Boots was our pyrotechnician. It was on a New Year’s Eve, I guess it must have been ’72 or ’73 in San Francisco, and he had these things set up that had the numbers ’72 or ’73 and, right at the stroke of midnight, he set them off. They were like some kind of flash powder or flash paper, and they had an amazing effect. It left a reverse image on my retina, like a flash-bulb of ’72 or ’73. Man, it was really weird. I’d close my eyes, and there it would be. It was there for an hour. Whatever it was, it was on there, and I’m saying, “Well, that’s interesting. It could have been the Ten Commandments.” — Garcia
The Music of Friends
All my education led me to composition, and I followed a dead end. All I could do after I’d composed the things I wanted to say, was to shut up. It was a question of style and technique leading you right into a corner. I was composing classical electronic music. Surreal orchestra music. Improvised chants, reaction music. Then I realized that if composition was improvisation, and you let random chance make your decisions for you, you may as well just blow. Your chances of hitting any significant combinations are about the same either way. That’s especially true in a collective situation, when there are more than two musicians playing. I’ve always thought of the music we play as ‘electric chamber music’, which has been called the music of friends.
–Lesh Grateful Dead Program, London 1972
Page 76 and 77 paperback version: During the early seventies, Crosby, Stills and Nash hung with the boys, trading licks on CS&N albums for singing lessons and help on harmonies with Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty.
Jerry on pedal steel guitar
Sam Cutler and Pathfinder Frank Berry loaded with Native American jewelry. Frank’s mission was to rescue the great pieces of Navaho turquoise and silver art from the clutches of museums by buying them from the Southwest trading posts and trading them to the hippies, the true brothers of the Hopi prophecy.
Digital Remix New Content (not seen in printed book)
It was my first time back at the Fillmore East after leaving New York to work for the Dead in California…Jerry and I were on stage in the afternoon for set up and sound check, we were discussing where my best spots would be for the show when Ben, one of the Fillmore’s lighting crew, came over to talk to Jerry. He started talking to him about the band having its own light show traveling with them and offered his services as such…He made a very interesting sales pitch but Jerry seemed uninterested. After a short while Jerry stopped Ben…looked him in the eyes and said…”we don’t need a light show, we have Boots, and he is three dimensional.”
–Boots, January 2016
Photos: Top – Bob Marks, Paperback – Rosie McGee, Jerry – Mary Eisenhart, Cutler & Berry – Cherie Porter