No, you didn’t see Jim Morrison’s penis…

…well, unless you were one of many random groupies—or Pam Courson or Patricia Kennealy. But if you were in Miami on March 1st, 1969, there was no penis to be seen.

March 1st is the anniversary of the fateful Miami concert at the Dinner Key Auditorium. You can read Ray Manzarek’s thoughts about it in my interview with him last year, as well as a nice story on the Houston Chronicle.

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“but the train’s got its brakes on and the whistle is screaming…”

Preserve the Dead: 57 Irish Railroad Workers of Duffy’s Cut

…often I think of going up to some of ’em like say blonde ones with wild hair and torn shirts and say, “You oughta apply for the railroad it’s much easier work you don’t stand around the street all day and you get much more pay…”- Jack Kerouac, October in the Railroad Earth

What Kerouac’s story doesn’t tell, is the risk of death when you’re working in cholera-ridden, hostile-to-Irish territory. There’s a patch of land that silently holds a mass grave of Irish railroad workers—I pass it everyday on the Amtrak Keystone in between the Paoli and Exton train stations. It’s only just now—today—that I’ve learned some of the history behind this railway burial site. And I learned of it because a few good people bothered to preserve the dead.

One such person is Dan Leyden, who not only preserves the dead by singing in a Grateful Dead tribute band, Splintered Sunlight, but also preserves the dead by passing along the stories of the dead through song.

Learn more from the Smithsonian Channel and the Duffy’s Cut Project.

“Won’t you please, oh, won’t you…Give me love…”

Image source: George’s Journal

Preserve the Dead: George Harrison (Feb 25, 1943 – Nov 29, 2001)

I was going to post “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) but I’ve decided, instead, that My Sweet Lord is one of the few songs that completely opens my heart. No matter what injustices rage beyond the borders of my home and country—no matter how empty and hollow I feel about living on Earth…

This song fills me.

Voices of Eternal Light

Preserve the Dead: György Ligeti (May 28, 1923 – Jun 12, 2006)

Lux Aeterna, used in Stanley Kubric’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, is an exquisite blending of 16 human voices.

Listen to Who We Are: Humanity’s Beauty

Preserve the Dead: Thomas Weelkes (Oct 25, 1576 – Nov 30, 1623)

I learned of this song in a course I took on Music History. When I listen to voices blending and dancing together like this, I have to believe in the goodness of what it means to be alive on Earth.

As Vesta was from Latmos hill descending
She spied a maiden Queen the same ascending,
Attended on by all the shepherds’ swain;
To whom Diana’s darlings came running down amain
First two by two, then three by three together
Leaving their Goddess all alone, hasted thither;
And mingling with the shepherds of her train,
With mirthful tunes her presence did entertain.
Then sang the shepherds and nymphs of Diana:
Long live fair Oriana!

Source: Kerman, Joseph and Gary Tomlinson.  Listen.  Brief Fourth Edition.   Boston & New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000.   Pg. 75.  CD 1, track 13. Retrieved from: http://departments.ozarks.edu/hfa/slgorman/renaissance_madrigal_lyrics.htm

“It’s a long lonely walk from Hell to the burying ground…”

The truth of love an unsung song must tell.
The course of love must follow blind,
Without a look behind.

– Reuben and Cerise, Lyrics by Robert Hunter, Music by Jerry Garcia

I cry and I sing and I sway and I dance and I mourn and I rejoice and I love

and I love…

and I love…

and I love…

and I love…

and I love…

Eyes Across the World: 40-Year Anniversary of Eyes of the World

eyes acrossTonight at 11:30EST, there will be a happening. Tribute bands all around the world will play the Grateful Dead’s “Eyes of the World” to celebrate the 40th anniversary of when it was first played.

Join the movement at: Eyes Across the World on Facebook. See video and Annotated Lyrics by Robert Hunter below.

Right outside this lazy summer home
you don’t have time to call your soul a critic, no
Right outside the lazy gate of winter’s summer home
wondering where the nuthatch winters
Wings a mile long just carried the bird away

Wake up to find out
that you are the eyes of the World
but the heart has its beaches
its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you
are the song that the morning brings
but the heart has its seasons
its evenings and songs of its own

There comes a redeemer
and he slowly too fades away
There follows a wagon behind him
that’s loaded with clay
and the seeds that were silent
all burst into bloom and decay

The night comes so quiet
and it’s close on the heels of the day

Wake up to find out
that you are the eyes of the world
but the heart has its beaches
its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you
are the song that the morning brings
but the heart has its seasons
its evenings and songs of its own

Sometimes we live no
particular way but our own

Sometimes we visit your country
and live in your home

Sometimes we ride on your horses
Sometimes we walk alone
Sometimes the songs that we hear
are just songs of our own

Wake up to find out
that you are the eyes of the world
but the heart has its beaches
its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you
are the song that the morning brings
but the heart has its seasons
its evenings and songs of its own

Lisa Mackey of Dark Star Orchestra Needs Her Own Wikipedia Page

A fellow deadhead shared this bit of magic with me. Her voice will knock you off your feet!

Ok, so who is going to create Lisa’s Wikipedia page to be added along with Rob Eaton, Rob Barraco, and Jeff Matson? Do I have to do it? 🙂

Grateful Dead – Estimated Prophet (Live at Duke University in 1978)

We’re standing on the beach, the sea will part before me. (Fire wheel burning in the air.)- Lyrics by John Perry Barlow, Music by Bob Weir.

MVP Presents

I love these grainy, black and white videos of the Dead from the late 70s. Especially when someone takes the time to couple the grainy, black and white video with a decent audio mix. Like this video of “Estimated Prophet” from a show in 1978 (Duke University on April 12, 1978)

I read somewhere that the time signature for “Estimated Prophet” is 7/4. I’m no scientist, but that sounds like a made up time signature to me. Like me, though, Jerry loved “Estimated Prophet”. He said it was one of his favorite Bobby songs to play. The Dead played it 390 times.

Lyrically, it’s my favorite Weir song for sure. My favorite lines:

I’ll call down thunder and speak the same / My work fills the sky with flame / Might and glory gonna be my name / And men gonna light my way

They sound even better delivered than read…

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