I liked the interview because I’m a big AC fan, and having married a hippy who is introducing me to the jamband scene, including camping trips to music festivals, I was able to see lots of parallels between what Ann was saying and how it jibes with my own experiences.
Here are some great highlights from the Interview-
TH: Are there any other jambands you like?
AC: All the usual String Cheese Incident, Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler, New Potato Caboose. There s Jet, Cake, Outkast, 50 Cent, Black-Eyed Peas, Lord Alge, Beck, Kanye West (I like his Jesus song), Missy Elliot, and Eagles of Death Metal.
TH: What exactly do you love about the Grateful Dead?
AC: I really like Deadheads and the whole Dead concert scene: the tailgating, the tie-dye uniforms, the camaraderie it was like NASCAR for potheads. You always felt like you were with family at a Dead show a rather odd, psychedelic family that sometimes lived in a VW bus and sold frightening looking veggie burritos. But whatever their myriad interests, clothing choices, and interest in illicit drugs, true Deadheads are what liberals claim to be but aren’t: unique, free-thinking, open, kind, and interested in different ideas. Also, excellent dancers! Watching a Deadhead dance is truly something to behold.
TH: What’s your favorite Grateful Dead show, and why? Were you there?
AC: They were all my favorites especially the shows at Shoreline. It’s a beautiful outdoor amphitheater, the Dead’s home field, with California chardonnay for sale by the glass (in addition to not being a pot-smoker, I’m not much of a beer-drinker), and I often ran into my college Deadhead friends there. We’d go sailing during the day and see the band at night.
TH: It’s time to name names. Who are the other Deadheads who have infiltrated the conservative movement?
AC: As a Deadhead and a freedom-lover, I am wounded to the bone that you think the two do not naturally go hand in hand. The Deadheads I just met casually and not through conservative politics were almost always right-thinking, whatever they called themselves. Deadheads believe in freedom not a government telling people how much water they can have in their toilets or where they can smoke or whether they should be allowed to own a gun. (Remember the photos of Jerry testifying before some Congressional committee while chain smoking? Yeah, he’d really bond with Henry Waxman.)
One of my Dead friends I met at Vail made candles for Grateful Dead merchandizing. His daily routine consisted of waking up, smoking a bowl, and turning on the Rush Limbaugh radio show while he made his candles. (It’s true. He’s so far out there he practices this weird, freaky ritual known as commerce. Don’t try telling me pot is harmless!)
After Jerry died, U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI) gave an incredibly touching tribute to Jerry Garcia and the good work the Dead’s Rex Foundation had done promoting the arts privately in contradistinction to millionaire actresses standing up in $50,000 gowns at the Oscars and demanding that hardworking waitresses and truck drivers be forced to support the arts through government taxation. You can look it up in the Congressional Record.
The idea of sailing in the day and taking in a show at night sounds like a very excellent day indeed.