Box of Rain – story of a one Grateful Dead fan reconnecting with her Deadhead community 25 years later
What do you do when you’re seventeen, suicidal, and believe that the only thing the world has to offer you is violence and pain? You get in your car and drive across the United States to go see the Grateful Dead, of course. At least, that’s what you do if you’re lucky. And without a doubt, Lonnie Frazier was very lucky.
In 1985, Lonnie’s life was spiraling out of control. Through a twist of fate she found healing in an unexpected place: the Deadhead community. It all started with a road trip and free tickets to see the Grateful Dead at Red Rocks in Colorado.
This film is an exploration of the Deadhead family, past and present, and the qualities that make it unique. We follow Lonnie as she reconnects with the women she traveled with in her youth, and makes new friends along the way. Through wide ranging interviews, she seeks to dispel the common stereotypes about Dead-heads and document the beauty of the community. We learn how the Grateful Dead touched the lives of so many people, the healing they found through the music, and the memories they cherish most.
Twenty five years after the road trip that started it all, Lonnie returns to Red Rocks in her quest to complete this film. On this journey, she discovers healing, and the power to write her own story.
BOX OF RAIN was directed and produced by Lonnie Frazier.
Available from Mutiny Pictures.
Director/Producer – Lonnie Frazier
Lonnie Frazier is a Bay Area filmmaker and Producer. Her passion for research and storytelling led her to work extensively on documentary films. She serves as Community Outreach Coordinator for several media organizations supporting the impact campaigns for films such as Peabody Award-winning DEEJ, a film about autism and inclusion, the documentary film I Am Maris, and the award-winning film, Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement. Lonnie enjoys collaborating with other artists to help their stories reach a wider audience.
It started with a road trip and free tickets to see the Grateful Dead at Red Rocks in Colorado; and in a way, it ended with a road trip to revisit Red Rocks. This film has a very personal angle for me. I found the Deadhead community at a dangerous and pivotal time in my life. Being accepted by that community changed everything for me. This film is a chance for me to repay that debt, to show the beauty of Deadhead culture, and the power of acceptance.
Ultimately, this film is about finding acceptance, and finding a safe space to be yourself and to heal. I found this in the Deadhead community, but it’s a struggle we all understand. In a divided society, it is important to recognize the beauty to be found in every culture and community.
We’ve spent years reaching out to folks within the Deadhead community who were willing to be interviewed and we traveled to meet them and hear their stories. We’ve gathered memorabilia and photos from people who wanted to share treasures from their time on the road following the Grateful Dead. And we’ve researched archival footage and images that will help us make this story come alive for the viewer.
In making this film, I want to situate my story within and alongside the story of this unique and often misunderstood community. I want to show the family that I gained when I found the Deadhead community and tear down the common misconceptions associated with Deadheads. We came from different walks of life, the only thing we had in common was a love of music and a code of conduct. We respected and cared for one another, for Earth, and for our community. This film has been an amazing journey about an amazing journey.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.