THE MAILBAG 4.20.96 1996


[Archive] [majorlinks]

[The URL's provided on these pages have not necessarily been checked out by the co-ordinator (me) of this archive. They are provided as a convenient way of checking out what you'd presumably decide to explore of your own free will anyway. If your morals are scrambled by the contents of any of them, Caveat Emptor. The internet is too extensive to check out the links to the links to the links, ad infinitum, eventually leading to every damned file ever published, even should one have all the will in the world to enforce every conceivable prejudice of the moral majority and their legislative apparatus. Humph. Ahem.]

Subj: Yidaks and Tertons
Date: Apr 18, 1996
From: (Geoff Wells)

Hi Robert,

Browsin' your web page when I noticed you had no
sections for Yidaks or Tertons.

I assume this is a temporary state of affairs while you continue
work on the Tathagatagarbha which, by the way, seems
to be coming along quite well.

PS: Louise is cool. Didn't we go to different high schools together?

-- Geoffrey Wells


egad Sir! You're right. Where has my mind been?

Ala Louise, yes, I believe you did go to school with her until she got pregnant and dropped out. Her mother raised the child and they told her Louise was her sister. It got complicated. Where were you when she needed you? With your damned Vidaks & Tertons, no doubt!


Date: Apr 15, 1996
From: (Bridget Moran)

Dear Robert,
Hey I'm really enjoying reading your web's nice to have someone
from within the band's crowd keeping everyone updated on what's going on.
It's so much better than hearing stuff on the evening news..also...I like
your smart-ass sense of humor....much of what the world needs more of these
days eh? Well...just another letter to say right on and keep it
flowing..we're out here and we're glad you're stayin' in touch..


Bridget Moran

Date: Apr 16, 1996
Subj: Chili

Here's a site that can show you what to do with that chili graphic.
My personal favorite is Heuvos Motulenos:
Fried corn tortilla topped with
Black beans, slightly smashed
Two fried eggs, sunny-side up
Salsa, muy picante, with fresh sauteed chilis if available
Fried banana on the side


P.S. Thanks for being so active on your web site. I've been influenced/warped by
your lyrics for 30 years, loved Sentinel, and now look forward to your daily musings on-line. Please, please keep it up.

Date: Apr 17, 1996
From: (Tom Bockmon)

I certainly hope that I am reaching you with this e-mail address, I'm
somewhat new to this medium...and I'm sure you understand the
confusion I am dealing with. Just a quick bio of me: born 1-6-74;
first Grateful Dead Experience 8-18-87; first Zero experience 5-14-93.
I'm currently studying Cultural Anthropology here at UCSC (Santa Cruz)
trying to spend my time focusing on religion and myth....

Don't really know why I'm writing this note, other than the fact that
I can. The ending of the GD was a tough thing for all of us to deal
with, I would've (personally) liked to have seen them give it a go w/o
the Big Man...but I understand and respect the decision. Seeing Phil
& Bob w/ Hornsby the other night was quite a gas...healing gas that is.

I "spied" you (saw from a distance) at the last Zero gig before
8-9-95, and in my state began to think more about the "transition"
that I'd meditated on before. Not to sound like a crazed fan or
anything....but I began to sense that the GD was coming to a close the
last year or so and was thinking about Zero serving as your muse's
"rock n' roll" outlet. There's something about the tales you spin (&
we spin to) that really dig deep for me...perhaps its that darker side
that others have mentioned...there is just such a profound sense of
loss in some material-yet the light always matter how bad
the neighborhood may be (Salt Lake City?)...

Zero (I think) is the most amazing music going on right now. These
guys are "old-school", for lack of a better term, really understand
the beauty that comes from paying the long dues that so many of us try
to skirt. I suppose my greatest hope for the future (the millenium?!)
is that you & Mr. Anton share some quality time discussing these
"dues" and perhaps there will be some NEW Zero tunes in the future. I
know it's not only up to you....just wanted to let you know that some
of us are eagerly awaiting such events....

thanks for the rambles...

P.S. At the March Sweetwater Zero gigs they performed "Didn't I
Mention" and "Spoken For" which hadn't been played in a while. I try
to make all the Zero gigs I can (heading to OR/WA in a couple weeks),
and I'm encouraging them to keep this stuff in the rotation. As good
as they are...some folks need that lyrical hook....
thanks again for everything.....

Date: Apr 11, 1996
From: (Michael A Hafken)


I just wanted to briefly say how much I am enjoying your web
keeps getting better and better. Thanks for opening up your work and
thoughts in such a free and expansive way.

I also wanted to take the chance to say how much I've enjoyed your work
and your words over past years and up to today. I don't know whether you
are sick of these compliments or if they still mean anything but I
wanted to tell you from the heart that your words, your poems, and your
music will last in our minds and in our children's minds.

I have read that you prefer not to tour and perform anymore and I
certainly understand and respect that decision. We'll miss seeing you but
there are more important things such as health and family - enjoy both!

Looking forward to more words,


"Grapefruit moon, one star shining, shining down on me.
Heard that tune, and now I'm pining, honey, can't you see?
'Cause every time I hear that melody, well, something breaks inside,
And the grapefruit moon, one star shining, can't turn back the tide."
- Tom Waits

Subj: Its about time.....
Date: Fri, Apr 5, 1996 4:23 PM EDT
From: (Carl B Beust III)


