Grateful Dead Curse

The Grateful Dead are thanking their stars that their tour draws to a

close this week-end at Chicago's Soldier Field, not only because of

the string of bad luck that has been plaguing the band's followers,

but because Jerry Garcia has been receiving death threats. A source

close to the band after much coaxing, revealed to ATN that Garcia

started getting threats sometime last week. The Dead organization put

their heads together to decide what to do--whether to call the rest of

the tour off, or take extra precautions. But Garcia was having none of

that, and instead during two of the bands shows, and a sound check

thumbed his nose at the offender, and played all the Dead songs that

dealt with death. His only concession to the danger was to play with

the house lights on during the bands appearances in Deer Creek,

Indiana and St. Louis, Missouri.

But this is not to discount the awful things that have befallen the

Deadheads during the past month. Deadheads have been stuck by

lightning at RFK Stadium in Washington DC, they've died of heart

failure, they've set fire to a suburban high school in Holly,

Michigan, and they even staged a mini-riot in Indiana last weekend

(when they couldn't get tickets) which resulted in the cancellation of

the next night's show. And that's not all. More than 100 Deadheads

were injured Wednesday (July 5) when a two-story pavilion at a

campground in Wentzeville, Missouri collapsed on them. Two hundred

fans had taken cover in the pavilion during an electrical storm.

Police in Wentzeville said yesterday that at least sixteen fans were

still hospitalized, nine were in serious condition and five were still

critical, with pelvic fractures, and head, neck, and back injuries.

Earlier that day, the bodies of two other Dead fans had been found at

the campgrounds, dead from alleged drug overdoses. Grateful Dead

representative Denis McNally talked to the wire services about the

deaths, expressing his sorrow over them. "They're part of the family,

and there's been a tragedy in the family," said McNally. "We're

shocked, saddened, bummed, and praying for them."

The Grateful Dead having been taking all these things very seriously,

and the following letter was handed out as people exited the first St.

Louis Grateful Dead show:

"The Darkness Got to Give"

7/5/95

Dear Dead Heads:

This is the way it looks to us from the stage:

Your justly-renowned tolerance and compassion have set you

up to be used. At Deer Creek, we watched many of you cheer on and

help

a thousand fools kick down the fence and break into the show. We

can't

play music and watch plywood flying around endangering people. The

security and police whom those people endangered represent us, work

for us -- think of them as us. You can't expect mellow security if

you're throwing things

at them. The saboteurs who did this can only do it if all Dead Heads

allow them to. Your reputation is at stake.

Don't you get it?

Over the past thirty years we've come up with the fewest possible

rules to make the difficult act of bringing tons of people together

work well -- and a few thousand so-called Dead Heads ignore those

simple rules and screw it up for you, us, and everybody. We've never

before had to cancel a show because of you. Think about it.

If you don't have a ticket, don't come. This is real.

This is first a music concert, not a free-for-all party. Secondly,

don't

vend. Vending attracts people without tickets. Many of the people

without

tickets have no responsibility or obligation to our scene. They

don't

give a shit. They act like idiots. They think it's just a party to

get as trashed as possible at. We're all supposed to be about higher

consciousness, not drunken stupidity.

It's up to you as Dead Heads to educate these people,

and to pressure them into acting like Dead Heads instead of maniacs.

They can only get away with this crap if you let them. The old slogan

is true: if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the

problem.

Want to end the touring life of the Grateful Dead?

Allow bottle-throwing gate crashers to keep on thinking they're cool

anarchists instead of the creeps they are.

Want to continue it? Listen to the rules, and pressure

others to do so. A few more scenes like Sunday night, and we'll quite

simply be unable to play. The spirit of the Grateful Dead is at

stake,

and we'll do what we have to do to protect it. And when you hear

somebody say "Fuck you, we'll do what we want," remember something.

That applies to us, too.

signed,

Billy Jerry Phil Mickey Bobby Vince