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Friday, July 28

Confessions of a Deadhead who also loves Phish. Same as it ever was. An editorial by Kevin Long

 Confessions of a Deadhead who also loves Phish. Same as it ever was. An editorial by Kevin Long 

  We are approaching Jerry Garcia’s 75th Birthday and the beginning of The Days Between.I always use this time to reflect on the status of our community. We have a lot to be grateful for after 53 years. The Grateful Dead were just crowned the most popular band of all time. ( Through an online poll conducted by Billboard) Dead and Company are creating powerful music and selling out stadiums like it's 1995 without the riots. We were recently rewarded with a majestic Grateful Dead documentary that captured the essence of our obsession.It actually explained my devotion to the band in a way my republican sister understood.  Furthermore, a weekly television series about our band is in development. A whole new generation are discovering the magic of The Grateful Dead for the first time. We are clearly having a high time, living the good life. .I am 43 years old and discovered The Grateful Dead at a young age. A few years later my ride stopped in Vermont for a Phish show. It was like a musical shot of cocaine. I immediately had two musical soulmates. 
That's when I began to bounce between the two supernatural, albeit different bands.I continue this musical cocktail to this very day. To the best of my recollection,  I have seen over 250 Phish shows and at least 500 Grateful Dead and then Deadicated concerts.(The Other Ones,Phil and Friends, Ratdog,The Dead,etc) The best way to describe my love for the two bands is the following metaphor. Grateful Dead is my way of life, but Phish is my vacation home. I am not a subscriber to statistics when it comes to music. However, they do come in handy for fantasy baseball season. Some fans need them to certify themselves heady making other feel less welcome.I am aware that I am generalizing, many fans( mainly younger, computer savvy Phish fans) keep stats to further express their love and feed their obsession for a band. 

During the early nineties there was a rift between Phish fans and the majority of Deadheads. I always assumed it was a cultural rift, mainly because the young age of Phish fans. The strange fact of the matter is it not only continues today but it continues to grow. Grateful Dead fans seem to be the aggressor, which leaves me bemuzzed. Despite the fact the two bands are close and began to collaborate in 1999 with the historic Phil and Phriends run at the Warfield. This culminated at “Fare Thee Phil” when Trey was the only choice to join The Dead to celebrate 50 years of the long strange trip. Bobby joined Phish for an entire set last summer in Nashville, TN. They played a mix of Dead songs and Phish tunes. Trey joined Bobby this summer for a spontaneous acoustic segment during a solo Bobby show. Phish is arguably performing at the highest level of their storied career. They are currently in the midst of a 13 show run at Madison Square Garden that has grabbed a lot of positive mainstream media attention. Then former Grateful Dead manager and Rock icon Sam Cutler appears on Facebook bashing Phish. He was boasting how he had to leave after four songs. I have always admired him but I am not sure if I can trust a man who has never eaten a donut. How can we blame the young heads if older Deadheads can't look the other way. 
I am not here to try and convert anyone,we have plenty of folks on the bus. Let's all just live and let live, it baffles me with all the shit we used to get being Deadheads that other heads would cast judgement on a segment of people that our guilty of nothing more than loving a different band. I understand it's a small majority of loud, ignorant Deadheads who create most of the noise. I also know that a huge number of music lovers love both bands. But for the annoying, close minded, minority,  will you shut the fuck up until this career defining run is over? Let us Phish heads enjoy this magical run in peace. Let's go back to bashing White Bread Picnic.😜 As, Rodney King once said,” why can't we just all get along? Glaze On!