Opening of the Grateful Dead Archives
Outside and inside McHenry Library
This is the day Grateful Deadheads have been waiting for: the opening of our own rock and roll museum on the UCSC campus. Based on an early preview, this will not be the least bit disappointing. The memorabilia here does a great job bringing the long strange trip that was the first of the great jambands to life.
The music will be played by Moonalice, the band made up of highly-paid sidemen and one of the richest men in the world, venture capitalist Roger McNamee.
McNamee, whose band opened for U2, invests for Bono and other rock stars in his firm called Elevation Partners. If I loved music and had all the money in the world, I'd probably do what he does: hire some of the best backing musicians I could find, print great posters and give out food to help the audience remember those hippy days of yore when the music played the band and it was all about sharing.
But if I were Roger and had the techology to listen to a tape of myself, I'd also hire a singer and just kind of strum along behind the likes of musicians like Pete Sears, John Molo and Barry Sless. Sorry, Rog, but we love the good intentions and karma.
Sadly, no member of the Grateful Dead is expected, but you never know with that herd of cats.
BLUE OYSTER CULT
6:30 and 8p.m.
These one time New Yorkers are definitely not one-hit wonders. They've got almost a handful of hits, which is a steal for free. "Godzilla" is a great song; "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and "Burnin' For You" are still being played somewhere at this very minute on a classic rock radio station.
Throw in "Astronomy," "Dominance and Submission," "Harvester of Eyes" and "Career of Evil" and you have something to get your kids started on devil music with. You can even get tatoos on the way home.
Seriously, BOC is good fun and play the music well. And they once toured with Black Sabbath on a Black and Blue tour. There's even a DVD of it.
One weird note: They once opened a concert I was playing in and we were fascinated to see they had a roadie behind the curtain playing guitar parts. They won't be able to do that at the Boardwalk.
Seriously, if you had to pick only one of these to go to, this is it. Thompson is one of the finest guitarists in the world (Rolling Stone voted him 69th in the top 100 of all time). But he's an even better songwriter, defining the word sardonic with his tales of love, woe, loss, roller coasters ("Wall of Death") and old motorcycles ("1952 Vincent Black Lightning").