Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Happy Birthday to a great guy!!!

this and that

Hurry- you have about 5 minutes , well maybe a day? Whatev, cast your setlist predictions NOW at
Ratdog Fantasy!

Come on without, come on within, you ain't seen nuthin like The Mighty Quinn!

Do you like astrology? If you do, you might enjoy checking out Planet's blog on Jerry Garcia.

Congratulations to Matt Beauchemin

Some cool items waiting for your bid at the Head count online auction!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

He changed live music forever

He changed live music forever
Grateful Dead lawyer Harold 'Hal' Kant, 77, dies
Saturday, October 25, 2008 | 9:10 p.m. CDT

Harold "Hal" Kant, the Grateful Dead's longtime principal lawyer and corporate general counsel who spent more than three decades helping protect the legendary rock band's lucrative musical legacy, died. He was 77.

Kant died of pancreatic cancer Oct. 19 at his home in Reno, Nev., said his son, Jonas.

Once described in The National Law Journal as a "conservative, Republican, poker-playing opera fan,'' the bearded, Bronx-born lawyer launched his more than 35-year association with the Northern California band in 1971.

Grateful Dead co-founder Bob Weir described Kant last week as a "dear friend,'' who was "most instructive to us.''

"The Grateful Dead was known for its revolutionary approach to the music industry, and Hal was part and parcel of that,'' Weir said in a statement. "We wanted a place for humanity in a business that more resembled a nightmare circus than much else, and he helped us find it.''

With tongue in cheek, Kant's Grateful Dead business cards described his title with the band, whose lead guitarist, Jerry Garcia, died in 1995, simply as "Czar.''

"He oversaw every aspect of their business, whether licensing, touring, trademarks, merchandise or Garcia getting busted for drugs,'' said Jonas Kant, a music lawyer and a senior vice president at Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

"They were known for being a free-loving, peace-loving band, but he helped them run everything like a structured business,'' he said.

Kant, who accompanied the band on various tours, "did all of their recording and music publishing agreements,'' his son said. "He was renowned for being very much ahead of his time in terms of protecting the artists' and songwriters' rights.''

Kant ensured the masters of the Grateful Dead's recordings and copyrights in the music would be owned by the band, his son said. He also enlisted an Oakland, Calif., law firm to handle enforcement of the band's trademarks.

Dennis McNally, author of the 2002 biography "A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead,'' said Kant "was a significant force in keeping them together by having the business function well so that they could do what they wanted to do, which is play music.''

When Ben & Jerry's ice cream produced a new flavor, Cherry Garcia, in the early '90s, McNally wrote in his book, the company did so without even discussing the idea with Garcia. Although Garcia was unconcerned when it was first brought to his attention — "At least they're not naming a motor oil after me, man,'' he said — Kant convinced him the issue should be addressed.

As recounted by McNally, Kant told Garcia: "They will name a motor oil after you if you don't confront this, Jerry. You'll have no control over your name at all.''

Garcia finally told Kant, "If it bothers you, go ahead.''

"In the next few years,'' McNally wrote, "Jerry would have no problems in spending the large sum of money he'd earn thanks to the letter Kant wrote (to Ben & Jerry's).''

Kant remained the band's general counsel until around 2000, but he continued to represent Ice-Nine, the band's music publishing company, until his death.

He also was a lifelong poker player, who cut classes at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx to play penny poker with other kids in a clubhouse in the cellar of a tenement house.

With a penchant for wearing a cowboy hat and boots and smoking Cuban cigars, Kant began playing casino poker in 1984 and won the World Series of Poker in 1987.

The rule he followed at both the gaming table and the conference table, he said, is "you have to be willing to go all-out. Bluffing is OK, but you have to be willing to take the downside if you lose.''

The son of eastern European immigrants who owned a dry-cleaning store in the Bronx, Kant was born July 29, 1931. He received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in clinical psychology from Pennsylvania State University.

After a stint in the Army working as a psychologist at an Army hospital, he went to Harvard, where he received his law degree with honors in 1958.

He was a clerk for Judge William Orr of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco before joining a Beverly Hills, Calif., law firm in 1959. In a few years, he launched his own general business law practice and eventually began representing movie industry clients.

During that time, he told The Boston Globe in 2000, he noticed, "The only attorneys in the music business were the attorneys for the record companies, and their job was to get as much money as they could for their company and leave as little as possible for the artists. I decided, maybe the other guys should have an attorney, too.''

He began by handling the Association and in time represented artists including Sonny & Cher, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Hot Tuna, and Captain Beefheart.

