[Archive] [majorlinksl


Subj: In times of need
Date: Jun 13 1996 3:35 PM EDT
From: (Friedmans)

Hi Robert,

I just wanted to say that I look forward to your updated web pages. I have
a feeling of connection to the inner family, that I never had in all the
long years of music. I like knowing what is going on. You are still coming
through with THE words I need, when I need them. Missing the GD is still
very painful for me, and you do help. Thank you, again.

I loved hearing Mystery Box down at Laguna Seca, but was very frustrated,
because I could not make out all YOUR words, in the wash of sound. I knew
there were stories being told, but what were they? Then again, I usually
have to listen to your lyrics a few times to get the picture. I guess that
means that I will be seeing Mystery Box again. (Of course!)

I await each chapter of the Giant's Harp, with a great eagerness. What will
happen next? I plan to have a nice thick book to re-read, once all the
chapters are done. I might have to set aside a ream of paper, though.

Have a wonderful time on your trip. We will all be waiting when you get
back, but don't spend lots of time thinking about us. Refresh, renew,
relax. It helps the creative juices flow, later.

Take care,

how will I stop thinking about you lot? Hopefully I can keep the page roughly updated from England. If so you'll see this letter in the next mailbag. Giant's Harp will get done if I have to fedex discs to Alan Trist to put up for me. A serial is a serial is a commitment. Besides, it's the only way I'll ever get that book properly rewritten. Might publish it after it's done. Maureen illustrated the first draft in '85 with stained glass - many of which are cracked now - a great stained glass circle of the Nine Hammers for the cover.

Oh yes, I'll relax too. I'll get a book on the subject. I understand you start with a deep breath . . .

Subj: Sangre rain prayer
Date: Jun 13 1996 5:45 PM EDT

Hail, there, land of Snowden,

First off, mucho gratitude for this season's synchronistic wonder: your new "Sangre de Cristo" complements the daily prayers for rain that we residents of the Sangre lowlands have been sending with increasingly fervent supplication. They say the drought is of the 20-year cyclic variety, but the burnt forest around the Stone Lions in Bandelier, and the hermitages and magical forests of Lama, consumed by another blaze, moving faster than you can run, aren't counting. Since the disc arrived from Ryko, we've had two big ol' 10 minute showers, and boy, did those drops taste good. And by the way, the kids sing along.

And for what it's worth, a certain local reviewer (OK, me) saw something more than Entertainment Weekly (but then, I guess I've developed a taste for cosmic mumbo jumbo):

Mickey Hart's Mystery Box
His last solo album won a Grammy, and his main band is dead. What's next for Mickey? How about gathering together four percussionists buddies from around the world, a six-women a cappella group, Robert Hunter, the Dead's poet laureate and master storyteller, and a co-producer who's created hits for Sade and Kate Bush? The result is invigorating, inspiring, and altogether new for everyone involved. By turns sweet, funky, and soaring, the vocals carry Hunter's messages of wry hope and clear-eyed wisdom to new and promising heights. Not surprisingly, several songs address themes of passings and leavings, all with underlying radiance and enduring connection with the source. Locals will especially revel in "Sangre de Cristo", a rain prayer that echoes our own inner calls with celestial beauty.

And for another local publication, focusing on Furthur:
One listen to Mickey Hart's Mystery Box (Ryko), and it's clear that the adventures and insights that fueled the Grateful Dead for thirty years have far from expired in the wake of Jerry Garcia's death. The most ambitious recording to emerge from the Dead family since 1975's Blues for Allah is being released in conjunction with the start of the Furthur Festival, a revue featuring various Dead friends and relatives. . . . . . .
The musical highlight promises to be the debut of Hart's new band and material, featuring lyrics by Garcia's wordsmith, Robert Hunter. Hunter's at his powerful and poignant best here, looking back, looking forward, celebrating the present. The Mint Juleps, a six-woman a cappella group, provide the voices, and Hunter and Hart both seem inspired by the new form. "I wanted to hear drums and beautiful voices, the most sacred of instruments, together," Hart says, "to create a music that was like chanting, but with that strong driving rhythm. . . If drums could speak, this is what they'd say." Hart and Hunter are stepping boldly forward, blazing a new trail at the end of the road.

Carry it on. . .

