Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sunshine daydream

So, if you can even believe it, the Grateful Dead are regrouping for one final set of shows in 2015. (Well, you know, Jerry won't be there, but they're finally granting every Phish fans' request and filling in for him with Trey Anastasio.) But wait, why this year? Well because this year marks the 50th year of the band's existence. They're holding the three shows over 4th of July weekend, in Chicago. Smack dab in the middle of the country (for the most part), at Soldier Field, which is the last place that Jerry ever played a show. The quintessential American band to end its run on America's birthday weekend in Chicago. Can you say historic?

I really, really want to go. So do at least some of my co-bloggers.

So much so, in fact, that we're trying to score tickets....

When I first read the news, and then looked at the calendar I immediately dismissed the idea. It's 4th of July weekend, and I have my girls. But the idea was not easily dismiss-able. It kept creeping in. Often. And loudly. The last 3 shows? Ever? This is American history, and a part of my youth. Could there possibly be a way to get there?

I was emailing with Jacquie, and Facebook messaging with numerous others. People were pretty excited.

I told myself I'd buy a lotto ticket and if I won I'd take the whole damn family. (My teen's head would explode at a Dead show. My youngest would try to join the tour.) If I didn't win, I'd try to get there solo.

Sorry, kids, we didn't win. But I'll only be gone a couple of days....

But wait, could I even afford to get there myself? Well, yes, 'cause lookie here, look what came in the mail just a few days ago -- a check from some freelance writing.

Admittedly, it's not going to pay for my whole trip, but it should cover the ticket costs.

So, ok, just me going to Chicago in July and tickets are paid for.... There was nothing left to do but read and watch all the instructions the GDTS put on its websiste about its honest-to-god, throw-back mail order. Old school -- you know, the way we used to have to score the good tickets, well, that or waiting anxiously outside record and department stores then running to the giant ticket machine at 10 am when they unlocked the door, to try to be first in line. There was no online ordering. (And although the Dead will be offering online ordering for the July shows, it's not available until after their mail order.)

I have to admit, though, the whole mail order gig, although awesome and fun, made me anxious. So many instructions, so many possibilities to fuck it up. I did, however, by another twist of fate, know exactly where some 3x5 index cards were, as I had just had to dig them up for my daughter's (allowed) science cheat sheet a few nights ago. So, with envelopes and 3x5 card properly filled out I headed to the post office on Tuesday, to get the 5 money orders I needed to make my ticket request.

In retrospect, I should have done 7, would have had a better chance of getting tickets, but too late now.
And beyond that, and likely more importantly, I should have decorated my envelope. I mean, my plain, white envelope filled out with my anxious hand is NOT going to compete with these beauties:

Stolen from Internet, but WOW, right? (Oh, look, good, this isn't for the Chicago shows!)

Also stolen, especially for Ellie, Jacquie, and Julie!

This one is Mary Ann's envelope front

And her back. Pretty sure she's going to score good tix!

In addition to the feeling of inferiority at my envelope's nakedness and my angst of the overall mail order preparation was a giant dose of nostalgia. I've been in contact with quite a few peeps about the shows, and the people and conversations take me right back. To the mid- 1980s - mid 1990s, which unbelievably, is 20 - 30 years ago.

I decided to drag out the envelope full of old tickets stubs, just for fun.

Look at these mail order beauties! Wow.

And although these are not in any way pretty, they are from the same Europe 1990 tour and crack me up because they're from the London shows, and they say, like you would expect while in the UK, to be prompt!

We were not necessarily an on-time bunch:

But I digress, back to mail order tickets:
Look at these less impressive, but still sparkly and awesome mail order stubs.

How about a close up of the last shows that I saw at Soldier field:

You know, with Sting as the opening act!

Here's the Teletron stub from the AIDS benefit that was held in the Oakland Coliseum on my 21st birthday. CCR, John Fogarty, Tracy Chapman, and the Dead. Not too shabby of a 21st if I do say so myself.

And here's a pile of all of the rest of them.

90 in total, I definitely need a few more.
Hope to see you all in Chicago!


Pat said...

Good luck Beth!
Some ticket company is selling them in line starting at $222.00 a piece.
Love, Mom

jacquie said...

That is so awesome. I wish I had saved things. Sigh. I also feel like a lame ass for not decorating my envelope, but at least I got it out there! It's gonna be great!!


Beth said...

Not sure how anyone can be selling them yet. They aren't available yet, but $222 is only $7 more than expensive mail order ticket, so that's not bad...

I had so much fun looking through them, Jacquie, I forgot so many shows I had been to! And there are plenty I didn't save. I found a U2 ticket from 1989 -- I had forgotten I'd seen them. I have tickets for May in LA, thought it was going to be my first time, lol.

Ah, getting older is a gas!


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh, what a Time you all will have! I'm happy for you! Just wait for the, as the family emails back and forth described them, Territorial Aging Hippies in the Mosh Pit.

90, Beth? I had no idea. Make it 91 . . . or 92 or 93!

Have a gas, lovelies. Oh, the fodder!!


Beth said...

My brother just sent me this link. There is some pretty funny stuff in here, although be advised it's a skit with Hitler in it, and as we all know, Hitler was a total asshole.

mom c said...

Beth, when Jacquie and her sisters started emailing back and forth about the Dead, I wrote "Dear God, I thought those days were behind me"... have fun. mom c

Mar Waters said...

Love this!!! Good luck on your mail order. Can't wait to party with you in July!!! New fun times to add to all the old fun times. oxox

Beth said...

Yes, Mar, can't wait to see you there!


Beth said...

Hope it's okay I posted your artwork, I probably shoulda asked first :/