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Riding Out the Storms of Life: Close The Doors, Flow to your Inner Room & Play - Dead

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

Sturgeon [sic] General’s Listener Advisory: Some of the songs in this post might cause changes in your heart rate or rhythm. Please call 911 or go to your local emergency room if you start moving uncontrollably.

I’ve notified my own cardiologist about the following listening experience, so when he reads the report from the rate/rhythm tracker in my chest, he won’t be concerned.

Shoshone Invocation – Mickey Hart (former Grateful Dead drummer)

--An opening blessing reminding us of our humble place among the elemental forces of nature…

--I wrote about Mickey’s Leonardo da Vinci-like career – in and out of bands in this 2018 post.

--good indigenous peoples’ visuals

Snapped the above photo while out walking before yesterday’s tropical storm. Figured I’d use it here, as it applies to some of the music I’ve selected for this post…

This post began as a summer weather system known as Isaias was movin on up to the East Side (Coast) and my sister Julie sent an email to see how us Northerners were making out. Listen in on my reply…

Before the rain started, I took care of some outside business: walking, feeding our birds, tying up our butterfly bush (broke at its 3" base yesterday under the weight of all its blossoms and some early storm winds).

Now sheltering in place with some music, including an appropriate one:

Current Events: AC/DC

The "war" between Tesla and Edison over alternating vs. direct current made for a great movie – The Current War. AC eventually prevailed as the dominant system over DC. However, during today's storm, as our power alternated between ON and OFF, I would have preferred “direct,” as in “constant.”

Update: In the movie, Edison in his arrogance berates his rival – Tesla – saying that Tesla’s name will never appear on anything. Well…there’s a black automobile in our driveway with the letter “T” on its hood. The car belongs to son John and I don’t think the insignia is a monogram for his last name.

For Pedro – Thanks for intro-ing me to this band:

En-lightning Experiences

Back in my surfing days, me and my brother Mike went down to Rockaway Beach one evening to check out the waves. While on the boardwalk and standing near a lamppost (No, I wasn’t in Narnia), I started to feel a tingling on my scalp. I glanced over at my brother and his thick, long hair was sticking straight up into the air. As our eyes locked, he said the same thing to me. We both screamed, “Let’s get the hell outta here” and ran for our VW Buses – mine a ‘65 and his a ‘61. As we did, lightning struck where we had been standing. If we hadn’t paid attention to the messages our bodies were giving us…

…we’d have been transported to the heavenly line up (a surfing term for the place in the water where surfers sit waiting for their next wave). As I was writing this, I started wondering…

(For Mike, Richie, Deacon Rick and others…)

--If you are still or were once a practitioner of “the sport of kings,” you might find this guy’s blog enjoyable reading as he rides two themes:

· How to maintain a proper work/life balance

· A history of the Southern California surf culture from the 1950’s-1980’s

Teresa, a Facebook friend posted the above photo on July 24. (I was blessed to be one of her children’s Sunday school teachers.)

I replied,” Holy coincidence! Last night at 1 am I went the field across from my house to watch the call-and-response, cloud-to-cloud lightning. I recorded about 12 minutes of footage that I plan to add to another similar enlightening experience from last year. Gonna add The Doors Riders on the Storm as background and upload it.

BTW - are you a fan of G-d’s cosmic light show?”

“Grateful I’m Not Dead”

That slogan is actually on one of my tee shirts and is featured in at least one recent post. It’s also how I’m gonna’ intro this next story about storms.

I was with some buddies outside the Manhattan Center Ballroom waiting on line to see the Grateful Dead. It was a cold winter’s night in a deep and dark December. No, I wasn’t waiting to see Simon and Garfunkel!

As we stood together on the sidewalk, it started to snow and that was accompanied by thunder and lightning. Someone in the crowd exclaimed in amazement, “Far out…what a light shown the Dead have!…it even plays outside…” I’ll leave you to hypothesize on the cause of his insight. FYI – We all agreed with him. It was a great evening! The crowd was so wired up and fired up that, as I remember it, the police came and barricaded us INSIDE, in an effort to protect NYC from us crazy hippies.

