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Terrapin Station Tidbits

Published: 2002/08/04
by Dean Budnick

Reflections (Bobby Vega, Warren Haynes, Jon Gutwillig)- from the Terrapin Station Tribune

Bobby Vega

I was born and raised in San Francisco. I used to go to the Fillmore on Fridays and then I’d get up in the morning and wash the floor at the Family Dog to get in free on Saturday night. So I’d see soundcheck, I’d see all these bands but I never saw the Grateful Dead. I might have been 28 at my first Grateful Dead concert. They were doing a show at the Warfield and Mickey said, “Hey, you wanna come?” I told him I’d never been to one so I went down there with him. And it was the first time I ever saw a bass note cross the room. I actually counted, felt it and saw where the note developed. I saw the wave and the floor rippled right by me and I counted so I actually saw a standing bass note. That was the first time I ever saw one of those, it was an experience. That was the night they shook apart some of the marble which fell out of the bathroom at the Warfield. At the end of the gig Mickey said, “What do you think?” I said, Man you guys got some really cool gear.’”

Warren Haynes

"Thank God that the Grateful Dead audience is so tolerant of the band trying to discover something new and they'll sit there and wait for the magic to happen. Some other audiences may not be as open to that, but the Grateful Dead built their audience accordingly. Those people not only tolerate that sort of 'looking of it' musically-speaking, but they encourage it. That's what they're there for. When the magic does happen, the audience lets you know. You can feel it. They erupt in this big ball of energy and it kind of helps you play better. If you got the right crowd, you can play better than you can without that. They give you energy that you don't normally have.

Jon Gutwillig

"I went to a Dead show at Giant Stadium in like '87, I was 11. I went there with my best friend and my brother, who's a little older than me. I had never been to Giant Stadium before. I knew the Dead's music, but I didn't know what I was in for. They were just like any other band to me and I knew the songs. My friend and I walked up to the gate and we wanted to go in and see where our seats are, obviously. Everyone else was in the lot partying and we just didn't know what to do in the lot. We went inside and our seats were all the way up in the top of Giant Stadium, terrible seats. So then we walked back to leave, but we couldn't. They wouldn't let us out. It was like 2:30 in the afternoon and we're inside Giant Stadium and we can't leave. So we ran into this security guard who wound up selling us some backstage passes for like 5 bucks. We walked downstairs and into some big tents backstage and some guys were playing jazz and people were chillin' out. We talked to some people and we wound up in the front row for the whole show. They opened up with "Feel Like A Stranger" and everybody was chanting "Smokestack Lightning" the whole show. It was great man. I saw the Dead front row center in Giant Stadium; first time ever."

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