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3650 Miles

In the end, that is precisely how far I traveled. After nearly two weeks of sweltering heat (and a few equally hot performances), I am greeted with rain early in my journey home. For whatever reason, this ended up being the last picture I took on the trip. I hope you enjoyed…I did.

“Sun and shower, wind and rain, in and out the window, like a moth before a flame” (Box of Rain)

List of Lists

My rating of the 7 shows I saw (from best to least):

  • Holmdel NJ
  • Mansfield, MA
  • Saratoga, NY
  • Bethel, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Jones Beach, NY
  • Bridgeport, CT

Selected covers from the 7 shows:

  • Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic)
  • Just like Tom Thumb Blues (Bob Dylan)
  • Here Comes the Sun (Beatles)
  • Eclipse (Pink Floyd)
  • Dear Prudence (Beatles)
  • Golden Slumbers (Beatles)
  • Carry That Weight (Beatles)
  • When I Paint My Masterpiece (Bob Dylan)
  • The Mighty Quinn (Bob Dylan)
  • All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan)
  • We Love You (Rolling Stones)

A few fun Dead Resources

Painted Truck

En route through the belly of the metropolitan beast, smack between the Bronx and Long Island. The grafittied truck seemed perfect.

“Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on Main Street. Chicago, New York, Detroit it’s all on the same street” (Truckin’)

P.T. Barnum

In addition to the 6 ‘regular’ shows, I also attended one at the ‘Gathering of the Vibes’  music festival. Here is a festival link from earlier the same day when Bobby joined the Levon Helm Band on stage for a rendition of ‘Attics of My Life.’  The Festival was right on the shore and it was over 100 degrees well into the evening. The following pictures represent my vantage from the boardwalk in all four directions. And yep, in the 5th picture the statue next to the Ferris wheel is none other than PT Barnum.

“Shake the hand that shook the hand, of P.T. Barnum and Charlie Chan.” (U.S. Blues)

Shakedown

Named after a fan-favorite Dead tune, the traveling road circus of Deadhead’s vending shirts, cheese sandwiches, water and assorted contraband to earn ticket money for the next show eventually became known- quite fittingly- as ‘Shakedown Street.’ The tents in the photo represent a smallish corner of this area, which typically sprawls to occupy several very long rows of whatever parking facility a given venue provides. Walking it all typically takes 20-30 minutes including pauses to overcome shock. Since I don’t dress like a Head, I suspect the vendors think I’m a cop, so I avoided taking obvious pictures of their shadowy dealings.

“Nothin shakin on Shakedown street, used to be the heart of town. Don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart, You just gotta poke around.” (Shakedown Street)

Natty Bumppo

While passing through Glens Falls, New York I found two gems: the cave that inspired Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, and the impressive Hyde Collection, a locally built art gallery of prominence. The collection includes a Rembrandt which is, in my opinion, one of the best paintings of Jesus ever. Sadly it is currently on loan to the Louvre. He also looks like he’d fit right in at a dead show. This wall of books is from the old Hyde house where the collection is displayed. Interestingly, the shelf contains a first edition of “The Last of the Mohicans.”

“…just like Mary Shelley, just like Frankenstein…” (Ramble on Rose)

Lunch

Sat for bread, cheese and nashi at the bank of this little creek in Saratoga Spa state park, adjacent to the Saratoga show. Had a brief flutter when I heard the beat of Terrapin Station and thought I was hearing the sound check. Upon further discovery, it was merely a local band doing a free performance for all the heads gathered in the park.

“I will walk alone by the black muddy river, and listen to the ripples as they moan.” (Black Muddy River)

Stubs

Tickets to the three shows I’ve seen so far. My preference, in approximate order: Bethel, Saratoga, Jones Beach. For anyone interested, I’ve included the set lists below, with asterisks indicating my personal highlights.

“They’re a band beyond description, like Jehovah’s favorite choir. People joining hand in hand, while the music plays the band, Lord they’re setting us on fire. “ (The Music Never Stopped”)

Bethel
Set 1
Feel Like a Stranger
Crazy Fingers
Cumberland Blues
*Bird Song*
*Cassidy*
Built to Last
*Big Bad Blues*
Playin’ in the Band

Set 2
Music Never Stopped
Golden Road
*Eyes of the World*
*Help on the Way*
*Slipknot*
*The Eleven*
*Franklin’s Tower*
Comes a Time
St. Stephen
Saturday Night
E: US Blues

Jones Beach
Set 1
Samson and Delilah
Dear Mr. Fantasy
*Black-Throated Wind*
Jack-a-Roe
*Just Like Tom Thumb Blues*
Brown-Eyed Women
*Throwing Stones ->*
Shakedown Street

Set 2
Weather Report Suite ->
Let it Grow ->
Mississippi Half-Step ->
*He’s Gone ->*
Dark Star ->
Unbroken Chain ->
*The Wheel ->*
Good Lovin’
E: Brokedown Palace

 Saratoga
Set 1
Here Comes the Sun
*Cosmic Charlie*
Pride of Cucamonga
Hell in a Bucket
So Many Roads
*Lost Sailor*
*Saint of Circumstance*
Casey Jones

Set 2
*Born Cross-Eyed*
Caution (Do Not Stop on the Tracks)
Cryptical Envelopment
The Other One
*Wharf Rat*
Eclipse
Mountains of the Moon
Uncle John’s Band
*Viola Lee Blues*
E: Box of Rain

Deadheads?

While packing to leave my site one morning, the New England parents of the year moved on and their site was taken over by a group of long hairs in a couple of rusty old vans all sporting matching tie-dyes. I hollered over “Hey, were you guys at the show in Saratoga last night?” The woman leader replied, “No, this is a group- home outing…I made the tie dyes for the trip. “ I went over and met them and chatted and it turned out the residents all had fairly serious physical and/or mental challenges. But the best part of the story is that they would blend in at any dead show utterly unnoticed.

Later that morning, I passed through this picturesque cemetery with an unpaved driving track. Cemeteries out here put a different perspective on ‘old’- they’ve been burying ancestors since before Minnesota was an idea.

“There may come a day when I’ll dance on your grave, if unable to dance I’ll still crawl cross it…” (Hell in a Bucket)