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THE MAILBAG 10.01.96

Date: Sep 16 1996 8:49 AM EDT

It's been a lot of fun having the chance to communicate with you
and share thoughts about this thing that we've all been a part of. To also be able to share my love of bluegrass, and to discover that you have a rich and vital interest in what has become for me a new musical home makes, it all the more meaningful. And you did get the tapes on Bill's birthday! Enjoy.
Tom Melvin

what fantastic tapes they are. Had never heard Bill in his prime before. The '94 tape shows him at his greatest. The old voice that wanders around the note and sagely selects the more limited vocal scale within the range of his 82 year old pipes, can do the mournful tunes (always my favorite, as you might guess from his influence on my work) with enhanced believability -which to my mind is the epitome of artistry. And hear the Bluegrass Boys cradle him like a diamond -what love and devotion. It's no surprise to hear the F5 can still spit, growl and jig -not only holding its own but soaring.

The 1969 tape was alright too - Bill approaching his newly found collegiate audience and inviting them down to Beanblossom - complaining about what Gibson had done to the action on his F5 - a real classic. But we know the Big Mon of those days. It's the later tape that puts the icing on the cake and completes the history.

Date: Sep 15 1996 11:12 PM EDT
From: (Bill Kessler)


I'm (re)reading your letter to Jerry and many thoughts come to mind.
Most of these I can't share on a reasonable basis with those in my
immediate world without being blown off as a dinosaur or laughter under
the breath--so once again your openness provides an appropriate outlet.
Thanks again.

Hopefully in this phase the bad luck does run in threes--Garcia, Kahn
and Monroe. Been there-done that, but its still painful and challenges
one to fill in the ever widening empty spaces as more wonderful talents
are silenced. It's so weird for me to get feelings of grief about
people I've never met, but have communicated with me in such a unique
way. I'm one of those brothers they've never met, and yet I mourn as if
they were one of my own. I like to think that maybe in a way they were.

Of particular interest are your paragraphs touching on your personal
relationship with Jerry and how it was strained and stretched by Jerry's
"stardom" and his struggle with-shit, I'll say it, substance abuse. On
a much smaller level I have a life-long friend who's in the same boat.
Having been there myself and lucky enough to come out the other side, I
wish the same for him as I've found for myself. I can only stand by and
support when I can, but the relationship is altered and diminished by
the simple fact that as close as we are to each other we must now
necessarily be on different paths. I find strength and support in the
most unlikeliest of places. I always supposed that you would be a
likely place, but I never expected that we'd communicate. OK, OK--I'll
never say "never" again.

Once more, for the umpteen millionth time you have helped me see things
as they really are and shown me that love, loyalty and compassion may be
the hard road, but the right road. It would be so easy to become a
dinosaur hater and give short shrift to all ideas and methods that don't
completely agree with your own. But that just limits us, and its worth
all the pain and grief to me to fight those temptations. It's the only
way I know to keep growing.

Again, kudos for keeping the lines of communication so open. We're all
doing what we can to keep "this thing of ours" going and your commitment
to open dialogue (and your diligence in reply) is appreciated beyond
measure. Thanks to you, we'll talk again.


it took a long time to sink in that we're viewed as ancient history. It seemed like some kind of temporary joke. The young are meant to overcome the less young and it was taken as an affront by youthful critics that we kept plodding on. They're just relieved to see us finally defeated so they can properly eulogize us, pat themselves on the back, then forget us. Well, good on them. Have they looked in a mirror lately? The dread 40's are approaching. I wonder if, as they listen to the tight pants & hair problem bands they've accorded fame to, it will ever seep in that they were missing in action? That they championed the wrong values, as the cynical ennui of the 90's goes a long way to prove. Slaying the fathers is instinctive. We got caught up in the Oedipus game. They felt we were taking up space that should belong to their generation. They were wrong about that. We created a space of our own; didn't borrow from them
Rock and roll defines itself as a kid's game and is expected to address teen age conflicts, which are righteous and real as I recall. But where is the information about where it leads to? In the cutout bins. Please excuse the discouraged tone of this letter. It's temporary, I assure you. And thanks for the kudos.

From: (Valerie Ramos-Ford)


Welcome backto the beee-utiful USA. Evocative cover page this time around.
Those dark and cloudy skies... I realize that I've been escaping into the
Archive lately without interacting-- reading one or two journal entries,
looking for more wonderful photographs (meant to praise them much sooner!),
allowing myself to drift into the many wide-open spaces and intimate niches
you have created and generously share. It is, at once, a comfortable place
to put up my feet, listen carefully and sometimes read between the lines
about a writer's world, occasionally share some of my thoughts, hear your
mind, hear you comfort and attend to so many, or do some serious
intellectual gymnastics. The Archive has become a virtual chakra system
addressing some of the most fundamental aspects of life and survival (like
stomach bugs and paychecks) to the headiest of intellectual endeavors (the
Dialogue and so much more)! Nice part for us out here is that we can choose
where to jump in, how deep to go, and how long to stay -- how much to take
and how much to give. What I'm saying in a fairly roundabout way is, you
must be busting your ass to get this posted every few weeks! I can actually
feel the pouring out of energy -- leaving the site re-energized sometimes
(when I'm taking?) and drained others (when I'm empathizing). This is very
good thing that's happening for some of us out here. Hope it continues to
be for you.

In response to a few things I stumbled across in the files, I do believe
there is a certain amount of voyeurism and exhibitionism in the reading and
writing of anything as personal as you present. Are you sure you didn't
realize that? :) -- this is one of those damned cyber smiley-faces it took
me so long to shift my perspective to... I don't think either of those
things are bad because, as we know, there are those who like to be
spectators, those who like to present in one way or another, and still those
who like to make it into a good ol' sporting event. I can't help but get
involved when something intrigues me, so therefore I occasionally write to
you. Problem is, my head reels while I'm reading your stuff. When I write
I want to: talk about Whitehead's P&R which I studied for so long as a
youngster; ask you everything about "An American Adventure" (parts of which
sound as though they were lifted from my very soul and experience); ask you
to ask McKenna if he REALLY believes that a genuine Buddhist experience can
only occur with the help of psychedelics; find out more about that damned
camera of yours; who those kids are that the raffle is trying to raise money
for; and how your home schooling adventure is going! Wish there was less I
was interested in -- aw, hell, that's a lie. I haven't even DARED to start
Giant's Harp yet ... won't even OPEN the file ...

How about this (I'm learning to focus...) Would you offer a little
background on An American Adventure? You did write it, didn't you? What a gem.

Also, sent you three tapes to the P.O. Box. Hope you actually get them.
Again, welcome home, and again, heartfelt thanks.


yes I just opened the box of tapes and put on the June '61 Boar's head tape (which is actually June of '62). Quite a show. JG of course on Sweet Sunny South & Man of Constant sorrow. Marshall Leicester singing & frailing "Yonder he goes" brought it all back.
I think "All Go Hungry Hash House" may be Dick Arnold on fiddle, Marshall on banjo and who else I don't know. Jerry & I & Dave Nelson sing harmony on "3 Men Went a Hunting." The blues harp piece next is definitely PigPen. Don't know who's singing Careless Love & Black Girl. Maybe David "X" McQueen, with PP & JG. Yeah, now I'm sure it is. I may be the bass player. Same on "Goin' to Chicago." Pig's "Born In Mssissippi" shows him with that fully developed blues style he had so early. He would have been about 17. I don't know who the banjo player on "Bluegoose" is. Maybe Rich Wilbur? The Wildwood Boys do Jerry's Breakdown, Standing In The Need of Prayer -Jerry:banjo - me:mandolin Nelson: guitar & Norm von Maastricht:Bass. The moderator is me, except Jerry introducing me singing Muleskinner Blues. Used to tear down the house with that one. The Wildwood Boys segment of the tape is not from the Boar's Head, but from the Tangent in Palo Alto and is mid 1963, one of our early performances in that configuration.

Well - I came to the end of the first side. Enough history.

Date: Sep 16 1996 2:39 PM EDT

can't help but notice that you seem a little down in this last batch
of entries. it seems natural given the state of affairs around the
whole GDP and larger scene. the thing that sticks out to me was your
observation of some doors needing to be shut before others can open.
i think this really hits it on the head. it's just so much harder
since the stature of the beast was so great for so long, but in what
seems the space of a few heartbeats has become more substantial in
memory than in real life. i've enjoyed taking the critics or cynics
(or maybe just the questioner's) view while perusing the places
visited in orfeo, but there's no denying that in the end we're still
by our nature existing in the here and now, whatever that happens to
be. it seems that the here and now is becoming more and more twisted,
though. maybe it's just in my advancing age (33 big'uns now) i'm just
finally realizing what's been going on the whole time. your
observation of the state of schools is a great example. get this: my
five year old starts kindergarten. sweetest little girl on earth.
she overcomes incredible fear and gets on the enormous school bus with
a bunch of strangers (with the help of her big sister) and bravely
goes to a place she doesn't know filled with bunch of other (albeit
small) complete strangers. now some kids LOVE this kind of experience
(like her afore mentioned big sister) but Hannah just has her own way,
and this whole scene is SCARY. but she does it, and WE at least can
see how much she's growing at a force-fed pace. so we get a call not
even two weeks into the school year. turns out she doesn't want to go
play in "centers" with the other kids. so the
double-PhD-holding-principle, while observing the class, tells the
kind K-teacher that if this little girl doesn't buck up and get with
the program, she's outa there! no shit! well suffice it to say i'm
working with this guy to help him understand how this is NOT one of
the options, but my point is, what the hell's wrong with this twisted
society? everybody's gotta fit the mold. i thought that if we
learned nothing else in the last thirty years, we learned that we all
have our own UNIQUE contribution to make. at any rate, this wasn't
meant to be tirade against the cruel world, but rather just another
voice saying "I hear you, Bob". the world may go to hell in a bucket,
but goddammit, we're still gonna fuckin fight in the hope against hope
that we might just be able to make just a little part of it just a
little better. joining in on this new community is really helping,
just to have a touchstone in the sea of fear that the world seems to
be drowning in. i think in the end we're bound to leave the GD part
behind (though never forgotten), and forge ahead into unforseen
ground, but as you said, some doors need to be shut before others can
open. until then i'm gonna keep trying to do what i've always done:
living. until next time.

down? Hmm. I noticed over the years that I usually hit my journals when feeling a bit down. It's a confidant who just listens. Unlike my present journal who talks back! I often get to my journal writing with the last dregs of energy, late at night, generally with a full evening of work behind me. But yes, there's much to feel downhearted about. I launched myself, via this journal, into the brickwall of trying to rescue GDP . . . and needed the vacation to gain enough perspective to read the clear writing on the wall: if the band itself was ready for retirement, demanding some stability for the pursuit of individual goals rather than jumping back into touring madness, handicapped by losing their defining lead musician, for purposes of entertaining audiences whose predictible response would be "nice try but it's not what it was," well . . . I for one don't blame them. I didn't expect them to do that. Those who DO want to continue performing are best served by working with their own management. They don't need a juggernaut of a full service management office such as formed around the multi-branching projects of the Grateful Dead.

Sorry to hear the same old same old is happening to your little girl. It was so simple when I went to school. You just went, got pounded on a bit, learned the ropes, came out knowing your place on the pecking order, socialized to conformity, ready to hit the work force, the army, the secretarial force or the kitchen. There was no alternative until college. It sucked. Now it sucks in a whole new way, rife with psychology and/or spirituality. Now the kids not only have to toe Miss Grundy's line, they have to feel good about themselves doing it too. Dammit Jim, pass me thet jug. I like your attitude. Go get 'em.

It's cryin' time here in the US of A. Anorexic junkie role models stare from the covers of the magazines. Their huge dark eyes seem to say "Why have you forsaken me?" Hey, you know what? It's just getting interesting!

Subj: unreceived mail

I saw a letter downloading that had the title "Rambling - 9/15 journal musings" or something close to that. Then the mail program crashed and it got eaten. Just to let you know I didn't ignore it.

Date: Sep 16 1996 5:56 PM EDT

Dear Terence & Robert,

I'm delighted to read your letters on Orfeo. Being also a participant on the
Novelty List, I can detect a very different quality to the energy in the
Orfeo space compared to the N.L. space. Orfeo feels more loving. I'll take
loving poetic wise fools over rational empiricists any day!


Subj: stop breaking my connection!
Date: Sep 16 1996 8:44 PM EDT
From: (O'B)


I've got a beef with you. Some background info first...

My ISP recently instituted a policy: if your connection is inactive for 15
minutes, they hang up on you. It sounds harsh but it seems to be necessary
in light of their new pricing structure--one fee for unlimited hours
online. Apparently this caused hundreds of subscribers to simply dial in
and leave the connection open all day which, as you can imagine, caused all
kinds of logjams to the system. In response, the 15 minute inactive deal
was implemented.

