Concert of the week in Grateful Dead history: May 22, 1977 (Listen Now)

My time coming, any day, don’t worry about me, no.

It’s gonna be just like they say, them voices tell me so.

By The Deadhead Cyclist

For Week


During the ’70s, a member of the Grateful Dead family, Dick Latvala, heard “them voices,” and began collecting recordings of Grateful Dead shows. But unlike so many Deadheads who built private stashes of concert tapes as a hobby, Latvala made a career of it. He maintained a catalog of his ever-growing collection that went far beyond the set list, including date and venue, who made the recording, equipment used, and extensive personal critiques of the performances.

In the ’80s, when Dick Latvala officially went to work for the Grateful Dead, he was in the unique position to encourage the band to create an archive of their recorded concerts. Largely due to his decision to make the transition from fan to archivist, the 36 CD sets that were released between 1993 and 2005, known as “Dick’s Picks,” are the centerpiece of the Grateful Dead’s musical archive.

Surprisingly, just two of the Dick’s Picks releases feature the Spring ’77 tour, the first of which, Volume Three, was recorded on 5/22/77 at The Sportatorium in Pembroke Pines, Florida. This excellent show features a fifteen-minute, first set-closing Dancing in the Streets, and a second set that rivals any in the entire tour. But it is the third-ever Estimated-Eyes (a medley that segues from Estimated Prophet into Eyes of the World) that places this show in an elite category, and earned it my pick for T.W.I.G.D.H. 

We all have inner voices that guide us through the many often dilemmatic choices we face in life; the trick is to truly listen to them. Where these intuitive messages originate is one of life’s great mysteries, but one thing is certain: Listening to them – like Dick Latvala did when he chose to devote himself to becoming the Grateful Dead’s archivist – will never lead you astray. Living a life that is truly authentic involves following internal instincts and, perhaps more importantly, rejecting external input that arrives from, shall we say, less than honorable sources.

Perhaps the most enduring legacy of the Grateful Dead is the way the band, and the community it spawned, exposed the mainstream for its antagonism toward individualistic thinking, and celebrated alternative, authentic lifestyles.  

The weightiest decisions of our lives are the most difficult and require the closest attention to our inner sense of knowing. Choosing a place to live, a life partner, a career; these are the pivotal moments that shape us and determine our destiny. But we live in a culture that relentlessly and insidiously endeavors to seduce us onto a path of its choosing, irrespective of who we really are, blind to the unique qualities that truly define us. Perhaps the most enduring legacy of the Grateful Dead is the way the band, and the community it birthed, exposed the mainstream for its antagonism toward individualistic thinking, and celebrated alternative, authentic lifestyles. 

How do we know which voices to listen to? With so much “noise” in our midst, it can be difficult to separate the messages that would lead us off course from the ones that guide us toward our truest selves. Simply put, we need to peel away the layers of illusion to get to the truth, and, luckily, there are numerous ways to do so. 

There is a brilliant Latin phrase that provides an overarching theme for this process:

Solvitur Ambulando (sawl’-vee-tūr ahm-boo-lahn’-dō)

Literally translated, this means: solved by walking. This definition is wonderful in its simplicity, but understanding the principle requires drilling down a little deeper to discover why walking – or any other similar practice – would help us solve the confusion of contradictory input. 

As an avid cyclist who rides just about every day, weather permitting, I have coined the corresponding phrase:

Solvitur Revolutio (sawl-vee-tūr re-vō-lū’-shyō). 

This translates to: solved by cycling. There is a direct correlation between the benefits of walking and cycling, as each offers the potential to distinguish between the disorienting static of ever-present external input, and the clear signal coming from within. Whether it’s walking, cycling or some other method, developing a practice of stepping out of your routine and clearing your head will help you recognize the inner voices that guide you in your life. Doing so in a natural setting – say, riding up and down a mountain trail – makes the experience even more powerful.

In March of 2017, while riding a desert trail adjacent to Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, “them voices” came to me. I was listening to the March 13th, 1985 Dead show from the Berkeley Community Theater, which I attended, when the moment of inspiration arrived. Seemingly out of nowhere, the words, “Deadhead Cyclist,” came to me. I had been struggling with my desire to share my experiences on the subjects of life and aging, frustrated with my inability to find the right avenue. The instant those words came to me, I knew I had received the answer. Through the principle of Solvitur Revolutio, my mind had quieted enough to receive the message, resulting in this book.

Think about the big decisions you’ve made in your life. Which ones worked out well, which ones not so well? What frame of mind were you in when you made your best and worst decisions? Were you pressured and rushed, or were you in a quiet enough state to really hear your internal voice and feel your intuitive forces kick in?

Next time you have a decision to make – whether significant or trivial – take a walk, jump on a bike, sit in a quiet room and meditate, do some gardening, listen to the Estimated-Eyes from the 5/22/77 show, or engage in any activity that allows you to return to your truest, most authentic self. Within a short time you will surely hear “them voices.”


Concert of the week in Grateful Dead history: May 22, 1977 (Listen Now)

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