Subj: Have a great trip!
Date: Jun 14 1996 5:06 PM EDT
From: (Richard DeBois)

Dear Robert,
I hope you have received the handmade book samples which
I mailed to your p o box, please let me know before you leave the
country if you have looked at them.
I love the posting of "Touch Of Grey" please, please continue to
delight us with those original manuscripts!
But where is Louise's Page?
I couldn't have been her only fan.
Best wishes for a safe trip abroad, remember you are on holiday
and your loyal home page readers will await your return.
An update any old time would be fantastic though!

ps Tiger Rose has been my handle for many a year, even when i
had a CB radio way back when. I believe you
released that in 1974 or 75? I still have a Tiger Rose T-shirt i fondly
wear on special occasions. You must have a good story to go with
the origination of that song, i would love to hear it?


the package came today.The "Box of Rain" is very beautiful, a real stunner. Dark Star very handsome. You do fine work.

Louise is on vacation in Brooklyn so I ducked her page to the majorlinks file. She said she had to get back to reality for awhile and refresh her attitude, but there's a new scan on her art page. She complains about getting next to no mail and thinks nobody reads her page, so I doubt she'll be doing much updating from Flatbush Avenue.

Intend to keep uploading the manuscripts. I scanned several to take to England with me with high hopes ofupdating the file several times while I'm there. If the modem lines work, I'll work.

Thanks again for the good looking art.

Subj: SangreDroughtBusting
Date: Jun 14 1996 7:36 PM EDT

A soaked hello,

Not to flood your mail, but an update is in order in the Bring Down The
Rain watch:

Prelude: no significant moisture since September last, big fires this
spring and summer; prayers are sent, songs sung, dances and dreams,
longing and love sent skyward throughout.

Mon. June 11: National Weather Service spokesman notes high altitude
moisture, evaporating vergas, lets us hopeful types know that that
dripping rain won't make it to the ground, and will really dry up in a
couple of days.

Tues. June 12: Mystery Box hits the stores. Actual shower that evening,
ground stays wet the whole following morning.

Wed. June 13: Mystery Box in more homes. "Send us a love song. . ." Rains
again in the evening, just a gentle spit, but still we dance.

Thurs. June 14: Kids singing along "San day da creeesto. . . ." A half
hour of rain, gentle, in waves.

Fri. June 15: The Day We've Been Praying For: we wake to the sound. . .
Rosalinda Meadow spins and sticks her feet out the window, her almost
3-years of experience here hitting the nail on the head, "tank u sky!"
All morning it comes, solid and soft, sinking in, no runoff, over a half
inch. . . Anasha, a full 7 years under his belt, notices the pine cones

No doubt, this is worlds beyond conjuring up a rainbow behind the stage
or that sort of journeyman weather magic. . . . and to think I retained a
veneer of skepticism about the sychronistic powers of this vortex.

Indeed, through all the supplications of the past months, it was about
love, and it seems we found a way to get out of the way.

That'll do it.
Have fun over there.

thought there must be a reason for such an unlikely lyric suggesting itself. Things have a way of coming together in stunning coincidence when you're dealing with rhythm and visions. It's as natural as rain. It's a faith in itself - the oldest.


Subj: Ahead of your time
Date: Jun 15 1996 12:17 AM EDT
From: (Richard DeBois)

Dear Robert,
Just an after thought..... you really were way ahead of your time.
MTV will make an excellent choice in using "Dark Star" for
musical material concerning a very personal and sexual matter.
Only with such a serious and powerful song like this could
such a message be sent, that making a human emotional decision
could lead to this deadly disease. And we all need to love more,
love each other, love ourselves and love carefully.


my comedic approach in the 6/12 journal aside, you make a good point. It's too easy to dismiss such things with humor.

Subj: Rainforests ala Mystery Box
Date: Jun 14 1996 11:45 PM EDT
From: (Peter S. Oleson and Family)

Greetings rh-

Although I haven't yet gotten to the point in my reminiscences where I describe the topography of southeastern Alaska, I feel the need at this moment to spread this word of warning to the People.
I am at this moment listening to Mystery Box for the first time, and this letter is prompted by that.
In Southeast Alaska is found the Northernmost rainforest in the world. There are trees there that are so old and so huge that the root systems are as big around as a house and sit on bedrock, so the trunk doesn't start until the you get up 20 feet in the air. The feeling in these forests is as primeval as the surroundings. These forests are being systematically clearcut by logging companies that are being granted access to these places by legislation introduced by Alaska's congressional delegation. As much as I admire our combatants in Congress, I think that the clearcutting of these magnificent forests is a heinous crime and somebody should back off from the spotted owl or whatever and do something, anything, to help stop this stupidity before the entire Southeastern part of the state is nothing but a bunch of rain ruts.
Forget the plains of ANWAR, there is almost no life up there, the battle should be for the forests of SE Alaska, that have someway escaped the eye of the media. We are being ravaged and a beautiful part, perhaps the most beautiful part of America, is being taken from us each and every day. I cannot emphasize this enough, we need to stop this now!

