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topher44

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topher44 last won the day on August 27

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About topher44

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  • Birthday 07/06/1964

Profile Information

  • My DSO Shows
    12/6/08, SHEA CENTER, WAYNE, NJ<br /><br />
    5/29/09, WELLMONT THEATER, MONTCLAIR, NJ<br /><br />
    7/18/09, VASA PARK, HACKETTSTOWN, NJ<br /><br />
    11/21/09, MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM, LOWELL, MA<br /><br />
    11/28/09, NOKIA THEATRE, NEW YORK, NY<br /><br />
    5/22/10, WELLMONT THEATER, MONTCLAIR, NJ
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Bergenfield, NJ

Profile Fields

  • Interests
    Hiking, Biking, Enjoying the Great Outdoors. When at home, I get my excercise dancing and singing to the music of the Grateful Dead, DSO, and other bands rarely heard on broadcast radio.

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  1. topher44

    Random thoughts and randomness in general

    Yes, it most certainly is. His 74th. Happy Birthday Mickey !!!!!
  2. topher44

    46 Years Ago Today...

    On one of the hottest days of the year, in the simply beautiful setting of the fairgrounds in Veneta, Oregon, the GD played what many feel (including me) to be their penultimate show. The fact that it was (semi) professionally filmed, and included many shots of the crowd in various states of undress and consciousness, in such intense heat, is indeed miraculous. In my 1980's college years, "Sunshine Daydream" was treated like a Holy Grail of a film, and rightly so, as it was very hard to find a copy of it on tape, and when you did find one, it was usually very grainy and nearly unwatchable. Fast-forward to 2002, and the original directors got together with a film restoring outfit to bring the movie up to digital standards, cleaning it up, and adding both "Bird Song" and "Sing Me Back Home", which were not in the original movie. I was fortunate enough to get a ticket for one of the showings of this restored film at the 92nd Street "Y" in Manhattan. Then, in 2013 the DVD was finally released, along with a beautiful re-master of the whole concert on CD. Seeing Jerry so young, spry, and happy would have been rewarding enough, but the other band members were obviously having a ball, too, with Phil proclaiming at one point: "This is where we get off the most", grinning from ear-to-ear. From the beginning notes of "Promised Land", you could tell they were fired up, and the outpouring of joy from the crowd makes me smile every time I watch it. The "China Cat> I Know You Rider" is so emotional, tightly played, and full of soaring jams, and shots of the audience during this sequence are hilarious, with many folks caught in what appears to be sheer ecstasy, shedding their clothing, and relishing the moment. "Jack Straw" was played with similar gusto, and I love the shot of that little kid sitting on the ground underneath the stage trying in vain to eat a cup of ice cream, while a huge dog gently licks it off the kid's face. It is such a cute, tender, and funny moment that stands out in my memory of the film, and it sums up the relaxed, care-free vibe there that day. "Bird Song" is also a fantastic version, and gets my pick for perhaps the best ever played (with a close second being the amazing rendition played with Branford Marsalis on 3/29/90). The highlight of the movie for me, as I'm sure for many, is the 35 minute "Dark Star", which starts off gently and proceeds to go to some very dark and strange places before eventually dropping into "El Paso", which, as odd as it sounds transition wise, was done quite well. Then comes the heart-wrenching and gorgeously sung "Sing Me Back Home", which finds the band in almost complete darkness onstage, as there was no stage lighting, except for the lights on their amplifiers. Such a sad, woeful tune, but delivered with a level of emotion that brings me to tears every time I see it. It would have been great, of course, if the entire show was filmed, but I have heard that it became increasingly difficult for the film crew (and the Merry Pranksters who were "helping" them out) to do their job, with the incredible heat, and abundant psychedelics going around. I guess we should be grateful they could film at all! If you have never seen this film, do yourself a favor and get the DVD, show it on a nice big TV with good sound, and let it take you away to a simpler time and place, one that I so wish I was old enough to attend in 1972!
  3. topher44

    Forum Maintenance

    A few minutes? We could wait for hours, or days if necessary, Ron. Your continued efforts to keep this board up and running smoothly are not lost on us, and we are forever grateful for your tireless dedication. Thank you!!!
  4. topher44

    Saranac Brewery

    Actually, the GD played "Mission" a total of 5 times, all in June of 1976. 6/4 in Portland, 6/10 & 6/12 in Boston, 6/18 in Passaic, and 6/29 in Chicago.
  5. topher44

    Happy 76th Birthday Jerry!

    Thanks for sharing the link! Some great info there, and historical videos. I saw Jerry with John Kahn at the Warner Theater in DC later that Spring, and had a second-row seat directly in front of him. He looked terrible, but sounded oh-so sweet! Ah, the memories...
  6. topher44

    Happy 76th Birthday Jerry!

