inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #76 of 128: Carol Brightman (brightman) Mon 8 Mar 99 19:57
What does that scene in southern California have to do with
"alternative mike in the theatre of the mind"?  The video store owner
who put his head in the dragon's jaw was Vietnamese and so were the
protestors, all from former South Vietnam, as far as I could gather. 
Time stands still for these folks the farther they stand from Vietnam. 
In Vietnam, where I've been twice in the last five years,
reconciliation of one sort or another is going on everywhere.  And most
of the Americans wandering around are former Vietnam vets.

BTW Gary, there's an error in the online"Sweet Chaos, Fat Trip." In
the 4th para. from the end, "Jerry Garcia/Grateful Dead Gift Set,"
should be followed by "Carol Brightman Performed by Jerry Garcia
Performed by David Grisman."  Weird alright.

David, Larry Rivers is a sort of visual diarist of the New York School
of painting, a good friend of Terry Southern's and the poet Frank
O'Hara (both deceased).  I interviewed him at length in 1978-79 and
edited the interview transcripts into an informal autobiography and
chronicle of the bohemian/art scene after WWII, and also wrote an
Introduction. The book won an American Book Award in 1979.  It was fun
to do, and I was paid a wopping $2000 fee for the job. Later Larry was
good enough to split the $2000 award money though it wasn't easy for
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #77 of 128: David Gans (tnf) Tue 9 Mar 99 10:26


Subject: Sweet Chaos
Date: 9 Mar 1999 01:38:33 GMT
From: (Casdy)
Organization: AOL

I enjoyed the book immensely and thought that Dead references and
pearls of new GD related tidbits abounded. The book is an ideal read
for discriminating people who don't really give a toss about why Jerry
broke out the black sweats in Buckeye vs the grey ones. A perfect
primer into the politics of the era.  The purpose of the book was not
to chronicle the daily machinations of Jerry and Rock's drug intake but
instead to show what was going on in the late sixties and how the
important the band were in acting like a Greek chorus as events
exploded everywhere around them. Carol does an admirable job of tracing
events from the beats to the pranksters, Emmit Grogan and the Diggers
to the SDS movement all the while weaving in Hunter and Jerry's
involvement and fund raising efforts.

She was brilliant at describing the enlightening effects of LSD and how
it was really Garcia's favourite drug.

I delved into the book with some trepidation after hearing some
negative views expressed about two months ago but found that I couldn't
put it down. I remember saying over and over to myself "what do they
mean about minimal Dead content" as page after page was bubbling over
with insights into the band.

I recommend it highly.

kind regards
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #78 of 128: David Gans (tnf) Tue 9 Mar 99 10:30

And from a different thread on

Subject: Re: The book "Sweet Chaos"
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 1999 05:00:16 GMT
From: "Yorgos El Guapo" <>
Organization: Central Intelligence Agency

Reading all of your responses has made me believe that many of you missed
the point of the book.  It, like a book (I forget the name) about the
Stones in the late sixties attempts to apply the band to a cultural
context.  As someone on the fringes of Grateful Dead culture and ensconced
in radical culture, the writer is quite the "participant-observer."

Anyway, I think some of you, by scoffing at the very mention of politics
are proving her point that Deadheads and political radicals, especially in
the sixties, are two entirely different entities.  I found the comments
from Hunter especially interesting.  I didn't live through the time period
so I'm not in a position to comment, but I think her perspective was very

The stuff about the CIA and MKUltra is spooky, and could well be true, but
that might be this culture's greatest fear, eh?  Ken Kesey is quoted as
saying "We were part of an experiment" in reference to him and Hunter and
Garcia's volunteering to dose for CIA acid tests at Menlo park hospital,
but then Kesey goes on to say "we still are."  The implications are quite
fascinating.  Anyone into the connection between spiritual politics,
mysticism, the occult and psychedelics would be interested in this book.