What a surprise it was to open up the Dead site and find something new
and real exciting. I'd always been a bit dissaponted with you guys as far
as things like that goes. Why only up until now have GDP gotten on line?
I'm myself new to this because I spent 3 years in Bolivia working while
this whole internet thing started to happen.
I really do think that this is the begining of the end though. Oh yeah,
there will be those little niches where certain crowds will hang that
will be cool but the "community" feeling will be lost. That of course is
not nesisarily bad, it will just add more colors to sort through for that
trailblazing site.
Back to the techno stuff. I got really into heavy metal in the
early 80s and then got into the Dead. I grooved to the shows on a
different beat compared to Metallica andd the like. I was used to the big
"show". But I always did think the GD was missing something visually. I
remember in the 80s going to see the GD at certain places and thinking
"they got this whole stage and they haven't done anything to it"
Finally in the early 90s I guess you started using these fantastic murals
during summer tour and the such. Right on! But my question is, you guys
seemed groundbreaking in the early years and then kind of thunked in some
respects you must have the wizards to set this stuff up, what gives?
I really sound like a whiner but you've given me the best time of
my life and I'm sure thats not going to end. I'm really looking forward
to something new and I hope that we can all stick together during it all.
This is of course all to great to let it go. I hope that the boys will
get back together some day and start jamming and it will click once more.
Things change and that IS the best part of life,
Got a taping question. I was trading tapes for a ticket at Giants
Stadium. 20 tapes for a ticket. Seemed fair to me. I was losing money on
the deal. Got my tapes taken, about 60 to be exact and I asked an 50 ish
heavy set guy with graying hair from GDP what gave. He gave me a tongue
lashing that my mother never gave me. I follow the GD for 15 years
spending my hard earned cash and thats what I get? Really left a sour
taste in my mouth. But ya know what I talked to another guy of yuor
group that was checking for counterfits and he sported me a tic. So it
all worked out. But what is the policy on that.
Thanks for your time. I hope you have a good Easter and from all
of us hear on the REAL left coast PLEASE come to HI and do some shows.
We're dying I tell ya!
Carl and Mary

> Dear Carl & Mary,
> what you described is just one of the horror shows that goes on around giant
> crowd management. Some loser has a bad day and treats the fans like dirt.
> All in a day's work. Hope the music made up for it.
> I think your letter raised some interesting points and I may publish it in
> next weeks mailbag. Tell me quickly if you don't want me to. Silence I'll
> take for consent.
> rh

Date: Sun, Apr 14,
From: (Carl B Beust III)

Robert, Go head and print it. It would be my pleasure. To say the least,
the music made up for it. Thanks for taking the time to answer, it shows
that someone does care. Thats what I liked about punk bands. You saw them
on stage and then they'd help you out after the show or whattever. I know
that the could not be possible with GDP because of the size. The majority
of you folks treated me well and that shows respect. THANK YOU.
Carl and Mary

Subj: Days gone bye
Date: Apr 11, 1996
From: (Mark Blackburn)

I just got back online w/a new system & was pleased to find your Archives at This is a Hello from Mark, Della and Sonja. We spent about a year
c.1976 going to the US Cafe or Green Earth to catch Roadhog. One of, if not
The most enjoyable summers of my nearly half a century on this planet. Death
and change has been more than adequately present the past two years for our
tribe. And I've found myself looking back on a life that maybe was not
spent in the most productive fashion at times, but the richness of my
experiences and thier memories are something I would never risk losing at a
chance to do things differently. At any rate, my brothers and sisters that
have moved on in the last couple of years and yourself, have provided me
with the tools and values to get through this current crop of wierdness. So
this should also include a Hello from John, Lee Ann and Kurt- may they fly
high and far-also they were supposed to say high to Jerry when he got there.
I've always been curious about the rest of the Roadhog band members. If any
of them played with any other groups after Roadhog. Also, are there any live
performance tapes of the band? I have a 45 record that they were giving away
one night at the Green Earth Cafe. Which may have been the night that we
dosed the entire bar. I don't know if you remember that, but we were the
table of people who were having trouble getting up after the show, so you
came over and sat down with us til we were able to leave, thank you. I also
recall a very pleasant Saturday afternoon picnic in Half Moon Bay that Sonja
and I received an invite to. All in all those were some great times for me.
Shortley there after I met my partner for life, Della. We raised our
daughter Brandy, on Hunter and the Dead and started taking her to shows at
six. The newest and brightest light in my life is Rachael, my
granddaughter, two and a half now. I didn't get to take her to a Dead
concert, but hopefully I can talk my daughter into the planned festival
tours for this summer. Third generation I love it. I'm rambling but I had
to take this opportunity since I had your e-mail. Please try to play a date
somewhere sometime in the Tulsa area. Cains Ballroom is an excellent
acoustic and historic venue, hell I would even do a little driving, OKC,
Texas, New Mexico etc. Just let me know where, and we will be there. Play
Albuquerque and I can put you up on forty acres if you want to kick back and
do some hiking, I border on the Natiuonal Forest, it's 8 miles west of
Take it easy,but take it
Mark blackburn

Subj: droppin a line
Date: Tue, Apr 16, 1996 2:27 AM EDT

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Date: Mon, 15 Apr 1996 20:57:00 -0700
From: Bryan Togias <>
Subject: droppin a line
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Mr. Hunter,
How wonderful it is to see you on-line! So much for
all my friends who say that you and your cohorts are
"stuck in the sixties".I must say that after having
spent most of my childhool being carted around the
country to see "The Boys" I became aquainted with
your poetry and of course your lyrics. I thank you
and your cohorts for some of the best years of my
life and some of the most insightful lyrics and
poetry I have ever read while slinging goo balls and
grilled cheeses. We are all behind you lets keep this
good thing going right into the next century!

P.s. What do you think of Kesey's site?

----- End forwarded message

Subj: First poem-any good?
Date: Sat, Apr 13, 1996 1:55 AM EDT
From: (Peter S. Oleson)

Two young eagles sitting with a crow,
picking guts and eyeballs out of roadkills in the snow.
Tourists, guides, and fishermen fight for salmon bucks, while
Human picket fences dressed in waders line
Primitive streams as far as the eye can see.
Motorhome monsters bearing well meaning greetings
from places we escaped from-"can we park here?".
Outside forces legislate things they'll never understand,
What happened to this special place?
Listen to the rivers, passing ancient bara-bara's
neatly tucked beneath trees freezing under
the midday moon...they cannot lie.


Date: Sun, Apr 7, 1996 3:26 PM PST
From: (Greg Poulos)

Some more lyrics that you might enjoy. Whether you like it or not,
you've had quite a bit of influence on my writing, although it may not
be apparent.

