"That's it for the other one," exclaimed the estimated prophet as he spoke to Samson and Delilah of the dark star that was climbing the horizon. "Surely a friend of the devil," rambled on Rose. Incidentally, just down the road was Odessa sitting on the wheel goin' down the road and feeling bad, effectively proclaiming that, "Only the strange remain out on this valley road." A familiar ripple curled through the crowd as a wharf rat planted a sugar magnolia and we all let it grow next to the drumz. It flourished with the nurturing of good weather report suite and the healthy light of a sunshine daydream.
Some might tell the story differently, but we all feel the pain of a divided family. Deadheads around the Bay Area had to make the difficult choice of attending either The Other Ones gig at the Oakland Coliseum or catching Phil Lesh and Friends at the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. Rumors had been circulating through the community that Phish band member Mike Gordon was a dead ringer for Phil's special guest. The Other Ones holding a majority of the Grateful Dead by far with the return of Billy Kreuttzmann from the land of aloha. Phil's show was originally scheduled for the Warfield Theatre which would certainly have left the lion's share of deadheads no choice but to attend the Other Ones show. "Politics and money don't bother me, only good looking women and a bottle of gin."--J.J.Cale. The rescheduling of the Phil Lesh and Friends to the Kaiser divided the deadhead family right down the middle. So, with the band divided four to one and the deadheads divided in half. I do believe it is safe to say that this disruption in the harmony of the whole is causing a greater damage than we can ever know. It is the sense of family that much embodies the spirit of the Grateful Dead and it is important for us all to come together as one again.
The real dirt lies in the vault. I'm discussing, of course, the live recordings of the Grateful Dead's concerts that were meticulously recorded, catalogued, and preserved over the span of thirty odd years. Microsoft wants them all as a package deal and they are willing to pay big money for it. The living members of the Grateful Dead are heavily divided on who's to say that the vault is even available for sale. This dilemma has caused even a greater disturbance in the force than Steve Kimock's sudden abandonment as lead guitar player for Phil Lesh's band during the historic Phil Lesh and Bob Dylan double bill tour. Only the other ones who were really involved with these issues will be able to find the resolve it will take to bring this family back together. Comes a time when the blind man takes your hand, where is that blind old melon. Come quick, before the blues take us all away. Amen, keep the faith.
Enough about the ramblings of an old man, this show here at the Oakland Coliseum straight kicked butt. Alas, the smart money was on the guys and gals who started the evening at Phil's show and left in time to catch The Other Ones come out at midnight and still jammed across the bay in time to catch George Clinton step in with Galactic before they pulled the plug on the power at 4:00 AM. This would have been the only way to have the full family experience and a little out of this world fun too. My hat is off to you, you all know who you are. The Oakland Network Associates Coliseum came to life with the infectious grooves of the Steve Kimock Band. Steve was not a member in this incarnation of the Other Ones and did not step in to play with them at the previous night's show in Los Angeles. I heard rumors about sound technicalities that were behind all this. I think the simple truth is that Steve Kimock would like to play his own brand of music, not Grateful Dead brand. This is just fine, sounds great and keeps you moving, could use a little fine tuning in the lyrics department. If you've never seen them, don't miss it, Steve Kimock rocks. Steve is also is a little shy of the spotlight, which makes my job as a photographer a lot harder. I don't necessarily think that he is shy. In fact, he is a very personable fellow if you ever get to meet him. I believe the light is hard on his eyes and he prefers to play under very low light. Either way, it leaves me swaying the stage line waiting for him to cross the stage into the smallest space of light possible for a decent photo and hoping for the perfect smile. The shot eluded me again this time, but here are a few pics to pass the time. Thanks for reading, and we'll see ya at the shows.
----------------George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, otherwise known as the Parliament Funkadelic, alias the Muthaship, set their funky spaceship right down on the stage at 9:00 PM on New Year's Eve of 2001. It was announced that the Muthaship would be there over the next two plus hours. I had never seen this band before and had only heard much about them. I heard that they play for many many consecutive hours and that they are more band members than there are people in the audience. Also, that they constantly rotate musicians on and off the stage to keep the show in perpetual motion. George Clinton came on stage about twenty minutes after the band started jamming. Without the benefit of an introduction, the crowd seemed to know who he was when he stepped up to the mike and stabbed it waywardly at the crowd. The deadheads responded accordingly, with a "Make my funk the P-funk, I likes to get funked up." I guessed some of these people had been there and done that as I sized up George Clinton in the glass of my lens. He shines in the bright spotlight and abounds with smiles as the shutter button is floored. Twenty minutes and many rolls of film later, I realized that if I had stuck around for the whole three songs we were allowed to photograph that I would undoubtedly run out of film. Expectant of much action to come, I ducked out early to dance some boogie woogie of the funk variety. George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars were all and more than I had ever heard and I would recommend as a good time for all. Take a look at the Muthaship.
