The question I am most asked seems to be, “How many Grateful Dead shows have you been to?”
As that question is almost impossible to even think about, I instead tell them about my first Dead show. I was 3 months old and my parents took me with them to Woodstock.
I’d be lying if I said it was because they wanted me to be a part of a legendary event or that it was something the entire Dead family had a calling to experience together. Truth be told- they could not find a babysitter. So that is why I can be seen being carried off the helicopter behind Pigpen in the Woodstock movie and you see my dad carrying the diaper bag.
First concert, first movie appearance but probably not my first set of diapers.
Jerry and I would hang out as we went through the seemingly endless series of airports and hotels. I’d pick his brains about movies or Buddy Holly records and he would borrow my Marvel comic books.
So it doesn’t really matter if you’ve been to a thousand shows or only one. It is the experience you had while at the show that is important. Now when someone asks me how many shows I got to see in my life, I remember the wide eyed look on the Deadhead’s face as he looked up at my dad and said, “Wow Bill, you’ve been to EVERY show!”