A long time ago, I realized that the Grateful Dead had accomplished two things in particular. First, or (a), they’d created a jazz-rock fusion that used improvisation to make magic possible—it launches you into space and potentially opens up a crack in conventional reality, and in Leonard Cohen’s wise words, “that’s how the light gets in.” Secondly or (b), they inspired one hell of a community.
Skull and Roses brings together the musicians to create (a), and invites you to come listen for (b). Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re all more than a little short of (b).
Which is where the Wall of News (WON) comes in. (an artful, low-tech version of the Wall of Sound is Skull and Rose’s visual signature). Weekly from now until April 8, 2022 and the beginning of Skull and Roses IV, we will be bringing you interviews with the musicians who will play, stories from the lives of the people who will attend, and lots more. We’ll have guitar tech-geek reports on the instruments you’ll be listening to from Brad Sarno, nerdy stories about Dead songs from Cubensis guitarist Nate LaPointe, a Dead History feature from Stu Nixon, weird personal advertisements, a column of Dead Head road (and especially Ventura) memories from Katie Mae, and a column from Dead journalist/DJ/host of the Golden Road on XM/Sirius—and excellent musician—David Gans. That’s the beginning list.
In the immortal words of our fearless leader, Mr. Jerome John Garcia, “Fuck it if it ain’t fun.” That’s what we’re here for, and that’s what the WON will offer. Welcome!