Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Jul 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Walking Dead

music_furthurFurthur guitarist John Kadlecik talks Deadheads, psychic spaceships, and rocking in the shadow of Jerry Garcia

In the film Rock Star, Mark Wahlberg sings in a tribute band—through happenstance, he eventually takes over the position of lead singer in the genuine band. Although the story is based on heavy metal mavens Judas Priest, it is also the tale of John Kadlecik. After years in Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra, Kadlecik got the tap on the shoulder to replace the empty Jerry Garcia spot in the newly incarnated Dead band, Furthur, featuring original members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh.

Although his first performances with Furthur at the Fox Theatre in Oakland two years ago were a wild success—there was some doubt as to whether or not Kadlecik could attain musical nirvana with his bandmates. From his home outside Washington, D.C., where he’s been gearing up for Furthur’s fall tour, which stops by the Monterey Fairgrounds Oct. 7-8, Kadlecik explains what happened: “I like the metaphor of a band as a psychic spaceship. The lead guitarist is really in the captain’s chair, but in this situation, the senior officers on the bridge have been captains of their own ships and are experienced. It’s like the first time a pilot lands a plane—the instructor is right there with him on the second stick. The more safe landings we’ve had with interesting acrobatics, the more they trust me.”

He may have won over his band mates, but Kadlecik is reluctant to harbor any scorn or praise shown by fans. “There are always people who are critical, and plenty of musicians out there who think they know what should or shouldn’t be—and they are certainly entitled to their opinions,” he says. “I can’t let that stuff go too deep into me. I don’t let the compliments go too deep either. I critique myself and I’m a pretty harsh critic of myself.”

It’s hard not to make comparisons between he and Jerry, though. Perhaps it’s Kadlecik’s infectious chuckle and wicked sense of humor—or maybe, it’s the fact that when he takes the stage, his guitar connects to something deep, resonant and hauntingly familiar.

His devotion to the band is nothing new. As a Deadhead youth, Kadlecik would panhandle in parking lots just to pay for gas to attend the band’s next show. “I did a little of everything—I did vending on one whole complete tour,” he says. “Veggie burritos, grilled cheese, and I made my own silk-screened T-shirts.” Reminiscing about his days as a tie-dyed fan, Kadlecik continues, “I was a dancer and a consciousness explorer—a fan of the alkaloids—but by the time I went to my first show I was also an aspiring musician in a band, so I had commitments to my band that I always put before my entertainment.”

Unlike Wahlberg’s character, success has not gone to the head of the Midwest native, who appears to have been in the right place at just the right time. Kadlecik expresses a common sense attitude toward his newfound position: “Every band is subject to the whims of its members. People change, whatever. I have a pragmatic attitude. I don’t color it—I just celebrate the way it is now.”

With a museum dedicated to the Grateful Dead at UCSC, and volumes of literary journals dedicated to the band, there’s little debate about the importance of the Dead as a seminal American musical aggregate—but Kadlecik insists that Furthur isn’t stuck in the past. “I think it’s important to see Furthur as a band for Bob and Phil to present new material—to celebrate their friendship, [rather] than the latest Grateful Dead nostalgia trip.” And with sold out performances across the nation—the group is gaining new fans, while making the old diehards happy. “The band was always clearly committed to going for it—for the now experience.”


Furthur plays at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7 and Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Monterey Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairgrounds Road, Monterey. Tickets are $45. For tickets and details, visit furthur.net.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

Open Wide

Soif’s soft reboot leads to expanded menu, plus the ‘thinking woman’s ketchup’