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Ratdog And Allman Brothers Girls Eye View

I said in the last post I was thinking about having my seven year old daughter Guest Blog on her opinion of Ratdog and The Allman Brothers at Jones Beach Theatre 8/13/08, her first big time show (see previous post) with Daddy. What I decided to do was just have her write her opinion directly into Notepad, and I'll show you what she wrote, unadulterated, then I'll give an explanation after. Here it is.....

I went to a concert with my dad.I was up front. The bands were Ratdog and the Allman brothers.I can't believe I actually saw bobby from the grateful dead. Before I did all that I had a picnic dinner on the beach. I had a sandwich with ham tomatoes and mayo. Back to the concert it was so loud I put cotton in my ears. I caught a balloon. on a break I went a little closer up to visit my aunt my uncle and my cousins.I switched seats with one of my cousins then we switched back. They played a song that they usually show's Jerry Garcia but they did there was a song called Mellisa thats the name of my cousin so I went over to my other aunt who was there I danced with her cause the songs name was the name of her daughter.I had a lot of fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

.....Definitely Sweet!!
I left what she wrote, pretty much, being the anal purist I am. But here's an explanation since I discused it with her. What she's talking about when she says "They played a song that they usually show's Jerry Garcia but they did not" is that I told her during The Allman's "No One Left To Run With" they sometimes flash a picture of Garcia on screen along with departed Allman Brothers Duane Allman and Allen Woody. She was looking for Jerry, but they didn't show him. After the show I mentioned this to my friend and he said he had heard that they stopped showing the picture of Jerry because The Allmans didn't like the fact that he got a bigger response from the audience than Duane or Allen did. If that's true I have no problem with that. I can understand Greg, especially, feeling sensitive to that. I mean Duane Allman deserves HUGE respect, especially at an Allman Brothers show. But Jerry Garcia is such an icon that you can't help people responding the way they do, ALSO especially at an Allman Bros show; a majority of Allman's fans are Deadheads too. Deadheads kind of boost the Allmans crowd since Jerry died.

Anyway that was what she meant. It's interesting that that stuck with her after the show. And it reminded me of a story. When she was about two years old I was doing what every good Deadhead Dad does; I was turning her on to The Dead and looking at Grateful Dead pictures. While looking on with me she says, out of the clear blue "Daddy, Jerry's so cute!". I actually couldn't believe that my daughter said that at two years old. At that point I knew eventually she'd be going to shows with me. And here we are at that point already. Time flies Man. Summer time does come and go, my oh my.


Ratdog Allman Brothers at Jones Beach with My Girl

On Wednesday August 13th I brought my seven year old daughter to her first real concert, Ratdog and The Allman Brothers at Jones Beach Theatre, a classic lineup and a wonderful introduction to Live Rock and Roll! Sure she's been to other live music before; she's seen The Zen Tricksters a number of times, but she's never been to anything close to this scale. I debated back and forth whether to take her or not. It's a big responsibility on allot of different levels. My wife was lobbying for me to take her. I kept thinking "what if she doesn't like it", "what if it's too loud" (I had 5th row center tickets), "what if it rains" (it didn't), "what happens when she or I have to go to the bathroom" (my sister also came so she brought her). I also know that bringing anyone new to something like that means you're partially responsible for their experience as well as your own. This in itself distracts you to some extent, and dilutes YOUR overall experience. Even so, I was able to enjoy this show immensely because of her presence (and the presence of my sister, brother-in-law, nephews, niece, brother, sister-in-law, and numerous friends). It proved to be a very emotional experience for me and one in which I'll cherish for many years to come (God willing).

My final decision was made about a week before the show when I simply asked her if she wanted to go. Her answer was a definitive YES! I explained to her that it would be LOUD, Crowded, and LONG! She wasn't fazed. So I put some live Allman Brothers on when we were driving in my car and turned the volume up high. I asked her if it was too loud. "No" she replied. "It'll be ten times louder" I told her. "Okay Daddy" she said. Decision final. I did put cotton in her ears at the show to protect her though.

All in all it was a success. She says she enjoyed it. I might have her write about her experience for a future post as a guest blogger. It's hard for me to tell what her true feelings are about the show. My first concert was Crosby, Stills, and Nash at the Nassau Colliseum at the age of 12. I went with my older sister, who took me because I loved the music and chose to go (I think I begged my parents for weeks for permission and funds to go, as was usual for the following 6 years or so). This, on the other hand, was different; as a seven year old she didn't choose to go to this, I chose to take her. I wanted her to experience this before it's too late. Let's face it, The Icon Greg Allman is no spring chicken. Neither is Bob Weir. God knows how long this kind of scene will be going on. I want her to have some kind of understanding of what the scene is all about, and nothing can compare to this kind of match up. Maybe next year we'll go to The Gathering Of The Vibes if we can swing it. What an experience that would be for her and me (and potentially my wife). I think that she was somewhat impressed by the fact that I know so many people at these shows. She asked a few times "who was that?" I had to respond that I know the person, but I don't know their name. This is a result of following The Grateful Dead around for so many years. People you know come out of the woodwork.

It was a real strong show for Ratdog, and average for The Allman's. Maybe I'll write a seperate post about the music soon. For now I'll say that the musician swapping, for me, were the high points. Notably Warren Haynes joining Ratdog on two songs, New Speedway Boogie and Mississippi Halfstep. And Ratdog members joining The Allman Bros on their home stretch down the line. Notably Mark Karan on Good Morning Little Schoolgirl played a very soulful and tasteful solo (only to be eclipsed by the Immortal Derek Trucks slide solo following, in which Karan acted out fanning him with an invisible fan; putting out the fire). Oddly enough almost all of Ratdog came out to jam with the Allmans EXCEPT for Bobby Weir. Strange! My explanation, not to knock Bobby, is that the other members of Ratdog have more to offer in spotlights than Bob himself. That said, he most certainly could have come out and played or sung on Schoolgirl or some other blues song. Whatever. I just wonder who's decision it was, or whether an invitation was extended to him at all, as well as how much interfacing, back stage, goes on between the two bands all together.

If you have an experience you'd like to share about bringing your child, or anyone else to a show please feel free to share it with me in a comment. Thanks! See Ya at the next show.

Download the Ratdog set here.