So here's the deal: I keep getting disconnected reading your journal. I
know, I know, "hit the reload button" you say. Not that easy...I get lost
in the words, time goes by, I hear the click from my modem, grrrrr. It
becomes very frustrating.

Clearly this is your fault. Few web pages can hold my interest for 15
uninterrupted minutes (15 minutes of tedious downloading perhaps, but that
is a different matter), so this is not a problem with other sites. Also,
the damn journal entries, the mailbag, all these things are so long that
simply reading them faster does not seem to be a viable option. I looked
into a speed-reading course--it seemed promising but alas, it turned out to
be geared to actual ink-on-page writing. Scrolling the screen fast enough
to keep up with my newly taught skills made me queasy from motion sickness.
Printing the journal also doesn't seem to be the answer--not until Hewlett
Packard lowers the price on their ink carts.

The ball is in your court now, Mr. Hunter. As I see it you have two
choices: either write less interesting stuff or simply write less. Two
paragraphs should keep me under my time limit. See what you can do.

; >


bless you my man! Assuming you have a real problem and are not just larding me with absurdist praise, select "save as" on your browser file menu and select "desktop" (or wherever you desire) as a destination, log off, and read the damned thing on your screen for free!


ps Change your server.

Date: Sep 16 1996 11:05 PM EDT
From: (Bianca Errico)

dear robert,

monday evening in London, got GiantsHarp18 last night & the mailbag+journal came on next time i looked about 2am GMT. whew!!! hadda get round the back door by the way, the front og DeadNet, when you click on yr Archive ___ takes you right back (slowly) to the (v pretty) front page... thought you ought to know.

read the journal, half of mailbag, and first page of Harp last night. (the one i'm hooked on the most, so saving it-- reading it slow!!!). Will refrain from commentinmg on the dark tone at this point, except to say i thought the ideas in my airmail letter to you along with "dream drive" and MAAT CD was some kind of attempt at an answer to that as well : surely a
2X or £X CD set of the new songs plus suitable(interesting) covers would sell???

So yeah, i thought it was phil's perfectionism again... well, what can i say. THERE ARE NO PERFECT LIVE TAKES:BY DEFINITION! That nothing is "good" tho', with all respect is surely absurd. I'm glad to see someone else saying this in
current Mailbag

nice to see john perry the other in yr pages: THE MAN WHO WROTE "ANOTHER GIRL ANOTHER PLANET"!!!some of us consider that a stone classic, you know...

ah, that's it really. i'm mostly wondering if yuo may have not got my last email from the above address last month (10th or so) , only cos you didnt answer it. cld be one of those like last time where i got a reply from "ortor" or some such name, except it was you , three weeks later. subsequent journal entry explained why, so i wonder if this is so again, or ... was it something i said?

Should you care to elucidate, I'll be going back to from next week. thanks.

still listening for the winds of distant drums

thanks again for magnificent giant's Harp, warm wishes for final run to the end (shudder...only three more to go.oh well, start reading it a third time then!)

goddesss guide & keep you & the ones you love

dominic from wales, in london right now

ps : really grooving on maureen's duino blocks, finally downloaded prints to look at at leisure & wow...

things get lost online, as you can see. Thanks for the Dream Drive copy. That is surely a lost blast from the past. Think it was the first thing of mine ever printed outside a school newspaper. SF Oracel.

DeadNet will probably keep screwing up until Mercury goes out of retrograde 9/26. I've been having the same problem with it.

Getting Chapter 19 together. About halfway through. Very glad you're enjoying it. Gonna be kind of hard to let go of it myself. Sort of toying with the thought of a sequel, but I don't know. Big time commitment & I don't think I'd want to put first draft stuff up on the net. Thanks for the front page appreciation. I thought the black & white conveyed my feelings pretty well Have you opened it all the way up? It's 800 x1200 pixels. AOL can't handle it!

Delivered your compliment to Maureen, who thanks you.

Subj: Through the doorway

Howdy Hunter-
Just finished the latest archive entry (9/15 - also my oldest daughter's 18th B'day) kind of depressing. Sounds like things are dwindling with the fullness of time. Interacting with many more likeminded people than I ever have before via email, it's hard to credit that the end is near. I guess I object to thinking in terms of the end. How can it be other than a new beginning? I had intended to rebut your statement about "Built To Last" simply dropping from the play list for the sake of a change of tunes. Yes, covers increased along about 1985 or so, but The Dead always did covers. Still there were a bunch of great tunes from you and Jerry from there until the end, "Foolish Heart", "Standing On The Moon", "So Many Roads", and the previously mentioned "Built To Last." And tunes did come and go, although there were many that stayed and stayed (for good and not so good). I still think something triggered a very abrupt dropping of "Built To Last." Perhaps my perspective from the audience affords a different sense of the etiology of a song. Rare for a tune to get worked up to a second set opener then drop from sight forever. But my aim tonight is to send good cheer. I wanted to share a visit I had from my father a couple of summers ago where we sat on the back porch and I read him lyrics from your book, "Box Of Rain." My Dad is a lover of writing and poetry (who would have been far happier as a professor of literature than a civil servant, but...) who has read just about everybody. Many years ago I had tried to share a bit of what The Grateful Dead meant to me by playing him a few cuts from "Europe '72." He appreciated the musicianship but had a hard time getting his ears around the electric sound of the guitars. His is an ear tuned to the softer sound of woodwinds and instrumentation from the big bands. But that afternoon in the sun reading aloud "Foolish Heart", "Ripple", "Lady With A Fan" and many, many others he really got it. He enjoyed the way the words tripped from the tongue, even wiping tears on a few occasions and helping me remember how very beautiful the poetry is - something that can sometimes get lost between the power of the music and the power of the stories in the tunes. It was a very special afternoon for the both of us - so thank you very much Robert Hunter. I also remember reading in one of the early archives a conversation you reported having with Jerry wherein he said something to the effect that you (or both of you) had achieved some true americana no matter what else became of the band. I concur on two levels: lyrically and musically. Tunes such as "Tennessee Jed", "Ramblin Rose" and "Sugaree" really have no musical antecedents and stand as very unique musical contributions that I believe will only grow in recognition and appreciation. Other tunes may not have been as unique musically or thematically but offer even stronger americana lyrics. Some of my favorites: "Brown Eyed Women", "Deal", "Loser" even "Jack Straw" - I could go on, suffice it to say in my humble opinion they are every bit as good as anything Robbie Robertson ever wrote (except maybe "The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down" which truly sounds as if it were written in 1870, although "Brown Eyed" sounds as if it could have been written in 1933 - the end of prohibition). All told quite a body of work. And as I have previously said, I feel that some of the stuff on Mystery Box is quite up to that level (thinking about the line "I don't spit in the drink of the devil..."). You mentioned the need for a motivated writing partner for producing new work. There seems no doubt to me that you will find such as often as you want to and will have many more great songs to share with us. I desperately miss what was but I eagerly look forward to what will be.

thanks for the story about reading to your dad. Thoughtful of you to share such a personal moment.

Not looking for writing partners. But I have a couple of interesting things going. More on that when they become reality.

Maybe you have a bead on why "Built to Last" was dropped. I must say I don't look at things in those terms, but who knows?

Happy Birthday to your daughter.

Date: Sep 16 1996 10:53 AM EDT
From: (Steve Wright)

greetings rh,

Interesting Journal-thoughts this update. I'd become somewhat
de-sensitized to the whole GDP thing, what with you being overseas and
all.... Seems I'd forgotten what a predicament we're all in..

I'll use the upcoming dead-air to comply with the favor you've asked...


.* (steve left a lot more space than this in honoring my request not to send advice on what to do about Rex, etc. The fact is, they generally take detailed explanations about why this or that is an unrealistic option. rh)


Feeling some selfish thoughts here (at your expense no less!), but I was
glad to hear that the spy gets'll certainly keep me from
buying the crap. I seriously couldn't think of a damn thing that
interests me less than hearing accounts of Garcia's sex life...yikes.
Won't go into great detail, but had a curious girlfriend once who got in
the habit of reading my journal when (she thought) I wasn't paying much
attention. Needless to say, she found out a bit more than she bargained
for (you always do), and she left with a few hurt feelings...

Granted it's a bit different when 'said' journal is being pumped out for
the masses...

Perhaps, someday, I'll buy some sort of a re-telling of the tales that
serve as foundation for the band. Perhaps not. I like to think that I
know exactly how it went down. I like to think I know exactly the role
that each of you played. I like to think I know exactly what made it
come apart. Course, deep-down, I don't know shit, but that's my point,

I think you'll probably put something out there, someday. I know it'll
be weird. Like a Garcia connect-the-dot, pop-up, coloring book. Now
that I'd buy.

Bought two copies of B O R this week (one for my Dad's B'day, and
another as a birthday present for my best-friends one-year-old). Glad
to be a part of future $204 checks.

Hey, I have some issues (time being a large one) around people
posting their lyrics to you and asking for thoughts, and until now I've
really held off. Can I have the RH stamp o' approval to send a couple
next time? I ask for nothing and expect less. I've written a bunch of
crap for my best friends band, and so much of it feels like a RH-rip
off, it'd sort of be cleansing for me...

Many advance thanks


ps Haven't heard much re: your Dad lately. How are things. Tell me to
go to hell if it's none of *our* business.

you sent along a .doc file which I can't open. Can't open anything IBM'ish. Why don't I get a program to convert them? Cause it's an effort. Basically I just want to answer my mail and not have to do anything that requires moving outside the mail program. It breaks my flow. In a funny way it's an endless answer to an endless letter. I clarify my thoughts here and exercise my mind by replying to the strangest variety of questions. Some of the people, such as yourself, I've been writing to long enough to consider friends. With a few I can almost keep the continuity of the correspondence in my mind, though occasionally I mistake one for another. (NB: As in the case of what I just said, which was in response to Steve Wolfe, whose letter arrived in the same batch as yours. I'll leave it in because cutting it would destroy the continuity of what I wrote)
Send lyrics? Well . . . I generally don't welcome them because I know how much my opinion means to those who write me and my standards are pretty risky. I get easily turned off by forced meter, obvious rhyme and passionate intensity. So many fine adjustments are needed to deliver passion without being overbearing. It's not the meat, it's the motion. With that caveat, you can send something along but I know damned well if I don't like it it'll be difficult to respond. BTW this doesn't apply to what I've published in the mailbag, and even to quite a bit of stuff I didn't publish. Just to cover myself.

My dad is doing okay, considering progressive mental deterioration and leukemia to polish him off if another stroke doesn't get him first. It's a hard one. He doesn't enjoy much. 91 years old. They didn't honor his Living Will and resuscitated him from his last stroke. Medicare won't pay his bill because he checked in two days late after being released from the hospital, so, though his insurance pays for the pharmacy items, I pay the rest out of pocket. Expensive hotel. Very. They lost his dental plate a couple of months ago, and have agreed to pay for it, but he still doesn't have any lowers. My Mother spends every day with him, from 10 until he goes to sleep around 1:30. Only way to make sure he's treated right. Nobody else in the whole building gets that kind of attentiveness. They ought to form old folks visiting clubs at schools across the nation. Be good for the soul of the nation. No country that treats oldsters like this should feel very righteous about itself. And the problem grows as the median age of the citizenry grows. What do we have to look forward to should all of our heightened health consciousness and medical advances allow us to reach a ripe old age? Crap food and grudging care delivered by overburdened, case hardened nursing staffs. Lots of exclusionary red tape brought about by government economizing. I mean, do they have something better to spend our bread on? They sure don't waste it on education. Saddam?

Date: Sep 17 1996 1:57 AM EDT
From: BobCrelco2
Subj: It's Not just about CHEESEGRATERS

We have computers, guided missiles, excellent stereo systems, atomic lasers, brain surgery, remote controls, and an abundance of high tech wizardry, but the best we can do when it comes to grating cheese is a flimsy sqaure metal box. There's got to be a better way. Maybe there's market potential for a disposable rainforest wood cheesegrater.

I'm looking for some capital investment to import these well made disposable rainforest wood cheesegraters. Think about it. You would be providing South American families with a living. Besides, cutting down the trees opens up grazing land. And you know what that means. More cheese.

How do you feel about cheesegraters? Would love to put your response in our next Pineapple Guys Newsletter about cheesegraters.

With Respect,


I feel passionately intense about cheesegraters. I guess you could say that . . . cheesegraters ARE MY LIFE! I think your idea is economically sound. It's a shame redwood would make such inferior cheesegraters or we could open up some more grazing land in the Pacific Northwest. I've been working for some time on developing a cheesegrater blade for the Swiss Army Knife. I mean, they got a fish scaler and all, but how can they call themselves SWISS and not have a tool for handling their major export? Think about it.


Date: Sep 17 1996 12:37 AM EDT
From: Tigerrose2
Subj: Those dreaded stalls!!!!!!

