welcome to the haikutimes

Issue #65, The Dead at Red Rocks, July 8 and 9, 2003. Haiku and photographs by Jonathan.

evening coming on
sking crawling, nicotine clouds
passing over me

thought I saw jerry

soft orange summer shadows
inbetween denver skyline
and we in the rocks

happy deadhead crowds
she composes a haiku
'big fat dreadlocks'

jennifer and andrea, two
spacey blonde youngsters
fairly incoherent
unable to grasp haiku

"feel like a stranger"
the trippy deadhead scene
starts off with loose noodling

half moon, half rocks
singing about baby blue
tribute to dylan
rippling those notes with ease,
long blonde-haired guitarist

"she said, she said
you're making me feel like
i've never been born!"

stage changes colors
concert evening settles

mood changes quickly
deep pink lights amidst
pink skies behind the rocks
then lights flash on the crowd

a bank of smokers
five people in front of me
inhaling as one

colors, chords intertwined
purple hue, purple mood
wandering in electric musings....tom

"I've got no chance of losing this time"

bobby singing with a
fisherman's mustache

"I make my case to angels
in the court of paradise"
mickey singing with malletted hands

"none of it makes any sense-
no need to even try"
the dead become fused
in the cold rain and snow
all the emotions buried under
the surface - like the city
skyline coming into glow.

we still have time for songs
slowly, like raindrops

purple blues chords settle
breeze and city lights arise
the red rocks surround....tom

somewhat muggy, cloudy
a bluesy lilt emerging
"and I know it's gonna be
one hell of an evening-
like the year before
and the year before"

"it's gonna take a long hot shower
to wash away - something about her"
snakey blusey beat
"deal" to end the first set

fusion of rock light
into gyrating stage lights
second set, girl tells me a story
about breaking down
on the way from Frisco

spacey immediate jamming
between the first and second sets
the moon appears
on the other side of the rocks
"til the morning comes!"
make yourself easy
yellow-bright orange
lights of optimism
phil and joan, looking at each other, singing

slow down
slowing almost to a stop
huge guy walking by with
a black t-shirt saying
another bit of dead lore
"pretty lady ain't got no friends til
the candyman comes around"
crazy jamming
interlude of graphics
oval tunnelling eyeballs
piccatto intensity
"mason's children"
propelled by purple and orange lights
tempos shift
mood suddenly quiets way down
everyone feels it
unknown phil tune
come together!
he wear no shoeshine!
drummers become ferocious
graphics become intense
pushy furious clash of cymbals
making the rocks rumble
three drummers on stage
tribal intensity
to melodic wood chimes
faint hint of bells
a japanese mask on the screen
trio of drums, spirals
an orgy of creativity and
lights under the denver skyline
mickey plays the beam
straddling it, pounding, punching
joan starts vocalizing
pastel colors now softening
the post-beam intensity
soaring operatic vocals
guitar mimics her cry

can't stand still
have to keep redifining the moment
West L.A. Fadeaway
"had a steady job
working for the mob
it's a shame those boys
couldn't be more copasetic"
makes me think of John Belushi
piano solo
"little red light on the highway
big green light on the speedway"

joan's sultry deep voice
sexy swaying, re-interpreting
jerry's melody
"you thought you was the cool fool"
her voice almost hoarse
shake it!
sugar magnolia
"goin' where the wind blows"
phil says he'll sign your leg
if you come down to the bonne fils blood center
to donate blood
pray for world peace
box of rain
"maybe you'll find direction
around some corner where it's been waiting to meet you"

tonight - the 25th anniversary
of the first grateful dead show at red rocks


the next night
evan and i stand in line
for an hour before coming in
on a catwalk
over illuminated rocks

i run into old friends
i was here 20 years ago
has anything changed?

