"Only he who ate with the dead of the poppy, of theirs, will not lose the quietest note again." (Rainer Maria Rilke)
About one kilometre away from Levi's Stadium, deadheads have spread out with their vehicles, some of which are sloping at the top. This funny, peaceful audience between eight months and eighty years celebrates itself and the event on around fifty hectares between office buildings and industrial buildings. Around them are flying dealers with their creative, beautiful shops of all kinds draped. There are spontaneous performances and a lot of people who want to sell tickets after all. For the black market traders among them this will be an expensive lesson: bad business!
On the eve of the kick-off show, a warm-up is rung in Phil Lesh's restaurant "Terrapin Crossroads" in San Rafael. Stu Allen, confessing deadhead and member of various grateful dead cover bands, performs in the small hall next to the restaurant. And even in the restaurant itself, unknown groups with Dead songs can whet the appetite for the next two days. The community's grooving in.
Where have they been, all those deadheads wearing batik shirts, since that July 9, 1995, when their band last played? Shortly after the concert in Chicago, Jerry Garcia announced to his bandmates that he wanted to go on holiday in Hawaii. In fact, he went to a rehabilitation center north of San Francisco to fight his heroin addiction. This and his severe diabetes were probably the cause of his fatal heart attack on August 9, 1995. Four months later, the Grateful Dead, this ancient American rock institution, declared its end.
That's it, after 30 years, 36,086 songs, 2317 concerts in 298 locations with a total of eleven members - that's how it is to be read on a fan's T-shirt in Santa Clara, California. After all, with the various follow-up bands - whether The Other Ones, The Dead, Furthur or Ratdog - the entourage could continue to show their connection with the Grateful Dead with Tie-dye shirts. Other formations emerged that were clearly committed to the spirit of the Dead, such as Gov't Mule, splinter group of the Allman Brothers, with Warren Haynes and Allen Woody (deceased in 2000), who also have some Dead songs in their repertoire. And Haynes is still the official guitarist for The Dead and would certainly have liked to play Garcia's part in the farewell shows for the cult group's fiftieth birthday. Asked about this recently, he avoided it with "scheduling overlaps".