LAST FLASH OF THE
want to know
does the time go?"
(Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia)
band kept us so busy, we forgot about the time."
(John Perry Barlow/ Bob Weir)
Time is the
space between two eternities. Now, when and then, as long as, continually,
momentous, indefinite, seasons, rhythmic signature are all elements of time. At
this set time, from here now and on, according to the time of life, in the same
time, of daily chronicles, moving forward, measured in breath, in the year of
our Lord, the yardstick of modern time, passing time, long lasting time, space
and time, plant and harvest time, a time to every purpose and a special time we
know not of. These are times of destiny, measured and arranged and weighed in
the balance, to be in time and beyond it. To be timely, just at the right time,
all in good time, now on time. Moving with time, as beats in a bar, to be in the
moment to moment, to be here now.
We live in
the green zone, red times and blue time, black and white a colorful time, with a
touch of grey tempo. The fruit of our labor is a gift. When we look in that
perspective, glance onward and upward, we see the harvest unfolding within time.
different minds observe and consider the same facts with different perceptions
and disposition and tone, and as we reflect on the patterns of diversity that
compose the web of life, we treasure that our faculties are many, our
experiences are varied. As we look at the mystery and meaning of life, we find
purpose, beauty to admire, work to do, good times to participate in.
years from now the earth will be here and they'll be listening to the eternal
Out of the
ashes of the time of the Grateful Dead is their legacy of music that are like
old grapes come further so we can taste the best wine. Decades become centuries
and turn into the millennium, but here and now we gather to enjoy this further
transition, a space between eternity and a timeless place.
Trey Anastasio is at his first A.A. meeting in upstate New York and sits
down next to Jason who is wearing a Phil & Friends T-shirt. "Cool shirt,
man," Trey says to him. "I hate Phish", Jason answers and Trey laughs. "No,
man I really like your music. I just don't care for Phish,"Jason adds. Trey
has a positive impact on Jason and many of the recovering addicts he’s in
rehabilitation with. "He's sober", Jason says. "He's kind and generous
towards all of us overcoming drug addictions, and anytime there's a concert
in Albany or Saratoga Trey gives out free tickets to so many of us, the good
seats too. Trey represents the transformation of the Grateful Dead. He is
where he is because of his talent, his extraordinary ability to jam and
learn, and adds to the intuitive connection with the band members on stage.
He’s not a “Jerry Clone” but he’s truly part of the heart of the Grateful
Dead in the here and now. He belongs to the non-profit National Association
of Drug Court Professionals who work within the system to “empower
drug-using people to change their lives".
“Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad” Trey jams and sings onstage with Phil Lesh at
Terrapin Crossroads. I watch Trey learning from Grahame Lesh and inventing his
own orchestral arrangement in the process and segueing into an instrumental “And
We Bid You Goodnight” that totally fits.
Guthrie wrote about this song in his book “Seeds Of Man”: From a “windy road I
could hear Papa and Eddie back in their tent house laughing and singing some
fast-made words to one of the oldest of songs, one that Jeff made his fiddle
ring to ten thousand times over and over:
I’m a-goin’ down this road a-feelin bad,
I’m a goin’ down this road a-feelin’ bad,
I’m a-goin’ down this road a-feelin bad, bad, bad,
ain’t a gonna be treated thissa way.”
It reminds me of a vision I had of Jerry Garcia at a Furthur concert. It wasn’t
drug-induced, wasn’t a ghost, but clearly his spirit speaking and telling me I
am in his dream, while the band is playin’ “Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad”.
to be continued
sANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA, jUNE 27-28
one more saturday
Blue Moon Month,
Independence weekend, Chicago
"Where do I stand spiritually?
Oh God!!! (with
Somewhere between Jesus and the Devil."
knockin' on heaven's door and God will lift you up." --Bob Dylan
Summer Southern Europe City Song Tour
Play at the beginning of each leg of Bob Dylan's
NeverEnding Tour &
choose songs Bob will play in his set list at each show on
SPIRIT OF GARCIA
There is a rapport between Jerry Garcia, and the musicians playing with
him, and with their audience, that few other musicians share. A density of
thought, richness of feeling, the eloquence of Robert Hunter’s lyrics and
the power in the air created by the crispy sound of Garcia’s guitar – it
literally crackles, snaps and pops at times. The way he paces the music &
kicks! His delicate fingertips touches our hearts, minds and ears. Sometimes
the pace is slow, other times the sound seems to float, luxuriously bathing
us in ecstasy and excitement, transforming our consciousness like a pebble
rolling down a hill, or bells ringing with the choir singing, and he smiles
at us while playing his soft musical prayer, and rocks us with vibrations
giving us a warm and unifying feeling. There’s magic there and we’re full of
energy and all ears. We reach for the sky top as he mimics life, visualizing
flourishing patterns, as his fingers fret like a skateboard up and down the
guitar, bringing a harvest of music, like an artist taking abstract concepts
to fill a canvas and create a picture. The crowd is always eager for new
visions of ancient ideas & homespun wisdom, miniscule notes and giant sounds
cresting and ebbing like the tides. Spontaneous motion fills the once cold
barren space with warmth and direction. The band massages our senses and
stimulates our imagination. The sea of faces listen in telepathic rapport
and move in synchronicity. Distinguished and dignified, there is a blend and
common bond of the simple & grand listening to the music of Jerry Garcia
playin’ in the band.
