Political pundit Ann Coulter has never been shy about her love for the Grateful Dead, but Billboard recently made her take that love to the next level by publishing what is essentially an open love letter to the grateful group. She explains that she probably saw 67 shows, though her count was imprecise, and mostly between 1991 and 1995.“Other than a few shows in high school and college, I mostly followed them as a practicing lawyer from around 1991 to August 1995 when I had a bunch of Deadhead friends and we all had plenty of disposable income, so I saw a lot of shows in those four or five years.”She explains that there was a faction of Deadheads within her community growing up, which is how she became familiar with the group. “Contrary to some people’s image of the Dead, they were huge in my very affluent WASP hometown of New Canaan, Conn. There was a faction in favor of making “Truckin’” our prom song, but the sense of the senate went for some schmaltzy rainbow song instead. I bet no one from my high school class can remember what it was. We would have remembered “Truckin.’””“But still – you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a Deadhead dancing,” she writes in the article, putting her love for the Dead on full blast. She continues to talk about Deadheads, saying, “I like Deadheads because they’re very friendly, open-minded, individualistic people — not fake-open-minded and not a “mob of individualists.” Sometimes they’d ask why we’d decline the joints friendly Deadheads would pass around, but they were so charming about it. They weren’t offended or snippy, just genuinely interested. Deadheads are intellectually curious individuals.”Then she goes back to the band and starts naming some of her many favorite tunes:I can never pick a “favorite” song, just as I can’t pick a favorite Scalia dissent, but among the ones I love are: “Tennessee Jed,” “Althea,” “Stagger Lee”, “Eyes of the World,” “Loose Lucy,” “Franklin’s Tower,” “Deal,” “Sugar Magnolia,” “Unbroken Chain,” “Cassidy”, “Pride of Cucamonga,” “Uncle John’s Band,” “Ripple,” “Casey Jones,” “I Will Take You Home,” “Passenger,” “Mississippi Half-Step,” “Good Lovin’” and of course, the famous Mickey Hart rap version of “Fire on the Mountain.”It breaks my heart that the band never played “Pride of Cucamonga” in concert. That would have been as big a story as Brexit and probably would have rocked the stock market just as much. She recalls one final Grateful Dead concert experience at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, saying, “The Dead’s best venues were the outdoor concerts. I’ve been to a few, including one outside of Kansas City on the Fourth of July, but my fave was Shoreline Amphitheatre — a beautiful outdoor arena built on a landfill. The weather was great, you could buy California chardonnay by the glass and I had a bunch of Cornell deadheads out there. By day, we’d go around San Francisco or go sailing, and, by night, we’d go to see a psychedelic rock group.”And there you have it, an inside look at Ann Coulter’s love for the Grateful Dead. Read the full letter here.
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