Image result for 2020





Uncle John

Ain´t no time to hate

Barely time to wait

Part 4
by Uncle John

North of midnight
Look at the moon like a kite
And the planets like taillights
As we go through the night of nights

Yeah it's really not the same
The only town and the only game
Full of heart and by name
Hidden like her mits firm as the flame

All the king's horses
Leading all the king's men
The wall of Jericho could not be raised

In the sky and in the breeze

Clouds over seas

Leaves rustlin´ trees

North of midnight
Fresh and clear view
Everything will be alright
Turn on the light
Hold the candle and watch the roses fall
Read the writing on the wall



Image result for grande amore

A story of love


by Jhon Ramirez

& Tania Carrasco


Thalia you are a muse
Of poetry and comedy daily you choose
You are the daughter of Zeus
Kept out of the news
You are the cure for the working blues
You have so many good things in your life to praise
Encouraging and grateful you are amazing
Waiting patiently
Suffering in kind
Feel the presence of the Lord rise
In your heart and in your mind

Take a break from work and play
Drink from the fountain of youth today
The source is Jesus, the words He phrased
There is a river of love and life flowing with grace
Where the children are raised

Their journey in life led them to your childhood
On familiar streets in a changing neighborhood
The love of the land and the people there
Remembering the feeling of the breeze, the smell in the air

The poetic memories of your trips
I studied the words on the tip of my tongue from your lips
You are bilingual
Not available and single
Hi how are you
A muse, you arrange my words to rhyme
Your inspiration creates songs that flourish over time
You are the gift of God that I treasure and declare this love of mine


I know you for your love
For children and family
The light I see the water I drink from this sink
From earth to heaven in the air we breathe

You know that you are in my soul to make us complete
Know your priorities and your independent role
You know that you are in my future and the present plan
this love for women and children is part of the relationship

"I can't touch you
I can not stand it
I can not hold you
I do not get it
Please understand
How much I love you"

I will raise my reserve strength and survive
I'm going to wake up everyday alive
False is the gospel that preaches prosperity
Instead of faith, hope and charity


All my life
I wanted to go wild
Like a flower and act like a child
Running on the beach
Listening to you teach

I know that she likes to preach
Extend your life and reach
With a book in hand and a candle
A new water tap handle

Run for the fountain of life
With the breath of fire
In the light of the lights
Knight of the nights

If he wants to marry you
You are better than the rest
Yeah I just really love this
It can be real and expressed
To your heart something new baby, what else can I tell you truly true?

I think of you and the children at home
I think about you every day
I think of old things to sell expensive
To support new ways

I dream of her at night
I dream of her all day
I dream of a better world
I dream we will find a better way

I believe in you every day we've been apart
I believe in you since you held my heart
I believe in your inspiration
I will give you my attention

Whatever you feel
Something to share
It may sound like something new
Tell the truth, I dare



from the play RAINDANCE

Vocals, Uncle John

Lyrics & Music by Robert Hunter & Phil Lesh

Song rehearsal August 1



Song is also being recorded in Spanish


Musical Play

Playwright: Uncle John


Art: Michael Waters

The Raindance family tell their story in tales, through poetry, songs, art, and dance.


Music by

Uncle John & Tobey Stein

Grateful Dead

& Bob Dylan

 Spanish translation by Tania Carrasco & Jhon Ramirez





Lady Liberty

The Joker

The Purple Sage

The Hermit

Daniel Rafael


Pretty Peggy

Ida Red

Billy Dee


Freya Chanteur

Harry Jardiniere

Johnnie Walker

Maria Bonita

Bobby “Sugarfree” Sugaree


The Magician

The prequel


Once upon a time there was a true rainmaker. His name is Charles Mallory Hatfield. In southern California in the early 1900s, there was a great drought. Charles was a pioneering meteorologist and a man with strange inventions. One was a "humidity accelerator" that, according to him, could make it rain. In Oceanside, California, he went to the top of the tallest towers and mixed high-smelling fetid chemicals, and in five days it rained an inch of rain all over the city. Hatfield the Rainmaker's fame spread. In 1916, the San Diego city council, desperate for the rain, agreed to pay Hatfield $ 10,000, a huge sum of money later, if he could fill the local reservoir tanks. He mixed his chemicals on tall towers and soon it started to rain, and it rained, rained, and rained. The reservoirs overflowed and the rain flooded the streets, houses, businesses and the entire city. When it finally stopped raining, Hatfield stopped by the town hall offices to collect his "rain check." The council refused to pay. They said they hired Hatfield to fill the reservoirs only, not to flood the city.

