By the last 60’s and early 70’s, I was a pot-smoking acid dropping anti war hippy with hair down to the crack of my ass. I wanted to spend most of my life getting high and going to loud rock concerts.
I lived too long in the Midwest, and got busted for pot. That experience of getting arrested made some of the Dead’s lyrics hauntingly real after you have been “set up like a bowling pin … “
Later I had to do a short stretch for weed in Santa Cruz County because I wouldn’t snitch on my supplier. I could have done the time at a forestry camp but they would shave your head. I kept my long hair but did time in a grimy, dangerous County jail.
While in that jail, I wrote the following ode to the Dead, titled “Listening to the Band.”
When I’m in my bunk each morning
Trying to sleep those days away
One thing can make me lift my head
The radio crooning the Grateful Dead.
Their fine tunes make the sun shine
A friend of the Dead is a friend of mine
Garcia’s guitar bends the bars,
Opens the roof, lets in the stars.
You know they know the joint’s no joke
They break the same laws I do
Devil weed and cousin coke
The court trip’s one that they’ve been through
The feeling of being on the run
Spending your birthday locked in jail
Busted for some one else’s crime
Without weed, and without bail
Right now my time’s getting short
Gonna get beer, some smoke, a snort
Fall with my lover on the waterbed
And get it on to the Grateful Dead.
I tried to publish this from the Kos Deadhead group, but it wouldn’t queue up.