name, city, instrument, years of playing, current band, gear
 #165839  by survivor
 Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:24 am
Oh my, where do I begin?
I guess the perfunctory.
Barney, 58, disabled, card-carrying member of the Wharf Rat club, Veteran of peacetime Naval travels

Music, yes, done a little of this and that. The good, the very good. Faced the music you all know as the Grateful Dead for the first time in Oxford Maine 7/2/88 just after I started playing bass in bands at the ripe old age of 27. Motivated by the altered chemical state I was in I ended up just a few feet from the stage and found musical nirvana (before THAT band was heard). It was magic. Watching this band play, the music, the families off stage. Wonderful. I found home.

After that my own musical and life journey was gratefully influenced by that moment in the Maine sun. I learned how to play improvisational bass and a bit of guitar in jams in the woods of western Massachusetts. All by ear and I sang a little, really didn't know much of what I was doing. The only formal music training I had was playing clarinet as a kid and in Navy boot camp,

I ended up here in the Northwest US in 1995 and saw the last 3 Dead shows before Jerry picked up his China Doll and headed for the pain free stage upstairs on 8/9/95. I remember when and where I heard that song on a scratchy cassette in 1988. Some of you may know that seldom played song and what it means. I'll leave it at that.

I've done a lot of music in different forms and shapes. My Disability that plagued so many musicians paid for my 20 year odyssey through life since a blues bass gig I did here in Oregon. Bipolar disorder is what they say I have. As I said I am an old Wharf rat. Was barely a year sober at my last Dead show and ended up at a meeting in the back of the crowd at Portland Meadows in Oregon.. But there is so much more to life than sobriety and meds. Ask Jerry, Kurt, Jimi, Janis, etc...I made it to 58 Grateful for what I have had in life, but sad for what I failed to do and the damage I did to myself and others. We all have stories.

I want to come home, that's why I'm here. Are you still there, fellow travelers on the Further bus? Are we there yet?

I have a bass guitar again. I've been searching for one I played back in the day. I ended up buying a bass on line last month and visited the builder in Washington state, the builder who got his start building basses for Phil and even a couple of guitars for Jerry in California. I was looking for magic and I found it. But my body has a lot of problems and I don't know if I can still play. If not, it's been a great story.

I just found this website and even found the Grateful Dead channel on sirius XM. Phil Lesh's band is playing next weekend near Eugene OR but I don't think I can handle the crowd and the recreational scene anymore. I'm just not well. But I'm alive and so Grateful! Gosh! The music never dies, does it?

To you old timers and maybe some young folks who like me were so inspired by the magic these old jammers created back in 65, I am glad you are all here. I look forward to reading your stories. Any writers? Bands in Oregon/Washington? I guess I'm still searching for the magic. I'm an addict always looking for a high, even now sober . Music was the best high I ever had. I'm auditioning for an old time rockandroller in Tillamook Oregon in a few hours. A fellow old disabled vet, like the first guy I auditioned for before my first Dead trip in 1988.

Ok crazy fingers, here we go again. One more Saturday night.

barney in gresham oregon
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