Friday, July 16, 2010

The Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival

Dig that cat Wavy!

On a whim, DB and I decided to partake in the 3-day, 15th Annual Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival in Laytonville, California. With more than 40 hours of great music (primarily bluegrass and folk) on numerous stages, some of which sat in front of grassy lawns shaded by giant oak trees, a clothing optional, crystal-clear swimming hole, fantastic vegetarian and vegan food, great on-site camping, several art exhibits, free jamming and drum circle lessons, free-form jamming everywhere (!), and even a cool host who was none other than the most legendary hippie of all time, Wavy Gravy, it was a scene that I'll be sure to revisit year after year. Truly the sweetest festival I've ever been a part of.
An artist and his art. We saw this guy's stuff at Furthur Fest too - it was very, very good

A great, great scene.
Wavy's man Gino (a genuinely cool dude) put me in touch with Wavy - What an awful photo! But it's me and Wavy Gravy!

July 4 with the Merry Pranksters!

My cousin (once-removed) Marty and her partner Bruce were kind enough to invite DB and I to join them for the July 4 festivities in Dexter, Oregon, hosted by the Merriest of Merry Pranksters Ken Babbs and his friends and family. Many of the original Pranksters were in attendance, including George Walker, Chuck Kesey (Ken Kesey's brother), Mountain Girl, and Sunshine Kesey. Neal Cassady's son John was also there. Babbs' son Eli's band played well, covering several Grateful Dead songs, and there was even a surprise appearance by Bruce Hornsby, former member of the Dead! The food was great, the music and scene was fun, and the conversation with Marty and Bruce was second-to-none. Great stuff all 'round. We look forward to doing it again.
The Revolution Test

It's time to start the party! (...that's Bruce with the trumpet)

Ken Babbs and George Walker

DB talking peanuts with Mountain Girl and George Walker (as Marty looks on in the background!)

Pranksters Chuck Kesey and George Walker prep the cannon

Ken Babbs (left) and Bruce Hornsby (center) rapping and jamming on the 4th!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


What: Furthur Festival
When: May 28-30, 2010
Where: Angels Camp, CA

Aah, the Grateful Dead's latest incarnation, Furthur, had put together a beginning-of-summer festival in exactly the right place ~ northern California. DB and I cruised up for the multi-day event in the green, rolling foothills above Angels Camp.

We'd originally intended to spend our days hiking in the mountains and our afternoons and evenings digging the many bands grooving their sounds amidst the trees. But alas, there were few mountains, they seemed to all have 'Private Property' signs at their borders, and so we decided to head directly for the fest. We camped amongst the ever-growing crowds.

Soon, we started to get hungry. So DB got in line for some grilled cheese...

Just inside the gate we stumbled upon...FURTHER! Not the original bus, no, but Ken Kesey's newer bus. Although Ken no longer walks the earth, his son Zane was there meeting and greeting, selling stuff, posing for pictures, etc.

Zane Kesey, getting on the bus

The weekend hosted many highlights, among them the acoustic stage, some tasty green drinks, vegetarian (and vegan) foods, and of course, the main stage bands! It was a pleasure seeing Jackie Greene again, my first exposure to live Hot Tuna was a pleasant one, and of course, seeing the Dead again was what it was all about. DB's now been to FOUR Dead shows!
Hot Tuna


The band played well. With the first night scheduled to be just an open aire soundcheck, rumors soon swirled that the band would play an entire set. And they did! Next night, they played three entire albums ~ American Beauty (the band's most classic studio album), Workingman's Dead (Cumberland Blues was the highlight of the set) and Anthem of the Sun. The last night, the band played an outrageous Blues for Allah (excellent), followed by Aoxomoxoa, and closed with Terrapin Station. The days begged for forgiveness...
Hiking above the festival grounds

Another head, laying around

But aside from the obvious joy the music itself generated, Furthur offered another, unpublished treat to those who were paying attention ~ on both Saturday and Sunday, a privileged few sat in on talks given by the band. DB and I sat front row both afternoons while they took a few questions and talked about the days of old!
Phil Lesh

A modified splattski with Phil

Rock Scully (the Dead's longtime manager), Phil, and Herb Greene (Dead photographer)

Word had spread by Sunday, so a bigger crowd had gathered...

Namaste, Bob

Bobby Weir, fielding a question

DB and 7'00" Deadhead Bill Walton

Another modified splattski, this time with Weir

It was a fantastic weekend. And it ended far too soon...
Phil Lesh's classic bass

I hope we get another ten years out of these guys.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Crawdaddy! creator Paul S. Williams

Paul at home (photo by Cindy Lee Berryhill)

Paul S. Williams, the amazingly brilliant creator of Crawdaddy! (the very first American rock music magazine, which he founded at the age of 17!), friend of John Lennon, Jim Morrison and Timothy Leary, Bob Dylan biographer, and the legendary author of the underground hippy classic, Das Energi, is suffering from early onset of dementia after a traumatic brain injury sustained during an accident while riding his bicycle in 1995. He currently requires full-time care.

I am fortunate to have spent quality time with Paul, his wonderful wife Cindy Lee Berryhill, and their son Alexander. The experience only reenforced my belief that those who have the means should show them some love...please. The financial cost of caring for Paul has been tremendous.

Cindy Lee's touching blog:
Beloved Stranger
Paul's donation site:
Paul Williams Dot Com

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Peace Corps - Senegal

My mom arrived in Senegal, West Africa on March 9, 2010 to begin 27 months of service as a Peace Corps volunteer. I'm infinitely proud of her.

We anticipate that regular correspondence will prove challenging and unlikely. But so far, so good. Let's follow along...

March 10, 2010
"Hi all..arrived today,,the flight was village now...will write is absolutely beautiful..we had a great welcome,,lots of amazing birds that are very choral..Love, L'y"
Ma's first picture from Senegal

March 12, 2010
"...things are well,,,extremely busy and it is a full plate everyday but loving it....tonight we went into town to unwind from a very stressful day,,,downtown makes the Bronx look very nice,,no joke,,,all the people are so loving and giving though poor,,,thanks so much for the letter,,it was a wonderful surprise.....I love you too Courtney,,,,,mother"
March 13, 2010
"Hi ,,,I found out today I will learn Pular Fuutu and will live the region S. Central E in Senegal...not the exact village right now except that I will train in the region starting is mountainous, green, has herds, near the river, and the people are "hillbillies" of sorts,,they say it is the most beautiful in Senegal..."

...and then it ended.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Audubon Buddha

New Year's Eve in Miami with Phish!

Four nights of joy, as Phish pumped out 9 sets of killer music in an inspiring and memorable fashion.
The ball(oons) drop!

As much a distraction as he was, I hope Spaceboy's on the mend...!