Last night, we went to see Dead & Company in Camden, New Jersey at the BB&T Pavilion, a true diamond in a goat’s ass. The venue, that is.
We took our oldest son and his girlfriend–both deadheads as well, and had a great show.
Looking back on our long, strange trip, I can honestly say Paul and I can attribute our happy marriage to our love for God and the Grateful Dead. Seriously.
While we each had our own love affair with the band before there was an us, finding another ‘head just solidified what we felt for each other.
That being said, twenty-seven years after saying our “I-Do’s” we never miss an opportunity to see any of the band members on any of their various tours–solo or together.
So anyway, all this nostalgia brought two back-in-the-day stories to mind:
My first Dead show was at the Long Beach Arena in California, August of 1981. My boyfriend had to use the bathroom, so I followed him out to the outer concourse and waited while he went in to do his business.
While he was gone, some Hells Angels walked by. Apparently, I caught one’s fancy, and he bee-lined over to me.
Now, given that I had recently relocated to L.A. from a preppy east-coast suburb, I had never seen such a man up close.
He was big and leathery and scary.
In the sharp angles of his face and the dark murk of his eyes, the Hell part of his credo was pretty obvious. Not so much the Angel.
As he tried out his best pick-up line on me, I didn’t know what to do.
I was scared. What was taking boyfriend so long in the bathroom?
And so, pressed by Mr. Hells Angel for a response to his come-on, I played stoned and stupid.
“Huh? What? …I don’t know what you’re saying, man…”
He looked at me with disgust and muttered, “Lights on, nobody home.” And then clomped off to catch up with his scary buddies.
By the time Bill came out of the lavatory, I had quite a story to tell him.
Looking back, it was probably a good thing Bill didn’t walk out when this interaction was going down because he had his own temper issues. It would have not ended well. (A few months later, we were thrown out of Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood for the same kind of situation–sans the leather, chains, and brotherhood, etc.)
Anyway, my second story has to do with a Dead show in 2003 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.
At the time, I had been going through a series of bladder surgeries–having three, ten-pound babies will trounce your bladder–take this mama’s word for it.)
Anyway, the doctors had not been successful with the latest round, so I had been sent on my way with a portable, pocketbook catheter until I could go back for more surgery.
Take my word for it: You haven’t lived until you’ve had to catherize yourself in a Spot-a-Pot while a line of drunk stoners stand outside waiting.
Plus, I was pretty buzzed from a few Miller Lites. You’d think I’d have trouble finding the bulls-eye for the cath.
But I can cath myself like an old pro. It ought to be on my resume, I swear.
There’s a skill you never know you might need until the whites of your eyes are turning yellow and you just can’t make it rain. Ha!
Anyway, here’s wishing the Dead will keep on keeping on so someday many years from now, we‘ll all be lining up with walkers and canes, but still managing to be Dancin’ in the Streets.
With young ones John Mayer and Oteil Burbridge on board, the future is looking Forever Dead.
Peace out and Fare Thee Well Friends,
Susan J. Anderson, Foxy Writer Chick and Deadhead At Large