Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Grateful Dead Days

I went downstairs yesterday to take my morning walk and quickly realized my normal route was impossible because of all the people who were there for our Inclusion and Diversity Day. I headed outside because it was a beautiful morning. Soon I became distracted by the sound of drumming. Some local young people were performing some complicated drum patterns to the delight of many people. I love drums. In high school I had a set of drums and until recently I had some conga’s. I really need to buy a set of matching conga’s with a stand so I can pursue my inner Santana. The drumming I heard yesterday caused me to have a moment of Déjà vu. It is common knowledge that I am a card carrying Deadhead. For those not in the know, a Deadhead is a fanatical follower of the Grateful Dead. Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s they were at the peak of their popularity and I attended as many of their concerts as a man with a full time job could do. If you’ve never been to a Dead show, it was quite the experience. I would describe the “parking lot scene” as a Renaissance Fair for the chemically altered with 99% of the people dressed in tie dyed clothes. I was probably one of the few people in my right mind although I, too, was wearing tie dye. The parking lot also contained the world’s largest collection of vintage Volkswagen vans. I had long hair in those days and looked like Jerry Garcia’s twin brother. Many people came to Grateful Dead concerts with drums. It was quite common to hear drum circles pounding out all kinds of rhythms. Such drumming can put you in a trance. If you want to hear what it sounded like I recommend the music of Mickey Hart, one of the two Grateful Dead drummers. Check out his CD’s “At The Edge” and “Planet Drum”. Yes, of course I have these in my music collection. I told you I’m a Deadhead.

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