This Woodstock quest that I am on has taken me to some strange places both geographically and musically The latest destination was to see Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead playing in a trio with Scott Murawski (guitar, vocals - of Max Creek ) and Oteil Burbridge (bass, vocals of the Allman Brothers Band) took me to both. I like the Dead; however, I don't know that I would be making an effort to see one of their former drummers in concert if it wasn't for my quest to obtain the signatures of every living person who performed at Woodstock. Also, I don't know that I would be doing this aboard a ship that usually serves to take romantic dinner dance cruises along the Hudosn River. I especially wouldn't have taken such a cruise with my friend, Gary, if it wasn't for our mutual Woodstock Quest.
We went aboard determined to meet Mr. Kreutzmann and obtain his autograph. we started asking around and met his manager. He was discouraging because he told us that in Philadelphia there were some aggressive autograph seekers who followed Mr. Kreutzmann's vehicle from the venue to his hotel. The manager told us that all were shaken by the incident and he wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Kreutzmann would not sign another autograph.
Discouraged, we hung out by the stage (there really wasn't a stage - just a roped off area beyond which the musical equipment was set up) and staked a prime location to see the show. Gary spotted Mr. Kreutzmann speaking to some of his people to our right and he aprroached him with me following. Gary, a little more assertive than I am, introduced himself to Mr. Kreutzmann and and made the request for the autographs. Mr. Kreutzmann was hesitant citing the incident in Philadelphia and also that he signed the Grateful Dead's "Go To Heaven" album for a fan and it was listed on Ebay for $99. We convinced Mr. Kreutzmann to sign my poster stating that he could personalize it to me (which he did); however, we still had to cajole him to do this. He also threatened that if I sold his autograph that I would need two canes (I'm using a cane these days as a result of the accident that I suffered in January). He then signed one autograph for Gary (who had several items that he wished signed). Sensing that we were pushing our luck - we returned to our location on stage left.
A few minutes later, Bill (he told me that I could call him that when I shook his hand prior to signing my autograph) took to the drums and started getting ready for the show. As I was standing less than 10 feet from him, we could see each other very clearly. I took pictures of him and he gestured towards me by looking at me and pounding on his chest twice. I took it as a sign that we were cool.
Oteil Burbridge stood two feet away from us and Scott Murawski was about 15 feet away from us on stage right. Gary secured some folding chairs for us. It was pretty cool - here I was practically sitting on the stage and watching a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer. The band started just before the designated start time of 7:00 PM and shortly thereafter the boat left the dock.
The cruise was designated to be three hours in length. Given that the band started on time - I expected that they would play most of the cruise (which they did). The smell of Marijuana smoke permeated the air as we sailed down the Husdson river. Rather than view the Manhattan Skyline, I enjoyed watching the band and the seemingly random gyrations of audience members that could possibly resemble dancing - if it was rhythmic in any way, shape, or form and can only be witnessed at a Grateful Dead, or similar, concert.
The band for about an hour and a half and took a short break which coincided with the cruise ship ciccling the Statue of Liberty. The band returned for a second set and played until we docked. During the break, I realized that I was sitting next to Oteil Burbridge's girlfriend and we befriended each other somewhat. Which is how I was able to obtain a copy of the setlist (she kindly retrieved it for me).
It was a great show and Gary and I both walked away happy, but tired. Pre-show, we had ambitions of catching, Jazz Legend, Paul Motian's 11 PM show at the Village Vanguard (he played with Arlo Guthrie at Woodstock); however, we were both too tired to go.
Cruel World Scarlet Yellow Moon The Other One (2nd Verse) My Belt Says You Will Althea One Way Out (Allman Brother's cover) Help/Slip White Freightliner Sugaree Estimated Prophet Chains of Life Mas y Mas Franklin's Tower E: Freeborn Man Rhymes New River Train Mercury Blues Monkey Man Lovelight 99 Years Bertha Eyes of the World Chinese Cat