Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy News!

Dear Friends of the Sweetwater -
As many of you may already know, we've been successful in securing a fantastic new site for Sweetwater! Just around the corner from our former location at 32 Mill Avenue, there's a building that - once remodeling is completed - will look and feel a lot like the original location except that if will be a bit larger and a lot more comfortable (including functional bathrooms!) for both performers and patrons. As a result, we'll be able to continue to bring to Mill Valley the stellar line-ups, new artists and all the variety that we enjoyed at the old location but with more breathing room and better viewing of those exciting artists on stage due to improved site line. To say that all of this excites us would be an understatement!

This relocation effort has been exhausting, but our spirits have been lifted and sustained by your many expressions of support and your best wishes for the future for the "new Sweetwater". Almost all of your communications have ended with an offer to help with the relocation effort, and now we are getting back to all of you on two topics where we very much need your assistance:

1. Relocation Costs Fund

The costs of the relocation (including the remodeling of the new building) are projected to run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars—while our forecasts were close and we're raising a fair portion of this through our private offering, we are also looking ahead to ensure we are in compliance with building codes that are about to become effective. Our vision is long-term and we want the reborn Sweetwater to be on as stable a foundation as possible—structurally and financially—for many, many years to come. For this reason, and with time being of the essence, we are enthusiastically announcing the creation of the "Friends of the Sweetwater Gift of Support Fund" allowing offers of financial support to be deposited in a "Support Sweetwater" account to be used on relocation expenses. If you would like to play an indispensable role in the relocation effort, please send a contribution today. This can be done in either or two ways:

By going to our website, through which a secure electronic contribution can be made electronically (via PayPal) to the Sweetwater Gift of Support Fund account; or

By sending a check for your contribution, payable to Melodieux H20, Inc., to at:

Friends of the Sweetwater Gift of Support Fund
38 Miller Avenue, PMB #255
Mill Valley, CA 94941

We cannot thank you enough for your enthusiasm, spiritual and financial support!! Please understand that your contribution, while it will certainly be going to a good cause, will not be tax-deductible. What we can offer every contributor is a limited-edition (contributors only), collectors-item bumper sticker saying:

(And we helped!)
Contributions of $500 or more -- and we'll really welcome those! -- will also entitle the donor and three guests to free attendance at one of our Grand Reopening Concerts.

If contributions exceed the construction cost overruns, we'll both put that excess to use in further improving the premises and will think up some other way to reward all contributors. We're not in this for the money -- we just want to get re-opened pronto! So...please provide the help needed to see Sweetwater open as soon as possible. And thanks, in advance, for doing so!!!

2. Permit Process

We've applied for the permits needed to reopen the Sweetwater at this new location, and your support of those applications will be absolutely critical. While it often seems like 100% of Mill Valley is supportive of the re-opening, there will inevitably be nay-sayers and we need to convince the Planning Commission (and, if an appeal is filed, the City Council) that the City's best interests will be served by the Sweetwater re-opening in this new location. The first (and hopefully last!) hearing will occur in the City Hall at 6:30 p.m. on December 10, and we hope you'll make every effort to attend that meeting. Meanwhile, and whether or not you'll be able to attend in person, a letter of support to the Planning Commission will be most helpful. It should be sent to:

Mill Valley Planning Commission
City Hall
26 Corte Madera Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Needless to say, such letters of support should be both temperate and considerate of the fact that the Commission simply cannot respond to each writer. We encourage you expressing how effectively the Sweetwater has served the our town, actively supporting important and worthy causes year over year while respecting our neighbors and the neighborhood for the 35+ years of Sweetwater's existence.

* * * *

So, that's where we are. We love you all, and really appreciate all your indications of support. Now it's time to close the deal!

Warmest regards to you all,

Thom & Becky Steere

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hippy Berthaday David Lloyd!!!

....It's just a few weeks to go until the Rex bennie!

