It’s no secret that The Grateful Dead, apart from being the forefathers of psychedelic folk and the cult icons worshipped by ‘Deadheads’, were also massive stoners. They were the poster boys of the LSD generation that erupted in California during the ‘60s but there was one place you wouldn’t have expected them to have a quick zoot—in former Vice-President Al Gore’s house, along with Woody Harrelson no doubt.
In the early ’90s, before The Grateful Dead disbanded following the death of co-founder Jerry Garcia, the band visited Al and Tipper Gore—a political power couple. While environmentalist and serving Vice-President between 1993 – 2001, Al Gore was a fan of the band it was his wife who could be given the moniker of ‘Deadhead’.
The band were then joined by Hollywood’s own Woody Harrelson, who himself is a widely known stoner, to complete a mix of people unlikely to meet up and have a chat in your local pub—but that is what was happening at the home of the current Vice-President of the United States of America.
The political couple then excused themselves to get ready for an event. Now, this may be us adding some colour to the story, but we like to think that Woody then shot a look to the band like one does when your parents leave the room and you’ve got mischief on your mind. But while the pair were in the shower Woody and Jerry snuck off for a quick joint.
According to former Grateful Dead road manager Cameron Sears, it was a fairly innocuous experience: “Al and Tipper [Gore’s wife, a big Dead fan] were upstairs taking a shower while [the band and entourage] were down there hanging out in their house. Woody Harrelson had come with us, and he and Jerry had gone into the powder room and enjoyed a puff or two.”
He added: “There’s a Secret Service guy standing outside the door. They open the door and it’s like a Cheech and Chong movie!”
Though Sears plays down the event, the idea that Woody Harrelson and Jerry Garcia arrive back to the lounge or dining room, stinking of good weed, with red eyes and smiles on their faces while being watched by the Secret Service has us wildly smiling.
Watch below as years later the Hollywood star joined The Grateful Dead for a cover of Elvis’ ‘Heartbreak Hotel’