T”he summer between freshman and sophomore year in college I saw my first Dead show. I was 18 going on 16. I had to lie so that I could go.
I lived at home with my Grandma that summer. She was a little strict. I told her I was going to see the show with my friends Danno and Petey and Danno’s girlfriend. The only way I could go with two older “boys” was if it was a double date. So I lied. And then I went to the show just with Danno and Petey.
We rode to Akron in a cute little honda. We listened to the dead the whole way there. We pulled into the Rubber Bowl parking lot. There seemed to be no real sense of lines or lanes for the parking. We got there just in time. We walked a good 15 minutes to get into the show. It took so long because we were surrounded by hippies. Real hippies. Real hippies in all their unwashed, rattily attired glory. There seemed to be people selling things, overtly and covertly. Food, tshirts, trinkets, stickers, toys and of course, covertly, intoxicants. Yeah, I know, hard to believe. What an eye opener for an 18 year old white girl from the suburbs. Well, luckily we didn’t have to buy anything, we had our tickets and everything else we needed.
It gets a little bit sketchy beyond this point but I will try to give you the highlights.
The bill was incredible. Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and the Goddamn Grateful Dead. Mind blowing, even now. As we walked in, I slunk over in front of the stage to see Tom Petty singing Straight into Darkness. My head nearly exploded.