In the meanwhile, here's some news about a new movie (Yes, with Bobby adding to the fun) about Wavy Gravy.
Saint Misbehavin'
Oh and this too!!!



Legendary activist to host "Woodstock" party for winning bidder!

Auction also includes items from Jackson Browne , Graham Nash, Odetta, original photos of Bob Dylanand more!

He has been the MC for all three Woodstock Festivals, the official clown prince of the Grateful Dead, a popular Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Flavor. And for the winner of an upcoming eBay auction, he will be the host of your very own Woodstock party.

Wavy Gravy himself will host a "Woodstock" party for the winner of an eBay auction starting on November 26 th and running though December 3rd. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the completion of the documentary film Saint Misbehavin': The Life & Time of Wavy Gravy. All winning bidders will also be included in the film's credits.

The auction can be found at (search for "Wavy Gravy") starting Monday November 26th . Direct Link:

For the winning bidder, it's a night made in hippy heaven. Wavy will come to your party, Woodstock DVD in hand, as host and master of ceremonies. He'll tell stories about Woodstock and his other legendary encounters, sing a song, read poetry, sign autographs, and bless the space in a way only Wavy Gravy can.

In addition to Wavy Gravy himself, the benefit auction also includes one of a kind items including handwritten lyrics and original photographs from artists including Jackson Browne, Graham Nash , Odetta, Barry Feinstein, Elliott Landy, DA Pennebaker and more.

About Saint Misbehavin': The Life & Time of Wavy Gravy : Beginning with Woodstock '99, director Michelle Esrick has spent the past eight years documenting the life of Wavy Gravy. Saint Misbehavin' journeys from the hills of California to the Himalayan Mountains to reveal the life of this one of a kind servant to humanity. The film blends Wavy's own words with magical stories from an extraordinary array of fellow travelers, revealing the man behind the clown's grin and the fool's clothing. Wavy's life is his message, serving as deeply needed inspiration that we can change the world and have fun doing it. Featuring: Wavy Gavy, Bob Weir, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Steve Earle, Dr. Larry Brilliant, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, Ben Harper, Ken Kesey the Hog Farm & more!

For more information:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Music Documentary 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost Announces Winter Screenings

Documentary 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost,' which has screened to sellout crowds at the San Francisco Jug Band Festival and at the Woodstock and Hartford Film Festivals, will make its way this winter from Indiana to Portland, OR, with a stop in Chicago along the way.

Hailed as a "delightful" ( film "capable of inspiring a whole new generation of ghost-chasers" (, 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost' is a documentary on jug band music and the inspiration it has had on Rock and Roll Hall of Famers like John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful) and Bob Weir (Grateful Dead). Full of interviews, live performances and archival video footage, the film is a must-see for music fans.

Bloomington, IN - Saturday, December 1, 2007
WHEN: 1 and 3 PM; Q&A with director Todd Kwait will follow both screenings
WHERE: Monroe County Public Library Auditorium
COST: Free

Chicago, IL - Sunday, January 27, 2008
Will Shade Gravestone Benefit
WHEN: Film screening at 2 PM, followed by jug band jam session at 4 PM and benefit concert featuring Charlie Musselwhite and the Carolina Chocolate Drops (both are in the film) at 7 PM
WHERE Old Town School, 4544 N Lincoln Avenue Chicago, IL
COST: Film screening and jam session are free, concert is $20

Portland, OR
Reel Music Festival
WHEN: January 4 -February 3, 2008
Screening date TBA

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It's already Thanksgiving!
Among the many blessings in this life there is music!
How would I define my world without it?

Well, before I go trip out on turkey, here's a little Ratdog roundup from Deadnet-

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hippy Thanksgiving!

Who's cooking?
I'm grateful that " all I have to do is to show up"
That would be tomorrow evening, at my sister's house.
I'm reading about food though and here's some of what I'm digging up-

UP FRONT: ON THE MAP; A Village That Travels on Its Stomach
Published: June 18, 1995
A kind of mobile village has grown around the Grateful Dead in its 30-year history. For several months of every year, devoted followers pile into hatchbacks, vans and buses, setting up camp in the parking lots at arenas and stadiums where the band plays. Over time, this village has developed its own customs, dress, language and even some Internet sites. And, as in every other culture, it has to eat.