Weird stuff, I have no memory of ever being prompted like that to send such a scathing letter, Who says there's no underlying motive here, by the way rh, you are great, and also, I intend to ride your Harley into an Alaskan sunset, whenever we get one of those again. It's light all night now, but remember this- it's just as dark in the opposite season, and it's the darkness that begets the weirdness.

Album over, back to life.

Due to the fact that I am having a hard time with my e-mail program, I would like to know if this message arrives. Also, rh, only if you want to, I remain...PSO.


your thunderous message, driven by the drums, arrived intact. Let us hope the forests of SE Alaska arrive intact for future generations. Amen

Subj: thanks
Date: Jun 13 1996 1:14 PM EDT
From: (Steven Wolfe)

Dear Robert,

Your site is the best page on the web, by far. It's inspiring,
beautiful, and brilliant. Please never stop.

Steve W.

Subj: Da Site
Date: Jun 14 1996 3:36 PM EDT
From: (Kay Tuma)

I sure do hope you find some way of continuing updates. The web
landscape would be empty without you!
I'd like to tell you what visits to your site mean to me. I save up
and try not to visit until I know the latest diary installment is up.
I dive in. Amazed that you can open to us all with such integrity.
Next, I check on the Giant's Harp praying for new chapter. Excellent!
I'm as immersed in it as I am the diary. Next is rooting around, turning
over digital stones, finding new jewels hidden like glistening grubs.
Lastly, the Post Office. What minds we are in this collective deadhive.
I emerge with phosphene eyes. Tell myself I must write to express my
gratitude for this lovely gift in the old dead tradition but with such
immediacy and beauty using new technology. Finally, I'm here.
Thank you!
Kay Tuma
Networking Specialist
UNLV Library


ps- Just got into Mystery Box. I really disliked the pop aspect first
listen. I'm a world music dj, and was yearning to hear the drums overpower
the voices. The lyrics, now, ah that's another story. Just splendid! I
wept over the Down the Road images. Anyway, after the third listen I was
hooked. It will be interesting to play some excerpts on my show and hear
the reaction from world music fans.

I'm deeply honored by your enjoyment of my site. A good pat on the back is better than a cup of coffee for keeping me at it.


Subj: Orfeo
Date: Jun 12 1996 2:35 PM EDT
From: (Tyrone 'Rocketman' Slothrop)

Whhhooooooo bboooooyyyyyyyy......

Rather than spewing my own immense and highly related stories, a quick
response to your closing question:

Really the rat's ass being locked out of the lab, but I expect THEY know
better. I wonder - did I
make a mess on some sacred carpet, thinking I was emitting flowers? Did I
insult some petty DMT
bureaucrat who's had me barred? Am I under house arrest in this
dimension? Or did I just graduate?

I assume you know the basis of the Bodhissatva vow- that you will stay
behind, refusing to enter ??? (eternity/Unity/the next level/whatever)
until *everybody else* has made it too. Sounds to me like you got
drafted, buddy. "You've got work to do! Don't come back 'til you're done!"

Could just be my filter though, since that's what has been happening to me;
unfortunately minus the DMT thus far but I'm early in the game. Also, I
haven't even found my daemon yet so it's more than a bit confusing. "Well,
FINE, I'll stay on this planet, but what exactly am I supposed to DO?"

But your work thus far has certainly been effective, at least by the only
measure I have available: it's sped my path up considerably, sort of a
reference library type resource. Even when my own stuff hasn't mapped to
your words (or Terence's, for that matter), the points of apparent
divergence have been illuminating in and of themselves.

Unfortunately, though, I think once you're drafted it's for the long
haul; so don't expect a reprieve anytime soon, regardless of services
rendered. Nice to have you on the team, I must say. See you There at the
door, hopefully, towards the end.

(23 skidoo indeed!)


