inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #51 of 136: David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 2 Aug 00 08:11
Exactly! A chance to sit down with an author while he's alive. Hunter, of
course, generally refuses to expound on anything bordering on interpretation
of his lyrics, so I think we're going to have to live with the ambiguity of
the songs--and that is a very conscious choice on his part, and a great part
of his art.

Some day I'd like the chance to interview Hunter. I'm grateful that you, and
Blair, have done good interviews with him.
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #52 of 136: Mary Eisenhart (marye) Wed 2 Aug 00 09:05
I feel extremely fortunate.

And yes, indeed, I once began a question to Hunter with "Stipulating
that if there were a better way to say this you would have said it
that way..." to which he said "That's supposed to be MY line!"
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #53 of 136: David Gans (tnf) Wed 2 Aug 00 09:14
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #54 of 136: Phantom Engineer (jera) Wed 2 Aug 00 12:32
I'm jumping in here rather late, having been on vacation
(and very far away, indeed, from a computer) since before
this discussion began.  And even now, I'm stuggling with
a horrifically slow connection, & haven't been able
to read much of the discussion that has so far taken place.

But I thought I should respond to Mary's question somewhere
up near the beginning ...

I used to be a poet.  Or, perhaps I should say that I am a
poet who has suffered a decade-long writer's block in poetry.
During the early 90s, I worked sporadically  on a series of
pieces that explored, in one way or another, on a set of
intersections that interest me greatly, to this day:
that between reading & writing, that between thought &
sensation, &, most appropriately here, that between memory &
the present.  I tried working on several things that didn't quite
"take" -- one on Thelonious Monk, one on the poet Michael
Palmer -- when it occurred to me to try to deal with my often
sporadic memory of the music that mattered the most to me,
and to try to come to terms with my love for the experience
of that music.

So the Dead seemed to me to be a natural subject for
investigating the nature of memory and the ways in which
memory constructs "meaning" in a very personal and seemingly
non-transferable way.

My piece was written over the course of about 5 years, as
specific images and impressions came to me.  I wanted to give
the piece a long period of gestation, since I was trying to
work through the slippages and transformations that time brings
about.  And then Jerry died.

There is an online version of the piece, which includes some
graphics (and a final jerry-becomes-the-cosmos sequence of
graphics) at my website:
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #55 of 136: David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 2 Aug 00 19:40
Phantom Engineer--one who engineers phantoms? For those of you unfamiliar
with WELL id's, and who didn't read the early posts too closely, <jera> is
Gary Burnett, who contributed "The Grateful Dead: A Meditation On Music,
Meaning, and Memory" to the book.

It's a piece of writing that really gets at something about the thought
process of memory, if it is a thought process. My own memory seems to work
more like a kaleidoscope than any straightforward lens, and Gary captured
that sensation.
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #56 of 136: David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 2 Aug 00 21:31
I just remembered something else I had originally wanted in this book: all
of the covers of Golden Road. Someone should just go ahead and publish an
expensive facsimile edition of the entire run of that magazine!
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #57 of 136: Steve Silberman (digaman) Thu 3 Aug 00 09:05
A worthwhile project!  In the meantime, however, there is Blair's own
selected version of the contents, "Goin' Down the Road: A Grateful Dead
Travelling Companion."

That book contains an essay I refer to in "The Only Song of God,"
about Neal Cassady:  "Who Was Cowboy Neal? The Life and Myth of Neal
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #58 of 136: Phantom Engineer (jera) Thu 3 Aug 00 09:10
"Phantom Engineer" was the original title of Bob Dylan's
song "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry."

A reprint of Golden Road would be wonderful!
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #59 of 136: Steve Silberman (digaman) Thu 3 Aug 00 09:23
I do believe that he GD Reader will be studied in 200 or even 500 years.
Think of it this way:

There was a village in Central America where hundreds of thousands of
people would make pilgrimages each year to participate in a sacred ritual
which was celebrated with song and dance, and with sacramental ingestion
of psychoactive plants. It was one of the few institutions in the culture
where old and young people would participate in the Old Ways side by side,
and many of the people who experienced the rituals in that village were
affected deeply by the process. In an age of the culture where the old
gods had fallen to the status of objects of ridicule, there was a healthy
-- if mostly unspoken -- respect for the mysteries among the pilgrims who
attended these rituals.  The subtle influence of these rites spread
throughout the culture at large.

