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... of "being there," the traditions and shared experiences are sent pulsing along the wires. But I'll still sing you love songs, written in the letters of your name. And brave the storm to come, for it surely looks like rain. --Bob Weir, Ace, 1972 The end of the tour and dispersion of the group has elicited a variety of responses from within the Deadheads community. They are an artistic, articulate group and have much to say on what the "end of the era" has meant.
This response sums it up best: It's meant childhood's end for people ranging all the way up into their sixties.... It's also been a new BEGINNING in many ways for many of us, because there's no longer the Dead for us to be entertained by, so we have to now do the entertaining.... All the creative seeds that were sown in each of us during our time with the Dead are just now beginning to burst into bloom. People are starting to take the energy they put into going to shows and surviving on tour into the gifts that they themselves possess. I think you're going to see a lot of artists of all types popping up in the public eye in the next decade or so who will be attributing a lot of their inspiration to the Dead. I mean, you already see that to a certain extent, but it'll be continuing to happen, I think.
And for every one person you end up seeing on Letterman who came out of this whole thing, you can bet that there are 50 more doing their thing on a smaller level who got their spark at a show. (Online Interview 19) In the past two years, there has been a noticeable upswing in Grateful Dead-related works. There are the obvious "I was there with the Dead" biographical books. There has been tremendous activity in submissions for Dead tribute magazines such as Dupree's and Relix. An important touchstone has been David Gans's Grateful Dead Hour. This nationally syndicated radio show (started in 1985) plays the music and discusses various concerts (Gans). The most notable artistic works can be found on the Internet.
They range from animated home pages to photo and art galleries. Each is trying to bring images of the Dead to life (Grateful Dead Inspired Animated Website, Grateful Dead Inspired Art Gallery). To quote another on "the end of the age": "The age depends on the people--and as far as I've seen, the people are still alive and kicking ... and I haven't read in The New York Times that the concept of `thinking for yourself' is dead--and that's what the whole hippie movement was really about--not clothes, peace or even music--but ideas" (Online Interview 5). So, as far as the Deadheads are concerned, the ideas live on, the music continues to play, and the Dead are alive. And when the day had ended, with rainbow color blended, their minds remained unbended, he had to die, oh, you know he had to die.
--Grateful Dead, Grateful Dead (Skull-Fuck and Roses), 1971 The Deadheads are all around us. Unfortunately, this subculture has earned an unsavory reputation because of its open drug usage. This got out of control toward the end of the band's last tour. To put a spin on Jerry Garcia's theory that the crowd created the band: the band's drug excesses (which contributed to their destruction) only mirrored the crowds' abuses. The Dead grew up (so to speak) within the acid test culture (Wolfe). The drugs were present when the band began their career. As the culture experimented, the band provided the most consistent, ritualized background music.
The music originally followed the drugs, but eventually the drugs came to follow the music. The Deadheads are in touch with each other on a more mainstream level than when the band was touring. Their cyberspace connectedness is something even those "people over thirty," whom they were cautioned not to trust, can understand. Not to trivialize the importance of this phenomenon, this need to stay in touch could be seen by an outsider as the equivalent of writing letters to friends made at summer camp. It is a need to catch up and to reaffirm that they experienced something special together. The Grateful Dead will go on as long as the music is being traded.
Each time a leaf (copy) falls from a (taper's) branch, that music will "keep on growing, keep on going, keep on flowing, yeah, yeah, yeah" (Grateful Dead Annotated Online Lyrics). Through the songs and their shared point of view the Deadheads are keeping alive an outlook on how to live life to its fullest. We should strive to adhere to their credo that the greatest grace is to accomplish this through kindness, peace, and an awareness of the world around. In the final analysis, the magic legacy of the Grateful Dead is more than music; it is the resilient family of fans they have taken along on their ride. Sleep, child, on the breast of the moon, in canyons cluttered with dreams. Try to remember her midnight tune, when the clatter of sunlight streams.
--Robert Hunter, 1997 Works Cited Adams, Rebecca. "Mourning for Jerry: We Haven't Left the Planet Yet." Dupree's 1995. E-mail to author 10 July 1997. Carnegie, M. D. "Jerry's Kids." American Spectator Oct. 1995: 56-57. Catlin, Roger.
"Not Fade Away: Memory of the Dead Ignites Fourth of July Fest." Hartford Courant (Eastern ed.) 29 June 1997: G1+. Folkers, Richard. "The Band for the Eternally Young." U.S. News & Worm Report 21 Aug. 1995: 6. Gans, David. "Dead to the World." The Grateful Dead Hour. Truth and Fun, Inc.
KPFA 94.1, Berkeley: . Gilmore, Mikal. "Life after Garcia." Rolling Stone 28 Dec. 1995-11 Jan. 1996: 85-86. Goodman, Fred. "The End of the Road?" Rolling Stone 23 Aug.
1990:21-23. The Grateful Dead Almanac. Vol. 1: 3. . The Grateful Dead Annotated Online Lyrics. .
The Grateful Dead Inspired Animated Website. . The Grateful Dead Inspired Art Gallery. . Greenfield, Robert. Dark Star.
An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia. New York: Morrow, 1996. Hunter, Robert. . Online Interview 1. "Re: Grateful Dead Questions." E-mail to the author. 30 June 1997.
