Jet City Woman (Life after Dead)


I left the Grateful dead tour and drove to Seattle with this girl I had met. We had shared the better part of a year getting to know each other and were pretty good friends. We arrived in Lynnwood,  a suburb of Seattle not far from Discovery Park . She had a one bedroom townhouse on the water side of the Alaskan Highway. At first I thought that I was invited there to be with her. But as time went on I discovered she was really just being nice and didn’t want to be alone, she wasn’t looking for a relationship. It was a strange time in my life. I didn’t know anyone, I had no idea where I was, and I had no clue as to how to define this situation. We slept in the same bed, made breakfast for each other. Hung out on weekends, went to bars. We were a couple in ever sense of the word. We just were not romantically involved. When she met men she would bring them home and I would sleep out on the couch. I never brought women to her place, I felt it would have been somehow disrespectful.

The guy she was seeing on the Touch of Gray tour who moved back to Texas ended up being married, with kids. He also owned the townhouse we were living in. He played bass for some indie grunge band called Mudhoney. He bought it so he would have a place to stay when he toured in that area. They were part of the early Seattle movement. It wasn’t too far from the Deadheads, they wore flannel shirts and camo shorts with combat boots. Not really my thing. He owned a large enclosed flatbed truck he used to haul his equipment around in. And I did some roadie work while I was back in Los Angeles. So I would borrow his truck and make some cash working for some local musicians. I got a gig as equipment manager for a band called Bloodgood. I was a horrible  roadie though. I was always getting fired.

I would hand guys on stage guitars that were out of tune. I would forget to tighten down the drum kit. I would get free beer, gas money and a few bucks. So I would always be plastered by the time the shows started. Sometimes before. I was setting up for this band called The Dixon House Band at the Trinity club and I met this woman who was hanging out by the front door. After I got the stage set I took off with the girl. Three days later I came back, I just left the band there with no way of getting their equipment back to their studio. They fired me. One time I was setting up for this other band, they did this thing on stage where they would end the show with the bass player and the guitar player smashing their fenders into each other.  we always used garbage guitars we would get from pawn shops. Well I was throwing them back one night and by mistake grabbed the headliners prize axes and handed them to the guys. They smashed very expensive guitars and I was fired on the spot.

It was a strange time in Seattle in 1988. Like L.A. in the early 80’s. You could just tell something big was about to happen. Even if most of those guys would end up killing themselves once the success did come. It’s a depressing area. I ended up driving the truck off a cliff one night. I rolled it several times and crushed the entire cab in around me. I hung there upside down at three in the morning, blood running down my face. After about an hour a car drove by and saw my headlights. They had to cut me out of the truck. But I was okay, I popped my nose on the steering wheel was all.

I figured it was time to wrapped it up after that. I said good-bye after just six months. I still had nowhere to go but figured I would make my way back to San Clemente. At least I would be back among my own people.

The day I arrived, I was standing on the pier looking out at the ocean and as my luck would always have it, I bump into an old friend who was singing for a band at the time. He said he was looking for a room-mate and I could roadie for him for rent. I just had to laugh. But what the hell, I was always up for anything.

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About paulsdahlman

Born in Southern California, raised on the road and now growing roots in New England. I am on the journey of my lifetime. May the footprints I leave behind form the words to my story.
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