Can you imagine how many anthropologists, archaeologists, musicologists
and students of world religion would be crawling over the ruins of such a
place, if it had really existed?

                 X   < -- YOU ARE HERE
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #60 of 136: from a reader on the web (tnf) Thu 3 Aug 00 09:55

Bill Kramer writes:

Date: Thu, 03 Aug 2000 05:36:20 -0700
From: "Bill Kramer" <>
Subject: David Dodd's Comments on the Golden Road

I totally agree with D. Dodd's comments on the Golden Road. It ought to
be pulled into one (or likely several)volumes. There are likely a whole
bunch of Deadheads who "got on the bus" just after Blair and Regan (we
often forget her sacrifices and contributions) quit publishing. A
CD-Rom would also fill the bill

BTW, we need to get Blair to do more writing beyond his books! C'mon
Blair, get to work on that there website (or better yet, put out a big,
thick 'ole Golden Road every couple of years)!

Looking forward to getting my hands on the "Grateful Dead Reader". Mr
Dodd, is there any place we could access the table of contents?
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #61 of 136: Mary Eisenhart (marye) Thu 3 Aug 00 10:32
Yeah, BLAIR! 

Major coffee-table book!

Also, I STILL want posters of the covers...
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #62 of 136: David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 3 Aug 00 11:19
Table of Contents


Introduction: Gathering the Sparks: STEVE SILBERMAN

TERRITORY, 1967-1975
Excerpt from The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test: TOM WOLFE
Morgan's Acid Test: WILLIAM J. CRADDOCK
Dead Like Live Thunder: RALPH J. GLEASON
Jerry Garcia, the Guru: RALPH J. GLEASON
The Day They Busted the Grateful Dead: RICHARD BRAUTIGAN
Primal Dead at the Fillmore East: February 1970: STEVE SILBERMAN
Purple Lights: Grateful Dead Dance Marathon at the Manhattan Center: GEORGE
Grateful Dead I Have Known: ED McCLANAHAN
Grateful Dead:WILLY LEGATE
Full Circle with the Dead: RALPH J. GLEASON
Now That We've Got a Moment To Stand...: ROBERT HUNTER
Some Pretty Basic Tenets of Hypnocracy: ROBERT HUNTER
State of the Changes: How the Dragon Urobouros (Giga Exponentia) Makes Us Go
Round and Round: ALAN TRIST
Dead Heads Pay Their Dues: ROBERT CHRISTGAU
He Was A Friend of Mine: ROBERT PETERSEN
Robert Hunter, Dark Star: ROBERT HUNTER

St. Stephen Revisited and Beyond: RICHARD MELTZER
Still Grateful After All These Years: In Which the Grateful Dead, Pinup
Uglies of the Haight-Ashbury, Become the House Band of the Age of Certain
Dead Reckoning and Hamburger Metaphysics: LEE ABBOTT
Dead Heads: A Strange Tale of Love, Devotion and Surrender: BLAIR JACKSON
Meditations on the Grateful Dead: DENNIS McNALLY
The Last Word: An Aged Deadhead: MILTON MAYER
Robert Hunter: Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience: MARY EISENHART
Jerry Garcia and the Call of the Weird: ALICE KAHN

The Swirl According to Carp: A Meditation on the Grateful Dead: JACK BRITTON
Transformative Mysteries: A Primer on the Grateful Dead for Aficionados,
Initiates and the Wholly Uninformed: STEVE SILBERMAN
A Tale of Two Tribes: A Gay Man's Adventure in the World of Deadheads:
Reporting Live From Deadland: DAVID GANS
This Darkness Got to Give: Some Thoughts on Problems in the Dead Scene:
You Don't Seem to Hear Me When I Call: PADDY LADD
Introduction to We Want Phil! An Interview, and In Phil We Trust: A
Conversation: BLAIR JACKSON
Excerpt from The Millennium Shows: PHILIP E. BARUTH

American Beauty: The Grateful Dead's Burly, Beatific Alchemist: HAL ESPEN
Obituary: Jerry Garcia 1942-1995: MARY EISENHART
Elegy for Jerry: ROBERT HUNTER
American Beauty: BLAIR JACKSON
The Grateful Dead: A Meditation on Music, Meaning, and Memory: GARY BURNETT
The Only Song of God: STEVE SILBERMAN
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #63 of 136: Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 3 Aug 00 14:40

Paddy has arrived and will be along shortly to post if he can find his way
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #64 of 136: Mary Eisenhart (marye) Thu 3 Aug 00 15:15
Great! Hi, Paddy! Long time no see!
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #65 of 136: David Gans (tnf) Thu 3 Aug 00 20:43

inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #66 of 136: David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 3 Aug 00 21:21
Hmmmm. Paddy? Paddy? Are you there? That was about 7 hours ago, so maybe
he's been swallowed by the WELL. (Many lines spring to mind here: golden
bells; never tell, etc.)