Robert, sounds like you're in need of some thorough recurrent training. I was at Brookhaven (Long Island NY) airport today, to go over the news on Our Cherokee's annual inspection. Some guy managed to stall a 172 and put it in some trees off the side of runway 33. He walked from it, the Skyhawk wasn't so lucky. He wasn't my student, fortunately. These types of occurances bring FAA out in droves. The Jessica Dubroff thing, and TWA 800 conspired with the Wx to make for a slow summer in flight instructor land....Damn good thing for Furthur....
If I talk to you like I know you, there's a good reason. My first dead show wasn't. It was a Robert Hunter show, in Champaign Illinois, at a bar called Panama Red. It must have been '79, because my first dead show was in the fall of that year, in Indy, and the only time I ever got first row!
Being from the Chicago area, I always enjoyed visiting my cousin Wayne, in Champaign. I was just 19 at the time, and he was eight years or so older. Since my immediate family were pretty uptight, it was always good to get down to the fresh air, and attitudes down there. Wayne plays guitar too, and has a Martin, which I enjoy playing.
Among the fond memories: you said "some say that Pig Pen died of bad breath." I heard about the show on the radio, stopped in the local dunkin donuts for a coffee, and mentioned it in passing to the sweetie behind the counter. Thinking nothing of it, I went to Red's at the appointed time, and was accosted by the "sweetie." Since Wayne lives there, he had his girlfriend with, him. Since I don't I didn't. Enter Anita.
Now Wayne is one of these people who likes to be the best at anything he does (and usually does a damn good job), and at that time he worked as a waiter at an upscale restaurant. This made it completely impossible to get your beer mug empty (back when 19 year-olds could drink beer legal!). It also made for an interesting evening when we all got back to Wayne's, and he grabbed his girlfriend, split, and said "have fun." (with Anita) This was in the days before waterbeds had waveless matresses, which made for some interesting sensations, given Anita, and all that Beer. If you wanna see a fully developed spin, re-wind to that night after I did the brewster the rooster thing...Suffice to say that I didn't make it back to work in Chicago the next morning, airspeed notwithstanding, it just wouldn't re-start!.

I caught your shows twice, once with Rick Danko, at Tut's, and once with Jorma at Cubby Bear. (remember, Jorma wouldn't come out and play one with you for the encore!) I always enjoyed those shows, and a very euphoric "don't think twice" always sticks with me.
Wayne's comments after the show were "boy sometimes that guy could sing great, and sometimes he was real good on the guitar, and sometimes he couldn't do either." But let's not kid ourselves, there was magic there, part of the GD magic, plain for anyone to see. It transcended all that technical stuff. Robert Hunter & GD aren't a religious thing, but there seems to be an undeniable & inailenable spiritual aspect. It was always obvious from the onset.
My first GD "tour" was the following winter, right after John Lennon got shot. If I have my venues straight, this is now called the Kaiser. They had speakers set up outside, on the lawn, so in or out, you still got the show. Times were very different. I was telling someone outside the show how I spent my last dollar getting the ride out from chicago, and how I was worried about hitching a ride back, when out of the blue some one jumped out of the crowd with a ticket, and said "go on in." No holding up a finger, no begging.
People were actually going up to complete strangers with wrapped christmas gifts, nice things-items of value, and giving them away just to make the scene happen. That was among the most memorable experiences of my life.
I did a few tours after that, going to shows when able.
At age 27 I decided to return to school, and attended Embry-Riddle Aeronatical University, in Daytona Beach. Two months after my transfer to Prescott campus, the dead announced Florida. I did make the LA show with Dylan & Spencer Davis, though, the only one before I graduated in 90. Because of school, I missed all but that show between 87, and sumer of 90
I Lost my father in Feb, of this year, so it was kinda like losing two dads in one year. Still haven't really dealt with the emotional issues yet, but that's OK - I'm still back working on the ones associated with John Lennon, so maybe the Brent thing is next...!

I had an intreresting tour in 94, all by way of a Piper Aztec, six passenger twin. We flew Henry Sullivan up to Alaska (where I lived in 91-91) Went all the way to Anchorage, via the coastal rt. (Two engines, Turbo charging, O2 among the minimum equip for that one....) Saw a grey whale swimming while flying back out over the gorges departing Juneau. Killer times...
I only made one show in '95, I flew up to Highgate in a friends Turbo Saratoga (Bring a big right foot for that one, you'll need it!) I was amazed at the lunacy of the gate crash scene, and it kills me to see what "fans" did to the band during Jerry's last season. A far cry from the ticket I didn't even have to ask for back in '80.
But that spirit of kindness is still alive (and whats left that's posititve is much more important than what went wrong) , and Bob managed to keep it alive with Furthur. This helped aleviated my greatest fear after Jerry's passing: That I would never see so many people ever again. Though I really didn't know him, Jerry was a friend. I only met him once. It was strange how much younger he looked in person then, and no matter how much I was prepared for it, it was real weird to shake that hand with the finger off. I was coming out of Bob's room at the time,because we were supposed to give him a ride in my friends P-51 mustang. Bobby wound up having a meeting with Bruce Cockburn & Michell Shocked, and didn't make the flight.
Rock & Roll has faired very poorly with general aviation. John Barlow once told me in a telephone conversation that he thought it might be cursed (shortly after the death of Bill Graham) I found that odd, since he's a private pilot. He's lucky though, as I heard he ran out of gas once, and had to put a Skyhawk down off airport. (most instructors would say this is about the most uncalled for of accidents) The same manuever took Healy's dad (Landing without engine, he hit a berm just short of the runway), and I'm hoping Dan will come out someday and finish getting his certificate.
In Bill Graham's case, I don't understand how a rational person could have attempted to undertake the flight. Steve might have reasoned that he was going to fly a low route, mostly over water, and by god, he almost made it...On the minus side, the Ranger didn't have a single gyro instrument in the panel, limiting the options should plan "A" fail.
I have an interesting story I'd Like to convey. Ray Dolby was at Gnoss that day, in the office of the guy we bought the Aztec from (T.J. Neff, of TJ's aircraft sales.) Steve Kahn was in the office when ray came in wondoring how he was going to get to L.A. TJ said (in no uncertain terms) that it was going to be on a commuter flight, since Ray didn't have an instrument ticket. Steve piped up about how unsafe the weather was for fixed wing aircraft, but said emphatically how much safer a helo was, due to maneuverabilty. He then began a series of rapid start-stop hover manuevers over the runway, to demonstrate the Bell's capabilities. TJ snapped a black and white photo of the weather at the time, which hangs in his office today. Your a pilot Bob, check it out, and tell me what your descion would have been, sans 20-20 hindsight.
So what's all this got to do with you or me, one might ask. Well, I'm trying to think what clever phrase I might use instead of "stall", to tell my students who might have read the scathing indictment you gave manuever. :) actually, they're quite mild in the Piper. So, you're invited to come do some recurrent training, anytime you're in the area. If you want, I'll try to hook you up with my P-51 friend. By the way, there's an interesting open mic night out here on Tuesdays. Feel like playing at all? Long Island's nice this time of year.

Peace & love & Kind
Marty Smith, CFII/mei & part time Slacker!

PS, here's Johnny!

great letter. I want to get one thing straight. Jorma didn't refuse to play an encore with me at Cubby Bear. I've heard that one before. My sarcastic comment onstage had to do with the house manager coming up and telling me I should do one more number and get off. It was my last set of a hard tour, and I was very much in tune with the audience, just wrapping it up and feeling grand. I went into the backroom and blew my fucking top at him. I was absolutely livid with rage, the kind you get from exhaustion. Jorma sat there and watched the whole thing with approving amusement. We'd played two shows and traded off openers. Jorma opened the first show, I opened the second. The club manager decided to treat me like an opening act. Ego? You betcha!

Can't open your .wav file attachment. Can't open any IBM stuff.

Well, thanks for your story. You give a good perspective on how it was and what it became. And what a great way to follow the band!
Keep your wings level and see you around,


Subj: pleez reed meeeeee!!!!!!!!
Date: Sep 17 1996 11:56 PM EDT
From: gdead (Sally Mour)

Most Esteemed Sir,
We've never met, so I can't call you "Bob"or "Bob-O",and
"Mr.Hunter" makes me think of Jimmy Stewart filibusting, so Robert,
though informal,must do.Robert, what can we do?This Multimelodic
Monolithic Music Machine can't just creak and slide meaninglessly
down the muffling dunes of time, obscured and forgotten!This was
something i was born into!I am young and frustrated and Godamn well
feeling helpless!I need to do something that will make some sort of
difference in the outcome....maybe I'm pathetic, but this was my life.
I look to you with are the words you write in song,
the soul of the music,the Real McCoy.

Robert, I need you. We all need you. You may never read this, but I have
to write it.I can't let it all go unwritten, unsung.In fifty years, I
want my kids to know who The Grateful Dead were, and are...not some
idiot's horrible bullshit about the drug scene, and how people wore
tie-dyes, and walked around all loopy in the lot,ha-ha-ha.Yippy Skippy
for the Trippy Hippies.

My Aunt Debbi took me to my first show when i was a kid, and my mother,
the crazy carpainting, jointsmoking, turkeylaughing artist(murals! for a
living!)conceived yours truly in a bus, and we wore clown noses and did
assorted crazy dances that were made up on the spot. It was the most
positive place I had ever been at. And I got it.

I'm sure that you've heard it all before, and more, being who you are
and doing what you do.It must be hard to watch it after awhile, the
breakdown of the scene, the new generation of junkies and ravers.My
mother, after she got clean, would cry every time she heard about some
guy's kid or shit going down on the scene. In fact, it hurt her enough
so that she wouldn't even talk about it, or even listen to the tunes
anymore. Now she sells real estate. I hope it's not like that for you,
Storyteller, I don't ever want to see YOUR name next to a Century 21

You have inspired millions. You've inspired me. People listen to you.
We need something,soon. And I know we've been needing for
thirty-some-odd years, but now more than ever, we need an infusion of
spirit. I'm sorry I'm not very articulate, but I'm pretty upset(aren't
we all)and I can't type on these weird split keyboards.
We need to have SOMETHING. Because nothing ain't workin' for too long.
I apologize for needing, it's pretty damn rude, but i do.
please help us, or me, or the vague and wandering
masses!!! squeak squeak squeak.

yours truly,
Maxwell...the mouxe.

relax. I read it all. Answer most of it too. You got in under the wire before I put the "No more for a few days" sign up at the top of the page. I'll hit you between the eyes with the truth: there's nothing we can do for you except what we've already done. That's the rules here. I'll write stories for you and put my daily thoughts up on the net, just so long as it feels right to do, but we both know it isn't the same. It's your turn now to start from scratch and try to turn the world on to what yoy can do. Learn from what we did wrong and learn from what we did right. It's your heritage. To get quite corny, but not entirely off the mark, it's part of America. Just as much a part of it as filibusters, carpet bombing and anorexia. It's a matter of balances. Tip the scale!

Date: Sep 18 1996 9:47 PM EDT
From: (jrb)


RH, glad to see you back in one piece, a summer in england sounds like what
the doctor ordered.
I just read the latest archieve and I felt compelled to comment on a few
areas. As the end continues to collect pieces of what once was , the
sadness continues and I wish all involved green fields and soft rain.

>But surely the fans will buy vault releases?;They'll buy
>some, sure. The hard core will, but not enough to keep things going. Most
>of them are happy with tapes

Robert, I feel that you are right on the money with this, I buy them as I
like the superior quality of the sound and as long as they are able to put
out choice shows I will continue to buy them. But I feel that I am in the
minority of what the fan base was just a year ago, The touch of gray group
are quickly leaving the boat, I don't blame them as many were just on
because it was a cool place to be, and that is over.
As for dwindling record sales.. they were never all that great, everyone
knows that the records were not the prime vehicle for Dead Music.

But even tape trading has slowed down, with no new shows popping up it is
just trading away with the old stuff, of which the quality seems to be
improving as of late. I believe that this is due to the fact that the real
Dead Heads are the ones left and they are sharing their wealth. But this
will continue to slow more and more.

>News came via my email of Bill Monroe's well earned passage to the great
>beyond. I don't stoop to euphemism here.

I saw Bill last about a year ago, he was touring with Alison Krauss and Doc
Seeing him and Doc on stage just playing away and enjoying themselves
kinda saddened me as this is a position that Jerry should have lived to
enjoy. The legendary player who plays for himself, with no pressure for
sales, albums or butts in the seats. Just 2 old guys having fun with this
young girl and her band.

>Wanted to talk about these waning days of the Dead, but
>find little to actually say. Things are winding down at the office.
>When a situation gets as impossibly complex as this bird, without
>any solution in sight, it's time to chop off its head and serve it up
>for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone finds it hard to believe that it's
>really over, but it's not without its element of relief. Constant
>crisis has been wearing and tearing.

Jerry's death like everyone's leaves much in it's wake. The one who dies ,
just passes from being, while it's the living who struggle with their absence.