The rain that we seek through the dance is the rain and the wind of the Spirit, which is followed by the rainbows that follow us.


Call the day of the rainbow
Flame in the rainbow morning
Call in the morning of the rainbow rain
Flame in the morning of the great rainbow

Greetings with grace
Looking for God´s face
It is within sight of the eye
That puts a bow in the cloud band of colors in the sky

I am a rambler for the trade that travels about
Wind in my back circling south
Buried some words deep in the sand
River runs flowing over the land

How many times should we go through this again?
Know that our love will heal us again
And make us brave,
bold and new
Singing, with mariachi dinner gentlemen

Sit with the sunset next to the moon
With your favorite color of a flower in bloom
Count all the hours listening to tunes
& Image paradise built on a dune

The treasure of sierra
It is not on earth
Not in the cloud
Not in the crowd
It is not made of wall
The voice of the trumpets call
To a river of life
A celestial current
Of conscious awareness
For all the redeemed
The signs follow the vision

On the blue mountain
The treasure they saw
It is not stuck in time to be found
Then for a quick moment it will pass
But the immortal river within us will last

Faith in the future that you can not deny
There is something more here than you can explain
Back to the serenade, yes, you'll get by
And call in the rainbow morning
Flame in the rainbow morning
Call in the morning of the rainbow rain
Flame in the morning of the great rainbow


I met Tobey Stein, musician extraordinaire, trading tapes of live concerts of the Grateful Dead. He's writing some of the music for the play "Raindance", and describes an experience he had with one of the songs.I wrote the words to this song in Guadalajara, Mexico and sent them to Tobey Stein,  who plays guitar and pedal steel, to put music to it for the play "RAINDANCE". I received this letter from him:

"Howdy John, I finally finished writing the music to "Rainbow". I've orchestrated it and am trying to get it performed. Things happen slowly you know. Enclosed is a version of it on acoustic guitar. People have been asking me about your words. I tell them they're part fantasy and part true religion. Someone called "Rainbow" a word-picture. The other day I hitchhiked out to the country in Wakulla county where there is a very hip bunch of musicians called the Wakulla band who play a lot of Grateful Dead songs as well as their own. It started raining so I ducked under the porch of a little store in a town called Crawfordville. I started picking a few songs and I got around to playing "Rainbow". As I was playing the end and screaming "Call me in the morning of the rainbow rain" with all the rednecks in the gas station across the street wondering what the hell I was doing. I looked up and there was the biggest most beautiful rainbow I ever saw in the sky. My heart just about jumped out of my chest and took off. Somebody must have been telling me something."

"The rainbow was real."

--Paul Hoffman, Lighting Director for the Grateful Dead

According to news reports that surfaced after this rainbow occurred in Santa Clara, California on June 27, 2015 during the Grateful Dead's show, it was unbelievable to some reporters who raised speculation it was a contrived event. There was a magnificent rainbow arching over the entire stadium, with perfect timing showing up during the final song of their first set on this first night of "Fare Thee Well", and morphing into a double rainbow. Billboard.com stated it was not Divine intervention or Mother Nature's unusual weather. One report claimed the Grateful Dead spent $50,000 to stage this rainbow. An ABC News report stated it was possible. "What a great way to create a buzz, for a run of shows that have been nothing if not buzz-worthy from their very first announcement." After all, the Merry Pranksters were there.  According to reports, the Grateful Dead orchestrated this rainbow by placing 600 special lights on a building two  miles away.  Of course they had to bring in the cloud cover, and a few raindrops fell on this crowd in a rainless drought-stricken time, and for the climax, a spectacular incredible sunset fills the sky. Billboard did a retraction by quoting a Deadhead, "This is the band that jams with God."


