Sunday, February 27, 2005


Photos from last Last night

way to go Paulyyyy!


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Posted on Wed, Feb. 23, 2005

Teacher organizes benefit for music

By Shirley Dang

After teacher Paul Auday sounded the alarm for elementary music funding in West Contra Costa, the Bay Area's power folkies pledged a rock 'n' roll rescue.

On Saturday, singer Country Joe McDonald as well as members of Jefferson Starship and Grateful Dead offshoot Ratdog will take the stage in Mill Valley to benefit West Contra Costa school district music programs. Tie-dyed luminary Wavy Gravy, the "Voice of Woodstock," will emcee.

"Music is something that belongs in our schools and it's woefully underfunded," said Rat Dog guitarist Mark Karan"It's an opportunity for kids to be creative and discover their own passion, to do something and generate something."

Organizer Auday says he hopes the show will help raise the $350,000 necessary to keep the district's five full-time elementary music positions next school year. The school board is looking to pare down the 2005-06 budget by $8.3 million.

"This program is in jeopardy. Money needs to be raised," said Auday, who teaches fifth grade at Peres Elementary School in Richmond.

Though not a musician or singer himself, Auday loves music and believes in its benefits for children.

"A lot of kids look forward to it," Auday said.

A huge fan of jam bands such as the Dead, Auday has in the past called on his musical heroes to visit his classroom.

Over the years, Auday's students have been treated to visits from Wavy Gravy, Country Joe and guitarist and Deadhead radio show host David Gans.

Auday said he began thinking of the benefit last summer and later made it a New Year's resolution.

But as for the vision that brought the event to fruition, Auday pointed to the music he loves so much.

"To me, it's inspirational."

Saturday, February 26, 2005


I've got a mass of stuff to do before I can rush over to the Sweetwater and am only allowing my self a few minutes to tap something...
Last night, Barbara Boxer asked for 4 minutes to say what she needed to say and it worked out pretty well for her so, I'm trying it now...If only I were as eloquont a speaker as the Senator! We were behind Railybirds Vera & Dick -up close Dead Bobby Center and BB looks awesome- I want to be just like her when I grow up- I think Ive mentioned that here before!
Slim's scene was pleasant compared to HOB & Phoenix...Not as crazy up front there..except for a few things- a girl with a cam appeared next to me -barging in front of our friend Debbie (who was on my left) Not that Debbie cared at all but This was a NO CAMERA show...Everyone was warned about cameras repeatedly while in line.At last a Slim's security guy appeared and they argued about it for awhile...and I ended up in front of that guy who has to yell all through the show- ugh-then it was the guy who looks just like a really scary Jerry Garcia that wedged over a bunch of people..Ive seen this guy at other shows and he just stands there scowling at Bobby- yuck- he kept pushing into me but I'm as big as he is and twice as surly about standung my ground and he finally moved along......Cant I just one time not have to be right next to the tzuris during a show?
GE Smith was a shock to see- I knew he'd be there but didnt care til I saw him...Grew up watching him on SNL...the pony tail is gone but he looks the same..plays a groovy riff still..Boz, I'm in lust with- Use to see him ALL the time when I worked on Union Street in SF..The shop I worked in (Sutro Baths) was directly across the street from Boz's Blue Light Cafe..Scott and I ate there almost every free Saturday night for about a year and a half- it was convienent and the food was delish...if Boz was there he'd always amble over and ask how the meal was going...It was lovely to see him on stage again and he looks better than ever and still sounds great...Bobby is a God...but I think I'm suddenly in lust with the Boz! I love men who love food and guitars a wrinkle and a touch of gray just fuel the flames...
Ruh Roh- on;y 3 minutes left for this stream of conciousness to continue forwrd...
Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!!
The queer eye gys mustve rung him up! He was looking his best for BB! I knew whatever the deal was with him, that he would be there for Barbara Boxer- and you know that too if you know anything about our Bobstar...He seemed improved in everyway since Phoenix- and I loved how Phoenix went- I've gotta run...Getting ready for MK & David and Sweetwater!
Gotta get my music going and spirits raised before the boys go on tour!

Bobstar rox Slims!!

He did!
Everyone did good but wowzer- Bobby! Barbara! Boz! Barry! and GE Smith!
I dont know if this the full set but-
Ripple, Cassidy, FOTD,UJB, PITB & that other Cowboy song-with the sharing of the women & the wine- I am happy but tired and will try to write some more tomorrow- before heading to the Sweetwater...

One more thing....I wanna be Barbara Boxer when I grow up!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

You mean it's not friday, yet?

Lovingly loaded up my iPod with Anaheim & Phoenix Dog shows...Crammed a book, a note pad and some beading materials in my purse and headed out to report for Jury Duty. The court house is Redwood City- same place where the recent Scott Peterson trial was held...There are still "Media Only" signs on the barricades over there...I get called up every year for jury duty...I've only served once-a child molest case..I was dismissed once from a murder (drunk driver) case- 10 years ago...Since then, Ive been in groups that were excused after sitting around all day...One time there was tea and cookies being served because it was "National Jurors Day" They gave us bookmarks and pencils to commerate the event....Probably the only date I can actually remember was the day of the Oklahoma City Bombing...The Jury assembly room had a TV going for followers of the OJ Simpson volume though...Without volume there was no way to figure out why the TV was suddenly showing footage of the chaos in Okla..
Anyhow, after pretty much expecting the same old waiting around, I was surprised to be sent directly to a courtroom...I understand I'm not to discuss the case but suffice it to say, after I was dismissed, I came home and held my kids tight...then soaked my poor (pedal-pedal-pedal) tuchas in a a nice hot bath...followed up with a power nap...I'm happily recharged...ready for Slim's and Sweetwater events coming up this weekend...
So no Phoenix report just yet- One of these daze I'll get to it- I am listening (yes, over & over & over again) to the show...I was right it's a great show- not the smoothest but like my favorite Ben & Jerry's ice cream (Chunky Monkey) it's filled with chips and chunks and swirly things. Disk 2 especially tasty- I'm a slut for BTW , October Queen and TOO- and here they all are! The Soup jam was right out there too....
I'm also giving Anaheim a first listen, I'm loviing what I'm hearing here too..
Many Garcias for this photo!
And congratulations to Alan ..For

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

scuse the typos...

