Warfield Theater

Heaven Help The Fool
Grateful Dead
Heaven Help The Fool

Hey now! It is the Sunday edition of the Daily Dose of the Dead and today we check out Heaven Help the Fool from the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco on September 30, 1980. This was one of the famous acoustic sets from the runs at the Warfield on the west coast and then Radio City on the east coast. The picture in the album artwork of Bob Weir is my pic from the 3rd row at Radio City about a month after this show.

Heaven Help the Fool actually has lyrics and the song was released originally on Weir’s second solo album in 1978. Looking at the ensemble of players Weir assembled for this album it kinda makes me sick that David Foster played keyboards. 

The song was played only 17 times, all in 1980, and all at the warfield/radio city shows. They played it acoustic only and no lyrics. The lyrics were written by John Barlow. These acoustic performances at the warfield of this song really allowed both weir and garcia to show off their musical chops. Jerry in particular gets such a sweet and resonating sound out of his guitar it is almost mesmerizing.

A perfect way to wake up this Sunday morning and of course this dose continues the long standing tradition of some sort of religious or biblical reference,

I was born in Flatland, U.S.A.
And all my dreams lead me to L.A.
Another case of rags to riches
I learned to throw some fancy pitches
And I found out what ain’t, and which is
Just exactly cool

2

Last night I had the privilege of attending the US debut of Neil Gaiman’s multi-media show, in which he read his new book, The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains. He was accompanied by the incredibly innovative Australian string quartet,  FourPlay, and the childlike, yet deeply detailed and evocative illustrations of Eddie Campbell. By some stroke of luck, or a gift from the new gods of cheap concert tickets, my friend and I were pushed to the floor seats, and were thus able to witness the majesty of the Warfield Theater up close.

During the evening, I couldn’t help but feel slightly ashamed – I just couldn’t give Mr. Gaiman my full attention. I kept glancing about; to the stark silhouettes of others watching in rapture, their faces lit and shadowed by a huge depictions of misty moors and treacherous climbs and… well, I won’t ruin the rest (go buy it, goodness! or mooch off a Gaiman-diehard friend, as I’m known to do). My feet and hands were restless, and my mind was whirring with a speculative plot outline for the strange dabbling I’d begun the night before. 

As I was pushed into the lobby and throng of fantastic hairdos and steampunk-inspired garb after the second half, my confusion and embarrassment resolved. It wasn’t that Mr. Gaiman’s efforts to perform had fallen on deaf ears, nor was it that I was too dull or disgruntled to enjoy his unsettling, darkly funny, and heartfelt narration. Either of these options were blasphemy in my eyes – I’ll admit I can have an unfortunately egotistical streak when faced with books. Thankfully, it was neither.

I was unequivocally inspired. 

Mr. Gaiman’s presence radiated creativity, and his performance showcased the care, passion, and dedication put into his craft. Love and light shone from the text of a dismal tale, splitting my focus, and dragging my own love to the surface.  

As I exited the lobby, passing hundreds of posters bearing such acts as The White Stripes and David Bowie, I was fit to burst with a love for writing, a love for this transcendent sort of communication, and an abundance of determination. I needed to write. 

I think this is the best gift Mr. Gaiman, FourPlay, and Mr. Campbell could have given me, and so nicely packaged, too! Who knows how long this determination will consume me, but I can only hope it will expend my  energy to create something worthy of the man whom it was inspired by. If not, I hope I can at least hold it dear. 

Thank you, Mr. Gaiman. What’s inspired you, lately?

This is for everyone who has been told that the way that they think or the way that they feel is the wrong way to think, or the wrong way to feel.

 It goes out to anybody who’s ever felt betrayed by their family or their friends. Anyone who’s ever been backstabbed; anybody that just, anybody that isn’t quite sure where they belong. This goes out to all of you.

Believe in who you are, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise; you are the most beautiful thing in the world.

This song is called Therapy.

-Alex Gaskarth.