I see a parallel with the death of the Dead and the death of parents , as a
family struggles to go on without them, children wrestle with making
decisions that they knew from the first must be made. as much as it is put
off the day will arrive when they must sell off their parents possessions
to the antique dealer, have a yard sale then donate the rest to the goodwill
. the house will go on the market and total strangers will visit and
converse within ear shot of the wonderful plans they have to "improve" the
house.. a house with a life time of cherished memories , will all pass .
The reason for visiting the house , no longer exists and you turn over the
keys to the door and everyone gets on with the rest of their life.

This is the struggle now going on with the Dead family, no-one was prepared
for it , nor did they want to adjust to it. The eternal hope was to avoid
dealing with it and every thing will be OK. But that's not how life is, it
must be dealt with and now is the time.

Everyone knew immediately that without the band there was no longer a need
for the support function they were performing, the REX Foundation knew
immediately where the source of their funding was and that there would be no

It's always harder for the living because they must make the hard calls. I
read an article recently from this guy who goes into corporations and cuts
them up to restore profitability and he reasoned that he actually saved half
the employee's their jobs because when a corporation calls him the boat is
sinking fast and by trimming down the size of the ship he is able to keep
the ship afloat, thus keeping people employed who were doomed to lose their

It is the same with the GDP and spin-off's ..the problem, and the problem is
always the same, is that you are dealing with real people, friends who's life
will change..maybe for the better , maybe for the worse. It depends on what
door they pick. # 1 , # 2, or # 3. Some who had a reputation for being uninspired will grow wings and fly, others who everyone feels will prosper will grow beards, get fat and disappear from your circle forever.

RH, I know that this is long and rambling , but I feel comfortable
communicating my feelings with you as I am beginning to feel I know you, at
least the RH of the archive. I wish everyone well in the transitions that
are ahead , and they should always feel good that they were a part of such a
purveyor of good feelings as the Dead. they were all apart of it, the
little notes from the GDTS people in with the tickets were always a
treat.... real people prepared them..not some giant envelope stuffing machine.

It's late here on the east coast and the rooster will be crowing early
tomorrow. Good Night

John Barnes
Take Care

love those late night letters. Why do we get so wise late at night? I guess our egos go to sleep on schedule leaving minds more in touch with souls. I know, in my case, my best journal entries are generally after midnight.

Your estimation of things is approximately correct. It's all about friends and their plight at the moment. I've been personally prepared, for ten years, for the current run of events. But my tie with the organization has been that of an outsider ever since '72. I was once described as a maverick's maverick. All I ever wanted to do, back then, was to put my full energies into the songwriting aspect of the group, but that became harder and harder to do as other matters assumed greater immediate importance. I continued to write - there must be hundreds of lost songs, since that was before word processor files, and often there was only one typed or handwritten copy which, like as not, would go in someone's back pocket and end its life in the washing machine. "Hey Hunter, do you have another copy of that song?" I'd try to remember it, end up writing something else. A few phrases might remain.

Hey, I'm rambling too here - and it's not that late! Work to be done. Thanks for a good letter.


the following bar denotes a series of letters (6 in all, withmarks between pairs)

Date: Sep 17 1996 8:25 PM EDT
From: TDeang7917

Hello Hunter,
I was hesitant to write you because I know that you get quite a bit of mail. However I soon realized that I had no choice. My name is Aaron, and you and I have met each other before. Time: '78 or '79. Place: The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, PA. Characters: Dan Dolby, Bob, Dolores, Terry, and myself. After the gig, we all went back to your hotel room. Everyone was sitting around talking, except for myself. That's right, I was the little punk screwing with your tape recorder!! (Legend has it that I partially erased music from the Dead for Terrapin Station). I vaguely remember the experience, for I was only 4 or 5 at the time (I'm now 21). I kind of remember the elevator ride up to the room, hearing noises on top of the roof of the elevator, some how thought it was a lizard or alligator (Mars Hotel Record cover flashes to mind always when thinking of this instance...Maybe Owsley dosed me.Ha,Ha.) Anyway, my dad, Bob, tells me I pressed record, SORRY ABOUT THAT! Do you remember this event? Does magnetic Baba still watch over your climate controlled sustenance container? Interested to know if you recall our meeting, and perhaps your recollection of that evening. I realize that you are a very busy man, and I would understand if you do not get the occasion to respond. In any case, I wish you well!
Your friend,
Aaron DeAngelo

I half remember the incident. I sure liked playing the Main Point. That would have been toward the beginning of my stage career when I tended to do a bit of partying. I learned better! Didn't need to wake up with a hangover to carry to the next gig. But those days were a blast and, yes, magnetic Baba sits on the refrigerator door as a souvenir of those days. They never tried to convert me - just deadheads with a separate agenda. Rather amazing to find a cult without insistant or coercive conversion tactics. Once I was sitting in my dressing room in Philly, determined to let no one in for whatever reason. There was a knock at the door. When I didn't answer, under the door was pushed a glossy 8x10 of Baba with Tallulah Bankhead! What could I do. I let 'em in. They thought it was uproarious when, referring to pictures of their mentor, I said that anyone who could get his nose in his mouth was all-right with me!

Date: Sep 19 1996 7:54 PM EDT
From: TDeang7917

Hello hunter, this is Terry from philadelphia circle of friends. Aaron was pleased to see that you not only read your mail but respond to boot! For someone who partook in the party atmosphere as you claim, you have one hell of a memory. Yes, BABA probably could put his nose in his mouth but his greatest credit was knowing enough to keep quiet. The only reason I pay my $9.00 and something a month on AOL is to get my bellyfull of your soulful muse-what happened. I am in Hunter Homepage Withdrawl. Is the DEAD.NEt the only way to access your journal? Hey by the way the incident Aaron spoke of was at the Marriot hotel after a gig with Comfort. I remember that after discovering that your tape had been erased you were very gracious and also remarked that at least the other side that contained Bee Gees music had been salvaged. I think that particular night at the mainpoint had Owsley behind the board. Although I may be confusing Owsley with another early gig at the point.


damn that DeadNet! I can't get it myself. But soon, soon . . . with all flags flying! Meanwhile you can often boot my page up by URL:

Yeah that would have been the big O at the board.

Good to hear from you. And give my regards to Bob.


Date: Sep 20 1996 2:38 PM EDT
From: TDeang7917

My son Aaron recently wrote you as well as my brother Terry. To put me in your minds eye, I am dark haired, your height and usually knocked around with you after gigs with a friend of mine named Dan Dolby(light brown hair six foot three or so). The first time I met you was very interesting. I had always wanted to find out when you would get out and perform. Then hallelujah, Robert Hunter at the Main Point! After your first show there I went across the street with Dan to a crowded bar and as I looked from my table to the bar,there you sat. Not knowing if I could effectively tell you that I didn't think your place in the breeding of a "kinder,gentler" level of conciousness in this country could be overestimated-that you were the Grateful Dead and the band was the delivery system with Garcia's poignant selection of notes giving those seeds of yours emotion-rich soil that would hold them dear in the minds and hearts of the impressionable folks jamming those huge venues till their roots took hold grew and flowered across generations as we have seen(thank God your sensibilities were there to cancel or balance out the Megadeth and other such groups for the more recent teenagers). Your words were the attitudinal key for tremendous numbers of people that unlocked the barriers to any good that was to grow from the 60's. I could not embarrass you with this praise so I simply went up to you and told you if my house were on fire the first thing I would grab on the way out would be your Tales Of The Great Rum Runners album(CD's were around the corner but hey,who knew). You offered me some Pina Colada from you pitcher and as we drank a tall silhouetted figure appeared in the open doorway of the bar. He extended his arms and pointed a pistol in our direction. Dan, standing behind us extended his arms and pushed whoever he could reach(including you) down towards the bar. Thank God it was a water pistol. You said you knew who the guy was, some kook who had been following the dead shows doing harassing things and now he pops up in Bryn Mawr. After a couple more pitchers a guy in a suit who I assumed was travelling with you in some managerial capacity came up and said he wanted to shove off. I asked you where you were staying and told you it was on our way home, so you stayed. Eventually we left looking for a breakfast spot and then to the Marriot where you read us some work in progress. Thus it began, when you came to town, usually the Main Point, we were there to greet you with friendship and some damn good wine. I must say in response to my son's letter-Now, I've had women and money leave me at painfully unwelcome times, I have even had my wife turn on the hot-water in the kitchen while I was in the shower thereby getting blasted with cold water, but being referred to as a cultist/Baba lover and deadhead in the same letter is almost too much to bear. Anyway, glad to be informed through users of the internet like my brother Terry that your shoulder is still to the wheel and your heart, sweat and soul is still in you words which I have been reading as often as possible. Someone has to hold the compass and keep asking these listeners and admirers of yours "what I want to know is are you kind?" as you did in Uncle Johns's Band. Sincerely, Bob DeAngelo.
PS:Give a shout back-it would be great to hear from you.


really good to hear from you and I apologize for turning on the water while you were in the shower. I just read that section of your letter to Maureen and she remembers the time you brought her a crab for dinner and that you guys were the nicest people she met out on the road. I concur. Most sorry to slight you with the appellations "cult" or even "Deadhead." I don't ordinarily use term 2 and term 1 is, of course, dismissive and pejorative - more an indication of my own prejudices than a true estimation of anything I know enough about to judge that way. You know what a compulsive iconoclast I can be. I'm sure my feelings were always taxed by having the GD called a cult. Maybe we are, but it always comes from the mouths of someone with an attitude of being superior to all that. Have I groveled enough? I know your tolerance is assured out front, as always.
I'd forgotten about the gun incident. Do you hear much from Dan these days? Last I heard he was leaving Philly, at least for awhile, after a painful split-up. If so, let him know I asked after him. I'd like to hear what happened next in his adventures.
Regards to all. You guys always made me feel at home in Philadelphia.


Subj: A Grateful Friend Fades Away
Date: Sep 18 1996 12:52 AM EDT
From: (nik yardley &patty reading)

Dear Robert,
I've been wanting to relay this story to you and the multitudes for
awhile, so here goes:

Our dear friend Steven Mehall passed away on August 12. Steve had
been battling AIDS for many years, and finally let go after the ravages of
brain cancer, intestinal cancer and viral pneumonia. While in the
hospital, he struck up a conversation with a nurse named Dorothy about the
Grateful Dead. He lamented that he had a tape of every show but his first,
and could not even remember what was played...only that it turned him on.
She said there might be a way for her to get a copy. This was on Wednesday
August 7th.
On Thursday, Steve took a turn for the worse. By Saturday, the Dr.
gave him 24 hours to live.
But Steve hung on through the weekend, apparently waiting for someone or
something. Around noon on Monday, Dorothy returned with a soundboard tape
of Steve's first show, 12-3-90. Steve was lying with his eyes closed,
unable to speak and breathing through an oxygen mask, heavy doses of
morphine easing his tremendous pain. The Doctor ordered the walkman and put
in the tapes.
Amazingly, Steve's head began bopping to the beat...keeping time
through both cassettes.
Somewhere near the end of Tape 2, he opened his eyes and stared at his
parents. His Dad pressed stop on the walkman, and Steve took his last
breath. It was later discovered that he made it till the end of the
In a memorial service the following Saturday in Sutro Heights Park
in San Francisco, Steve's ashes were placed in a ceramic " Box of Rain"
that he had sculpted with his own hands. The lyrics that you so carefully
wrote were read aloud as a poem.
We miss him tremendously, but take comfort that he is no longer
suffering. Thanks for your inspiration during this incredibly difficult

Gratefully Yours,

Nik and Patty

Nik and Patty,

am at a loss for words. Thanks for letting me know.


Date: Sep 17 1996 6:41 PM EDT
From: (David Gault)

I've been reading your online journal and I'd like to
thank you for making it available. It's one of the
high points of the net for me.
Also enjoying the McKenna dialogue. Either he's come down
to Earth relative to where he was last time I saw him or
you're exactly the foil he needs. I wish I could still
think like you guys seem to!

I read that you may get on the Well. If you need any help
with that let me know. I ran the computers there(here)
for a couple of years so I can really confuse you.

Thanks again,

David Gault

thanks for checking in. I had a feeling someone was reading the journal who hadn't written yet. Glad you like Orfeo. Gives a good stretch of the brain into the numesmatic every once in a while. Stamps of strange countries peeled off oddshaped envelopes with no return address but

Date: Sep 20 1996 8:55 AM EDT
From: LzyRvrRd
Subj: furthur, etc.

