For anyone who read my most recent posts, you know I was not a fan of the music-making that took place in Santa Clara, CA. at the Fare Thee Well Grateful Dead celebration. To clarify, my intent is not to diminish the experience of those who were there or those who genuinely loved the music. So much goes into a concert experience and these particular concerts are so very emotionally charged. I’ve not talked to one single person who was in attendance in either Santa Clara or Chicago who did not remark on the amazing energy that was present in both stadiums. Through the roof. The outpouring of love must have been tremendous. That experience in itself transcends the quality of the music-making, no question. The sheer celebration and flood of emotional and spiritual experiences. The sheer importance of this music in our lives, this bond we share through it, the journeys we’ve taken both internally and externally, the absolute life-affirming nature of the entire Grateful Dead experience.
Today I’ll be celebrating Ron McKernan’s Birthday with yet another show from his final tour. The new Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings box is chock full of many of Pigpen’s last performances (he returned to the States for one more show at the Hollywood Bowl and then succumbed to the illness that eventually took his life. Yes, another member of the 27 club). Such a talent. And despite his failing health, his performances throughout the Europe tour were energetic and full of life.
We miss you, Pig!