This article was originally published in the August 1993 issue Spin.
Near a deadhead, Las Vegas is the other side of the universe. – Bill Graham
This is a match made in heaven. An Sean, a 100-show veteran deadhead at Barbank
For the third year in a row, Deadheads has landed in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is unpopular among hippie hangouts on the spring weekend of the Grateful Dead Show. The casino owner and local politicians (who jumped when Daddy jumped on the Porsche in ’67) complained a year ago, but they were shouted at and the Deadheads were invited again. Most agree with Shan from Barbank.
Kelly, a 21-year-old beauty from Barbados, said, “It’s fun to be here, who follows the dead with her friends Moon and Molly.” It’s, like, a city where you can party – Meant To party. ”
At the show (Dead and Sting, this year’s opener, both got high marks) and the parking lot at the traditional veggie food and T-shirt market, where many supported their travel habits, the Deadheads returned to their sleeping areas. A campsite on Lake Mid was filled by them, and Balder City, south of Vegas, was a popular low-key spot for spending the night, avoiding crowds, and overcoming traffic congestion at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Silver Bowl Arena.
Most of the Deadheads, however, were properly accommodated in Vegas, which welcomed them with crank-up hotel rates. Some guests have confirmed that they have received their money’s worth; (Unverified) Record A room in Stardust can hold 35 people and three dogs. (They were evicted; at least one of them slept the rest of the night with his dog in the parking lot.)
When awake, they gathered on the wide sidewalk in front of the circus circus, much to the frustration of the owners, Slot of Fun (understand?), Westward Ho and McDonald’s. With wooden barricades, aggressive carding, and occasional sidewalk hoses, iron-pumping, well-equipped casino security guards tried to intimidate swarms of casinos and intimidate regular customers.
Not that the Deadheads were threatening – they were much more peaceful and much preferred by Metal or rap fans by the Vegas police. But there are definitely some antiglamorous ones about the smell of tie-dye, dreadlocks, and sweat patchouli. Not to mention “drum circles” – a dozen or more male deadheads are jamming bongos, picnic tables, walls or sidewalks with hands, feet, shoes, water-cooler bottles, you name it. To the deadhead, the drum circle is an invitation to join drumming, dancing or spinning. To most pedestrians, this is a casting call Fire Fire II, And a good reason to keep walking and find another casino.
A few deadheads hit the table; By Sunday’s show, Shawn made a grand drop from Barbank. But such a sum was alien to serious, traveling (and thus limitedly employed) chiefs, most of whom fed a few quarters in slots but ridiculed in serious gambling.
“My parents are in Vegas AddictAaron, 19, admits to a tour deadhead from Fort Wayne, Indiana. “They come here and spend $ 4,000 three times a year. My parents are fucking.”
But there was Something About Vegas and Fate and the Deadheads-Jerry will provide an action-packed feel, a hippie motto of strip-it-rich, Big-Box fantasy that draws 21 million visitors to the city each year. The Deadheads in town were just full of stories of things … “working”: about handing out dead tickets by total strangers on their birthdays, or, if they’re really hungry, winning a cheap casino buffet enough to pull a slot-machine.
Joe, a 47-year-old Moab, Utah, new house painter at the Dead Show, watched Friday’s show but had no tickets for Saturday and no skull money. Disappointed, he and his friends gathered at their Lake Mid campsite – but St. Jerry was watching.
“The way we broke up the camp, I got a $ 100 bill in the bushes.” He bought a ticket for 50, and most Vegas spectators would take the remaining bushfruit to the table. But not Joe.
“I had what I wanted and I didn’t want to be greedy. If I had won any money, it would have made no sense. Jerry must have approved.
The ultimate example of Deadhead Fate is an unidentified person walking through the parking lot, “looking for a miracle” – Dead-ES to grab a finger, which means you have to buy a ticket. When lightning struck, he was thrown into the air. . . But he survived, with some cuts and wounds. “You guys are miracle workers,” he said when he approached the rock medicine staff.
Now, man survives lightning all the time, but maybe he does Did Find a miracle; After all, a golfer urinating under a tree on the same day was hit and killed. Which could mean nothing – or it could mean that Jerry keeps an eye on the deadheads. And not Jerry Golf.