Hello again RH, we met last at Laguna Seca Daze, just before the Nevilles' set..We shook hands and introduced our wives and 'Katies' my name is Mike Harrison, and I also wrote you mail to 'DeadHeads',San Rafael...I have been reading the mailbag for the past few months, promising myself that I would write you again, mostly because I want to respond so often to the mail you get, as well as the comments i see when i tune in to the chat rooms. It's kinda like watching a talk show and wanting to be the next caller, so you can address the last issue..My own little message is this. I went to hear Mystery Box at Laguna Seca, and had no idea what to expect.. My own personal gift was meeting you. It helped me to open my heart to the new. It was always the same in my own personal experience as far as music went, and still goes. First, the hook of the melody and chord progression pulled me in...then, as I got to listening to it again, and again, I started to hear the lyrics...and as they sank in on me, the vision, the difference with mystery box is that the melodies are based on the chants, and are considerably less complex than Garcia's melodies...I once wrote to him that he 'painted on the silence' and sent him a copy of Hugo's "Les Miserables", some sort of emotional appeal to him...this was around 1992, when it appeared that he was trying to get his health together.....well, I went to only three of the Furthur Festivals...Cal-Expo, Shoreline, And Jerry's B-day in the ventura show, i was starting to hear the incredible layering of sound in the mystery box..especially during 'the next step' and the people around me dancing and the eye contact made me realize that indeed, 'all we need is is all we got...' by then, I got it...but it took effort on my part, that i was willing to exert. Now, with no news really coming out about upcoming events, even though we are just now trading the tapes of the tour...there are no shows coming up to plan for.. in the sense that we aren't planning to see all our friends that live all over, and we meet at 'the shows' feels very unusual. we all miss each other.. and while the net is great, and being online with everyone is great, it is important that we congregate physically, i think.. or at least i want..just one more thing, before i know, they have these video recordings of all those shows... we have two or three of the ones that got know what i am talking about...all those line feeds to the big screens, etc. the ones that we have, we trade with certain of our friends and believe me we Treasure them, like gold, or better....even they are no replacement for the actual thing, but they make us feel so good, and we watch them over and over..somebody has got to step up and say, Hey, please put them out. Just like they are is fine.. WE ALL love you and the boys with all of our hearts and never could get enough of you....we know Phil is tough about these areas..and it seems, that consequently, very little has passed his approval... but hey, we need that stuff...the special moments are all contained in that special footage...we know, because we have had a peek at those wonderful archives, and so, on behalf of my fellow deadheads, I'm begging you for your support in getting as many of these shows released as possible.. You know we will buy know why we need them, too..that's all I'm asking... The only other thing on my mind tonight is letting you know how much this has all meant to me....and I just search and search for a way to repay you for the kind thing you have done...articulating our, mike....LzyRvrRd

got your letter. Of course I remember meeting you back at the furst firther. I just can't keep track of paper in the hurricane of my wood pulp files - which is to say daunting towering tumbling stacks of paper all over the room. I've given up on paper mail. Just given up. I don't even know where the stamps & envelopes are. I try to compensate by being conscientous with the email.

I know nothing about the video tapes, no having been around much during the diamond screen phase, but I'm glad to hear they exist. You overestimate my power if you think I have any say whatsoever in what does or doesn't go out publically from the Grateful Dead. Since I rule my own domain, the Archive, there my be a delusion I have similar powers outside it. Sorry, it ain't so.

No repayment necessary. The reward of a writer is to be read.


From: Alan
Subj: re 9/11

You're right on target on the process. The trick to me in any written medium seems to be to take a unique experience from your own life, from another or a vision you've created and communicate in a way that it has a universal range of messages without losing the individuality you intended. Is that possible? To some degree, given the limits and imperfections we've been talking about.

But sometimes even the most obvious of things gets whacked into a pigeonhole from which it may never escape. Case in point: The verse from "Black Muddy River" that begins: "When it seems like the night will last forever..." I always wondered at the inevitable cheers that arose when Garcia sang that line. My take on the verse has nothing to do with happiness or cheerfulness or a Dead show; it's about those small hours of the night, those hours when the human mind and body are at their most vulnerable, when you're alone physically and/or mentally and it seems like time slows or is suspended in a very depressing sort of warp. And by extrapolation and within the context of the work, those times in your life when the same sort of ennui invades. Not exactly the moment for a raucous cheer ...

And that raises a point about values. Is the value of what we attempt to communicate diminished because the listener extracts something entirely different than what we intended? Given the imperfect nature of communication, it's bound to occur repeatedly. But is the frustration more the product of the imperfection or the artist's ego? Beyond using the experience to attempt to communicate more precisely, is it even worth worrying about?

Another line of inquiry, originated in Dead stuff and intensified by listening to a lot of African music and reading translations of the lyrics: To what extent does the medium - the music - distort perceptions of the lyrical message? We've certainly seen it in the characterization of a lot of Dead songs. And one of the most beautiful, haunting songs I've heard anywhere is a Zairean piece by Tabu Ley Rochereau and Patience Dabany called "Sango Ya Mawe." I fell in love with the piece not knowing what it was about; it has the typically strong soukous/rhumba beat, incredible melodies and emotional, evocative lead and harmony singing. It wasn't until about a year after I heard the song that I found a CD with liner notes and learned it was a death lament. And so it goes with so many African/Third World pieces. The rhythm groove and melody get through, but the (almost always) morality-play lyric goes unheeded, if for no reason but that it was in a different language. Then we bounce back to your work and find so many gritty glimpses of life set to decidedly non-gritty melodies, which opens up a whole new area of misinterpretation. Is there any way to deal with that? Or is it just a peril of the medium, similar to the newspaper headline writer or page designer who can thoroughly alter the initial perception of what I write?


I long ago gave up on expecting my message to come across intact with the shade of meaning intended. Your interpretation of "Black Muddy River" is correct, but "BMW" (a different animal) strained through the prankster's net gives a collection of one liners that make a different sense in the non-linear time of a song. I understand and accept that a song is received as a collection of momentary events, rather than as a connective tissue - for the most part. I sometimes write with that in mind, which of course gives the lyric on paper a more fragmented appearance, which puzzles critics. Note that I said sometimes, not always! A song with good connective tissue AND lots of non-linear events is a superior animal. Every line should not be an event though, or it steps on the event before it.


Subj: OOOPS Forgot....


Wanted to congratulate you on your latest accomplishment....Zero's
recording of "The Devil and the Trees" on the new compilation. Just picked
it up yesterday, and must say I really enjoy it. Who'd thought Zero could
sound that good in the studio? Fantastic.

I'm enclosing one of my reviews from the last Zero gig (8-31),
cause I had some really powerful experiences with the lyrics that night.
Again, pardon my head on this one.

in light,

>Mime-Version: 1.0
>Date: Thu, 5 Sep 1996 18:18:11 +0100
>From: (t)
>Subject: 8/31 People's Party - Set I
>Precedence: bulk
>Sebastapol Community Center 8.31.96
>1) Cole's Law, Roll Me Over, Hiway 61, Catalina, Rigor Mortis, Riding
>w/ King, Home on the Range
>(Banana played guitar the entire 1st set & sang "Riding w/ King")
> We arrived at the gig during the acoustic opening act and were
>quite relieved to only see *one* keyboard up on stage. Nothing against our
>good friend Vince Welnick, whom I've always enjoyed and supported in his
>artistic pursuits....but ZERO isn't where I like to catch him. IMHO, every
>time I've seen him sit in with Zero I've never thought either keyboard
>player ended up sounding as good as they do by themselves. Too many cooks
>in the kitchen? I dunno....what I do know is that Zero certainly doesn't
>need any outside help when it comes to showing their adoring fans a good
>time. I remember a quote from McCoy Tyner, the pianist for the famed John
>Coltrane Quartet, where he said that when that band would be playing they
>were SO tight and close with one was nearly impossible to
>let anyone else jam with them. There was simply no room. They couldn't
>reach the heights they were accustomed to when adding other players to the
>equation. And on occasion this has been my experience with Zero. It
>would've been nice to SEE Vince though...I mean, he missed one hell of a
>show, huh? ;-)
> The gig was a really beautiful family scene with plenty of children
>running wild and lots of smiling parents. I'll be the first to admit I can
>enjoy the "edge" of a bar or smokey club, but there's just something about
>partying with family in a nice, clean, & *safe* community center....lets do
>this again!
> "Cole's Law" has to be the perfect opener. Like a quiet tide
>making its way up the beach, Zero began to patiently explore the theme of
>this beautiful song. For this "Cole's Law" we were lucky enough to be
>dancing with our friends Scott & Trudy who named their son Cole after this
>tune!! We are just one big family, and when the new generation takes their
>names from the high art of those who came before them....its a beautiful
>example of timeless LOVE. For another example, check out Martin's gentle
>solo on this number.
> The recently revived (8/16 Fillmore) "Roll Me Over", sounded
>stronger the second time around with Judge, Steve, and Martin all adding to
>the texture. I didn't say anything about it on the net (hello? anyone home?),
>but my computerless ZeroFamily friends were *really* excited about this
>one's return to the rotation. The beautiful lyrics and famous
>improvisations hadn't been heard in these parts in a long while and folks
>out here ARE excited about the return. "Highway 61" was the first
>full-tilt boogie number of the evening, and folks seemed to be shaking it
>pretty good out there....nice 'ummph' pouring out of the Hammond on this
>one too.
> "Catalina" followed and was her usual, beautiful self. Great tenor
>solo from Martin, and I really love the organ/sax whirlwind thats brings
>the band back for the last verse. The melody is SO breathtaking and to be
>accompaning those magical lyrics......maybe my first born will be
>"Catalina"? ;-)
> Definitely the strangest "Rigor Mortis" I've heard. Ever. Lets
>see, Martin starts the fun with a sax solo, while SK leaves the stage to
>get a smoke in outside. If memory serves, I think that Chip laid out for a
>bit when SK returned. (The nicotine relay-team?) SK eventualy makes his
>way back to the stage and then *really* slows things down with his solo.
>The "space" of this "Rigor" has to be heard to be believed. Jeffrey's
>review captures it better than I could (see: the abyss). Like Jeffrey, I
>wasn't sure whether this had "worked" or not at the time...but hearing the
>tape after the show, I must say it *did*. The textures of the wooden pan
>flute and bass sound unlike anything I think I've heard from this band
> Walking around the back of the community center we ran into our
>good friends Antonia and Zoe. These two have been seeing Zero a LONG time
>(trust me). We stood around and took in the scene for a moment, really
>digging on that slide of Cipollina, and then the band launched into "Riding
>with the King". I remarked that the boys must've felt their presence and
>were "kicking down the old school jams for the ladies" :-). We then
>proceeded to boogie seriously. Twas a fantastic version and Banana threw
>in that part about "playing that guitar 'til the day I die"....and I
>could've sworn I was feeling a third guitar out there on stage. Anyone
> I thought they'd take a break at this point and was stunned when
>they began "Home on the Range". This may not have been the tightest
>version of all time, but I've NEVER been more overwhelmed with emotion and
>spirit by this tune before. I *really* like the new arrangement, just goes
>to show how unbelievable this band really is. Judge delivered the lyrics
>perfectly, and I couldn't shake the notion that the song had been written
>for this exact moment in time.
> "Conversation...gettin' in my ear
> YES, I love you
> But I don't want to hear..."
> Kind of a "moth before a flame" type situation. Entranced by the
>beauty of the escaping Light, we want to get closer and closer to the
>source. Of course, getting closer can involve alot of other baggage (or
>silly conversation) that isn't at all what you were looking for. What to
>do? Honesty. Give your Love and know when to use those earplugs.
>Man the band was really cookin'...charging through the verses with great
>abandon. Did I mention the serious amount of boogie? People were getting
>*down* like their lives depended on it....and they just may have! When
>you're using your "poor heart as a brake" you gots to make it up somewhere,
>right? 'Get down' so that you may find the strength to 'get up' the next
> The choruses of this tune were infused with raw emotion and psychic
>energy that (again) I've never felt before. It was like I was in the
>bathtub and Zero was a big was almost too much. The words
>were coming from somplace very deep and each chorus got more and more
>Where the buffalo wander...
>....and the lovin' don't change
>....and the people (friends, brothers, family) don't change
>...and can we all go together and find someplace, anyplace,
>Where a dollar isn't change??
>Maybe we'd have even more fun there. At least I know some folks would.

>From: (t)
>Subject: 8/31 People's Party - Set II
>Sebastapol Community Center 8.31.96
>2) Favela, Devil & the Trees, Pits of Thunder, Can't Keep a Good Man Down
>E1) The Weight
>E2) Last Night-->Richie's Rooster
> "Favela" has to be the best thing to happen to Zero since "La
>Fiesta". Just as with "Fiesta", I do not think there is any band out
>there that could pull off "Favela"....except Zero. Its not the way that
>Martin plays the sax, its not the way that SK plays the guitar, its not
>the way that BV thumps the Fender, nor is the secret ingredient either
>Anton's percussion or Chip's fancy fingers. Something happens when they
>are ALL on stage together. I've seen Martin, SK, BV, and Chip all play
>with different bands and I enjoy that. But they don't play like they play
>when they are Zero. Must be group-mind or something. I love it.
> Martin got the first solo and completely nailed it. Chip & SK
>were right there adding color to the improvisation and Greg and Bobby kept
>those changes moving. Chip and Steve both took great turns at leading the
>ship, the run on the organ particularly knocked me out. The dancing that
>was going on seemed to be a sacred celebration, with all of the
>participants happily letting themselves GO into the music/mystic. And
>people knew when to zig and when to zag....I mean this was only the 2nd
>time Zero blew through this number, and I saw my family dancing like
>they'd danced to this one for years!
> Of course it wasn't the fancy feet of the Zero family that was
>making this dance happen. Just as it wasn't Martin's sax or Steve's
> was all of us being together at this very special moment
>that brought this Beauty upon/from/to US. The Zero Formation. Here Goes
>Nothing. Nothing Goes Here. Go Hear Nothing. Nothing Happened....and it
>was incredible. Praise Nothing! Praise Zero!
> "The Devil & the Trees" was a revelation for me. I admit that the
>first few times I heard this one, I wasn't completely sold on it, but on
>this night it grabbed me. I've never heard Zero vocals sound this good
>before. Judge, Chip, and Martin's voices came together to create a
>beautiful blend that was stunning. No dancing for me, I was against the
>back wall just letting the sound reign on me. The lyrics spoke to me like
>they never had before, as Zero beautifuly illustrated how connected to one
>another (ONE) we really are. Judge delivered the verses perfectly, and I
>could really feel the entire room begin to warm up to this song. Standing
>at the back I saw others standing motionless, staring with the same
>faraway look towards the stage. The end of the song was really great,
>Judge down on one knee in order to hear his monitor and Chip with one hand
>to his ear....these guys were giving it ALL to this tune. Judge's famous
>growl spit out the powerful chorus again and again, with Chip's tender
>voice serving as a Halo on this night....not just harmony.
>"Ain't hard to figure, no mystery,
> If the forests die, baby, so do we..."
> When they finally managed to end this one, there were alot of
>misty-eyed looking folks wandering around the hall. Years down the road
>when this song is considered an "oldie" at the Zero gigs, I know that when
>they play it I will remember *this* night as the night that the song spoke
>to me. Its still a newborn song, with a long way to go.....but I'm pretty
>sure we got a serious glimpse of the goodness to come. And THAT probably
>qualifies as Magic. Zero tricks. It was real!
> Martin was nice enough to direct the 'misty-eyed wanderers' as to
>their next move with the announcement of: "Ladies &
>your asses off" as the boys started into....wait whats this? I was having
>a *good* time, but I swear I didn't recognize "Pits" for at least a couple
>of moments. I thought they were chugging into an old Quicksilver tune for
>a second there! Could've sworn I heard a familar sound...and it wasn't
>"Pits". Well, not right away anyways. Anyhow, this was the "funkified"
>"Pits of Thunder" I mentioned in an infamous post of a few weeks back.
>There is the funkiest lil' riff thats been injected into this number and
>man, can these boys spin *that one* around! Personally, this is one of my
>favorite Hunter lyrics and I get the feeling they're powerful enough to
>drive the band as well. There was more than enough pepper in the soup
>this evening....maybe too much for some folks. Fantastic solos from
>Martin and Steve made this one of the best "Pits" I've seen thus far. If
>we keep getting music that is THIS high-energy....I'll probably have to go
>on one of those cold coffee/day-old jelly roll diets, cause this music was
>*really* rich. Gotta chaser?
> After the conclusion of "Pits" Chip Roland simply grabbed his
>shaker and started to sing: "You Can't Keep a Good Man Down". I mean, how
>primal can you get? A man, his shaker, and his mojo. Great Stuff.
>Chip's singing started things off and then the band fell in behind him as
>the "Good Man" began to chug along.
>"... Your parlor is looking nice,
>But I'm not one you can tie"
> Again, the vocal harmonies were sounding great with Judge & Chip giving
>their all. While this "Good Man" was probably not quite as long as the
>marathon Rico CO version this July (tapes?....anyone?), like most of the
>other tunes this night packed an emotional punch that I've never felt
>before. This was heavy stuff, please hold on and keep all hands and feet
>inside the cabin. This turned out to be the set closer since it was
>getting pretty late with that 1:40 first set and all....but we knew they
>weren't going to get away that easily!
> The best version of "The Weight" I've ever seen was the first
>encore. Once again the raw emotion was overwhelming and I'm sure the
>wonderful vocal harmonies were a big reason why. Judge was singing his
>heart out, I've never heard him sound this good before. It was the
>choruses that were driving the spirit home though. Judge & Chip really
>have a great vocal blend together, the contrast in their voices works
>great. Chip's Halo harmonies were the best tender and
>vulnerable sounding. Just matter-of-factly laying down the truth.... "You
>put the Load right on me". Martin's gorgeous improvisation also must be
>mentioned here. So many neat twists and turns, all working within an
>amazing sense of melody.
> We demanded another encore and boy did we get one! It took a
>little research but we have now identified that very interesting intro-jam
>before the "Richie's Rooster" as part of "Last Night" which I believe was
>recorded by Booker T. & the MGs long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.
>Chip started us off with a pearl of a whirl on the organ and then Martin
>got in a few spirited licks before Chip led the way into "Richie's
>Rooster". This was an A+ version of a tune thats always a good time. The
>teaser of a lead-in was a real gas and then when the big rooster was put
>on the spot ("How DO you do it, richie's rooster?")....boy, did we get a
>surprising answer! Not a simple "cocka doodle doo" this time, we got alot
>more than we bargained for from the bird. Sort of a spoiled,
>whiney-sounding shriek (!) is probably the best way I could describe it.
>I dunno what Chip thought about the answer, but some of us were thinking
>that the bird perhaps could use a psychological evaluation. He seemed to
>be toying with us. But there's no denying that there were some serious
>"bad chicken moves" going on....and the weirdness comes with the
> After the gig I heard a number of people say this was "the best
>Zero gig I've seen". The last time I heard that many folks talking like
>that was the 3-16-96 Maritime Hall gig. I'll just say that this was the
>most powerful show I've seen in a LONG while and I don't think I was
>putting together complete sentences until at least a few days later. A
>big thanks to Lisa who opened up her house to us (big mistake ;-) ) and as
>always it was inspiring to spend time with the best folks on the
>planet....Zero fans. I was able to put a few more faces together with
>e-mail addresses, and hope to meet a few more of you this weekend in Santa
> And of course, big THANKS to the band who make it all possible.
>We love all of you guys and really appreciate all that you do for us.
>We're out here hanging on every note.....please don't ever leave us
>hanging! ;-)
>this message brought to you by:
>in association with:

im a longwinded bastard, eh?

The following is an ongoing correspondence throughout several mailbags, so if you tuned in in the middle, there you go. rh

Subj: Re: 9/14
Date: Sep 14 1996 5:44 PM EDT
From: (George Edward Hamilton)


A surfeit of inward attention or respect for economy has led me to
leave holes in the accounts of what I've been up to. With your
permission I'll update you a bit, in hopes that I ring a bell in the
morpho-genetic field we share.

I think I've been constructing the societal equivalent of an
all-of-nothing box. This is a generic term for any set of measurements
taken on quantum particles that return the particle to its original
form. The odd thing, the impossible thing, is that the particle does
not emerge in its original form, but starts anew with new probabilites,
in a new quantum state.

The form my box takes is just a movie script. I'm not sure where it
started, but somewhere along the line I came up with a mirror theory,
while trying to make a movie about artificial intelligence coming to
life. I realized I was making a movie about any emerging consciousness,
including my own (I was raised a fundamentalist Mormon), and that
anything conscious does nothing but mirror things, the world, etc. I
formulated opposites from this (as mirrors do), first conjecting that
the world is actually inside the individual, and the individual consists
of the world. Other principles came to mind as this progressed, such as
sight=being, nothing=pure sight (perfectly capable of seeing itself),
the mirror is nothing=infinity, etc. Lately I've decided that quantum
systems avoid all possibility of what can be, maintaining only what
cannot be, and thus create a perfect mirror of zero dimension which of
course must become something else, in a cosmic dance of being which
leaves only the residue of process itself. All this to elucidate why my
script is so paradoxical (the details of which I'll get to in a moment)
and why it is an approach to heresy.

Julian Jaynes proposed that our consciousness arose by a fusing of our
bicameral minds into one persona. I once watched a catfish from a POV
that only allowed me to see one of its eyes. The eye looked fully
human, fully aware, and led me to propose another principle of
mirroring: that which sees cannot see itself. Thus the two cameras must
construct a semblance, an illusion of oneness in what must be an
extremely complex system of mirroring, so that the organism can swim
away, chase food, etc. - acting *as if* it were conscious of itself as a
single entity.

This is the effect I wish to achieve with the audience vs. the movie;
to create a oneness, a fusing, a mirroring that becomes a living thing,
oddly enough to do the opposite of what a machine-like virus (such as
HAL 9000 or the Catholic Church, for instance) would do, and allow us to
be ruled by human consciousness rather than uncontrollable,
self-replicating machine consciousness (an illusion itself, just as we
only appear to be self-conscious to others in a relative sense, so does
the machine appear to act that way; I think you would agree that we are
never fully self-conscious, to be so would be to be conscious of
nothing, I theorize, an infinite act which we can only approach,
indefinitely). The "theory" behind this is we are the best machines we
know of, most capable of love, insight, and compassion.

This left me with the movie, and what it was about. I have spent many
years looking for it, resisting the idea that it would have anything to
do with me. One day I had a "Christ consciousness" moment, which, to my
cold calculating mind just left me with an appreciation of the power of
the myth of the dying god. But eventually I was forced to admit I was
searching for what I later felt was the object of the intellectual and
political perambulations from the fall of Rome until today - the
emperor, the center of decision making, that thing which the Romans
tried to make hard and real.

Gravity is the act of making centers. As you may have witnessed in
psychotropic moments, the universe revolves around crumbling and
coalescing centers. I was left to construct something a step beneath
the idea of Jesus, whose great shadow cast such a horror across the
landscape. I think I can sum it up best by refering to the conclusions
of theologians: we need God to be here with us, or at least the mortal
equivalent, to avoid the sickening vacuum that is hell itself, the place
where no life can survive, the absence of all center.

To do so, I need to make a fool of myself. Now I hope it isn't a
complete fool; the very last thing I want to do is aim for the infinite,
Jesus did that and became the great thump, the low-pressure center at
the eye of the hurricane that generates crushing waves. I just want to
look a bit silly, and leave a process whereby anyone wanting to take the
center must also submit to this simple crucifixion. I don't think
anything else is possible anyway, I don't think I could accidentally
create a horror - we are much too far down the path of reflection; each
successive king will be a smaller and smaller affect, I theorize, with
greater and greater effects in the direction of human happiness; that
is, the process, now being thoroughly commercialized, has to pass
through the market first, effectively emasculating the process itself,
while leaving whatever center is created effective in the short term.

So we make ourselves inside a movie. And the movie becomes the mirror
of the world. The game is simply "Hi, I'm the emperor" and everyone can

I have to start it off. That's all. It has to be a center-creating
thing, and the center has to be a human being. Me to start, and later
on, one guy (or girl) is elected leader of every country in the world,
pretty much (inside the movie, that is) and this solves a lot of
problems. Of course, it reveals problems as it solves them, such as the
tricky definition of where power (and therefore decision-making)
actually lies. We discover the something that is never fully resolved,
even inside our own heads. But as history continues, and if we are to
become smarter and smarter, this is the question we will always pursue,
and by pursuing will remain relative to ourselves in the position of
being as free as we can be; to not pursue would be to fall into slavery,
to be overtaken by viral machines.

Revealing these problems, of course, leads to paradoxes, and the plot
thickens, eventually reversing itself into the only possible outcome: it
was only a movie.

Nothing happened. Thus an all-of-nothing box. But the audience
emerges a quantumly-changed thing, with the universe of possibility
freshened up like a frosty drink. Hopefully. Now the crux of this is
that, being supposedly an infinite thing, its start is very inauspicious
- so much so that I have not gotten a single response from anyone in a
position to make this happen. My great meetings with the Great Men fell
through. The script, as written, is fading away, the plot that centered
around a desparate rush to pump out a cheap manipulative trick *before
this election* has become desperately insupportable, and falls more so
each day. I am in a quiet spot, strangely calm and at some peace.
It will have to be a more simple thing, plodding and pedestrian, if it
is to be... maybe appropriate to a history too mature to shine. But I
will have consolation; there is much borrowed glory to be had: Delibes,
Bach, Handel, et al, and glorious stock footage of architectural
triumphs. Maybe they won't cut it all out. Maybe I'll do it.

And maybe it's been a great dream. I have appreciated your comments
very much; you have been a guide-line of moral thinking, of careful
insight, of much use to me while I strangled, for a time, on my own
rope. I have emerged much improved. As for what I'll do now, I don't
know; I'm down to throwing the I-Ching for guidance, an act of
desperation I suppose. It tells me to hold the course, I think.


well, I'm glad I asked. I only follow what you're saying "so far" having little patience with the quantum metaphor as regards "life". I'm satisfied that anything out of the metaphor making machine of the brain has the same limitation an eyeball has when trying to see itself without the aid of a mirror. But many of your individual lines resonate with my own thinking.

