Rutgers fans tailgate early at first Big 10 matchup with Penn State
The Summer of Dead ain’t over yet! Joel Berk tells us about Boston 77 via Bloomington 04! (I’m still accepting submissions, if you’re straggling!)
The Grateful Dead bug bit me early, somewhere in the midst of jr. high, and started innocently enough — a friend’s dad putting on that one ‘best of’ compilation Skeletons From the Closet. I was hooked pretty instantly. My favorite band in kindergarten was Traffic and my favorite band at the time was The Who, so I was already well on my way towards the path of strange noises that I’m still on, but I’d never heard anything like this before. Another friend’s dad was an old head and in no time I’d borrowed>burnt his entire collection of Dead albums. I sat with those studio records for a few years, listening as intently as I was capable of but somehow still unable to wrap my head around the thing. Was this a folk band? Were they a jazz band? Were they purveyors of that “classic 60s sound”?
In high school I finally acquired Live Dead and first heard the Grateful Dead Hour around the same time, and realized there was this whole other world of Dead music I hadn’t even been aware of. Around this time was also when Dark Star Orchestra was really beginning to hit their stride. Now I’m not going to get into the merits or lack thereof of that (cover)band, but I will say this — for a young, newly-minted head such as myself, seeing DSO provided an invaluable glimpse into a world that was long gone by the time I’d caught wind of it.
Some time later, it was the summer of 2004 and I was living in Bloomington, IN in between school years at IU…and listening to a lot of Dead. DSO announced their fall tour, which included a date a one of the live music bars in town the night before classes started. A buddy and I whipped out our trusty fake IDs and started to drink all the pitchers of Sierra as the crowd trickled in. Much to our surprise, the room never really filled up. We’d just seen them play to a few hundred people at an all ages theater in town, but I’d say there were only 60-70 tops in attendance this fateful evening.
After much delay, the band finally came onstage, eased into a ripping “Bertha” and we were off. Midway through the first set, this palpable buzz started filling the room as older heads excitedly mumbled back and forth. I distinctly heard “I got my DeadBase in the car, man, I’ll go check at set break” as I made my way to the bar for yet another pitcher of hoppy liquid.
By the start of the second set the three handfuls of people in that bar were freaking out — DSO was really playing the famed 5.7.77 Boston Garden show! Now I, of course, had no idea what that meant at the time. All I knew was I was more in love with the setlist as each tune rolled out. As “Eyes” started I remember this wave of elation washing over me and my buddy. I continued to guzzle Sierra with the determined passion of show-seasoned underagers.
The show was outstanding, probably one of the best I’ve ever seen - which is really odd to say regarding a cover band. I’ve of course put the whole May77 run in proper context since then…but to be 20 with no frame of reference and catch some shit like that in a bar with less than 100 people made an indelible impression.
As you surely already know, this show slays from top to bottom and can be easily streamed from The Archive.
Im here to be Awesome! !! Yea!!! #positvethoughts
Scenes from jeter Day. #FarewellCaptain