When I listened to the Grateful Dead as a sixth grader it was difficult music to get. It wasn’t really rocking and the vocals weren’t that great and the guys in the band didnt exactly look cool.
I mean look at them those weird looking dudes were making the music. There’s the scientist, the skinny homeless guy, the guy that looks like hes at the bar smoking a cigarette with a beer in hand, the football coach, the cool dad, and the guy that looks like your friends uncle that fought in Vietnam and wears sunglasses inside. As a 11 or 12 year old they didnt seem like they were for me and I didnt know why my brother saw them a few times a year all over the country. The music was slow but there were two songs that I really liked, Standing on the Moon and Built to Last. I figured that this album and the weird country song I heard in my brother’s car was what they were. I could take or leave them.. Except for those two songs. They really got me with their lyrics and feel.
As the years went on I heard a few more songs and got more and more into them. I liked Fire on the Mountain, Touch of Grey, and Uncle Johns Band all were songs I liked as I heard them here and there.
New music was what was on the radio, on MTV, and maybe a few CD’s that friends owned. Being that I’m a child of the 90’s and played football I gravitated towards hip hop as my go to music for a number of years as well. I loved Snoop Dogg and 2Pac, pretty much all west coast rap, as I said before. This is the first of what I would start to call my music
By the time I got to high school I had begun experimenting a bit with some pot. When you start smoking pot you start spending a lot of time listening to music and sitting in rooms with people talking with music on in the background. Another thing you do if you start smoking pot as a teenager in the suburbs is once your friends get their drivers licences you start to spend a lot of time riding around in cars with them and listening to music while you smoke up.*
Wait, are you going to stop writing now… it seems like you are. You take 2 months off from writing after saying you’re going to try and write or post something every day.
No, I’m going to continue, settle down I just wanted to go off on a tangent and say something that everyone else already knew. I created a footnote so I could have that tangent but not have it be a part of the main story.
You know you’re just arguing with yourself and talking to yourself right now. I’m you, or at least your negative thoughts manifested on the page you know.
I get it. But ya know I’m trying to have delusions of GRANDOUR (‘grandeur’ I had to stop and look it up) here. Like can’t I pretend someone is reading this. Like i’m trying to use you, negative thoughts, as like a critic or a critical reader thinking what you’re saying.
Ok that makes sense, but I think you’re just procrastinating or something plus this whole having footnotes thing and interrupting the story to have an argument is a bit pretentious.
OK fair enough, I mean Im just trying something. I mean yeah I guess Im totally trying to do a David Foster Wallace thing and using footnotes and weird style on purpose. But I’m trying to tell a story thats unnecessarily long and I want to get it down and all my weird tangents are adding detail and some people like that. (maybe)
Get on with it!
Anyways, as I was saying before, when you smoke weed in high school you start to listen to a lot more music and you start to get exposed to a lot more people’s music. It was around this time that I began to hear some more Grateful Dead music and some other what I would describe as weird music. Someone would have a CD and put something on and suddenly it would speak to you. It was a big deal listening to something new that would get you. Napster wasn’t a thing yet, You couldn’t just go search out music, someone had to spend $14 to get it. It’s exciting because every couple of days or weeks you’re having these strong emotional reactions to songs or music that takes you on journeys.
The Grateful Dead’s music is the type of music that takes you on journeys. Its long and it makes you feel. I remember sitting in my buddies room with a group of us and he put on a version of the song Fire on the Mountain. I remember feeling the tension of the music grow into a joyous peak and it making me want to move. When the song was over those of that liked this type of music all had a similar feeling about it and those that didn’t thought they heard a long boring repetitive instrumental about nothing. I guess what Im saying is that I was a prime candidate to be a person that would like Phish.
*I mean think about it… If you’re a kid growing up in the burbs there are limited options on where you can go and what you can do. Some people always had a parent home after school. If you were one of those kids ya couldn’t go there to be a delinquent. Other people had parents that were away at work until a certain time of day. These were places where one could go or invite others to come to to get up to no good. The one drawback was at a certain point, usually 530 or 6 in the evening the fun comes to an end and its time for everyone to go home … or at least find somewhere else to go if you were planning on chiefing down. This brings you the next crossroads you can find a place where parents aren’t home, find a place to hang out where the parents don’t mind a bunch of stoned teenagers hanging out, or get in a car with your friends and drive around aimlessly trying to figure out something fun to do and get super baked in the process, like red blooded American teenagers have been doing since… well you get the idea.