I am not trying to advertise it.  I just think it is the most original book
ever written about the Dead.  We have enough biographies.  How many bands
HAVE a cultural context.  That is what this is about.  I don't neccesarily
think Deadheads were the audience this was aimed at, so its not a cash-in
like SO MANY other books Dead-related.

inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #79 of 128: Dave Waite (dwaite) Tue 9 Mar 99 13:57
    <scribbled by dwaite Tue 9 Mar 99 14:46>
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #80 of 128: Dave Waite (dwaite) Tue 9 Mar 99 14:55
 I'm about 1/2 way through 'Writing Dangerously' on Mary McCarthy.  It was
 brought up earlier that you saw some of the same things in Mountain girl
 that you saw in Mary McCarthy (which writing dangerously centers on).  What
 aspects most defined those that Mountain girl and Mary McCarthy share?

 I must say, I'm becoming very absorbed in this book too.  Seems that the
 thread here recently has been that the apolitical GD scene continues to
 thrive.  I take issue with that remembering an apearance before the US
congress on Environmental issues as well as the many causes that were part
of the sideshow at many venues in the 90's.

I think the members of the GD wanted our community to entertain political
 ideals, maybe not in the 60, 70s, or even 80s, but certainly in the 90's
(at least that's my humble opinion).  Some folks call themselves activists,
but, today, I see a handfull of activists and many, many token activists,
mainly in the pocket book variety.  Do you think change has been as
successfull with the present kind of activism?  Is it possible that the
change agents of the 60s potentially dampened the loud voice of the
intellectual, that was once so prevelant in American Culture?
The parallels that you mention in Writing Dangerously, the ideas that Mary
writes about in the 40's
 and 30's have become, in some cases, unfortunate realities of the 90s.
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #81 of 128: Carol Brightman (brightman) Tue 9 Mar 99 18:57
So music.rec.gdead (or whatever it's called) is not of one mind, thank
god... Interesting pick-up about Kesey saying "we're still in an
experiment," though I don't think he meant a CIA experiment.  

Re Mountain Girl and Mary McCarthy, I tried to answer the question
earlier when Gail Williams asked it. Anyway the similiarity is
something I felt strongly sitting with MG.  She dramatizes her life.
She is a dramatist. She's very smart. She loves language like sweets.
She exudes a fierce sense of knowing who she is and where she stands,
which includes her own contradictions (re her experience with the GD:
being a Mom in a boys club). She has many interests beyond the strictly
personal or communal, like her interest in the burgeoning prison
industry, and her opposition to mandatory minimums, though she says (or
said in 1996) that she's timid about speaking out on these dangerous
issues in public.  
David Waite: It's true that the Dead promoted activism on Rainforest
issues in the '90s and welcomed the Women's League of Voters inside the
venues. Bob Weir was particularly active on behalf of the survival of
remaining ancient woodlands in the U.S. and on the importance of
His desire to speak out to a younger generation led him to agree to
appear at the 25th anniversary of SDS's takeover of Columbia when I
asked him, not with the Dead of course but with Ratdog.  (It never
happened.)  To oppose Bush in '92 he told me he planned to buy a
billboard for 101 in Marin which would say, "Let's face it! Bush's a
weenie." (I don't know if he did.)  As for the "pocket book" activism
you speak of, DW, no I don't think this sort of thing is effective. 
Like "get out the vote" campaigns, you don't want to put them down, but
vote for who? for what?  I don't think we have the foggiest idea about
what's going on in this country, much less the world, and so any
'action' that rattles the fog machines, and lets in a little light,
seems effective to me.
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #82 of 128: Dave Waite (dwaite) Wed 10 Mar 99 16:01
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #83 of 128: Harry Claude Cat (silly) Thu 11 Mar 99 15:00
    <scribbled by silly Sun 28 Mar 99 14:47>
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #84 of 128: Carol Brightman (brightman) Sat 13 Mar 99 10:15
I like # 3 because, you know, I BELIEVED!
Am doing some readings in NY, and missing the dialogue on the WELL.
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #85 of 128: Gail Williams (gail) Sat 13 Mar 99 12:10
What are the audiences like at the readings, Carol?
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #86 of 128: Carol Brightman (brightman) Sat 13 Mar 99 20:42
so far, not as intereresting as they were in California recently, or
are in Maine. In one case the venue was a SoHo literary gallery where
traditionally there's no discussion afterwards, no back and forth,
which in the case of Sweet Chaos is all wrong.  You don't know who
you're reading to.  Another one was in a Tower Books which did no
publicity (and neither did the publisher) and so there was a poor
turnout.  One old guy who wanted to know if I thought anybody would
remember the Grateful Dead in the year 3000 like they'll remember
Irving Berlin.  Another deadheady looking guy who wanted me to talk
about women.  Women in the Dead? Women fans? Real topics as you know
better than anyoneI.  Just women, he said.  A couple of youngsters who
had heard my interview with David Gans and whose intense interest in
the Dead began AFTER JG's death.  They were interesting.  For them the
Dead were that fabled lifeline to the 1960s.   
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #87 of 128: David Gans (tnf) Mon 15 Mar 99 10:56

