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As a high school student in suburban Chicago, I was obsessed with the 60's.The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd. As you can see from the picture of me and my Mom below, I did embrace the new-wave style and music of the mid-80's to be sure.At the same time, the hippie culture which celebrated originality, freedom, possibility, and expression really appealed to me.
Let's explore the relationship between the experience of being a Deadhead, and being a Researcher focused on experiences. Formed in the early 1960's in San Francisco, with a quasi-spiritual leader in Jerry Garcia, at one point called the Warlocks and before that Mother Mc Cree's Uptown Jug Champions, their music is a mutated hybrid of bluegrass, blues, R&B, Folk, with jazz and even avant-garde classical influences.
The Grateful Dead came to define the psychedelic era and also created an entirely new genre of music as they evolved over the decades - the jam band.
When you're open to the weird, you're open to the light.
This lyric from the song Scarlet Begonias is what being a Deadhead is all about -and what being a Researcher is all about.
Something that will help us get beyond the obvious. In the late 80's I dropped out of college for a bit to follow them around. I felt that if I let my inner Deadhead out, I might be judged or taken less seriously.
To this day, my boyfriend Peter and I traverse the country, chasing the music. Perhaps it would even interfere with my ability to get or keep a good job. Fully embracing and expressing this part of my life has been fun and liberating.What started as a survival instinct now helps us manage cognitive load and come to quick decisions. When you first encounter me here on Linked In or in the workplace you can know my title, the company I work for, my age, my style, race, and gender - obvious things.You will start to tell yourself a story about who I am and what my life must be like.” When we come from a place where everything is weird, our minds are open to the unexpected, to surprising revelations, and deep understanding.When everything is weird, everything is interesting.Apparently East Coast prep-school was at that time quite a breeding ground for young Deadheads. As the song says, "The bus came by and I got on," a reference to the famous magic bus of the Merry Pranksters.My first show was 11/10/1985 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, an enormous stadium. I bought Birkenstocks, surrounded myself with the scents of patchouli and incense, covered everything with tapestries, taught myself the art of beading, studied the mystical properties of crystals, and grew my hair.A few of us drove there on a whim with no tickets, and somehow managed to get in. I joined a co-ed fraternity with like-minded individuals and pretty much all we did outside of class was listen to the Dead and go to Dead shows.I'm happy to report that, as this era preceded smart-phones and social media, no photos exist. In an interview shortly before his death, he talks about how, after seeing the movie "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" at age 9, he realized that there are things in the world that are weird, and people who are concerned with those things - and he wanted to be one of them.The human brain searches for clues and looks for patterns.Upon encountering someone or something new, it immediately begins to categorize.