The first time I saw the Dead I was 15 years old.....
I was in boarding school at the time and my friends and I decided to go to a show at the Garden. My roommate Poos and I both had older brothers who had had lots of fabulous concert experiences and this seemed like the PERFECT idea to us. We gathered a bunch of other girls and bought tickets. I laugh now wondering....how did we buy concert tickets in 1980? We had no credit cards, there was no internet, we were hours away from the box office. We barely had any money! We had a little school bank that gave us $10 a week (unless you called your parents and asked them to give you more, which we did frequently!). We had pay phones which were almost always hogged up by girls chatting with long distance boyfriends. Yet, somehow we managed to get our hands on 6 Grateful Dead tickets at Madison Square Garden!
Since I grew up in Bronxville and lived the closest to NYC it made perfect sense to us that we would go to my house for the weekend to get to the show. The part that makes NO SENSE is that my parents thought this was a great idea! Really?!?! My husband Donald tells similar story of his parents letting him go see Pink Flloyd at 15 in Detroit! (Then again, we let our youngest kid go to Ibiza...!!!)
My father's only rule was that he was going to get my 26 year old brother to drive the family wagon into NYC and would be waiting outside the show to pick us up. I though this was "Soooooooo dorky" but my father would not bend. He after all knew the last train would have left Grand Central by the time we were done. I'm assuming there was money or a bribe involved to coerce the driver.
The show was fantastic. We had a ball. And somehow we all were together when it was time to leave. I was flagged down near the exit by a 16 year old boy from Bronxville who was there alone and had no way home. He thought it was AMAZING that my brother was outside with a station wagon and joyfully jumped in with us for the ride home. Apparently a safe, free ride home from a concert...is not dorky after all!
The last Dead show I saw with Jerry Garcia was at the Meadowlands and I was pregnant with daughter Brooke who painted this canvas.