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    Samuel Gold Commentary


    2015 - 01.24

    Comments from the here and now~~

    No matter where you are, you always have something special….I started following the Grateful Dead in ’77. I listened to Berkeley hippies in the audience chuckling as to how the the band had oiled up the gears for some more shows to pay for their drug habits. Being young I listened with respect and considered myself lucky to have been able to witness a 60’s phenomena. I always felt I was born a little too late.

    No one, not even the band knew what was to come. I was fervent in my involvement with the scene. I got on the bus in ’77 and rode it until ’95. Even though I was in my mind a late comer, I was always being exposed to new kidz and adults alike who were joining this grass roots rock and roll movement. After some time, they began to look up to me and wanted to hear my stories! I thought this funny as I still believed I had missed out on the core times.

    So I am like the rest of you now, post Jerry. Living on memories. Something I love to see is all of the splintered groups and festivals and good times that refuse to relent. This does my heart proud. Although I am no longer fervent….311 GD and JGB shows were almost enough for me. I applaud the kidz today in their pursuit of where the end of the American dream finally ended up. And I listen to the splinter bands and still hear Jerry, bubbling up through an others hands and I realize that the train kept a rollin’……..

    So, my old man advice to the young….party on kidz, live the dream, there only is now. Don’t think you missed out on anything. None of us did. Make something out of the scene to hand to your kidz so that the dream never dies. You got the torch, run with it and pass it on. I will always cheer that.

    Times are tough, edgy and have the possibility of failing in a spectacular way. No matter who you are, you can rage against the machine and help keep this blue pearl in space a place for us and not the next species. Hard times require furious dancing. As Hunter Thompson said, “Stomp the turf”.

    I am sometimes angry that I ended up talking to an electronic medium instead of having a life. But, I am thankful that it has taught me and given me perspective I didn’t have. I value anyone here who cares at all and want you to know, many people are just like you. At my age, my only use is to occasionally scare up the young and then get out of there way. Success is measured on many levels. “Tune in, Turn on, OPT OUT”. (Thank you Timothy Leary). Remember a lesson I learned too late. Balance in your life is required for the long run and those who don’t have that, may burn bright as artists, thinkers and Mad Poets. But, eventually, remember to come down and see that your life is going the right way. Don’t ever forget you got to where you are because of love. You owe it to the Universe, pay it back by living a balanced life. It took me knowing and watching Jerry burn so bright for so long and yet, too soon to realize this. Even in his death he taught us…”Once in a while, you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right”. Pool all the wisdom together that you have found and use it to set an example for the next in line. But remember, the point in life they want you to forget so bad…Is to remember to have fun. Peace and Love still Works.

    (A Poet PSA)

     

    (SG2014)

    Samuel Gold Commentary


    2015 - 01.24

    A Pivotal Moment

    It was the summer of 1969, I was a young boy growing up outside of Detroit Michigan. My father had died on my birthday 2 years before. Well meaning and sympathetic adults had given me my first door out. It was the complete Encyclopedia Britannica. Laying the ground for a life long passion of learning, I spent most of my evenings at home deep inside of these books. I especially enjoyed the Science Year addition , which was a year by year compilation of the accomplishments and forays of science.

    Nixon had taken the White  house, Man had returned from the lunar landings. A house cost 15,000 dollars, the average wage was 9,000 dollars a year. Rent was 150.00

    The ant-war protests were at their height and something happened called “Woodstock” and something darker called “Altamont”.

    My mother took us shopping and also would let me stay in the car and read. I had no interest in following her around a store filled with things I could not have. So I would sit in the car and read books beyond my years, enjoying the landscapes of the written word. It was at this time I saw something that forever changed my world view, something that would influence every thought and action in my small life.

    Some may look at my insight and laugh, but the way some people see trash, some others find treasure.

    We were parked in a Kroger grocery store on Telegraph Avenue in Dearborn Michigan. My mother took my brother and sister inside to shop. I remained in the car and had cracked open the spine of yet another book about cowboys on the open ranges in the West, a gift from my Grandmother. I was reading and lost in this book when I first heard voices. I looked in the direction of the sound. I saw what I thought to be grown ups sitting outside the store, They were dressed differently and had long hair, they were asking people who went into the store for spare change. People were avoiding them and some showed disgust to them. I watched fascinated, listening. I learned later they were called “Hippies” from my mother who said they were bad people that did not believe in God.