Guitar sound blowing in the wind
falls when the spark of day begins
Rise to where you can shine like a moment
How do you know what is heaven sent
Spirit of a bird flying free in the sky
Rainbow colors paint the storm mind’s eye
When healing comes sudden and quick
God’s hand’s on the weather dirt straw and brick
A cupful of rain brings better days round the bend
Gonna start anew when we reach for the end
End of the Night
Grahame Lesh & Friends NOW available
This band provides a breath of fresh country air in the starlit sky. i've
heard grahame lesh perform "san Francisco Rain" before at terrapin
crossroads and it has an instant hit feel to it. what is so rerfreshing
about this band are the vocals of elliott peck. she has a dynamic voice
giving the band a genuine countrified sound. she plays guitar, keyboards
and has deep musical pipes, one of the best vocalists in a pool of great
ones. check out this band midnight north with talented musicians Grahame
Lesh, Elliott Peck, Connor Jon o'sullivan and eric saar.
GIVE THEM A LISTEN!
SINGING IN THE BAND
At the live music karaoke with Phil Lesh,
Grahame Lesh, Ross James, Scott Padden & Alex Koford playin’ in the band
a new stage in the Terrapin Crossroads bar. I open the show with “When I
Paint My Masterpiece”, inspired to do The Band’s version by the recent show
in the Grate Room with Amy Helm, and add in the Grateful Dead echo at the
end. All day I practice going on a date “with a girl from Greece” but it
comes out “Boticelli’s niece”. Boticelli is an artist whose work I recently
been studying. I also notice some of the better art work that I’ve seen is
by musicians who play multiple instruments with excellent dexterity, and
include Jason Crosby and Jackie Greene. Bob Dylan has become a prolific
artist with great talent. Phil Lesh sets me at ease on stage. His presence
is so natural to the setting, and his sound is what we been seeking to hear,
and Phil makes us feel like we're in his living room.
At the Terrapin Crossroads, Rick follows with “Ramblin’ Man”. He is an
excellent singer. He sang here many decades ago, before The Seafood Peddler,
when the place was “Dominic’s”. The band played Nat King Cole, Frank
Sinatra, and jazz songs in the back corner of the room where the end of the
bar is. Dominic Murphy first set anchor here in this canal in San Rafael in
1864. I don't know the history but it's always been a watering hole here for
locals and travelers, known for its fine dining and musical atmosphere.
Tonight’s “Fire On The Mountain” fits in here perfectly. Danny knows these
songs and I watch the smile on Phil Lesh as he plays “Box Of Rain” while
As the tide rises the music reckons the ship’s
direction and the wind carries the sound with picture thoughts and
inspiration. The music tonight is lively rock ‘n roll with covers by the
Rolling Stones, an excellent rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Big River”, and a
dark, traditional, well done version of the southern “Deep Elem Blues”,
first covered by Jerry Garcia and David Nelson at the College of San Mateo
in 1962. Jerry says it is a song about Deep Elem Street, where you go if you
want cocaine. The closing song “All Around This World” reckons it’s been a
long and fun night.
of the Karaoke Night regulars are here and their act improves with each
performance. Brian P. does a credible Van Morrison with “Brown Eyed Girl”,
and pictures him too with his hat and mike in hand. My favorite are the
Grateful Dead cover songs. The music is genuine. When I listen to the poetry
of Robert Hunter, I hear the music of Jerry Garcia, like looking at a
painting inspiring the creative. Several musicians are watching the show
here tonight including Jason Crosby, Pete Lavezzoli, and vocalist Emily
Sunderland. Ted performs the Grateful Dead’s Señor with lyrical precision.
Around the corner from this place is Front Street where the Grateful Dead
recorded and rehearsed with Bob Dylan, and Dylan, who wrote the song Señor,
sang his version and then Jerry Garcia sang his version too. When Phil was
reminiscing through the old Front Street neighborhood with his wife Jill,
they found this place, bought it and created Terrapin Crossroads.
What truly inspires me to do “When I Paint My Masterpiece” is
Jerry Garcia, who is who he is because of his rare talents an an artist and
musician. His old drawings, and later, paintings, inspire me just as his
songs move us brightly, giving us hope and motivation. The
Band's version of this song has me reminiscing through children’s art work, nieces with art talent, a
museum visit this spring to see Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings, and the
occasional doodles I find in a notebook, and the connection between art and
music; and specifically the presentation a fortnight before of Amy Helm
joining Phil Lesh, Grahame Lesh, Alex Koford to sing in unison, with perfect
harmony vocals, to the Grateful Dead’s sweet song “Attics Of My Life” that
closes the show that night. What is truly amazing is that all the cell
phones are shut off in the entire place. Maybe it’s a magnetic storm or the
audience is truly as captivated as they seem. No sounds of thumbs texting.
