For a minute there, when I first espied this headline ("Obama Meets Privately With the Dead"), I thought, "Wow, Obama is really doing things differently", and was meeting with some of the RWFS Flying Monkeys, before one of their Iced Tea gatherings.
Mary Ann Akers, in her WaPo Sleuth Column has the details;
The president welcomed all the members of The Dead, who are performing tonight at the Verizon Center in Washington, to the Oval Office just before dinner last night. They didn't talk music as much as they did history - history about the Oval Office, and the president's desk.Who knew?
Apparently the band was quite taken with how tidy the president keeps his desk. And how down-to-earth he seemed, according a source who was there.
The entourage included the four surviving members of the Grateful Dead - Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann - plus keyboardist Jeff Chimenti (from Weir's Ratdog) and Warren Haynes, who is joining the Dead on their 2009 spring tour as lead vocalist and guitarist. Some of them had their wives in tow.
As if chatting with the president in the Oval Office weren't cool enough, something remarkable happened on their way out. Just outside the Oval Office, Phil and his wife, Jill Lesh, spotted a vase full of Scarlet Begonias sitting on a table.
For the uninitiated, "Scarlet Begonias" is one of the late Grateful Dead band leader Jerry Garcia's most famous songs. (Check out a youthful looking Jerry Garcia singing "Scarlet Begonias" in this 1977 video, and be sure you have a tissue.)
After admiring the Scarlet Begonias, the band went next door to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to meet with the most prominent Deadheads in the Obama White House: senior advisors David Axelrod and Pete Rouse, and deputy chief of staff Jim Messina. All three are planning to go to tonight's one and only Dead show in Washington, we're told.
A "Wall of Sound" that they believe in ...
Wednesday, April 15, 2009