From the point of view of my old friend, Bill, who was definitely not a Deadhead, but the dearest of friends anyway. He wonders why we all came and stayed until closing on a Sunday night. I could have told him. We called it "Church."
"Grateful Dead Night at the Blue Moon. People you never see in real life arrived in droves to listen to eight uninterrupted hours of tapes of old Grateful Dead concerts. It's Sunday, you'd think they'd have to go to work in the morning. The men who don't have beards are all sporting six days of growth on their faces. Is there some wild party after 2:00 when the bar closes where everybody that's going to shave that week is shaven?
"Terry, a guy who does sidewalk chalk drawings spreads himself out on the floor to draw God giving life to Adam in the style of the Sistine chapel, except Adam is a skeleton and God is a trifle arthritic. No matter, all night long people will step over it with all the reverence pieces of art should enjoy. Eventually, it will become the victim of its environment, a beer will fall, someone will apologize, and the Dead will drone on.
"Another guy sells tie-dye T-shirts with pictures of George Jetson or The Cat in the Hat printed on them. How does he do that? Can you Xerox a t-shirt?
"Other people bring their wares; small braided bracelets, earrings of beads and metal, knit hats, little pouches for carrying vials of patchouli, or whatever that odor is, and crystals abound. A piece of graffiti in the men's room reads: "Crystals are the pet rocks of the eighties." The place is packed, far beyond its legal capacity. There's a magic in the room.
"A little fat guy walks around with a paper bag giving out mushrooms, perhaps contributing to the magic. He's got to go before the crowd turns into stroganoff.
"A tall man with a large head, called "Hat size", dances crazily, arms flailing under the casablanca fan. We fear for his hands which are in imminent peril. Somehow he and everyone else survive.
"At two A.M., the Dead grind to a standstill, cases of Beer-to-go are sold and presumably the shaving party is held."
Editor's note: I was usually there, dancing.
He doesn't mention Maggie's habit of shouting, "Have you no homes? Have you no stereos?" and clearing out the bar with Stars and Stripes Forever, played loud and strong, which we Deadheads eventually adopted as our own as we danced out of the Moon.
Bartender to my boyfriend, Richard: My god, he even knows all the words.
Richard: Well, somebody has to. They never do.