When I left NY for Callie in 1973, my parents asked to accompany me. It was part of the major reconciliation that had been taking place – I wrote about it in the post for Father’s Day in 2019. We travelled in my VW Bus – Dad taking photos and Mom writing poetry – camping along the way. Mind you, Dad was 63 and retired and Mom a few years younger. Cool, huh? We’ll the first night out under the stars, they got obscured and we got soaked by a rainstorm. I had pitched the tent at the bottom of a hill. Not-ready-for-Lewis & Clark! The next day we went to Niagara Falls and I strung clotheslines from my Bus to nearby light poles to dry out our gear. Bunch of gypsies!

A few days later we were somewhere in Missouri. I had been driving all day and was beat. See, neither parent drove. I would teach my Dad to drive after I returned to NY in 1975. My Mom never forgave me : ))) We had been nestled in our sleeping bags for a little while, when I noticed what I thought were flashes of light. I know what you might be thinking – No, no magic mushrooms had been ingested for dinner.

As I raised my head and peered out of the tent, I saw what looked like balls of light rolling on the ground through our campsite. It woke me up like a double shot of espresso! I roused my Dad and Mom and we drove off into the night. Years later, I realized I had witnessed an unusual phenomenon known as ball lightning.

Age improves with Stones...

--1965 - from Hullabaloo Show

Stones Improve with Age...

--2006 - Mick can still move

Ridin’ Out the Storm

One more tune – 2 cool versions:


In this next song, there IS a connection to the “storms” theme – it’s in the following lyrics:

“Well, I just got into town about an hour ago

Took a look around, see which way the wind blows”

  • The words "Mr Mojo Risin'" in the lyrics are an anagram of "Jim Morrison".

  • Keyboardist Ray Manzarek explained this song's meaning to Uncut magazine in September 2011, "A song about driving madly down the LA freeway... You're a beatnik on the road, like Kerouac and Neal Cassady, barreling down the freeway as fast as you can go."

  • More “liner notes” at

We’re mostly H2O…so, go with the Flow…it’s both within you and without you…

(lyrics at end)

Go with the Flow – whether fast or slow…trust it to take us where we need to go

“I want something good to die for

To make it beautiful to live.”

Sometimes, the Flow is both “nice & easy” AND “nice & ROUGH”

“And I never lost a minute of sleepin'

Worryin' 'bout the way things might have been”

(THAT’S goin’ with the Flow!!!)

--“Wind”…”Mary” – just fits in (nicely or roughly – your call) as this post flows along

And then there are times, the Flow transports us out of our usual world – actually, that’s often what it takes to get us to change…

Flowing Upside Down: Dead Man Float

If, as the saying goes…

…then board my Ship of Fools…………… and this Live version

"I won't slave for beggar's pay, likewise gold and jewels; but I would slave to learn the way to sink your ship of fools."

Hmmm…could we apply this to our Ship of State…it seems adrift…?

“You don’t need a weatherman

To know which way the wind blows”

“Girl by the whirlpool

Lookin’ for a new fool

Don’t follow leaders

Watch the parkin’ meters”

…Our Ship of State seems adrift without a moral compass…It’ll take some Dead Reckoning to get it back on course…NO! get it on a NEW COURSE…

…We will mutiny and sink the ship of fools…with our nonviolent resistance…doing new things in a new, united way…

…so, grab your gear…

and let’s tackle another serious job - finding some Dead fish – they’re easier to catch – so laid back (or, if your prefer, Phish - another good vibe band)…

“Born a slave in the town of Vicksburg

Traded for a chestnut mare

Lord, her never spoke in anger

Though his load was hard to bear”

Dead end (End of the Dead Set)

Been planning to do some car-related posts. After seeing the earlier driving videos, gonna push this up my “to-be” list.

"Within You Without You"

We were talking about the space between us all

And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion

Never glimpse the truth, then it's far too late, when they pass away

We were talking about the love we all could share

When we find it, to try our best to hold it there with our love

With our love, we could save the world, if they only knew

Try to realize it's all within yourself

No one else can make you change

And to see you're really only very small

And life flows on within you and without you

We were talking about the love that's gone so cold

And the people who gain the world and lose their soul

They don't know, they can't see, are you one of them?

When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find

Peace of mind is waiting there

And the time will come when you see we're all one

And life flows on within you and without you

Note: I had to substitute a YouTube version for Within You Without You because I couldn't find a way to add the Vimeo version I used to this playlist.

Any help would be appreciated!!!

Peace (but keep it in high gear!)



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