@ Caffè Lena, Saratoga Springs, New York

June 19, 2017

Experimental Theatre

for the play




excerpts from:

Shelter From The Storm >

(Bob Dylan)

Big Wind >

(Marleen Molle Albin, Kevin Morgenstern, Arranged by Robert Hunter & Comfort)

Duquesne Whistle >

(Robert Hunter, Bob Dylan )

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall >

(Bob Dylan)

Looks Like Rain

(John Barlow, Bob Weir)




@ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, New York

June 20, 2017

Rainbow during Dead & Company's performance of "Looks Like Rain"


The Same Sky


Lyrics & Music by Marcela Gándara


Uncle John @ Terrapin Crossroads Bar  with Terrapin Family Band

 All Along The Watchtower

Lyrics & Music by Bob Dylan


Canción de Grateful Dead
(Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia)
Translation: Tania Carrasco & Jhon Ramirez
Performed live in Spanish @
 Terrapin Crossroads 12/26/2018
Vocals, Uncle John
Guitars, Ross James & Alex Koford (Terrapin Family Band)
Keyboards, Jason Crosby (Terrapin Family Band)
Bass, Brian Hasrap (Casual Coalition)
Drums, Danny Luehring (Casual Coalition)


fRelated image


by Jhon Ramirez

& Tania Carrasco

You don't have to study to pass this test
Locked up inside a country
Under house arrest
Confusion at the border
Wherever you look
Closed or out of service
Stay home and read a book

The cost of living just went up
Discount on dying too
What is this strange invisible alien virus?
With no respect for any border
Does not respond to tweets or orders
We still have to be smarter than this
Our potential is established
We can overcome whatever it is

Chaos reigns on noisy days
The circus is in the city
It's halloween again
Strange and not so pretty
When can I go to work? you ask
When everyone wears a mask
When you pass the test
Ready to do your best
No exceptions or lines
Count on life
In these unknown times

Like a rolling wheel in a rocky range
In a world, suddenly strange
It's about climate change
Caretakers of the earth
What the hell are you doing?

To return to the masks
You can see everyone
Dancing with no one
I notice the beauty of the world now
In every soul
The mask highlights your eyes
See bluer skies in cleaner air
Life and death are not fair
No matter what you wear
Every day complete your task
Wherever you go
You must wear a mask
Masks that silence us and show our eyes
Not a distraction
Not a disguise
Better to breathe
Clean air and act wise
We are smarter than this
We just don't know
Not yet
Wear a mask without regret

Miss Liberty
Walk with me
Look at me and talk to me
I want to stay with you
I want to pray with you

Time begins and never ends
Under the midnight moon
In the reflection of God's eyes
This can all end soon
When we are worried everywhere
We will not be distressed
We can be puzzled
Without despair
Your strength comes when others
Enter your energy
When we read the truth that sets us free
When we see eternally
When age doesn't mean much
When you recognize God´s touch
You realize
Who started time
Eternity is developing

The desert and the sun are hot and old
Remember the girl with the gift of seeing gold
The night falls and brings the cold
It was to be predicted
Romance blooms spring again
Pubescent and ancient trees shape the shady lane
Will the world be freer
The day she lets him come see her?













22 Bob Dylan Quotes That Will Make You See Things In A Different ...

Bob Dylan´s new album release 6/ 19/ 20

Bob Dylan - False Prophet (Lyrics & Traducción, English - Español ...

FALSE PROPHET from Rough & Rowdy Ways

 (Lyrics & Traducción, English - Español)

Click Song Title or Picture


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Ain´t no time to hate

Barely time to wait





Uncle John meets





Image result for jerry garcia gibson sg

The first time I am backstage with the Jerry Garcia Band at the Keystone in Berkeley is Valentine's night and we are between sets. I'm sitting at a round table next to bassist John Kahn, who is sitting next to Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist of Grateful Dead. There are about three dozen people in the room and it seems that everyone is talking. I am watching Garcia, who is conducting six different conversations, with different people, one after the other, and is following each one and interacting with each one. Garcia is smart, cheerful, fun and everyone is having a good time. I notice two open bottles on the table. One is tequila that I had never tried. I drink beer and wine. I grab the bottle and pour it into my mouth. OMG! I had never experienced anything like that to take my breath away. I grab the other bottle without looking. It is whiskey. It burns.