I'm actually riding my exercise bike while tapping this blog!
You never know til you try...
I figured try?
I have wireless keyboard and mouse and a 20 inch screen...
I moved the chair out- pulled up the bike to the desk...saw I dont have any trouble seeing/reading the screen from a yard away - it helps i can adjust the screen-upwards tilt...
Inspired I ran downstairs and borrowed a cutting board from the kitchen...Like all creative genius's do, I have a spare roll of vel cro just waiting to be of service...used it to attach keyboard and mouse pad to cutting board and voila- here I am cycling,sweating , blogging and listening to Phoenix Dog...
this is awesome
sort of like the seinfeld episode where George decides to combine food, sports and sex all at the same time...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Okay, I'll admit to have been MIA for the last couple of weeks...Stuff just keeps happenin and....
It was fun to be back at KPFA!
I didnt even know Dark Star Orchestra were gonna be there! I didnt even know for sure what time I'd be going out there...Was hoping and did go along with Kemmie- but if she wasnt going I had planned to go to the city with Scott (really early in the morn) and catch BART over to Berkeley...David was awesome as usual...The office was filled with very nice people- a few I already knew- Linda & Bob(the taper)..Met some nice folks too- I cant remember the exotic name of the cute man who sat to the left of me but do remember Russ, Josh, Leah & Stav...My first caller was ((Katrinka)) from Deadnet! And ((Graceful Dead)) also a Deadnet Goddess, was Kemmie's first caller...I didnt recognize the names of the other callers-if they were online or what- they were all patient with me and nice to chat with too..
The silliest call was someone asking me if DSO was still at the studio and could I go ask them when they would play in ______ county?
And speaking of DSO-
Ive seen them 2x...once because they were playing in Redwood City's Little Fox Theater (cute venue a few towns away from mine) I thought it was fun...Like a sing along...The next time, DSO was playing at a fundraiser for Rex...Or something(?) and I was right there on the rail when The Real Bobby came out and played alongside the DSO Bobby...Certainly memorable...but not at all confusing- the DSO Bobby is for sure a nice looking man and does a good job simulating Bobby's posture- but c'mon, there's just one Bobstar...imho...Kem got a photo of the Bobby and the Jerry - its up on my website
I dont even know what time the DSO bus pulled up- and I wasnt quite sure who was in the band and who was crew...
When the time came for the DSO to play - most everyone cleared out of the phone room and tippy toed into the studio to see the band...I had a cup of coffee and figured I would stand in about the same place in the doorway as I had for Ratdog..but the door was closed- no way I could juggle coffee and deal with was okay to just peek through the glass- David saw this and beckoned for me to come in- he even came over to open the door! what with the DSO in the middle of playing and all...Such a cool guy!!!
DSO, seemed very happy to be there! The drummers were using (REALLY!) the bottom of a wastepaper basket and a cardboard box for drums- with brushes & sticks...The Donna sang a pretty song...The Jerry and the Bobby sounded great!! What a treat to be there..Live and lovely Cassidy and Ripple on a rainy Saturday afternoon- :0)..

From the Flying Other Brothers-

Received this afternonn-

FOB Watch EXTRA ? February 2005

Some new news!!! Read on!!!

FOB Friends:

Bear with us, if this seems redundant: Technical difficulties have confounded our efforts to let you know what?s going on with the FOBS.

The high concept:   Boxer Rocks, a celebration of Senator Barbara Boxer, one of the most conscientious voices on Capitol Hill, will take place at Slim?s in San Francisco on February 25.  The event will start with sets from David Preston, an impressive young guitarist, and Court and Spark, one of the city?s up and coming units   When the FOBs take the stage, we?ll be doing a few songs from our new studio CD, as well as getting into it with a whole string of special guests: Bob Weir will be there.  So will Boz Scaggs.  And G.E. Smith.  And Country Joe McDonald.   And David Nelson.  And Senator Boxer.
NEW CONTENT:  Just added to the guest list:  T-Bone Burnett will be performing!  The house will ROCK!

The very next night, we?ll trek back to one of our favorite spots, Sweetwater, up in Mill Valley, for a benefit to support music education in the Richmond school system.  We?ll do our part to help some of the kids who are being left behind, all rhetoric aside.   We'll have the details on this up on our website as they gel, but we hear Country Joe will be there, as will Mark Karan and the Rowan Brothers.

Come Monday (that would be the 28th), a strong FOB contingent will be lining with our friend and sometime collaborator G.E. Smith as he commits an exhibition of his inimitable blend of prowess, polish, and personality to tape ? video tape, and MHD, to boot!   (That?s Mos? High Def, or so we?ve been led to believe).  The venue is one of the best: the Great American Music Hall, and the headliner on the bill is none other than Hot Tuna!!!!

So here's the fine print:

*************** Friday February 25, 2005 ***************

333 11th Street
San Francisco, California

Barbara Boxer Rocks!
Flying Other Brothers (CD release) with special guests
Boz Scaggs
David Nelson
Bob Weir
G.E. Smith
Country Joe McDonald
David Nelson
JUST ADDED!!!! T-Bone Burnett!!!

Court and Spark
David Jacob-Strain

Showtime: 8:00 PM  (Doors: 7:00 PM)
Ticket price: $12

*************** Saturday, February 26, 2005 ***************
Benefit for Music Education in Richmond Schools
153 Throckmorton Ave.
Mill Valley, CA

Show time: 8pm (we think)
Price: $25 ? remember, it?s a benefit!!!

*************** Monday, February 28, 2005 ***************
G.E.Smith and Friends
Hot Tuna
with Special Guest David Lindley

The Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA
Doors 7:30 pm, show starts at 8:00 pm
Tickets $20

Event/ticket info: (415) 885-0750 or


One more good reason to visit :

**** Free Music ****

There is a new Pay It Forward release in the works.  Will it be one of the Little Feat shows?  The Treehouses extravaganza? Is the suspense killing you?  All you need to do to get the answers you?re hungering for is register.

If you aren?t familiar with it, Pay It Forward is a program under which we distribute high quality recordings of live shows to fans who promise to make copies and pass them on to friends.  The deal is simple.  You sign up in the Tapers? Section of our website ( and we send you free CDs.   All we ask is that you make copies and give them to three friends or more.  More is definitely better.  The whole idea is to spread the music far and wide.


***** Roger Wrote A Book!!!! *****

That?s right.  Our lead singer and ?conductor? wrote a book.   It?s called The New Normal and was published in November by the Portfolio imprint of Penguin Books.

The New Normal is a roadmap for making the most of family, career, and your personal finances in a world turned upside down by technology and globalization, but where individuals have new and exciting opportunities.

The book is available at bookstores everywhere and through

Roger has also started a blog.   The book was the excuse, but the blog covers all sorts of stuff.  It is available at   Check it out.


The Flying Other Bros are:
Roger McNamee, rhythm guitar
Ann McNamee, percussion
Jim Sanchez, drums
Pete Sears, keyboards
Barry Sless, lead and pedal steel guitar
Bert Keely, guitar and trumpet
TBone Tony Bove, harmonica
Bill Bennett, bass

The FOBs crew:
Howard Danchik, live engineer
Stacy Parrish, studio and live recording engineer
David Claytor, road manager
Chris Flum, crew chief
Paul Dulany, crew
Dawn Holliday, spiritual advisor

The FOBs also are:
Giles McNamee
Larry Marcus
Corinne Monnard Marcus
G.E. Smith

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
Hunter S. Thompson

Saturday, February 19, 2005


Grateful Dead MaratHon still happening!
Much Fun had by all!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Melvin Seals story here

Call me!

I'll be here tomorrow- 1PM- til I don't know when...