    But in the moment as I listened to them I heard things, I heard stories of hardship, tales of travel to parts unknown. Conversations that went on forever about “Drugs” which seemed to be a fixation for these folk. As I listened I noticed they laughed, they laughed with a sound so carefree and unattached I had never heard of it before. I had only known misery and death so far in this life, except the gentle light that my Grandmother shed on me, I was afraid of the world. My mothers way of punishment was to threaten to take us to downtown Detroit and leave us there. I believe fears of abandonment grew from this behavior. But in this parking lot, the Hippies had gathered to try to rustle up some food, when one got enough money from panhandling, they would go inside and buy food and then bring it out to the rest where it was divided as far as it could go. I never had witnessed this kind of behavior I wondered why all of this was so special, I wondered why they were there and not in cars driving. I wondered why they had to ask for money and didn’t have it. I wondered why they smiled when everyone seemed so sad and preoccupied. I looked closer and saw some of their eyes. I saw something for the first time in my life. I saw a light that was not unique to them but they carried it with them. I saw a freedom a knowing, a sense of the divine. I also saw the exact opposite in the ones whose souls were enslaved by the world and who had succumb to hard drug use. But most of the explanations came later. I was not equipped to understand them entirely. I only saw something so different from anything else in my environment, I just knew I wanted to be a part of that.

    I did something forbidden, I left the car. I wanted to see this up close, I wanted to find out what the meaning of it was. The same curiosity that drove me to read, pulled me into the energy that I only sensed.

    I walked out of the car, I locked it. You had to lock everything in Detroit, one of the first things my mother taught us. She taught us through fear, she made us fear and fear and fear. Thinking this was Gods way of making people behave. She was from post war Germany and raised in the slums of south Chicago, given up for adoption from her family. I will never be able to describe her Hell in this writing.

    Approaching the crowd the first thing I noticed was the woman, she had a beauty I could not understand having never seen it before, She smiled as warm as the sun and radiated laughter. Coming over she said hello to me, I was speechless. She smiled and ran her fingers through my hair saying I was a beautiful boy. No one had ever done that to me, no one had ever just knelt and said I was beautiful, no one ever made me smile right away. I think it was the first time I fell in love with women. At such a young age, I was exposed to a love light that was so pure and unlike anything I had ever known before, I was just attracted to it immediately. For the rest of my life, I would always seek to bask in this light that this total stranger, a young hippie chick, just shed on me. I had lost much and this woman\girl in 5 minutes, changed everything I understood about love.

    She asked if I wanted to meet her friends, I didn’t know what to say, recalling my mothers warning of these godless people. She said it was OK and took my hand and led me over to where a group of them were sitting and one was playing a guitar, a magical instrument that I would love for the rest of my life. The other people there looked at me and as she lead me over, that same light in their eyes to a more or less of a degree. A man picked me up and looked in my face and remarked that I was as light as a feather, for the first time since my father died I got to ride on this young mans shoulders. He walked around and took me to his friends saying this is “Sam”. They would laugh and smile, someone gave me some chocolate and I just became an eye for a while, taking in the new mystery. Floating above their heads and watching a old but new way of human interaction. All of my circuits were on, my brain started creating a brand new shelf for many, many memories to come.

    Time had dilated and it seemed to be a little bit of heaven, I was accepted as who I was, a young curious, smiling boy. It was so fortunate that these were gentle freaks, it may have been something so different, it could have been my worst mistake. Children disappeared all of the time and were found dead in bad places. I understood my mothers reasons to fear and I bought into them as the only reality there was.
    But these sweet people were harmless, later, reflecting on this as an older person, I came to understand and accept that the universe had saved me, the universe or “God”, wanted me to learn and see something. I was to realize that all of life was not to die, but to shine brilliant for a brief time, defying the state of mind that said we could not.

    This encounter ended badly for me, but the seeds had been planted and grew and eventually took over the garden in my mind. My mother came out of the store, she saw the car empty and started looking around in a panic, she started screaming for me, they girl who had brought me into this circle of people looked at me and took my hand, she said, “It is time to go now, your mamma’s calling you, remember to always be happy, when you grow up you can do anything you want to”. I remember these words to this day, they were symbolic on many levels, they dictated many of my decisions, they taught me to see love in women, my mother would never be able to show me.