Garcia knows who I am. He is looking at me and as soon as I get his attention, I ask him a question about science fiction.
"I will not answer any more questions until we find out who you are"
Jerry Garcia says out loud and instantly there is silence in the room. Everyone stops and I pause to listen to the quiet.
"Uncle John," I answer.
"That improves things considerably!" He says raising his eyebrows at me.
As soon as he said that, the room was again full of boisterous noises, laughing, and people talking.
John Kahn asks me a question and we talk about memories, dreams and reflections.

I don't know when I passed out, or who layed me down, but I remember dreaming of dying.
When I regained consciousness, I kept my eyes closed. I knew I wasn't home in bed and I could hear the sweetest sound I had ever heard, like a harp playing sweet songs of spiritual love, and it sounds like Jerry Garcia. I wonder if I am in heaven.
 I am listening to old sacred spiritual songs. I wanted to open my eyes, but I continued to enjoy the sweet success of his voice, with my eyes shut as I lay motionless, except for the smile on my face. These are not Grateful Dead songs. Where am I?


I am in a state of bliss, without hangover that night or the next day. When I open my eyes, I realize that I am lying on the floor and Jerry Garcia is sitting in a chair with his electric guitar that is not plugged in, and as soon as I open my eyes, he starts laughing, the loudest laugh that I ever heard. I think he's really happy to see me alive. The show is over and the room is empty, but in the far corner of the room our two girlfriends are waiting patiently.
Jerry throws me a bag. Purple Mushrooms!
"From South America," he says, smiling at me, and I thank him!



There is a rapport with Jerry Garcia that is a bridge to their audience , a density of thought, richness of feeling, drawing musical notes that play in the air, harmonizing the eloquence of Robert Hunter´s lyrics with the crispy sound of Jerry Garcia´s guitar the way it crackles snaps and pops, the way he paces the music with that little kick, his delicate fingertips touches our hearts, minds and ears, as we connect in an emotional scene and magical setting of aural excitement, musical prayer, positive tones and vibrations, rocking us with a feeling that is unifying, reuniting, family, friends, neighbors, slowly floating on songs, angels wings to the sounds of the bells that ring to hear his voice that sings to his teacher,  "When there was no ear to hear, you sang to me."



Remembering with grief and gratitude

Robert Hunter

by Uncle John


I have many fond memories of Robert Hunter and great gratitude for his treasure chest of lyrics. The Grateful Dead band member, I remember the poet, playful, trumpeter, vocalist, songwriter, musician, artist, father, lover, joker, scholar, hermit and invisible man.


Hearts Bubbling From Vase of Roses Animated Clipart


We are poets on the crossroads of life. We are both crossing Haight Street from opposite sides at the same time and there is no traffic in the road, and I have a rose and he stops to smell the rose and Robert Hunter calls me by name.

Hearts Bubbling From Vase of Roses Animated Clipart

The first time I meet Robert Hunter backstage, he puts out his hand and says to me,

¨Shake the hand

That shook the hand…¨


Hearts Bubbling From Vase of Roses Animated Clipart


Monday night, September 23, Robert Hunter´s spirit left his body on Earth. I am at the library that evening listening to Berkeley poet laureate Rafael Jesus Gonzalez talk about the sounds of poetry, that poems are meant for more than the pages they are written on. They belong in songs, or uttered, spoken, tasting the words, and sharing in a way we can all understand. He talks about taking an instrumental song and putting words to it, as Robert Hunter can.


I recall when Hunter stops me at the Shady Grove one night to share with me his flash about dying. ¨Phil Lesh´dad was dying and Phil brought me a tape of music. When I listened to that music the words fell from my mind to the page in one uninterrupted flow.¨ The song is ¨Box Of Rain¨, the last song the Grateful Dead played before Jerry Garcia past away.

Hearts Bubbling From Vase of Roses Animated Clipart

When I asked Robert Hunter what song he got feedback from the fans and he replied, ¨Jack Straw, we got more mail about that song than any other. Especially  the line, "We can share the women, we can share the wine".

