Wednesday, July 26, 2006

From 1977 to 1969 without a car

Well it's been a little while since I've written anything probably being back at work has slowed me down a bit but also this week my car has been involved in an accident when my son was driving it so the car is off the road for about 2/3 weeks. Nobody was hurt so that was at least a blessing but I have been rather pre occupied with organising panel beaters, insurance claims, buses, taxis, hire cars etc.
Without a car I've been getting plenty of walking in so thats a pretty good excuse for listening to the Grateful Dead on my MP3 player.
I started off this year with a plan to listen to as many 1977 shows as possible and I have been working my way through a variety of shows from April with the aim of working towards May 8 and the famous Barton Hall show. When I dloaded May 8 I purposely did not listen to it reasoning that I would keep this treasure in my shoebox until I had achieved a suitable level of pre listening. The plan was to listen in an ordered sequence to the '77 shows but this week it all fell apart. On a whim I pulled out 04/21/1969 The Ark (another show I hadn't listened to) and I was simply blown away.
I have always loved the 1969 shows and this one is one of the best, Jerry's guitar has a thicker tone probably the SG Gibson I guess and his playing simply burns through the whole show. Jerry's fills in Lovelight and St Stephen are lovely and there is a Dark Star and an Alligator to boot. I must say that when I was feeling pretty down and suffering from the post car wreck blues on Wednesday morning this show lifted my spirits , the power of the playing is simply awesome.
So I guess I was pretty silly trying to think that I could listen in some sort of ordered sequence, the dead cries out for the unpredictable and the unplanned but all the same I'm feeling very tempted to have a listen to April 22 &23 very soon.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A day at the beach

Just thought I'd get off topic today and spend a little time writing about my day. I'm on holiday and my wife is visiting her mother for a couple of days so its just me and the kids. It's winter down hear so we spent a wild windy day at the beach. Nobody on the beach, a wild surf running and just us building sandcastles and jumping over sand hills. A perfect day.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Trains, MP3's and the Dead.

Thought I would just take some time to mention how I listen to some of my favourite Grateful Dead shows. I commute a rather long distance to work every day. Fortunately I am a rail fan so the long train journey I make every day (about four hours total) does not worry me too much. Added to this I have decided to walk about 40 minutes to the rail station every morning. This means that I wake up around about 4.45am and try to be out of the door by 5.20am.
I recently switched over to using a MP3 player and this is certainly the way to go. I can load a whole show on the player and listen to it from start to finish. If I have to beak my listening for any reason the player simply stops at that point and when I return to listening the player resumes the show from where I stopped. This way I don't miss one single note.
Getting out and walking in the pre-dawn hours with a Dead concert pumped right up is one of the highlights of the day and I think it probably gets me to work most mornings. I tend to listen to each show for about two weeks at a time before I load a new show and start over again. At the moment I have been listening to some shows from 1977 but I'll write some more about this soon.

Trains, MP3's and the Dead.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

All I want for Christmas is a book about a Rock 'n Roll Band

One of the most important things that happened to me in my return to the Grateful Dead was finding a copy of the book " The Illustrated Trip". This pivitol event occured in November 2004. My wife had agreed if I saw something I liked then she would get it for my Xmas present. As fate would have it I walked into a bookshop in the local mall and sitting on the shelf was the aforementioned book. I was blown out; there is virtually nothing about the dead available in Australia and here was this magnificent volume at the bargain price of A$35 about US$26.
Needless to say that Xmas was one I looked forward to like a small kid. I read the book everyday and use Ibor Slabicky's recommendations when I am seaching for shows. Till this day I can't believe my luck, I haven't seen a copy of the book anywhere else not even in the large bookshops in Sydney. Yet in a tiny little bookshop in Wollongong the book was sitting there waiting for me.