Thanks, David, for posting the link to the San Jose Mercury review. It was
very nice--I think Ms. Wolfson got the point! And Steve, thanks for the
wonderful "You are here" post. May I quote you on the book's web page?
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #67 of 136: Steven Solomon (ssol) Fri 4 Aug 00 08:10
Jill Wolfson closed that review with <The questions the Dead were
wrestling with -- How do we feel most alive? How do we catch fire? Why
is the magic there one night and gone the next? -- are eternal to the
pursuit of art.>

I think she nailed that one.
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #68 of 136: David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 4 Aug 00 08:14
Yes, I was extremely pleased to see that, and Diana said "She got it!"

I thought I was prepared to be cavalier about reviews, but I find myself
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #69 of 136: Mary Eisenhart (marye) Fri 4 Aug 00 09:12
So where has it been reviewed so far, and for what audience?

Amazon has had a quite positive review from Kirkus Review up for
months, which I guess means that some subset of academics thinks
it's good...
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #70 of 136: David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 4 Aug 00 10:57
It's been reviewed positively in Kirkus (which is aimed primarily at public
librarians); lukewarmly in Booklist; and semi-negatively in Library Journal.
Publisher's Weekly gave it a little blurb only--no review. And that's it so
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #71 of 136: Paddy Ladd via David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 4 Aug 00 10:57
Hi there. This is Paddy Ladd loggin on. The monicker by the way
reflects the name of the very first Deaf teacher that we know
of, who
lived in and through the times of Revolutionary France, and
got significantly tangled up in all that red white and blue.

As for what you might want to know about me.... I guess it's up
David and Diane to say why they selected an example of my work
for the
honour of such exalted company.

In lieu of that, I should give some basics :  First saw the Dead
1972, Newcastle - Weir has gone on record about the coldness of
audience, and I did myself feel somewhat dislocated, being a
person stuck so far back in the hall [everyone sat in their
seats]. But
I had also wanted the 1968/9 version of the GD and was not aware
of the
country band that had emerged. So it took many hours before they
<that> space.

At any rate, next time was London 1981, March, 4th night, and it
at the max 15 seconds of Half Step before I realised
have I been missing all these years'. An astonishing surge of
- the quality of the music, the lights, (the song choice of
course in
retrospect)... that was it for me after that, and of course the
gig was on live TV, so...

The 1981 shows sparked off mass Deadhead activity in the UK - we
busy discovering each other, putting on the Dead movie at the
night cinema over and over again, starting our own magazine,
Light, and having annual weekend fests [the latest was last
Later on came the cover bands too. Glory days :-)

(A similar pattern occurred in Bobcatdom after El Zim's 1978 UK

The next turning point was realising the band wouldn't return
any time
soon, and that we <had> to save money and time to go out <there>
to see
them. In this respect, both Blair's first book and the articles
early Spiral Lights helped - it was a huge psychological leap
for us
insular islanders. And of course, the terrible UK economy made
it tough
for many too, not least those who had kids.

Thus, once we got there, we were honour-bound to report back to
at home, and thus our reporting/writing styles developed around
philosophy. For every person who didn't want to know ('Don't rub
in'), there were 50 who lived it vicariously through those of us

Looking back I'd say that the period 1985-95 saw most of my
power and time off used in this way, and several others spent

There's lots to tell about all of that, not least the
marriages that occurred and so on, but I guess the point of this
rap is
to indicate where my writing came from.