The Grateful Dead made up only a small part of his work until 1987 when, according to The National Law Journal story, the band's revenues soared from $15 million per year to $100 million per year. Kant then withdrew from the rest of his practice and devoted the majority of his time to the band.

Kant, who was executive director of the Legal and Behavioral Institute in Los Angeles in the '70s, also was a co-author of the 1973 book "Pornography and Sexual Deviance.''

In addition to his son Jonas, Kant is survived by his wife, Jesse; two other sons, Garth and Tony; his sisters, Charlotte Silverman and Thelma Sameth; his step-children, Cameron Cassidy Sloane and Sean Cassidy; and five grandchildren.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Merl was the sun rising over the keyboards every time I looked over at him," comments Weir.

Bay Area musician Merl Saunders dies at age 74

By Jim Harrington
Oakland Tribune
Article Launched: 10/24/2008 02:33:38 PM PDT

Bay Area musician Merl Saunders, seen in this undated promotional photo, died Friday in San...
Merl Saunders, a San Mateo native who made his mark on the Bay Area music scene by recording and performing with some of its biggest stars, including Bonnie Raitt, Creedence Clearwater Revival's Tom Fogerty and the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, died early Friday at Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco.
The 74-year-old keyboard player succumbed to a systemic infection and the lingering effects of a stroke he suffered six years ago, which left him paralyzed on one side of his body.
Saunders never experienced the same kind of fame and recognition as those players, but his deep contributions to the Bay Area music scene were cherished by thousands.
"Merl was the sun rising over the keyboards every time I looked over at him," comments Weir.
Saunders was a multi-talented keyboardist who was equally comfortable performing rock and jazz. Born on Valentine's Day 1934, Saunders was proficient on the piano by age 10 and his ability to position himself in the company of greatness was also honed at a young age. For instance, he was a bandmate and classmate of Johnny Mathis while in junior high school.
Saunders later made the transition to the Hammond B-3 organ, which quickly became his instrument of choice, and managed to wrangle an apprenticeship of sorts with the great B-3 master Jimmy Smith.
In 1970, Saunders embarked on a lengthy partnership with vocalist-guitarist Jerry Garcia, a restless musical soul that was always on the look for collaborators outside the Grateful Dead. The two musicians would work together in the band "Legion of Mary" and the ensemble "Garcia/Saunders," performing local club dates and producing Saunders' best-known recordings, including "Heavy Turbulence," "Fire Up" and "Live at the Keystone."
Their 1990 collaboration, "Blues from the Rainforest," was a Billboard Top 10 in the New Age category.
Saunders obviously benefitted from his association with the Dead's world-famous guitarist. Yet, this collaboration was a two-way street.
"When Jerry first started playing outside the Dead, he pretty consciously chose keyboard partners who would broaden his horizons," says Dennis McNally, the longtime Grateful Dead historian and publicist. "At that point, in the early '70s, Jerry knew rock, R&B, country and folk very well indeed. Merl, though he'd spend most of his career playing in rock bands, was a Jimmy Smith devotee who had at his command the Great American songbook — the classics of Tin Pan Alley and Broadway. And he really shared that sophistication with Jerry and with succeeding musicians in the so-called jam-band world who listened to him. ..."
Over the years, Saunders became a senior member of the jam-band scene, and he performed with such top second-generation acts as Phish, Blues Traveler and Widespread Panic. He was also known as a very generous band leader who provided opportunities for such uip-and-comers as Sheila E., Bonnie Hayes and Bob Steeler.
Outside of the rock world, Saunders managed a successful career in jazz and blues music. Notably, the B-3 titan performed and recorded with such true legends as Harry Belafonte, Frank Sinatra, Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis, B. B. King, Paul Butterfield and Bonnie Raitt.
Saunders is survived by longtime companion, Debra Hall, three children — Anthony Saunders, Merl Saunders Jr. and Susan Saunders — as well as by several grand children and great grandchildren.
There was no announcement Friday regarding funeral or memorial services.
Reach Jim Harrington at Read his Concert Blog at


New article on the Egypt dvd- some Bobby quotes within

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dead Houses not Halloweenie

If you had been to a West Coast Grateful Dead show, chances are you smiled as that man dressed in a bear costume with lights twirled past you!
You werent tripping-
That fellow is Rob Levitsky and he owns a bunch of houses known as the Dead Houses as each one is named for a Grateful Dead song.
You may check out pictures of the houses by following the links at-

EMBARCADERO: Grateful Dead fan provides student housing

Rob Levitsky's 10 houses have character and affordable rents
What glows in the dark and has footprints all over? The answer is Scarlet Fire, one of ten Palo Alto houses named after Grateful Dead songs and owned by Rob Levitsky. Home to seven Stanford students, Scarlet Fire can easily be spotted at night on Embarcadero Road.

The day-glow painted porch swing hangs beside an equally bright seahorse and butterfly, hanging metal sculptures made by Levitsky. Fluorescent painted footprints lead visitors to the front door from the porch steps. Inside, a student's large, single room is painted sky blue with white clouds floating near the top of the walls.

"Every house is certainly different," Levitsky said. "Several have porch swings because it is nice to sit outside."

Levitsky, who lives in one of his 10 houses, isn't your typical landlord. In fact, he doesn't even like to be called a landlord. Over the years, he's bought older homes on and near Embarcadero Road and rented them, primarily to Stanford students for relatively low rents.

A computer chip tester by day and "provider of housing" by night, Levitsky is an avid Grateful Dead fan who grew up in Palo Alto and graduated from U.C. Davis with a degree in electrical engineering. He wears tie-dye but also carries a cellular phone and an electronic datebook.

With some co-workers, Levitsky bought his first house, Terrapin, on Lincoln Avenue, 12 years ago and rented out rooms. "As my electronics business was successful, I put money into buying more houses. It started off as a hobby," he said. "It's not necessarily the best investment, but it's something I enjoy."

The houses were built at the turn of the century, and all have hardwood floors. Many garages have been converted into rooms, and all furnishings except beds are provided. Levitsky often makes home improvements himself, building decks and adding decorations. He makes sure that all houses have back yards as well as free Internet access and washing machines.

"It is the informal interaction with people that make this fun," Levitsky said. "During the school year, I get to know over 70 people and meet over 100 in the summer who come from all different countries. I like giving people a place to land."

"Living here is wonderful because Rob gives people the opportunity to live in a nice environment without spending a lot of money," said Tony Khalife, one of the few residents who is not a student. Khalife, a 32-year-old musician, lives in a converted garage in Dark Hollow, on Kingsley Avenue, where he also teaches guitar and drum lessons. "Rob is flexible with the money issue and really takes care of people."

Levitsky, 40, said he considers many of the residents his family. Because the houses are so close to campus, most residents are Stanford undergraduates who stay for an average of one year. "It's a pretty self-selecting crowd," Levitsky said. "If you expect servants to clean up for you and gardeners to garden for you, it's not the right thing for you." There are often 10 to 15 people in the living room eating dinner or watching television, and parties occur on a regular basis, he said.

"It's an issue I have to explain to (neighbors)," Levitsky said. "I like to support a lot of interaction between the houses, but if you're not responsible as a neighbor, the city has the power to do a lot of things to you." Levitsky advises students to leave parking space for the neighbors and to be quiet after 11 p.m.

"They were pretty quiet as students go," said Eric Hahn, who lived next door to Reckoning on Melville Avenue. "I guess we were pretty lucky," he said about the students' consideration in informing neighbors of planned parties.

The Hahns bought the Reckoning property in the spring. After the students moved out at the end of the school year, the Hahns applied for a demolition permit, which the City Council will consider Sept. 16.

"Every house in Palo Alto is at risk of being bulldozed," Levitsky said. "Everyday, something's going down. Developers see more money can be made by rebuilding."

Levitsky once paid developers $100,000 for a small home, which now houses four people, two doors down from Terrapin. He named the house Deal, after the Dead chorus "Don't you let that deal go down." "I spent my own money to save an old house, and it's beautiful," he said.

In addition to saving houses from the bulldozer, Levitsky, a guitar player, bought St. Michael's Art Cafe in 1993 when it was about to close because of poor sales. He ran it with co-owner Jenny Yule for 16 months before selling his share to Yule. Levitsky currently lives in Morning Dew on Waverley Street, but he makes daily rounds to the other nine houses, most with three-syllable names like Box of Rain and Shakedown Street, all within blocks of Embarcadero Road.

"Being on a busy street means you can be noisier. I absolutely must take the college lifestyle into account (when purchasing houses)," he said. "You can't have a college town without college students."

On his rounds, "I stop in and say 'hi' and check to see if anything's broken," Levitsky said. "I check the smoke detectors and make sure the recycling gets out. Safety is one thing I'm not laid back about."

At $380 to $400 per month, rent the so-called Dead houses is quite affordable for college students. "(My houses) are not market driven at all," Levitsky said. "(Rent) just evolved into what I think is a reasonable price--so long as I can cover mortgage, taxes and fire insurance. My goal is to break even someday." At Scarlet Fire, residents drop off their rent checks in an envelope taped to the front of the refrigerator.