Ain't no bodhissatva
Ain't no bodhissatva's son
But I'll bodhi with your satva
Till your bodhissatva comes

Tell me how long
Must I wait . . .

Subj: A strange dream
Date: Jun 12 1996 4:20 PM EDT
From: Phil

Dear Robert,
I am as big a Grateful Dead fan as anyone alive, also I have a
degree in English Lit. and admire the hell out of your writing. I also
think you are a cool guy. So why did I have this dream last night?
I dreamed that you had entered my house to burglarize it. I caught
you somehow and chained you with a steel chain to my daughter's bed. I then
left for awhile. I went to a deserted cafe where Bob Dylan was playing alone.
He let me and another person jam with him. I remember him singing "If I were
a master thief, Perhaps I'd rob them..." I then returned to my house to find
that you had slipped the chain and escaped. This put me in a panic, I ran
around the house checking all the closets and window locks, muttering "That
son of a bitch! That son of a bitch!" I whined/cried to my wife, "Why does
he do it, he's a great writer?!" I wanted to find you and sock you in the jaw.
Finally, I cleaned off a filthy window and looked out. There you were, crumpled
next to the house next door, obviously wounded and unable to escape. My rage
turned to pity and I went out to help you. The dream then became an animated
cartoon of a great jug band, probably Gus Cannon's, in the style of the R.Crumb
collector cards. There was other great music as the dream unfolded. Wish I
could write it down upon waking! I have had recurring dreams about the Dead
for decades. They are almost always joyous dreams. I suppose Heaven for me
will be a Dead concert.

Also re: diary of the dark side. Have you read Aleister Crowley's
diaries? He used a sort of code that was easy to decypher. Of course, he
revelled in his dark side. They are interesting in any case. Send me a mailing
address and I'll loan you my copy.

Peace & Love,



Interesting: theft of something from your subconscious (house) ---chained to your daughter's bed (why chain instead of rope? Chains have links. Key word. A link with your daughter. You went to see Dylan for answers, like you used to. The verse he sang has to do with alleviation of self inflicted pain using the metaphor of robbery. "great writer" and "master" fuse the identity represented as me. Socking me in the jaw, specifically, would shut me up. This is linked to your daughter. When you saw more clearly, by cleaning the dirty window, you understood, perhaps, that projection kills, at least lames. I've talked about this a lot in my letters and journals. It's something I try to get across. I escaped from the chains because you got information via Dylan that redefined me - so I was no longer under capture as I was now someone else. Your question would have to be: was I injured by your violent reactions to having your subconscious forcibly ransacked
by some aspect of my messages? Something here is unresolved. Is there a lion waiting to spring out who would injure your daughter?


(note: Phil, couldn't let this letter go unpublished, not being marked personal, but I've omitted your last name and email in case you'd rather not be identified - will add it on if you wish - Dr. Freud)

Date: Jun 15 1996 1:07 PM EDT
From: CathyB

Hey, RH! In response to your list of goals, you seem to be doing well
on all but number 8, I think, and the last three. We need more
horsefeathers and bullshit, preferably of the type that morphs into
cutting edge insights midway through, so it becomes sort of bullaha!

Also, you aren't making nearly enough trouble. Please try harder.

I've been listening to Mystery Box all week. As so many of your
lyrics do, these remind me of Dickenson's def. of poetry taking the
top of one's head off. ("Praising the bejeesus out of you" now
completed. You're welcome.) In Down the Road, I love the way you
capture JFK looking away and frowning, truly invoking an image. And
daggone, I may just have to wood-burn the following lines about
bullets and waves and such into a plaque. BUT I really have probs
with that line coming out of Lennon's mouth: "What can I do you for?"
Unless he coined it, I can't imagine Lennon using such an overworked
expression, not in his later years anyway. (Now tell me you have it
on good authority . . . .)

Oh well, being bugged by one line on an entire album isn't bad, huh?

As for the "cosmic mumbo jumbo" criticism, the author of those words revealed more about his or her inner state than he or she did about the fitness of your words. (Just as my comment on Lennon probably reveals more about my image of John than about any true weakness in your writing.) [Damn! that felt like sucking up! It wasn't meant
to be. I take it all back!]

What's the plan with the Furthur computer stuff you've mentioned? I
heard rumors weeks ago that Mickey would do IRC events on tour. Any
truth? Any chance? I'm a IRC regular, and IRCing minds want
to know.