Elizabeth Zipern, a 1993 Rutgers graduate who grew up in Scotch Plains, realized not long ago that the food for sale in the parking lots at every show offered a kind of window on life on the road. In "Cooking With the Dead," published last month by St. Martin's Paperbacks, she profiles the itinerant cooks who sell the scene's signature dish, veggie burritos, and much more, feeding hungry concertgoers and earning money for tickets. Ms. Zipern was in New Jersey recently for a book signing and two concerts, tonight and tomorrow at Giants Stadium. We talked to her about her travels.

Q. How long have you followed the Grateful Dead? A. For about five years. I only started in college. I'd estimate I've been to over 100 shows. I stopped counting at around 35 or 40. Q. Can you describe what it's like in the parking lot? A. As you come walking into it, you see people, and then more and more people, and then you come to a big avenue where there are no cars. That's called the shakedown, the main area where things are bought, sold, traded, where people hang out. It's the whole life and the center of the scene. I describe it as a combination of a Middle Eastern market and a flea market. It's the sounds and sights and smells of something very different than most people are used to. There are so many people from all around the country who come and sell things, and it really makes for a community because it's so diverse. Q. What got you started on the book? A. I realized that what I was eating and the things I was cooking came from Dead shows, and it occurred to me that it would be a cool idea to do a cookbook. About 10 seconds later, I got the idea to do the profiles, which excited me even more. The profiles grounded me. They helped me understand the recipes, and they showed more sides of the people I was writing about: not only what they were doing but what they were eating. Q. What do you like to eat before or after a show? A. I'm really big into vegan sushi. It's horrible I'm so addicted to it. It's seaweed wrapped with rice and vegetables. That and pancakes. I support alternative food stores because I think it's better food, not prepared and processed. I really believe in supporting organic farming. But it's hard to find organic pancakes. They were big at shows out west. They were everywhere. Banana-mango in Seattle. Buckwheat strawberry.

Q. It sounds pretty elaborate. A. People don't believe it. There are ovens, there are generators, there are propane tanks, refrigerators. It's really extensive, to the point where you can find from 15 to 20 different kinds of food. Dead shows are just a convention of culinary ideas. It's unreal.

And it's really good, kind, caring people. I think what's at the center of it is people making food because other people will love it. It's giving them a way to get to shows and money for tickets, but it's also a service, it's time and love. I learned so much from them.

What you find is different from the way we eat in mainstream society. People don't take care of what they put in their body. You should be really conscious of what you put inside, because that's what you'll put out. That's important. JEAN RUTTER

Shrimp Enchiladas
Enchiladas form a central part of Tex-Mex cuisine. The origin of the “shrimp enchilada” is unknown. 

The Armadillo World Headquarters (1970-1980) in Austin served up famous shrimp enchiladas. Robb Walsh reports (below) that Jan Beeman cooked up the dish for the Grateful Dead on Thanksgiving Day in 1972, but another source (below) credits Betsy Ricketts for the famous ‘Dillo shrimp enchiladas. 

“Shrimp enchiladas” is first cited in print in 1950 and recipes were printed in newspapers in the 1960s, so the Armadillo World Headquarters could not have invented the dish that it helped to popularize.
For the recipe go & clicky-clicky!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bobby just keeps on jamming!

The Bill Graham Foundation Presents
“Bill’s Birthday Bash – A Special Evening of Duets”
To Benefit The Bill Graham Foundation

Aaron Neville / Linda Ronstadt
Jackie Greene/ Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
Ray Manzarek / Roy Rogers
Tuck & Patti
Closing dance set by Booker T. Jones Band

The Fillmore Auditorium, 1805 Geary Blvd.
Friday, January 11, 2008 at 8:30 PM,
San Francisco, California

Tickets available online at:
or at any Ticketmaster outlet.

