Ann Coulter is a Grateful Dead Fan!
I found this link in Nealz Nuze, to an interview with Ann Coulter:
"Deadheads Are What Liberals Claim to Be But Aren't"
This interview by Taylor Hill for Jambands.com is full of fun suprises. A few excerpts, starting with the introduction:
When I called the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute, whose chairwoman gives speeches on topics with titles like "The Failures of Feminism", and told the gatekeeper there that I wanted to do an interview with Ann Coulter solely about the Grateful Dead, there was a small pause. Then she recovered and politely told me to send her an e-mail, which she would forward to Ann. That, I expected, would be the end of it.
When I got home that night, and saw an e-mail in my box from Ann Coulter, I thought "how polite of her to send a rejection letter rather than simply ignoring my proposal." Instead, I found that she had somehow written "I'd love to! Good website!" While she was delayed by a round of speeches to make up due to strep throat, and other events life throws out, we kept shooting e-mails back and forth and I discovered a secret that I will reveal despite the damage to her reputation that it may cause: Ann is really cool and really funny. The few friends I talked with about this said "What? You of all people are getting along with Ann Coulter?!" It was easy and simple to do: we never talked policy. It was a joy talking with her, even if we don't agree on everything (most politics, and "Alabama Getaway" sucks).
What followed was the most surreal interview I have ever done in my life. It involves smearing oneself with purple Crisco, Kanye (Ann's a fan), slews of Reagan and Bush appointees leaving the Justice Department to go to Dead shows, lamentation for the neglected "Pride of Cucamonga," getting inside info on the Monica Lewinsky scandal by being a Deadhead, and saying goodbye to Jerry in Golden Gate Park. Some of her answers WILL piss people off, but there's no doubting her tie-dyed credentials – even if the dye is much more red than blue. Her latest book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, was published earlier this month...
Now just a few excerpts from the interview (bold emphasis mine):
TH: What exactly do you love about the Grateful Dead?
AC: The tie-dye of course. Truth be told I hated tie-dye, though I finally broke down and would wear tie-dyed Dead shirts to concerts solely as a tribute to my fellow Deadheads.
Oddly enough, I like the music. No one believes that I never took drugs at Dead shows (except for the massive clouds of passive marijuana smoke) but I went because I really liked the music. There are various groups I get enthusiastic about for awhile, but of all the music I've listened to over the years, the Grateful Dead is the one band I never grow tired of. Apparently, the same is true of me for ski-lift operators.
Moreover, I really like Deadheads and the whole Dead concert scene: the tailgating, the tie-dye uniforms, the camaraderie – it was like NASCAR for potheads. You always felt like you were with family at a Dead show – a rather odd, psychedelic family that sometimes lived in a VW bus and sold frightening looking “veggie burritos.” But whatever their myriad interests, clothing choices, and interest in illicit drugs, true Deadheads are what liberals claim to be but aren't: unique, free-thinking, open, kind, and interested in different ideas. Also, excellent dancers! Watching a Deadhead dance is truly something to behold.
Somewhat contrary to the image of Deadheads as hippies, the Dead were huge in my hometown of New Canaan, CT, which is a pretty preppie town... We toyed with the idea of making "Truckin'" our prom song with a "Long Strange Trip" theme, but we ended up with some dorky rainbow theme instead. I tend to associate the Dead with lacrosse players and my favorite fraternities, Fiji and Theta Delt.
The one time I missed not being able to go to Dead shows more than any other since Jerry died was during the Clinton impeachment. There was so much viciousness - killed cats, punctured tires, threats, investigations and slander against those of us favoring impeachment. (Anthony Pellicano, you'll recall – the Hollywood private investigator now accused of criminal conspiracy, attempted murder, and making criminal threats – was working for the Clintons during the Monica Lewinsky investigation.) I don't really care what people say about me – I'm a Christian so there's nothing anyone can ever do to me – but I kept thinking: “Boy, would I like to go to a Dead show and dance with happy, friendly deadheads for just one night!”
"Deadheads believe in freedom – not a government telling people how much water they can have in their toilets or where they can smoke or whether they should be allowed to own a gun."
TH: It's time to name names. Who are the other Deadheads who have infiltrated the conservative movement?
AC: As a Deadhead and a freedom-lover, I am wounded to the bone that you think the two do not naturally go hand in hand. The Deadheads I just met casually and not through conservative politics were almost always right-thinking, whatever they called themselves. Deadheads believe in freedom – not a government telling people how much water they can have in their toilets or where they can smoke or whether they should be allowed to own a gun. (Remember the photos of Jerry testifying before some Congressional committee while chain smoking? Yeah, he'd really bond with Henry Waxman.)
One of my Dead friends I met at Vail made candles for Grateful Dead merchandizing. His daily routine consisted of waking up, smoking a bowl, and turning on the Rush Limbaugh radio show while he made his candles. (It's true. He's so far out there he practices this weird, freaky ritual known as “commerce.” Don't try telling me pot is harmless!)
Also there was a big Deadhead Christian group that handed out terrific pamphlets at Dead shows. Admittedly, many of them found God staring into a puddle while high on LSD, but whatever the path, they were very serious Christians – they made Jerry Falwell sound like a secularist.
Either Bobby or Jerry was asked by a Rolling Stone interviewer to denounce all the Young Reaganites attending their concerts in the 80's, and whichever one it was not only refused to attack the young Republicans, but said he liked some of those “rightist” ideas. Consider that when the Dead decided to do something to save the Rain Forest, they didn't harangue poverty-stricken Third Worlders to give up washing machines and electricity. They did it the free market way: buying up parts of the Rain Forest, parcel by parcel.
And they provided the Lithuanian basketball team – recently liberated from the Soviet yoke – with totally cool uniforms so they could play in the 1992 Olympics.
After Jerry died, U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI) gave an incredibly touching tribute to Jerry Garcia and the good work the Dead's Rex Foundation had done promoting the arts privately – in contradistinction to millionaire actresses standing up in $50,000 gowns at the Oscars and demanding that hardworking waitresses and truck drivers be forced to support the arts through government taxation. You can look it up in the Congressional Record.
But to answer your question, Senator, I personally have loads and loads of friends who are right-wingers and Deadheads. I couldn't possibly name them all. For starters, obviously, there's Angela Lansbury. She gave me my first psychedelic tie-dyed tube top at a Dead show just outside Tucson. Just kidding. There are: ...
Now, I can't give the whole thing away! You'll just have to read the whole article. Regardless of wether or not you are a Grateful Dead fan, I think it's pretty interesting, and reveals a side of Ann Coulter I haven't seen before. It makes for a facinating and fun read.