Hearts Bubbling From Vase of Roses Animated Clipart

Robert Hunter and his band Comfort is the opening act for the Jerry Garcia Band at the Keystone in Palo Alto. After the Garcia Band set, about thirty people crowd into a small room backstage. Robert Hunter turns to Jerry Garcia and says, "Hey man, you sounded great tonight!" "You sounded really good yourself" Garcia says back at him. "Did you hear 'Roses'? and Robert Hunter breaks into the song before Jerry can answer. "....She had ribbons, ribbons, ribbons in her long brown hair..." He repeats his question to Garcia and continues the song a capella..."I don't know, maybe it was the roses, All I know is I could not leave her there....." Donna Jean sang this song on stage with Hunter and his band tonight, a very special moment, and Hunter's voice rings through the room with sweet clarity.

Hearts Bubbling From Vase of Roses Animated Clipart

One night I capture Hunter in a small hallway and I have an acoustic guitar in my hand and ask if I can play a song for him. He says yes, ¨if you whisper it in my ear¨

I lean up close to his ear and sing in a whispering voice a song I wrote:

¨Well I tried to catch your words that seem

To keep on talking to

The man willing to listen

Found the song was really you

I picked up the cards and came on down

To where the sources be

I saw your heart shining through their faces

And heard you mirroring me¨

 Hearts Bubbling From Vase of Roses Animated Clipart

It is the night the Grateful Dead song composers Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia play together for the first time. It is pouring rain in Berkeley. Robert Hunter surprises us with an old spiritual Christmas standard ¨It Came Upon A Midnight Clear¨.

Hours after this show, after midnight, the sky clears under a full moon. I am driving with my wife and Kim McCarthy down this narrow alley in Berkeley and we encounter a car with its hood up. I stop and get out, and the girl driving the car says she needs a jump start. ¨Sorry,¨ I say, ¨but I don´t have any cables¨. Suddenly, a man steps out of the shadows holding battery cables. It´s Robert Hunter! ¨Here, take a hit off of him,¨ he says to the girl as he hands her the cables.

He turns and asks me, ¨Got any booze?¨

Hearts Bubbling From Vase of Roses Animated Clipart


I had been following the Grateful Dead for about two years and moved to San Francisco to work as a high school poetry teacher. I knew an artist, K.C. Jones, who lived in the same building I did. Some of my students were taking art classes with him. I would hang out with K.C. while he painted and I would write poetry. I am having a conversation about the Grateful Dead with him one day, and in particular, Robert Hunter. I said to K.C. ¨You know, I don´t think Robert Hunter exists. He never shows up onstage or in photographs and I think he´s the Fig Newton of Jerry Garcia´s mind.¨ K.C. jumps up,  goes to his record box and pulls out Workingman´s Dead, points to the last man in line next to Garcia on the cover. ¨That´s Robert Hunter!¨ he says. He puts the record on the turntable.  ¨Uncle John´s Band¨ comes on.







Summer Tour 2020





Image result for Franklin's tower images


Playin' In The Band Live Karaoke with Phil Lesh & the Terrapin Family Band

Ross James, Phil Lesh & Brian



Escrito por Jhon Ramirez

©2019 Animation Factory. used with Permission

Editora: Tania Carrasco


Stories for adults only #15


Reynaldo had his guitar out.

 He was singing his poems, he didn't really play songs, he just strummed.

"Oh mom, I love you opening your wings
And hear you sing
And come alive
Like a child inside you and me
She's like the wind that dries my eyes
When I need help not to cry
She is the wild feeling in my roots
Soul to soul
Eye to eye
Our world is a language
Children being children playing
While we are working
Cooking and cleaning
Write and dream
Children's songs that we are singing
In her castle playing
She lights the way
To overcome the darkness every day."

"Let's not forget our work," says Daria
"We need to understand these lessons from American history
in your native language "
Reynaldo lowers his guitar and reads his history lesson plan.

"Do you know a tribe of Native American Indians"?
Daria responds:
"Cherokee, Hopi."
Reynaldo reads. "The Federalist Documents supported the approval of the United States Constitution. Who wrote the federalist documents?"
Daria responds quickly
"James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay."
"And Publio," Reynaldo adds, then asks:
"Name one of the two longest rivers in the country."
Daria replies: "Mississippi River and Missouri River".
"Right again," says Reynaldo.

Reynaldo jumps, looks at Daria and speaks softly.

"There is a kinder way of saying things
In words and texts and verbs and calls
Sometimes we need to be quiet
Before talking
And also think about what the other person feels
And not react
Be exact
Correct tone
Kind acts
Kindness works
Rejoice at last."

