My Rock Star Dream

Mix together a book signing on the marketing secrets of the Grateful Dead, Mexican food, a former role as the harmonica player in a garage band, and somehow you end up on stage next to Jim Morrison of the Doors.

The only other time I ever remember having a rock and roll dream was several years ago I was playing Jimi Hendrix, note for note, and I woke up and the song was playing on the radio. This was a different – way different.

So that evening Kathleen and I went to a book signing and went out for Mexican food after. Amazingly both of these things somehow factored into the dream.

OK, first the book signing. David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan are both ‘thought leaders’ in the world of web, marketing, social media and such. Their recent collaboration, “Marketing Secrets from the Grateful Dead” is a snapshot of how the Dead used grassroots marketing and social media hooks to build their brand, before they was even called such things. Although I have seen the Dead a couple of times, I really don’t consider myself a Deadhead, but Jerry Garcia does play a part later.

As far as how the Mexican food factors in: Have you ever noticed how dreams get all wild when the food is spicy, too much MSG, etc? I can only assume that the over-spiced Mex feast factored in somehow.

Anyway, later we hit the sack and I’m reading my new book all about the marketing secrets of the Grateful Dead and all that as I drift off to sleep…

I’m on stage playing harmonica on “Roadhouse Blues” with The Doors. (As a side note: I did play harmonica in that song in a garage band in my youth.) I can’t see anyone in the crowd, as the stage lights are blinding, and I can remember playing the song all the way through note for note. I’m in the front of the stage to the right of Jim Morrison. He’s not exactly the Jim of leather pants and bare chested lizard king fame. He’s short and squat, kind of pudgy, with long stringy hair and wearing a fedora. He was kind of decrepit looking and aged: perhaps in his 70’s. Weird!

Jim Morrison before and after

Well, I’m feeling pretty good about my performance and my buddy Jim starts railing on about how terrible I had played the part. I just remember thinking: “That was about as good as I’ve ever played that song.” As I stood there listening to his rant, I peeked over his shoulder and there is Garcia riffing on his guitar, grinning from ear to ear, obviously bemused by our interchange. He’s dressed all in black and not a ‘touch of gray’, so he’s certainly in his youth.

And that’s where I wake up.

Some additional notes:

Although I’m not a big Dead follower, I do confess to still being a big fan of Jerry Garcia’s work in the early 70’s, in particular: Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty, Garcia (his first solo LP), Old and in the Way, and The New Riders of the Purple Sage’s first album. These musical works, all with the common thread of Garcia at his height of instrumental mastery, and all recorded in the 70-73 time frame are just amazing.

Here’s the home of Hubspot, Brian Halligan’s company.
Here’s David Meerman Scott’s website.

I tried to find live versions of “Roadhouse Blues” with a harmonica part. There were only live versions of the song with the keyboards playing the harmonica part. As it turns out, John Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful played harmonica on the studio version. The Doors were getting lots of bad publicity at the time so Sebastian is identified as G. Puglese on the album. Of course, the song is covered by lots of people and is one of the the quintessential bar band songs.

Here’s a cool mashup version of Roadhouse Blues with John Lee Hooker: