Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 with intent of chronicling existence through various primary evidence sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).
In Summer 2015, the “core four” of legendary rock ‘n’ roll band “The Grateful Dead” did a series of five concerts (two in Santa Clara, California, three in Chicago, Illinois) to close the book on their storied career. With brother Dan, we fantastically scored tickets and made the journey to all five shows, travelling by road in various vehicles and staying a various hotels, campgrounds, crash pads.
And, I had a notion to roll like it was still 1990 and that I kept a massive scrapbook of ephemera and eschewed technology (aside from a few logistical purposes) and took a little cork “sardine can” Lomo camera with expired film to capture a few hazy images.
The results are very pleasing because well, they are not crisp and clear in any sense, rather fuzzy and weird like me at the time… I was coming out of the long hard stretch, well I didn’t realize how far I still had to go but that’s neither here they are there. #rough
This assortment contains selected snaps of people in-and-around the shows and on the road trip. Worth noting that with our gaggle of pals, we also stopped at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado on the way back from Neil Young and “The Promise of the Real” at this legendary venue in some cold bewildering rain. Again, neither here nor there.
Note: there’s another collection of an “prairie time lapse” meaning a photo snapped every 15 minutes for driving across the US prairies capturing the redundancy and consistency of the landscape.
Another collection may follow with shots almost psychedelic in glorious hazy sloppiness from inside the concert venues – eventually, maybe.
Back in the days of rambling around to Grateful Dead shows with pals in various (usually Volkswagen) vehicles, cameras weren’t really part of the kit. Usually, ticket(s) if possible, contraband if practical, maybe extra clothes to accommodate climates, hopefully a few bucks.
However, as part of my documentary instincts, i hauled along a tripod and a 35mm Alpa camera for taking “family photos” in which i would cajole (with much whingeing usually) the assembled renegades to pose, i’d hit the timer and run back (as such usually right in front) and take 1 and only 1 shot. Years later these would usually get developed.
Many are lost to the fog, however, some are gathered here for posterity and memorial.
This oversized bonanza of goodness started life as a hitch-hiking themed board game, complete with funny names for various cities, and then, after various knives, scissors, drills, and glue, became a scrapjournal filled with items from Grateful Dead 50th anniversary shows in Santa Clara, CA and Chicago, IL.
This trip was a “big deal” for my as part of my healing process from a chronic and complex consortium of diseases and i pre-populated with all sorts of little inspiration pick-me-ups to keep me trucking on.
The end result is bulging with thick items including programs from each day of the concerts, dried flowers, envelopes of treats, and also includes set lists, messages and signatures from various conspirators, and other new pals met along the way, along with loads of stickers, sketches, road poetry, postcards, and a few sketches by others.
Oh, the edges are finished with hockey tape and a page from a Japanese manga schoolbook. It is huge and heavy and joyful.
A few pages shared here for your amusement.
Brother Dan and I went to Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary (and final) shows – 2 in Santa Clara, California and 3 in Chicago, Illinois. We roadtripped the whole she-bang from Vancouver, BC to Olympia, WA to Pacifica, Santa Clara, then Las Vegas to Provo where we switched vehicles and rode with some pals across the midwest (camping in an epic storm in Nebraska along the way). We hit all 5 shows and enjoyed the community and music.
Other stops included Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael California and Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado to see Neil Young and Promise of the Real. We parted ways in SLC as i had to head to rescue a broken RV in Mendocino (unsuccessfully as it turns out) and Dan headed back to BC.
Along the way, stopped at various craft breweries, made loads of arts and crafts (including an massive scrapbook of ephemera, road poetry, set lists, newspaper clipping and other sundries) and a series of photos by Lomo camera. Also documented a series of two-fer photos of us enjoying beers or joints or scenery and the company of conspirators. Several of these became a “memory book” i created (via an online publishing service) for Dan as a wee present. When visited his home, i snapped quick shots of the pages (note to self: take better ones next time). Here the are the lousy pics of an otherwise lovely book – for my amusement and your curiosity.
** Creepers and Chums Musician Round-up playlist **
Best thanks to the assortment of Global Free Radicals who contributed music via video for Creepers and Chums. This playlist contains all of them with the addition of “pre-roll” and “post-roll” artifacts collected from various place, simply to amuse and surprise without context.
Kindly consider reaching-out/following/fan-ing/liking any of the bands you particularly enjoyed via social channels of your choosing. They are all part of your life narrative too as they participated in this memorial for our departed loved ones. Continue reading Creepers and Chums: global musicians
Acoustic, Bluegrass inspired, ukulele, electric bass and Djembe drum band playing “I know you Rider” at Grateful Dead 50th anniversary Fare Thee Well shows in the grassy knoll outside Soldier Field, Chicago. July 4th 2015.
These lads are called the Whiskey Hickon Boys, from Utah.
Outside Solider Field in Chicago, thousands and upon thousands of Deadheads descending the surrounding parking lots, grassy knolls, museum steps and all points to commune, share music, hugs, sell items, and soak in the atmosphere which included this lovely little group of musicians.