The Music Never Stops
March 2, 2005 6:06 AM   Subscribe

While the Grateful Dead were pioneers in the sharing of music, it wasn't too long ago that fans had to meet in-person with other DeadHeads at taping parties to grow their library of "bootlegs." In the late 1990s when CD burners became more prominent, The Dead again led the way. They went on record to say that fans were still welcome to copy, share and trade their music as long as no money changing hands—including no advertising on web sites with downloads. Yesterday, the band again made history when they announced they are releasing the contents of their vast vault electronically (and simultaneouly) on iTunes Music Store and their very own Grateful Dead online store, the latter making the songs available in mp3 (128 and 256kbps) and FLAC .
posted by terrapin (74 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
It should be noted that a large portion of the archive is available - free of charge - via archive.org.
posted by aladfar at 6:08 AM on March 2, 2005


What did the Greatful Dead fan say when his acid wore off?



"Man, this band really sucks."
posted by item at 6:10 AM on March 2, 2005


item: I wonder if you ever really gave them a listen? I didn't pay them any attention for years, simply because I dislike the name and logo. Then I listened, and found I'd missed out. Of course, not everyone can handle music as far-ranging in style as the Dead made.
posted by Goofyy at 6:29 AM on March 2, 2005


It should also be noted that aladfar's archive link was already to be found in terrapin's post.
posted by idest at 6:37 AM on March 2, 2005


It should also be noted that item's favorite band sucks.
posted by greasy_skillet at 6:38 AM on March 2, 2005


Great post -- I am a fan of the band but, more important, I think the network of traders is a fascinating example of an open-source, decentralised system that works far better than anything that could have been organised hierarchically.

Although much of what grew up around the Dead was pathetic and useless -- and, indeed, the responsibility that the band felt to their employees and followers was a not insignificant factor in the inability of Garcia to receive proper and effective treatment for his herd of addiction and other health issues -- what the traders have accomplished is a modern miracle. Go to archive.org and check it out: Concerts from 1966 to 1995, almost all with painstaking provenance details (who taped it, using what method, general comments). Just the fact alone that these tapes survived 25 years and, let's be honest, likely not the most pristine of archival environments, is a testament to the passion of the tapers and their committment. Most important, this system was developed and regulated not by the power of money but by the same principles of the open-source movement.

Oh, and I really cannot fail to mention the Dead's recent turn to the darkside, aka firing their employees, selling out to ClearChannel, and declaring it is time to make lots of money. Well.

Those wanting to check out some of the gems in the archive but unsure where to start, allow me to suggest:
- April 8, 1972 at the Empire Pool in London, part of the famous Europe '72 tour;
- the monumental May 8, 1977 show at Cornell University, part of the almost-as-legendary May '77 run, where the band has completed their evolution from bluegrass/folk band to touring rock concern (Cornell '77 is many trader's pick for best show ever)
- March 22, 1990 at Copps' Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario catches the band in the midst of their late-80s, early 90s renaissance as America's biggest touring act
- And two of my favourite shows: Halloween night on 1980 at Radio City Music Hall and July 8, 1978: Werewolves of London!
posted by docgonzo at 6:38 AM on March 2, 2005


"Man, this band really sucks."

Quick, somebody insult Widespread Panic and Phish so we can go ahead and get it over with. We know it's coming.
posted by ChrisTN at 6:41 AM on March 2, 2005


thanks docgonzo - does anyone know if bob dylan is on any of these files?
posted by alfredogarcia at 6:46 AM on March 2, 2005


The Dead have never been my kinda band, but I am impressed by the dedication of their fans. Their outlook on sharing is also to be commended, and I mean both the band and the fans. (Note bootleg tapes are not always free, if you know what I mean).
posted by Ynoxas at 6:48 AM on March 2, 2005


Another band which has decided to do almost everything themselves, and who funded their albums by selling it to fans before it was even made, is Marillion.
posted by PenDevil at 6:51 AM on March 2, 2005


alfredo: Late-era Dead is not my thing but I'm pretty sure the band banished the taper section for the Dylan and the Dead shows. However, soundboard recordings have leaked out and are available -- I've seen and heard a couple of shows just out of curiosity. While they're much better than the (widely panned) Dylan and the Dead album released by Warner, they're no great shakes, IMHO.