"Lazarous" (c)1992 Greg Poulos
Lazarous thinks in a field of wheat
Hide in the shadow, escape from the heat
Harvest the flour, and gather the bread
Lazarous prays by the side of his bed

Lazarous travels the country alone
All that I have and all that I own
Give it away, and follow the sign
What's mine is yours, what's yours is mine

How can I find my direction?
How will I know where to start?
The obvious answer is hidden
Follow the feeling in your heart

Lazarous stands at the edge of the sea
The moon and the sand have buried his feet
Riding the mist and playing the wave
Watching the sun as it grows in the bay


Date: Sun, Apr 14, 1996
From: Greg Poulos

rh wrote:
> more nice stuff, Greg. You have a real talent. Maybe I'll drop one in the
> mailbag. Lazerus, I believe, is the proper spelling. Should I change it?

Thanks, Robert.. Sure.. drop 'em in the mailbag. I've seen many spellings of
Lazarous. I think the biblical Lazarous is Lazarus. I'm going to stick with my own,
twisted spelling of Lazarous.. that's how it appears on an album I recorded a few
years ago. It's funny, I always get asked if my songs are religious: Lazarous,
Communion.. I can see that, but religion really had no direct influence when I was
writing them. I was going for imagery, really. Lazarous started as a song called
Generous.. There was a fellow in the parking lot at Deer Creek in 1990 running
around after the show shouting, "Generous Joe, Generous Joe! Has anyone seen
Generous Joe?" So I started writing lyrics patterned off the verse of St. Stephen,
actually, and started with "Generous thinks in a field of wheat".. So I think I was
trying to "steal" some of your imagery from St. Stephen. When I was finished,
Generous didn't sound right, so I looked for three syllable name that was rich and
memorable. Lazarous seemed to fit the ticket at the time. Maybe I'll still write
the Generous Joe song someday.

I've been having trouble with writing choruses lately.. Maybe you can offer some
insight. I can write lots of verses, but I want my choruses to be strong and
memorable, so I beat myself up trying to come up with something good. Check out
these verses, sans chorus:

He travels by the moonlight
And he whispers by the day
He's seen a thousand midnights
And he's heard the voices say

There's danger on the table
And there's laughter on the street
Another game of cloak and dagger
Another of deceit

A silent hesitation
A century of fear
A weapon built of consequences
Unleashed by what you hear, I'm pretty happy with these verses, and I don't want to blow it with a weak
chorus. I wrote these verses to a chord progression from an instrumental song I
wrote years ago called Simpatico. When I was writing, I kept picturing this guy
named Simpatico that relates to all this situations.. In my chorus, I tried
different things with the name/word "Simpatico", but nothing worked out for me. I want to break out of that chord progression and start with a fresh idea for a

Anyway, hope I'm not boring you too much. I'm just thinking out loud here... btw, I can see Weir singing the above verses.. something dark along the lines of Victim...


why don't you break out of meter for the chorus? Something like : cloa-----k----and DAG-----er

it's often effective to break up a sing song rhythm with extended phrases. Write for a singer, not for the page.


Date: Tue, Apr 16, 1996
From: (Ralph Tursini)


Needless to say, I really love the website. You have added a dynamic
form of creativity to a previously static and sometimes boring stream of
information. I love the way that you express ideas and such, which leads to
my question..

What is the best way to convey the power of what the Boys, especially Jerry
have done for us. I feel so insufficient when someone rolls their eyes at
my dedication to the whole GD experience and I have nothing to say. I know
that the feelings are so unique for everyone, but there must be some consise
(sp) and common thread between all who share in this experience that will
summarize it all. Is there something there and most of all, can it be expressed in some way, and how?


Date: Sat, Apr 13, 1996
From: (Tom & Nancy Melito)


The web page is working great. It's clearly one of the highpoints of my
week (conveniently located on Friday, the illusionary end to drudgery). But
in the fine tradition of swivel chair quarterbacks everywhere, may I have
the hubris to make a few observations/suggestions:

--I love the mailbag, but it's incomplete: we need your side of the
conversation. I know you wish to promote dialogue within the clan, but we
need to start with dialogue. You may have the added benefit of not having
to retrace your steps as often, as your points of view are made known to us.

--Which leads me to my second suggestion: maybe a weekly (monthly?)
discussion topic would serve as a useful focus. Deadheads are quite
comfortable with chaos, and the net has not deterred us. If you've spent
any time time lurking on you know what I mean. Form does
have its uses, however. And like practice (a notoriously popular thing with
the Band ;) some good may come of it. You (or we) can choose a topic, book,
movie, dessert, the lint in my belly button (who cares) as a jump off point.
This should be separate from the mailbag, and perhaps even be a dynamic web
page with user posts appearing daily (without even your intervention).

Although I'm actually reluctant to suggest a topic, I feel foolish if I
don't. How about:

Under what circumstances, outside of a Dead show, have you felt the same
power and inspiration?

--As a final request, how about adding some RealAudio recordings of your
poetry on the page. I have been spoiled by Jerry. I love to hear the words
spoken to me.

Many pardons if I have overstepped any line (visible or otherwise). Your
page excites me. I start to think when I get excited.

Fare Thee Well,
Tom Melito

Subj: Thanks for your answer..I am trying to send the letter per se (not "attached")
Date: Fri, Apr 19, 1996
From: (Petros Lyberis)

It has been very exciting for me, not a typical web surfer, to get to your archives site through the It felt strangely marvelous to get there, from Athens ,much easier than twenty years ago-back to the time I tried to send you some words c/o Crawdaddy magazine. I remember reading in that interview that you did enjoy responding to mail as an exercise for was also -that interview- a perfect profile of a poet whose lyrics I was already cherishing for some years through the bands music although my formal knowledge of English was-and still is- please indulge my orthography and syntaxis. But for myself, as I am sure you must have heard from thousands of fans, when the Dead played their best, blood dripped from the ceiling.. I was studying medicine in Brussels back then, when, during Europe 72, the medical student graduated to a Dead Head.

anyway, I apologize for the curriculum vitae. I'll try to stick only to what must be told and try not to bore anybody with sentiments so bald. Just some more lines for trying to read between. Here's another one from same(?) year: near Bath, England, the Glastonbury pop festival. Drove from Brussels to catch your performance. Never did get there. After picking up some hitch-hikers, not Dead heads, as assumed, but Manson s heads. They shook my hands, they reached for my pockets...I got a kick in the headîand spent some time inside the police station.