Daria sings like a bird in a chapel, "And God called the day of light
And the darkness called the night
And the earth brought grass that produced seed according to its species, and the tree that produced fruit whose seed was itself according to its species. And God saw that it was good."

Reynaldo takes his guitar and tries to catch her words.
"Can I tell you how grateful I am to be able to dance all night,
To sit with you in the dim kitchen light,
as a model learning to be
better and bright "

 Poetry by Jhon Ramirez

Editor: Tania Carrasco

Morning Star

I am a man in pants in spiritual trance
I'm here for the story while I listen and dance
While channeling your thoughts under the sun
Overlooking the banks of the river of fun

Love burns in the hearts of youth
Learning as they grow up
To the rhythm of the river flow
Keeping the sun shining
Walking in the truth
With every new moment you live and live
You are forgiving and share your time
Trees grow to become the pages of your life

The key to the future is just ahead
The boy holds the world in the kingdom of his hand
It opens to a heart with wings
In a river of riddles
Draw a drawing of the return of spring
It makes me dance and she sings
Everyday the sun comes out
It's never too late
New as a song

Morning Star

When it's almost morning and bedtime
Get up, go to working class for another week
Can I really give it all to you?
I wish you the best of luck and make everything come true
A dream garden in a world of flowers
I will not waste any time
To share the truth
What is the source of your eternal youth?
These are all the thoughts that go through my mind as I walk
While you two follow me and talk
It makes me smile and rhyme
When the heart moves to the rhythm of the mind
Love becomes a river of time



Sunrise Over Hills Animated Clipart

A new dawn begins We can't stay the same
Time to wake up and understand
And understand
The changes show
Yes, it's hard, I can't stand it
Until you realize you'll be a better man

He knows you by the Spirit
He looks inside your soul
And knows how you are
And what do you like
With your eyes on a goal

You know I can't stand it
When I don't understand what she says
You know I can't stand it
When I don't know how to say it
I do not understand

When they give you power and choice
And we can't distinguish our flesh
I don't have to touch her to heal her with my voice
The heart is not damaged
Who cares about your happiness
The heart is not damaged
My Lord protects you
Of any harmful effect

A new dawn begins
We can't stay the same
It's time to meet and make it stand
The changes in the coming weather
Show that the harvest is at hand

When you fulfill your purpose
Who calls you by name
And it gives you vision
From everywhere and above
To raise you in love

New dawn begins cannot remain the same
It's time to help your family clan
The changes in the coming weather
Show that the harvest is at hand

There are no musical chairs
Watching you dance in the air
Only your eyes can follow the time
Look at the muse make it rhyme

A new dawn begins We can't stay the same
Time to harvest and understand
And understand
The changes show
Yes it's hard to take it
Until you realize you're a better man





All Along The Watchtower






Tribute to the sun and the sea
Tribute to the sand and the wind
Talking about you and me
Getting back together again
And again and again

Ten years to make them sailors
Twenty to bring them home
And all the time in between
Where they belong

Burning a trail to your door
You don't have ever have to worry no more no more no more enough no more
Let all your burdens fly on by
And come with me up on high
Like a star shining bright
In the night
With the light

Hoist a flag boy atop your ship
We'll take a trip beyond the Mississipp
With all that time
Invested in you
Like a dream coming through
Coming true
Awakening you
Arousing you
Awakening you

Tribute to the sun and the sea
Tribute to the sand and the wind
Talking about you and me
Getting back together again
And again and again


"they Love Each Other
Lord, You can see it's true"



Poetry for KIDS in English & Spanish

Poems by Jhon Ramirez

Editor: Tania Carrasco








@Terrapin Crossroads, 4/7/2018

Image result for trumpets of the ocean


Lyrics by Robert Hunter


The day the constitution became a metaphor
I was laying tile on my lady's kitchen floor
A lot of troubled thoughts ran through my mind
But I kept laying tile in the same straight line

Where were you the eleventh of November?
I was in the bathtub sleeping off a bender
A double shot of hell and freedom in a blender
How can I forget what I really can't remember?