Unfortunately, none of the Dylan shows -- I think -- are available on archive.org; you might want to keep your eye on bt.etree.org, which is a torrent tracker for trade-friendly bands.

Dylan songs, on the other hand, are plentiful...
posted by docgonzo at 6:52 AM on March 2, 2005


Docgonzo, do you have a reference to the Dead's turn towards Clear Channel? I hadn't heard that.
posted by alms at 6:54 AM on March 2, 2005


kind of misleading write up ... they're releasing what's been released in the "dick's picks" series and their "from the vault" series, not the whole vault contents

and you wouldn't want to miss 8-27-72 ... not sure why people are complaining they can't download it, i did a long time ago
posted by pyramid termite at 6:57 AM on March 2, 2005


I guess this must be why gdlive.com is all messed up this morning...

Like many others, I'd call 3-1-69 their best show.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:01 AM on March 2, 2005


My personal favorite was Mac Court in Eugene, OR, 1-22-78. The only Grateful Dead show I ever got to walk to, as it was only eight blocks from my house. Jerry played a long solo based on the Close Encounters theme.
posted by wadefranklin at 7:06 AM on March 2, 2005


Hey alms, I remember reading it in Rolling Stone awhile back. I'm looking through the archives now; there's "The Dead, inc.: The band reorganises as a lean, mean, money-making machine" (July 29, 2003). That wasn't the one I'm thinking of (it may not be online) but the gist of the matter is the same.
posted by docgonzo at 7:07 AM on March 2, 2005


Way to be, docgonzo - I have those Cornell shows on tape and at least one of the May '77 shows as well, they really are amazing.

I can go look this up, but maybe you know off the top of your head - the versions of "Promised Land" and "Round and Round" that wound up on "Steal Your Face" - do you know what shows they are from?
posted by kgasmart at 7:26 AM on March 2, 2005


Thanks, dg. It sounds at least marginally positive: getting back to making music and leaving the merchandising to others.

And as for recommendations, I'd go with Archive.org's most downloaded show, June 10th, 1973 at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, DC.
posted by alms at 7:33 AM on March 2, 2005


They went on record to say that fans were still welcome to copy, share and trade their music as long as no money changing hands—including no advertising on web sites with downloads.

But wait, they are charging (as is indicated by the big blue "BUY IT!" button and the price tags, etc) for the download of these Mp3s, yes?

I'm not trying to be snarky, but how have they "made history" by selling their mp3s?
posted by tpl1212 at 7:35 AM on March 2, 2005


Hey kgasmart -- I love "Steal your face"; I think most of the material comes from the east coast June '74 run, mostly from this show at the Boston Garden, but I believe some snippets came from other places as well. Just recently I've been listening to more '74 Dead, and I've really liked the May 17 show in Vancouver, this June 23rd show in Miami and this show in Louisville, KY.
posted by docgonzo at 7:39 AM on March 2, 2005


In response to tpl1212, I would disagree with terrapin and say the really historic event was archive.org hosting as much of the taper's music as they have. I am sure it is unprecedented in the history of music to have that much material from such a historic outfit in one place at one time -- for free. If only we had the resouces from other similar acts: Dylan, say, or Coltrane or Miles Davis or Duke Ellington.

"The vault" has always been something of a holy grail for tapers if only because of we have never known exactly what is in there. This legend grew up in the old days of tape trading, when having 100 tapes was considered a big collection -- 100 shows is now a couple days of downloading from the archive -- and so the span of the vault was quite unthinkable. Now with the outlines of the entire collection mapped through archive.org, the vault has lost a bit of its legend. Also, the band has been releasing more and more of its stuff from the vault -- in the "From the vault" (duh), "Dick's Picks" series. This is the final piece. Exciting, yes, but I don't think many tapers expect to find any hidden gems in there.
posted by docgonzo at 7:44 AM on March 2, 2005


wait a minute. all of these cost money to download.

who do these grateful dead people think they are demanding money for recordings of their music. whose subversive idea was this?

haven't they heard music wants to be free? haven't they heard that through the power of the internets they can provide everyone man, woman, and child on the planet with with their own MP3 of truckin and it won't cost them anything to copy and distrubute it?

friends of the devil indeed.

next they'll start demanding the public purchase tickets to attend a live performance and expecting people to pay for their own blotter acid.
posted by three blind mice at 7:47 AM on March 2, 2005


I think the network of traders is a fascinating example of an open-source...

this is a bit off-topic, but what does "open-source" mean in the context of music? i understand the "open" part, but what is the "source" here?
posted by scottreynen at 7:48 AM on March 2, 2005


Ok, I would feel like a jerk if I didn't draw your collective attention to 09/19/1970, which contains one of the headiest Dark Stars ever recorded.

