The following was written by Gregg Nevens, who made the highest bid on a guitar signed by members of The Dead as well as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to commemorate The Dead's appearance at the Presidential Inauguration. While Gregg's views are clearly his own and do not reflect HeadCount's nonpartisan political stance, we thought we'd share his words here on the HeadCount blog.
This particular instrument symbolizes the soundtrack of a world filled with peace, love, hope, understanding, tolerance, environmental responsibility, honest intelligent leadership, renewed pride, and, of course, good ole rock and roll.
Not only am I a longtime fan of the Grateful Dead, an avid guitar collector, and music lover in general, but… we are a also multi-ethnic family with two of our three beautiful children having come from Ethiopia. I was in Addis Ababa with our then new children when the U.S.S. Cole was bombed in nearby Yemen in Fall of 2000. We brought these two children out of certain challenging circumstances from the fifth poorest nation in the world, presumably, to a life in relative paradise. Shortly thereafter, the rainbow turned very dark. In the eight years since the Clinton-Gore era came to an end, we have been horrified by the Bush-Cheney-Rove destruction of this once much loved, trusted, prosperous, and inspiring country. The election of President Obama naturally touches us on many levels – not the least of which is the electrifying genuine hope and renewed inspiration in an America that had, for a while, appeared to have lost its compass. President Obama’s apparent intention to lead America to become the champion of alternative energy seems destined to become one of the most important turning points in the history of humankind. Meanwhile, this auspicious axe is a truly special memento of this incredible point in history. Of course, it would have been that much more exciting if Barack and Michelle had been able to add their signatures.
Finally, I am adding a Les Paul to my collection. My 16-year old often taunts me with his. Between the two of us, we have a rather wonderful collection of fine guitars and many other musical instruments. This beauty will be a new highlight.
Looking forward to The Dead in Los Angeles, truly the best way to spend Mother’s Day weekend. Mickey Hart is a distant cousin of mine; but, of course, The Dead are all brothers to me. I think Jerry would be proud of this America as well.