"It's pretty much the mellowest, most laid back landlord-tenant agreement ever," said Rachel Barnett, a Stanford senior who lives in Scarlet Fire. "It's the only place off-campus where you're still going to get the Stanford atmosphere."

Although many people inquire about living at the Dead houses, to gain a spot, someone needs to have connections with the residents, he said. "Basically, random people don't get in," he said.

Levitsky said he operates on trust and does not request security or last month rent deposits. "The few times I have gotten burned were by random people."

As for the future, Levitsky said he has his hands full at the moment. But if he were to adopt another Dead house, Levitsky would have to like "the feel of it."

--Tracy Jan

And another article, if you like-

Hanging Tight
Stanford guru revives Grateful Dead spirit with eclectic housing
Bill Workman, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, November 7, 1998

(11-07) 04:00 PDT PALO ALTO -- Around Stanford University, Rob Levitsky is seen as an affordable-housing guru for those students who prefer to live off-campus in a hang-loose, communal- style setting.


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The bearded, guitar-playing Levitsky, 41, is the owner of what have become known as ``the Grateful Dead houses.''

They are a dozen turn-of-the- century bungalows and other residences in and around Embarcadero Road in one of Palo Alto's older neighborhoods, which he rents out almost exclusively to Stanford students at below-market rates.

Each of the Dead houses was named by Levitsky, a consulting computer-chip tester and devoted Deadhead, in honor of songs made popular by the rock band and its cult-like following.

Check out his list of song houses: Terrapin Station, Box of Rain, Dark Hollow, Scarlet Fire, Deal, Birdsong, Morning Dew, Touch of Gray, Built to Last, Shakedown Street, New Speedway Boogie, and Truckin'.

The names are painted on some houses in the cartoon-Gothic style of Dead graphics, hinting to neighbors and passers-by that life inside is likely to be different from the rest

of the neighborhood.

At $475 a month per student, they are also less expensive than what most small apartments go for in high-priced Palo Alto, and Levitsky does not insist on a security deposit and last month's rent.

The Dead houses, where tenants typically share communal meals and set their own rules, are modeled after Stanford's funky co- op houses, places like Enchanted Broccoli Forest, Synergy and Columbae, where Levitsky got the idea for naming his properties.

Levitsky never advertises a vacancy. Tenants usually have lived in one of the university co-ops before moving into a Dead house in their senior year, staying for a year or two before moving on and making way for a new arrival.

A native of Palo Alto, Levitsky began buying the houses in 1982, not just as an investment but for a mixed bag of reasons, not the least of which seem to include a crusade to save some of his hometown's older homes from the wrecker's ball.

``Every time Palo Alto has tried to enact some ordinance to save old houses, it's been toothless or just a delaying tactic,'' says Levitsky, who for a while also owned and operated St. Michael's Alley, a landmark Palo Alto coffeehouse. ``I realized a long time ago that if you want to save an old house, you pretty much have to buy it.''

Levitsky, who holds a degree from the University of California at Davis in electrical engineering, lives with a half-dozen students in Morning Dew, a rambling two-story shingled house on tree-lined Waverley Street, not far from Professorville, Palo Alto's historic residential district.

It was not a surprise to his friends that he decided to name his houses in homage to Dead music. After all, for more than a dozen years he was a popular figure at the Dead's Bay Area concerts. He roamed the aisles and stage as ``the dancing bear,'' twirling a multilight ball on a stick and dressed in a homemade costume of faux fur that displayed a colorfully lit version of the Dead's signature dancing bear.

Levitsky concedes that the psychedelic drugs that fueled the audiences enhanced his own appreciation of Dead music, but says that once he undertook his dancing bear routine, he had to turn down offerings from other Deadheads. ``When you were climbing around a stage and up stairs, you really had to focus,'' he says, laughing.

Although Dead concerts are no more since the band broke up after the death of Jerry Garcia, Levitsky still occasionally walks the streets of Palo Alto in the bear outfit, and wore it to the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert last summer.

Not everyone likes what Levitsky is doing with his properties. Several neighbors of two buildings on Lincoln Avenue and around the corner on Byron Street have complained that students leave trash from parties spilling over onto the sidewalk. They also say that there does not seem to be a regular schedule of maintenance for the houses.

