Between the years 1987 and 1995 I attended a handful of Grateful Dead shows. All were fun, musically some were great, most were not. On one particular occasion my friend Kelly was in attendance. Kelly and I saw hundreds of punk shows together (punk being a love, not a hobby, nor a slight interest, but a sober obsession) and Kelly expressed his dis-interest in the Grateful Dead to some shirtless, eyeball spinning parking lot wanderer. The reaction was a simple "you're not high enough." Kelly's response was something to the point of questioning why drugs were needed to enjoy something. Touche.
Over the years I've seen hundreds of shows, some jam shows, some not, some great, some not. I've moved far away from the jam band shows, not out of a dis-taste of the musical talents of the performers, but as a result of the shallowness of the fans. Limited knowledge for something these people think they should enjoy for a reason they do not know. Common tastes can be narrow, especially amongst a sea of like-minded followers. A dislike, or dis-interest of Gram Parsons but a love of Workingmans Dead makes no sense to me.
I often wonder if jam bands would have been, and remain to be as popular as they are if drugs were not at the center of the audiences common goal. This is coming from someone who has experimented well past the edge of common sense, and will, without a doubt, go past that edge again.
What did the Widespread Panic fan say when his acid wore off? THIS BAND SUCKS!