I do know the perplexity of having too much power inside bursting to get out and transform the world - and of being simply taken with a grain of salt for my attempts. And of the power turning back on myself in frustration. I think the world is very fickle (projection or not) and you can't force yourself on it. Just persist and persist and persist, and you may be thrown a crumb or the whole cake or a slap in the face for your efforts. When and if you have your own way, the reward is likely not what you wanted at all, or you're too old to care much for what you cared for passionately at an earlier stage. In most cases this signals burnout - but I firmly believe that if you continue persuing a direction appropriate for you, a provisionally successful outcome is likely in the form of a redefined reward proportional to your actual achievements, rather than to your mere raw potential. A reward that will not destroy you.



My e-mail was a boring piece, but you can certainly post it. The funny
thing is, the scripts are a hell of a lot of fun, all three of them - I
guess when I try to explain the theory the sleek surface disappears.

I'm gonna write "Magick" now - the only missing piece. I'm gonna have
fun; you're right about the world being fickle - god it couldn't be
better. Now I know why Iroquois laughed while being tortured. I'm
gonna have a blast with this one. I sure have some funny friends you
wouldn't mind sharing a drink with, if you're ever in Marina del Rey.


Date: Sep 20 1996 1:06 PM EDT
From: KCromano
Subj: Some Tasty eats at Marin


Hello and welcome back to the states. I hope you've adjusted from the jet lag. I also hope your taking e-mail, if not sorry to bug you. I actually need your opinion as a long time Marin resident I hope you don't mind helping out. My husband and I are in from the east coast (we too are trying to adjust from the time change) and are going to head up to Marin this afternoon and do some exploring. We're looking for a great restaurant and I was wondering if you could point us in the right direction. Any suggestions would be a big help. We know some in SF but when it comes to Marin we're drawing a blank and sometimes I find reviews to be over-rated. Thanks take care. -KCR


most unusual request I've ever received on the Archive! It's 2:35pm now so too late to recommend restaurants for lunch. Besides, I never eat out anyway so don't know.

Date: Sep 20 1996 12:51 AM EDT
From: RStaplziii
Subj: Here's one

File: ALKDJFS.WPD (1896 bytes)

Robert Hunter

I have attached a poem. Sarah wrote the top for the most part. I wrote the bottom, for the most part. I think that perhaps they should be separated. Might you suggest a title.

Thank You,

Robert H. Staples III

please, don't send attachments. Here's a sample of what I received:
WPCh h Y:X±' àX^Çæe¢Å£âñɧ5-¨

Date: Sep 21 1996 9:42 PM EDT
From: Montana386
Subj: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


Stayed up last night to catch up on your journal entries from 9/15/96. I am simultaneously reading the Greenfield and Scully books. Adding your thoughts to that material made for a very sobering experience. Suddenly the ground beneath my feet seems less solid.

Today I strapped on my portable CD player and - with the dead in my ears and Scully's book in my backpack - hiked up Perkin's Peak at Bear Mountain. Hoping to regain my equilibrium. Trying to sort out what was real and what was not. Who can tell? Not me.

What I know is that feelings that surface and are shared when the music plays are real and lasting. That they transcend to other scenes and areas in my live. That allowing the feelings helped me be concious of the human condition and tolerant of my fellow travelers. This was not Jerry's doing alone. It was the Group thing. I still feel the loss of Jerry but I also feel just a little angry at him for indulging all the time and eventually ruining a good thing. My fantasy was that we would all grow old together and that this uniquely creative Group - that includes your lyrics Robert, and Barlow's - would be a our companion into the next century. That might have been a first for a musical entity and its audience: to grow up, mature and die together.

With the splintering going on now where is the cohesiveness that could have been achieved, the comforting huddle during a period of loss?

I went to several Furthur Festivals and felt somehow reassured that Bobby, Mickey and Bruce were at least appearing on the same stage - even if not in the same Band. And that brand new RH-lyrics were being performed by at least one of the boyz. But today with Summer gone and no Fall schedule to look forward to I feel that even that small consolation has gone out the window.

No sense in dwelling on what is not. Robert, I'm sure we all appreciate the forum your journal entries, archives and other writings on the net provide for us to share our thoughts and feelings on all things dead and living. Stay with us for a while and keep us informed about your work (I am still waiting for the release of your Kerouac readings).


you don't do things by halves, do you? Your letter made me very sad. Both those books contain psychological dynamite, neither contain a satisfactory balance of some very basic stuff, also true, which every deadhead knows by virtue of many personal experiences with the GD environment. That ain't news. Dirty laundry is news. Any book which focuses on Garcia has plenty of that to deal with. In terms of the expectations we have of a true shining folk hero, he tends to baffle. When all is said and done, heroin is an addictive substance which paralyzes the moral consciousness. All junkies are the same junkie. "Train Spotting" (the book, I haven't seen the movie) tells it in the most comprehensive way imaginable.

Heroin, period, destroyed our scene. It destroyed Jerry, though I think he really saw the light in his last weeks and I feel, had he survived his enlarged heart problem (he needed open heart surgery, not just restorative care, at this point) things would have turned around. I really believe that. There was a big enough spark of decency in the man to overcome. As to whether the group can overcome the prejudice of the current reports, that is another matter. They are all clean, have been for years, and, for the most part, healthier than in the last decade. The breakup has probably saved lives.

You say the ground beneath your feet suddenly feels less solid. I can dig it. I felt the same upon reading those books. I knew the gist, but particulars are a different matter. My dream for the Grateful Dead went down in flames too and I am somewhat bitter, but not embittered. I think that's an important distinction. I believe in the community, because I see it in action every day via the email. All I can say for certain is contained in the old expression: "the jewel is in the lotus" and, of course, the lotus is reknowned for growing out of the muck and mire. The jewel is the community which flourished around the Grateful Dead. The muck, mire and lotus were the band and its internal scene.

So, digest the rude truths, half truths, and occasional balanced perspective in the books, and see what you come up with in time. I think the music speaks for itself - argues the invisible side coherently. Weigh and balance.


Date: Sep 23 1996 11:46 PM EDT
From: Montana386


Thank you for caring. Your words did help put things in perspective. And if the breakup saved lives I won't argue with it. There were enough casualties. Brent's death hurt, too. I suppose I simply needed to hang on to my cavalier attitude about Jerry's drug use and pretend he had some sort of control left. Reading the Scully/Greenberg books was bad enough but I could rationalize "sour grapes" and "profit motive". But then finding your words about how all of this translates to the lives of all the people back in the office in San Raphael it hit me square between the eyes. No more rationalizing. This is real.

The Dead started out with the belief that new order will arise from chaos. Along the road the band became an employer. The situation the employees find themselves in now is suspiciously similar to that of countless people in Corporate America. This was not the intended outcome. There is a lesson here someplace.

Miraculously, the corporation - that did not want to be - for thirty years put out a "product" that many people seemed to need. A "product" that filled a real void and continues to do just that. I find some time everyday to listen to the music - in the car on the way to work, during my nightly walks, on airplanes, at business conventions. Without fail, I always get what I'm looking for. I never come up empty. Real pieces of Americana. Poetically and musically. As I am writing this I am listening to your Box of Rain release. I am ordering the Zero CD from GD Merchantile hoping I'll find some of your lyrics on it. I'll let the music surprise me.

One final note: While walking along the Hudson between Nyack and Piermont I listened to your translation of the Rilke material. Blew me away. Funny thing is it never occured to me to read the original language version, even though I could have. Just exactly how excellent is your German? And what made you want to learn this difficult language?


If you understand the reality of it, which we've lived with over the years, and can still hear the music with intense empathy - how it both does and does not partake of the circumstances of its creation - you've reached an enlightened and demythologized perspective on the Grateful Dead. That's all my deconstructive effort, in the face of so much humbling public information, was intended to do. I believe that view would have emerged in time anyway - I just choose to help hurry it along because there was so much pain and confusion being caused by it.

Thanks for considering my other work in and among that, but it's really not the point of the exercise. If you know that we know that you know that we know, it's all out in the open, undisguised, and the group work, an immense body of worthy creative effort, can detach from the murky surround and stand by itself. Close to being unparalleled in size and scope, at least in modern times, it would seem a shame for it to be devalued on circumstantial grounds, however prejudicial. It has a life of its own, separate from us - and that life is in its infancy. However flawed any of us are as individuals, that work "chose" to come through us. It's power both mangled and beatified, just precisely because it IS real.

On a lighter subject, in answer to your question, my grasp of German is only good enough to recognize the cases and the tenses. Haven't had occasion to speak it outside of classes, though I feel I could get fluent fairly quickly. For vocabulary, an old Cassal's German dictionary gibts mit der archaic meanings, some of which are pertinent to Rilke's shades of intention. The translation has the seal of approval of prominent Rilke biographer and scholar Professor Wolfgang Leppman, so I guess I didn't stray too far from the path. I think my real credentials for doing it were love of the work and a feeling that it hadn't been fully expressed, at least to my satisfaction, in English yet. Translating is a mode of close reading. As I've said before, I often felt Rilke standing over my shoulder, suggesting and criticizing, during exhaustive late night sessions.


Subj: Random Notes
Date: Sep 23 1996 10:13 AM EDT
From: (McManus, Rich)

Dear Robert: Okay, the blinking light's off....INCOMMMING!!
Had a few things to tell you from having read recent journal entries of
yours. First of all, the poem you wrote in honor of your wife's mom was
simply excellent. It's really beautiful--made me well up a bit even though
I'm as distant from the poem's subject as I am from your average Mongolian.
Second, An American Adventure is also delightful, as articulate a treatment
of a topic that almost defies articulation as I have seen.

I was interested to see that you read Dark Star. I just finished it over
the weekend and thought it was well worth the time. Not having any personal
investment in the story, I found it an unusually intimate look at a subject
that fascinates me. It's pretty simple for us Deadheads--if you put
something out there about something we love, we're gonna go for it. I ate
the thing up.

While on that topic, I must tell you something that's been on my mind
awhile: unless you write a book about JG and GD, I'm afraid we'll always be
settling for second-best. How's that for a guilt trip? A few months ago,
you seemed absolutely opposed to the project. But your last journal seemed
to open the door a crack. I'm going to stick my two pennies in the jamb and
hope it holds.

[Glad to get your kind reaction to my ill-considered remarks on McKenna;
truth be told, I'm enjoying your banter near as much as you, and I shouldn't
have taken a gratuitous poke at a friend of yours.]

Don't despair of there not developing more community as a result of your
little salon here: it's happening in subtle ways that probably don't get
reported back to you. For instance, I've exchanged email with several
people as a result of your including my stories in the Library of the
Uncanny. And I've written to some people whose notes you've included in the
Mailbag. One of your mailmates, Dave Barton, even quoted a local hero here
in D.C., Jerry "the Bama" Washington. You would have loved this deejay had
you heard him--he was a community-builder par excellence simply by being
himself and saying what was on his mind. Sound familiar??

I'll leave you with one of his signature remarks, though you'd have to hear
it in his raspy drawl to enjoy it completely: "Never trade one who has, and
who will, for one who might."

I'd be happy to send a cassette of a typical Bama Hour if you'd like--I
began taping his shows when it was clear he wasn't long for this world.
Ironically, he passed away during the same week as another local hero,
guitarist Danny Gatton. There's another guy more people should have heard.

Oh well, enough local chat. Back to serving the taxpayer...


Thanks for feedback on the writings. As a fellow writer, I appreciate it.

Yes, please send me a tape of Bama. You wrote to me about him once before.

Write a book about JG & GD? Look, I may take a peek over my shoulder once in awhile but suggesting I turn 180 degrees and walk backwards shows a major miscomprehension of who I am. By the time I turned around again, I'm afraid the star I follow would have set for good. You're talking entropy, friend. Stop to regress and it's over. My job, as I conceive it, has little to do with imposing order on the chaos left by others. I have chaos of my own to make. Jerry was a nearsighted giant. He didn't step on people purposely. But that can happen when too many people give you the keys to their personal happiness. Hard to remember which key fits in which door. And sometimes you don't care. You just want to be left alone.

Subj: Insanity is Bliss
Date: Sep 23 1996 4:55 AM EDT
From: (Magistro, John)


As I see the 'please no e-mail' message on your page again I am suddenly
reminded of a very real fact: you have a life beyond the 'Archive'. You
have, your work, a wife and of utmost importance - a daughter
to teach(probably not in that order). I therefore feel obligated to
apologize as it is for dumping my mail in your box as I do. You no doubt
get more e-mail in a day than I do in a month. I'm honored that you
reply to what I send you in the first place and hold your thoughts and
comments in the highest of regards. (sorry for ego polish). A down fall
of this career is that the Net is perhaps too accessible. So before you
put me in your kill file, I will limit my gripes and or commentary to
once a month, or at most once a week. Unless something jumps out at me
and says 'comment now before it's too late'. One thing though, have been
reading 'Orfeo', very intriguing. Makes me think I may have missed
something in my own philosophy. Anyway, I'll send this when the message
comes down.



thanks for your understanding attitude. The "don't send" blinker allows me to get away from the computer once in awhile, which mental and physical health demand. Not that I did much of that this time. Concentrated on finishing "Giant's Harp" instead. People have been very good about observing it.

