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1. In the Beginning ..
Jesse E. Lasky ("E" for Edward) looked out his window and dreamed that he saw, or did in fact see (whichever is more real), some squirrels chasing up a tree. The tree was
It had been a long winter for the California lad, and he wasn't sure just what he was looking at, since the day before, there was fresh snow.
He thought, if someone were writing a book about this, they wouldn't know just how to say it so the reader is actu-ally there in a "virtual reality" type of experience, so the reader wouldn't automatically put it down and search for new computer games with lots of shooting and overkill, or turn on the television as if it were a long time ago and watch Soupy Sales, Howdy Doody with Buffalo Bob and Clarabelle the Clown, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It to Beaver, Bonanza, Father Knows Best (Does he really?). Now he already misses the Terrapin Station file this friend had set up for him with the MP3 downloading and CD burner devices.
He was at a Grateful Dead concert, and he and a friend spent the whole evening at Winterland, alongside (within arms-reach, intimate conversation distance), all night with Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh in particular, and the whole band in general, which included Pig Pen. I mean just two feet or touch- ing and talking distance, which he did during the breaks. He was the "Psychic Space-Man." We felt the vibes!
Jesse's mind flashed back to his first Dead concert in l970, backstage, under acid, tripping quite nicely as Bill Graham, dressed up as Grandfather Time/The Grim Reaper, flew down from the sky, in the air, above the shrieking countdown of the last seconds of the crowd, on ataut wire line, at the striking of midnight, bringing in the New Year.
Hadn't they gotten tickets from a friend, whose brother was in Columbia, supposedly supplying cocaine to the Dead family?
What does all this have to do with the green trees, and Vienna, and a house occupied by a baby daughter, and the piano keys playing some classical melody out of tune in this city of classical music's finest composers?
The music changes with the scen-ery. Are these the 0000 years? Are we living in the millennium, intact? Is the ozone hole getting larger?
The ice is beginning to melt up north. What about global warming?
Are we still tripping? Is Armageddon arriving early, the Messiah coming in the guise of the Bal Shem Tov, the head Hasidic Rabbi? Wasn't it Schneerson, and now we missed our chance?
Who is asking these questions?