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Hunter Journals re: Alpine.


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8.4 Alpine Valley WI

Early morning, sitting by the side of a lake. Ducks, a

dozen seagulls perched on the post of a pier. Milky

sky. A water skier roars past going "eeyow!" So, what

happened yesterday? Lots of press at the show so you

perhaps know already that order and courtesy

prevailed, security was cool, there were no riots, no

deadhead freaks pissing or passing out on anyone's

lawn. It was a musical afternoon and evening which

pleasured everyone, it would seem, and provoked none.

Best light show I've ever seen. Everyone backstage

walking on air. So far, so good. It's cool. We can do

this again. The general consensus, voiced over and

over, was that the hope of the world lies in music

-whoops! Down goes the water skier! - that something

more than entertainment was happening - a coming

together and mutual recognition of who we were, who we

are and who, God willing, we shall continue to be. And

we knew, know, that the world was watching, half

hoping the good hope, half waiting for any excuse to

write this non-aligned force we represent off the map

of reality. Non aligned? Well, other than in the

mutual acceptance of that tired old peace & love

program. You know the one Generations are supposed to

die, dammit. Garcia dropped off, that was supposed to

write paid to our account. Well, it nearly did, but

his physical absence from our stage has become, in a

way, its own kind of presence. When Phil sang "Morning

Dew" it loomed extra large. I did mostly Jerry's songs

in my own set, which wasn't what I had planned but

I'm, frankly, not altogether responsible for what

comes out of me when I'm up there. I try to let the

spirit move me when it will, though said force has

often got better things to do than wiggle my tongue

and fingers. When I when I wandered onstage there were

scores of cameramen filming me, right up against the

lip of the stage. I guess I'm a bit thick, somehow I

don't expect these things - at least not for my set.

But there they were and I managed to look over their

heads and forget about them in short order. With

35,000 other people to attend to, it wasn't hard. I

played the venue like a club. Told them not to forget

to tip the waitress. Found that a sea of faces isn't

any more intimidating than a wading poolful. Of

course, my sound was fluffed at the onset, as is

generally the case, (test me! test me!) but I didn't

know about it until later so that was okay. If I'm

okay, the audience is okay. The love, as always, was

palpable. Food of the gods. When things go wrong for

me, it hurts them too. When things go right, we all

swim in the same sea of sunshine.

The Grateful Dead was truly, undeniably, present

in the Other Ones' show, the highs, the lows, the

tedium and the triumph, the tenacity of group mind

that makes the show an intellectually as well as

emotionally challenging experience; the risk taking,

the safe spots, the venturing out and returning. The

establishment of motifs which re-emerge now and again

as stabilizing points in a referendum of familiar

strangeness -teases of tunes that never materialize,

segues new and old - "China Cat" into "I know you

Rider" - Born Crosseyed in the middle of Dark Star! -

I wish I was a headlight on a Northbound train. Yes.

Maybe so.

- Robert Hunter

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