>Vietnam is conspicuous by its absence from the annals of the Grateful Dead.
>To speak of the war in an inquiry into the Dead's place in American culture
>is like dragging an unkempt guest to the table, one whose manners may not be
>reliable.  But the Grateful Dead's aloofness from the storms swirling around
>them was no offhand thing: the usual indifference of musicians, especially
>stoned musicians, to the political world.  Rather, the Dead's detachment --
>Jerry Garcia's and Bob Hunter's, in particular -- reflected an aversion to
>the radical movements of those years that would, in fact, pan into gold when
>the doors of change began to slam shut. (page 229)

Let's talk about this.
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #88 of 128: Lenny Bailes (jroe) Mon 15 Mar 99 23:30
Brother Esau holds a blessing,
Brother Easau holds a curse.
You could grow up in West Los Angeles
or even someplace worse!
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #89 of 128: Carol Brightman (brightman) Tue 16 Mar 99 17:40
I don't know about brother Lenny, but looking at that quote, David,
I'd say it shows me to be one of those people who believed the doors of
change were open for awhile, say from 1964 to 1970, and when it became
clear that direct action in the streets (schools, churches,
communities, rarely but sometimes at the workplace) on behalf of "free
speech" or civil rights or bringing the troops home no longer scared
those at the "top," and were in fact *dangerous* for participants, too
dangerous to risk even for kids, a horrible malaise settled over the
youth of the nation, a dark age that stretched into the mid-70s.  The
bellwether action in those years was the Attica revolt, led by
political prisoners, followed by the indiscriminate gunning down of
inmates by the National Guard (whose hands were bloodied first at Kent
State in May 1970).  
I think when the Grateful Dead arrived on campuses around the country,
starting in 1970 when the campus gigs took off, exuding that
inimitable California gangland sweetness, singing of forgetfullness,
talking about loving your neighbor--not abstractly, but to the guy or
girl right their next to you--sharing (not pushing) the transcendental
drugs, well, it was just what the doctor offered, doctor appleseed,
that is.  A place to go without giving up the dream, or dreaming again
of some kind of youth nation, this time with no demands that the
grownups stop their murderous games.  Settling down easy... 
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #90 of 128: David Gans (tnf) Tue 16 Mar 99 18:00
Oh, I agree totally.  Very well said.  Gangland sweetness!
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #91 of 128: Lenny Bailes (jroe) Wed 17 Mar 99 22:35
"Brother Esau" is a Barlow song specifically written with
references to the Vietnam war about a vet -- that's what my
interpolated soundbyte means.  Of course, it was written pretty far 
down the line in their history.
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #92 of 128: Carol Brightman (brightman) Thu 18 Mar 99 20:13
What was Barlow getting at, do you think? 
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #93 of 128: Lenny Bailes (jroe) Thu 18 Mar 99 23:27
I interpolated my quick-take in the mangled last
two lines I quoted.  I forget how the actual
verse goes.   A scholarly Deadhead may appear
to provide a more accurate reading.  It's
about two brothers, one who served in Vietnam
and one who didn't -- questions of
birthright and the legacies left
to both brothers.
(real lyrics at
HTML/barlows_lyrics.html#essau )
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #94 of 128: David Gans (tnf) Wed 31 Mar 99 07:37