    I walked to the car, my mother saw me and I saw many emotions go through her face, I saw relief, panic, anger. She grabbed my hand and in front of everyone in the parking lot, in front of these beautiful strangers and in front of God himself. She beat me until I cried, threw me in the car, we did not live far and when she got home I was beaten more and sent to my room screaming without food. I refused to talk for days, I went to the Christian school I was in and refused to talk. The teachers knew something had happened but did not know and I would not speak of it, not understanding myself.

    For a very long time I thought of this and for the longest of time I could not rectify the difference of these people who had shown me unconditional love from the type of painful love and fear that came from my home life. The seeds were planted, For all of my youth, I could not wait to find this light again. I was exposed in a very short time to something that had a profound effect on me. I became a hippy, I became by nature, counter-culture and a free thinker. I became rebellious and acted out of rage against the prison I was put in by people who thought it was for my own good. On my papers in class, I drew figures of long haired kids with signs protesting. I saw images of these people on the news and again caught glimpses of that special light that changed me in an instant. I dreamed of running away and living in the woods and being with nature. I continued to withdraw into the world of books and surrounded myself in a fortress of words until I was able to finally break free eight years later.

    The moments went on into many directions filled with light and dark. Many other moments were places in time that galvanized me and plotted the course in my life. My only use in this life other than working for someone else’s crimes was to try to bring people to see a light of love that was introduced to me in a few minutes. In all of my relationships I tried to get back to this serene, calm and pure love light. Not many places in this world have it anymore and I feels so sorry for those who never experienced. For this type of love, is all we are here to learn. To have it, to give it and to realize that all of sadness is due to its lack.

    I learned more of the love that Christ brought to us in his teachings in about twenty minutes than I did in twenty years of religious schooling. I think that once you feel this, you are never the same and you can have this, on your own. You can find and share this within or without a church or any type of organized religion for that matter.

    Many people get shown the light in many different situations and circumstances. To this day I wonder what that innocuous group of hippies came to. I actually, sadly know what. I do not believe they knew what they did to me by sharing that one Pivotal Moment with me.

    TBC
    (SG2014)

     

    Samuel Gold Commentary


    2014 - 07.09

    012

    “In my house is a little corner where I think of the past. The chair is empty because I am living in the present”. (SG2014)

    Samuel Gold Commentary


    2014 - 07.02

    A Pivotal Moment

    It was the summer of 1969, I was a young boy growing up outside of Detroit Michigan.
    My father had died on my birthday 2 years before. Well meaning and sympathetic adults had given me my first door out. It was the complete Encyclopedia Britannica. Laying the ground for a life long passion of learning, I spent most of my evenings at home deep inside of these books. I especially enjoyed the Science Year addition , which was a year by year compilation of the accomplishments and forays of science.

    Nixon had taken the White House, Man had returned from the lunar landings. A house cost 15,000 dollars, the average wage was 9,000 dollars a year. Rent was 150.00

    The ant-war protests were at their height and something happened called “Woodstock” and something darker called “Altamont”.

    My mother took us shopping and also would let me stay in the car and read. I had no interest in following her around a store filled with things I could not have. So I would sit in the car and read books beyond my years, enjoying the landscapes of the written word. It was at this time I saw something that forever changed my world view, something that would influence every thought and action in my small life.

    Some may look at my insight and laugh. But, where some people see trash, some others find treasure.

    We were parked in a Kroger grocery store on Telegraph Avenue in Dearborn Michigan. My mother took my brother and sister inside to shop. I remained in the car and had cracked open the spine of yet another book about cowboys on the open ranges in the West, a gift from my Grandmother. I was reading and lost in this book when I first heard voices. I looked in the direction of the sound. I saw what I thought to be grown ups sitting outside the store, They were dressed differently and had long hair, they were asking people who went into the store for spare change. People were avoiding them and some showed disgust to them. I watched fascinated, listening. I learned later they were called “Hippies” from my mother who said they were bad people that did not believe in God.