(note: much of the above mail comes from people who have my email address but didn't necessarily access the Archive while the blinker was up. This probably includes people who only access the journal via URL or some of the buttons on other sites. I don't get the feeling that many of the letters purposely ignored my pathetic request for network solitude!)

Date: Sep 23 1996 11:54 PM EDT
From: (Don Defenderfer)

I have explained to Hannah your version of smoke and clouds and much to my surprise she understood immediately. Intuition.

She also understands that where there is smoke there is fire, and she seems quite sure that this implies that where there is clouds there is sky.

Faith is intuitive and then as we grow it seems we slowly unlearn and then relearn all about it.

How'd I get onto this stuff? Must be the time of year.

How about a verse for a timeless day? Here goes.

The Window

Perhaps I should tell you who I am
I live in a castle
And play an old fiddle
I walk by the sea
And watch the waves wiggle
I see many ships pass
As days come and go
I watch the world turn
Through a lonely window
This is who I am
Perhaps I should tell you



"where there are clouds there is sky." Hmm. Hadn't thought of that. Much more direct approach than "where there is sky there are clouds." Talking of figure and ground here. Where there is a figure there is a ground, as opposed to: where there is a ground there is a figure. The 2cnd proposition, in both cases, leads to ambiguity and uncertainty - is only the case some of the time / is not absolute. The first statement is unimpeachable (unless we want to quibble the definition of clouds, which leads to confusion and changes the subject from direct observation to definition).

When Hannah asks "Why is the sky blue?" which is the figure, which the ground: sky or blue? Does the sky have blue, or does blue have the sky? Since the sky is not always blue, the former seems correct . . . and sky remains the ground, blue a figure. There is a third possibility which may be dangerous: blue is the color of forever by day, black is the color of forever by night. The sky is forever and goes up and up and up, down and down and down. Kids know what forever is; we are reduced to finite and infinite.

I'm not sure my reasoning is correct here, but it tends in the direction where more appropriate answers may lie. You'd have to ask Hannah, but quick, before she gets much older.

Good to hear from you Don.

Subj: Re: 9/19
Date: Sep 24 1996 9:23 AM EDT
From: (Steven Wolfe)

You wrote (re Celan):>
I'm afraid there's a tone mismatch between us as
> poets, what with his depth of harrowing experience and peculiar
> Austro-Hungarian roots.

I suppose his utter lack of hope would be a sticking point. I hadn't
thought of that - I was mostly considering it in terms of language.

>His poetry is often so dependent on subtle uses of
> ethnic words whose resonances are frankly beyond rendering in another
> language that he is all but lost to more than a handful of German readers.

I've found that I get more out of reading him in the original, even missing
so much of it, than out of any translation. At least the feeling comes
through. German seems well-suited to express spiritual agony and desolation
- I wonder if it's partly that English, with all its articles separating
what in German would be beautifully expressive compound words, is just
particularly wrong for Celan.


Steve, here's a few tries I had at Celan translation. By these, which seem successful, don't judge that I could do a lot more - I picked these because I could do them.

Four Translations from Paul Celan


Casually Autumn stays its leaf for me: we are friends.
We shell the nut of time and teach it to pass:
returning time retreats to its shell.

Looking-glass Sunday,
dreaming of sleep,
mouth says what is.

My glance lowers to the sex of my beloved:
we gaze at each other,
voices inarticulate,
love one another the way poppy loves memory,
sleep like wine in a conch shell,
like the sea in blood red moonbeams.

In view of strangers on the street below, we embrace:
it is time, time they knew!
It is time, time the stone bent to blooming,
that the heart of restlessness were heard.
Time it were time.

It is time.


You high blown poplars -- Old timers of this Earth!
You black pools of fortune -- you reflect her to death!

I saw you, Sister, standing in that splendor.


Not on my lips seek for that mouth of yours,
nor at dawn's gate the stranger,
not in this eye that tear.

Seven nights higher leaping red upon red,
seven hearts deep beats the fist at the gate,
seven roses later the gush of the spring.

At Brancusi's, We Two

Should one of these stones
drop a clue concerning
what breathes no word of it:
here, nearby,
this old fellow's crutch
would gape like a wound
sucking you in,
far from my cry,
carved and whitewashed.

trans. from the German by rh / 1994

Subj: merchandizing- My e-mail, chuckss
Date: Sep 26 1996 12:44 PM EDT
From: (charles s siegel)

Dear Rh,

First, I want to thank you for your wonderful archives which helps us
keep in touch with the spirit.

I was and continue to be devastated by Jerry's death. In the months
immediately following this tragic event I, like countless others
purchase the obligatory "memorial" stickers and t-shirts. Then one day,
on a sticker which portrayed the dancing bears looking up to heaven to
take in the image of Jerry, my eyes caught the words Grateful Dead
merchandizing on the bottom. I must say, I began to feel strangely
cynical about what was happening. Am I the only one who feels uneasy
about the band so blatantly commercializing Jerry's death. Isn't it
enough to put out old recordings.
I am, of course not without blame in all of this. If people did not
purchase this material, there would be no profit to make from it. I
guess there is logic in the argument that as long as people are going to
produce this material anyway, the profits might as well stay in the
"family". But hasn't Jerry done enough for everybody? Is it necessary
for his own "family" to pick his bones. I assume that the proceeds of
these sales do not go solely to his family.

Just a thought,
Chuck S.


you argue both points of view persuasively. Being an extremist, I don't differentiate much between selling live OR dead relics. Not to take the moral high ground here. Profits help keep DeadNet afloat. But it seems the trademark could be stuck somewhere less obtrusive. That's not a matter of business but of taste. It's a questions of perceptions, isn't it?

Date: Sep 21 1996 2:49 PM EDT
From: CRBlues
Subj: Lost Wax


I've been reading the Journal and Mailbag since about June and totally loving it. Have
wanted to write from the start but figured it might be prudent to wait until I have
something to say. I dig the mailbag most of all, particularly the thread concerning
the naked guy jumping through the drumset, but what has got my synapses firing
is the discussion of lyrics. (let me interject right now that this is not an attempt to
get you to explain any lyrics, you've made it clear how you feel about that) What I want to comment on is how things I've read in the mailbag have brought about a change
in the way I regard the lyrics.
It started with the guy who managed to draw you out about the meaning of "Box Of
Rain" You graciously told the guy what it meant to you ( I had something else in
mind , but its OK , I still do ) then you went on to talk about the notion of "the song,
not the writer" and the analogy of the lost wax impressions. Maybe that actually was
a response to a different letter but it relates to this. Anyway, what happened was a
few days after this, I was listening to a hot "Brown-Eyed Women" and when the verse
about cutting hickory came around I was about to have my usual visualization of a young Jerry cutting wood when suddenly I thought of you. I thought, "wait a minute, maybe I should be thinking about a young Hunter here". I've been into the dead since 1978 (I'm 34) and have known you wrote the words all along, Its just that the songs work so well that I didn't have a problem suspending what I knew and plugging the singer right into context of the song.
I guess my cognative event is one more example of why you resist discussing the meaning of your lyrics. But here's where I really woke up: I play guitar and sing in a band, ( we're don't gig professionally, we could, but we all have those "real world jobs" that take much of
our time and energy) and we do lots of Dead covers. I started thinking about what I've
been singing and realized that while singing them, I'm not thinking about you or Jerry,
for that moment, those are MY words ( no disrespect intended) and I mean every one
of them. This really has opened up my mind and got me thinking about some songs
that I used to sing more or less by rote. I've noticed a heightened sense of feeling
(goose bumps during Stella Blue) and am really enjoying this new awareness. I think
I'm about to end this letter abruptly as I have offered up what I have to report and am
by no means finished thinking this Writer/Singer/Song dilemma through yet. In fact
I think I've just created more questions for myself ( I don't know what they are yet, but
they'll come).
Finally, thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us, so many of us are hungry for this kind of discussion, and very grateful that it can be found here.

Warm Regards,
Chris Baebel


it stands to reason you picture the singer when you hear a song. Be a pretty weird song if you pictured some guy sitting at a desk with a guitar writing the song. People would stand mesmerized while Jerry sang Stella Blue, and he did it so completely and perfectly that the song and he were inseperable. Nobody's ever going to do it better. Were you thinking about Candace and her blue lighting, or even Phil laying down the bottom? Of course not. What we all added to the mix focused through Jerry at those great moments and the song reached out and filled hearts and minds with extraordinary presence. It could have been a nightclub or a coliseum, it was intimate. When you do the song yourself, could be you draw on some of that blue light luster he planted down in your soul on one of those nights, hence the goosebumps.

Subj: whencowsruledtheearth
Date: Sun, Sep 29, 1996 2:40 AM EDT
From: (Jeffrey A. Weyand)


if, as mckenna postulates, mankind emerged because apes ate mushrooms, what
of the cows? here in rural washington, i've picked many a sackful of
liberty caps in cow pastures amidst herds of contented cows. i am quite
certain that the very same mushrooms that i ingest are also ingested by
cows in the grazing process. can we therefore assume, a la gary larson,
that perhaps cows are the most highly advanced beings, willingly giving
their lives for hamburgers in exchange for the opportunity to blithely
observe human beings act out this protracted situation comedy? how do we
know that they aren't indeed standing upright in the pastures until the
lookout cow shouts "car" whereupon they drop to all fours until said car is
past? Perhaps the folks in India are on to something? could it be that we
are merely entertainment fodder for these noble and enlightened beings?

my friend kevin wishes to know what rhymes with...purple??

long life, good health

zero ventured, zero gained

urple, murple, gurple and orange. Mitchell Parrish wrote the words to "Deep Purple" but he sure didn't end none of the lines with it. After 30 some years of writing songs, a word without a rhyme in line three space doesn't even occur to me anymore. Three words not to end lines with: love, wind, pain.

The cows we know are, like monkeys, still extant on Earth - so it's hard to figure anyone descended from anyone else unless like, you know, the evolved progeny of the cows hoofed it to outer space or Dimension 13 back when our ancestors were still in knee pants. But I don't think so. I thought a lot about cows and sheep while I was in Herefordshire. My daughter asked me what a cow meant when it said "moo" and I said "All it means is moo. . . well, sometimes it means 'get out of here," "where's the calf?" or "milk me dammit" but mostly just moo. It's the expression of what it's like to get what you want at all times and find it eternally delicious. Yum. Grass. Moo!"

Let's take your question about MeKenna's speculation into another realm; get, as it were, a third opinion. The Naz said "except ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed ye will in nowise see the Kindom of Heaven." OK, what's faith? If you read it as a moronic striving such as every seed has built into it, you're talking about something qualitatively different than what a thinking being uses to keep a positive head on his/her shoulders despite awareness of death, taxes and toothache. So is he saying that without unquestioning drive you won't get to the good place? Well then how good could that place be - if only those not capable of questioning go there? What I'm getting at is this: as soon as you start picking metaphors apart, you've already missed the point of the exercise. It doesn't matter if what the guy's saying is factual or not. It's the area in which he chooses to kick around possible scenarios and invent definitions that matters. What's critically important is that you figure out how to get a kitten in a coca cola bottle without breaking the bottle or hurting the kitty.
By the way, I've seen apes eat mushrooms and emerge men - haven't you? Or is it that mushrooms eat men and become architects?? Food chain stuff . . . I dunno. My metaphors tend to be different, but I don't insist on them. Once you get to defending your metaphors you're in hot water.

Subj: Strange Stuff...
Date: Sep 26 1996 12:05 PM EDT
From: Jonathan.Hart@MCI.Com (Jonathan Hart)

-- [ From: Jonathan Hart * EMC.Ver #3.2 ] --

this may not be mailbag material, but I thought you'd find it interesting...
The trick is tho read carefully, and don't scroll down too fast. Follow the
instructions and let me know if this works for you... it worked for me.

Again, keep up the good work... Despite the impending decline of GDP, many of us
out there bear hope and optimism for the future. the wheel turns... good things
pass. It seems sometimes that it has to end for the next phase to initiate
fully... Many of us look foreward to the new (old) releases in the coming
months, and I tell everyone I know about you website.

Peace, and let me know what you think of this thing...


ps. It worked for everyone in my office...


$ $$$ $
$ $$$ $

DON'T scroll down too fast -- do it slowly, and follow the instructions below
exactly, and do the math in your head as fast as you can.

It worked on me.

FOLLOW these instructions one at a time and as QUICKLY as you can!

Then follow the instructions afterwards, ok?

Answer as QUICKLY as possible but don't advance until you've done each of

What is:





Quick! Pick a number between 12 and 5. Got it? Now page down...

That number was 7 right?

Isn't that wierd???



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