Et maintenantÖ In 1988 I was lucky to meet, through Nick Gravenitis, with John Cipolina. This gave me the opportunity to start coming to the Bay Area, since Eileen was kind enough to help with "will call" tickets. . .got to see the Dead again, many times in Oakland, but also I loved the music. I unfortunately never saw you (in the Dinosaurs) with Barry or the late and much missing John. I was able, though, to attend at one poetry reading you had, in a small Community Center, some 2 or 3 years ago north of San Raphael.

Final lines. I just felt to e-mail to you a big (and long) THANK YOU from the heart, for all those years of words and music. I am 46 now and, with Jerry gone, I regret to never have said the same thing to him, on my few back stage occasions. I guess I didn't want to embarrass him...(who's that Greek shrink and what does he want from me?) here it is. If you still need exercise for prose, try me. I am fluent in french or ancient Greek? If not, that's OK too. .And if your path takes you to this part of the world, let us show you around some hot Greek islands..We sail on the 80î M/Y Therapy and it would be a pleasure..
Sincerely, love and peace.
Petros Lyberis,MD

at last I get to read the contents of the mystery "attachment" file! Thanks for the warm and thoughtful words. Not using letters to practice prose anymore, just writing email quick as I can communicating with folks who read the Archive. So far, I've answered them all, if not the replies to my replies. A hot little greek island sounds like something I can use right now, racing against a self-imposed deadline to wrap this weeks edition up and try and get it on the net tonight. See you there!


(Petros sent his letter on an attachment file I couldn't open, several weeks ago. Attachments from pc computers are a bad idea unless you send along an application to open them with. But then, I probably couldn't open that. Mac based attachment are welcome, but not if it'd fit in an email, cause it's just one more step, innit?)

Subj: Nelson Band

Well hi there. I got your email address from the net and thought I'd just write and say howdy. I work for David Nelson and Freaks of Nature (formerly the David Nelson Band). I saw you last at Marmaduke's 50th party (how nifty -- John is 50!).

Anyway,I am just writing to touch base and to let you know how much I like the songs you have written for David (well, all of your material, really). And I hope that one day, you will consider coming out with David for a few shows. That would truly be amazing.

Someone posted a private message with your response to touring. I completely agree with you. One thing to consider, though, is that a lot of these "heads" weren't around when you were touring before, either because of age or ignorance. Fans want to see you perform for many reasons -- Jerry's passing is certainly a big part of the this, but only a part. The fans aren't looking to you to substitute for Jerry, they're looking for a way to perpetuate the whole scene. And you are probably the most highly respected and revered member of the family.

These are just my feelings and opinions. When we get some gigs here in California, we'd love for you to come down and say hi!

I better sign off for now. Take it easy.

Michelle McFee

sure I know who you are. Maybe I'll slot your letter in the mailbag this week so Nelson's name gets mentioned. People should be aware of his band because it's Source-Dead style rather than 2cnd generation. As for going on the road I always say "Never but you never know."


Date: Apr 18, 1996
From: (Mona Pingree)

Dear Robert,

Some things have occured to me:

* The Greater Dead scene has been an agent of inclusion for so many people
for so long. In a world that teaches you that you gotta Pay In Advance;
There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch; It's Who You Know; .....the Dead were
like Christmas - you didn't do anything to deserve was more than you
thought you had a right to expect. And it freed you to give more than you
thought you had.

* Now alot of these folks - these beautiful folks - have come to use the
shows as a way to shed the negativity of day to day life. Don't know how it
worked. Don't know why. But you always came away - ALIVE. And ready to be
kind and patient and whatever it takes. Like coming back from a week in the
mountains. Year after year it was too good to be true. But year after year
it WAS true!

* So when we got confused, we listened to the music play.

* Come August '95 and people are whacked upside the head with how much the
whole thing has meant to them all along -- even if they thought they
understood before, it became all too real - what we had to lose, what we had
lost. But did we lose the magic - the magic between us? Or had it all been
an illusion?

* That sorry month came and went, and people did what they thought they
could to honor, to give Jerry his due. We all had memorials, the close ones
had their ceremony, and (we believed) their laying to rest.

* After all the fits and starts of this winter, all the attempts at
regrouping or at least gleaning something from that past life....some
newspaper articles come out stating this and that and the phrase 'deadheads
spoiling' was thrown out, and an intense wave of REJECTION was felt, though
we knew we had no 'right' to anything else.

* We've all struggled with the Just Stay Out Of Jerry's Life thing, while at
the same time, being so deeply moved by him - we care! We gotta care. And
to see anyone who loved him - inner or outer circle - kept away from the's just hard to reconcile. I know I shouldn't care. I feel kinda
lame for caring.

* The biggest appeal of the scene for me is my sense that we're fellow
travellers, each of us is the protaganist, the hero, the everyman, the
warrior, the fool. (Not many places in this world let a gal feel that way.)
And I imagine that spirit will carry us through to...something else.

And I imagine I'll see you there.

Love, Mona

Date: Apr 17, 1996

(Here's Ken Kesey's home page url as you requested:
nice graphics, alot for sale, and he's giving away posters too! Whata guy huh. Anyhow thanks for the reply, you must be a real busy man these days,(there's a whole lota deadheads and only one of you,thats a lot of e-mail) and good luck in all of your future projects Iam shure they will no doubt be as legendary as your past. I don't know how you keep churning out all of this great stuff, but I hope you keep on doing it.oh yeah if you have time we all want to know if you might possibly be goin out on the road with the rest of the Boys on this further/deadapolloza festival thing(love to see you do terrapin your way).Once again thank you and goodluck.