If you post this to the mailbag, please delete my address as well as
the next bit of info: <......................!!!...........?......................!> I have no idea why I felt I should tell you that, but there you go.



#8 a miss? I'd of reckoned that was the one I was doing the best, but you never know. I'll try to work more bullshit into the next edition.

On your second point, Lennon was a Liverpudlian, i.e., had a casual "down to earth" streak which the line meant to mimic. "I read the news today - Oboy!" McCartney liked the verse.

There are plans for conferencing. They're kind of elaborate. I'll keep it close in case it doesn't pan out.

The sting of that initial press criticism has been much ameliorated by a steady flow of glad reviews.

Good luck on <section deleted> You sound like you're ready to win an argument!


Date: Jun 15 1996 9:30 AM EDT


Just want to say that I love the site! I particularly like the
arrival of the Night Cadre collection (I've always liked those poems).
Also, I'd like to say that as far as keeping us posted on the state of
the state of things you're doing a top-notch job (I sound like my boss.)
Here you've laid the groundwork for an enduring, and vital institution. I
hope you don't get too bored or in a rut as you mentioned fearing in your
journal. I'd suggest putting in any old thing that catches your eye or
funny-bone if only for a week or two at a time. A bit of randomness always
keeps boredom at bay.
Now I'd like to offer a Poem of sorts I uncovered today from my great
hardcopy archives. It's not too old and seems to be a sort of memory
piece... Dig it

No Drug can simulate
can stimulate to
the point when feet don't touch the ground.
The whole body is in
a rock, sway, boogie
Locked, as they say,
with the entire mind
Interfacing fully with
The group mind.
All thoughts,
& highways
lead to this.
The One
This is where the fog--
shrouded bridge leads.
These tiny moments
Played out on the great lyre.
Diamonds scattered
in the Sahara
(only better).
Then pack up & travel
to seek it out again.
The purest concentration
of allgood.
Soaked up &
in sound waves:
on the same frequency
as the soul.
[New Years Eve 95>96. Fairfax, Virginia]

Jonathan Hart.
Thanks Jonathan. A good poem and a great email address!

Subj: archives,Email etc.
Date: Jun 16 1996 4:43 PM EDT

Just the opportunity to interact with you is mind boggling.
I just came on line a few weeks ago and the volume of data is staggering.
I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your archive site, keep it up.

On a much more serious note, I think we are all suffering from a great big
black hole, I call mine Severe Grateful Deprivation, and I know only those of
us who have it know how much it hurts.

I have been a fan since 1977 and traveled from 1980 til the end. I always
felt that your poetry ('lyrics' don't due them justice) were a significant factor in
the poignance and beauty of their music but with Jerry's passing I am floored
by the illumination of these songs in their new Garcialess context. It is as
if these words were a blossom that in it's ultimate death reveal a beauty
greater than anything displayed in their lifetime.

Thanks a million for the word that went with the soundtrack of my life!!!!!

Larry Brent


it didn't take all the foresight in the world to know that the precious thing we had was bound to end abruptly. Part of the sad beauty of the Grateful Dead was the understanding that it was a tragedy in the making. I reported on the obvious and tried to draw lessons from it. We've now entered another phase, an end game, and what we make of that will determine how our accomplishment will be finally viewed - what it's object lesson will be. Did we come all this way just to sell out? Or did we go down swinging, basic ideals intact? Were were we bonafide visionaries or opportunists cashing in on the nostalgia for the sixties? Was money what finally mattered most? Or was it employed as a means to an end? No one's perfect, obviously, but, in the balance, was our concern at least as great for our culture as for our bank account? If not, I doubt even our own children will report well of us.

The lessons never stop coming. Without a vision to thread your way through them, it's all over before it's begun. You don't dare say: "well, that was true for then but I've got to be practical now." The jaws of scorn open wide and swallow you whole for such an attitude, and it would be far better never to put yourself forward at all than that you enlist the faith of many and betray it.

Does this seem an excessive answer to your letter? I guess it is, but these things have been much on my mind lately.


(6/22 Note: I was going through all kinds of doubts about the impending situation with backers when I wrote that reply. I've since come to believe (with absolutely no pressure) that it may be the only way to carry the GD on into the next century. We will need to be very vigilant, but it looks like the alternative is a steady slide into bankruptcy. My hope is that the Idea is stronger than its economic scaffolding. We invite your goodwill in this risky venture.)

