Help On The Way>Slipknot!>Franklin’s Tower 5/9/1977

To me the dead will never go away. I’ve put them down for a while before, but they have always been in the back of my mind. I’ve not listened to Jerry and the guys for about 2 years or so. Till, the other day. I just had seen the last episode of ‘Freaks and Geeks’, so ‘American Beauty’ was on my mind. I then remembered I had the ‘Classic Albums’ DVD ‘Grateful Dead – Anthem to Beauty (1998)’ of its making and began watching it… By the end of that DVD, I was digging out out old bootleg tapes, discs, and hard drives from forgotten boxes hidden with in the deep recesses of an ancient closet. Finally, after countless ages (bout 5 mins actually, lol) I found an old hard drive filled with bootlegs. Most importantly, it contains almost all of the famed May 1977 Grateful Dead shows. It took about 3 shows, but by the time I put on Buffalo NY 1977 it hit me like a ton of bricks.

This has to be the meaning of life to each and every Grateful Dead fan since it’s performance on May 9th 1977. This is the moment the dead was perfect in every way. The machine was well oiled, finely tuned, and filled with positive energy. If there was any moment in time I would like to be transported back to it would be this show. Thank you, Universe. Thank you for this band and their wonderful sound.

Jerry is on fire during the Tower jam. Here is an actual shot of him that night. No clue what song it is actually lol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was only able to find Franklin’s Tower from that night on YouTube.

 

The next song they played on this night was Cassidy. I had a cat named after this song. Think my ex mother in law still has her, was a cool cat if I remember correctly. I happen to love this song, but I love it the most when played in acoustic format.

 

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My number one occupation is…

The first song from, I’m my opinion, the greatest Dead show of all time. May 8th 1977 at Cornell University’s Barton Hall. To add, this version of “Minglewood Blues” is my favorite and is kinda my theme song, in some ways.

I love how the soundboard recording feed kicks in at about 23 seconds. Wonderful… lol

The real highlight of this show is the Scarlet Begonias > Fire on the Mountain followed up by Estimated Prophet. Life changing music lol.

 

 

I dropped out and joined a band instead…

“The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner”, what a great album. To many, this is considered the peak of Ben Folds Five and also marks their glorious ending. This ending allowed Ben (Folds) the freedom to begin the exploration of his own musical direction. His first solo album “Rockin’ the Suburbs”, to me, is what the next Ben Folds Five album would have sounded like anyway. (Interesting note about “Rockin’ the Suburbs”: it was released on September 11, 2001.)

“The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner” should still be considered his masterpiece. Being raised by a southern-liberal father also, (Ben is from Winston-Salem, NC) I can personally relate to some of the themes that appear in this album. Namely this song, “Army”. I too faced the idea of “being all you can be” around the age of seventeen or eighteen. I’m glad Ben and I were basically asked the same question by our awesome, southern-liberal, Democrat* fathers: “Son, are you fucking high?”

I probably was, lol.

*I actually have no idea if Ben’s father is a Liberal Democrat or not. I just “get” that from this album. Assuming is fun, you should try it.

Something for Nicotine

The past week, for myself, can be summed up in two words: Anger and Frustration.

You’re probably asking: “Why is that Brad? Your life doesn’t seem that bad at all.” This is true in some aspects of my life, indeed. However, in other, more meaningful life aspects, I’m at a loss. These feelings are also part of the withdraw process from nicotine currently governing my life. I’ve been clean from it for about 4 days, as of typing this post that is. I’ve been cigarette free for about 16 days now. The smokes were actually easy to drop and replace with nicotine gum lol. Now dropping the gum, cold turkey, is a different story. It’s pretty much been hell for me. I even took a day and a half off work to get over some of the withdrawals. Keep in mind, this is after 20 years of smoking, I’ve never made it this far. To add to the awesomeness of the achievement, I’m doing this 100% on my own and for myself only. That being said, I think the normal amount of frustration and anger I have inside of me is being amplified by the nicotine withdrawal effects I’m dealing with.

