Never Meet Your Heroes: 2010 Further Show Nightmare, NYC July Heat (1 Viewer)

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I had gotten a ride from some Rainbow Family People who said they were going to stay outside NYC in Jersey and there was place for my rucksack and sleeping bag. We get to the outskirts of the Boroughs, and I learn the plan had changed. They had a place in the Bowery that was an illegal hotel and they'd decided to chance it because the parties and drugs were supposed to be amazing.

I'd been stranded in NYC before, and I hated it. But I didn't go to the part of NYC they were going to- other complications.

So there was the Nokia Theatre- think it was bought and sold and is probably closed. Wanna say Sony last owned it. It was a weird little music venue. I was racking my brain, and I'd been let off in Manhattan(some Rainbows will fuck you good), and I realize I have maybe 3-4 days left on my burner. I called a guy named Johnny Redbone who I knew was living in the Bronx and we'd met after he got out of the can in 2005, released from El Reno Fed Pen in OK. I picked him up because they tell you if you miss your bus or don't have a ride- then walk and keep on walking and don't stop. Johnny is 6'5 and 325lbs and he got the name "Redbone" because he could sniff out food smuggled from commissary and he was always hungry. I'd give him a ride and helped him get some music gear, because that's what Johnny did before prison.

Johnny come and got me. He told me the Grateful Dead were playing at a place in/near Times Square and the union dudes always had problems with the dudes from the crews the various "Dead-Other Ones" had. He told me it paid good union wages and I didn't need a card because he and I'd be filling in and we could get cash if the promoter took 5% off top. No taxes ? Fine with me.

We were doing heavy lifting and scut work. Lesh's tech was real skiddish with us moving the rack for bass stuff and the amps. He warned us "Get that shit in before Lesh comes around." I had heard Lesh was a dick to people but man, he pushed people around and he acted like he was sure he wasn't just the smartest man in room, he was the smartest man in the world and everyone else was dumb fuck.

Weir had complained at sound check to the guys from Ratdog that he was exhausted. He was barely there. He was wiped out bad, and just seemed like a shell. He kept sitting in the lotus position.

When we got done with the first setup, if they wanted anything moved, rigged, angled, whatever, us non-union lumpers could do it. The Furthur crew was people who were more stadium guys and not small-medium venue.

Tickets were super expensive to these shows. Anything with a surviving member of the Dead in the show had gotten ridiculous expensive and I was of the mindset I'd watch my bootleg DVD transfers of VHS of the complete GD shows synced to soundboards before I'd pay to see one or two members phone it in for $85.

Weir came back and was asking a Further guy to move his amp and get his earbuds or WTF he had from a tour case. The guy didn't know what he was talking about. My and Johnny moved the rack. The amp was a problem because of the fucking terrible positioning of their keyboardist and his kb and the hammond ripoff.

Weir walked around sipping wine. He had taken an Ambien was supposed to be on their bus getting sleep but he was walking around. A Ratdog member warned us- this is not good, Bobby had a lunesta or another ambien and couldn't remember the first one. He had some red wine. He wandered around.

Weir was wandering more and wanting to talk to a Dark Star Orchestra member who wasn't there or even on tour.

I was overweight(still am) had a bushy mustache but didn't have the fu-man chu. I had the last of my long hair because it was falling out. Weir kept asking a Ratdog member if I didn't look like "Ronnie". I had bandelero western hat that I wore with the braid around the brim and some beads that the girl who'd give it to me had made from turquoise.

They didn't formally do much of a run through. They hadn't done much of a sound check.

I got a sinking feeling that the disorganization was why the union guys had booked on working and got us scabs in.

The concert which was either 7/28 or I'm losing it, was just bad. I have a feeling that they'd done parts of that setlist before and when Weir "fell off" they finally plugged in some tape, because there was weird spacing on the last few songs and Weir was just out there and gone.

Tabloid guys and idiots were talking he had stroke because he'd crashed out immediately when it was over.

