Amen to that!
Growing up in the seventies, I was all about "hippie music" and thought bands like the Doors and Moody Blues were the shit. Then prog rock took over me w/ the long extended songs. Then punk with the rebellion of youth. So I was primed but unaware. I knew a few Deadheads, but I was still an alternative boy. Then I lived w/ a CSN head in '87 after I got outta the Navy, we dropped acid and listened to the studio Terrapin and American Beauty and a spark ignited.
When I moved home the winter of '89, all my punk rock buddies were deadheads, talking all this esoteric spiritual stuff and basically blowing my mind. I'd grown the same way at the same time, but they helped me define and compartmentalize what I'd been learning. Started getting shitloads of tapes from them, and devoured
each one! Went to the national Rainbow Gathering summer of '90, and basically that's all she wrote.
Brent died, like three months after I "got it," so I had to wait til '91 for my first show. Coming in through the Rainbow Family door, however, was misleading -- and educational. Not all hippies are deadheads, and not all deadheads are hippies, that was the big lesson for me.
Incidentally, if pressed to be labelled, I'd call myself both. All of the above. Something like that!