John Kasich tried and failed to get on stage with the Grateful Dead in 1991.

On June 14, 1991, Kasich, then a congressman, tried to rush the stage at RFK, but was blocked by the band’s tour manager. Kasich tried to pull a “Don’t you know who I am?” but the manager was unmoved and Kasich was ejected from the stage. The Washington Post has a great writeup, but, as the New Republic’s resident deadhead, I thought I’d share a few observations. 

1. The RFK show is one of the best ‘91 shows and ‘91 was the last pretty good year of the post-coma era. RFK is also a rarity in that it features both Vince Welnick (bad) and Bruce Hornsby (good) on keys. Kasich wilding out is still pretty embarrassing, but he picked a good show to do it. 

2. Kasich got his tickets through the opener, Dwight Yoakam. Yoakam was at the peak of an epic run between 1985-1993. The fact that Yoakam opened for both the Grateful Dead and X during this period is insane. More points for Kasich. 

3. We can only speculate as to when Kasich jumped on stage, but the setlist offers some hints:

Set 1: Cold Rain And Snow, Wang Dang Doodle, Jack-A-Roe, Big River -> Maggie’s Farm, Row Jimmy, Black Throated Wind, Tennessee Jed, The Music Never Stopped 

Set 2: Help On The Way -> Slipknot! -> Franklin’s Tower, Estimated Prophet, Dark Star -> Drums -> Space -> Stella Blue -> Turn On Your Lovelight 

The first set isn’t fantastic, so the start of the second set, particularly “Slipknot! -> Franklin’s Tower” seems like the best bet, though it’s also possible that Kasich jumped on stage because the Dead only played one verse of “Dark Star.” 

4. Bob was wearing the shorts: 

5. Jerry’s hair was phenomenal: 

You can watch the show (and look for John Kasich) here

June 26, 2019

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Welcome to TNR’s coverage of the Democratic debates.

Yes, the debates are upon us, a mere 16 months before voters will cast their ballots to decide whether President Trump should get a second term. In that time, babies will be conceived and born, the earth will orbit the sun and then some, and Democrats will, with any luck, choose a champion from the two dozen candidates running for the nomination. It all begins tonight, with the first of two debates in Miami this week featuring the 20 candidates—ten each round—who qualified to participate by either polling at 1 percent in three surveys or receiving 65,000 individual donations.

The staff of The New Republic will be watching the proceedings, offering running commentary and post-debate analysis, and hopefully answering any questions readers might have. Who’s up, who’s down? Who, if anyone, seems qualified to stall America’s spiraling descent into a fiery wasteland overseen by Trumpian kleptocrats? And who is Eric Swalwell, anyway? Pop by TNR’s Minutes blog at 9 o’clock EST tonight and tomorrow night to find out!