``I'm not unsympathetic to co- op housing. I lived in a co-op when I went to UC Berkeley,'' says Lucinda Abbott, who lives with her husband across from Terrapin on Lincoln. ``There will always be a certain amount of tension between students and settled-down neighbors, but that can be mitigated by paying more attention to maintenance of the houses.''

Nonetheless, one of Levitsky's biggest fans is former Stanford president Donald Kennedy, with whom Levitsky shares sunrise runs in the hills above the Stanford campus.

``I think Rob is doing a terrific thing for Stanford students,'' says Kennedy. ``You can look far and wide in this community and not find the kind of below-market housing that he is providing them, and he really cares about young people.''

Kennedy recalled that the two men met several years ago when the university was planning to tear down two co-op houses damaged by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Levitsky was among preservationists who persuaded Stanford to save one of the buildings, now known as Synergy house.

A throwback to the hippie era clad in sandals and tie-dye T-shirts, Levitsky enjoys the simple pleasures of hanging around with Stanford students, whom he periodically invites to go on weekend camping trips at a 65-acre site he owns in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Big Basin.

Although financially well-off, Levitsky, a former partner in Palo Alto startup Megatest before he became a consultant, eschews the upscale pursuits of many of his Silicon Valley contemporaries.

``If all of this went away,'' he says, waving a hand toward Morning Dew house, ``my lifestyle wouldn't change one bit, and I'd still be wearing my batik T-shirts and playing my guitar.''
HeadCount Collector's Auction

Throughout the last year, our friends have donated many valuable and unique items for a fundraising auction. Now, as we head into the final week of our year-long campaign, we are proud to present the HeadCount Collector's Auction, with eight distinct and high-value items.

Please visit to view or bid on the following:

A Warren Haynes, custom Gibson Les Paul Guitar, signed by Warren himself
A Pearl Jam poster from their 2008 tour, signed by every band member
A Fender guitar signed by every member of the Allman Brothers Band and Bob Weir & RatDog
A guitar signed by every member of My Morning Jacket
A Rothbury poster signed by Snoop Dogg, Dave Matthews and three members of Phish
A Mile High Festival poster signed by Dave Matthews, John Mayer and 10 others
A pair of Congas played by Jay Lane of RatDog along side Bob Weir at a historic private performance in Washington D.C. on April 7th (signed by both)
Special thanks to Gibson, Pearl Jam, Rothbury, Mile High Festival and all the artists for donating and signing these items.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Bertha Jeff!

There's a very nice story on Jeff at just scroll down when you get to

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Benefit for Casa de Milagros
featuring Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman, Jay Lane and Special Guests
Sunday, November 30 7:00pm
$50.00 General Admission
Buy tickets at TicketWeb or by calling 415.383.9600

Casa de Milagros (Home of Miracles) is a children's home in the Sacred Valley near historic Machu Picchu, Peru. It was founded by the Chandler Sky Foundation to heal the mind, body and spirit of many of the thousands of orphaned and abandoned children living in poverty on the streets of Cusco, Peru and surrounding towns. Casa de Milagros provides shelter, food, clothing, basic medical care, and education and arts programs that promote self-confidence and self-worth for children in need. This is done in a truly unique environment in which progressive programs are used to foster a healthy and positive consciousness. Based on the philosophy that we must start at the root of the problem, healing and educating children so that they can give back to their community, The Chandler Sky Foundation aims to provide positive long-term benefits to the region's social and environmental problems.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nice description of the Slide Ranch benefit- Bobby accepted an award on behalf of The Grateful Dead at the event.
Scroll down a little.

there's our guy and with the Mrs-
Deadheads flock to Best Buy
Read the article

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Want to hear the PSU show?
It's online- HEAR HERE!

Press!, Press! and even more Press!
regarding Deadheads for Obama!

PSU Review by Jimmy Z!

Written by Jimmy Z

Hey all,

Longtime 'head, here -- been lurking for yrs., but not one to post until now! Just wanted to offer my $.02 from last night's show.

I thought the show was excellent. Flawless? Naah. You could tell they were not particularly well-rehearsed as evidenced by some rough transitions, mostly in the song structures rather than the jams. But it mattered little, except for St. Stephen where it was a buzz-kill when they derailed! Having said that, it was a night of really dark, thick, exploratory, spooky, funky, dense jams that made my face melt on multiple occasions. To my eyes, everybody was in good spirits. Mickey walked out pumping his fists to the crowd, Phil had one of the longest hugs I've ever seen with his wife on the side of the stage before assuming his position, and Bobby came on last once everybody else was ready to roll and received thunderous applause which he acknowledged. Phil was all smiles the whole night.

