“If we told you all that went down, it would burn off both your ears”
Dead Head Stories is a treasure trove of tales about the Grateful Dead and the experiences of their dedicated legion of fans—the legendary Deadheads—as told by the fans themselves. This book is crafted from thousands of stories and comments contributed by Deadheads as part of a collective non-profit project to tell the stories of the extraordinary relationship between the band and their audience. This collective community also created the design and layout of this book from inception to publication. ALL content submitted has members names or alias before it and other members comments underneath. These are raw untouched stories, only spelling and grammar fixed unless its slang to keep as original as possible..
Extraordinary Donor, The front cover artwork ( not this one) is donated by the Mike Dubois Studio, frequent poster artist for the Grateful Dead and other bands as well. Mike creates outstanding imagination artwork through his personal studio work.
Special Dedication to Annette Flowers: who worked for Grateful Dead Productions Inc. up until Jerry passed away and was very good at her job. She is much loved by all and a list of friends starting with, Joseph McCord AKA Merlin, Neal Cassady, Ken Kesey, David Nelson, Jerry and so many more.
Annette’s work badges for Grateful Dead Productions also Flowers Family photo. L to R: Mom Margie, Brother Snooky, Moi Annette, Dad Merle
Los Lobos were playing at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, and Jerry drove Sue Stephens, Len Del Amico, and Moi to the show. Jerry had brought a guitar he was giving to David Hidalgo, lead guitarist for the band. Since Jer always walked in through the stage door, that's what we did. Then he walked us across the stage to get to our seats. We sat in the audience, Sue and I flanking Gar. Los Lobos deadicated "Come On, Let's Go" to Jerry, and the three of us stood up and danced. It was a special and fun evening. Subsequently, after Jer was released from the hospital in 1986, Los Lobos had a gig at New George's, a club about two blocks from our San Rafael office. Sue and Len and I thought it would be fun for us to take Jerry. I can't recall if it was his first time out since his release from the hospital. But he had not been out very long. So we were to make sure we kept an eye on him. As soon as we entered the club, people started noticing Jerry, and by the time we hit backstage, I'm sure everyone knew Jerry was in the house. Within like five minutes, a waiter arrived with a tray full of drinks for Jerry, compliments of one of the patrons. About every fifteen minutes, another tray would arrive, compliments of another patron. Folks were so happy to know he was there. On the way in, Jerry spots Carlos Santana standing in this dark little alcove, where I think there was a pay phone or something. A small little space in the front part of the building. Jerry says something like, "Hey Carlos, Whaddaya doin' there?" And brings him backstage with us too. The guys from Los Lobos were also back there, in their own room. We had partaken of several rounds and everyone was feeling good. Los Lobos goes on stage, the place is packed, and suddenly we can't find Jerry. We sort of panicked, but we finally find him and Carlos, standing in the front row facing the stage. Eventually, both of them were on the stage playing with the band. It was a super show and everyone had a great time. When it was over, we lingered outside of George's, chatting with folks. Everyone had a good wish for Jerry. Then out walks David Hidalgo. If you've never seen him, he is a big guy like Jerry, and taller. He was so happy Jerry had made it. He picked him up like a doll and twirled him around. We couldn't believe it. We just cracked up. Seeing these two big men swirling around on the sidewalk was a delight these eyes will never forget. And Jerry got home safe and sound. An aside: my Dad took me to see some shows at the San Jose Civic. The rock n roll revues with lots of acts. One of the shows featured Richie Valens. Writer/Composer of "Come On, Let's Go". Sadly, it was the show before the last, as Richie Valens, the Big Bopper, and Buddy Holly were killed in a plane crash after the next review. I am so grateful to my SUPER DAD, for taking me to all of them. We saw EVERYBODY. My Dad was a fan of Chuck Berry and Fats Domino, and that's how we got to see a plethora of musical talent. Jerry told me he was jealous, cause he didn't see those gigs. My Dad became a fan of Jerry too!
Jonathan Maupin: Pretty crazy, this morning on a page called “Bill Graham Presents” there is a story someone posted about this night. It starts off with Barlow talking about how Jerry wished he could be part of the crowd and go hang out with the fans and how it bothered him that he couldn’t. It then went into this story told by Del Amico and how much this evening meant to Jerry to just be able to hang out. This group is as close as you will ever come to being there without being there. Unless of course you were there and people like yourself take us there. Incredibly honored to be amongst people like you Ms/Mrs. Annette Flowers.
Annette Flowers: And I, Jonathan, am incredibly honored to be amongst people like you! JAH Rastafari!