Online Interview 3. "Re: Grateful Dead Questions." E-mail to the author. 24 June 1997. Online Interview 4. "Re: Grateful Dead Questions." E-mail to the author. 24 June 1997. Online Interview 5.
"Re: Grateful Dead Questions." E-mail to the author. 23 June 1997. Online Interview 7. "Re: Grateful Dead Questions." E-mail to the author. 20 June 1997. Online Interview 9. "Re: Grateful Dead Questions." E-mail to the author.
25 June 1997. Online Interview 14. "Re: Grateful Dead Questions." E-mail to the author. 11 June 1997. Online Interview 18. "Re: Grateful Dead Questions." E-mail to the author.
24 June 1997. Online Interview 19. "Re: Grateful Dead Questions." E-mail to the author. 25 June 1997. Online Interview 20. "Re: Grateful Dead Questions." E-mail to the author.
25 June 1997. Online Interview 22. "Re: Grateful Dead Questions." E-mail to the author. 12 July 1997. Rouse, Rob. "Politicians Mourn Garcia's Passing." 1995: . Scully, Rock, and David Dalton. Twenty Years on the Bus with Garcia and the Grateful Dead: Living with the Dead.
New York: Little, Brown, 1996. Shenk, David, and Steve Silberman. Skeleton's Key. 23 June 1997 . Skow, John. "In California: The Dead Live On." Time 11 Feb. 1985: 11-13. Strauss, Neil.
"The Acid Test: Deadheads Face Hard Time in LSD Crackdown." Rolling Stone 14-28 July 1994: 24-26. Susman, Gary. "Dead Nation One Year Later: Celebrating the Fat Man, Life after Jerry." Boston Globe 15 Aug. 1996. . Sutherland, Scott.
"In the Deadheads' Footsteps." New York Times 16 June 1996 (early ed.), sec. 2: 30. Wenner, Jan, and Charles Reich. "Interview with Jerry Garcia." Rolling Stone 1972 . Wolfe, Tom. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
New York: Bantam, 1968. Appendix A - Survey Demographics Number of Respondent Age Started Age Attend Current concerts Number Listening First Concert Age attended Birthplace 1 14 26 41 92 MD 2 18 19 36 125 CT 3 17 18 37 100 U.K. 4 18 18 45 300+ PA 5 18 19 29 101 IN 6 17 18 34 40 OH 7 12 17 26 36 NY 8 22 22 35 40 CA 9 21 25 31 55 CA 10 22 23 49 n/a TX 11 17 18 42 35 AL 12 n/a n/a n/a 46 n/a 13 13 14 n/a 100+ IL 14 16 16 26 30 CT 15 19 19 30 210 n/a 16 14 20 39 60+ CT 17 17 19 35 LOTS AR 18 15 16 35 60+ CO 19 20 21 29 34 IN 20 15 15 30 100+ MA 21 20 20 31 40 VA 22 16 16 26 200+ CT Avg. 17.4 19.3 34.3 Med. 17 19 34.5 Furthest Respondent Current Traveled Educational Used Number Residence for Show Level Drugs 1 n/a n/a MA yes 2 MN CA MA yes 3 NY CAN. MA yes 4 n/a East Cst 2MA yes 5 n/a CA BS yes 6 OH DC 2MA yes 7 KS CA MA yes 8 CA AZ CPA yes 9 NV WA BFA no 10 TX 200 miles 3 yrs yes 11 AL EGYPT 1.5 yrs yes 12 CA n/a BA/Grs n/a 13 n/a n/a 2 yrs yes 14 CT IL BA/Grs yes 15 TX CA MA/MS no 16 NJ RI BA/Grs no 17 NJ OH BS/Grs yes 18 NY North East Phd yes 19 IL Canada BA yes 20 n/a CA BS yes 21 DC n/a MS yes 22 CT CA BA yes Avg.
Med. Appendix B - Online Survey Questionnaire After identifying myself as a non-Deadhead, graduate student, I explained that the focus of my research is "what Deadheads are up to now." The open-ended questions are as follows: 1. What has everybody been up to since the tour has ended? Is it a life philosophy thing or is it a groupie thing--are the majority moving on with their lives or just finding another band to start following around? 2. Opinions on Furthur Fest and Phish. 3. What has happened to the economic aspect of the shows--people doing the crafting, etc.; the bootleg tape industry (boom or bust now)? 4. Opinions on the differences the end of the age has meant as a whole to the followers as a group (not personally yet).
Personal Information: 1. How old are you now--how old were you when you first started getting into this? a. Listening to the music b. First concert (age at first concert if different from when you started listening) 2. How many concerts have you attended and where (as many as you can recall and approximate years)? 3. Where were you born and raised (did you travel very far to attend or did you stay a regional fan)? 4.
What was the last grade level you completed? (Jr. High [7,8,9], High School [10,11,12], College [2yr, 4yr, AS, BA, BS], Grad School [MA, ME, MBA], or Ph.D.) 5. Were drugs at all a factor in your involvement? How prevalent was this really, honestly, from the perspective of actually having been there--and how responsible were the people who were doing it and any reasons for it (music enhancement, to drop out of reality ... etc.)? 6. If this was an integral part of your life, what were the reasons for you going to the shows, being involved, and how do you feel now (empty? Life is over? It was a long, strange journey ... or is it business as usual, life goes on)?.
Research essay sample on Grateful Dead part 2