AMSTERDAM 1997


Can You Pass The Amsterdam Test?

A review of the Amsterdam Deadhead Gathering 1997 by Ralph M.

From Nov, the 23rd to the 28th an interesting project took place at several venues in the swinging capital Amsterdam. coinciding with the famous Cannabis Cup in the Melkweg club (which is organised by the High Times magazine), some Grateful Dead-cover bands and other musicians came together for recording a CD and for playing and jamming in clubs. The record sessions took place at the Amsterdam Music Promotions and they have enough stuff for producing a fine Grateful Dead tribute CD. On this CD there will be music from the Cosmic Charlies (UK), Deadend (Svvitzerland), Deadicace (France), Billy Goodman & The Virgins (USA, Germany) and a lot of other musicans. They want to bring out this CD next year in the United States and I hope that also we European Deadheads will have the chance for buying this very promising record,

Starting on Wednesday the bands played in the clubs and some Heads from several European countries joined the parties. At a small club called Melo- Melo Deadend played a wonderful show with a phantastic second set including Morning Dew,St. Stephen, Eyes, Playin´>Wharf Rat>Playin*and a powerful Lovelight. Deadends music was more powerful and rocking than I remembered it from earlier times. I was there with some friends from Paris, Phil Demetrion and Michel Ravinet and they also had a good time. I met also some nice Heads from Scandinavia, but the music was too loud for making a longer conversation. Deadend stopped playing around 3 in the moming!
What do you do at day in Amsterdam? Well you know  hanging out in some Coffee Shops for special "morning drinks" with some Heads. On Thursday it was Thankgivings Day and a lot of musicians and other Heads hang out at the home of Wende, who is a great host. The senior chief of the French Deadhead scene, Mr. Phil himself prepared the Thankgivings turkey and around 30 Heads had a wonderful dinner, a lot of thanks to Wende and the kitchen team!

In the night another gig took place at the Maloe Melo. Bill Flemming on pedal steel guitar and some other musicans played interesting music, although it was no Grateful Dead stuff. Mountain Girl, who was together with Stephen Gaskin special guest at the Cannabis Cup, also visited this gig.
Next day, Friday, at day, almost the same. First visiting the Coffee Shops, which exhausted our fitness. Because of this I missed some guys at the tonight´ s show in The Last Waterhofe. The Cosmic Charlies led through an evening full of musical surprises. They played a three-sets show with Grateful Dead tunes and also some Phish songs (I remember this wonderful Playin´> Uncle John´s Band>Stash) and in the breaks a lot of musicians came on the stage and jammed.

What a week! I am back home again, exhausted, caught a cold, but very satisfied. I hope, that the organisers will get their costs in, because the admission was free to all these club gigs! They promised us, if there will be a new gathering, it will be held on a weekend, so that more Heads have the chance for joining it. I hope to see YOU there in Amsterdam too!