I was most struck by how much the core four was physically clustered together on stage. Phil and Bob were frequently facing each other and turned backwards toward the drummers forming a tight quartet of sound and stage presence - - they were really playing off each other and watching each other. I thought the music was very free-flowing and democratically distributed.

As reported, Warren was understated and deferred to the core four and the group ethos more than ever which was a joy for me. He picked his spots wisely and laid back when appropriate, all the while weaving in and out of the bed that was being laid down -- he was quick on his feet and comped everybody nicely while also steering the ship when he chose.

Ditto for Jeff who really shined on Unbroken Chain with both his crazy, crazy jazz solo on the grand, then his rockin' organ swells on the 2nd jam. He was super-tasteful all night and really added a beautiful dimension without being a wallflower.

What can you say about Phil and Bob and the drummers that hasn't been said a million times before? Each brought his A game and his distinct signature sound to the mix with great effect. Hearing Billy and Mickey together again was a polyrhythmic force to reckon with, esp. with Phil's thumping and Bob's angular voicings. Very powerful.

Bob was in fine voice right out of the gate and the jams were explosive beginning with some great ensemble playing in Truckin'. Great crescendos.

US Blues was raw and fun -- nothing special, there.

The HSF was off the charts, though -- particularly Slipknot. Yes, Bob flubbed the 1st line in Help (as well as a verse in Touch but who's counting). Didn't matter.

The Playin' was powerful, and the ensuing jam was spooky.

Ditto for Dark Star.

St. Stephen caught me off guard when the 2nd jam, usually, the most rocking one, went into deep space -- very different and cool. Unfortunately, they didn't quite know how to pull out of it and get back into the tune and it was a bit of a wreck.

Unbroken Chain was great -- excellent jamming. I think Bobby had a rough time in the beginning remembering the chord progressions as it sounded like he hit a couple of clunkers in there and seemed to be reading the sheet music off his prompter, but he def recovered before the jams took off and it was all good.

I missed most of TOO while stretching out in the hallway and getting some deliciously refreshing Paterno Peach ice cream (a real flavor -- seriosuly) -- but it sounded pretty damn good out there. In fact, the sound system was crystalline from where I sat in contrast to the ABB where it was a little muddy.

Throwing Stones was solid, again great jams and very funky at the end -- they all had fun with it.

Playin' reprise was nice and compact and uplifting.

Touch featured a great Warren solo with was really melodic and light on its feet -- not his strong suit, imo, so I was really pleased. After such a dark, intense, outer space show, it was a nice moment of levity.

NFA was par and fun.

For me, the jams were just wonderful and I thought there was an interesting musical conversation taking place most of the night with some good ideas that were built on nicely -- it didn't sound meandering or self-indulgent, it was actually pretty spry.

Interesting that besides Franklin's, there were no bouncy tunes (US Blues in its current rendition no longer has much bounce, imo) -- no Scarlet or UJB or China, no 1st set ditties like FOTD or Dire Wolf, etc. Def a brooding stew instead!

Speaking for myself, it was a hell of a lot of fun and the music was extremely satisfying. I was happy how well Warren integrated with the band without making it too southern-fried. His psychedelic playing is rich and he has big, generous ears. The only disappointment with his playing is that his solos don't smile and grin like JG's -- like everybody, I miss the round, playful bounce of Jerry, esp on a song like Franklin's which just sounds a little more balls-out than lyrical with Warren playing his power chords on the chorus and blazing his solos -- not that it's bad, just different. Again, nothing surprising given the last 8 yrs. that's Warren's been in and out of the GD world. Still, when you hear the core four, you can't help but yearn for the ethereal, sparkling joyous leads that JG dripped out effortlessly when he was "on." Not to get too sentimental! Anyway, as reported, Warren's lead in Touch was a nice surprise and here's hoping they tour in the spring, keep the music evenly distributed across the stage, and that Warren turns up the warm colors in his arsenal when called for on the right songs!

Soundcheck video from 10/13 is up at the Grotto!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Finally a birthday/NYE Ratdog bash!!!

RatDog, Phil Lesh & Friends to Welcome 2009 in San Francisco
Bob Weir & RatDog & Phil Lesh & Friends to Co-Headline each night.
Jackie Greene to support each night.

Dates: December 30 & 31, 2008
Venue: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
City/St: San Francisco, CA
Doors: 5:00 PM
Showtime: 6:00 PM

Pre-sales through GDTS Too and Musictoday shall start accepting postmarks for GDTS Too and be initialized for internet sales via Musictoday, starting on Thursday, October 16. Musictoday to start at Noon EST. Pre-sales for GDTS and Musictoday shall conclude on Friday, October 31 at 6:00 PM EST.

