Chamblee54

Living With The Dead Part Two

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on August 20, 2009

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PG finished reading “Living with the dead”. Celebrity biographies differ in the details, but the overall story is the same. Talent is born, and pointed to the stage. Through a synchronicity of work and luck, talent becomes a success. At some point the kiddie car hits the top of the roller coaster, and starts to head down to the bottom.

At page 213, the Dead have just played the seminal concert at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium. The Auditorium was a sturdy old building, with a marble statue of Enrico Caruso in the lobby. Before the Fox was liberated from movie shows and the Civic Center civilized, the Auditorium was the only place in town to play. The bottom floor was horseshoe shaped, lit by naked light bulbs sticking out of the wall at a ninety degree angle. The base of these bulbs was blacked out to create an ersatz shade.

Soon after that show, 1971 became 1972, the dead went to europe, and america set out to re elect the president. Mr. Nixon had such an odious name, his own re election committee did not utter it. Meanwhile, Jerry and the boys went to Europe, recorded an album, did not get arrested, and were introduced to an opiate called Persian White. The latter would dominate the life of the fabled Garcia in the years to come.

At some point, there was the bright idea to start Grateful Dead Records. Yes, liberation from Warner Brothers, and enslavement to a host of unforeseen masters. Next, a movie was a good idea, and while the rest of the band became rock stars, Jerry Garcia spent two plus years making a movie. Somehow, the band came out of this in good shape, and the early 77 concerts are considered by some to be the band’s best. PG saw one of these shows at the Fox Theater…The Auditorium was torn down in embarrassment by this time, with the marble face in front of a GSU facility.

Moving into the eighties, there was a sense that the band had become a well oiled, profitable, oldies band. The new material dried up. The MTV video revolution, seemingly a natural for the acid test veterans, went by with barely a trace of the dead. And Jerry spent more and more time “chasing the dragon”, smoking Persian White in a tinfoil pipe.

The band was still on the bus, but the wheels finally fell off. Jerry went into the hospital, and Rock Scully was told to find another job. The band managed to sell out the Omni in the early nineties, but the glory days were plainly long gone. Finally, on Hiroshima Day in 1995, Jerry went to the Haight Street in the sky. The dead was dead.

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5 Responses

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  1. Ten Bands Nine Opinions « Chamblee54 said, on March 27, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    […] tall letters. This negativity is what PG associates with The Eagles. 01- The Grateful Dead-PG has written about the Dead before. Lots of people think they are groovy. What is usually not said out loud is […]

  2. […] […]

  3. Ten Bands Thirteen Opinions « Chamblee54 said, on January 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    […] is what PG associates with The Eagles. 01- The Grateful Dead-PG has written about the Dead before . Lots of people think they are groovy. What is usually not said out loud is the “other ones”, […]

  4. Turkey Dead Head « Chamblee54 said, on November 22, 2012 at 9:14 am

    […] Grateful Dead at the Omni. It did not live up to expectations. Here is something from a previous chamblee54 post. At page 213 , the Dead have just played the seminal concert at the Atlanta Municipal […]

  5. Podcasts Part Two | Chamblee54 said, on October 14, 2020 at 7:52 am

    […] an origin story, the ballad of #Pigpen.” Many non-naive people already know that the dead have a healthy *dose* of music business nasty. Later this week, “Dead and Gone” takes […]


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