Thursday, February 17, 2005


From last month can be viewed HERE

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

In today's Leah Garchik's column...

I didnt go but Kemmie, Penny Lane and many many others were there and involved!

"R.M., who was at the Phil Lesh and Friends Mardi Gras show on Saturday night, says a flotilla of floats included DeadNet Central, sponsored by the Grateful Dead's Internet site. Among the float-riders tossing Mardi Gras beads into the crowd (the 21st century is the time when strands of plastic beads spread over the earth like a fungus of faux festivity) was Jill Lesh, wife of Phil, and Kate Hudson, whose husband, Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, was one of the Friends playing with Lesh's band."


Posted by Dave Rosenberg ( at 8:20:12 on February 16, 2005:

Folks, this board's days are numbered. It's just not up to speed (so to speak) and viable alternatives are around. This board will be replaced either by the ProBoards board (''Alternte Board'' link) or by Either way, if on this board there's anything you wish to keep, you'd better grab it fast. Three is too many.

Sorry for those who like the ease of use of this board... it worked for a while!

Hippy Bertha Alert!

All Press Releases for February 7, 2005
The Grateful Dead Hour Radio Program to Celebrate Twenty Years On the Air With KPFA Benefit Marathon Feb. 19

Sixteen Hour Radio Program Fundraiser Hosted by David Gans to Feature Grateful Dead and Dead-Related Music; Will Host Live Music by Dark Star Orchestra

Oakland, CA (PRWEB) February 7, 2005 -- The Grateful Dead Hour radio program will celebrate its twentieth anniversary of weekly, nationwide broadcasting on Saturday, February 19, 2005 with a radio marathon from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. PST consisting of sixteen hours of Grateful Dead and Dead-related music.

Hosted by David Gans, the show will be broadcast live on KPFA 94.1 FM in the Bay Area and KFCF 88.1 FM in Fresno, CA. Additionally the broadcast may be heard around the world via a web cast to any internet connection with an audio streaming program via, and

Grateful Dead Hour host David Gans has been doing a benefit radio marathon every winter since 1986, raising thousands of dollars for the venerable listener-supported radio station KPFA and pleasing untold numbers of music lovers around the globe.

David Gans’ first broadcast on the radio was February 18, 1985 on the KFOG Deadhead Hour, and he will be featuring some of his favorite musical moments, interviews and other material from the Grateful Dead Hour archives, as well as some newly-unearthed gems.

”The Grateful Dead Hour continues to preserve, protect, and promote the Grateful Dead legacy so people can continue to be turned on to this music. Jerry Garcia has been gone almost ten years and the Grateful Dead is receding into history, but the program is able to keep it fresh in people's mind by playing new music each week.” Gans expands, "I see my mission as putting the Grateful Dead's best musical foot forward every week and looking at the roots and branches of their creative tree."

In coordination with the 20 Year Anniversary Celebration of the Grateful Dead Hour listeners or supporters who contribute to KPFA will receive a CD entitled "Live from Berkeley" as a premium, with performances from David Gans’ additional radio show, “Dead to the World” featuring artists such as Keller Williams, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Donna the Buffalo, David Nelson and Friends, Wake the Dead, Jemimah Puddleduck, and more. The disc features cover art by seminal Grateful Dead artist Stanley Mouse.

The broadcast will also feature live music by Dark Star Orchestra performing a brief acoustic set in the studio, taking place during the afternoon of February 19. DSO recreates historic Grateful Dead set lists with compelling accuracy; additionally, Rolling Stone recently praised "Dark Star Orchestra's fanatical attention to detail."

- Support KPFA programming: contributions can be made via at any time, or by calling 510-848-5732 or 1-800-439-5732 during the marathon February 19.
- Visit for more information regarding the KPFA Grateful Dead Hour Marathon, playlists, station list, and other links.
- Listen to KPFA Grateful Dead Hour Marathon by clicking here here (February 19 from 9am - 1pm PST only):
Interviews with Grateful Dead Hour founder, host, and producer David Gans available by emailing publicity contact through this site.

About the Grateful Dead Hour:
* David Gans, the producer/host of the Grateful Dead Hour, is the author of three books about the Dead: “Playing in the Band: an Oral and Visual Portrait of the Grateful Dead” (with Peter Simon); “Conversations with the Dead”; and “Not Fade Away: The Online World Remembers Jerry Garcia”.
* The radio program is broadcast weekly to an estimated national audience of over 200,000 listeners per week, covering 79 stations, and is carried twice each week on XM Satellite Radio (currently with over 2 million subscribers)
* The Grateful Dead Hour has been in national syndication since 1987.
* The Grateful Dead Hour began as the "Deadhead Hour" on KFOG-FM in San Francisco and began its current spot as an American radio institution February 18, 1985 when David Gans appeared as a guest to promote his newly released book “Playing in the Band: an Oral and Visual Portrait of the Grateful Dead”. David put together a little radio piece called the 'Greatest Pump Song Ever Told' about the song about 'Greatest Story Ever Told'. He enjoyed making and airing this feature on the "Deadhead Hour" so much and that he invited himself back. The host at the time wasn't that much of a Deadhead, so he welcomed David's participation. Eventually David was given sole responsibility for the program. So David, showing up there as a guest promoting a book - and it turned into a career.
* David has interviewed all the members including Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kruetzmann, Brent Mydland, Donna Jean Godchaux, Bruce Hornsby, and Vince Welnick. In addition, David has included in conversation numerous peripheral people to the Grateful Dead Family including sound engineers, road crew, record producers, songwriters, and archivists.
* The Grateful Dead Hour has broadcast over 850 weekly episodes since 1987.

On the web:

About KPFA-FM:
Founded in 1949 by Lewis Hill, a pacifist, poet, and journalist, KPFA was the first community supported radio station in the USA. KPFA broadcasts on 94.1 FM and KPFB 89.3 FM, Berkeley, and KFCF 88.1 FM, Fresno, California. The signal reaches one third of the state, utilizing 59,000 watts.

Much of KPFA’s programming is local, original and eclectic, with a well produced mix of news and in depth public affairs, an ongoing drama, literature and performance series, interviews, and reviews. Music ranges from folk to hip hop, Bach to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. KPFA travels the region to broadcast live music, demonstrations, and cultural events. The majority of station staff are unpaid community volunteers donating their time and energy to bring the programming to life.

On the web:



------------------------------------------------------------------------Skip image

Dan Terk/Collegian
Dennis McNally, authorized biographer of the band Grateful Dead and UMass Amherst almnus speaks of his career during a lecture at Memorial Hall on Wednesday
Grateful Dead biographer speaks at UMass

By Kathryn Sullivan, Collegian Correspondent
February 11, 2005

By Kathryn Sullivan

Collegian Correspondent

Thirty years after receding from the stark world of academia to pursue a seemingly more exciting avenue of history, Dennis McNally, the authorized biographer of the band The Grateful Dead, returned to the University of Massachusetts to defend his work in a lecture at Memorial Hall on Wednesday.