Subj: Bluegrass
Date: Jun 17 1996 12:10 PM EDT
From: Thomas.Melvin@MVS.UDEL.EDU

Hi Robert. I haven't written in a few weeks because you seem very busy and I
feel guilty about taking up your time, but your most recent journal has
sparked the need to communicate. Your comments about Sandy Rothman and Bill
Monroe were of great interest to me because bluegrass has become my new
musical "home". A few years ago I had a nasty breakup with a band that I had
been playing in (we're all still friends, just one of those things. Bands are
like marriages with more then one person, but I'm sure you know all about
that!), and I went through a period of wondering where I wanted to go in my
musical direction. I had been playing guitar in the band and was getting a
little burnt out and needed something fresh to get involved with musically. I
had plucked the banjo for a few years but never learned the real basic Scruggs
rolls, and I had been listening to a lot of bluegrass around that time (three
years ago) because my girlfriend at the time (now my wife, who you met at the
Chestnut Caberet in Philadelphia after your poetry reading) listened to a
local bluegrass show every week and got me listening. It was one of those
musical forms that I had been exposed to by hanging around the Dead scene but
had never delved into in a serious way. Anyway, I decided that I really
wanted to take up the banjo in a serious way and was lucky enough to have a
chance encounter (if there is such a thing) with Bobby Lundy, the son of Ted
Lundy of Ted Lundy and the Southern Mountain Boys (Delawares claim to fame in
the bluegrass world), and Bobby agreed to give me lessons. He's currently
playing banjo in Bill Harrells band (Bill played with Don Reno after Red
Smiley could no longer go on the road and has since carved out his own niche
in the bluegrass world) and its been both an honor and a great treat to be
able to study with someone who not only plays professionally but was raised in
the bluegrass environment. He grew up with the Reno kids and Del McCoury's
kids and it's been a lot of fun getting to meet some of these people. I was
talking with Ronnie McCoury just a few weeks ago about some banjos that he
sold to Jerry right before he died. Anyway, the point is that just at the
time when I was finding it hard to take the ever expanding scene at Dead shows
I found this other musical environment which embodied most of the things that
I always liked about the Dead scene (great music infused with spirituality,
etc), especially before it exploded in the mid eighties. Bluegrass festivals
are small, intimate, and the only people there are people who care about the
music. No one is making the bluegrass scene because it's the "place to be" or
because of the great party in the parking lot (although there's plenty of
that), but because they love and care about the music and the people. The
people are a bit different and it takes a bit of getting used to the "old
folks in their Winnebagos" scene, but you soon find out that they're people
just like everybody else and pretty accepting of anyone who loves the music.
The topper of all of this is that I was in Galax (the mother of all fiddler
conventions!) last year when Jerry died, and it seemed very appropriate that I
was at the festival that epitomized bluegrass music on the day that the person
who had been the central focus of my musical life passed on. We had a
moonshine and mushrooms wake that evening (not recommended for the faint of
heart!), and I must admit that it took me three days before I could cry about
it because in a way it all seemed so natural. It was also more then ironic
that I had followed Jerry's footsteps in reverse, he started in bluegrass and
ended up with the Dead, I start out with the Dead and end up in bluegrass!
As you can probably tell from this long screed, I've been quite taken with the
form and now that the boys don't tour anymore this is were I put all of my
musical energy. It seems a very natural extension. By the way, I saw Bill
Monroe play about a year ago and he hadn't lost a thing. He still had a tight
band and he could still play really well, so those idiots don't know what
they're talking about. I'll send you a tape of the show if you're interested.

Sorry for going on so long. I hope that you have a great time in England, and
don't worry about the archives. It'll be here when you get back and I think
that you might need a break. Don't confuse the message with the medium! I
worry that you might be neglecting your need to write by obsessing on the
computer stuff. Spend some time with friends and family and we'll all be here
when you get back. Perspective is the key! Take care.
Much Love
Tom Melvin


thanks for a fact full bluegrass letter. I like where you're coming from a lot. The GD were a door to many kinds of music and there's no sense in moping around the house because you can't have them back like they were. There's a world of music. Live in it!

Do I want the Bill Monroe tape? You kidding? po box 1073, San Rafael CA 94915. I'll pick it up when I get home (late August) so no hurry. But it better be there!