The trumpets of the ocean howl, let them roar
Let them wail, let them soar
Thunder in the belly of the whale never more

The day that Elvis died I was driving in my ride
A friend in a Ford waved me over to the side
Said "I just heard the news on the radio"
I said "are you sure?" she said "I don't know"

Walk a crooked mile, hell, you might as well walk ten
Meet your old self coming round the corner of a bend
Nothing new here, why should we pretend?
The trumpets of the ocean in a broken-hearted blend

The trumpets in the midnight, trumpets in the dawn
Trumpets of the queen's rook, trumpets of the pawn
Trumpets in the stratosphere, trumpets of the rock
The trumpets of the sky boat, sailing into dock

Trumpets of the backbone, trumpets in the air
Trumpets of the black lace ribbon in your hair
The trumpets in the undertow rock you off to sleep
We'll fall in love tomorrow, Juanita, don't you weep

The trumpets of the ocean howl, let them roar
Let them wail, let them soar
Thunder in the belly of the whale never more

All Rights Reserved



To be concluded

Watchin' the river flow

 lookin' to see

 painting a picture

 still as can be




Playin' In The Band


Ain't no time to hate, barely time to wait...

Watching The River Flow

Phil Lesh & Terrapin Family Band

"Playin' In The Band"


From the beginning,

This time








Launching in four years


1stcar in space:





UNCLE JOHN'S BLOG  @ http://www.air.bz


"Take Me Out To The Ballpark"

 Photo: Joe Alper

Bob Dylan, Suze Rotolo & Lena Spencer January 1962

One of Bob's earliest musical performances is at the Caffè Lena, Saratoga Springs, New York

 January 1962










The Play






by Uncle John

"What I want to know

 Where does the time go?"

(Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia)

"Lord, the band kept us so busy, we forgot about the time."

(John Perry Barlow/ Bob Weir)

This work is a contemporary narrative with a musical motif, narrated by the author with personal testimony, and dialogue with  artists, authors, musicians, dancers, singers, poets, songwriters, and stars. This journalistic  odyssey observes the world's most interesting band, whose brilliant creative performances, and individual intellectual insight, provide us with this ostentatious modern day literary account. On the road & at home with the Grateful Dead and their family of bands and musical company, this book records a distinctive recital of spiritual events, revealing a new orchestrated portrait, a sculptured arrangement of golden memories. There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert! It is a unique and unconventional experience.



Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead

Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California

1st day June 27, 2015

It is early evening in Santa Clara, California, 2015, the first day of the Fare Thee Well shows, and the Grateful Dead take the stage in the twenty-first century for the first time. There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert! It’s a special, timeless feeling, intuitive moment, unity of spirit, gathering of the souls, grounded in vibration,  with light and sounds to stimulate our senses, balance our emotions, displace our worries and fears, opening the well of inner kindness, smiling in the peace of our moments shared. The band jams into “Truckin” singing five of the hundred verses Robert Hunter wrote with the band on the road.  “Sometimes the light’s all shining on me. Other times I can barely see. Lately, it occurs to me, what a long, strange trip it’s been.”


The last days of the Grateful Dead are full of the first. Their sound is distinct, loud and unique. They're not just another rock ‘n roll band playing, but a musical collaraboration of intuitive consciousness, telepathic notes, energetic stimulation, stability,  and balance we interpret in dance and spirit. We all recognize the Grateful Dead and their unique ability to be harmonious, focused, intense, with empathetic  talent in collusion and cooperation, in a maze of transformation that speaks individually and collectively to each member of the audience. 

The first time I hear

"Uncle John's Band" is the first Grateful Dead song I listen to  and I’m instantly and forever changed. This music is mellow, articulate, speaking to all aspects of our lives, and truly making us feel good about ourselves. “Uncle John’s Band” is the first song I hear at the first Grateful Dead show I go to, at the Fillmore East in NYC.