In front of a room full of deadheads, faculty and students, McNally reflected on his academic roots and his uniquely personal journey to discover history for himself. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1979 with a Ph.D. in American History. He reflects on his education fondly. Worthy and fascinating teachers and long nights buried in books marked his years here.

Yet, he feels that the jargon-filled formal style of history writing he was taught, made it inaccessible to the public. When choosing a subject for his dissertation, McNally took a "sharp left turn" from his predecessors in the field when he became an author.

He comprised a biography of beatnik poet Jack Kerouac, which he published under the title "Desolate Angle." This was met with much criticism by the dissertation board.

McNally went on to write a biography of the Grateful Dead, which he researched while touring with the popular psychedelic band of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, as their publicist for over twenty years. His very uncommon pursuit of history continues to challenge the established system.

Respect was a concept that lingered heavily in the air of Memorial Hall last night. Delicately constructed statements protected the thick cloud of respect that no one wanted to disrupt. McNally looked hopefully at the history department faculty, from which he originated as he explained the rock-and-roll research-filled years that have defined him as a historian.

Similar to the qualities he admired in Jack Kerouac, McNally seemed to be searching for some sort of redemption and respect from his peers as he simultaneously challenged everything they know about writing history.

McNally punctuated his subject matter with jokes as he discussed the

importance of writing history for the public.

"Writing cannot be exclusively intellectual," he said to the audience. He urged historians to write history like a story in order to "produce more elegantly expressed history".

He reminds history writers to view their subjects as people who "lived, breathed and cried" and not as "puppets for theories."

On the subject of objectivity he said, "fairness is all we can expect."

Although he shared close relationships with the Grateful Dead, he did not let it effect what he wrote about their lives, he said.

"You pursue fairness because you pursue quality," he said.

McNally said that revisiting his roots at UMass has reinvigorated him to work on his next book, a historical look at the culture, music and literature surrounding the Mississippi River.

McNally was pleased to rejoin the academic community, even if only for one night. Upon leaving the podium he remarked, "Thomas Wolffe was wrong, you can go home again."

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

From Jambase-

Tsunami Relief Benefit II :: 1.28.05 :: 12 Galaxies :: San Francisco, CA

Across the street from the 12 Galaxies lays a derelict, once grand theatre marquee, its faded gold and umber paint peeling around the words "New Mission." Standing outside, enjoying the first temperate respite in a day of damp, erratic weather, I was moved by the sign. I'd seen it dozens of times before but this night on which San Francisco musicians gathered to do some good for people they'd never met, and most likely never will meet, the notion of a new mission, one where strangers extend themselves, share their blessings and their talents, and strive towards something beyond mere entertainment, seemed the most glorious way to end the first month of a new year.

Eenor by Todd FlemingI walked in to find the Disco Biscuits' Marc Brownstein leaning on a stool, picking an acoustic guitar, the mellow gold Eenor by his side, attentively looking for pockets to weave silver strings into. Ah, folk music Bisco, what a thing. Since the '60s San Fran's musicos have gathered in just this manner, utilizing their skills to gather bread and blankets and small bundles of care for folks who need it. We take to this kind of thing like a grandma to a toddler, embracing it with smiles so broad we wake up the next day with sore faces. It is one of those "x-factors" that explains why we live with the traffic and high cost of living – folks here seem to have a little more love to give than many other places. This was but one of several benefits happening around the city, including a folk-down at the Great American Music Hall led by Red House Painter Mark Kozelek. It made perfect sense that the proceedings would begin with a man strumming away at the darkness, which Brownie did with his usual fidgety aplomb.

After a few songs, they cleared out to make room for the seven-man-storm-front, New Monsoon. As they set up, I noticed that tablist Rajiv Parikh had traded his mountain man beard from last December to acoustic guitar/banjo whiz Bo Carper. One imagines that things like this are lost and won all the time during tour bus poker games.

Within minutes, they were assembled; the first notes a smoky incantation that stilled most of the barroom murmuring. Mark Karan stood next to me and commented, "They've really cut the fat off this music." Indeed. A week of packed shows up the West Coast and into Canada had further sharpened Monsoon's steel, leaving them limber and open to whatever direction the muses might direct them. Electric guitarist Jeff Miller spoke after the initial spell had been cast, telling us to "let your ears soak it up tonight" and to appreciate ourselves and what we have - clear, beautiful thoughts not unlike the succinct, moving things he does with his instrument.

It got me thinking about the over 200,000 people who died in the south Asian Tsunami, humbling me for all the comforts and pleasures I take for granted in my life. I smiled thinking how people, not just the musicians on stage but also the whole audience, were here trying to combat grief and darkness in whatever small way they could. It's said that Americans are the most generous folks on the globe and I'm sure that's true. That generosity is, in part, the by-product of having more than any people in history have ever had, a standard of living unknown in most places and times. That our political policies and ever-hungry business agendas produce this excess is another matter and one you should take up with Karl Marx, Noam Chomsky, and Lenny Bruce if you wish to enlighten yourself. For now, let's sink back into the performance.

Ben Bernstein by Susan J. WeiandThat music, and instrumental music of all things, can make us feel so damn good is still a day-to-day miracle to me. And rarely am I more struck by this notion than in the company of New Monsoon. Their Santana-meets-the-Allmans-by-the-Ganges mojo hits like a mood enhancing atom bomb. All through their brief set, bassist Ben Bernstein showed the alchemical swing of a young Stanley Clarke, before an overabundance of technique harpooned much of his funk. Bernstein is a surprising pulse, the heart chakra that completes and binds all the possibly disparate elements in this big band.

Late in the set, Miller announced the passing of Traffic's Jim Capaldi earlier that day. It was the first I'd heard of it, and like many in the room, I let out a tearful sigh. The master drummer and genius songwriter could be felt throughout the night in every note played, and more than one player mentioned feeling an "eerie" connection with his spirit. Karan and Eenor joined the boys for a rousing, set closing "Can't Find My Way Home." Though Capaldi neither played with Blind Faith nor helped write the tune, it struck the perfect sympathetic vibration, truer to his troubled nature than many of his own compositions.

As if sensing this new wave of sorrow, Mark Karan led his band of stray Ratdogs into sunnier territory. As I told him after the show, Karan is a party on two legs, a fine time joined to a swampy low end where psychedelic will-o'-the-wisps frolic. Starting with Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "You Can Stay But The Noise Must Go," they steered us from stormy seas into a hip loosening calm. Joining the Ratdog lead guitarist were bandmates Robin Sylvester (bass), Kenny Brooks (sax), Jay Lane (drums) and the great Bay Area keyboardist Pete Sears (Jefferson Starship, Flying Other Brothers). The opener toppled nicely into a gracefully jammed "Sugaree" followed by The Meters' quintessential ass shaker "Hey Pocky Way." These dudes disprove the lie that rock and jazz are distant cousins, weaving elements of both together to reveal their true identity as soul mates.