Not a voice talking any words, or making any moving sounds throughout the
Grate Room! All that can be heard are these four voices and the guitar of
Ross James. I truly appreciate the depth of Ross’ musical accomplishment,
playing solo perfectly, every note in harmony, every chord and vocal in
unity, it is truly a unique moment in our generation. At the onset of a
sound, the shhh is so low one could barely make out the whisper. No one
breaks the quiet in this audience, these moments of peace, reckon’ it’s as
good as it gets, pictures a musical masterpiece, inspiring me to sing this
song with this band.
@ Terrapin Crossroads with Terrapin Family Band
video recordings -
Music Videos Channel
Restaurant & Music Calendar &
Phil Lesh's Terrapin Crossroads
Counting Stars By Candlelight
The darkness of the hour brings us to the moment of the dawn of Terrapin. On
Sunday there is a "ring of fire", a solar eclipse of a new moon blocking the
sun. Phil Lesh & friends gather together at Terrapin Crossroads for a night
of free music. On Tuesday, there is a rare blackout in northern San Rafael,
that is a Godsend to me and others to attend this night of free music.
Patrons listen, artists draw, and workers are in sync, while the musicians,
Phil Lesh, John Kadlecik and Jon Graboff are lifting the spirit of everyone
in this great atmosphere. The night begins with a wine tasting. Around 9pm
Phil & Company are playing in the bar and singing together on tunes we all
find familiar. How sweet it is!
decide to play another night for free. I am driving through San Rafael
listening to "Dark Star" and as soon as I reach the parking lot all the
lights go out. It is an area-wide power blackout. I go inside as more
candles are being lit. People wait patiently, and the crowd, as usual, is
talkative. Someone mentions the crescent moon and bright star and I head out
back to see. It's a brilliant sky and there is a crescent moon in the
northwest and a bright planet surrounded by the dim stars of dusk. To my
left are glass windows looking into the Terrapin Crossroads dining room
where there is a grand assortment of candlelit lights and to my right is the
canal below the Yacht Club where the water is rippling. There is the din of
the crowd inside but Terrapin Station the song comes to mind and I sing here
"Inspiration move me brightly
Light the song with sense and color
Hold away despair
More than this I will not ask
Faced with mysteries dark and vast
Statements just seem vain at last
Some rise some fall some climb to get to Terrapin
Counting stars by candlelight
All are dim but one is bright
The spiral light of Venus
Rising first and shining best
From the northwest corner
Of a brand new crescent moon
Crickets and cicadas sing
A rare and differ'nt tune
In the shadow of the moon
And I know we'll be there soon
Terrapin - I can't figure out
Terrapin - if it's an end or the beginning
Terrapin - but the train's got its brakes on
and the whistle is screaming - Terrapin"
Standing in the reflection of the candlelight's glow, Jill
Lesh passes by me outdoors while I'm still eyeing the moon and listening to
the ripple in the water. What a place this is!
The power outage continues and the electric instruments and
microphones are replaced with stools and acoustic guitars and a whole lot of
big candles. As Venus sets in the sky the musicians take the stage. They are
facing the unique challenge of singing in a garrulous crowd with the hope to
be heard. People respond from their hearts and someone exclaims "Just when
we thought it couldn't get better, we get a candlelit acoustic performance."
How blessed we are. As Phil tunes up, the crowd quiets down and he
encourages them to keep up their banter. "I haven't started yet" he shouts.
When they do begin there's clarity in the darkness.
Picking their acoustic guitars and using their voices as instruments
they give us a very special night. It is a quiet audience loving every
minute here, and often joining in the chorus sing-along. The culmination of
this seventy minute set is an incredible acoustic version of Bob Dylan's
"Visions of Johanna" a song he wrote the night of the great Northeastern
blackout in November of 1965, that I remember. Dylan, at the Chelsea Hotel
with his pregnant wife, describes the events of that night he calls "the
great freeze-out" in his gifted poetic way. Jill sits on the stairway
listening to Phil play, Jon hum and John sing "Visions of Johanna" with
conviction in the passion of what's happening now.
"Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're
tryin' to be so quiet?
We sit here stranded, though we're all doin' our best to
The crowd reacts when he sings:
"The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place."
K. is like a genius who sparks, the way he plays his guitar mirroring the
candlelight's reflections, his angelic voice and sure-fire sound. JG plays
great Johnny Cash and I love that we love the same songs. Phil is healthy,
intuitive, full of the unexpected, without anticipation, filling the
void of spaces and empty nests with a timely prepared spontaneous tune
lighting our hearts in the darkness with the sunshine of his love.