A surreal retelling of an early encounter with Vladimir Putin.
So anyway, it was something like my third day on the job and along with the Norwegians, Danes and Swedes there’s this quiet Russian dude with a guitar, Vladimir, who’s there to pay his respects like the rest of us. Although he wasn’t interested in my product, when he found out I was from San Francisco he got really animated and wanted to hear everything I could tell him about it – the music especially. I guess like a lot of people he thought it was just 1967 forever by the bay with the Airplane and the Dead still playing in the park… I told him about the handful of Dead shows I’d seen, and he got a far off look and said “Just to see Jerry…Y’know? Just to be there and see his fingers and lips moving and hear the music at the same time… Man…” he sighed. “Hey now,” I said, “it’ll happen.” He just shook his head in that way people do when there’s just too much to explain. Vlad was like that a lot.