Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Ben The Deadhead: How Did I Become a Deadhead?

Every Deadhead has a different story about how they became a Deadhead. Mine goes like this.

My first true love in Rock & Roll was The Beatles. When I was 7 years old (1978), and all my friends were into KISS, I loved John, Paul, George & Ringo. For a short time in the early 90's, I was into the whole pop scene, Michael Jackson in particular. By 9th grade though, I discovered "Hard Rock". First it was Led Zeppelin, then The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Allman Brothers. By 11th grade, my tastes moved to early 70s progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, ELP, etc.

Around the same time, my Mom's sister moved in with us and brought her record collection with her. She had just about everyone on vinyl, but it was her Grateful Dead albums that peaked my curiosity. At that point, I was looking for something that combined the Rock&Roll power of bands like The Stones and The Who with the psychedelic weirdness of Pink Floyd, Yes, etc. I had also started listening to the Allman Brothers alot again, and got a true appreciation for their long, brilliant jams.

The first record I listened to was Europe '72, and I knew at that point that I had stumbled upon something. I listened to more and more of her albums, but it wasn't until July 12, 1989 that I saw my first show. That show at RFK Stadium changed my life. I had been to alot of concerts up to that point, but there was truly "Nothing Like a Grateful Dead Concert". The Scene outside, the madness inside, and most of all, the music took hold of me, and didn't let go until I graduated from college in 1994.

I'll continue to tell you about my Deadhead experiences in future posts. My next post on this topic will be about my first Dead Roadtrip.

How did you become a Deadhead? Love to hear about it.

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