50 years ended in an almost-perfect moment of collective explosion. Although the final "Fare Thee Well" Grateful Dead concert was held on July 5th at Solider Field, this incarnation of the band faded away -- for me at least -- at the close of the July 4th concert.
I don't want the Grateful Dead to mean anything beyond the moment in which I listen. I don't want the music to do anything other than unroll itself into present time, to happen, while I am lucky enough to be there.
The Grateful Dead are a band whose influence transcends their brand of epic adventurous music and army of loyal fans known as Deadheads. The California band's imprint in music belies their laid-back '60s hippie image.
"If you want to be a band, a rocker, a guy that can play music and jam with other people and be a real musician, then you've just got to go play as much as you can in front of as many people as you can any time, anywhere and live and breathe it. Put your head down and keep on swinging."
Twenty-six years ago, in June 1987, I sat in our family's blue Volvo station wagon, my six-year-old legs sticking to the vinyl seats of the car. I had tagged along with my mom to go grocery shopping, and as we pulled onto our street, a song came on the radio.
By the time Mickey Hart finished his AARP convention appearance in New Orleans yesterday, we had quite literally seen his brain on drums as his brain waves were projected onto a screen by neurologist Dr. Adam Gazzaley through the magic of electrodes and computer modeling.
Two hugely inspirational documentaries recently screened at the San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival (Third i) examine artists who have found themselves (quite unexpectedly) on a mission that may well keep them occupied for the rest of their lives.