I had published in Dylan magazines before this, but the Dead
really gave birth to an important part of me, though even now I
think of it all as primarily 'simple notes from ye travels'. It
only other people's feedback that helped me see it as something

Since it was 1985 by now, and Jerry's health and the band's
was on the agenda, this then became the mission statement of the
writing - an analysis of the health of the Deadbeast, that
stumbling around running smack into trees or taking occasional
flight. The need to inform people of what one might term 'deeper
levels' than was found in most writing at the time, was very
much aimed
for those who would not see a show from one decade's end to the
but were consumed with anxiety lest the band not make it to that
mirage-like show in that next decade (which of course turned out
to be
1990 - but without Brent).

Fortunately there were many wonderful tales to tell during that
and indeed one day someone will write The Book that focuses on
out the latter day cultural qualities, if you like, rather than
valuable but now overstressed 'early to mid years when they were
than any time since, so there, all ye neophytes'.

I didn't plan to write the way I did, but it became clear that
as a
Deaf person I was as much hearing with my eyes as anything else,
and so
got sucked into recording visual clues and cues which became
of that particular tour.

This of course left me open to over-interpreting, but I didn't
that risk, because I had the perfect 'alibi' - if someone
because of what they heard on a tape, well that was all extra
information for me that I couldn't get through my own fucked-up

To be frank, who could ever forget the state of Jerry, fat and
red in
1985, singing Comes A Time like he was living it, and not wonder
much longer there was left, and how much song choices had to do
reflecting some of what was going down. That was kind of my
point. It would be hard to imagine writing in the same way in
the 1960s
and early 70s - the individual bandmembers' behaviour and
somehow didnt <mean> as much in its implications for the music.

This phenomenon was also part of the wider cultural development
those later years, where song lines would be cheered like they
part of sermons in Black churches {'Yeah, Jerry, tell it like it
is !'
'Praise the Lord and be Kind' etc etc).

And of course all that intensified after 1986 too. A deeply
sbject for those like me who come from cultural
backgrounds, not least the literary interface between those

As for what aspects of our writing were particularly British, I
did try
t think about that and can go into that another time. But before
I sign
off I want to clarify one thing. When I say 'deeper levels' of
I mean no harm nor put fault. I think the USA magazines at that
needed to keep it light and positive, and knew that they needed
to do
this, partly because of beliefs that focusing on positive energy
help the band survive the times. But partly also it may have
been an
antidote to the incredibly savage way that many Deadheads seem
to write
and talk. Witness all the various recmusic GD, philzone show
etc etc. I have always found that so puzzling, and I guess that
possible truth is that those who just absorbed and knew the
magic didnt
tend to log onto computer boards, especially women, and those
who did
contained a high percentage of frustrated testosterone sprayers.
maybe it's a cultural thing in the USA, though I would say we
have our
own quota of mean/passionate spirits here too).

More on the difference between how men and women experienced the
another time, eh ?

So although I very much valued Blair's writing, to give one
example (I
was an avid fan of the Golden Road, and still re-read it all the
I also drew comfort from David Gans' own courage in speaking out
against some of the negativity behind the scenes. Somewhere in
dialectic, throw in Steve Silbermann's own great perspective,
spiritualism that gets its hands good and grubby, and I think
you have
the 3 poles I would steer by, even whilst rowing my own canoe.

Hey that's quite enough to start with ! Sorry it went on so

DR.P. Ladd,
Centre for Deaf Studies
8 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TN

fax : 0117 954 6921

email :
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #72 of 136: Mary Eisenhart (marye) Fri 4 Aug 00 13:06
Great stuff!
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #73 of 136: JD Wade (sfspec) Sat 5 Aug 00 11:53

Diga, I find your thoughts on the queerdeadhead scene interesting as I've
been around both scenes since 1967. For most of the time I felt like a
part of a subculture of a subcluture.  I look forward to rereading the
Gleason stuff since I credit him for encouraging and supporting the Music
that was happening here at the time while catching a lot of flack for
doing so. 
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #74 of 136: David Dodd (ddodd) Sat 5 Aug 00 21:14
Paddy, thanks for the eloquent post. Sorry for the bad line spacing--that's
what happens when I cut and paste out of my email... As to why we selected
your piece, and the one we did, I think it's because it provides such a
different perspective, in the ways you indicate, on the band and on the
audience. And your listening and observing are so keen, it's always a
pleasure to be privy to your thoughts, which is how your writing makes me
inkwell.vue.81 : The Grateful Dead Reader
permalink #75 of 136: David Gans (tnf) Sat 5 Aug 00 21:58
Wonderful stuff, Paddy.


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