It was red wine and a double dose of Ambien and maybe a lunesta.

Lesh made some smart remark later that he'd been dosed- which was bullshit.

When we had their gear up, the guy who was Nokia's controller paid us in cash, kept 5%, and told us if we wanted to work , we could could get a card and come back.

Johnny drove me home in his beater 626 and I crashed on the floor.

The Rainbows I'd come in with had gotten evicted from the illegal hotel and were out $400 they paid to stay on the floor. I had warned them about their "One Family" psychedelic paintjob- we'd caught enough shit just riding in it.

Johnny let me stay at his place and the people who'd dumped me off in Manhattan were out a place to stay.
The roles were switched and they were calling me for money. I got real tired, everytime we stopped I paid for gas, and coffee and food for 1100 miles. Then they dumped me because I questioned the wisdom of messing with a hotel the cops were on.

No fault of mine, they tried to sell some blotter paper with no acid on it as acid and two got busted. I worked near JFK for shipping company and bought a beater T-Bird Turbo Coupe that still had working air. I picked up the two who weren't in jail and took them home to UMass. I cruised down the East Coast. I slept in rest stations. Cops would get tired of the Turbo Coupe(this is a fox body T-Bird with a 4cyl turbo) sitting in the rest station and they wake me up at night and ask if I needed directions. My answer was usually that I was looking for America and did they have any good leads ?

In a way, I'm still looking for America.
 
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Ha, I remember hearing about that shit show. Know a few people you must've been working with. That whole tour was grimey as fuck.
 

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That’s a cool story. Sorry to learn Phil is a dick. Last Friday the GD YouTube channel streamed, and I watched a couple of shows from the summer of 98. They were shows my brother attended, and was really fun to reminisce with him about it.

Last summer I managed to get into the Fenway shows and another in VA for Dead&Co. You are right, too much $$ for what it was. Interesting how Bobby now stands where Jerry did, and with the white hair and beard looks like him too. Real talk though, John Mayer rips! He can play that sloppy sound like jerry, and if you close your eyes, you can see it.
 
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Phil's a dick, Bobby's a creepy drug addict who goes after girls younger than his daughters, Mickey is fucking insane and occasionally violent to his employees and Bill, well I can't really say anything bad about him, guy gave us his hospitality keg once.

Oh and Phil's wife is that short lady walking down shakedown with cops confiscating any merch with a dead logo on it.

These guys were never my heros (I was kinda just born into it) but ya, don't meet them if they're yours.
 
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I was driving a pristine Monte Carlo SS bubble back for a friend- he bought it on Ebay and I inspected and drove it back for him. I saw Johnny sweating and thumbing- and even though they have "don't pick up inmates"- when have I ever learned. I mostly just listened to Johnny decompress. He is 6'5 so all his folks wanted was for him to play sports. He is black and has been ripped all his life so that increased his pressure. He wanted to play music. He'd seen Purple Rain and the Grateful Dead movie. He sold some drugs to a DEA agent and he got 15 years, and the way they computed his offense level and FP sentences- he was doing every fucking day. So from 1990 until 2005- he got bounced around the FP system. He was put in the Northeast with a predominantly white FP, and he kliq'd with B(Redacted)F. He got out and they stuck him in El Reno. He still loved the Dead so that was a big thing for him. When he got busted they hadn't gotten Leonard Pickard and Jerry hadn't died. He had never been in a gang before and only got in one because he was black and in a FP in the NE where he had to kliq up or they'd fuck him up b/c of his size. I didn't give shit, I knew when I picked him up we coulda had a good fight and he'd still beat me to death with the arm he pulled from my shoulder. It was nice to have company.

I had a pretty good idea from seeing an "Other Ones" concert and the way they played sets- they not only lost the most talented member but the conscience and the spirit. It crushed him because he loved Bootsie Collins, Jaco, Prince, but he loved the Dead. So he was all jazzed to work their crew.

