I've been lurking around here for a couple months and thought I'd finally introduce myself.
First off, I've been totally blown away by the amount of info and knowledge on this board, so wanted to send out a HUGE thank you to all those who share their time and wisdom here. My productivity at work has gone down the drain!!
I didn't get into the Dead until I was in college around '90-'91. Got the bug big time though and manged to catch around 35 Dead/Jerry Band shows from '91-'94, and accumulate several hundred hours of tapes. While there were definitely some incredible moments (especially the Jerry Band shows), I'd trade them all for a hand full of shows in the '70-'77 range.
I started playing acoustic guitar about 10 years ago, but never put in the time to really go beyond being a beginner. I learned some basic major and minor chords in multiple positions and some pentatonic patterns and scratched around for a while, then wouldn't touch the guitar for weeks, sometimes months at a time. Towards the end of last year, something inside of me clicked and I felt ready to take this more seriously and put in the time. It's something I've always wanted to do and finally felt ready to commit to it. I've managed to put in at least 7-8 hours a week, sometimes a lot more, since the beginning of the year. I'd love to play way more than that, but life keeps intruding. I feel like I'm learning a lot though and am definitely improving, which feels awesome.
Right now I'm playing a '97 Strat Plus (Ash body, natural finish) through a Vox VT15. Not the perfect set-up, but it certainly does the trick for now. But with all the info on this board, I'm feeling dangerously close to an outbreak of GAS! My wish list is added motivation to keep playing though. I feel like I need to get a lot better to justify the things I want.
Wow, that was a much longer intro than I'd planned! Anyway, I am SO glad I found this place, it's truly awesome.