    Oh Yes, Happy Birthday to the man who made so many people happy, even though he never saw himself as a leader, and hated the whole idea of fame. I, for one, will be forever grateful to my big sister for turning me on to Mars Hotel and American Beauty back in the late 70's, which were my first tastes of his music, and the rest is history. Ironically, she ended up getting into other kinds of music, and I became a Deadhead! Jerry's playing style has always resonated with me, especially after listening to my first live tape, and the warmth of his voice, while seemingly tired and strained at times, made me feel like i was "home", even when many miles away from home. I consider myself quite lucky to have seen to GD 30 times, JGB a few times, and now we have DSO, who faithfully carry the torch with pride. We are all so incredibly fortunate that they do!
  7. topher44

    Red Rocks 7-8-18

    Now that Mike and I are back home in New Jersey, I am finally able to gather my thoughts around this phenomenal show, and what it meant for me to be there. I acquired a multi-generation soundboard tape of 7/8 sometime back in 1982, as well as a better sounding tape of 7/7. Both shows seemed to crackle with energy, and you could easily tell from them that the Dead were having a blast playing in such a place as Red Rocks for the first of what would be many times. I made a promise to myself then that I would make it to Red Rocks some day, and now after 36 years I have! Just driving into the valley from Denver, where we were renting a house for the week, the geology of the area was spectacular. I knew that the venue was on a steep hillside, but never knew how many steps would lead up from the road to the entrance. Mike has arthritis in his knees, so it was quite a challenge for him, but he made it up, and we climbed our way to the middle of the 35th row, where we found a nice stretch of open seats. The heat had been intense that day (close to 100 degrees), but, it being Colorado, and about 6,000 feet up, there was no humidity at all. Keller Williams was in the middle of his set, and you could tell it was all he could do to keep even one eye open staring at the crowd, as the sun was blazing right at the stage. We marveled at how relaxed and joyful almost everyone seemed to be, and their smiles were inescapable. The beer selection was terrific, and we were grateful that we could bring in our own food. By the time DSO came on stage, the breeze had picked up, and the sun was just beginning to set behind the rear of the venue, bringing welcome relief to all (and, yes, Mr. Barraco...we were never happier to feel that breeze, too!). The energy and enthusiasm emanating from the band members was palpable even before the first note was played, and it radiated right through the crowd. Happy to see Jeff sporting his Travis Bean, which has such a warm and unique sound, but I was kinda hoping he would be lent the Wolf for this show, as he had been given the honor of playing in Boston recently. Bertha got things started with a bang, and Jeff tore through his leads with obvious pride and focus. Good Lovin' found Eaton almost on fire, and in very good voice. Both Roses and Minglewood shined, and stood out to me as highlights.The rest of the first set was just played with similar gusto, and you could tell everyone one stage was having so much fun. It almost seemed like they were in some kind of rapturous vortex, acutely aware of what they were re-creating on this very special night, and relishing every minute of it! A thunderstorm developed in the distance to the East, replete with a few bolts of lightning, but thankfully never came in our direction. We also noticed that the temperature had dropped several degrees, and the breeze continued, making it quite comfortable compared to earlier in the day. A rainbow even appeared to the South as the storm passed, to the delight of everybody. Donna Jean was invited on stage beginning with Promised Land, graciously helped by Lisa, and the crowd gave her a properly rousing greeting. It was so nice to see her expression of gratitude, and the smiles grew even wider on our faces knowing that she was helping the band mark this re-creation with extra clout. Deal closed out the set raucously, with everyone singing the refrain back at the band, and then came a much needed break. We enjoyed our picnic dinner, and relaxed with our neighbors, marveling at our incredible surroundings! The beauty of Red Rocks cannot merely be expressed in words... it is magical, entrancing, and as close to utopian an environment as we had ever been immersed in! Even the little kids and babies seemed lost in a blissful fog! After almost an hour, the band reappeared looking fresh and ready to carry on with the magic. Samson blasted forth with immense energy, especially from both drummers. Rob Koritz played with the crowd by jubilantly pointing one of his sticks at the crowd and goading us to respond, which we did in kind! Eaton's voice was so powerful, and really came close to sounding like Bobby in 1978 at times. Ship of Fools was given a tender and heartfelt treatment by Jeff, and his vocals were spot on, as well. The Estimated that followed has already been lauded in previous reviews, and rightly so. I found myself spinning with my head back and allowing the jams to take me to heights I seldom experience, almost lost in the sheer joy of Jeffs leads. The Other One brought me back to earth, with Skip unleashing the best bass intro I have ever heard him perform! Eaton once again shined brightly, owning the lyrics, and spitting them out like a man possessed. Eyes was another treat, and I actually liked this version much better that the original. Drums were made even more special with the invitation to the stage of family and friends of the band, and the looks on those lucky kids faces I will never forget! After a decent Space, Wharf Rat appeared, and what a fantastic version it was! I would call it a highlight of the show for me, but there were so many, and more to come. Franklin's got the crowd whipped into a frenzy, singing back to the band, and Jeff ripped through the leads. Eaton then went all rock star on Sugar Mags, leaning into the mic and shouting the lyrics, almost bordering on hysteria. The crowd went nuts, of course, and I found it hard to stay earthbound during SSDD. A short break, then we were treated to a simply gorgeous take on Terrapin, which built up steam as it progressed, and had everyone on their feet again. Soulful delivery by Jeff, to say the least, and I could have gone home happy right then and there! As the final notes of Terrapin faded, Eaton introduced Saturday Night with just the right timing, and it sure pleased the crowd immensely, even though it was a Sunday night. The Werewolves that followed was a highlight from the original show that I looked forward to perhaps more than any other song. Lisa and Donna sharing the backing vocals lent an extra special quality to the tune, and Jeff once again leaned hard into the lyrics, while allowing the audience to respond in kind. Howls were abounding, and seemed to echo from every corner of Red Rocks! We knew there would be some filler songs, and the ones they chose were absolutely perfect! Box of Rain gave Skip a chance to be in the spotlight, and he carried its weight with crystal clear voice and powerful bass. Another highlight, for sure, with the final line of "such a long, long to be gone, and a short time to be there" bringing tears of joy to my face, as well as many others'. But it was the China Cat>I Know You Rider which I had hoped would cap this show, and the opening lines of China Cat caused me to leap so high in the air I thought I might break an ankle upon descent! So strong and focused were these two closing tunes, and, of course the "I'd shine my light..." line gave the crowd reason to howl yet again! Such a fine, fine way to bring this historic show to a close, and looks of sheer happiness were on every face in saw. The trip back to the car was easier than the climb up, but Mike still wasn't too thrilled with having to negotiate all of those stairs again. He came with me because he didn't want me to drive back to Denver while less than sober, which I deeply appreciated, but next time I will either take a shuttle, or car service if not going with friends. He was quite a trooper during the whole ordeal, and actually enjoyed the festive crowd, along with some of the music. I will give props to the security, who were very cool, calm, and not at all offensive. Getting out of the parking lot was a breeze, and kudos to all of the staff at Red Rocks for helping things run so smoothly. Peace to all, and so glad Nugs provided a live video stream for those who couldn't attend. Thanks to everyone who made that possible, and thanks to the band and crew for making this one of the most special nights of my 54 years.
  8. topher44

