The BAM review.

So far , this is the only US magazine with a substantial review of the trip that we have been able to find .

Its also the longest piece by a band member that we have seen .
 If anyone has more US reviews, let us know. 
Part one.....
Part two: Mickey's journey to the heart of Egypt.
Part Three :Healy and the Kings Chamber sound mix



Grateful Dead. 
Egypt 1978
by Mickey Hart 

 as told to Cookie
(Cookie is a long-time member of the Grateful Dead family, who travelled with the band on their trip to Egypt.)

Photos by Jerelyn Brandelius. 

    On my first morning in Cairo, I was filled with energy. I am a runner who normally runs ten to five miles per day, so you can imagine my surprise at running 10 to 15 miles that day and discovering that I probably could have run for another 10 or 15.
I was becoming aware of the power of the Pyramids. 
    Back at the hotel, feedback from David Frieberg and Bob Weir indicated a similar upsurge of energy and endurance in their running. What a place to train .None of us seemed to fatigued. Sleeping did not come easily - three at four hours a night seemed to be enough.

    When we arrived in Egypt, there was electricity in the air. -Hamza EI Din-(a Nubian Oud master now a resident of California ) had gone to Cairo two weeks before and had talked about the concerts on radio and TV, so there was a huge buzz when we got there. The people couldn't imagine what we were proposing-they couldn't imagine why we wanted to be there. They couldn't imagine why we wanted to give the proceeds of the shows to the Cairo Museum of the Antiquities, the Faith and Hope Society [Madame Sadat's charity far deaf and blind children], and to an organization that was building a soccer field for the children of Ghiza. How do you describe "trips" to an Egyptian?The journey was special and something we took very seriously. It wasn't a "whim," as some have described it. You don't spend $500,000 on a whim. This was something that we'd wanted to do for years. Without sounding too mystical, I'd say we felt drawn there. 
    The idea behind going to play there was to hear how our music would sound in a radically different environment and to see the gut reaction of people who didn't Know "Sugaree" and didn't Know "Truckin" ; we wanted to move them with new music.
The Egyptians said to us, 

    Why did you come here ?

    and we said, 

    We came here to play for you and to move you. We know that if we play well, we will, and if we play poorly, we won't.

    I was, frankly,expecting the usual legions of Dead Heads at the concerts but I wasn't at all disappointed that they didn't show up. Everyone had been telling us that there were going to be hundreds of thousands of people there, but when we got there, the audience was made up of Egyptian youth and thats who we wanted to play for. We didn't want to fly 6000 miles and play for the American Dead heads. We'd just played to 70,000 of them in New York.
   One of the high points of our concerts was the music which was created. The evenings opened with Hamza playing his Oud, a 12 string instrument which was a predecessor of the Lute. He was joined by ten Nubian hand clappers and ten tarists ( a tar is a Nubian drum ) and singers from the Abu Simbel Club of Cairo, a social club dedicated to cultural preservation of local music forms. The Nubians began to dance , play and sing and I joined them with my Tar on a 12 beat composition called Ollin Arageed ( which appears on  Hamza's just released LP on the Pacific Arts label ). This began the segue into the Grateful Dead set. After 24 beats , Garcia joined on guitar with the melody , followed by the rest of the band. Here we were , together , playing with this new music created specially for that moment! 
   The Grateful Dead isn't the seven members of the band, but rather the music they find and create as an ensemble . Usually, the first set each night is us warming up and the second set is GRATEFUL DEAD music - the ensemble peaking . Each night we have to find out who the Grateful Dead is for ourselves . It varies from night to night . In Egypt we tried to give the audience two Grateful Dead sets instead of the warm up set and then Grateful Dead. 
   Certainly, if we're "up" for a certain situation, the magic the band can create comes 
easier. We were "up" for Egypt, of course, and the magic did happen. But it didn't happen 
in an avalanche- it was more subtle. There were technical difficulties, Kreutzmann [the Dead's other drummer] had a broken hand, and basically, we went into the concerts not running on all cylinders.
    The crowds were open; they wanted to hear what we had to say and they wanted to boogie. You could tell they were ready for electric music. But they'd never seen that much  equipment, or heard music that loud or experienced the intensity of this sort of live performance. They'd heard Western music on cassette machines in Cairo- mainly disco they'd never faced this kind of concert situation. 

For many Egyptians, our music seemed to cause a sensory overload. They were in awe 
of it and weren't quite sure how to respond. I asked my friend Omar what he felt about the 
music and he told me,
It makes me feel like that man on TV who leaps buildings andbreaks bricks with his hands .

You mean Superman I asked. He said, Yes,yes...Superman"
Some of the people looked at us as a finger  on the hand of peace. They want peace more  than anything in the world; they are not warlike people at all. The  Camp David peace talks were going on at the time of our visit and a lot of people looked at our presence as an 
extension of the goodwill that was spreading  from the meetings across the ocean. 
The final concert was the magic night. There was a full moon and total lunar eclipse that evening which charged us even more with energy. We played as hard as we could and we peaked that  night, Knowing all the while that this  wouldn't  be the last time we'd play there. We knew that if we played  well we would have to come back.That's the difference between the Grateful  Dead and most bands. We like to take the long overview, all which was why we didn't look at that as our last night in  Egypt...It  was part of our first trip to Egypt. It's a little like making love. When you make love slowly and its good, you know there will  be another time.

Part two: Mickey's journey to the heart of Egypt.
Part Three :Healy and the Kings Chamber sound mix



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