Griffs Notes 1/7/07

I apologize for not writing yesterday. Got swamped covering my ol’ pal Cindy Sheehan at a protest rally outside the Capitol. And on top of that, Washington has become a whirlwind of change with most of us in the media chasing our tails just to keep up. Democrats take control, America’s first female speaker, major WH personnel changes at home and abroad… and the resurgence of the popularity of the Grateful Dead!

What would Jerry say?

For those of you who do not already know this – I have been in the past and remain today a big fan of the long-touring folk-rock band. That’s right, for better or worse, I am a “deadhead.”

Undoubtedly the most shocking statement by Speaker Pelosi’s spokesperson yesterday had to have been: “Ms. Pelosi is a huge Dead fan.”

She’s from San Fran. Jerry was from San Fran. Which would explain why former Dead band members, Mickey Hart and Phil Lesh performed at last night’s celebration. (Although I didn’t get invited and Jerry would not have approved of that!) Appropriately too, one of the songs they performed was “Touch of Grey.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently claimed that his most prized possession was a signed Grateful Dead poster.

So suffice it to say that if the Democrats were looking to rally the troops among a specific demographic, they have the undivided attention of deadheads across the country.

The Dead’s iconic frontman Jerry Garcia actually enlisted in the Army and completed basic training in the spring of 1960. Although by December of that year, he had managed to acquire two courts martial and eight AWOLs for being more interested in making music than obeying orders. So I would have to think that Jerry would be against the troop surge – Washington’s latest hot button issue.

Jerry would also be pleased to see California now represented by two female senators, a female Speaker of the House and an immigrant governor.

And so today, at least I can say, “See Mom and Dad, I told you going to all those Dead shows in college and buying Garcia paintings WOULD amount to something!”

“What a long, strange trip it’s been” – that’s what Jerry would say.

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