When I was a kid, a teenager (and beyond, in fact), I played the guitar and I hitch-hiked quite a lot. As a grubby-looking, long-haired guy, that latter activity meant I spent a lot of time standing by the side of the road, day-dreaming. And a recurring day-dream was that I would master the guitar to the point where I might find myself someday sharing a stage with Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, noodling away like a 'head from the Haight.
Obviously, it never happened. I didn't have the drive to become a good guitarist nor, I suspect, did (or do) I have the innate talent. Sometimes biology is destiny.
But last night, I happened on a video of a very recent concert by Dead & Company, a band made up of former members of the Grateful Dead and others, younger players.
I don't expect many (or even, probably, any) of you to watch the video — it's more than 3 hours long, but who knows? Maybe someone's trippin' ...
Anyway, listening to it and (sometimes) watching it and it hit me: John Mayer, the lead guitarist (whose name but not work rings a bell with me), though 12 years my junior, is doing something I fantasized I might do on those long, dusty days with my thumb out waiting for a ride.
No wonder he bounces. No wonder he looks so happy. He's jamming with the Dead, man!
Dead & Company is a nostalgia act, sure, but there's still some creative life in the old bones, if only through the input of young(ish) blood. The Rolling Stones could take a lesson.
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