Jeff Miller by Susan J. WeiandMonsoon's Miller hopped up for a chunk of their time, and the combination of he and Karan once again proved incandescent, phosphorescent, spontaneous combustion from two guitarists who remind one of the Butterfield Blues Band's Mike Bloomfield and Clapton in his never better Derek and the Dominoes days. Each resists overplaying with a humility from which many of their brethren could learn. They play to the song not over it, shunning the spotlight and serving the music like proper stewards. This may make it harder for them to break into the Guitar World magazine pantheon, but listening to them is satisfying like being served chocolate-dipped Oreos while harem girls massage your aches away.

The last configuration that would take us out to the 2 a.m. bum's rush was ostensibly fronted by The Ritual's Jordan Feinstein, a keyboardist and vocalist deeply influenced by Capaldi's running partner Steve Winwood. His merry men included the rhythm team from ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra) and their guitarist Dan Lebowitz plus Tea Leaf Green's ivory spanker Trevor Garrod. All had performed together many times in similar late night jams organized by Feinstein, and their chummy playfulness emerged quickly after a few sleepy minutes of Garrod's near solo balladeering. Once stirred, the fire picked up fast, a deliciously unwholesome funk saturating everything.

Up in the green room, Miller remarked how he'd done all the jamming he had in him. As he tried to relax, one could actually see his ears prick up, and when the band downstairs broke into a heart-expanding rendition of the Allman Brothers' "Ain't Wastin' Time No More," Mr. Miller stood up, grabbed his axe, and with a look of boyish determination said, "I think I need to go down there and burn over the top of this." With that he was gone, and the man who'd jammed all he could hit us with an incendiary smack for another 90 minutes.

Last Sunday morning, the sunshine felt like rain
The week before, they all seemed the same
With the help of God and true friends, I've come to realize
I still have two strong legs, and even wings to fly
So I, ain't a-wastin time no more
Cause time goes by like hurricanes, and faster things

Mark Karan by Susan J. WeiandHarder times call for harder jams, and this aggregate of the Bay Area's best delivered exactly what the doctor ordered. Their playing was eviscerating, leaving us cleaner, newer, and fresher than when we first came through the doors. Peppered through the covers of Traffic's "Feelin' Alright" and "Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys" were things to make you tear up. Maybe it was the pure tone of Feinstein's singing, a kindred spirit to Winwood's original vocals, that got into us. Maybe it was the kundalini groove Ben Bernstein threw in on "Low Spark" or fellow New Monsoon-er Phil Ferlino's inspired organ swells on the same tune. Maybe it was the undulating, druggy waves pouring from Lebowitz's effects layered electro-acoustic guitar. Or maybe it was the bluesy, gutbucket vocals from a woman, whose name I sadly missed, who came up and offered us a paean for better days, her soul drenched voice telling us, "I will dance with you in my garden... if you come to me with your truth." Amen, sister!

A friend grabbed my shoulder as we hovered by the stage and commented, "I think this has to be one of the best Jim Capaldi tributes going on in the world tonight." He was right. This kind of music, the hungry reach of it, the deep tissue understanding of rock's potential, all speaks loudly of Traffic's legacy being lived out today, an elemental force that brings the wind indoors to carry our worries away and cool our fevered brows.

The night wound down with nods to two other jam pioneers. The first encore went to Little Feat's Lowell George and his primordial getaway "Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley." But it was the absolutely perfect choice of the Grateful Dead's rarely performed "Brokedown Palace" that sealed in the hope and slow healing hurt we'd experienced together. Hushed at first, many of us chimed in with our imperfect tongues, ready to move on after being fortified by these singers and players.

Fare you well, fare you well, I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul

Dennis Cook
JamBase | San Francisco
Go See Live Music!

Monday, February 14, 2005

GD Movie on public telly again

The Grateful Dead Movie on Public Television
February - March 2005






MPT Maryland Sat., February 26 9:30 PM w/ David Lemieux
WMHT Albany/Schenectady, NY Wed., March 2 7:30 PM
WXXI Rochester, NY Thurs., March 3 8:00 PM w/ David Lemieux
WVIA Scranton-Pittston, PA Fri, March 4 9:00 PM
WVIA Scranton-Pittston, PA Sat., March 5 11:00 PM
KQED San Francisco, CA Sat., March 5 9:00 PM
Conn PTV Connecticut Sat., March 5 10:00 PM
WTTW Chicago, IL Sun., March 6 10:30 PM
WGTV Atlanta, GA Thurs., March 10 w/ David Lemieux
WTIU Bloomington, IN Sat., March 12 9:00 PM
WVIA Scranton-Pittston, PA Tues., March 15 8:00 PM
WSKG Binghamton, NY Tues., March 15 8:00 PM
KVIE Sacramento, CA Tues., March 15 7:00 PM w/ David Lemieux
WPTV Wisconsin Sat., March 19 9:00 PM
NPTV North Carolina Wed., March 23 8:00 PM w/ David Lemieux

Hippy Valentines 2 You!

"There are people one loves immediately and forever. Even to know they are alive in the world is enough."
- Nancy Spain

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Let's try this again-

Many Thanks to Alan Hess!!
Ah tour photos can be found here!
Norman's site

Friday, February 11, 2005


I'm still working on my Phoenix show...Seems my "edit" button no longer exists- so, I'm tapping Phoenix out in Appleworks and will c&p it here when I finish it...
Nope, not going to Phil's Mardi Gras extravaganza...Have plenty to do though and saving my runaway hours for all the stuff coming up soon around here!!
In addition to the Barbara Boxer Ball (with Bobby-if he's feeling better @ Slim's) There's Pauly's Sweetwater Bennie (MK & Robin Sylvester David Gans etc) There's DSO at the Sweetwater too-With David Gans...And my less Jammy more mainstream friends might join me for one of those Kenny gigs happening at Harry Denton's Stardust Room...I understand it's 70's and 80's music (?)
On the homefront, all is good- I'm somehow in charge of Noah's 5th grade Valentine Day party...I'm preparing 26 "Make and Take" boxes full of 1 oz containers (Smart & final rox) of assorted sugary crap (mini oreos, choco chips, gummy bears, crushed Heath Bars, Dried fruit, Conversational hearts, marshmellows.Red Hots,etc) including frosting and minispatulas (let's give a cheer for the One Dollar Store!) The idea is that everyone can decorate 3 cookies each(Heart shaped-I'll be baking em) Eat one or two at school-take the one(s) they dont home...I'm also providing juice & fresh fruit (to clear the palate)...All this happens the last 35 minutes of school...
Off to cut cookies
in the shape of a heart...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

blogger again acting odd- just wanted to add that the photo shown was taken by the lovely Mr Alan Hess.


