The Dead in Pittsburgh was an intense experience for a 19 year old getting old to see the world.  I ended up booking a room at a cheap hotel in a seedy part of town.  I was sent over there after learning the “Y” was all booked for available rooms.


This was the kind of place where you got the key to the room at the desk each time you went up to the room.  The was a bathroom at the end of the hall.  They had an adjoining bar which featured strippers.


After the Dead show was over, several DeadHeads found their way into the bar.  No one bothered to card me so I just ordered a beer and a shot.  I was coming down from an acid trip and I was not ready to head upstairs to my room for sleep.  


One of the strippers made a clear attempt to curry favor from the DeadHeads by playing “White Rabbit” and “Sugar Magnolia.” 


She was cute but oddly, (especially since I was only 19 at the time) as she was removing articles of clothing I was imagining her in full tie dyed regalia twirling in the concourse at the Dead show.  Maybe she wanted to go but couldn’t get off work.  I pounded a shot of Jacquin’s Blackberry Brandy.  She was smiling in the direction of us DeadHeads.


They also had a featured dancer to put all the other strippers in their place.  She had it all going on in a plastic fantastic sort of way.  She was a bit too aloof for my tastes.  A lot of the other drunks in the room didn’t seem to mind.  I noticed the hippie inclined stripper was talking with one of the DeadHeads.  He bought her a drink and they seemed quite cozy.


The place was seedy.  I was thinking back to the desk clerks at the “Y”.  One of them joked that I might lose my cherry over at the Edison Hotel.  A quick glance around the room and I determined that I damn sure wasn't going to find one.


After a few beers, I got bored and decided to go up to the room.  I had to get up fairly early to catch an Amtrak train.  I said goodnight to the hippie stripper and the DeadHead guy she was talking with.  They were now kissing.  The featured stripper was now fully clothed and heading out the door.


I took a lonely walk up the creaking stairs.  I utilized the bathroom before going to my room.  I quickly locked the door and turned on the black and white TV with poor reception.  I had the volume on low and couldn’t tell you what I was actually watching.  There were cigarette burns on the blanket on the bed.  I was a 19 year old boy starting to learn what was really going on in the world around me.



Author's Notes/Comments: 

Some remembrance of things past.  Fuck Proust!  My tales are more fun.

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sootyash's picture

Your tales

Definitely fun. 

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georgeschaefer's picture

following the Dead was a

following the Dead was a blast.  I saw a lot and learned a lot.  Now if only I could remember it all.

sootyash's picture

Long strange trip

The dead has been basically the soundtrack of my life for the past several years. Never saw Jerry to my knowledge. Unless I saw a show by accident as a teenager. I wouldn't have even known. My first was 50th anniversary in Santa Clara. That was a strange trip in itself. I have a photo somewhere with the rainbow just beginning to appear behind our heads. I sat behind the stage which had my view peering through the looking glass. I felt like Alice. I remember people throwing rose petals at my friend and I as we watched. I thought it was really the best seat in the house. Nice big screen up close to watch. Wish I had caught a Jerry show back in the day! That would have been great! 


I have a really nice Dead watch that was gifted to me. It was 20 years old and brand new in the box. It has its own wooden coffin. Its battery is dead. I keep it that way, because well, it's my Dead watch. ;p






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georgeschaefer's picture

Phil & Friends and Dead &

Phil & Friends and Dead & Company are still doing shows.  It's not the same but it's still a lot of fun.

sootyash's picture


Yeah, they are fun. Been to each. Enjoyed! I noticed one of my acquaintance just celebrated Phil's birthday with him. Pretty cool. Hey, maybe one day I will meet him. Who knows. Could happen. Will see. 

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georgeschaefer's picture

Phil just turned 79.  He

Phil just turned 79.  He mostly only plays in San Rafael, CA and New York City.  He has homes on both coasts from what I've heard and he tends to just go home after the shows.  Still a great artist, though.