In the invitation it said something like if you couldn´t be in San Francisco with the Dead that night, your best choice would be the pub that was named “Dark Star” especially for this occasion. And that´s how I actually felt 10 minutes before midnight: I remembered no other NYE when I felt so much in the right place at the right time. And this is how most of the few Heads felt who found their way into the pub that is usually called “Mayday” and is situated only 200 meters from Hamburg´s famous concert place “Fabrik”.
The event was organized by Arne Heinen and Martin Roettger who also host the first and only Grateful Dead radio show in Germany “Dead And Alive”. With a little help from a few friends they created an atmosphere that made me feel free and relaxed and that I am sure will be remembered many years.
There was a lot of good music mostly from the latest vault releases with a few tit-bits of DMB, Phish etc. thrown in – everybody was invited to share the music they brought for the occasion. And there was a nice live surprise, an acoustic duo called The Wheel that played 45 minutes before midnight and a 2 hour set sometime in the early morning hours. The setlist consisted mainly of GD songs as Bertha, Franklin´s, Fire and so forth, but they did a little Little Feat, Stones or Blues stuff in between.
The announcement had offered the night for “25 DM everything included”. And so it was. There was plenty of good food and drink and other kinds of goods you may or may have not found appropriate for the occasion. Some of it was provided by generous guests, although the backbone had been laid down by the apt organizers.
Although the participation (some 60 folks only), especially from Hamburg Heads themselves was low again, I must say, everybody who missed it, really missed SOMETHING. Anyway, I hear Arne and Martin won´t give up but plan something new already. Well, this time I hope I can publicize it a little earlier…
Walter S. Hahn