Joseph Lennon McCord: Annette was the BEST ROCK N ROLL EXECUTIVE SECRETARY TO EVER GRACE THE HALL OF FAME She’s talking underbelly if you catch my drift. Tell them about when you and Cassady came to visit me in Oakland.
Annette Flowers: Muchisimas gracias, Joe! But methinks you are just a leetel bit prejudiced! Jerry was a little surprised as David kind of caught him off guard. He was smiling after though. I don't think he'd been picked up and twirled as an adult before. It really was precious. Yes, it was easy to be a fan of Jerry. In fact, when I moved to Marin County with what became the NRPS, I still wasn't super sold on the Dead, and I asked my housemates to please let me know if any of those guys were coming round, so I could hide if I needed to. But then I met Jerry. And my fear vanished. THANK YOU SO MUCH AND HOWDY! (As the magnificent Tony Rice - Pizza Tapes & David Grisman Band - would say.)
Scott Ireton: I was there at George’s that night it’s kind of a blur now but I know how happy we were to see Jerry back out playing!
Joseph Lennon McCord aka Merlin has been around from the beginning like Annette. Patronizing Mime (Rubber Duck) who played with his band the “Rubber Bands” with the Grateful Dead and so many other bands in the late 60’s early 70’s. Good friends with Neal Cassady, Ken Kesey, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and all the rest. Merlin is in the middle of making a documentary “MERLIN SPEAKS. chronologizing the wonderful life of Joseph McCord, coming to your theater soon. Members of the RUBBER BAND: T.C. Tom Constanten, FROM THE DEAD/ Chicken Hirsch/ from Country Joe/ Paul Dresher/ sometimes JERRY GARCIA and MICKEY HART/ Naomi Eisenberg/ DANCING FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT/ David Garthwaite/ Joy of Cooking./ Richard Greene/ SEA TRAIN/ Glen Frendel/ DON BUKLA and JIM BYERS/ Art Fayer.
Joseph Lennon McCord— Walking the lot with Jerry
Jerry and I would go to the parking lot before the shows and visit you winderlusters. One memory of a young guy coming up to us and he says: "I LOVE YOU JERRY! I SOLD BLOOD TO COME HERE AND SEE YOU!" Another girl says:" I PUT MY PUPPY, PUCK , IN HOCK TO HEAR Y'ALL PLAY THE MUSIC WE ALL LOVE!" Well, we were both moved to swelling tears by this. Jerry reaches in his pocket and takes two hundreds and hands one each to the guy ‘n girl and he says to them, "IT'S PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT WE COME OUT TO SEE AT THESE GATHERINGS. HERE KID, GET A BLOOD NOURISHING MEAL IN YOUR GUT. AND YOU HONEY, GET THAT PUPPY BACK HOME. YOU HAVE MY BLESSINGS TO BRING THAT DOG TO OUR CONCERTS." Now i was crying.
Proposed at show San Fran 2003
Asked my wife to marry me at The DEAD show during the set break at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco on Valentine's Day, 2003. Joan Osborn was part of the group at that time, and Sammy Hagar came out and sang Loose Lucy. They handed out roses at the door for all the ticket holders as you entered the venue. Pretty awesome night.
Joyce Roszel : Jerry’s got a lot of friends
When my son Ryan was little, he heard us say "we're going to see Jerry " very often. When I took him to Hampton(VA) at 3 years old, his response was, "Wow Mommy! Jerry has a big house and a lot of friends.” He'd heard us talk of him so often and lovingly that he thought he was my friend. He was.
Justina McCord: Jerry bouncing her on his knee
The very first time I remember seeing the Dead play, we were backstage—must have been 1969 or 70. Jerry was bouncing me on his knee and tickling me then Christina (Hart), Sunshine, and I made a fort beneath the sound mixing table, behind the tapestry, and no adults were allowed in. Jerry kept teasing us that he was a big bear coming to “get us.” Even at that age, I remember that special sparkle in his eyes of deep love and mischief!
A short teaser of the Non-Profit Book
Without Love in the Dream It’ll Never Come True: I wanna love you night and day, you know my love not fade away.
The 4-year-old high light
I had the pleasure of taking my 4-year-old kitten (daughter) to her first show at Deer Creek (IN) in 2018. The morning of the show she could hardly contain herself, she woke up talking about it! Bragging to everyone we know "I'm going to the Grateful Dead concert!". Dancing, twirling and loving on the lot dogs. This life was made for her! I can hear her telling the story years down the road.