The Other Ones came on the stage with barely over a minute to spare left in the millennium as a troupe of air dancers alighted to the sky bringing the people a message of time and future. A clock suspended in the air whirled into motion with hands constantly floating in a symbol of timelessness. The noises came slow at first and in a fabulous crescendo came the glorious sounds of "Sugar Magnolia." This has been played on a number of New Year's Eves at this particular time and in this particular space, in a sense this was following tradition. The only exception on this grand evening being the absence of one dearly beloved Jerry Garcia. With the warm embrace of Mark Karan's gentle plays on Jerry's licks the song sounds great. Old times seem not so far away and the stage comes clearly into view. The faces smile and the music plays, most everybody is here, let's make the most of it, you and I while we can.
Billy shines through my optical zoom as I zero in on him behind the kit. Most beloved Billy, most missed. Dropped off the face of the earth he did and back from paradise with new many new found loves for life. But, he never lost sight of his gift and he is back with the whole package. Explosive performance from Bill Kreutzmann, keeping the beat steady, bringing all good things in all good time. The show really got hot when the band did "Samson and Delilah," and really cooking again later for "Estimated Prophet." The magic became distinctly real right around the time Steve Kimock keyed up his guitar and joined in with the Other Ones for the smallest tease of a "That's It For The Other One" jam that was clearly defined but lacked the uumph. I think we all knew it was going to fade fast and it abruptly did as the drums emptied the stage in true Grateful Dead fashion. To everyone's delight the sounds of Billy and Mickey doing their thing reverberated throughout the building and echoed through the stomachs of people with empty bellies. Much joy this brings and so does the return of Bruce Hornsby, Bob Weir, Mark Karan, Alphonso Johnson, and special guest star and honorary Other Ones member Steve Kimock. Ahhh, the man most wanted to fill Jerry's shoes. The crowd approves, but the shoes must be too tight, because he doesn't want to wear them all the time. Is there a future for The Other Ones, or is that it for the Other Ones? The jam continued with Steve Kimock for this terrific moment as the wheel is turning and you can't slow it down. Then, Bruce let angels fly as he sang the most beautiful "Wharf Rat" with Steve and Mark just giving Jerry justice and setting the standards for complete musical satisfaction. The show ended with an acoustic "Ripple" that sent us gently out into the night air. Thanks for reading and we'll see ya at the shows.
COUNTING CROWS DEF LEPPARD CHER THE OTHER ONES AEROSMITH TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS PAUL McCARTNEY SANTANA SHERYL CROW TESLA JAY-Z AND 311 OZZFEST 2000 OZZFEST 2001 OZZFEST 2002 DAVID BOWIE AND MOBY AT AREA2 THE WHO JACKSON
PAPA ROACH, P.O.D.,CYPRESS HILL, & ROB ZOMBIE MORNING SPRING RAIN FESTIVAL JUNE 2002 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND MIDNIGHT OIL MT. AIRE 2002 BIG HEAD TODD CROSBY, STILLS, NASH AND YOUNG BUSH AND DEFAULT INCUBUS BLUES TRAVELER LINKIN PARK IN
BRYAN ADAMS AT THE FILLMORE LINKIN PARK & P.O.D. CROSBY, STILLS, AND NASH STRING CHEESE INCIDENT
FUEL & SALIVA AEROSMITH 2002 STEVIE NICKS THE
AEROSMITH 2001 BLINK 182 THE STRINGCHEESE INCIDENT OZZFEST 2001 BAD COMPANY LINKIN PARK OZZFEST 2000 MARILYN
MEGADETH TED NUGENT
NEW YEAR'S EVE 2000-2001
THIRD EYE BLINDSUMMER
YES THE FURTHUR FESTIVAL 2000 THE B.B. KING
THE STRING CHEESE INCIDENT JOE WALSH
CROSBY, STILLS, NASH, AND YOUNGREUNION TOUR 2000 NYE
WITH THE STRING CHEESE INCIDENT
MILLENIUM TOUR 2000
ZZ TOP & LYNYRD SKYNYRD TOM PETTY
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