Monday, April 14, 2008

Celebrating The Dead at Virginia Tech

Grateful Dead Steal Your Face Virginia Tech design for the GD show at the school on 4-14-78April 16, 2007 -- 33 dead, 23 injured, hundreds, if not thousands, emotionally scarred to some degree for the rest of their lives. Mental illness is pretty darn screwed up and something most stable human beings just can't understand. Mental illness is what brought about the worst mass shooting incident in the history of this great nation (that is, the worst to date... surely someone will try to out-do the Virginia Tech Massacre -- and probably succeed -- just a matter of time.) Surprised that it took place I was not (and when the next one happens I won't be surprised again.) Shocked by such a horror? No, not really. Stuff like this will happen in a (mostly) free society.

Perhaps firearms need to be banned. Hmmm, cocaine is illegal. Marijuana is illegal. Methamphetamine, heroin, LSD, E -- all illegal. If they're banned or illegal to have, how is it I can go score each of those in the next hour or two if I wanted to? Hmmmm. Those under 21 years old are not allowed to buy alcohol in this country -- thousands of underage beers I've indulged in, thank you very much. There's much that's illegal and banned, but come on, that does not mean it's unattainable.

It's illegal to enter the United States without going through an official Border Crossing/Port of Entry... and illegal to gain employment using a fake Social Security number... but there are over 12 million people illegally in the United States right now and many working using false, illegal documents.

It's illegal to possess all the materials needed for a bomb to blow up a Federal Courthouse in America. It's also illegal to hijack an airplane full of people and fly it into a skyscraper. I seem to remember that happening a few years ago. Yes, and it actually happened twice not to mention another plane into The Pentagon and one more, a fourth plane, into the ground in Pennsylvania.

But banning guns -- making them illegal -- that would stop the next mass shooting incident?

So let me get this straight --
law-abiding citizens would not be allowed to have a weapon while the criminals will have them still? And to defend yourself against someone wishing to do you harm with a gun, you've got to use your hands, I guess? Doesn't seem like a fair fight, does it? Well, then again life's not fair ... but why should criminals have the upper hand? Should an innocent victim really have to sacrifice his or her life, or maybe a whole family's life, because guns are illegal while the criminals still have them? That just doesn't make sense.

In any case, it is terribly sad that the Virginia Tech tragedy occurred on that mid-April day one year ago. But a much happier incident took place on the very same college campus thirty years ago tonight. There were smiles everywhere and a lot of dancing... and plenty of great music.

This world can sometimes seem like an absolutely horrible place... but if you get down and blue, or if you get confused, listen to the music play...

Dancing Bears separator bar thing

Grateful Dead - April 14, 1978
Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Virginia
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and
State University (Virginia Tech)

STEAL YOUR FACE.  Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann -- whew!  Ron Pigpen McKernan, well, he was before Keith & Donna Godchaux who came before Brent Mydland who came before Vince Welnick and Bruce Hornsby.  Oh, and Tom Constanten was in the band once.  Songs here by Robert Hunter and John Perry Barlow.  Great stuff!
1st Set: The Promised Land, Tennessee Jed,
Me & My Uncle-> Big River, Peggy-O, Looks Like Rain, Dire Wolf,
It's All Over Now, Dupree's Diamond Blues, The Music Never Stopped

2nd Set: Samson & Delilah, Ship Of Fools, Dancin' In The Streets->
Drums-> Space-> The Other One-> Black Peter-> Sugar Magnolia

Encore: Johnny B. Goode

A nearly perfect 1st Set. A minor lyrical flub here or there but so well played from first note to last. Peggy-O stands out -- gorgeous! The second set shoots out of the starting gate with some more great energy all through Samson. A neat little tease comes afterwards while getting ready for Ship Of Fools -- notes of Smokestack Lightning. What makes this interesting is that sucker was on the shelf, not played in six years... and it would be another 6½ years before the GD would bust it out in Woooooster, Mass, Fall '84. Oh well, no Smokestack here but they get into such a sweet groove on Dancin', havin' a good ol' fun time for what is purely a 17 minute dance-fest heading into a mega-long Drums. The high point of the set and probably the show has got to be near the end of Black Peter... sent shivers through me as Jerry works himself into some fevered emotion there. So nice! There is just no goin' wrong with this show.

Betty's 7 inch, 2 track Master Soundboard Reels>PCMx2>DAT>CD

Sound Quality: A+ all the way

4/14/78 at
the soundboard for listening only.

GD 4/14/78 Virginia Tech - Part One
Part 2 - Virginia Tech 4/14/78
Virginia Tech - Part Three

wagon wheel and rosesGrateful Dead ticket for Cassell Coliseum 4/14/78 Virginia Tech from www.psilo.comwagon wheel and roses
4-18-78 aka 04-18-78 aka 4/18/78 aka 04/18/78 aka 78-04-18 320 kbps mp3 download and setlist


Folly said...

Oh I just popped by to say hi since you're nice enough to come on by my neck of the woods. Nice site. I'll have to add you to my list.

infinite fool said...

Perfect post for a somber remembrance. Thank you.

Abbadon said...

I need a woman bout twice my weight - A ton of fun who packs a gun with all her other freight.

Nazz Nomad said...

We are guaranteed by the US Constitution the right to bear arms. However, I am releived that we are not guaranteed the right to arm bears. Bears should dance, not shoot.

Sam said...

Well written post, as usual. Thank you for your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the nice write up. My wife and I are both Alum of VT and our son is currently a student there. I will never forget our anxious moments (hours) until we heard he was fine and I will never ever forget this date and how it has positively and negatively affected my beloved school.

One of my biggest regrets thus far in my life was missing the 4-14-87 GD show. My brother went and had a blast. I was not then into the Dead and could not be bothered even though I lived in a dorm about 250' away from the coliseum. God am I a dumb ass!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your effort and the great concert.

Anonymous said...

colorado ski bum says thanks

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated