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  • Rich Kassirer

Issue 39: The bus came by...

First, let me just say that I have never had so much fun putting together an issue of Modern Acoustic! I want to offer a huge thanks to everyone who participated. It’s hard enough to put pen to paper for any reason. And when someone asks you to recall something that happened 20 or 30 years ago… oh, and it might include illicit activities… SURE, I’ll jump right on that!

So believe me, it was a great pleasure to open each emailed submission and read the crazy stories and memories you sent!

I mean, that’s what the Grateful Dead experience was really about. Sure, the band drove the bus, the music was the open road and Deadheads provided the spectacular scenery, but what made those times really special was the shared experiences –you and your friends allowed to be crazy and free. Almost arrested? Maybe. Close to overdosing? Perhaps. But a friend was always nearby to help pull you out just in time.

My own crazy memories include a pair of trips to the War Memorial in Rochester, N.Y., to hang with my cousin Steve; a bevy of shows on the New England circuit – Boston, Providence, Worcester, Hartford – with various college and work buddies; and road trips as far as Portland, Maine, and Hampton, Va.

It was all for the experience. That’s the reason we all did it for so many years. Whether it was the Pigpen ‘60s, the Donna Jean and Keith ‘70s, the Brent ‘80s or the years beyond, Jerry, Bob Phil, Bill and Mickey were always there leading us into new frontiers. It really did feel like the music played the band. And we rode the wave.

Many years removed, those magic moments seem even more special now. We’re older – and wiser – but each of us are able to say “we were there.”

So this one’s for you Deadhead friends. As the Grateful Dead hits its 50th anniversary, think back to your own special time, when the band played on and you danced like there wasn’t a care in the world – because at that moment, there really wasn’t. 

To download the complete issue, click HERE

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