I’ve noticed how posting something about the Grateful Dead on Dangerous Minds tends to bring out both very pro and sometimes very con views from the peanut gallery about the band, or rather, when you look a little bit closer, about their fans.
The fans, the Deadheads themselves, it seems to me, were always the stumbling point for a lot of rock snobs who might otherwise have loved what the Dead had to offer.
I, too, was one of those snobs who turned up my nose at going to see Dead shows many a time (which I now regret) even though I loved them on record. The whole hippie thing felt terribly anachronistic to me, a PiL, Kraftwerk, Throbbing Gristle, Nina Hagen, Residents, Psychedelic Furs-loving kid, during the postpunk era (There was also the factor that I might actually meet the sort of girls I wanted to meet at, say, a Siouxsie and The Banshees show, but never at a Dead show, if that makes sense. It was a time management thing!). The fading tie-dye shtick felt even more dated in the 1990s. Today, I wish I’d gone to see a Dead show. My loss, truly.
Nevertheless, I’ve been going through quite a bit of a Grateful Dead phase lately, and I’ve found over the years, that this journey always comes full circle for me to their 1977 masterpiece, Terrapin Station. As great as American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead are, Terrapin Station is the one that stands out to me. It’s truly a remarkable album, but especially the title title track which takes up all of side two.
Have you ever heard it? If not, what are you waiting for? Press play.
Continues after the jump…