Ann Coulter is proclaiming her love for the Dead. In an essay for Billboard, the conservative political pundit detailed a little-known fact about herself. In her essay, Ann Coulter revealed that she is a Deadhead for life and that she saw the Grateful Dead about 67 times back in the band’s heydey. In addition, Coulter owns 50 live bootleg tapes of the iconic California band’s legendary shows.
“I mostly followed them as a practicing lawyer from around 1991 to August 1995 when I had a bunch of Deadhead friends and we all had plenty of disposable income, so I saw a lot of shows in those four or five years,” Coulter wrote.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) June 25, 2016
While Coulter grew up in a “very affluent WASP hometown of New Canaan, Conn.,” she revealed that the Grateful Dead was still a popular band among her high school peers.
“There was a faction in favor of making ‘Truckin’ our prom song, but the sense of the senate went for some schmaltzy rainbow song instead,” Coulter wrote. “I bet no one from my high school class can remember what it was. We would have remembered ‘Truckin.'”
— St Stephen Liberty (@tholm4) June 15, 2016
Ann Coulter also revealed that she still listens to the Dead channel on Sirius radio and that she would consider going to a reunion show just to hang out with the present-day Deadheads.
“Deadheads are such a draw that I didn’t even notice that the band wasn’t playing at the Jerry memorial in Golden Gate Park after Jerry [Garcia] died,” Ann wrote. “I was sure the rest of the Dead had performed, but someone told me they just blasted concert music and showed a huge video of the band. I didn’t notice because we were walking around in the crowd, just like a regular outdoor concert with everyone dancing, spinning and holding drum circles.”
Coulter also said she likes Deadheads because they’re “friendly, open-minded, individualistic people.”
“Deadheads are intellectually curious individuals,” Ann added.
The 54-year-old political commentator also pointed out that many of her peers at the Department of Justice, where she worked while in law school, were fans of the Dead.
“Loads of Deadheads were libertarians – and not just for the drug laws,” Coulter revealed. “When I was a law student working at the Department of Justice, I used to leave the Bush DOJ with a slew of Republican appointees to see the Dead play at RFK.”
— Dave Richards (@whitemonie) March 26, 2014
As for the roughly 67 Grateful Dead shows she attended, Ann Coulter touted the band’s outdoor shows as their best.
“My fave was Shoreline Amphitheatre — a beautiful outdoor arena built on a landfill,” Coulter revealed. “The weather was great, you could buy California chardonnay by the glass and I had a bunch of Cornell Deadheads out there. By day, we’d go around San Francisco or go sailing, and, by night, we’d go to see a psychedelic rock group.”
— Jerry (@fat_man_rocks) August 30, 2013
This isn’t the first time Ann Coulter has touted her love for the Grateful Dead. In a previous interview with the website Jambands, Ann Coulter admitted that she carelessly tossed all of her Dead ticket stubs in a “lunatic cleaning frenzy” in the ’90s.
While Coulter admits she hated the trademark tie-dyed attire that most Deadheads wore, she finally broke down and would wear tie-dyed Dead shirts to concerts as a tribute to her fellow Deadheads.
While she just said no to the parking lot drug scene, Ann explained that she went to the shows simply because she liked the music and the vibe at the concerts.
“There are various groups I get enthusiastic about for awhile, but of all the music I’ve listened to over the years, the Grateful Dead is the one band I never grow tired of,” Ann explained. “True Deadheads are what liberals claim to be but aren’t: unique, free-thinking, open, kind, and interested in different ideas. Also, excellent dancers! Watching a Deadhead dance is truly something to behold.”
In one of her most interesting tidbits, Ann Coulter even revealed that her collection of beloved Grateful Dead tapes is the reason she heard one of the infamous Linda Tripp tapes before prosecutor Ken Starr did during the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal back in the ’90s.
“Tripp’s lawyer obviously needed to hear the tape before turning it over to the prosecutor, but he only had an old 1950’s tape player and couldn’t get it to work, and Ken Starr wanted the tape the next morning,” Coulter dished. “In the wee hours of the morning, it occurred to him, a Deadhead himself, that he knew one person in D.C. who definitely had a tape machine. So, at around 2 a.m., he called me and asked to come over to use my tape deck.”
As for the first time Ann Coulter heard the Grateful Dead, it was courtesy of her older brother, who was blasting the psychedelic band’s music in his bedroom. The song was “Uncle John’s Band,” and from that, Ann’s lifelong obsession with an unlikely rock band was born.
“The first two albums Santa gave me when I was around 11 years old were Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits and [The Dead’s] American Beauty,” Ann Coulter revealed. ” I think my parents’ reaction was, ‘Well, at least they’re not listening to the Osmonds.'”
Take a look at the video below to see Ann Coulter’s favorite Grateful Dead concert.
[Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for TIME]