On sale date is Sunday, November 18th at 10 AM.


A portion of the package price is tax deductible




Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good Morning!
Yet another NEW interview with Senor Dennis McNally
Clickety click click

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Daze later and I'm still walking around listening to Days Between!
Got one of those new iPod Touch gizmos and WOW! I guess I don't need an iPhone or a lap top! The thing holds ALL my photos, some of my videos, it's wi fi, so I can read the newspaper, message boards & my email in the bathroom (or at work on my breaks or anywhere there's wifi) I can listen to sirius internet on it as well as the music I've loaded into it . It's cool!
Here's what I found on it today!
An interview with Dennis McNally! Clicky

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Just heard Bobby & Ratdog's "Days Between" it is lovely. Hope this link works? Here

Thinking of Mark Karan today.. Last day or so of radiation treatments. Onward to healing. Scotters & I look forward to hearing him play again- hopefully by Spring!
To keep up with MK & his progress (AMAZING) Check out MK's website- on the homepage is the invitation & instructions to login to Mark's care page.

Ah, A nice short interview with the Bobstar

last night's Mission thanks to earthscapeben:

University hosts conference on The Grateful Dead
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Nov 07, 2007 04:02 PM
Associated Press Writer
AMHERST, Mass. – Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart says he and other members of the band never really understood the forces that turned them into a 30-year cultural phenomenon.

"It was an alchemical thing," Hart said. "It's for other people to decide our fate in history, our place in the culture.''

That is exactly why fans, followers and some of those who were in the inner circle of the Grateful Dead plan to travel to the University of Massachusetts for three days in November.

This is no music festival.

UMass is hosting an academic conference on all things Dead. It will feature panel discussions on topics as diverse as the band's innovations in sound engineering, the symbolism in Robert Hunter's lyrics, the sociological phenomena associated with the nomadic fans who followed the Dead from concert to concert, and the band's reflection of the American culture throughout the 30 years they were making music.

Jerry Garcia, whose death in 1995 also brought an end to the band, might have called this "Thinking Man's Dead." The university has labelled it "Unbroken Chain: The Grateful Dead in Music, Culture and Memory.''

"We have the opportunity to do something a bit more unique than have a bunch of people sitting around talking about favourite concert memories," said Rob Weir (no relation to Dead guitarist Bob Weir), a visiting lecturer at the school whose history classes on pop culture use the band as their fulcrum.

More than 50 historians, authors, and critics are scheduled to participate, along with some who have a closer connection to the band, including Carolyn Garcia, Jerry's second wife; Dan Healy, the band's sound engineer; and Dennis McNally, the Dead's publicist and biographer.

McNally, who has a doctorate in history from UMass, came up with the idea for the conference and suggested it to John Mullin, the dean of the graduate school.

"Here was an opportunity for us to take a broad look at the late 60s and 70s through the lens of music and culture," Mullin said. "So I brought together a bunch of scholars on this thing and I said, 'Can we do this with scholarly rigor?' And the answer was, 'Yes.'''

Invitations to the conference have been issued to the band members, but scheduling conflicts make it unlikely that any will attend, organizers said.

Guitarist Bob Weir, who will be touring in Florida with his band RatDog at the time of the conference, said in an email that he's not surprised by the academic interest.

"They've been teaching courses about us for 15 or 20 years,'' he said. "They take us more seriously than we take ourselves, for sure. Nonetheless, I hope it spreads the word that improvisational music is here to stay.''

About 500-600 people are expected to attend the Nov. 16-18 conference, about 400 of those from off-campus. The cost to attend is $295 for the three days, with the concerts being extra. Organizers say most of the interest is coming from non-students and non-faculty.

