Ellie Mae James answered her cell phone as she layed into the horn on the aging camper behind several hundred cars jamming the roadway leading into the Armadillo Campgrounds.
"Where in tarnation is that band of yers?!" yelled a voice.
"They're stuck in traffic, there must be an accident or construction," complained Ellie.
"Construction my foot! People have been driving in here all night long. Its like the Grateful Dead! I've never seen anythin' like it. But they're going t' ruin my campground!"
Ellie hung up her phone and her jaw dropped in an open position and stayed that way, "What the F...!" she thought to herself. How could this bedraggled crew of old farts possibly be this popular?!!
Artois Armond notice her first change of expression since meeting him, she'd gone from perpetual hatred to utter shock in only a matter of seconds, "Is something wrong my luv?"
Perpetual hatred quickly returned, "You!You and this! This scum! People actually want to see you play!!" she screamed, "So get out!! Off of my camper NOW! Take yer bloody instruments across this sorghum field to that concrete pad yonder and PLAY!!! Then get a taxi home, I've done my part!!"
Artois looked at Ellie puzzled for a moment. Did she mean all these people were here for them? "You mean this mob is here for us?"
"Goddam! Your so f-ing smart! An amoeba has nothing on you! YES! They r here for YOU! I don't know if they want you to play or just want to kill you, that's nothing to do with me! Get!!!" Ellie pointed off the camper towards the Amradillo Campground, "Or I'll do the job right here and now!" Ellie pulled out a small revolver.
"Oh..." said Artois feeling extremely humbled by the experience. He turned to his bandmates, "Ummm lads, seems this lot is here to see us. Now we need to get our kit across this field, set up and.....play."
The men grumbled, but when Ellie cocked the gun, the loud click seemed to ignite their energy like a bottle of Geritol. They were off the camper and opening the storage bins in a matter of seconds. Then one by one, with as much of their equipment as possible, they ambled their way through the tall maturing crop. By the time they reached the "stage" they were all sweating profusely and covered in Texas dust.
"Bloody 'ell!" said David the drummer, dumping his kit on the grass and doubling over to catch his breath. "Dya think Woodstock wer like this?"
"Nay brother, they brought 'em in wi' 'elicopters like royalty there," said Arty, "Remember what Miss Ellie called us, were undeveloped scum, or some such rot."
"Aye tis a good fit," said Morty their only roadie, "Miss Ellie hit it dead on the button!"
"Any road," said Arty, look at all these people, "Who the 'ell did they say was coming?"
A stranger in the crowd yelled, "Hey! It's Garcia!"
"Can't be Garci you nitwit," said another, "He died years ago, could be the rest of the band though, they look ancient."
"Does that answer yer question mate?" asked David, "Done any Dead songs ever?"
"Not a bless-ed one," said Arty sighing and putting a mic. on a stand.
Once there they unpacked their equipment and set up their sound system on the concrete pad, the crowd began quietly chanting. Artie's phone rang, it was Ellie.
"I've got good news and bad news for you," she said, "The good news is you've got a huge crowd...."
"Aye Missy and what would the bad news be, though I think we know already."
"The bad news is this campground has been advertising you as a reunion of the Grateful Dead's surviving band members."
"Yes they've been calling me Jerry the past f'ing half hour deary any other news? Like what they hell are we s'pose t' play to please this lot??"
"I've got a GD greatest hits download on my I-Phone, how good is your ear?"
"Not bad, s'pose we could fake the sound, but can't speak to the f'ing words that will come out."
"Just wait for them to get more stoned, then they won't care or know the difference. Just play a cross of Rock and Blue Grass and you've basically got it. Say its a new song and jammm for about 60 minutes..."
"You're such an inspiration missy....Okay matees, lets rock it up, play some rythem n bluezy sorta things and follow me as best ya kin. Wait let me get this earplug in me ear, okay play it missy..."