Every once in a while, something happens that changes your life. I’m not talking about one of the obvious, life-altering milestones such as the birth of a child or landing your dream job, but more so something small yet significant that unravels your entire being and transforms your entire outlook. Something as small as a fleeting encounter with an interesting character, reading a book that reveals an important truth, or listening to the Grateful Dead for the very first time.
My earliest memory of the Grateful Dead is not so distant, 2 or 3 years ago at most. I first listened to the album ‘American Beauty’ alongside my brother when he used to pick me up from work in his Renault Kangoo, and was mesmerised by how instantaneously uplifting the music was. These daily little road trips with their Grateful Dead soundtrack acted as unwarranted therapy sessions from which we would always come out feeling much better than we did going in.
The infinitely happy semblance surrounding the band no doubt stems from upbeat tracks & heartfelt lyrics, psychedelic art & the invincible Jerry and Bob duo, tie-dye clothing & freedom concerts, all of which are kept alive by their infamous & religiously committed fan base, the Deadheads. But aside from these obvious reasons why we fall in love with them, the Grateful Dead give us something so much deeper. The band inject into society, those who are lucky enough to find them at least, a kind of spiritual humanism, uniting minds, bodies and souls through conscious togetherness.
They are the boosters of bliss, the enhancers of ecstasy. One of the most successful bands of all time, yet completely untainted by excessive radio airtime or the new generation of millennial “hippies”, the Grateful Dead continue to carry with them an inexplicable element that elevates a mere music performance to something much, much higher. 💀🎶
“Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right…” .