Currently, one thing that really makes me super angry, is when I see some douche-bag with a seemingly happy family unit. I’m sure you’re asking “What’s a douche-bag, Mr. Brad?” Well, my awesome reader. My definition of the common douche-bag is as follows. I see this as some guy I went to HS with or was part of the local (3-4 HS) “popular” crowd. You know those jerks, the same ones who were all about sports, drinking beer, and committing random acts of douche-bagery on the local D&D player population. They got all the hot girls in HS, college, post college, and finally in marriage; where they are currently spawning a new generation of Alpha Beta doucheoids. Please keep in mind that I’m aware that those hot girls I’m referring to are the same evil-sex-idols that ignored the existence of guys like myself in HS. I totally accept the fact now, just as I did then. So, this is not about my lack of access to those plastic whores in 1990. This just about me witnessing those shallow morons being happy and prosperous while I’m alone on a Friday night. I mean, hell… They got to have all that fun back then, why do they get the good stuff again? Here, at the start of middle age. Where the fuck is that Karmic pay off I kinda expected to happen by now, 20 years later.

I’m probably being too harsh on them, I know. When I’ve been the one responsible for most of the unhappiness in my life, not them. I have been handed the keys to the kingdom a few times over the years. Only to royally destroy everything because of some “idea” I get stuck in my head. Those douche-bags are lucky, I hope they appreciate it. The idea of luck is kinda stupid, when you think about it. Or since I’m not a lucky guy, I lack the ability to perceive it lol.

 

I rarely fall in to a situation with a woman and when I do it’s normally like a fireworks show. Fast, explosive, exciting, and over before you want it to be. Women in those stable douche-bag-normal-guy based relationships lack some of the excitement I provide (in many ways lol). They come to me, have their fun, act like they are getting divorced, and then run back home to the money and the normality. I accept my role, it’s cool I get it. I’ve just played that part too many times over the years. I would just like my turn, please.

I’m actually a very positive guy, most of the time. Hope has been my ally from a very early age. That’s why I love underdog films like ‘Rocky’, ‘Revenge of the Nerds’, ‘The Karate Kid’, ‘Gladiator’, and ‘The Goonies’. Having hope that cool things can happen and the underdog can win, is a good thing. On the other hand, depending on hope alone, can be a mistake. Here is an example. At a younger age, I used  my strong feeling of hope as a crutch. Thinking that this magical hope inside of me was a sign of good things to come. I somehow thought that my future would magically unfold before my eyes, all I had to do was hope. What I seemed to have been doing was ‘wishing’ and not ‘hoping’ lol. Extremely stupid, I know.


As I was writing this post, a song popped in my head. One by Rush, on their 1976 release ‘2112’. No, it’s not the Overture, I’m thinking of a more obscure track ‘Something for Nothing’. Peart’s words are powerful on so many levels here. In regards to my situation as the hope filled outsider looking at the rest of the world. Wondering when my sign will appear and show me the way to an open door. Only to realize that you can’t get something for nothing and that YOU are both the guide and the open door. This seems to be something I had forgotten a long time ago, I’m glad I’ve found it again. 😉


Cool as ice cream

I’ve been in a heavy Smashing Pumpkins phase for the past few days. This song, “La Dolly Vita”, is the thirteenth track on one of my favorite albums from the Pumpkins, Pisces Iscariot. It’s interesting to note that this album is actually just a collection of B-sides and rarities. I think it was released in combination with their first home video, Vieuphoria.

Listening to this song, you get the feeling Billy (Corgan) was in an other worldly state of mind during the recording of this track. His Zenlike mood becomes evident as the slow groove sends waves of awesome directly into your sound holes (yes, I said sound holes).

The line “cool as ice cream” is great, it has so many meanings when you sit and think about it. To me, Billy is talking about spending some time with an awesome girl who he finds to be cool as ice cream. Rather, he’s having a good time living the “good life” with a cool chick. We all know those times. Wonderful Friday nights spent just enjoying the fact the other person exists in the same space-time you inhabit. Normally, music makes me look at the past but, that’s not true with this song. It’s allowing me look to the future as I enjoy the present, for a change. It’s almost like the song is mirroring the comfortably slow speed of the relationship I’m forming with two special girls. Good things can happen it seems, when you stay cool as ice cream. 😉

Nirvana’s early days from “Hype”

I posted this video about 2 or 3 years ago on YouTube. Thought it was one of the coolest parts of the documentary “Hype”.

 

Freaks and Geeks :(

Was one of the best shows ever on TV. It only lasted 18 episodes, but was pure genius. I could relate to every character in the show and the ending… Words can’t describe it.