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tOO - through the eye of Robert Hunter


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Tour draws nigh. Wondering what might be the most challenging approach to my short series of sets between. . . list it or wing it? Bit of both I expect, while avoiding covering something the band just played or intends to do later that night Otherwise, I've found that trying to please all pleases few so I might as well suit myself and sing what feels right for the moment, varying my sets over the tour within the bounds of my repertoire. Just grateful to be included in these exploratory and pace setting series of shows. Alpine was a gift from above; time to get to work and see where we stand. Correction: create where we stand. Today the immensity of the undertaking strikes me, viscerally, for the first time. About time.

Gusting winds just slammed all the doors in the house. First rain in this area since early Spring.

Went to watch the "Other Ones" final rehearsal last night. A fine sense of camaraderie re-emerges. For me, the old familiar feeling of being lyricist in residence sitting cross legged on a table watching the nuts and bolts being assembled before a tour - my job done, theirs just beginning. No plans to sit in. They got their versions, I got mine. Hope some of the brand new material gets worked up in daily sound checks as the tour progresses. They've been working like dogs since 10/23 and have a hundred songs in playable shape. The chassis is somewhat weather worn but the engine idles smoothly, the rubber is sound and the transmission well lubed. Nearly time to rev it up and hit the road with high hopes, heads and hearts.

There is, of course, a counter-insurgency of ex fans who swear all the real magic of the Dead was invested in Jerry, will not be attending, and that's that. Well, G'bye to them & sweet dreams of bright yesterdays. They'll be missed (insofar as there is much time left, in the approaching critical mass of this cynical world, to sit around missing anybody); maybe they'll check in to re-assess down the pike somewhere. A whale of a lot of magic lived in Jerry all right, no denying. A clear channel. Though he's not duplicable, his melodies remain, part and parcel of what he gave that continues to give and define the band. Fortunately, there's an enduring sufficiency of magic in the Grateful Dead audience to pull us through: those whose enthusiasm enabled the myth to manifest in the first place and who, with their continuing power of assent, remain determined to join in repairing the rent in the veil where the familiar light bleeds into unforgiving darkness. The band is just a vessel for your love. Withdraw it, we wither, simple as that. We're here if you allow it. By your leave.

I know there are folks who read, excerpt, and comment on my journal and get suspicious when I talk like this, whether in lyric or prose. But consider not only what it costs to suspend final judgment long enough to believe us into being, to participate in the birth pangs of this new configuration, over and against the alternative: the death of our peculiar subculture in apathy.

from the Further tour chatline:

the band, the fans, the lot, the vendors, the rats, the cops, the moms, the spirit, the balloons, the fireworks, the drugs, the muSic, the roads, the friends, the freaks, the wanderers, the cities, the YEARS, the TEARS, and the way we all learned and loved and GREW...together, in one grand experiment of life that begot an answer that is ever-changing and lucid, which still to this very day, holds us ALL!

Hunter Journal

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. Just grateful to be included in these exploratory and
pace setting
series of shows.

This continues makes me think, which i had been thinking all along, that tOO's are not going to be done anytime soon.

MK (ratdog's guitarist) has booked a tour going into later summer.

PLus, the kid wonder, the sax for ratdog, has enrolled in a year long sax improv. school.

Looks like tOO's will have a spring/summer and possibly next fall tour.

Good Shtuff

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