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Growing Up Dead

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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!”

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About Justin Kreutzmann

  • Eric Olsen

    great story Justin – thanks and welcome!

  • yes, welcome indeed. Bill Kreutzmann’s son writing for blogcritics. just too freakin’ weird! (and great)

  • I saw the name Justin Kreutzmann and did a double-take. Welcome, welcome! The spouse and I have been on the bus for nearly 30 years. How cool it is to hear your POV on the strange trip. Hope to see you around these parts for a long time and to hear your views on a wide variety of subjects.

  • Ah, so that’s how you managed to find my review for the Pure Jerry release. You’re freakin’ one of us now 🙂

    Welcome, Mr. Kreutzmann. Looking forward to more posts from you.

  • Bill B

    Welcome Justin,
    Been a fan of your dad and his buds for about 25 years now. Really liked “Dawg” and “The Thrill is Gone”.

    I didn’t get the connection right away as I initially passed over the author of the piece. Surprise!

    Very cool indeed.

  • Nance Steele

    Saw your post on David Gilmours site and the name caught my eye as well….so I went exploring and this is where I ended up!
    The first time I saw your Dad and the band play was at the Monterrey show and even with the Who before them and Jimi after them (That sounds right, but to be honest EVERYONE including the uniformed security was not quite rooted to the ground at the moment – Actually one guard was sort of rooted or rooting on the ground, when he wasn’t busy climbing in the large garbage recepticals) I enjoyed the Dead the most even though I had never heard of them prior to that day. I was quite literally heading on a round about way to San Francisco and coming from Denver via Texas we were literally passing thru town when we heard about the festival! Later I lived up the hill from their office and did some volunteer work with Kiva/Summer of love and got to know Linda Gravanetis (Sp?!)
    and Mouse a bit. Actually later Mouse and Randy Tutten airbrushed a t-shirt for me when I was going on a P.F. tour. Yes siree, I have wonderful memories of that space in time, and I’m sure I probably even saw you more than once.
    So what are your plans now that you’ve grown up, matured or whatever you would call it? I like your writing and photos as little as I’ve seen. Where did you go to school for film?
    Enough for one posting.
    Enjoy the moment,

  • Wind

    Stumbling in….too funny…nice to see you again!