Who doesn’t love a good musical? Mixed with the melodies and lyrics of the supernatural songwriting squad of Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, RED ROSES, GREEN GOLD has all the ingredients for a musical full of magic and merriment. With longtime family keyboardist, Jeff Chimenti, tasked with musical supervision and arrangement, plus additional music contributions by Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann, this storied canon and legacy could not possibly be in better hands.
A comedy set in 1920’s Cumberland, RED ROSES, GREEN GOLD tells the outlandish tale of a family of swindlers led by a patriarch named Jackson Jones. The majority of songs are drawn from the duo of seminal albums, American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead. And with a special attention to Deadhead attendees, “STAND UP & BOOGIE DOWN Seating” is available.
Performances began on October 11th, and the official opening is fast approaching on October 29th at the Minetta Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village, New York City. Head to RedRosesGreenGold.com for tickets and further information, but first…
The folks running the show were kind enough to offer Stand For Jam a pair of vouchers for a ticket giveaway contest! If you win, you will be able to request a free pair of tickets for the date you want to attend RED ROSES, GREEN GOLD.
This past weekend Pretty Lights put on an episodic festival in New Hampshire. In between sets, crew members were sent out to move a totem wielding fan from the front of the stage to the side, so lighting folks could do their job without an unobstructed view. Soon after, Pretty Lights’ lighting designer, LazerShark, worked up an anti-totem image to plaster on the screen at the back the stage. LazerShark was simply poking fun – His later post about the incident metes that out.
According to Live For Live Music, after the incident LazerShark commented: “Just to be clear since some people think it’s their right to be an inconsiderate douche. Your right to “self-expression” has not been banned at our shows. We simply just want both our crew and our audience to be able to enjoy the show how they intended. We could have simply confiscated this stupid jellyfish [totem] but instead we decided to have a little fun and prove a very simple point. Stand to the side dummies. Or I’m coming to your job with a giant sign that says fuck you and you can explain to your boss why some guy is interfering with your work.”
I’m going to take LazerShark’s sentiment to the next level. Ban those fucking rage rods altogether. There’s a thousand ways to express yourself at a festival without getting up in people’s faces. You can sing, dance, wear crazy clothing, go nude, paint your face, wear no makeup at all, carry around a super heady backpack with all your pins and swag on it, hand out cards to everyone with your favorite inspirational quote, etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseam. These totems are the epitome of getting up in others’ spaces – If you rock one, your selfishness outweighs your self-expression tenfold.
Ban those completely inconsiderate “I’m the center of the universe” poles. Friends don’t let friends bring cock sizing rods to festivals. If you have a friend or relative putting together one of these silly spikes, stop them immediately. Break that thing in half! They’ll be pissed at you in the present, but will thank you down the line. Imagine an episode of Intervention, except the only drug your loved one is high on this time is their own ego.
“But wait, I need my totem to find my friends!” If you seriously need one of these oversized sceptres to find your friends at a fest (in 2017!!!) you should be banned from the grounds, as you’re clearly a danger to others and yourself. If American soldiers could find their comrades in the jungles of Vietnam with a compass and the stars, why can’t you find your buddies in a crowd at a festival – when literally everyone is a walking GPS these days? Oh, you say you left your phone in your car? Cool, then make a meeting spot where you can all gather at a specific time! It’s really simple shit we’re talking about here. Being considerate of staff and your fellow festival goers, I would presume is paramount for most people attending such events. The rage stick violates these central tenets. If one walks around a fest with such an unwieldy staff, you’re breaking the Golden Rule without even knowing it.
Sure, festivals are the last Wild West – A place to break free from the confines of meager existence to celebrate life to the fullest. But are rage sticks really necessary to rage life to the fullest?! Hell no! Party, get schwilly (do people still say schwilly?), get down, get dirty, and express yourself to your heart’s desire, just leave your beanstalk at home (or at least your campsite). It’s simple. And if you’re seriously having issues giving up your Napoleon Complex pole, therapy might be a good outlet. End rant.