 "Truckin'" is the first Grateful Dead song to climb the song charts. “Uncle John’s Band” follows “Truckin’” here tonight. Then they play Robert Hunter’s first song he wrote for the Grateful Dead, “Alligator” > “Cumberland Blues”, Phil Lesh’s first Grateful Dead song he wrote with Jerry Garcia, and Robert Hunter; Bob Weir first penned “Born Cross-Eyed” > “Cream Puff War”, Jerry Garcia’s first lyric and music song, then one of their first covers,  Noah Lewis' song “Viola Lee Blues”. The band is playing its unique style of the song. Listening to the sweet spirits present I hear Noah playing his harp in the background and Jerry Garcia jamming with the Jubilee band, when suddenly a giant esthetic rainbow appears in the sky, and the crowd is amazed. There’s cloud cover in this time of drought, and a double rainbow appears while the band is still playing the end of its first set. To me this delightful moment is déjà vu. I recall a dream I had that was so real, almost heaven-like, of the Grateful Dead with rainbows and rings and spheres, but disturbing because Jerry was missing from the dream. I realize now the dream was a foreshadowing of this moment. As soon as the set ends, a few drops of rain fall on the crowd. A spectacular sunset follows.  Promoter Bill Graham famously said of the Grateful Dead "They're not the best at what they do, they're the only ones that do what they do."

Bill Graham was the premier impresario and grand marshal of the rock 'n roll industry he helped to define. He produced the best in the profession and his shows were often described as fun. He had a tremendous care for the concerns of his audience and made his venues a comfortable environment  so people could have a good time.  At his shows, we dance among a large crowd in an open auditorium, where the propriety of the people provides the decorum for the show. The ushers here don't intrude on our space or confine folks to their seats. Each show is special. Bill Graham Presents......his favorite band he produces most often is the Grateful Dead. “Good things come to those who wait.”, Bill once said.

The Grateful Dead are the most prolific musicians in history. They have played together performing more songs for more people than any other music combo.

The songs of the Beatles in the sixties liberated us, and the words and music of Bob Dylan understood us and brought revelation, but the sounds of the Grateful Dead, that country folk rock jazzy blues jam beat feel good sound, transforms us.

The crowd here tonight seems to be mostly people who are seeing the Grateful Dead for the first time. Yet they seem to know the band intimately. They know the words to many of the songs. Deadheads across generations!


July 4, 2015 Fare Thee Well tour, Chicago

I'm staying in a hotel in South Chicago next door to Pearl's Place, the restaurant once renowned as the premier jazz & blues  club. Pictures of musical legends Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Etta James, The Drifters, and others adorn the walls of great past shows here in the Blues Capital of America. I'm in Bronzeville, home of Gwendolyn Brooks, who was Illinois' poet laureate, whom I corresponded with when I was in college. I am riding the elevated train in Chicago on the first night of the Grateful Dead's "Fare Thee Well" here. There's a group of black people surrounding this one older man who's at the center of their group. One of them asks, "What's going on?" and another echoes, "What's happening here?" and the older gentleman responds, "Don't you know the Grateful Dead are in town, and that they're different from every other band that comes here? There's two reasons, one, the following they have, and two, the vibe. Even the big names like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones don't have this kind of following, and they don't have that vibe", he says with emphasis, and smiling.

It’s Saturday, a hot, beautiful, sunny day. The crowd is packed like a parade coming into Soldier Field for tonight’s Grateful Dead show.  The person in front of me turns around and asks me, “What song are they going to do tonight?” I put out my hand and say, “Shake the hand that shook the hand is what Robert Hunter said to me the first time we met backstage.” “U.S. Blues! Thank you!”



by Uncle John



"Where do I stand spiritually?

Oh God!!! (with laughter)

Somewhere between Jesus and the devil."



UNCLE JOHN reads poetry

Epilogue: ¨THE JOURNEY¨

@ Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley, California, October 21, 2019

Live videorecording

When your past becomes your path

& you come to answer what you ask

& the angels take you down to your grave

I´m not here to follow the parade


You begin to understand

That you were just a man

But to be a man is to stand in your doorway

I´m not here to judge

 in a world among friends

You know the beginning from where the song ends


Your journey leads us to wake

Up in the eyes of the world

You been working here so long

To fill our hearts with song

Help us to understand our rights

From what´s wrong


I look around for you

In all the places we have been

On a mysterious winding path

The gold of sunshine shining through

Seven golden rings

With seven golden powers

That makes good men immortal

Same revelation and secret

Surrounding all of you

Child of magic

With words of wonder

You stopped the world

So the blind man can see

Grateful you shall always be


We are lifted up by the spirit

To soar like an eagle high above

On the wings of the power of love

¨Sometimes the light is all shining on me

Other times I can barely see

Lately it occurs to me

What a long strange journey it´s been¨



Grateful Dead lyricists