The Grateful Dead Gave A Young Boy The Greatest Bar Mitzvah Someone Could Ask For

Fans of the Grateful Dead will know that the band's music isn't exactly child-friendly. For example, one of the band's biggest songs, "Casey Jones," opens with the lyrics, "Driving that train, high on cocaine." And when they weren't singing about drugs, they were doing the drugs -– like, all of them, according to some reports. For example, at some point in the 1960s, according to Far Out Magazine, a fan showed up with a cake containing 800 doses of LSD, and frontman Jerry Garcia ate a big chunk of it, with predictable results. And of course, the cannabis community's favorite form of shorthand, "420," got popular thanks to the Grateful Dead, according to Rolling Stone.

Despite the fact that they were never a particularly kid-friendly band, on at least one occasion, in this case back in the 1970s, fate put the band and a group of children having their own party in the same place at the same time. And being the Grateful Dead, the band crashed the party, to the confusion of the Man of the Hour, who admits he didn't even know who they were, per STL Jewish Light. Fortunately, it appears that the band kept their drugs in their pockets that night when they were around kids.

The Right Place At The Right Time?

Readers who are at the very least obliquely familiar with Judaism will know that the Bar Mitzvah/Bat Mitzvah is one of the most important parts of a young Jew's life. For example, as Adam Sandler famously sang in his song "Bar Mitzvah Boy," "It's the best day of my life ... until three years later when my parents stopped making me go to Temple."

Back in 1971, a St. Louis lad named Richie Gerber was celebrating his Bar Mitzvah at the Airport Marriot Hotel, according to STL Jewish Light (Far Out Magazine claims it was the Airport Hilton). The Grateful Dead were in town having played a couple of back-to-back concerts, and as per custom, they were staying at that particular hotel on the same night. Not that anyone attending the party knew or cared; it was a "kid-party only," said Gerber. "At that time, I was not into rock 'n' roll. I don't think I even knew who the Grateful Dead were," he added.

Gerber also had his own band for the night: a group of high school students performing under the name Spring Rain. The kids in the room that night had no idea that they were feet away from some of the biggest musicians of their time. But they were about to find out.

'It Was The Talk Of The High School For Years To Come'

The members of the band who were at the hotel that night did their thing, and ended up meeting some of the Bar Mitzvah guests in the lobby where they signed autographs and handed out band posters, per Far Out Magazine. When they learned that there was a Bar Mitzvah celebration, complete with a band, playing at the hotel, they decided to pay a visit.

Mark Slosberg was a high-school student who, along with some other teenagers, was performing in the band that was hired for the party that night, Spring Rain. "My sister Jo, comes up to me while I'm playing and says 'the Grateful Dead are here. I told her to go away, but she insisted I look, and then, there they were," Slosberg said, via Far Out Magazine. Meanwhile, all of the kids in attendance at the Bar Mitzvah were calling their friends, and soon enough people who weren't invited were showing up.

Someone asked the band –- minus Jerry Garcia, who wasn't there that night –- to play, and soon enough, the Dead were sharing the stage with Spring Rain (after waiting respectfully for the teens to finish their set, according to STL Jewish Light). And the Grateful Dead, being a jam band, even jammed with the teens. "It was the talk of the high school for years to come," Slosberg said.