VOLUME 4, OCTOBER 20, 1996
London, 12 Dec 1995
Dear Grateful Dead,
I read in my paper yesterday that the band had officially split up. The
Stones were sexier, the Beatles sang better and wrote better tunes, but
for me you were the best. Nobody played as well as you did: as joyfully
and together, occasionally ragged and long winded, but always adventurous
and unpredictable. Thank you for showing us how exciting rock can be, and
for making all our lives richer. Rock and roll seems an empty place now,
a country in the past. I never met Garcia, but am surprised how affecting
his death is. Who else was the Father Christmas of rock and roll, making
a present for everybody in the hall every time he played a note? Thank
And please keep the recordings coming out - Dick's Picks and From The Vault
(100 Year Hall is breathtaking; but not the edited ones, Grayfolded no
with much love,
February 18th, 1996
Dear friends at Dead Heads,
I hope that this letter out of blue won't surprise you too much (although
it really comes out of blue Mediterranean and Adriatic sea) - just because
Dead Heads are all over the world (and some-times even on the top of the
Recently (and finally!) I received G.D. Almanac - via Dead Heads - so thank
you very much!
I am 4O years old Yugoslav poet and translator of Beat Generation writers,
and for last three years I am living in Italy (instead in home town, beautiful
2,000 years old town Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Coast in ex Yugoslavia and
now in Republic of Croazia) of course because of war in ex Yugoslavia.
By now I have translated and published numerous huge books of selected
works (mostly poetry) of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti,
Charles Bukowski, Gregory Corso, Michael McClure, William S. Burroughs,
Gary Snyder, collected poems of Jim Morrison, etc. And now I am working
on translation of poems of Robert Hunter - and I think that it can be of
some interest to you...
For almost twenty years I am faithful Dead Head - but it was very hard
(or better impossible) to be Dead Head in my now ex home country Yugoslavia,
but in last three years while living in Italy (and from where I am writing
you just now) I had a chance to obtain various items regarding G.D. - tapes,
books, magazines, bootleg CDs, etc
Unfortunately, I never had a chance to get earlier issues of Dead Head
news, or G.D. Almanac, or G. Dead Tour Programs, so I'd like to ask you
to be so kind to send me some of the mentioned materials - (it would be
of great help to me because I am preparing small book of my own thoughts
regarding music (and poetry) of Grateful Dead through years - and besides
all) I am great collector of everything about G.D.). If you may need any
money support, please, just let me know. Also, if I can be of any other
help to Dead Heads, or to any one of you there personally - please, don't
hesitate, just let me know.
If any one of you there in Dead Heads office may - by chance know personally
my old friends poets like Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
or Gary Snyder they can tell you lot about me. (Ginsberg visited me in
Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia in 1980, and McClure in 1984, and we gave readings
throughout Europe, and that's how I briefly met Garcia and Weir in Amsterdam
in October of 1980).
Well, that's all for this time. Please, if possible, send me requested
materials, and above all, try to continue the Grateful Dead Legend, now
when their music is in Eternity.
And please find here enclosed my little poem on death of Jerry Garcia.
Looking forward to hear from you,
on the news of Jerry Garcia's death
of the Grateful Dead.
It s been nearly a year since Jerry died. At first. I was a zombie. And
I didn't even know him. His death affected me more than JFK more than John
Lennon. It' s been almost a year: Life goes on and I still think of him
I used to write to Jerry every six months or so--and after ever truly amazing
concert-and after the spectacular duds, too.
Of course. he never responded, and I don't expect you to respond either.
One of the things I would talk about in my letters was how me and my husband's
musical experience and perception was deepening and broadening. Years ago
I heard that you liked Frank Sinatra (an interview played over the radio
at new Year's) Jeff and I did not understand why. Sinatra's music was too
old foggy' ... stuff our parents used to like.
Lately Jeff has been getting into popular singers--particularly Sinatra.
(We have gone from the Dead to Jazz to blues to Jazz to RnB to country
to the very earliest recorded music (gospel) back to Jazz to popular singers)
The other night Jeff played for me Sinatra's "What is this thing Called
I said, "He had to be older than 35 when he recorded that."
Jeff said, "Between 35 and 40, right. How could you tell? By the tone
I said: "Well that, but also depth of emotional expression. I don't
think younger people have experienced enough of life to express emotions
E-humm. Perhaps you have lo be older than 35 to even appreciate emotions
like that. Maybe that's why Jeff and I are now able to appreciate these
singers--particularly Sinatra -- We're finally mature enough? (I am now
43 and Jeff is 36).
See you later,
Paulina D. Unsworth
Garcia is dead
and my dream of running from
this to vend grilled cheeses
may not pan.
You know this fence
is more than barbed. It
houses a howling sentinel.
reach the bus?
THEY had freaks of
fun peers to break
In fact, dull
friends could be
overhauled through a process
That was rehab
then. I was eight and aging
in '67 toward summers of
I'm here panhandling
a Dionysian second. It should
because it's mine.
Some diggers are dead. Good
deeds and digging myths
I need a myth. My blood generation's deeds
I missed through
rusts in Kesey's yard. My
mind's in morgue. Summon
to board joy
onto this night sky.
I'll live up to
21 December 1995
Heard and saw the news the other day; no more play as the Grateful Dead
and I was saddened again. I do not think a day goes by that I do not ache
over the loss of Jerry and now the Grateful Dead.
I wrote you not long after Jerry's death and tried to make the point that
you could go on. That a tribe does not die when a chief dies but at the
same time I knew that "some things you can replace and others you
I guess what I want to say now the most is, you guys were a great, great
band and I have a head full of memories from over 20 years of shows that
I hope I never forget. And yes, I am saddened that I will never again see
Mickey work out on the drums or play that long stringed instrument with
that long bar or that I will not see you Bob go rushing up to the mike
to belt out Little Red Rooster or hear the subtle bass of Phil or, or,
Thanks again for all the moments. I have known for years that it was a
wear-and-tear on you all and now that you have decided to let it rest,
One last thing though. After having done something for so long, anything
for so long, I imagine you will miss it as much as I will miss you or perhaps,
and yes, for sure, you will miss it more than I will and you have all the
energy I have to give you to proceed on with your lives according to their
Thanks guys. It was one hell'va ride and I enjoyed every minute.
As always, if you are ever in the Washington, D.C. area, please feel free
to stop by the house here and visit. Like an Uncle or other relative, you
got a bed and breakfast at my home anytime you want it.
December 16, 1995
Dearest Friends of the Grateful Dead,
I have been composing this letter to you in my mind for over fifteen years.
Hopefully now is an appropriate time to put it to paper. I am certain you
have received truckloads of mail since the 9th of August, but I hope you
can take a moment to read this expression of sincere gratitude to you,
a letter of thanks.
When I was, little, I heard the phrase "Grateful Dead" on the
radio and I remember that it struck me as kind've funny; it was an odd
circus-like combination of words. I guess I stored that wispy memory and
then years later it fondly resurfaced. When I went to college, my roommates
continually played live Dead tapes and although I didn't mind the music,
I wasn't particularly drawn to it either. I see in retrospect, though,
that I was looking for something musical, something new and different,
but still melodic. I used to poke fun at the 'wahp-wahp-wahp' sound ("Shakedown
Street"), but after awhile I actually began humming the melodies and
lyrics, and enjoying the songs that I had learned. There was something
about that cool sound...weird. When I told my roommates about the music
hanging around in my head.....they said it was time for me to see the show,
the real thing, LIVE! I was intrigued at the idea, and about this atypical
sounding rock band. I attended "An Evening with the Grateful Dead"
for the first time on September 15,1982 in Landover, Maryland. And that
magical night changed my life in so many pleasant, positive ways.
Immediately as I walked through the ticket gate, I fell in love with the
colorful, hippie-free-spirit, lighthearted scene. It seemed to suit me
fine, bright, but comfortable. This was a special place...a special space.
Bullseye! I felt warm and at home, as if I was meant to be here; I recognized
it! The show that night was sensational! I tripped to the music, the lights,
and a magical beauty wove the band and the audience together into a single
group. My heart swelled and my mind lifted. I became delighted like never
before! I got off on them getting off on us getting off on them! ! ! I
get it!!! I understood the specialness of this band and these people. Then
and there, I became a Deadhead. This was a good thing, a special thing.
It was an impact that knew I would never forget. It wasn't just a "concert,"
it was the Grateful Dead. Whoa, this was the musical experience I had been
wishing for! Finally!
Then, as now, my family has observed how the band has become a positive
part of my life and were (are) glad for me. Some of my closest friends
(Doug, Ray, Chris, Byron, Eugene, Ken, Beth&Doug, McKenzie, Allie,
and my wife Catherine) joined me "On The Bus" and memories of
those shows and adventures are extra-special because we shared an enjoyment
for the Grateful Dead.
Like many Deadheads, many shows later, I have a complete Grateful Dead
LP collection, complete CD collection, a few hundred live hours on tape,
a poster collection, and books on the band, all of which I treasure. I
know many of the names of your office staff and crew. I have supported
the efforts to preserve our scene, as you have asked. Rather than tour
with you, I preferred to keep my 'Day Jobs' and a steady responsible career,
always waiting expectantly for my special band to return. When the Grateful
Dead was in town, my family knew where to find me and my employer always
gave me time off. Nice people, huh?
Over the years, the shows and the music have delighted me, reunited me
with old friends, been a source of "festival-ness" much needed
in my life, and really helped me weather rough times and accept the deaths
of some loved-ones (sometimes even during the shows!). While I do not consider
the Grateful Dead in a religious sense, I have grown spiritually through
Now in my thirties, I have married my companion Catherine ("Good Lovin'
" and "If I Had the World to Give" were played at the reception),
bought a house, and have a son named Noah born June 10th of this year,
whom we cherish. We sing "Ripple" and "To Lay Me Down"
to him at bedtime and have Grateful Dead outfits for him to wear.
The Grateful Dead's music has also led me to other music like classical,
jaz, blues, and bluegrass which I hadn't really had an appreciation before,
but now I do. My listening-ear has evolved too; I listen for heart and
honesty more than technical ability. I ask myself, "Does it move me...
like the Dead does?" I have actually seen specific colors in the lights
and heard sounds no where else but at a Grateful Dead show. Amazingly fun
I have spent much of my young adult life with the Grateful Dead on my mind.
For me Jerry's death, a huge blow, felt like the passing of a favorite
Uncle; even though I never met the man, we were in the same room together
many, many times. And he sang to me. I have grieved genuinely, deeply,
and I still weep for him often. (I actually received many calls and cards
of sympathy!) But I also rejoice that I have spent my time with the Dead
wisely. I am very, very glad and feel especially fortunate for my time
with all of you. I am a very lucky man.
I am deeply grateful for your music, your production, your special entertainment.
Thank you for all the years. You have done a fantastic job and have made
a difference for many people like me. In the grand tradition of the Grateful
Dead, I pray and hope you will rebuild a new show and continue to tour
with your side-bands (Mickey, I'm still watching for your return.). I also
hope you will continue the merchandising and regular releases from The
Vault. A new live video from the past would be really nice! Or whatever
you can do is appreciated.
For me, the Grateful Dead has been about being Sensational Music, Sparkling
Lights and Sound, Friendship, and Love. A Show of shows. The Best. There
is nothing quite like a Grateful Dead show.
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you. It has been a terrific long strange
trip. Best bus tickets I ever bought. I love you, and I mean it. Grins,
Smiles, and Big Warm Hugs to all! You will be terribly missed.
God Bless the Good Ole Grateful Dead.
When I die, bury me deep,
Place a tapedeck at my feet.
Put the speakers beside my head
And crank it up to the Grateful Dead.
and for Catherine and Noah Sauls