For those of you wishing you’d been born earlier, I can sure understand wanting to have seen more pre-1995 shows, but if it makes you feel better, here are some other things to consider:
- No internet, so having to redial the Dead Hotline phone numbers over and over and over again to try and get past the busy signal in order to get info on the shows. Then once you got actually got through, trying to scribble down the info fast enough, then filling out individual index cards, money orders and #10 envelopes for every show, then worrying that you didn’t do it right and it would get rejected or the envelope wasn’t decorated interestingly enough to score some close seats.
- No cell phones, so trying to meet up with friends was hit or miss at best. Not to mention having to make all travel arrangements, including doing comparison shopping and reservations, via phone calls.
- Waiting weeks for a cassette tape of a show to get mailed, if you managed to find one, unless you happened to be with a taper, though that meant lugging lots of heavy analog equipment all over (I swear I still have dents in my shoulders from mic stands). Not to mention the size of the boom boxes and cassette carrying cases for listening to anything at all pre/post-show; no iPods or even Walkmans early on.
- No couch tour, no real-time (or even next day/week) set lists, no downloads
- Waiting 2 months for your special order Grateful Dead Movie VHS, and only after having to convince the video store owner that it was indeed a real movie, not obscene and yes, I really did want to pay then-big bucks for it.
The “old days” were great, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but there’s an awful lot of modern improvements that I’d hate to be without. Every era is a good era in its way!