Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Fare Thee Well - Some of My Grateful Dead Tickets

"I know the rent is in arrears, the dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears, but it's alright"

With the last Grateful Dead show now behind us (for now) I suddenly found myself rekindling that long forgotten desire to shake and dance like some fool. And with this being a collector blog - of sorts - I was inspired to do what I do.  (Actually inspired by a Phungo post)

I figured I should scan and share some of the tickets from those early days or yore.  When I was young, stupid and carefree.

So take a look at some old tickets from my Grateful Dead adventures - when I jumped on the bus far too late in my life - but just in time to experience some great music, good folk and some lasting memories.

Above are my tickets to the only three shows I ever attended while Jerry Garcia was alive.  My first show was in Las Vegas during a scorching June summer in 1994.  I remember getting a speeding ticket somewhere between Barstow and State Line.  Then, I somehow wrangled a hotel room at Sam's Town that I filled up with at least ten other vagabonds - no easy task when you consider that they were looking out for fools like us.  I don't remember hearing Steve Winwood's band Traffic opening up for the Dead, but that's probably because I was roaming around looking for a place to cool down. 

That second ticket is for the Vegas show the following year, and if memory serves me right, this was the weekend before finals in college.  The Dave Mathews Band opened up.

The last ticket was at Shoreline in Mountain View, and was just a couple months before Garcia's passing.  I had just graduated from college and decided to take a short trip up north to reward myself.  Somewhere along the way the clutch on my truck gave out, I slept on the floor of a VW bus since I didn't have enough funds for a hotel room and witnessed the greatest rendition of the Dead's "Standing on the Moon" I had ever heard - not that I'd heard it many times before live.  It's just that Jerry's wailing of the lyric "I'd rather be with you" had me transfixed in some cosmic gaze.

Shortly thereafter, I joined the suit and tie wearing club and thought these days would be far behind me.  Little did I know, the remaining members of the band would get back together five years later at the Further Festival - The Other Ones.

Here are tickets from some of those shows; including a Bob Weir ticket where a friend introduced me to the guitar player. 

Also of note is the Alpine Valley ticket from the Grateful Dead Reunion show on August 2, 2002.  Several of my closest friends decided to have a reunion of our own, so we packed our bags and saw the Dead in Wisconsin.  Naturally, being a card collector I turned one of the photos we took into a Baseball card.  Check that out below.

These days still hold fond memories for me (both good and bad) and this past weekends shows in Chicago had me reminiscing just a bit.  I had hoped to make it to one of the recent shows, but fate had other things in mind... And that's OK. 

As any fan knows, I can always hear the show at any time online.  In fact, if you're so inclined, you can listen to the very last show from this past Sunday on soundcloud, here.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *


  1. I only saw one Dead show. Back in the 90's at some point, at the Long Beach Arena. I saw things that I had never seen in any concert before, nor since.
    Long live The Dead.

    1. Correction, it was the late 80's. That's what the Dead'll do to ya. Hehehe


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