“NOT THE GRATEFUL DEAD” Even More Cynical Than I


thedeadpicI post the below article written by Stewart Sallo in the Boulder Weekly titled LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, NOT THE GRATEFUL DEAD not because I agree with it, but to represent part of the experience Dead-Heads are having. This article is far more cynical than I am. I would prefer to believe the remaining members of the Grateful Dead had the best of intentions here in trying to satisfy the many needs involved. And I think it turned out to be a far greater beast than any of them anticipated.

Perhaps that’s naive, I dunno. I can certainly see it as an opportunity to both celebrate the Grateful Dead’s 50 years AND make some money. This is, after all, one of the ways in which these guys earn their living. And they’ve hit retirement age now. They still play music, but they no longer tour and they rarely cut albums. So yes, this was also a chance to make some money. I hold no grudge with that. Artists should be paid and paid well. It’s just unfortunate that this event has also created much heartache and disappointment for many.

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“NOT THE GRATEFUL DEAD” Even More Cynical Than I

Grateful Dead 50th Reunion Event: Impressions & Struggles


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We all knew that the remaining members of the Grateful Dead were probably going to do SOMETHING to celebrate the 50 year mark. I was curious and a little uncertain about how I felt at the idea of celebrating the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary 20 years after Jerry Garcia’s death. Since that epic loss, the Grateful Dead‘s remaining members have played both together and separately, but never under the moniker “Grateful Dead.” And appropriately so, in my opinion. Jerry Garcia wasn’t just a guitarist, he was one of the main reasons the Grateful Dead sound and energy existed at all.

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Grateful Dead 50th Reunion Event: Impressions & Struggles

Support JAZZ NIGHTS: A CONFIDENTIAL JOURNEY


jazz nights poster Horn 72smallerLike Jazz? Check out the 8-minute trailer for my documentary JAZZ NIGHTS: A CONFIDENTIAL JOURNEY. It’s showing exclusively at my Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds to complete the film. Production is done and now we need help to bring the film to fruition. Even if you have no interest at all in contributing, check out the trailer and maybe read a bit about the film. And, most importantly, pass on the link to others via Facebook or email, Twitter, whatever. We just want to get the word out there to reach folks who might be interested. It’s a project of love for myself and the musicians.

Jazz and the men and women who make it have always found themselves on the forefront of cultural turbulence. In many ways, this is part of the DNA of jazz. The documentary JAZZ NIGHTS: A CONFIDENTIAL JOURNEY chronicles a fleeting and almost completely unknown moment in time involving a group of L.A.’s top jazz musicians who congregated in alternating configurations every Sunday night at a legally ambiguous members-only, back-room hash bar. 

Once a week, these expert musicians formed a circle, a coterie of non-verbal, intuitive communication. There were no pre-determined set lists, no rehearsals. Attendance was through word-of-mouth only. No advertising. 

These musical nights at L.A. Confidential in Los Angeles poignantly echoed the Prohibition Era speakeasies of the 1920s as well as the ’50s underground jazz clubs of Harlem and Greenwich Village. The LACon experiment reflected a society caught in a quagmire of differing opinions and laws, this time surrounding the legalization of marijuana, which is currently considered medically legal in the state of California, while simultaneously remaining illegal under federal law. 

In addition to the music and setting, these cutting-edge musicians explore, via in-depth interviews, their lives, influences, backstories, upbringings, inspirations, and cultural affiliations. The result is an evocative tapestry of live music, thoughts and memories, and a snapshot of a moment in time amidst an ever-evolving American landscape.

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Support JAZZ NIGHTS: A CONFIDENTIAL JOURNEY

Is Pot The Answer To California’s Economic Woes?


74cx3jhnDemocratic State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced a legislation last month to legalize pot and allow the state to regulate and tax its sale. According to TIME Magazine:

Pot is, after all, California’s biggest cash crop, responsible for $14 billion a year in sales, dwarfing the state’s second largest agricultural commodity – milk and cream – which brings in $7.3 billion a year, according to the most recent USDA statistics. The state’s tax collectors estimate the bill would bring in about $1.3 billion a year in much needed revenue, offsetting some of the billions of dollars in service cuts and spending reductions outlined in the recently approved state budget… State revenues would be derived from a $50-per-oz. levy on retail sales of marijuana and sales taxes.

Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray, who supports the legalization of marijuana and believes it would save the state somewhere in the range of $1 billion a year in eliminating the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of marijuana users and sellers, states:

“We couldn’t make this drug any more available if we tried. Not only do we have those problems, along with glamorizing it by making it illegal, but we also have the crime and corruption that go along with it. Unfortunately, every society in the history of mankind has had some form of mind-altering, sometimes addictive substances to use, to misuse, abuse or get addicted to. Get used to it. They’re here to stay. So let’s try to reduce those harms, and right now we couldn’t do it worse if we tried.”

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Is Pot The Answer To California’s Economic Woes?