World Champs and all ...
:?
To tie into the Dead thing - I never liked going up to the Meadow Lands or (God forbid) MSG.
The crowds were just too nuts.
I always preferred to go to west to Ohio or Alpine maybe Pittsburgh to see the shows ...
A lot of Spectrum shows though ...
:smile: :smile: :smile: :smile:
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Postby Mick » Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:18 am

I only saw them at msg twice (I think, might have been 3 times). Back then, I was living in towns that were very close to the Meadowlands. I believe I saw at least one show every time they played at Byrne during that time frame. I saw several Spectrum shows as well. I never noticed any significant difference between the crowds at Byrne and the Spectrum, but it's not like I was looking for that kind of thing.
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Postby Tennessee Jedi » Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:26 am

Yeah its the same crowd for sure ...nuts.
Seen some crazy shit @ the Spectrum
How about after a Eagles loss ?
Drunk Eagles fans vs anyone dumb enough to say boo.
Ugly.
But still it was home ....
:smile: :smile: :smile:
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THAT Album

Postby BlueRidgeGitar » Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:42 am

I realize a lot of the recent posts (about the scene and what caused it to deteriorate) have gotten somewhat off topic from the original question (last show), but what the heck, I'll chime in...

... The scene started to go downhill with the release of THAT album. Period. End of story. I was 20 in the summer of 1987 and had been hooked on the Dead since 1980, when a friend of mine turned me on with a bootleg from the spring ’77 tour (if that tour doesn’t turn somebody on to the music, I'm not sure what would.)

Anyway, while most of my friends were firmly on the bus by '87, there were plenty of people I knew who either didn't know the music of the Grateful Dead, didn't like the band or simply had no opinion one way or another. However, by the end of that summer -- just two months after THAT album’s release -- it was an entirely different story.

I spent summers on Nantucket Island back in those days, and, by September, friends who previously had zero interest in the band were all of a sudden blaring THAT album from their car stereos, showing up at beach parties wearing tie-dye, letting their hair grow long and begging me to teach them “Touch of Gray” on the guitar.

Now, I don't begrudge anyone who discovered the band through THAT album and truly grew to love the music. But let's face it, there were way too many people who got on the bus that year, and in the years to come, simply because the album produced a Top 10 single and in turn made the band "popular." Suddenly, it was the hip thing to do. The style of the ’60s -- and I don‘t mean the true spirit of the ’60s, but the commercialization of that decade -- was all the rage at the time and that simply fed the fire. These were the same people who were listening to freakin' Bananarama two years earlier for cryin' out loud.

For that reason, the scene just got too big. And like anything else that gets too big -- a town, a school, a business, a government, Bill O'Reilly's head, my stomach -- it began to suffer the problems that come with it. We all know what those are -- previous posters have detailed them more eloquently than I ever could.

I’m glad I got to enjoy the Dead for a few years at least before everything blew up -- my first show was in Hartford, fall tour ’83. I think back to those days -- even as late as ’86 -- when you could head down to Ticketmaster and buy a ticket the DAY OF THE SHOW. I realize I may sound to some like an old fart -- and to others, like a dumb kid who missed the band's peak years, but I'll say it anyway. For me, those were the days.
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