    But in the moment as I listened to them I heard things, I heard stories of hardship, tales of travel to parts unknown. Conversations that went on forever about “Drugs” which seemed to be a fixation for these folk. As I listened I noticed they laughed, they laughed with a sound so carefree and unattached I had never heard of it before. I had only known misery and death so far in this life, and except the gentle light that my Grandmother shed on me, I was afraid of the world. My mothers way of punishment was to threaten to take us to downtown Detroit and leave us there. I believe fears of abandonment grew from this behavior. But in this parking lot, the Hippies had gathered to try to rustle up some food, when one got enough money from panhandling, they would go inside and buy food and then bring it out to the rest where it was divided as far as it could go. I never had witnessed this kind of behavior I wondered why all of this was so special, I wondered why they were there and not in cars driving. I wondered why they had to ask for money and didn’t have it. I wondered why they smiled when everyone seemed so sad and preoccupied. I looked closer and saw some of their eyes. I saw something for the first time in my life. I saw a light that was not unique to them but burned within them. I saw a freedom a knowing, a sense of the divine. I also saw the exact opposite in the ones whose souls were enslaved by the world and who had succumb to hard drug use. But most of these explanations came later understood when I was at the very same crossoads. I was not equipped to understand this entirely. I only saw something so different from anything else in my environment, I just knew I wanted to be a part of it.

    I did something forbidden, I left the car. I wanted to see this up close, I wanted to find out what the meaning of it was. The same curiosity that drove me to read, pulled me into the energy that I only sensed.

    I walked out of the car, I locked it. You had to lock everything in Detroit, one of the first things my mother taught us. She taught us through fear, she made us fear and fear and fear. Thinking this was Gods way of making people behave. She was from post war Germany and raised in the slums of south Chicago, given up for adoption from her family. I will never be able to describe her Hell in this writing. In retrospect, I locked the car, because I never wanted to look back.

    Approaching the crowd the first thing I noticed was this woman, she had a beauty I could not understand having never seen it before, She smiled as warm as the sun and radiated laughter. Coming over she said hello to me, I was speechless. She smiled and ran her fingers through my hair saying I was a beautiful boy. No one had ever done that to me, no one had ever just knelt and said I was beautiful, no one ever made me smile right away. I think it was the first time I fell in love with women. At such a young age, I was exposed to a love light that was so pure and unlike anything I had ever known before, I was just attracted to it immediately. For the rest of my life, I would always seek to bask in this light that this total stranger, a young hippie chick, just shed on me. I had lost much and this woman\girl in 5 minutes, changed everything I understood about love.

    She asked if I wanted to meet her friends, I didn’t know what to say, recalling my mothers warning of these godless people. She said it was OK and took my hand and led me over to where a group of them were sitting and one was playing a guitar, a magical instrument that I would love for the rest of my life. The other people there looked at me and as she lead me over, that same light in their eyes to a more or less of a degree. A man picked me up and looked in my face and remarked that I was as light as a feather, for the first time since my father died I got to ride on this young mans shoulders. He walked around and took me to his friends saying this is “Sam”. They would laugh and smile, touching me on this young mans shoulders, I started to giggle, I relaxed with them, someone gave me some chocolate and I just became an eye for a while, taking in the new mystery. Floating above their heads and watching a old but new way of human interaction. All of my circuits were on, my brain started creating a brand new shelf for many, many memories to come.

    Time had dilated and it seemed to be a little bit of heaven, I was accepted as who I was, a young curious, smiling boy. It was so fortunate that these were gentle freaks, it may have been something so different, it could have been my worst mistake. Children disappeared all of the time and were found dead in bad places. I understood my mothers reasons to fear and I bought into them as the only reality there was.
    But these sweet people were harmless, later, reflecting on this as an older person, I came to understand and accept that the universe had saved me, the universe or “God”, wanted me to learn and see something. I was to realize that all of life was not to die, but to shine brilliant for a brief time, defying the state of mind that said we could not. I learned that the biggest gift you could give anyone in this life had no substance.

    This encounter ended badly for me, but the seeds had been planted and grew and eventually took over the garden in my mind. My mother came out of the store, she saw the car empty and started looking around in a panic, she started screaming for me, the girl who had brought me into this circle of people looked at me and took my hand, she said, “It is time to go now, your mamma’s calling you, remember to always be happy, when you grow up you can do anything you want to”. I remember these words to this day, they were symbolic on many levels, they dictated many of my decisions, they taught me to see love in women, my mother would never be able to show me.

    I walked to the car, my mother saw me and I saw many emotions go through her face, I saw relief, panic, anger. She grabbed my hand and in front of everyone in the parking lot, in front of these beautiful strangers and in front of God himself. She beat me until I cried, threw me in the car, we did not live far and when she got home I was beaten more and sent to my room screaming without food. I refused to talk for days, I went to the Christian school I was in and refused to talk. The teachers knew something had happened but did not know and I would not speak of it, not understanding myself.

    For a very long time I thought of this and for the longest of time I could not rectify the difference of these people who had shown me unconditional love from the type of painful love and fear that came from my home life. The seeds were planted, For all of my youth, I could not wait to find this light again. I had only been exposed to it for a very short time yet it was something that had a profound, lasting effect on me. I became a hippie, I became by nature, counter-culture and a free thinker. I became rebellious and acted out of rage against the prison I was put in by people who thought it was for my own good. On my papers in class, I drew figures of long haired kids with signs protesting. I saw images of these people on the news and again caught glimpses of that special light that changed me in an instant. I dreamed of running away and living in the woods and being with nature. I continued to withdraw into the world of books and surrounded myself in a fortress of words until I was able to finally break free eight years later.

    The moments went on into many directions filled with light and dark. Many other moments were places in time that galvanized me and plotted the course in my life. My only use in this life other than working for someone elses crimes was to try to bring people to see a light of the love that was introduced to me in a few minutes. In all of my relationships, I tried to get back to this serene, calm and pure love light. Not many places in this world have it anymore and I feels so sorry for those who have never experienced it. For this type of love, is all we are here to learn. To have it, to give it and to realize that all of sadness is due to its lack.

    I learned more of the love that Christ brought to us in his teachings in about twenty minutes than I did in twenty years of religious schooling. I think that once you feel this, you are never the same and you can have this, on your own. You can find and share this love light within or without a church or any type of organized religion for that matter.

    Many people get shown the light in many different situations and circumstances. To this day I wonder what that innocuous group of hippies came to. I actually, sadly know what. I do not believe they knew what they did to me by sharing that one Pivotal Moment with me.

    TBC
    (SG2014)

    Samuel Gold Commentary


    2014 - 06.28

    Comments from the here and now~~

    No matter where you are, you always have something special….I started following the Grateful Dead in ’77. I listened to Berkeley hippies in the audience chuckling as to how the the band had oiled up the gears for some more shows to pay for their drug habits. Being young I listened with respect and considered myself lucky to have been able to witness a 60’s phenomena. I always felt I was born a little too late.

    No one, not even the band knew what was to come. I was fervent in my involvement with the scene. I got on the bus in ’77 and rode it until ’95. Even though I was in my mind a late comer, I was always being exposed to new kidz and adults alike who were joining this grass roots rock and roll movement. After some time, they began to look up to me and wanted to hear my stories! I thought this funny as I still believed I had missed out on the core times.

    So I am like the rest of you now, post Jerry. Living on memories. Something I love to see is all of the splintered groups and festivals and good times that refuse to relent. This does my heart proud. Although I am no longer fervent….311 GD and JGB shows were almost enough for me. I applaud the kidz today in their pursuit of where the American dream finally ended up. And I listen to the splinter bands and still hear Jerry, bubbling up through an others hands and I realize that the train kept a rollin’……..

    So, my old man advice to the young….party on kidz, live the dream, there only is now. Don’t think you missed out on anything. None of us did. Make something out of the scene to hand to your kidz so that the dream never dies. You got the torch, run with it and pass it on. I will always cheer that.

    Times are tough, edgy and have the possibility of failing in a spectacular way. No matter who you are, you can rage against the machine and help keep this blue pearl in space a place for us and not the next species. Hard times require furious dancing. As Hunter Thompson said, “Stomp the turf”.

    I am sometimes angry that I ended up talking to an electronic medium instead of having a life. But, I am thankful that it has taught me and given me perspective I didn’t have. I value anyone here who cares at all and want you to know, many people are just like you. At my age, my only use is to occasionally scare up the young and then get out of their way. Success is measured on many levels. “Tune in, Turn on, OPT OUT”. (Thank you Timothy Leary). Remember a lesson I learned too late. Balance in your life is required for the long run and those who don’t have that, may burn bright as artists, thinkers and Mad Poets. But, eventually, remember to come down and see that your life is going the right way. Don’t ever forget you got to where you are because of love. You owe it to the Universe, pay it back by living a balanced life. It took me knowing and watching Jerry burn so bright for so long and yet, too soon to realize this. Even in his death he taught us…”Once in a while, you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right”. Pool all the wisdom together that you have found and use it to set an example for the next in line. But remember, the point in life they want you to forget so bad…Is to remember to have fun. Peace and Love still Works.

    I look forward to more ranting to anyone that will listen..(A Poet PSA).