Carolyn Garcia, a pop culture figure since her days as one of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, is probably the best known attendee. She will be taking part in a panel discussion on gender and the counterculture. Better known to many as "Mountain Girl," she has been with the Grateful Dead scene since the 1960s, when she took part in Kesey's LSD "acid test" experiments, for which the Dead provided the psychedelic music. She also was married to Garcia for 12 years and is the mother of two of his children.

"The Grateful Dead kind of entered the national consciousness in a broad way," she said. "So people of a scholarly nature find things to explore there.''

From their jug band and then psychedelic beginnings, to music influenced by disco, jazz and even MTV in the 80s, the band was able to blend styles while gathering a following that was as diverse as Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and conservative commentator Ann Coulter, said Rob Weir, the lecturer.

"They seem to shift the way American culture shifts, which is a good reason to study them," he said.

That's not to say there won't be things for the casual fan to enjoy at the conference. Many of the panel discussions will be open to the public and there will be concerts both nights by Grateful Dead tribute bands.

Hart said he hopes the conference will be able to recreate some of the positive energy of the band, which he said prompted people to go out and be good to each other.

"That's why they are having conferences about us," he said recently after playing with the Global Drum Project in Connecticut. ``It was different from, say, the Rolling Stones, or a popular music band. Spiritually it had a different purpose.''

Monday, November 05, 2007

Voter group tied to Dave Matthews & Bob Weir takes big step

11/05/2007 4:00 PM, Yahoo! Music
Lyndsey Parker

HeadCount--a nonpartisan voter registration group that works with Dave Matthews, the Allman Brothers Band, and members of Phish and the Grateful Dead--announced that it has hired a former Time Warner vice president as its executive director.

Virginia McEnerney, who served as Time Warner Inc's Vice President of Corporate Relations, joined the organization to spearhead an effort to add 200,000 new names to voter rolls nationwide. HeadCount has already registered close to 60,000 voters since its launch in 2004, and has been lauded by other non-profits for its ability to keep costs down while getting top artists directly involved.

"I was so impressed with what this organization had accomplished to this point," McEnerney said, "and I believe completely in the mission of getting young people to vote and using music and concerts as the avenue to do it."

The organization was founded by Marc Brownstein, bass player for the electronic rock band the Disco Biscuits, and Andy Bernstein, a sports executive who had once authored a book about Phish. They rallied a variety of artists during the heated build-up to the 2004 election, and led a nationwide network of volunteers who registered voters at concerts.

For 2008, HeadCount will field voter registration "street teams" in about 50 U.S. cities, setting up tables at up to 1,000 concerts. Such diverse artists as Santana, Maroon 5, O.A.R., and Crosby, Stills & Nash have pledged their support, along with Dave Matthews and various offshoots of Phish and the Grateful Dead.

Former Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir, who now tours with the band RatDog, is a board member of HeadCount and the organization's unofficial spokesman.

"I think for the younger folks this is particularly important, because the decisions we make will largely affect the rest of their lives," said Weir.

HeadCount will be the only group registering voters at concerts next year on a large scale. The better-known Rock The Vote has been reorganized and will focus primarily on media-based initiatives and online voter tools. Another organization that was prominent in 2004, the left-leaning Music For America, lost most of its funding and will not return on a national basis.

McEnerney said the philanthropic community has taken notice of the fact that HeadCount accomplished so much on a shoestring budget. A key element behind the success, she said, is the support of the artists themselves. Dave Matthews and members of Phish and the Grateful Dead have appeared in television public service announcements produced by HeadCount while supporting the group financially, and many artists have used their websites, email databases, and even time onstage to remind their fans to vote. Weir, whose Grateful Dead was famous for never saying a word while performing, now reminds fans to vote at every concert.

"If we don't protect democracy today, there won't be a democracy to protect in a few years," Weir said.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

RANFAN posted these on youtube:

Cousin Bud took some grooving pictures at the 10/30/07 Ratdoggy show!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bobby's always been my Elvis but now I'm confused?


Some Halloweenie pix at
and pictures from 10/30 too :

Bob Weir Looks Back

A nice little article on Ratdog