Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Jerry Just Left Chicago

The Crowd. Grateful Dead Concert  Raceway Park Englishtown NJ 3 September 1977 | James R Anderson Photographer

Chicago will not look like this. Not thrown together and temporary: you will not see any seams or inner workings, unless you pony up for the VIP Road Crew Experience. For only five grand, you get to show up at dawn, carry speakers around, and punch people at the band’s behest.

There will be more shirts; there’s so much more of all of us these days.

Outside balloons will not be permitted into Soldier Field. For the courtesy and safety of all, there will be officially sanctioned balloons on sale in the facility for $12 each. (Each balloon comes with a limited-edition string as a free gift.)

There will be far, far less smoking. However, there will be infinitely more vaping, as there was no vaping in 1977. So, mathematically, any vaping at all would be infinitely more, but you get my point.

She’ll be there. She’ll be there, and when the band kicks into one of their good-time songs, she’ll think about an afternoon in New Jersey a lifetime ago, when she was beautiful and he was born to take his shirt off and the music played so damn loud you couldn’t hear anything at all.


  1. I was thinking this looked like Raceway Park, even though I’ve never been there and I was 10. But I did tape it off the radio when I was about 13. They used to do that thing where they would re-broadcast live concerts.

    What is the most 1977 thing in that photo? I think it’s those blue shorts at lower left. And you can’t see them, but I bet a lot of those running shoes where the tread came way up on the front of the toe.

  2. Beautifully wistful. Well done.

    Also, in Ginge news, Stewart Copeland says that Trey “is now a Grateful Dead!”

  3. It was a lifetime ago, wasn’t it? Damn, I didn’t need to be reminded of that.

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