    Photo: Comments from the here and now~~

No matter where you are, you always have something special....I started following the Grateful Dead in '77.  I listened to Berkeley hippies in the audience chuckling as to how the the band had oiled up the gears for some more shows to pay for their drug habits. Being young I listened with respect and considered myself lucky to have been able to witness a 60's phenomena. I always felt I was born a little too late.

No one, not even the band knew what was to come.  I was fervent in my involvement with the scene. I got on the bus in '77 and rode it until '95. Even though I was in my mind a late comer, I was always being exposed to new kidz and adults alike who were joining this grass roots rock and roll movement. After some time, they began to look up to me and wanted to hear my stories! I thought this funny as I still believed I had missed out on the core times.

So I am like the rest of you now, post Jerry. Living on memories. Something I love to see is all of the splintered groups and festivals and good times that refuse to relent. This does my heart proud. Although I am no longer fervent....311 GD and JGB shows were almost enough for me. I applaud the kidz today in their pursuit of where the American dream finally ended up. And I listen to the splinter bands and still hear Jerry, bubbling up through an others hands and I realize that the train kept a rollin'........

So, my old man advice to the young....party on kidz, live the dream, there only is now. Don't think you missed out on anything. None of us did. Make something out of the scene to hand to your kidz so that the dream never dies. You got the torch, run with it and pass it on. I will always cheer that.

Times are tough, edgy and have the possibility of failing in a spectacular way. No matter who you are, you can rage against the machine and help keep this blue pearl in space a place for us and not the next species. Hard times require furious dancing. As Hunter Thompson said, "Stomp the turf".

I am sometimes angry that I ended up talking to an electronic medium instead of having a life. But, I am thankful that it has taught me and given me perspective I didn't have. I value anyone here who cares at all and want you to know, many people are just like you. At my age, my only use is to occasionally scare up the young and then get out of there way.  Success is measured on many levels. "Tune in, Turn on, OPT OUT". (Thank you Timothy Leary). Remember a lesson I learned too late. Balance in your life is required for the long run and those who don't have that, may burn bright as artists, thinkers and Mad Poets. But, eventually, remember to come down and see that your life is going the right way. Don't ever forget you got to where you are because of love. You owe it to the Universe, pay it back by living a balanced life. It took me knowing and watching Jerry burn so bright for so long and yet, too soon to realize this. Even in his death he taught us..."Once in a while, you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right". Pool all the wisdom together that you have found and use it to set an example for the next in line. But remember, the point in life they want you to forget so bad...Is to remember to have fun. Peace and Love still Works. 

I look forward to more ranting to anyone that will listen..(A Poet PSA).

     

    The Dead Years Up And Down With The Grateful Dead Scene I


    2010 - 02.09

    My Long Strange Trip started in Dec. of 1978 at Cobo Hall in Detroit Michigan. Some college friends of mine took me to see this show. It was everybodies first time and in the end, I was the only one who took the hook. Also, what made this show unique was the fact that the opening band was the New Riders of the Purple Sage. A band Jerry Garcia used to hang with and play pedal steel guitar. Jerry once mentioned that if he had an entire life musically, to do again, he would play pedal steel guitar.

    Another simple twist of fate was the fact that a whole chapter of Hells Angels showed up for the show, very peaceful and good vibes came from them, it was a different time. I knew our paths would merge someday. A great way to fascinate a kid, Bikes, Leather, Girls and the whole Biker persona immediately affected me.

    The venue was small and intimate in a way which made the fact that I had eaten so much University of Michigan acid more comfortable.  I was pretty new to tripping but wasn’t at all intimidated by hi -dose hallucinations. I really enjoyed pushing the envelope to see what could be made of it. I tripped for every show I went to. Except for the last one where I knew it was going to be the last time I saw the Grateful Dead, six months later Jerry Died.

    But gentle reader you must excuse my digressions, this was not a linear evolution, there were loops and flash forwards and dejavu’s occuring in the time line of the experience. Sometimes I knew my adventures were destiny,  other times it was just dumb luck.

    So my first trip out was when the Dead did the whole “Cryptical Envelopement\The Other One combo” This song set,  fueled by the LSD put me in a whole new world which had suddenly gotten a lot bigger. My friends didn’t realize it at the time but I was “Doomed to be Dead”” from that point forward.