Public OnSale is Sunday, November 2 at 10:00 AM PST.

Posted on YouTube by Lazylightning66

Ben & Jerry's

Monday, October 13, 2008

 Change Rocks Press Conference Carried on The Grotto

by Colleen McSpirit

      The Purply Grotto will have news stories and video from both the sound check and press conference prior to tomorrow's Change Rocks event.
      Information from Grotto correspondents is expected to start appearing as early as 4 p.m. with reports up until show time.  should be a blast make sure to check back to this page often as we'll keep you updated on all the happenings.

check here for purply grotto coverage!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hippied to death

Obama Event "Change Rocks" - Final Ticket Release
With regards to the Change Rocks event at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, PA this Monday, October 13,
please note the campaign has released a limited amount of tickets this morning which have been placed back into the system for sale to the General Public.
Please go to for further details.

If you listen non-stop to the Grateful Dead, wear purple shirts & socks everyday and have a 17 yr old daughter, you may not want to read this letter to Hey Cherie!

Friday, October 10, 2008

An article from Rolling Stone-
The Dead Rock the Pyramids

Bob Weir & Ratdog Fall Tour 2008
Mail Order Update:

Tickets for Westbury, NY, Munhall, PA
and Richmond, VA have been dispatched.
The remainder of the Fall 2008 Tour will
go out within the next couple of weeks.

Westbury NY and Richmond VA tickets
can be purchased with a Master Card or
Visa through October 14th. Email us at for details.

Mail order for Westbury, NY, Munhall, PA
and Richmond, VA is over.

Tickets for the remainder of the tour are
still available. Please check our website
for details.


Our new customer service number is:
415 868-9819
Our telephone hours are (Approx) Monday
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The Crew of GDTS TOO
October 10, 2008

"got to make it somehow
on the dreams you still believe"

Robert Hunter


Oh wow!
I need this book- all the best pictures are inside!
How did I manage to miss hearing of it?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

It seems whenever (and it's a rare thing) I decide to take a break from all things GD/RD related, references seem to pop up.
I think somewhere else in the blog is the John Perry Barlow story? Scott was taking me to dinner but forbade me to mention any Dead related anything. It wasnt hard to do but then, who should stumble into the restaurant but JPB?!

I don't think I watch that much TV but it seems an odd coincidence to be clicking tra la la thru TV channels and randomly find GD references- this weekend alone, I've hit the last 1/2 hour of "Flirting with Disaster", "The Boys of 2nd street park" (referred it a few daze ago), "Wetlands Preserved"- on cable now- a few Bobby moments and of course any program regarding the 60's, drugs or counter culture which seem to always be on some channel at any given moment.

Today, I've been feeling pokey and wanting to veg out (while crafting 500 schwag bag toys)....I head to my art room,
pull out all the tools, fabrics, glues and paints I am using.
Instead of zoning out to music, I turn on the TV....Cruising thru the channels, I settle on something called "The Rachel Zoe Project" a reality show which follows the life of a celebrity stylist and her employees. It's fashion week and Rachel's whirling from fashion show to shopping sprees. Not totally engrossing but better than the usual Sunday fare.

So, I figure I'm safe from having to think about The GD but it turns out I'm wrong. Right there, in the middle of having her make up applied, Rachel Zoe is discussing "The world's greatest band" and how she will name her first born Scarlet Begonia. Her husband/partner is incredulous that the make up artist has never heard of Jerry Garcia. I look up at the TV. I put down my scissors & glue, shut off the TV and turned the stereo on (RD 7/09/2008).
Why fight it, ya know?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Paul Liberatore: Grateful Dead's contributions to Slide Ranch subject of tribute dinner
Paul Liberatore

Every time I think I know a lot about the rock 'n' roll history of Marin County, something new comes to my attention that makes me think again.

That happened recently when I heard that Slide Ranch, the teaching farm on the Marin coast, is hosting a $750-a-couple dinner in honor of the Grateful Dead on Tuesday night at Fort Baker's tony new Cavallo Point Lodge.

The evening includes music by the Celtic jam band Wake the Dead, and a "silver trowel" presentation to former Grateful Dead guitarist/singer Bob Weir.

If you're like me, you may be wondering what in the world the Grateful Dead had to do with Slide Ranch. Surprisingly, a whole heckuva lot.

Executive director Charles Higgins has done considerable digging into the history of a ranch that was once a ruin and now gives 8,000 city kids per year a taste of life on a working, organic farm.

