My older brother Tim is a big Deadhead. I remember him going to shows and after every show he would bring me back a lot shirt^ with Calvin and Hobbes on it. I had a vague idea who the Grateful Dead were and I kinda knew what their music sounded like. The main things I knew about the Dead were that they had really cool artwork associated with them, My brother Tim, his friend Tim,and my cousin Tim all liked them and went to see them a lot, that the parents of my friend Will that lived across the street . In sixth grade, My brother became one of the assistant coaches on my football team. It was cool having my brother be the coach. We got to spend a lot of time together and he would drive me home after games.
After one of these games we were listening to music in his car. He had a tape in and there was weird music playing. It sounded like a mix of country, jazz, and just weirdness. I remember there was a silly song, that the lyrics didnt make sense and the music sounded funny. When that song ended my brother said to me, “If you practice your guitar really hard, you can be in a band and play silly music like this.” That was the first time I listened^ to the Grateful Dead… I wasn’t sure that I liked it.
That year my parents got me my first CD player, and for Christmas I got a bunch of CD’s. From my parents I got a Green Day CD, the No Doubt album, and Bush 16stone. My brother got me 2 CD’s that year; Poi Dog Pondering and the Grateful Dead’s Built to last. When you only have five CD’s, you listen to them a lot! Bush and Green Day got the most spins on my CD player, and No Doubt was a close runner up after that. They were,afterall, the most popular bands at the time. Or at least they were the most popular bands in my sixth grade classroom.
^I didn’t know what a lot shirt was at the time. (and you might not know what one is now) It’s a shirt made by a fan sold in the parking lot to other fans.(I’ll talk more on this type of thing later)
^^Will’s parents were huge Deadheads, I’m sure that I heard their music over there at some point, I just didnt realize it at the time.