I like the Grateful Dead. I've bought many of their albums over the years, and I've been to a couple of concerts. I'm just not like those nitwits that have spent their entire lives following them around, tie-dying everything they own. I watched the television reports about the Chicago concerts this past weekend. They seemed very intimate, like a big Grateful Dead Family reunion. If your family has like around 300,000 people in it. I don't feel I missed anything though, because I saw the Grateful Dead back in the 1980's at the Uptown Theater. Probably two or three thousand people there, and not a bad seat in the place. The only drawback were the rats running across our feet. The first Grateful Dead concert that I saw was totally unintentional. It was at one of those outdoor festivals that sprung up the summer after Woodstock in 1970. This one was in Wisconsin, and I had no idea what groups were playing. Some friends and I simply jumped in my Volkswagen Microbus and drove up there. So there I was, a nice suburban hippie boy with my long hair, my bell bottom jeans, and my Volkswagen Microbus, all happy to be at one of those hippie music festivals. I was very excited because I had heard about the sex, drugs, and of course the rock and roll music that could be expected. On the way into the festival I had heard that a group called Rotary Connection would be there. I had a couple of their albums, so that was cool. It was when I found myself in the midst of a bunch of tie-dyed, long haired, patchouli oil smelling hippies that I realized just how un-hip I was. As we sat around passing a joint, I mentioned that I was looking forward to seeing Rotary Connection. It was as if I had said that I like abortions while at Mass in a Catholic Church. They all looked at me and started laughing.
"Hell, you can see Rotary Connection any weekend in Chicago. The fucking Grateful Dead are here, man." One of the hippies scolded me as the others continued laughing.
So I think I saw the Grateful Dead that day. I was pretty stoned, so I don't remember anything else about that music festival. I don't remember seeing Rotary Connection, I don't remember seeing the Grateful Dead. All I do remember are those asshole Dead Heads mocking me. That's why I do like the Grateful Dead, but I hate smug little butt-head's who think they're the cool kids.