Carol, when is the paperback edition coming out?
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #95 of 128: Carol Brightman (brightman) Wed 31 Mar 99 20:35
September of this year. Simon&Schuster/Pocket Books.
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #96 of 128: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Wed 7 Apr 99 19:07
I've been perusing your book, came across references to Bill Graham
and the normal stuff said about him. EVO leased an office from him
above the Fillmore East in NYC in the late Sixties. He was a lot of
things, but he was one hell of a producer and he ran the Fillmore East
in an admirable fashion, like Carnagie Hall only south of 14th Street.
I was there when he closed the Fillmore East, I was in the office when
he made the calls to the newspapers. I was on the stqage of the
Fillmore East when the Motherfuckers took over the building during a
perfomrance of "Paradise Now", we both remarked that the rabble had
finally taken over. I liked him, I respected him, Yeah, I always knew
that he was tagged as a "moneygrabber" and all that stuff. And he was a
tough guy, but I always thought he was a fair man and just had no
patience for musicians who didn't do their jobs well, who didn't make
their rehearsals, who were, in short "rock stars". I was sad when he
died along with Stevie Ray, what a loss.
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #97 of 128: Reva Basch (reva) Thu 8 Apr 99 11:39
The couple of times I met Bill, he was downright courtly. He's on my very
short list of personal heroes.
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #98 of 128: Carol Brightman (brightman) Fri 9 Apr 99 20:14
If I could do it over again (god forbid), the good Bill--idealistic in
his own way, a visionary with a monster ego--would get more play, and
the reader would be left to make his/her own judgements.  But I didn't
hear that stuff from most of the people I talked to, though it's part
of Mountain Girl's memories and Mickey Hart's too.  One interesting
observation that didn't  make it into the final draft was Fillmore East
techie Tom Shoesmith who thought Graham was addicted to his own
adrenalin rushes, and had to constantly stage situations of high stress
so that he could catch that groove. A former Fillmore East bodyguard I
know up here in Maine has a little of your warmth for him (David and
Reva), though the stories he told me of his shit-slinging at Lincoln
Center and Tanglewood (after the FE closed) make anything Candace or
Kesey says pale.     
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #99 of 128: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Sat 10 Apr 99 08:27
so you see, there was all kinds of mythologies at work in the
Sixties--- I also remember when Graham tossed EVO out of its office
because one of its columnists, Dean Latimer, called Bill a Nazi (or
words to that effect), and we were gone. I think that you had to give
respect to get respect with Bill Graham. PS. is is this body guard at
the Fillmore East, you aren't talking about MIke Klefner are you? He
was a bouncer there before he went on to bigger and better things---

to switch this a little,I've been perusing your book and in some ways,
it seems to me to be an extension of that essay I wrote calling
"Blaming It on the Sixties"---you go into more "four-part chorus and
harmony" kind of things. It's the kind of book that gives one acid
flashes (those who know enough how to appreciate them when they come at
appropriate times---
inkwell.vue.29 : Carol Brightman
permalink #100 of 128: Carol Brightman (brightman) Sat 10 Apr 99 17:36
I remember the title "Blaming it on the Sixties," but don't know if I
read it. Where was it? And what was its thesis?

No, the bodyguard is not Klefner but one George Freeman, a part-time
fisherman and conservationist, currently active in "Save Our
Streetscape," a local campaign to keep Damariscotta's library from
laying waste to an undistinguished civil-war era house to expand.  His
acid trips, which left him permanently freaked about the sixties, never
made it into the book.


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