I was online to read what was going on in San Diego (real time here in Ca.)
I know MK has been struggling with some sort of flu thing and so figured that is what struck Bobby...and I'm hearing that it is true..Bobby has some of what MK had...Touring is a brutal business in the first place- I'm still shaking off signs of some sort of thing my self...Airports, hotels, schlepping, body clocks getting thrown off, irregular meals, air conditioning systems, fast food,crowds of intoxicated crazies...toss in that it's Chinese New Year And Mardi Gras week and yeesh!
Anyhow- Kudos to the rest of the team for keeping on!
(((Feel better Bobby & Mark)))

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

My Strange heroes lead me on...

HOB was buzzing, Dennis McNally and Cameron were standing on the side of the stage and Santella & Charucki were moving like lightening in final preparations for the show...
And at last the lights went down and the fellas came out to the cheering masses..proceeding into a jam..I already knew the first song was gonna be "Here Comes Sunshine"...3 for 3 for me with that one...Saw it live in Sausalito as well as opening the KPFA show...The Disney version was the best...and it seemed to be the right song to start the SouthWest Mini tour up with too...Through the first set there seemed to be a few odd techy problems-not particularly bothersome to me (afterall, I was right under Bobby's nose and little except for getting bounced around because of Rambo on wheels, was gonna be a problem for me)...
I was surprised to hear Foolish Heart and Row Jimmy when they came up...Kems got her 'She says" and I was very thrilled with "Masterpiece"-A song that brings back ample tour memories...Another setlist highlight for me was the TOO jam- I've had Spanish Lady stuck in my head since receiving Sweet Ann Marie's weiracle! So sad to have it be a teaser though I was warmly rewarded with the real deal in Phoenix! Red Rooster was great! Gung Hay Fat Choy! We figured it wouldnt turn up til San Diego and were surprised.....Liberty was fantastic- big energy in the room through that one- somewhere in the middle of it, a guy danced over to the rail,balancing in his palms was a very young child...He held her out over the rail...We all just shook our heads, hoping he wasnt going to drop her-it wouldve been easy to do what with folks dancing and good old Rambo on wheels bulldozing the guys on the rail...I dont understand what is up with some of these parents? The next night in Phoenix, a mom wedged her way near me and tossed a ball on stage toward the band...then plopped a toddler on the stage and instructed him to go get the ball..he looked a little freaked out but eventually did retrieve it to receive cheers from the crowd...I'm sure there will be plenty of charming photos -just note neither child has any protective gear for their ears...
Well, dont mean to sound like such a curmudgeon...just a preschool teacher with a concern or two....
I will save particular song reflections for when the cds become downloadable (I already paid for them-but so far cant download) .
At the end of the evening, Everyone flew off in different directions so I never got a chance to find quite a few folks-like Dave & Hillary and Christine & Ben to hear their opinions....I was finally ready for a cold beer and heard the bar upstairs was still open and headed on up...I was so happy for Ratdog when I got upstairs as that was where the CDS were being distributed and it more closely resembled the line to get on Space Mountain than one for Ratdog cds!! The crew got a work out handing those things out, I am sure!!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Here comes sun shine

The line into the venue was moving at a creeping pace...Right before entering the venue one is sent to one of about 6 security guys... Every entrant gets their very own guy! They look in the purses/bags and then run a metal detecting wand all around you....I had no metal and had a mostly empty purse and was free to RUN into the venue - I took one quick glimpse around - my last view of Dave for the night turned out to be him standing there arms held straight out as the security guy waved the wand around him.....
Someone inside pointed me toward the floor and at the floor in the front center were a group of Deadnet women. Kem & I were invited over and there was still lots of room..I ended up by Queen of Diamonds -not on the rail but behind Julie who was on the rail..This Julie is only about 5 ft tall and recognizing a good thing, I decided I’d manage to be able to see pretty well as long as I was behind her...So, yeah, I was dead Bobby center- a great location for most people but almost too intense for me..but there was no space left on the Nether ends of the rail...I was happy to be near so many of my Weirpuppies- Dick, Vera, Kem, Tree, Adrienna, WDPJay was on the other side of the couple (Rich & Mandy) next to me. Behind me on my left was a guy who looked like trouble even in a motorized wheelchair...He was yelling at me..I turned to say “hunh?” and he mumbled at me and dropped a full plastic cup of some alchohalic liquid on my feet....I heard him hounding the guys (Rich & Jay) in front of him for rolling papers and telling them he needed more beer.
The guy was a total distraction all the way through the first set, harassing the women and ramming his wheelchair into the guys....All I kept hearing about this particular HOB was that the security was tough but they were no where in sight when things were getting rough..and people-already packed in like sardines were getting knocked about by this guy.....It crossed my mind more than a few times to pull out my cell phone and CALL the HOB to complain Since I already had the number keyed in -LOL- it could work
“Hello? Give me Security, please..Hullo, Security? Could you send someone to the second row Dead Kenny Center to remove the abusive drunk?”
.It was sad...everyone started off trying to be kind but there’s only so much that can be tolerated when you are there for the music...Well, as I said...Drunken Motorized wheelchair guy scooted away before the second set but only after finally driving the rail guys to let him in front of them-where he proceeded to try twirling around in the thing- further pissing everyone off...It was a huge relief when he left....but lets get on with the show, already.
The room was flooding up with people at rapid pace...You could feel the squeeze for space and it was for a moment, kind of scary...Across the sea of heads I could see Reisha on the rail by Jeff..Next to her, someone pointed out Chez/Cheesy Poof- He’s the guy who has been posting the countdown for each upcoming show every day on all the message boards..It’s always special to meet someone as Bobsessive as myself! Then, there stood NORMAN SANDS!!!! Norman!!! Havent seen the fellow since the UK and wished I knew he was going to be there so I couldve tried to visit a little more with him! I was so excited, I called Scott again and let him speak to Norman....
Around then I heard someone say “There’s Sweet Ann Marie” ..Another faceless name from the boards- that I had to meet and THANK for the miracled ticket! If you get around to reading this, SAM, I wished I had found you later to at least buy you a beverage- Next time, for sure!!
Things were crazy, space was tight but everyone was excited....The lights went down and the guys came out and well, here’s a setlist:

HOB 2/04/O5
I: Jam > Here Comes Sunshine > Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Easy to Slip > Supplication,
Little Red Rooster > Bird Song > It's All Over Now > She Says > Liberty
II: Jam@3 > Blackbird@3 > Friend of the Devil@3>5, When I Paint My Masterpiece@5>6 > Jam > Playin in the Band > Jam* > Row Jimmy > Two Djinn > Foolish Heart > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower
E: Touch of Grey
 *-w/out Bobby; Kenny on touchpad during "Bird Song" and cowbell during "Row Jimmy"; First "Row Jimmy"

Lotsa words before you'll see a review

...But it's my blog and I'll blog at my own pace- I don't want to forget anything so, come back later for an actual setlist or show reviews-here we go..

Whooooosh!I My voice is missing...I lost it some time during the 2nd set at HOB and it’s still gone! It’s been a bit frustrating when seeing old friends and meeting new ones to not to be able to express myself beyond a whisper or a nod...
But anyways- it was a great time- FUN and the music & energy (especially last night) was tremendous!...

