On Friday, a new film, Fire on the Mountain was released to the ‘Dead’ world, combining the excitement of action sports with the classic funky tunes from the Grateful Dead. Oh yeah, and some seriously psychedelic lights that resemble the aurora borealis, while surfers are wearing neon skeleton wet-suits.
Oh let it shine, let it shine!
Bobby Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart and Phil Lesh of the legendary Grateful Dead band are continuing to play the historical, colorful music to the fortune of fans around the world. And.. there is a delightful, international ripple inspired by it.
A Ripple In Still Water…Spread Across the World
You may be familiar with the Dead’s “Ripple,” which explores the reality of imperfections and being okay with them. The words guide toward being self directed and suﬃcient, yet open to connecting with a higher place full of song and filling.
In our English language, a ‘ripple’ is defined as a verb meaning ‘to agitate lightly or to form small waves or undulations’. In the chaos of modern society, a digital thought can cause a wave, or a ripple, to be no longer unsung but heard by many. Individuals all over the world are trying to make ripples and find the way to take you home.
But just as the Grateful Dead covered songs, so do others. One YouTube video went viral back in 2015 featuring the Dead’s “Ripple.” The video was a collaborative effort by The Playing For Change Foundation and music website Jambase, featuring an international case of musicians (some well-known, others not so much), playing the Dead’s “Ripple.”
For ten years, The Playing For Change Foundation has connected musicians from across the world together to break down the boundaries and overcome distances between people, on a variety of levels.
Inspiring others, as the words did glow. The YouTube video takes the viewer on a journey of strings, banjos, washboards, choirs and smiles through music prowess in Ghana, the USA, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands and more. They are embracing the beauty of the song. And it is being shared around the web.
The quest by humankind to change the world for the better is being guided through the beauty of the Dead, again. JamBase and Playing for Change are letting there be songs to fill the air for future generations, reaching out the hand and using music to ripple.
There Is a Road…
Eran Remler got “the lightning between his eyes” when his father, David, filled his traveling bags with Dead tapes. The tapes were from the 70’s and had traveled around the world and landed here.
Creating ripples, in Israel, with the Grateful Dead music as the “best of what human kind has to oﬀer.” For more than a decade, Eran and his deadhead sister and wife who jumped on the bus, have created multiple yearly events in Israel bringing together deadheads, artistic inspiration and the music of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia.
The newly formed nonprofit Grateful Music Association, in honor of David, is using the power in this music to do good in the world benefiting “the heart of the people”.
One event, “The Grateful Dead Gathering,” gathers the community for days of kindness. There is musical energy, hula hooping, 1960’s psychedelia, love and light to dance and flow endlessly. With flags waved wide and high, captivating music, campsites, stealies, tree art, live paintings, dynamic tapestry, psychedelic splendor and art installations ascend the land into a show.
Like the Grateful Dead menches who brought independent musicians into the spotlight, the Grateful Music Association events also support opportunities for independent musicians to share their rock, folk and blues jams. The Association is pulling the community together to support future waves and tunes. Ain’t no place I’d rather be. Jerry On, they say.
The new Grateful Music Association is creating fire from the ice, keeping the sugar in the magnolias, inspiring the eyes of the world. Ripple gadol. Ripple memesh. Ripple tov.
Fire On the Mountain…
Internationally accessible films like “The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir” on Netflix follows Bobby’s adventure at the age of 16 when he joined the band. Explaining the pathway to its landing, historical documentaries and photographic masterpieces show, as Bobby labels, the “impossibly fun” ripples the Dead have made in the waters of time.
The Amazon Original movie “Long Strange Trip” takes one on a voyage through the massive wall of sound and young Jerry’s influences.
Rock photographer Jay Blakesberg too is making big waves. Blakesberg’s Grateful Dead ride gave Grateful Dead history a gift. His photographs allow old deadheads and new fans to connect deeper through an eye candy dance of time and growth. Getting dead to the core is internationally accessible. Books can travel. Movies can stream.
The song “Fire on the Mountain,” was a funky hit off the Dead’s 1978 album Shakedown Street. Written by Robert Hunter and composed by drummer Mickey Hart, it still has its own ripples touching the 21st century age of digital media.
But now, a new film, “Fire on the Mountain,” combines the excitement of action sports with the classic tunes of the Grateful Dead, in an exclusive announcement by Rolling Stone.
Directed by Chris Benchetler and Tyler Hamlet and narrated by former basketball star and television sportcaster Bill Walton, the film features pro surfer Rob Machado; snowboarders Jeremy Jones, Danny Davis and Kimmy Fasani; and skiers Benchetler and Michelle Parker.
The film was shot on Mammoth Mountain in California, as well as the North Pole and Indonesia. Psychedelic lights are strewn across snowy mountains, creating patterns that resemble the aurora borealis, while the surfers wear neon skeleton wetsuits that glow in the water.
The soundtrack — consisting of Dead favorites from Jerry Garcia’s masterpiece “Dark Star” to Bob Weir’s “Playing in the Band” — was supervised by David Lemieux, the Dead’s legacy manager and audiovisual archivist.
“In the 20 years I’ve been working with the Grateful Dead, I’ve been a part of many astoundingly beautiful projects,” Lemieux told Rolling Stone.
“Fire On The Mountain, and working with Chris and his entire team, has been one of most exciting productions I’ve been involved with. It was collaborative and respectful at every step along the way, and the footage, athletic performances, and music work perfectly together.”
“As my friend Bill Walton always reminds me, music and sports have a lot in common,” Hart shared with Rolling Stone. “To succeed in either field, you must have good rhythm. Fire on the Mountain is a beautiful film that really makes that connection clear.”
But according to the Dead drummer, his involvement with the new film helped push him to new limits in “every way”:
“From snowboarding Mammoth in the dead of night and surfing in the pitch black, I had to rely solely on instincts in a way that I never experienced. A lot of trial and error and some exhausting nights, but I’m really stoked on how it came together.”
You Just Gotta Poke Around…
The reach of the internet gives history a stage that is deeply imprinting and heard by many. The Grateful Dead’s crest is still rising. This ripple is the greatest story ever told.