This is a message for all those post-Jerry deadheads out there that came of age after 1995, and on occasion feel like they’re perpetually longing for something that occurred before their time. I was inspired to write this after seeing a young deadhead post a “woe is me for not seeing Jerry” YouTube comment under the video of Grateful Dead performing “So Many Roads” at their last concert on July 9th, 1995. That soulful performance represented an increasingly rare, yet strong showing by Garcia in those later years, and I can not deny sometimes feeling a sense of yearning when scrolling through those now old videos. Yet even as post-Jerry heads, we have A LOT to be grateful for.
As post-Jerry Deadheads we’ve had plenty to be thankful for in the recent past, and plenty to be appreciative for in the future. We’re alive. Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart are still kicking and avidly making music for the masses. We are still basking in a stellar five show run featuring arguably the closest replications of bona fide Grateful Dead shows that we will get to see in our lifetimes. Whether in Chi-town, across the greater USA, or just about anywhere on Earth (sans North Korea), we’ve had the opportunity to take in these shows, LIVE! Pay-per-view, IMAX simulcasts, SiriusXM, cable TV, bootleg video streams, taper audio streams, #taperrob, with up to the minute live social networking. None of us have had much an excuse not to celebrate one way or another this past week regardless of our geographic locale. Technology, man. It’s a trip.
“And the band keeps playing’ on!” Weir, Hart, and Kreutzmann are heavily rumored to be going out on tour together this very fall. Phil Lesh has a residency planned starting in October at Peter Shapiro’s Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. Phil is playing Lockn’ this summer, Bobby and Billy are playing The Peach. Mickey, Bill, Phil, and Bobby have various on and off again side projects of their own. They all play Dead music! They all reinvent this music time and time again. Have you heard Mickey Hart Band? Talk about reinvention! And while Phil plays residencies in New York, he also plays them out west at his very own Terrapin Crossroads. Bobby founded TRI Studios, a state of the art live streaming concert facility. He’s part owner of the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley. Ratdog. Ratdog. Ratdog. We will be seeing lots of Bobby. But yeah, these guys are old, and it’s not the same, and they won’t exactly be around forever, but they’re around now, and its pretty effing good! Take it in.So yeah, one day they’ll all be gone. But guess who will be here? Us post-Jerry deadheads. And Dark Star Orchestra. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. Umpteen Grateful Dead cover bands. Some of the national variety, some of the local home-brewed camp. Some will entirely reinvent the music, while some will aim for total replication, and those that do will create scenarios where if you close your eyes you’ll feel like you’re at a genuine authentic Dead show. There’ll be lots of gatherings, albeit smaller than the old days, but they’ll be unforgettable and nostalgic.
There will be bigger shakedowns for younger bands like Phish, Widespread Panic, and The String Cheese Incident, and a plethora of face melting jam bands. And if a handful of older jaded deadheads give you crap about liking Phish, go tell ’em to eff themselves (Let Trey Sing). And then think to yourself that when “the band’s all packed and gone,” we’ll still be here dancing and shaking our bones to so much amazing music. And there will be younger deadheads; a new generation. This is gonna happen, because truly the music never does stop.
And those who, from time to time, make you feel that you missed out by not seeing Jerry…those folks?!? They’ll be dead. And the new generation of deadheads will look to us and ask us “what was it like to see the core four play live and together?” “How good were all their solo projects?” “Where were you for Fare Thee Well?” “Did they really manufacture a rainbow?!?” Some of our generation may make them feel bad because really, assholes exist in every subculture, mainstream and otherwise. So the assholes will be assholes, but you my friend don’t have to be one. Remember how you feel now, and down the road remind the youngins of all the great music that is around for them. Regale them with your stories, but don’t belittle them. For you once were them.
In this never-ending story that is the Grateful Dead, we are the lucky ones. Yes, it would’ve been nice to have been born a few decades earlier (could have dodged this climate change business to boot), but we are pretty damn fortunate. We will be the last to hear the Grateful Dead canon first hand. We will be the last to hear the songwriters and musicians play these songs in the flesh. We will be torch carriers, as was the band and the generation before us, to us. We will take the gospel of the Grateful Dead into the first fully post-Dead generation. It will be passed down. “So it shall be written. So it shall be done.” The Deadhead Community will survive. “We will survive.”
“Some rise, some fall, some climb,” and there will always be deadheads.