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Patrick Leahy Lives for The Dead

(Courtesy Patrick Leahy)

Though it sounds like he’ll be unable to travel to Chi-town this weekend for the final shows, longtime Grateful Dead fan Sen. Patrick J. Leahy will undoubtedly be there in spirit.  

Per the story he shared with LIFE Magazine for a special issue commemorating the 50th anniversary and final performances of the renowned jam band, the late Jerry Garcia and friends opened the Vermont Democrat’s eyes to an entirely different world.

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

“A Grateful Dead concert is much more than the music, it’s an experience, almost like being in a family of thousands of people,” Leahy said of the sense of community fostered by the iconic rockers.  

The seven-term lawmaker estimates he’s attended around a half-dozen Grateful Dead shows, often with a camera in tow.  

(Courtesy Patrick Leahy)

(Courtesy Patrick Leahy)

Lobbyist-turned-cybersecurity wonk Michael A. Aisenberg reflected on a trip he took with Leahy to the then-Capital Centre in 1987 on a Deadhead discussion page .  

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

“First show I saw with Pat Leahy,” Aisenberg said of an evening spent in a skybox with the live show-loving legislator.