Subj: poetry
Date: Jun 17 1996 10:28 AM EDT
From: (Steven Wolfe)

Greetings again. I was just reading through your Duino Elegies/Sonnets
to O (terrific translations, btw-I speak German and I think you captured
the feel of Rilke's work much more effectively than most of the
translations I've read), and it occurred to me that you are probably the
most widely memorized and quoted poet in the world. I'm curious whether
you have any sense of being treated seriously as a poet in that world
(assuming you care). I know you appeared at the Naropa Institute a
couple of summers ago, but what about outside the beat circles?

Steve Wolfe

Steve -

they take no notice of me whatsoever. There is little use for a white, male non-New Yorker in the poetry world like she is. Tough cookies.

Thanks for your kind estimation of my Rilke work. Stores won't stock it, too many translations already to bother carrying an independent press title, so I've decided to drop it online a bit at a time because, after ten years, it still looks right to me.

Subj: Why I need welfare... :)
Date: Jun 20 1996 6:22 PM EDT
From: (Michrel L. Standefer)

------ Why I Need Welfare ------

Examples of unclear writing. Sentences taken from actual letters
received by the California Welfare Department from applicants.

1. I am forwarding my marriage certificate and six children. I have 7,
but one was baptized on half a sheet of paper.

2. I am writing the Welfare Department to say that my baby was born
two years old. When do I get my money?

> 3. Mrs. Jones has not had any clothes for a year and has been visited
by the clergy regularly.

4. I cannot get sick pay. I have 6 children. Can you tell me why?

5. I am glad to report that my husband who was missing, is dead.

6. This is my eighth child. What are you going to do about it?

7. Please find for certain if my husband is dead. The man I now live
with can't eat or do anything until he knows.

8. I am very much annoyed to find that you have branded my son as
illiterate. This is a dirty lie as I was married a week before he was

9. In answer to your letter, I have given birth to a boy weighing ten
pounds. I hope this is satisfactory.

10. I am forwarding my marriage certificate and three children, one
of which is a mistake as you can see.

11. My husband got his project cut off two weeks ago and I haven't
had any relief since.

12. Unless I get my husband's money pretty soon, I will be forced to
lead an immortal life.

13. You have changed my little boy to a girl. Will this make any

14. I have no children yet as my husband is a truck driver and works
day & night.

15. In accordance with your instructions, I have given birth to twins
in the enclosed envelope.

16. I want my money as quick as I can get it. I've been in bed with
the doctor for two weeks and he doesn't do me any good. If things don't
improve, I will have to send for another doctor.

Subj: Text Only...
Date: Jun 15 1996 11:52 PM EDT
X-From: (Steven Solomon)


>Doing the text only page is an added distraction, so I'd like to know if
>anybody is really using it so I can gauge how often I really need to
>update it.<

My 2 cents? I'd recommend that you spare yourself the effort, but also keep
the pages of the archive graphically simple. You might find that folks will
have an easier time getting around, getting down to the substance... and
you might free time for furthur useful/new "tricks" with html... or a
skjillion other things you might wish to do out in meat space or the space
of the Mind.

That said... I've been having a ball skullking 'round the archive space,
reading the journal, checking into the mailbag (thanks kids)... ah-hhhh...

Sustinance ;-)

Steve S.

"Ah- words, words, words- it's all we have to work with."
Tom Stoppard; Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead.


thanks for your 2 cents. My understanding is that lots of the readers use University computers with Lynx. I get very little email on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays -and equate this with school being out. Though only %10 of users have text only browsers, at last count, I think a larger percentage of my readers, in school libraries, may be among the disenfranchised.

I hope I don't overuse graphics in my presentations. I make it a point to keep them quick loaders, and save larger loads for the end of files, where they'll be up and waiting to meet you. Some files, of course, are specifically graphic files, which I don't bother to include on the text only version. I'll bet my files are in the top %5 percent in quickload time, as far as files that use graphics go.

Subj: Psychedelic research
Date: Jun 19 1996 12:57 PM EDT
From: (Dave Nichols)

I am enjoying your tete-a-tete with Terence McKenna! It is a little weird,
but then so is DMT! I guess I don't have anything profound to say that
would warrant publication of this letter, so I'll not "praise the bejeezus"
out of you. (hey, don't feel bad... I think you write *great* lyrics!)