Bryan Togias

Subj: thanks from a loser
Date: Apr 11, 1996
From: (b.capriotti)

Just wanted to thank you for putting your e-mail address where all may
find it. It takes a very special and classy man to do such a thing for
his extended family. It's important that we all stay together and keep
the star shining instead of letting it fade into the past.
I just picked up a copy of A Box of Rain. Needless to say, I love it.
The lyrics of the Dead began shaping my life the instant that first chord
was played. And like a great man wrote, "Trusting inspiration is
more often right than wrong."
Again thank you for all you've ever done, and all that you continue to
do. For those of us left searching, you are giving us something to find.

Now the die is shaken, now the die must fall,

Brian Capriotti

Date: Apr 16, 1996
From: (Michael Zausner)

As I mentioned in my previous letter, there is a greater issue I would like
to discuss with you. This is in no way a solicitation. I sow many seeds
in this expansive garden. Some sprout and wither while others abound with
life's energy and thrive.

For the past 6 years I have owned a tennis club in southern California.
More than a business, the club provided me an opportunity to teach children
the importance of approaching every day with passion, to achieve
excellence, to achieve the ultimate fulfillment and happiness. I love
children. We all have an obligation to make the world a better place, to
learn to discontinue in many of our failed approaches. What better way
than to positively affect young people before they have been infected.

I made a border crossing early in my SC tenure only to discover children
who were born into a poverty with no hope of escape. As little as any
child can have in the United States, as difficult as it can possibly be,
there exists some semblance of an escape hatch from which to emerge, to
metamorphosize to a better place. There is no evidence of daylight for the
children in rural Mexico, at least none that I can see.

I began using my tennis club as a staging area to collect clothing and toys
from the children I was teaching. We started to make semi-regular
deliveries of the same to these children in need. We brought some of our
children to Mexico to show them how fortunate they are in comparison. It is
a good lesson.

Eventually I was introduced to some political and law enforcement
officials who embraced our efforts. One man in particular, Gustavo Palayo
lead a charge of energy that ultimately resulted in our partially building
a tennis court at what I would loosely describe as a school in a shack
village, Primotopia. Things have a life of their own. Large tracts of
property were offered to us as our plans began to develop into building a
full fledged sports and school complex. Generally I believe that these
children can be educated to speak English, learn computer skills, and at
the very least to play tennis well enough to achieve employment at the
various resorts in their country. They would surely be more of an asset to
themselves and the economy of their homeland. Some could and would have
college scholarship potential as their athletic abilities develop, and
some might even make it on the pro tour. One never knows what could happen,
but at the very least, the lives of many children would be affected
positively. Every child deserves to have that chance.

I've been offered the bullfight arena in Tijuana to stage entertainment
events to enhance fund raising capabilities. Last year Jose Feliciano
offered to perform as his contribution to this cause. If you haven't seen
Jose perform you should. You would be amazed. He's a monster.

Here's my problem. Although I consider myself to have a uniquely varied
background which includes some serious business dealings in the
entertainment world, I definitely do not know how to promote a concert. I
have concerns regarding logistics, liability, and more importantly concerns
regarding an intelligent approach to insuring that the profits find their
way to the children. I can rely on my common sense and my experiences in
other arenas, however there is no substitute for actual experience.

I don't know what it is I hope to receive from you. Maybe one or more
recommendations, maybe introductions to others, maybe just publishing this
in the next mailbag to let nature take its course. Anything would be
gratefully appreciated.

Deadheads tend to be very giving people. I'm sure many would like to help
in some way, even if it's nothing more that a journey to Primotopia to pick
up a shovel, which would be plenty.

Again I want to thank you for including my photo on your web site. I want
to thank you for just having your web site. What a fun place to visit
while taking breaks from my own html dreams.

Have a Grateful day.


Subj: women and GD lyrics
Date: Apr 16, 1996
From: (Michelle Waughtel)

Welcome to cyberspace, Mr. Hunter.

I am a host of the Grateful Dead conference for Women Only on the WELL.
There has been a good amount of discussion on your lyrics as they apply
(or don't apply) to women. I think one of your greatest strengths as a
writer is the way in which your lyrics open up timelessly for us to project
ourselves into...which is surely one of the major contributing factors to
the success of the GD as a whole.

I'm also sure you are aware that women have critiqued some of your lyrics as
being unavoidably sexist...particularly Sugar Magnolia and Jack Straw...while
many others have a specifically male flavor. Of course you *are*
this makes sense...but your more recent works seem to have become increasingly
gender neutral. I'm wondering if you have given conscious thought to that
or if it has arisen naturally in the increasingly politically correct
climate we find ourselves in these days?

Date: Apr 17, 1996
From: K9Luna

Dear Corrina,

I got hit over the head for Jack Straw and decided to watch it. Wrote Loose Lucy as a specifically strong woman song in penance. Sugar Magnolia has additional lyrics by Weir for which I can't answer. "Heads all empty and I don't care" is the narrator's viewpoint of himself, not of his ladyfriend.

Jack Straw, by the way, is a dialogue between two degenerates, both of whom come to no good. "We can share the women" is a statement of Shannon, not of myself. But, just as "drivin' that train high on cocaine" was interpreted as an invitation to stay high instead of the cautionary tale it is, I've learned to watch my words so that misinterpretation doesn't deliver the wrong message. On the other hand, "Till the Morning Comes" IS sexist, though no one ever seemed to notice it but me, several years later, after lots of education.


Date: Apr 11, 1996

Dear Robert -

Just to let you know: I think sometimes you're getting your addressees mixed up. (Can this be true?? Heavens NO!) I've received a couple of emails from you with answers to questions posed by someone else (one about the lyric credit on Hart's new album and another one about Touch of Grey). Someone out there is waiting for your answer to their question, but it ain't me. One more conumdrum in this pushbuttonmodem world. I don't know how you manage it anyway, answering all these emails personally. Whew!