Guntis Grabazs: First date Mass 1973,
Still married Debess and I were married for over 40 years. On our first date, we went to see the Grateful Dead in Springfield Mass in 1973. After an awesome show, we were both Dedicated. Peace and LOVE
Married at Dead and Co. Columbus 2017
Married at Dead and Co. 2010, Carp and I met in the 90’s - dating on and off and doing some Grateful Dead tours together. We reconnected in 2010 and picked up right where we left off, going to Further, Widespread Panic, the Dead, and Dead and Company shows together. On November 25th 2017 we were married at the Columbus Dead and Company show! After we exchanged our vows the crowd serenaded us with Ripple, which turned out to be the encore song that night too!
Norm and Sandy Ruth’s Famous Terrapin Trailways
Strangers stopping Strangers has always been a norm. Stopping to give a hug, a hand-shake, or offer a helping hand when needed
Theodore Coords—Jerry Garcia Band and Bobby and the Midnites, 6/18/82
6/18/82 On 6/16/82 I was at a JGB and Ratdog show at Music Mountain. Besides the great show, the story that day was the rain. It poured, and the harder it rained the harder Jerry seemed to jam. I was standing near sound board out of the rain as it had a slight overhang. A girl walks up and hands me a 3 week old baby. Says my husband is legally blind I have to find him. And she walks away in the downpour. It seemed like forever. I wondered why she chose me and not my girlfriend or any other person. She finally did return, thanked me, and left again with her husband. I often wonder about the baby as a grown up. But it was certainly one I will never forget.
Mike Pawelko: I was the husband in that story! I had taped the Jerry set and told my wife if it started to rain
I would not tape Bobby and the Midnites and we would leave early, so meet at the car if you can't get to the soundboard. After looking for her at the soundboard with no success, I headed to where the car was parked. Music Mountain was VERY rural with little parking and we were parked on a dirt trail off of the only road in. I finally see the car and as I am walking to it I fell into a drainage ditch and lost my glasses. I am not blind, but without my glasses it is almost impossible for me to see in the pouring rain. I find my family is not at the car, so I find my way back to the soundboard. I finally meet up with my wife and almost didn't recognize her from 3 feet away. Thanks for your assistance that dark stormy night. Our daughter now lives in NC and has 4 kids of her own.
Theodore Coords : Certainly blew me away and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get an answer here from Mike Pawelko. I thought about that show, that baby, and why I was chosen with others, including my then fiance, all standing there. Seconds seemed like minutes, and I really don't remember how long it was, but people were saying do you think they're coming back. I never doubted they were. But as a good karma thing people pushed my stuck car and told me to stay in car after the show.
Mike Pawelko: Katie was one month and a day old. Never a doubt that we would be back. I probably panicked at the time looking for them, but it all works out in the end. Deadheads are good people—thanks again for your assistance
Theodore Coords: Mike, no problem it is always good to help people. And when you know in your heart you did the right thing it is a feeling that stays with you. Maybe the people who were asking do you think they're coming back didn't give off enough positivity to be chosen to hold
Katimae Shuma: Loyalty in Question?
In 1993 I decided I needed to finish my degree and get that in the past. So I took 20 hours, did a 20hr/week internship, and got highly involved in a few groups and stuff to pad the resume. And made a huge deceleration - no shows this semester except the 1 MSG Jerry Band show a few of us planned on. So Sept 21st I’m sitting in class, in North Carolina, and realized it was the Fall Equinox and the boys were playing MSG tonight. I got up, walked outta class, got in my car and drove to NYC. Parked the car, stuck my finger in the air, got Miracled almost immediately, and walked straight into the show! The next day my friends back at school were saying, “Where did u disappear to last night ?” Me with that smiling glow of a fresh show, “New York City” and walked away! Found out there were bets I couldn’t do 4 months without a gd show. They were right!
"The Fans of the Grateful Dead are of one family and all are welcome. A family where race, lifestyle, religion, and age are unrecognizable. A loyalty beyond compare. Band and fan playing equal parts in uncharted waters. The freedom to play the part of the grinning fool or to play the part of the well-mannered businessman. Everyone is accepted. A place in which a misfit in a world of the mundane, can magically be welcomed home. The Dead family gave the skills, values, and strengths to last a lifetime, spilling over into all parts of life. The message of peace, love, laughter, and light are passed down from generation to generation. After 50 plus years, this message is still going strong. We are and will be forever Grateful!
Drawing by Laura Dowling
Don't miss the book when it hits the shelf's this Holiday.