2PM finally got here! Everything was in order- Jase was here early to hang out with Sash & Noah till Scott came home...Left the house with no worries- a fine state of being after all the years of being (probably) overly concerned about leaving my young children behind...Nowadaze, Jase is a grown man out of college, Sash is a scholarly teen and Noah is likely thrilled not to have me on his case for day or two.. I was good this trip-only left behind a couple of items-one being Kemmie’s addy& directions!...I remembered the name of her street and as soon as I saw a nice parking space- I pulled over to phone her on my cell to find out her house number...No sooner pulled the phone from my purse, turning to Kemmie standing in front of the beautiful California Mission style home (with citrus trees!) I was parked right in front of!

A few moments later, we were off to San Jose Airport ...3 Cheers for ticket less travel! Bahs to having to remove shoes for security- I was wearing sneakers for this trip instead of the usual tevas or slip ons...

The flight was full, we couldn't find seats together - I sat next to the most beautiful young man, brown skin and black hair and eyes, the whitest teeth...Good Gosh, a British accent too! On my other side was a nice older lady...who asked if I was going to Disneyland..When I said, only out for a concert- The lady said “oh” and opened up a book.. the cutie asked if I was going to see ‘U2’..I am so out of it I asked “Are they in Anaheim already?” Hunh? Who? ...Of course, I ended up educating my new young friend about the art of Bobby & Ratdog....and that lead to talking about the UK and having a nice conversation about Bilston...At last, I found someone who knew Bilston!

Before ya knew it we were arriving at John Wayne Airport...found Kemmie and we headed on to the taxi stand and hoped the timing would work out with traffic and everything to check in, clean up and find the HOB before we missed our reservation! I called continuously over the week hoping to pick up dinner reservations and finally got a table for 2 at the exactly right time...I didn't want to lose them and the vip venue access they guarantee...We checked in to the lovely Annabella Hotel- about a 10 minute walk (everything was said to be 10 or 15 minutes away from everywhere else this weekend).

A good sign was seeing a few folks in a nearby room wearing RATDOG shirts! We got to our room and quickly pulled ourselves together..I wore my 2nd version of the Disney Minnies tee shirt I posted here a few daze ago..The new version has all the band members, each surrounded by a bevy of Disney Princesses - Cinderella, Pocahontas,Jasmine, Queen of Hearts, Cruella , Jessica Rabbit, etc....Theyre all there including Lady (without Tramp) and various Fairy Godmother types....Perhaps, I do have too much time on my hands? I feared I’d be thrown out of DownTown Disney, so I covered up in my black overshirt....Kemmie knew the way and had me jogging along to get there...I was way out of breath but relieved to see there was no extra wait for a table- I was still a little anxious and barely able to stop long enough to hug Cristine and Ben (I didn't know you were coming!!) In the walk to our table, I spotted all kinds of familiar forms in the head of the VIP line- it was exciting!!! Graceful and Russ found us in the restaurant and chatted with us till our food got there..Next, Adrienna was happening by and it was really wonderful to her again-even though we keep up online - it’s been awhile since actually seeing each other..I went with Adrienna and Arrow some years ago to see ‘The Saragossa Manuscript” at the Castro....Hadnt seen her since! Before we finished up, we ran into Reisha and I think EBeth & Tully.

We found the VIP line a moment later, there were my Friends- Dave & Hillary in line Right behind us!!
Dave is Scott’s oldest buddy from kindergarten daze. I met Dave when I was in high school- he was then the boyfriend of a friend of mine. That for me, is an old friend...The fact that the Grateful Dead was never Hillary/Dave’s “thing” except for when they were joining us for NYE ..makes it particularly special to know that they went out of their way to get to see Ratdog...We called Scott from the line! We enjoyed the line- met a couple of really nice women ahead of seemed like a long was a warm evening and I kept thinking geez- I’m seeing Bobdog in Disneyland!!! The Magic Kingdom!!!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

There and Back again!!!

Home again!
Naturally wishing we had just taken a week off and continued on-already contemplating the household tumalt, if I were to head to San Diego after work on Wednesday..coming home Thursday morning...
Dont worry...I wont do that- but it's fun to know I could if REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to!
Much fun and weirdness and as expected Phoenix show is immediately on the top of the list of favorites as usually the 2nd show of 2 or more shows usually rank for awhile... I GOT my Black Throated Wind handed to me on a silver platter- truly gorgeous! Oh Scott got all ferklempt to hear "Mission in the Rain"...
I could go on and on and on right now but, seriously- I need a nap! First stop though- to the hot tub...
Scott has 7 guys downstairs and the kids screaming at the StupidBowl- I shoulda gone to Vegas!
.........More details soon!.........
Weir's my earplugs?

Friday, February 04, 2005

Off to the Magic Kingdom!

Leaving the house very soon!
Will take notes!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

the music never stops!

Day Schedule
for Fri, February 25, 2005
[Return to calendar]

At Slim's:
333 11th Street
San Francisco, California

The Barbara Boxer Rocks Ball!
Flying Other Brothers (CD release)
Boz Scaggs
Bob Weir
G.E. Smith
Country Joe McDonald

Showtime: 8:00 PM (Doors: 7:00 PM)
Ticket price: $12

Purchase from: Order Now!

All Ages

The freewheeling creative conspiracy known as the Flying Other Brothers is dedicated to breathing anarchy, energy, enthusiasm and fun into modern music. From the smoldering wreckage of the San Francisco dot-com economy, the Flying Other Brothers have emerged as modern-day Merry Pranksters, conjuring up an intoxicating blend of neo-psychedelic music and seamless ensemble jamming with a large repertoire of original tunes, classic covers, and a healthy sense of humor. The band has shared the stage with everyone from Little Feat to Leftover Salmon to the Steve Kimock Band, and on this special evening will be celebrating the release of their newest album "San Francisco Sounds." FOB will be joined by some very special guests - Boz Scaggs, Bob Weir, G.E. Smith, Country Joe McDonald, David Nelson, The Court & Spark and David Jacobs-Strain.
posted: 2/3/05
Dick's Picks Volume 34

3 CD set featuring the complete performance from November 5, 1977 at the Community War Memorial in Rochester, NY. Bonus Tracks on discs 2 and 3 includes highlights from the 11/2/77 show at Seneca College Field House in Toronto, Ontario.
weir are you going, Weir have you been?
SPM talks to Grateful Dead guitarist about Jerry Garcia and his upcoming concert in Phoenix
by Vic Vela
Photo courtesy of Alvarez
Bob Weir of the bands Grateful Dead and Ratdog. Weir and Ratdog will be in Phoenix this Saturday for the second concert on their new tour.

Planning ahead is something Bob Weir and his band mates from the Grateful Dead never did very well. "Whenever we tried planning for the future, we found that whatever we planned was more or less an exercise of futility," says Weir from his home in Mill Valley, Calif.

"We were never really thinking about the future. We were more concerned with what we were up to at the time."