    How to put those initial feelings, instincts, ancestoral memories that sprung up, how to describe the moment I let my body go and learned to “Kelp” to the music. (It was actually a lot like learning to surf ) all of this tribal knowledge was being passed through me, I totally understood the mission. It was telepathic in the way the information was down loaded into my brain. You must understand reader, that the medium was the music, sonically encoded into my brain which I believe was made possible by the way LSD removes barriers , habitss and rituals. Wiping the slate of your brain clean for you, yes you, to write something else on .

    Returing from that experience a new sense of wonder hit me, it was a lot like having a sixth sense turned on. I became a guitarist as a result of this insight and began to listen to more Grateful Dead and learn where they belonged in the musical landscape and the history from which they had sprung.

    This was just my first Grateful Dead show. It would be a year before I was able to get to the West. A very sweet woman offered me that opportunity because she wanted a traveling companion to San Francisco, her name was Linda and she later went on to become an environmental lawyer. I had a crush on her anyway and hadn’t seen much of the world yet. I was all of sixteen at the time.

    Enter San Francisco, when I got off the plane, the baggage handler said   “Welcome to San Francisco, the land of fruits and nuts!”. I politely laughed not realizing how that statement would come to be my reality.

    To be continued, yes its a long story

    Guns and the Grateful Dead (Up And Down With The Grateful Dead Scene III)


    2009 - 01.03

    For a while when I was a Deadhead back in the early 1980’s I was hanging out with both the band and the Oakland Chapter Hell’s Angels. It was a strange very, very strange time in my life, I had started to follow the band unceasingly and that took me and my motorcycle all over the state following this band that had saved me from the punk scene in San Francisco. The problem was that I had not yet gotten clean of the perpetual haze and it made me older surly, unafraid. I had many dangerous adventures in this state of mind until I met a beautiful woman who forced me clean.

    I had been hanging around bikers for a long time and knew how to ride real well, camp and otherwise enjoy the road more than the cagers. We bikers, (usually kids my age on rice burners) would stick together in packs going to shows. There was nothing like the rush of riding with maybe 10 guys all looking forward to the same thing you were. A little bit of Heaven for the price of a ticket and maybe mix it up with the Betty’s while we were at it too.

    Hanging with the Angels and keeping them well supplied with the things they liked so much had made a tough little guy out of me. I packed a 357 magnum in my saddlebag (protection purposes only). It was this one day gentle reader that I wanted to tell you of.

    I was at the end of a string of bikes, we were strung out in a line, mostly college kids on some journey between Here and Dad’s factory. I was looking far up the road when it straightened enough to do so and I saw big trouble ahead. A couple of rednecks were taking swipes at the two leaders with their farm truck and these two kids recovery from that abuse didn’t make it seem as if they rode with much experience. I had to do something, it was the bravest and stupidest thing I’d done in a long time.

    I down shifted and had about a mile and a half to catch up with the commotion which was getting out of hand, these jerks intended to run these two off the road. Of course they were just ornery enough that they just didn’t brake and pull over, they tried to outrun the truck. One of the bikes went into a high speed wobble a couple of times. This is an indication that the rider is not controlling the gyroscopic effect of the bike and could lose it. Fortunately that didn’t happen.

    I looked at my speedometer and as I rapidly came onto the truck it read 140 miles per hour. I already had a plan. a passive drive by shooting. About 100 feet from behind the truck I reached into my saddlebags and pulled my pistol. I had never shot anything from a moving vehicle and was busy making psuedo-newtonian calculations as to how this was going to work. I planned to shoot out the tires as I passed the truck at high speed. I knew as soon as I took aim I’d have to let go of the throttle and the bike would slow down, therfore I kept it at 140 and as I passed I didn’t even look at the driver, I shot the front tire as I passed the truck. The truck veered into the right side (Thank God) of the road and I down shifted until  could bring myself to a stop and pull over. I was panting, sweating and I quickly put the pistol away as the two bikers pulled up. “Wow thanks man you saved our ass! Those guys could have killed us. Where did you learn to shoot and ride like that?

    “Nowhere” I replied, “I did that solely because you were gonna’ die if I didn’t”. ” I have never fired my pistol from my bike”.

    Soon the rest of the bikers pulled up and wanted to know what happened. Those two idiots tried to make me look like a hero and a gunslinger and a master bike rider all at once. Finally I said ” There is a lake about 30 miles up the road, let’s try to get there and set camp before sundown”. We had a pretty wild party that night.

     

    (SG1983)