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Grateful Derek

Who are the Grateful Dead and Why Do They Keep Following Me?

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Do you remember that? Than you are probably as old or older than me. I never really got it until I stopped touring and set out on my own adventures.The first glimpse of it was on Amtrak from LA to Seattle. The train stopped right in behind the Oakland Coliseum. The parking lot in full view I felt total excitement. Buses everywhere! I wanted so bad to just get off the train, the opposite of getting on the bus I guess. I was with a girl who was a great travel companion, lover, friend, but not a head at all. We were on our way to Alaska for an amazing adventure so I let the moment pass by.


The next year we stop in Seattle on our way from Hawaii back to Alaska when this brother looks at me and says "Are you here for the shows?" I thought, no fucking way. Sure enough. 2 nights at the tiniest little stadium in downtown Seattle. I thought to myself, "of course, You Can Run But You Can't Hide." I was so fucking broke I spent both shows in the parking lot where I managed to make a few dollars. At one point I scored a ticket and later sold it for the same face value price when I realized I didn't have enough money to take the ferry back to my camp and then to SeaTac the next day. A very rare moment in my life at the time when I didn't just say "fuck it, it'll all work out, it always does." Those were the only 2 shows of the 30 plus that I saw where I didn't get in. The show was around '93 or '94 I guess. There were no giant mobs of people scaling fences and walls. Just a relatively small crowd of dedicated fans that were more than happy to get a chance to spend the evening Dancin' in the Street while listening to the Greatest Rock Band of all time continuing to Keep on Truckin On, So Many Roads and No Simple Highway, Staying in Cheap Hotels along the Golden Road, on that Long Strange Trip to the Promised Land. The Highway The Moon The Clouds And The Stars.


It was then that I realized that even though I was no longer following the Dead that they'd be Right There With Me. They were Always Awake Always Around, Whether I Walked Alone By The Black Muddy River or was Standing On The Moon, They'd be Right There Beside Me. With Wings Spread Wide They Would Move Me Brightly, Sing Me Back Home and Make My Old Memories Come Alive.


I Have spent My Life Seeking All That's Still Unsung, While Lady Lullaby Sings Plainly Through You, Love Still Rings True. When The Secrets All Are Told And The Petals All Unfold, Let The World Go By, Through the Transitive Nightfall of Diamonds. 


Jerry and many of my friends now look down on us from heaven. As Darkness Falls And Seasons Change, You Know Our Love Will Not Fade Away! He's Gone, Let Your Life Proceed By It's Own Design. The Story Teller Makes No Choice, Soon You Will Not Hear His Voice. His Job Is To Shed Light, Not To Master.




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