We were warned: "Phil is a dick"

Bobby had a tight leash on the dog he wanted to walk that heel of the tour, if you catch my drift. There is something broken in Weir's brain where he thinks it is the early 70's and you can get away with that shit. It said a lot to me he compared John Mayer- one of the most untalented noodling pricks in the world- to Jerry Garcia who could really put together something when the H had not kicked in. Mayer on his best night shows none of Jerry's bright spots even when Jerry was hovering over a microphone about to crash out.

And to add to the warts: Jerry wasn't a very good dad and he used women.

I liked Bill the best even if he liked guns a bit much for my taste. I worked a show he played and it was ass out in the country and had somebody from Widespread and I think Trey playing with him and some guys Bill knew. Bill or his spouse(cause I think Bill had a felony) had purchased a big frame S&W and Vaquero and he was driving out in a gulley and shooting it.

I can remember a lot of girls with ideas that weren't rooted in reality had seen video of Garcia talking about the 81's and then they'd go fuck with one and that created girls a lot of problems if the 81's were around. The came to shows but only to be in the lot in the later years- paying for a ticket was against their grain. I never liked them. I was told by a guy who roadied during the "Mydland" years that Garcia quit taking their calls after a big bust in 1986. Garcia had befriended the 81's leader(the one who's had his voice box removed from smoking and is now an ancient man) because he was a white heroin dealer in the later 60's and when in the Bay Area, the old 81 could get Jerry good quality Mexico sourced H. That they knew each other from Kesey but when Ginsburg expected the 81 to help hippies, the 81 beat the shit out of each other. I would not call the HA's evil but they were fucking thugs and a menace. I don't like Hunter Thompson- one good thing they could have done in my eyes is have finished him off if they bothered stomping him.

Mickey is FUCKING INSANE. The time machine ? That might as well be a distortion and feedback unit for fucking industrial metal. He had to have done so many trips he was just out of it. Ground Control to Major Mickey ? He was fucking weird and gave me a bad vibe- I've worked around the roadie scene and been a lumper for bands.

Even Owsley was a creep. The really good LSD that people remember from the 60's ? That was made by Owsley's girlfriend who was a grad student in chemistry and she was not a cook-she was chemist. Owsley was a rich boy who could afford to fuck around. Owsley and Nick Sands had a bunch of precursor after LSD was made illegal and they used it to flood the market of S-F with STP. The guy who started the Free Clinic for the hippies in the Haight ? He went to Owsley and Sands and asked them to stop, that MD got threatened by a guy who was doing distribution for another California MC(gang might as well be) for the STP. It was always the rumor that what broke Owsley up with the girl that made it into the PhD program that a couple of the 8-1 muscled her into teaching them all the possible cooks for crank. P2P, Methyalamine, and the Birch Reduction using pills. She saw how deep he was in, and she had a bad experience with Sands, and said fuck it. Moved out and Owsley ended up being put up by Rex Jackson for a while.

I have some of Owsley's art work he made later in life- from Australia. I sent him a primary's clutch cover casting for a Shovel or EVO and he did a reverse "STEAL YOUR HEAD SKULL" on it- when I realized it could crack- I put it up. If he did shit that he created- the bears etc, he could still get a letter from Lesh and his current wife that was a C&D. He did a set of Bears and this trippy lizard based on one from Australia that is native but is painted psychedlic. He charged me out the ass for the primary cover but when he found out I didn't have a lot of money and it was for my sister and he sent me an international money order with some of the money refunded. He was a strange, strange cat. Got hit by a car, and that was it.

As for the band ? John Mayer taking "Jerry's place" ?
I was always kind of disturbed at the way they wanted to be the "reformed" band after Garcia died but you could not hide their bullshit and antics, and women were being passed around and then dumped. I was mystified.