He tells us that:

Ed Washington, co-producer of "The Grateful Dead Movie" in 1977, was the ranch's first director.

Danny Rifkin, the Dead's first manager, had a lot to do with connecting inner-city kids to the bucolic 134-acre spread.

Jerry Garcia, the band's lead guitarist, was its first major donor, contributing $500 - a lot of money 40 years ago.

I was reminded that my colleague Nels Johnson and I attended a Saturday afternoon benefit concert for Slide at the Stinson Beach Community Center by Garcia's short-lived bluegrass band, Old & In the Way.

Over the years, the Grateful Dead's Rex Foundation came through

with much-needed grants at critical times.

Originally a 19th century dairy farm owned by a Portuguese family, the ranch had degenerated into a haven for drug dealers and counterculture outlaws in the freewheeling 1960s.

In 1969, through the joint efforts of Marin attorney Doug Ferguson and the Nature Conservancy's Huey Johnson, Slide Ranch was purchased and protected from commercial development and cocaine cowboys.

Once the deal was done, Susie Washington-Smyth, who co-founded Slide with her husband, Ed, recalls bounding down the ranch's precarious driveway with Ferguson and Johnson only to be confronted by shotgun-wielding drug dealers on horseback.

"These guys had on cowboy hats and big duster coats and snarled at us, 'What the hell do you want here?'" she recalls. "Huey (Johnson) looked at them and yelled, 'I'm your new landlord and you've got 30 days to get out of here.' I was convinced they were going to shoot us. When they left, they just trashed the place."

The Washingtons and other members of the Grateful Dead extended family spent months cleaning up the ranch grounds and its falling-down outbuildings, constructing a Buckminster Fuller-inspired geodesic dome as a primary program area.

It became "the anti rock 'n' roll place," Higgins explains, for the folks, mostly women, who were into milking goats and going back to the land, providing a healthy environment for their children and for inner city kids to learn about the earth and how to take care of it.

Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia, Jerry's wife, remembers coming out to the ranch from Stinson with her two young children, Sunshine Kesey, Ken Kesey's daughter, and Annabelle Garcia, Jerry's girl.

"The driveway was a nightmare," she recalls. "They didn't call it Slide Ranch for nothing. By the time it became an environmental center, everyone had put in so much work. There were tons of garbage. We had to break the foundation out from the old cow barn, which was crumbling old concrete, and that took months. Everybody we knew came out and participated."

Since those volunteer-driven beginnings in 1970, more than 175,000 people from diverse backgrounds and communities, most of them youngsters, have participated in Slide Ranch educational programs.

With an eight-person staff, the ranch offers family and group programs as well as summer day camp for 8,000 visitors a year. These are hands-on education activities on a working ranch with farm animals and organic gardens.

"Slide Ranch has always been a different kind of place," Washington-Smyth points out. "It's never been your mainstream summer camp. It's always been right on the edge of idealism and practicality. And that's one of the reason's it's been successful.

"When we started in 1969, it was with a wish and a prayer," she says. "One of the most surprising things to me is that 40 years later, Slide Ranch is still going on stronger than before."


- What: Slide Ranch and the Grateful Dead Silver Trowel Award Dinner

- Who: Special guests Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman, Jay Lane, Henry Kaiser, Dennis McNally, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Brian O'Neill, Gary Fisher, Doug Ferguson

- When: 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday

- Where: Cavallo Point Lodge at Fort Baker, 601 Murray Circle, Sausalito

- Tickets: $750 per couple

- Information: 381-8758,

Paul Liberatore can be reached at

The Boys of 2nd Street Park is on this weekend on Showtime. It's a film (documentary) about a group of guys from a particular neighborhood. The all got into the GD in 1970 (there's Sugar Magnolia playing with GD clips), there are some interesting reflections on the era. You might like it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The show will go on

Not that I had much doubt but here it is on Glide-


Time for a video break!
Milk & Cookies has a nice one up- Check it out!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

'Voice of The Dog" was sent out this afternoon.
I'm not going to cut and paste it here- YOU must go register at to receive your copy!
There's a link to dot com over there somewhere with the other links->

Bobby also got a mention on TMZ (!) Of all places!
It really is just a remash of the item Leah Garchik posted in her column the other day- about Bobby having to cancell out of a Marin private party/fundraiser due to the need to recouperate after suffering from some busted ribs and a bug. OUCH!
There is no new whether this will affect the Obama show- my own guess is that our guy is guarding his health with extra so he will be in top form for that gig.

{{{{{Patching bones}}}}}