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Grateful Shred keep the Grateful Dead alive

“We had never seen hippies in real life before”

Horne: “Shred is a word you use just for, you know, awesomeness.”
Horne: “Shred is a word you use just for, you know, awesomeness.”

In 1988, my parents were on their way to become sworn American citizens in Hartford Connecticut when they were surprised by an unexpected throng. Long haired and tie-dye clad, they crowded around the Civic Center, smoky and jubilant, playing music and hawking their wares on blankets. It was my family’s first sighting of Deadheads. “We had never seen hippies in real life before,” my mother said, “and we were just fascinated, and did not get at first that they were there for a Grateful Dead concert until we saw posters for it. It felt like we had really arrived in America” — the America that she and Dad knew from smuggled posters and magazines they’d seen as kids in ‘60s and ‘70s Romania.

The posters, like the music, endure.

The Deadheads of the ‘60s and ‘70s were still around in ’88. They’re still around now, with new members being added to the ranks all the time — hence the “We Are Everywhere” stickers and shirts found in every Dead-related parking lot scene. And in Solana Beach last weekend, about 600 old and new fans gathered for a sold-out show at the Belly Up to hear the music of the Dead as performed by Los Angeles tribute act Grateful Shred.

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Backstage at the venue, bassist Dan Horne looked out from underneath his braided pigtails and a propeller hat adorned with a San Francisco Giants “Steal Your Face” emblem and told me that “it’s pretty inspiring: to see the fans you would expect to see at a Grateful Dead tribute concert, and then this whole really young crowd of college kids that are just partying in the front row, dancing, being wild.” He is pleased that “a younger generation’s getting into the music,” and says that the Dead are “an American treasure, and people are rediscovering them over and over again. It just keeps cycling, and right now we’re in a phase where young people are into it.”

Grateful Shred manages the band’s music and ambience well. “We’re trying to make kind of a spectacle out of it. We kind of try to be a little bit over the top. It’s kind of ridiculous. We’re bringing a show. We’re trying to, like, bring a real show. That’s kind of our thing. Two drummers. Everyone’s singing. We’ve got an awesome collection of vintage instruments”.

Horne is glad to be here in San Diego’s North County. He says it’s “a cool escape from LA,” and that he’s been coming to Swami’s for 20 years, “just hangin’.” The Belly Up is the Shred’s third stop on their biggest tour to date. He does admit that he feels some “dread” about being back on the road after finishing a long tour with another project, Circles Around the Sun. “Touring is a hard business,” he says. “Obviously we love it, and it’s the only way for musicians to survive, but it’s hard.” Keep truckin’ like the do-dah man...

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Horne: “Shred is a word you use just for, you know, awesomeness.”
Horne: “Shred is a word you use just for, you know, awesomeness.”

In 1988, my parents were on their way to become sworn American citizens in Hartford Connecticut when they were surprised by an unexpected throng. Long haired and tie-dye clad, they crowded around the Civic Center, smoky and jubilant, playing music and hawking their wares on blankets. It was my family’s first sighting of Deadheads. “We had never seen hippies in real life before,” my mother said, “and we were just fascinated, and did not get at first that they were there for a Grateful Dead concert until we saw posters for it. It felt like we had really arrived in America” — the America that she and Dad knew from smuggled posters and magazines they’d seen as kids in ‘60s and ‘70s Romania.

The posters, like the music, endure.

The Deadheads of the ‘60s and ‘70s were still around in ’88. They’re still around now, with new members being added to the ranks all the time — hence the “We Are Everywhere” stickers and shirts found in every Dead-related parking lot scene. And in Solana Beach last weekend, about 600 old and new fans gathered for a sold-out show at the Belly Up to hear the music of the Dead as performed by Los Angeles tribute act Grateful Shred.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Backstage at the venue, bassist Dan Horne looked out from underneath his braided pigtails and a propeller hat adorned with a San Francisco Giants “Steal Your Face” emblem and told me that “it’s pretty inspiring: to see the fans you would expect to see at a Grateful Dead tribute concert, and then this whole really young crowd of college kids that are just partying in the front row, dancing, being wild.” He is pleased that “a younger generation’s getting into the music,” and says that the Dead are “an American treasure, and people are rediscovering them over and over again. It just keeps cycling, and right now we’re in a phase where young people are into it.”

Grateful Shred manages the band’s music and ambience well. “We’re trying to make kind of a spectacle out of it. We kind of try to be a little bit over the top. It’s kind of ridiculous. We’re bringing a show. We’re trying to, like, bring a real show. That’s kind of our thing. Two drummers. Everyone’s singing. We’ve got an awesome collection of vintage instruments”.

Horne is glad to be here in San Diego’s North County. He says it’s “a cool escape from LA,” and that he’s been coming to Swami’s for 20 years, “just hangin’.” The Belly Up is the Shred’s third stop on their biggest tour to date. He does admit that he feels some “dread” about being back on the road after finishing a long tour with another project, Circles Around the Sun. “Touring is a hard business,” he says. “Obviously we love it, and it’s the only way for musicians to survive, but it’s hard.” Keep truckin’ like the do-dah man...

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