Back in 2005- Johnny wanted nothing more than to "see the Dead" or "see what the lot looked like".
I remember Johnny when he got out of El Reno, we took the Monte Carlo SS Bubbleback(it was a limited edition that had some shit to do with NASCAR shit) to its owner, and he was giving away a free Ram Van his company no longer needed. I took it, replaced the shitshow carb and intake with an old one off a 360 4bbl Fury cop car and drove Johnny home to NY. On the way there he was talking about how he played BASS and steel guitar. I told Johnny I'd give him the van if he'd take me out on LI where I stashed an EVO bike. Johnny did it. In return, there was a luthier/guitar shop who had a bunch of Samick shit that he used to unload on Ed Roman to be "transformed" (new label on headstock). Dude owed me money saw me on the bike, saw Johnny get out of the van, and he went from having dicked me around everytime I called to "What can I help you gentlemen with today ?" The debt was settle when he gave Johnny a Cort Curbow bass that had active pickups installed like Greg used(Greg was another dick), and he had a steel guitar that was not Korean and not Chinese. Johnny's still got those. He never went back to jail. It'd chap my ass to meet people who did a lot worse on the road and get a lot less time.
 
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Totally just rumors, but I've been told by a lot of people over the years that Owsley never cooked anything and was always just a front man. I'm no chemist, but some of the statements he made about diet later in his life kinda support this. As in, he seemed to be pretty confused about some basic concepts that'd you need to have a good hold of to properly perform the reactions needed to make L. All just rumors but I've always found it interesting. The guy at the Haight clinic had a bunch of shady connections to the CIA/mkultra too. Total rabbit hole shit, but worth a google if you're bored.
 
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Totally just rumors, but I've been told by a lot of people over the years that Owsley never cooked anything and was always just a front man. I'm no chemist, but some of the statements he made about diet later in his life kinda support this. As in, he seemed to be pretty confused about some basic concepts that'd you need to have a good hold of to properly perform the reactions needed to make L. All just rumors but I've always found it interesting. The guy at the Haight clinic had a bunch of shady connections to the CIA/mkultra too. Total rabbit hole shit, but worth a google if you're bored.
He was just a rich boy playing hippy.

He knew enough to cook crank but it was the brown shit that people called "powdered peanut butter"- that was where the Mongols learned the process.

That MD had worked with the same MD from Emory University in Atlanta who was also teaching at Oglethorpe and they dosed inmates at Alcatraz and Atlanta FP.

That MD gave megadoses of different drugs to people, and actually gave people LSD who were tripping on shit that was lesser potency- ie extended their hell, and altered the setting to a very dangerous space.. He also claimed he was just wanting them to label the STP as STP and not as LSD. But the MD(dude wrote a book later blaming speed for everything when speed was being gone after like opiates are now) would get people on bad trips and he'd see and tape people after he gave them other drugs, very personal questions, truth/lie answers where he could use their med records at the clinics to see what drugs you could use to cause panic and delirium in using hallucinogens.

I knew a lady who became a Nurse Practitioner and talked about when the AIDS Epidemic hit, he wouldn't help a gay man or a needle user and then when the Reagan administration realized "OH FUCK STRAIGHT PEOPLE GET THIS TOO AND BABIES !"- when they released the money- he was very hands off on treating the patients but was sure soaking up the money.

It's like I know people who worship Sasha Shulgin and his wife- but he sent a lot of people permanently into institutions because he used them as guinea pigs. Sasha only kept that lab because he was setting people up.

Leonard Pickard's folks and people were from Georgia. My momma's people knew some of his people, mainly worked for them because they were very, very Toney.

Pickard got very greedy- much like the remaining Dead members, and he slipped up. Any decent chemist I knew always new where their glass ware and lab was and how to destroy the shit and walk.

It's like the Brotherhood of Eternal Love Mythos and the whole Petaluma Al. There were probably a hundred Petaluma Al's checking drops and then putting tabs or blotter with the people who worked lots. And I've always heard the "Brotherhood" was eventually just one very rich motherfucker who walked away and would be about that old 81's age- like 80 or so.
 

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