More Pelosi Party Stuff
I always find it interesting to hear different people’s impressions of the same thing. Nancy Pelosi’s dinner party at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. is no exception.
The facts are that the “House Band” consisted of Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Bruce Hornsby, Mickey Hart, Mike Gordon and Warren Haynes. The rest is up to individual interpretation.
Outside of the $1,000/plate dinner there was a Deadhead seeking a ticket. The Associated Press’ Erica Werner described 30-year old Scott Orellana as a “dreadlocked” “genuine Grateful Dead fan” and reported that a Democratic aide “eventually sneaked him in the door.” David Montgomery and J. Freedom du Lac of the Washington Post described him as “an insurance claims processor from Rockville, dressed in a gray suit with his long hair neatly pulled back” and reported that “at the last minute, just as the party was about to begin, a wired Democrat and fellow Dead fan -- who sheepishly would only be identified as a political consultant -- slipped Orellana a ticket.” Both accounts agree that his sign said “I need a miracle” but the Washington Post went on to report that the other side of his sign said "Let me see Nancy Pelosi and the DCCC…I'm excited about the new Congress. I'm excited about Nancy Pelosi being the first woman speaker of the House."
Several city council people from various cities were there. Jersey City Councilman Steve Lipski told the Washington Post "I am here to witness history in the making, the first woman speaker of the House, and to see members of the Grateful Dead perform.” Long Beach Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske wrote about her evening at the dinner on her blog. “I have to tell you, I missed the 60's because I was in Catholic school so I wasn't into the Grateful Dead -- so when tonite they brought back members of that band and played -- it took me a while to figure out what songs they were playing...but that did not stop most members of the California Congressional delegation -- led by the masterful, non stop dancing of Jane Harmon, to get the 2000 people rocking and on their feet dancing in the aisles. The highlight was watching Senator Barbara Boxer rock out to the music of the band playing Grateful dead and solos by Bruce Hornsby, accompanied by a lead gutarist [sic] from Phish...(Senator Boxer, who I have known for years, congratulated me on my recent election to city council when we talked..)”
Some were pleased by the event. On digitialjournal.com Telefree wrote “for me personally, it was a nice surprise to find out that the new House Speaker has great taste in music.”
Others weren’t as pleased. Apparently reporters were only allowed in for part of the evening and so the Washington Post had to point out “a dozen years ago, it must be recalled, Newt Gingrich and the Republicans celebrated their return to power with a $1,000-a-plate dinner. Reporters were allowed in.”
A blogger named Jonathan felt that the dinner menu of goat cheese ravioli with pumpkin and truffle and paper napkins embossed in gold with "Speaker Pelosi January 4, 2007” showed how out of tune the event was with normal America. And a reader of his calling herself Kanaka Girl commented “and just think....OUR hard earned, government confiscated, tax dollars paid for this little soiree!” I guess she’s confused about what a $1,000/plate private dinner is.
Leah Garchik of the San Francisco Chronicle noted that the House Band’s set “got wild applause, but not one of them was wearing jeans, and there were no tie-dye bedecked Deadheads dancing in the aisles -- and that sure was a pity.”
Who-played-what even depends on interpretation. Telafree wrote “the ‘House Band’, which featured three members of The Grateful Dead as well as members from the band Phish and The Allman Brothers Band opened the show with a touching "End of the Innocence' by Bruce Hornsby followed by "Touch of Grey" by The Grateful Dead. Then Tony Bennet sang "The Best is Yet to Come" and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". Near the end of the concert, Wyclef Jean joined the house band to close the live music with Aiko Aiko. The encore was "You've Got a Friend.”
Now I would consider Bruce Hornsby the fourth member of the Grateful Dead, but even more debatable is that my sources say the show opened with “Shakedown Street > (into) “Truckin’.”
All I can say is it sounds like an amazing, historic evening and I’m just hopin’ and a-hopin’ a SBD will circulate. I’m supportive of Nancy Pelosi’s “San Francisco Values.” And…if we can impeach Bush and Cheney, she’ll not only be first woman Speaker, but first woman President!
***photos by ssarrrrah & Butch/Tennjed***