What I did want to do was to make you aware of our web page for the Heffter
Research Institute (Dennis McKenna being one of the co-founders too!) at

If you've not seen it, it is worth a short browsing. It cannot produce
smoke and has no mirrors, nor does it have quicktime movies or audioclips of
Harry Anslinger. It cannot transport you to the end of time, or to places
of high novelty. It doesn't even have a single picture of a UFO. On the
other hand, it does have a cute rotating LSD molecule at the bottom of the
page, and we think the concept of the Institute is kind of neat too.


dave nichols


sounds good. I'll put the URL in the file I keep for the rare occasions I have the time to do a little browsing. Sounds like my kind of file. I do like at least one flashing rotating item.

Subj: Anniversary
Date: Jun 18 1996 10:36 AM EDT
From: Thomas.Melvin@MVS.UDEL.EDU

A quick post script here. I just realized what day it is, June 18, the 31rst
anniversary of Phil's first gig with the band. One year ago today I was in
the third row at Giants Stadium for the first of what turned out to be my last
6 shows. Ironically, I passed up a chance to go to Bean Blossum, Bill
Monroes'festival in Indiana, with Bobby Lundy because I didn't want to pass on
third row seats at a show and I wanted to catch the 30th anniversary show,
even though it wasn't billed as such. Bobby really wanted me to go to Bean
Blossum with him because he was going to introduce me to Bill, but I said that
I'd wait and catch him this year. Well, I guess we know how that turned out.
Had fun at the show but it would have been nice to hang backstage at Bean
Blossum and watch the Big Mon pick. BTW, the word is that Bill is recovering
slowly and hasn't lost any speech capacity, but it's doubtful that he'll be
able to perform again. Say a prayer for Bill and a prayer for the Dead.
Happy Anniversary!
Tom Melvin

From: Steve Wright <>
To: "''" <mailbag>
Subject: cosmic mumbo jumbo
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1996 10:23:30 -0400
Mime-Version: 1.0


Cosmic Mumbo Jumbo, eh?....laughable...

Got Mystery Box after several trips to several stores...."Sorry we *just* got "rid" of the last one", was one response...felt a little like they were referring to some sort of pox. Maybe it was the same lad/lassie that gave the informed review....

You were right; good stuff.

Before I continue, one quick comment; please don't immediately dismiss the idea of returning, in some way/shape/form, to live performance. You are certainly an important dollop of glue, that may just help keep this massive beastie stuck together. I realize you have a million things tugging at you from a million directions, not the least of which your role as parent/husband.

Katie would probably dig seeing her Daddy do what Daddy does best. More tickling, maybe, but hey you're damn good, so....

Interesting... Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs, left baseball in order to devote more time to family/other pursuits/etc.. He had a few kids all around Katie's age, and he wanted them to experience exactly what 'got his juices going'; ie, baseball. I dunno, I saw some similarities..

Interesting queries from Mtv, re: Dark Star. Hmm..."Shall I go, me and me while I can..."

I totally relate to your 6/10 entry about rutting. Let me assure you that simply becoming aware of ruttish dangers puts you light years ahead of those (of us) who rely simply on tried/successful form, consistently afraid of deviation.

We'll make sure you stay fresh...

Read the mailbag from 6/12, and your mini-back/forth with the fellow who loathed the 'bullshit scene'

Yikes. I guess if he was at a few stops on Summer '95, he has a legit beef, but if he's talking about gathering in general, well, I just don't get it. Sounds a little like an active member of the 'deader than thou' fraternity, that many have come to loathe.

Hope you rip it up/chill, whatever your intent, in the UK.



I'm too sensitive by half - try to make it a practice not to read reviews.

What I feel about performing now -while grief is still such a major factor for the public- may change as that attitude changes. Right now I would be a nostalgia item and I absolutely cannot hack that. As for later on - it would be very much a question of "health permitting." You're right, Kate would love it. She wants me to write a book on "Uncle Jerry." I explained to her there are too many already.

To get out of the perceived "rut" I'd like to get some time for study. Java Script, for one thing. I'm a sucker for things that move and change color on a page. So sue me. Mainly, email answering takes up too much time that is needed for other aspects of the page. I love getting it, and I love answering it - but the time does fly. Don't know the solution to that one.

>Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1996 13:37:30 -0400 (EDT)

>Your WebSite has been selected as one of your "City's Best"! You can now
>view your listing at (
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>Best regards,
>Nelson Lopatin
>US WebSites

As Webmaster of the Grateful Dead Homepage, I can only say: today San Francisco, tomorrow the world!

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