But I will cherish these non sequitur emails just the same. You can send me any answers any time. Answers to the riddle of the spiraling starfish dance most welcome. See ya 'round. L.


Whereas the ideal of a people free to communicate, within reason, subject to federal and local standards of appropriate usage, is the rock this country was built on, the following points are deemed reasonable and righteous, whereunto we set our hands the day of February 12th, 1996.
1. Congress shall not make laws which abridge the right of citizens to censor any and all materials they deem unfit to be heard or seen.
2. Language, literary and otherwise, shall not deal with human excretory or sexual activities in an inappropriate and/or demeaning fashion.
3. Use of innuendo, letter omissions and substitutions, or any other attempt to arouse certain ideas or suggest the forbidden words for sexual or excretory functions shall be deemed in violation of article one.
4. ETC.

(HOW'S THAT FOR A BEGINNING DRAFT? I'll work on it, maybe. rh)

DATE: Apr 14, 1996
From: (Jon Hummel)

Mr. Hunter,

Sorry to bother you, but as I was browsing through r.m.gdead, I came across
a post that made reference to the possibility of you touring. It also mentioned your website.

I find it understandable that you do not want to tour. I do want to make
you aware, however, that not all deadheads only want you to tour now that
Jerry has left us. Personally, I am a fan of your lyrics, not because of
the way that the music has touched me, but due to the fact that at various
times you have unwittingly inspired, moved, suprised and amazed me with the
way you have crafted your words. About a year and a half ago, I came across
your cd "A Box of Rain" at a music shop. It is now one of my most regularly
played discs.

I often quote you or your lyrics in my signature (which I try to change
regularly). You would honestly be amazed at the number of times people have
responded to my posts or mails strictly to compliment me on my choice of
quotation, not because of your association with the Grateful Dead, but
because of the way the quotation made them feel, whether it was much needed
advice or just a few kind words. If not touring allows you to continue to
focus your energies on your writings, please let me be the first to appeal
to you to forget touring. The world is in dire need of those that are
gifted enough to reach others with their words.

In regards to your website, the post on r.m.gdead failed to list the url.
If it isn't too much trouble, could you please send it to me.

Also, one other question that I have deals with the text, "A Box of Rain."
In the softcover edition, the suite "Terrapin Station" is marked with the
symbol "^" which is used to denote songs that appear on your solo
recordings, yet the discography in the back fails to list it on any of your
solo recordings. Did you actually record "Terrapin Station" or is it a
typographical error?

Mr. Hunter, I want to thank you for your time, not just for reading my
e-mail, but for the past 20-odd years of lyrics. You have influenced me in
many ways. Please keep feeding our minds with your lyrics, so that once in
a while I might be shown the light.

Thank you,


Date: Sun, 14 Apr 1996 05:44:24 -0400
From: Bryan Dumm <>


I have some answers and a couple of pointers for you.
I have been reading intently since you started your site and
have enjoyed your work. I especially like the sense of
discovery that you have expressed in your pages.

Before we get to the answers etc., I wanted to share
a little about myself with you and our( dead adventures
in cyberspace. It's an interesting story... This story is also
interactive so you have to go to each url as it appears in the
letter to get a better understanding of my rambling ;-> This
works best in netscape's mail app or any mail app that is URL
aware. btw our pages are best viewed in netscape 3.0 and above,
but 2.1 will do fine. I offer a challenge to you also, that you can
still use your powerbook and get the quality and speed of graphics
that you so desire. Look at our graphics for examples. Advice,
pointers etc. free for the asking.

Ok, let's start this ride. My name is Bryan and I met my
partner Chris last March on the net. We formed BCpubishing and
started out trying to make a "tour guide" for deadheads. It was
the Triple AAA for deadheads. We worked and worked on our guide
and even let the summer tour slip by because we didn't feel ready
enough. We eventually put together a fall tour guide and put
it up ironically on Aug 9 at or around 2:30am EST. Well needless
to say, the events that followed kinda ruined our plans and we
left the guide in the state it is in today. You might have to press
stop if the page seems to hang. Please pardon the mess, but we
just kinda have left it and have moved etc.... It was considered the
depression page for a while. But the guide itself is something I
am reconsidering doing for the Further Festival...

Well we had to rethink what we had just spent the last six
months on and drifted in and out for several weeks while we dealt
with our grief. Eventually we recouped and wrote ourselves a new
anthem. We remembered what it was all about. We also realized from
what happened on the net during his death, and how our friends
depended on us for information, that this was the last touch of what
was "The Grateful Dead", at the time. Check it out...

So that's where we stood so long ago when the tribe was splintered.
Now we have come full circle and looking forward to the coming years ahead.
Before I go into the pointers etc. you need to see where we are today....
I think it should answer your question of what makes a page come alive. We
work hard at what we have made and we think the our little world has a life
all its own... At least it is definately a maze of links. Also in the dead links
page you will find a link to the european heads page. They might be able to
help you find someone to provide some nice dialup service for you overseas.

Ok some pointers,

- check out HyperMail for your mailbag pages. You can index letters
by subject, author, date, and thread. The link is actually a
hypernews page but there are other programs like hypermail listed
there as well.

- check out HyperNews for possibilities of interaction. I am finding
more unusual uses for it all the time as shown in the Forest or the
show machine. Oh yea don't get lost in all the good ideas found in
the hypernews pages. I have played with this program since September
and it has skyrocketed in the recent months. Dan(the author) is a
nice person as well.

- Figure out how to give people a place to hang out. One of those, you
provide the tools and they will build it type of things. I got to meet
your down-under friend, during the Phil Phillmore, event. It was great
to hear him speak, on easy terms, like we were all just hanging out, but
then the IRC channel dried up on over time. Check out powwow for
a different type of chat app. Our dead tribe is based around it. -powwow

- Visit the internet Bandwidth Conservation Society. They have some good
information on how to improve those graphics. They just recently put
out a new version of their pages, lots of new info. You can also
email any questions over to Chris at He does all the
graphics on the site and has done some impressive stuff. We use for
the most part, shareware found freely on the net for our graphics.
One of our extra ingredients is KPT (Kai Power Tools), it helps us
give the pages extra spice.