downstairs in the art gallery
jerry plays 'hey pockey way' on video
the muse hides in deep caverns

the last light hits the hills over the stage
denver skyline is pink

the band finally starts,
loose noodling again
dropping into 'friend of the devil'

guy next to me
chewing on mushrooms
"if she catches up with me
i'll spend my life in jail"

moon a little fuller than last night
back into the same noodling
"mississippi half step"
Joan comes out
in a white shirt and black skirt
everyone in the crowd
singing immediately
"all you got to live for
is what you left behind"

lady lays down near me
cuddled up with
little owsley bear dolls

people care about the context
not the specifics
"new speedway boogie"
"spent a little time on the mountain"
during jam,
guy walks by with two beers

history of a sub-culture everywhere
"one way or another,
this darkness got to give"

they sing a song by warren haynes
"night of a thousand stars"
a tiger and a lion
hanging on a wall

band members
look at each other

if you hold a balloon
you will hear the bass notes
a fellow deadhead tells me

girl drinks my water
because it is there on the bench
because she is thirsty

band drifts into the next song
we realize it is perhaps
country western
"it looks like rain"
as soon as people realize
what bobby is saying
they erupt in spontaneous cheers
flash of recognition

acoustic and electric
go nicely together
evan likes the arpeggios
"i only want to hold you,
i don't want to hold you down"
bobby really puts his weight
behind this song
which ends in a burst
of bright stage lights
which turn blue
then purple and yellow
then - is it minglewood?

deep elm blues
with a different beat
ev says it's in half time

i think about the museum below
a living document to performers
gathered in record keeping
like the fossils
of precambrian creatures
in the foyer of the visitor center

joan wears an 'i love NY' t-shirt
"once i had a good man,
but he ain't the same that he used to be'
immediately into another groove
segue of mickey drumming
with malletts
jimmy ripping a blues solo
"i'm gonna leave you this morning"
mutation of "good morning little schoolgirl"
then stagger lee

the red rocks throw out heat
they all trade off singing
"he shot my billy dead
and now he's got to die"

we wait on walkway
clinging to sandstone walls
"nearer my god to thee"

into a pause
mr. charlie!
joan dances next to
the piano players

evan describes
trippy scene at bathroom

i think the guy next to me
is eating pistachoes,
not mushrooms

shallow t-shirt:
"some things cannot be replaced,
some things can"

we end up talking about zappa
i think about the blank canvas
at the top of the stage,
before the show

jerry was the glue
and then they splintered apart
he must have come back

second set starts
after much conversation
playing in the band
"say it once again now"
colors more insistent
wedges of light above
trippy pizza slices
so says ev

phil leaning forward as if
pressing out the notes
jimmy merging into
different scales
bob fiddles with his equipment
before launching into "shakedown st."
it's dead disco
all about the groove
"maybe you had too much too fast"
everyone loves this song
under bright yellow lights
we are all noodling
weird key shift
lights turn red
a very aerobic jam
mellowing into blue and purple
aemoba graphics

joan singing, "built to last"
"one blue star
sets on the hill"
phil singing harmony
solo muddled in the middle
shifting keys again
speeding up
fast fusion jamming
"truckin - lately it occurrs to me
what a long, strange trip it's been"

bobby at center stage again
the crowd totally rocking to the beat

the guy next to me
knows more about the dead
than i do

melodic strong bass
riffing, rotating
the band takes risks
into ruben and cherise
something about
a painted mandolin
joan looking down at her notes while she sings

a rose appears on the screen
jimmy nails the solo
which seems complicated

tribal drumming now
baba jinjo or something
fast piano solo with the other piano guy
playing shakers instead

drums right away
the beam sends out
religious cathedrial echoes
small bells and
huge bass undertones
rotating lights on the drums
spirals moving the opposite direction
dr. who tunnels
chinese percussion
small bells, glocks, wood nubbins
mickey kicks the beam
a final move

thinking about what
the reproduction of sound is

whinnying vocalizations from joan
do i hear "happy birthday?"

it is her birthday!
small children hand her flowers
"comes a time"
balloons flying above
"don't give it up,
got an empty cup, only love can fill"

so soulful it makes me cry
she sings it like she means it
"you can't let go because you're afraid to fall
but the day may come when you can't feel at all"

out of the solo comes
uncle john's band
phil keeps the groove, slowing down
and speeding up, all at once

interplay between phil and bobby
"playing" reprise
"lovelight" pops out
after colored lights frisk the crowd
joan struts the stage
like pigpen,
tells the audience
to sing for her
since it's her birthday
"oh, my my"
singing back and forth
call and response
"well, well"
"well, well"
"oh, my my"

after phil's appeal
that we all become organ donors
they leave this brokedown palace
with "fare you well, my honey"

joan throws flowers

i find the blank canvas
covered in furious paint

trying to sell me
organic ganja goo balls
as we walk out

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen