Kenny’s 3/22/87 story

My friend Kenny Fryman in Ohio sent me this story. Sirius XM is broadcasting the 3/22/87 show this week…

By 03/22/1987, I had seen Grateful Dead 3 times. The first was 7/2/85 in Pittsburgh. I basically went to check out the scene. I remember being amazed at how crazed the crowd was at the music. From inside the arena, I could see all these people dancing like crazy out in the halls where the light came through the doorways and that it seemed like everyone was constantly roaring it’s approval of the band . I do remember the band played “Revolution” and that it was really cool. After that show, my friends and I started buying the albums, learning the songs and more about the scene. That Fall, we got tickets to 11/8 in Rochester, New York. I remember Jerry seeming distracted and seemed to often have his back to the crowd. I was reallly into hearing “Leaving Texas, 4th day of July…” that night however. The following Summer I went 7/2 in Akron with Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. The sound was poor and if the playing was very good, it didn’t come across to where we were sitting. However, by then I was pretty much into the scene, the songs and the band and was crushed when Jerry went into a coma and was near death just a week or so later.

As we know, Jerry recovered and started playing again. When the Spring 1987 tour was announced, I HAD to go. I was working at that time as a substitute teacher in Kent, Ohio and had to work the day tickets went on sale. I paid a friend to sit and hit the redial button on my phone until he got through to the ticket agency and got tickets for all three nights at Hampton Virginia, the start of the Spring tour.

The drive for hundreds of miles wasn’t so bad as it seemed like there were so many people with “Dead” stickers on their vehicles and we saw them more and more often the closer we got. I don’t remember much of the lot scene upon arrival except that there was so much color even from the main road before we turned in.

We were down on the floor at show time as it was general admission. The band started with “Hell in a Bucket” then “Sugaree.” I was completely stunned by the sound. I had an out of body experience during one of the jams. I was floating around in space during the jam, felt myself being pulled by gravity back to Earth as the jam neared it’s end and landed solidly back on my feet on the floor just as the next verse started.

So, I’m hanging around tonight thinking back at my experience 20 years ago and how my life has changed since. I plan to party a bit and maybe watch some Dead on video. If any of you could be with me, that would be really great. Hope to see all of you soon.


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