- Get ready for increased traffic because of your recent noise making, and
put some cgi, javascript, etc. into your stuff in anticipation of the
new traffic.

Ok, I will step off my soapbox for now. #~> I saw your pages screaming out
for help and not many people responding to what you were asking your audience.
I hope your labryith doesn't become flooded with the overflow of net junk, that
is common on the net. Net junk is that stuff you find everywhere were the
point of the message is lost in clutter. Go check out for many

I have more ideas I would like to discuss with you but have promised myself not
to make this too long and take up too much of your time. I think you might have
some questions etc. about our stuff, but to entice your curiousity a little, we
have ideas on things like The Deadheads Netscape, the virtual drum circle which
leads to the virtual concert, ways to improve tape distribution circles and many
other amusing ideas.

I would like to help you build something if you think I can be of help with
some project you have in mind. My motives are kinda small in scope, but
basically I would love to see more of a development of the dead community
in cyberspace. It has grown well in other places(the well,etc.) and it is
a perfect natural on the web etc. One thing that is lacking is cohesion and
not interaction. With your and's pull I think that cohesion will
come together. Interaction is a given for us, but I would like to help you
build that community you see somewhere there in your mind.

I'm going go now and let you ramble some. Hope I sparked your interest.


I've had a little post-it on my monitor for weeks now that says How does a
song mean? I always thought it was How does a song ring? (it still rings
P.S.S. I really liked the photo on the MajorLinks page...

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996
From: "Daniel J. Guinan" <>

I'm afraid it is more complicated than zipping up the applet and sending it your way, since both of my major applets require a server component.

But please take a look at these very cool applets:

If you like them, or would like me to do some custom work for you, let me know..


From: Michael Camillo <>
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 1996

Hey Mr. Hunter just wanted to say hi and that I'm truly intoxicated.
NO - I'm sure there is a point to this email. I guess want I want to say
is what you hear all the time in the countless email you recieve each
day ( I know cause I've read the mailbox page of your webpage) but I
cannot write it in such a literally spectacular and cosmic way as the
other letters. But just let me thank you for your fabulous work on which
my life has turned for the past few years.Don't know if there is any
point in this letter other than letting you know how I feel (which I'm
sure you get every day) but then what would my feelings be if they were
not expressed....So without 'drunkily' rambling on -- Thanks much (I
think you know what I'm gettin at) I love your web page
Take Care and Thanks for EVERYTHING

Date: 14 Apr 96

Robert, I love your page. Thought you would appreciate the following:

"Oh, my gosh! You mean we're Deadheads?!"

-- Jacqueline, Age 5
Upon learning that three of her favorite songs (The Wheel,
Uncle John's Band, and "Look Out Of Any Window") are all
by the Grateful Dead.

From: (Robert Hunter)

Dear Jacqueline,

thank you for liking my songs. I like people who like my songs so I guess I must like you!

With Love,

Robert Hunter

Date: Apr 18, 1996
From: (Thomas Stalzer)

HI. I wont take much of your time, I just wanted say thanks for
words that have meant more to me that just about anything in my 30 years
on this planet. Your words and Jerry's playing are etched in my mind
forever, and helped me form and live the kind life I live. It gets
hard in the hustle and bustle that is NYC, but we gotta make do..
Thanks for everything, and hope to be reading your words
and living them for many many years to come. So cool having you
in the cyberhood now!

love, hugs and thanks.

Oh yea, I'll also always believe in Santa Claus:

/ | ' \ It was a DARK and STARRY night...
( ) 0
\_/-, ,----' Tom Stalzer
==== //
/ \-'~; /~~~(O)
/ __/~| / |
=( _____| (_________|

Date: 14 Apr 1996
From: (Jody Lentz)
Subject: light bulb jokes 4 robt hunter

Hi, Robert -- cool pages. I see lots of surfing time on the clock spent at
your site.

Here's 2 light bulb jokes:

1. How many bluegrass musicians does it take...?
> Six. One to do it and 5 to bitch about it being electric.

2. How many drummers does it take...?
> None. They've got a machine for that now.

thankx for thoughtful words and creative spirit!

let the words be yours...

Jody Lentz

try this:

To: (Jody Lentz)
From: (Robert Hunter)
Subject: Re: light bulb jokes 4 robt hunter

Dear Jody,

Q: How do you tell a banjo player from a bunch of grapes?

A: When you jump up and down on a banjo player you don't get wine.


From: "octobr::debess"
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 96 10:10:03 PDT
To: decwrl::""
Apparently-To: mailbag
Subject: believe it if you need it...

thank you for providing another avenue for continued community.
I am choosing to write to you because of the spiritual connection I feel,
with you because of the words you've written, with the Dead because
of the places we've been to together on the wings of their music, with
the other deadheads because of the sense of modern day tribe I have
at a soul level in connection with them and their hearts...

in the days and weeks and months after Jerry died, I read alot of tributes,
and I journaled a lot myself to help me in my grief. I remember reading
about a couple of incidents you and your partner experienced around the time
Jerry died - how Jerry had called to thank you for the great songs you had
written together, how your wife was awakened in the morning hours to close
the window on a breeze coming in at the very moments that Jerry was passing
into the spirit world.

Do you take these as messages? That Jerry knew. That he came to say
goodbye one last time.

I had a few personal experiences myself, some quite profound and some not
so - would you be interested in hearing?

It seems to me that I was SO concentrated on Jerry after he died, he was
just about constantly on my mind - I thought about him as I lay awake in bed
not being able to get to sleep, and as soon as I woke 4 hours later, there he
was again...and then throughout the day, my mind turned to him often.