It was 1965. Sixteen-year-old Weir and the other musicians, including rock icon Jerry Garcia, were embarking on a journey that would span four decades and would eventually prove the Grateful Dead to be the most successful touring band in rock 'n' roll history.

Weir, now 56, is no longer the baby-faced, rhythm-guitar-playing rug-rat in a band of misfits. He is the distinguished gentleman and elder statesman for the jam band circuit, which has spawned such bands as Dave Mathews, Phish and Widespread Panic.

While memories of the Dead are certainly present, Weir's work keeps him far too busy for nostalgia. This Saturday, Weir will bring Ratdog, his band of 10 years, to the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. While the songbook is heavily saturated with material Deadheads know all too well, the sound should not be confused with that of his old band.

"It's a very different collection of musicians, so it's necessarily going to sound differently," Weir says. "You'll be able to tell the song, and it will be somewhat familiar to you, but we've found new places to take it."

The concert -- to borrow from one of Weir's songs -- will be a "rainbow full of sound," as Ratdog supplements the familiar trademark jamming with Coltrane teases and acoustic cowboy songs.

While the members of Ratdog have changed enough over the years to make the producers of "Law and Order" seem consistent, Weir says the current make-up of the band is as good as it gets.

"I like what we're up to," he says. "We're a hell of a lot looser now and a hell of a lot freer-footed than when Ratdog first started."

With Ratdog on tour once again, Weir fans are relieved.

Last fall, fans worried about Weir when he suddenly cancanceled a tour. But Weir downplays the cancellation, saying it was simply exhaustion from a relentless schedule of touring with both Ratdog and the Dead.

"I couldn't play and expect to take money for it," he says. "Leaving my wife and kids yet again -- I wouldn't have been thrilled about that. I would not have been very good out there."

While Weir's health is currently good, fans can hardly be blamed for assuming the worst after what the Grateful Dead went through during its historic run.

In November 2002, Spin magazine referred to the Dead as one of the 13 unluckiest bands in rock 'n' roll history -- a deserved distinction considering three of members' deaths resulted from too much drug or alcohol use.

The most infamous death was that of Dead leader Jerry Garcia. Struggling with a 20-year heroin addiction, Garcia checked himself into a California rehab clinic in the summer of 1995 and died of a heart attack the same day.

The night of Garcia's death, Ratdog played on in a New Hampshire concert. An emotional Weir altered the lyrics of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," singing, "It seems like such a damn waste."

A waste of life, it was. But, Weir has never held ill will toward his fallen friend.

"You can't be upset at a guy for being who he is," Weir says. "The pity of it is that Jerry took himself out by being too ambitious about trying to clean himself up. His heart just wasn't up to it."

While Garcia is firmly planted in the rock 'n' roll music scene, Weir's status is uncertain. Several writers have referred to him as being underrated and underappreciated. Weir says he could care less.

"Everybody tends to be a bit underappreciated until they check out," he says. "But I do get a lot of people saying I'm a major influence on them. When someone tells me this, I get kind of spooked because I've never really known what it is I've been up to."

Weir says if the surviving Dead members are to tour again this year, it will be a "modest summer run."

Besides touring, Weir also has workshopped ideas for a musical he wants to write about baseball legend Satchel Paige and remains politically active. He serves on the board of directors for HeadCount, the most successful, privately funded voter registration group of the 2004 election.

Although Garcia is gone from Weir's life physically, his presence remains.

"I can hear him when I play," he says. "When you spend that much time playing with somebody, in your heart and in your head, it just doesn't go away."

Reach the reporter at

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


So much to do just to leave town for 2 daze!
Just received this news from Pauly!
The concert is on for the above date. We have a stellar lineup to raise funds for the elementary music program in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Here is the lineup!
Paul Auday - (teacher) emcee
Melanie Phippard - Guitarist (teacher)
David Gans- Guitarist
Vir McCoy - Guitarist (Hamsa Lila)
Pete Sears - Keyboardist (Jefferson Airplane and the Flying Other Brothers)
Flying Other Brothers
Robin Sylvester - Bass (Ratdog)
Mark Karan - Guitarist (Ratdog)
The Rowan Brothers (Guitarists)
Plus, Country Joe and Wavy Gravy might perform along with many other special guests. The price will be determined soon. "Come one, come all!" exclaims Paul.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Philip DeGuere Jr. -- TV show creator, producer

Peter Hartlaub, Chronicle Pop Culture Critic
Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Philip DeGuere Jr., a trend-setting Hollywood television producer who created "Simon & Simon" and wrote for more than a dozen shows, died of cancer Jan. 24 in his San Francisco home. He was 60.

Most of the shows Mr. DeGuere worked on were filmed in Southern California, but he never severed ties with the Bay Area, where the self- described compassionate anarchist loved to meet people from all walks of life.

"He loved the reality of San Francisco. He wanted to live and die on Potrero Hill," said his wife, Alison DeGuere. "We only went to Los Angeles for the job."

Mr. DeGuere was born in Cincinnati and graduated from Stanford in 1966 with a degree in communications. He was hired immediately as a screenwriter at Universal Studios, where he learned from producers Roy Huggins, Don Bellisario and Stephen J. Cannell.

In 1981, Mr. DeGuere launched his first series, "Simon & Simon," about two brothers with opposite personalities who run a private detective business in San Diego. The show received poor ratings at first and was nearly canceled by CBS, but it thrived after it was moved to a time slot after Bellisario's "Magnum P.I." and aired for seven seasons until 1988.

A friend of members of the Grateful Dead and lyricist John Perry Barlow, Mr. DeGuere shared their interest in technology applications in the arts. He was among the first Hollywood filmmakers to embrace digital technology -- his model for tracking daily progress of "Simon & Simon" eventually was adopted throughout the industry. His show "Whiz Kids," which aired for one season in 1983, was full of computers long before other TV dramas caught on to the trend.

Mr. DeGuere worked steadily in the 1990s and the last few years, as a writer and producer on a remake of "The Twilight Zone" and most recently "Navy: NCIS." He was diagnosed in September but kept working on scripts -- his last episode of the CBS show "JAG" aired two weeks ago.

Mr. DeGuere's wife said the writer disliked mean-spirited television and would always try to get his left-wing San Francisco sensibilities into more conservative Hollywood TV dramas -- whether it was an episode of the short- lived "Marker" that dealt with medical marijuana or a "JAG" episode that gave a complex view of what motivates terrorists. One of his final "JAG" episodes weaved Iraq and the lack of properly armored vehicles into a plot.

"He would always sneak something in that the network would have an issue about," Alison DeGuere said. "He said, 'I can reach 15 million people. I want people to know what's going on in the world.' "

In addition to his wife, Mr. DeGuere is survived by daughters Adrienne, Dulcinee and Milena.

A memorial service will be held in Los Angeles in the near future. Donations may be made to Project Avary, which provides mentoring and other services for children of incarcerated parents, at 1018 Grand Ave., San Rafael, CA 94901. Its Web address is