    Now Listening...

    Yes, this has always been one of my favorite versions of FOTD for that very reason! Keith was so hot and cold during that period, but he was definitely "on" that night. Jerry is in such fine voice, too. Actually, even though 7/8 gets all the raves, and is truly great in many ways, I find 7/7 to be even better overall.
  9. topher44

    Penn's peak

    I know the feeling, having had that same experience of missing out on shows due to illness, and it really sucks that you had tickets to this show you couldn't use! It brings back a not-so-good memory of the time back in 1983 (same year as the show DSO decided to recreate here) when I had two tickets to see Elton John at Merriweather Post, and my friend who had a car got sick and let me know the morning of the show that he wasn't gonna make it. Much as I tried, I could not find another ride, and of course there was no such thing as Uber, and I wasn't willing to hitchhike from DC to Columbia, MD, so I stayed home. I still have those two intact tickets! By the way, welcome to the boards, and may you be feeling good and healthy for your first DSO show in the not so distant future!
  10. topher44

    Princeton

    And an audience recording of it was just uploaded to Archive.org! Can hardly wait to get home from work to crank this baby up!!! Thank you, Max Demski and DeadHead94!!!
  11. topher44

    Queen Wilmington 5-15-18 Tuesday

    Thanks, Brian! That run of BCT shows prior to Veneta had some fine moments, indeed.
  12. topher44

    Queen Wilmington 5-15-18 Tuesday

    Would anyone who attended care to enlighten us with the setlist? Pretty Please? Thanks!
  13. topher44

    Red Rocks 2018

    That show would have been quite special, and let's hope DSO includes both of them throughout the Red Rocks show, taking turns on some numbers, and corresponding on others. Too bad Archive doesn't have this one!
  14. topher44

    Red Rocks 2018

    Yeah, and in addition invite them both on stage together for the "Werewolves" encore, which would give Donna and Lisa the chance to scat back and forth on the vocals, teasing Jerry as Donna did in the original. I also fantasize about them tacking on "China>Rider" as filler, just to hear the "I'd shine my light" line, as the place would naturally go bonkers! It is a long show as is, I know, but that would be extra sweet! Hey, a guy can dream, right?
  15. topher44

    Bad acid trip

    Oh, I recall it was almost too hot to dance, even after the sun went down! Seeing Dylan come out in head-to-toe in brown leather gave many folks a chuckle, as it was easily 95 degrees! I thought the Dylan/Tom Petty performances sounded muddled, whereas the Dead sounded much cleaner and louder. It was my 22nd birthday that day (7/6/86), and I had a blast, albeit very sweaty time, and must have lost several pounds that day.
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