So, maybe that explains the things that happened to me in those first couple
of days and weeks. Maybe it was because I -wanted- to see things, and maybe
it was because I was looking for them... or, maybe, it was because I was open
to them.

But in any case, I ended up having several "communications".

One was actually quite simple, but it reminded me of what you said in your
elegy - "...or on some breeze of Summer/a snatch of golden theme/we'll know
you live inside us..." - the day Jerry died, I got away from work for a while
to be by myself, outside, near a little stream with weeping willows draping
down over it. I sat there with tears rolling out of my eyes and watched the
leaves shimmer and the little ripples in the water from the slightest of
summer breezes. The breeze wiped the tears from my eyes. It seemed like a
sweet gesture from Jerry.

It reminds me a bit of "Stella Blue", "and when you hear that song, come
crying like the wind...", which I always loved but never thought of as
referring to Jerry, (really!, I didn't), but now...
but now, it will always be about him to me, it will always mean how I felt
in August after having lost him. I felt that it showed me how to get past
the grief, it seemed that he(you) was always trying to get that message
across - how to deal with the death of someone you love -, and although it
had hit me on the surface, now it sunk into me and I understood and could
try to apply it in a real way.

That night I sat outside on my deck with 2 friends, and as we sat and
watched the beautiful full moon rise to the center of the completely
clear sky, we noticed wispy clouds surrounding the moon - the only clouds
in the sky. And then we noticed that the clouds were in the shape of
a SYF, right down to the eyesockets at the bottom, with the moon instead
of a lightning bolt in the middle. It stayed that way for a good half
hour, not another cloud in the sky, and these clouds never moved from that
shape. All of us saw it - it was just so amazing. I sketched it.

that was pretty cool - I definately took that as a message from Jer...

a week or so later, I went on vacation. I was still in pretty bad shape,
still so sad. We were camping next to a beautiful, peaceful river with not
many other people around. Every morning, I would walk to the riverbank and
meditate. I needed help to get past the pain.

One morning, while sitting next to the river, I started to talk to Jerry,
cause I -saw- him. And I said "this is so cool that we can communicate like
this now" - and he started LAUGHING! - and shaking his head, he said to me
something like "yeah this -is- pretty cool".

I thought, now I have a personal connection to the spirit world, like I never
did with anyone else before. This connection is there because I'm so focused
on that man. He meant SO much to me.

I haven't had anything like that happen since, but what that did was to help
me get over my deep grief and not feel -so- bad anymore. Jerry let me know
he's happy where he is.

It blows me away that I've had this deeply spiritual experience in dealing
with the death of someone I loved very much, and yet had never had the good
fortune to meet.

onto a semi-related topic ;-)
for several years, I have belonged to a women's group - with a group of
women ranging in ages between 20-something to 80-something.
this year, we decided to have the form of hearing eachother's stories -
once a month we meet, share a dinner, and then give the space for one
woman to spend a half hour or so telling her life story from the
perspective of her spiritual growth.

we've done this since September and it has turned out to be an amazingly
powerful experience. Our stories, women leading simple lives, haven't
been given much attention historically, and in -most- organized religions,
women are not in postions of power so our perspective is ignored...alot.
We are finding that by giving this space, we are hearing what we can
relate to and find meaning in. This storytelling has turned out to be
a wonderful ritual for sharing our lives and what's important to us
with eachother.

I spent several months contemplating and recording what was important to
me in my spiritual growth...and shared it with this group recently.

A very significant part, I was well aware, was from my experience of
being a deadhead - the community, the dancing, the mindexpanding music,
the mindexpanding drugs, the lyrics. Probably, a year ago, I wouldn't
have even talked about being a deadhead with this diverse group of women.
But after experiencing what I did after Jerry's death, I felt compelled
to share this aspect of myself with them.

I formatted my talk around significant events or people, and then, as a
summary of sorts, I read some of your lyrics between each section, without
telling these women that they were Grateful Dead lyrics...I said they
were some lines of poetry. Only when I talked (at length!) about being
a deadhead and what that meant to me spiritually, and only after I had
talked about the words being so special, only then did I tell them that
the lines of poetry I had been reading were your words. I know I touched
a chord with some of these women - they are still approaching me a few
months later to talk about what I said that night.

For a long time, it helped me work through my grief to write. I guess
I have done that again in writing to you. But, I wanted to share just
a bit what your art has done for me. It has been joyous and uplifting to
me so many times in my life; and it has been healing when that was needed.

Thank you. For your gifts. For listening.


Subj: pkdick
Date: Fri, Apr 12, 1996
From: (Christian Crumlish)

pleased to see you are an aficionado of old horselover fat. i was reading
him very heavily last year and the year before, almost daring the universe
to conjure up strange synchronicities for my brain.

was in fact reading the third of the VALIS books when I heard Jerry had
died. It starts, as you may recall, on the day John Lennon was killed and
deals with a Boddhisattva (sp?). Curiouser and curiouser.

Have you heard of the PC compression program pkzip and its mate pkunzip?
I've thought there should be a pkundick out there to complement pkdick.


the quotation at the bottom of enterzone 3 (or was it 4) is "the empire
never ended"
xian =%7o
(note: check this url out. It's one hell of a postmodern literary lablyrinth which Christian edits ... rh)

4 out of 5 dentists surveyed recommend Enterzone
for their patients who read zines

Between the Man On the Very Short Line from Mars and the Forceps
Ratdog's Immortal Soul, A Live Pink Rock 'n' Roll Flower Ride
The 6 Jaw Bone, 3 Cage Stone, 6 Gred Stories, 2 Marst Poems
One More Solution to Drop the Welcome Back Actions
You and One of the Puritans in the Safety Age
The Nylons Committee (actual size)
Little Tiny Golden Comix
Spring in Review
Stimulants Me

Date: Fri, Apr 12, 1996
From: (Reilly L. Platt)

Dear Hunter,

Portia - Portia - She's our PIG,

She got herself a Grateful Dead gig!!!!!!!!

With our gratitude, gaiety, mirth
and a grateful heart.

Patricia & Reilly


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