Rocky Mountain Ramblings

Phish Dick’s 2015: Please, Be Kind. September 8, 2015

It occurred to me during Phish’s Sunday night “THANK YOU” encore at Dick’s that perhaps part of the reason Trey Anastasio played with Dead50 was so that he could train under their leadership on how to make a community feel more banded, more connected and more uplifted by spreading a peaceful, positive message, giving thanks, and playing a unifying song that makes people feel stronger, like “United We Stand”.

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After Friday night’s show I saw a status update from a Deadhead friend who said the people on Phish lot are mean and rude and that he didn’t have a very good time.  At first I wasn’t sure I agreed with his post, until I coincidentally experienced people be rude to me on Phish lot the very next night.

First I walked by a guy who had a table set up with glass pipes and he asked me if I wanted to buy one and I said no.  He responded with a nasty attitude and told me to “keep walking, then.”  First of all, I was still walking, and second of all, there was no reason to be nasty to me just because I happened to walk by his booth and didn’t want or need to purchase a glass pipe from him.

About thirty minutes later I had a girl be a bitch to me because I bought a burrito at the stand next to hers and she didn’t like that I stopped to take a bite of the burrito in front of her stand and she came out and commanded me to “go eat my burrito somewhere else.”  I had just put condiments on my burrito and had only been standing there for about 30 seconds when she rudely asked me to move.

I realized then that my friend was kind of right; the scene contained some unconscious, non-friendly people, which of course happens everywhere, but shouldn’t.  I think the Grateful Dead always made valiant effort to fill their fans with good words, lyrics, messages and vibes, and I think this is something they told Trey Anastasio – that he needs to ensure his band carries on the legacy and uplifts their fans to feel like better, kinder people than they were yesterday.

The Phish scene will never be the Dead scene, and that’s OK, because it is what it is.  I think this was also made evident to me in the camp site, when people were listening to Hanson and 80s music that I had to get away from, and when some idiot sat down in our camp and started talking very loudly about how he thinks Donald Trump is the best candidate for presidency.  I asked him to take his conversation elsewhere and he responded by telling me that I probably don’t even vote, and I don’t know what I’m talking about.  He pissed me off more than anything the entire weekend, he made my heart beat fast and he made me want to be mean back to him, but I kept my mouth shut, because deep down I know that anyone who has to talk at a louder volume than anyone else to make sure his opinions are heard is really the most ignorant person in the group.  Plus, of course I fucking vote, and I’m an organ donor, because that’s what Bob Weir and Phil Lesh asked of me years ago when I fell in love with their music.

Phish definitely knows how to throw a party, and I love dancing to their grooves, and I think I see that they are trying to take their power to the next level and unite their fans.  Hopefully their message spreads, they stay healthy and continue to play together for another 20 years so I can attend their 50th anniversary concerts one day.

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Re: Trey Anastasio Playing With The Dead January 27, 2015

There’s been a lot of talk about Phish’s Trey Anastasio playing with The Dead in Chicago this July, and I would just like to say that I think he will do a fantastic job playing lead guitar at the reunion show with Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.  Trey is a very talented and intelligent person, and some may even call him a musical genius.  But more than being a musician, Trey is an artist.  He is creative and theatrical.  Proven in his second set performance on 10/31/14, Trey has the ability to take new material, study it, create something new from it and share it on stage; and he loves it.

Surely all the musicians involved are already practicing hard for the three-night run, including Trey.  This will be much more than a comfortable performance for him.  Trey will probably dedicate the next five months of his life to learning new material and new ways of playing, which he will then perform for over 60,000 people, all of whom are expecting a lot from him, but some of whom will turn around and talk shit about him.  This ain’t no time to hate, though.  Art often requires stepping outside your comfort zone. When’s the last time you tried something new?

The July 4th weekend is about the about the four living members of the Grateful Dead, Phil, Bobby, Mickey and Billy, playing together again, and they invited Trey to take part.  I think Trey will shred the fu*k out of Jerry solos with a huge grin on his face.  With Trey’s guitar licks bouncing off of Phil’s bass bombs, Bobby’s vocals, the drumming and the dual keys, we are going to be in for one of the funkiest treats of a concert any of us have ever experienced.

If you’re laughing that I said “Bobby’s vocals,” you can keep that to yourself.  When I saw Bob Weir and Ratdog at The Ogden in July 2014, I imagined life from Bob Weir’s point of view.  He is old and rich and doesn’t have to continue playing music for fans in the same cities he’s visited many times before, but he does it because he loves it. He gives us what we need and crave – energy and music, and we give him what he needs and craves – energy and love.  So what if he messes up some of the lyrics to songs from time to time?  He’s 67 years old and is a renegade of the lifestyle that so many of you try so hard to keep up with.  People age.  Respect your elders.  “Bob Weir Controls The Weather”!

This “Fare Thee Well” event is going to mean so many things to so many people, all of whose lives have been altered by the musical creations of the Grateful Dead.  Ticket requests are already at 360,000, prior to internet sales, and that’s pretty crazy.  I actually went to the post office in Denver twice on the day of mail order, once to send in my own request, and once to ship an item I sold on E-bay, and I saw at least ten other people sending off mail order requests, most of whom looked older and more professional than me and were requesting the max amount of tickets.

It looks like it’s going to be a tough ticket to secure, as it should be (I guess).  Fifty years is a long time span to gain fans over, and a lot of us know that Grateful Dead is the real shit.

I wish everyone luck with tickets and hope to see lots of familiar faces in Chicago.  May the best envelope win!

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