Also, the opening jam of 10/10/1968 bears an uncanny resemblance to Scarlet Begonias, even though that song wouldn't debut for several years.

Yes, I will always nurture an abiding love for the Dead. They have a certain credibility that has, IMHO, never been achieved by bands like Phish, Widespread, et al.
posted by afroblanca at 7:53 AM on March 2, 2005


Maybe I was being a bit too flippant -- when I wrote "open-source" I meant that the collection is a result of the independent actions of interested people organised by common passion and regulated by the shared values of the group, analgous to the software dev't community (which I have no experience with.)
posted by docgonzo at 7:54 AM on March 2, 2005


(Yeah, that September '70 show at the Fillmore is a killer, but I've always been a sucker for the acoustic/electric shows.)
posted by docgonzo at 7:55 AM on March 2, 2005


This is the final piece. Exciting, yes, but I don't think many tapers expect to find any hidden gems in there.

From the announcement sent by Grateful Dead Interactive that prompted me to post:

"In the near future, certain new, previously unreleased shows will be digitally available exclusively through the iTunes Music Store and GDStore.com. " (emphasis mine)

Sounds like a bunch of gems to me.

I'm not trying to be snarky, but how have they "made history" by selling their mp3s?

They aren't making history by simply selling mp3s. They are making history by continuously making their LIVE music available to fans in different ways. The music has always been free (except when Dylan played with them ;)), and there is no indication that anything will change (ie, archive.org will continue, people will still do B&P trades, etc) as far as the free distribution is concerned. They will continue to package the Dick's Picks series, and the From the Vault series, etc, etc. This is simply another way to make their music available to people. And if folks don't want to pay for this service, they can choose not to. They can choose to download from archive.org, or trade with their friends. I am one of those people who doesn't see anything wrong with The Boys making a few bucks on this in the later years. They gave a lot to their fans over the years.

Are other bands doing this, and I haven't heard of it? Are other bands making 2,000+ concerts available (over time, if not all-at-once) for their hardcore fans?

As for the Clear Channel stuff, that is old news, as far as I have heard. A few years back the plan of some of the members to work with Clear Channel to digitize the vault (rumoured to be in Windows Format) nearly broke 40-year-old friendships. Phil essentially quit. But to the best of my knowledge this agreement with Apple is the middle ground they came to.

A number of years back I had a week-long discussion on rec.music.gdead with David Ganz about the bands plans to release Dick's Picks that had been remastered. I argued that the mission statement for the DP series was "warts and all" while the From the Vault was Phil's project to pretty-up shows and release them. After a while, we both convinced each other of our positoins. Ganz agreed that fans should vote with their wallet if they want to influence the direction the band was going, and I agreed that I shouldn't complain about what is being released because they damn well don't have to release anything if they don't want to.

Personally I am more concerned with the agreements other bands—including my beloved moe.—are making with Coke and Clear Channel with the "Instant Live" series.
posted by terrapin at 8:04 AM on March 2, 2005


I am glad I posted this, now I can more easily tell who the Heads are on MetaFilter :)
posted by terrapin at 8:06 AM on March 2, 2005


I defer to terrapin's superior knowledge of this subject (and look forward to him pointing out the gems to my eager ears! :) ).
posted by docgonzo at 8:07 AM on March 2, 2005


I didn't intend to give the impression I have "superior knowledge" just perhaps a different perspective.

So, a MeFi DeadHeads Meetup, kind peoples? ;)
posted by terrapin at 8:10 AM on March 2, 2005


Of course, not everyone can handle music as far-ranging in style as the Dead made.

I'm grateful that my pretension meter has been filled up for the coming three months.

I'll admit I'm a Dead hata--music for white guys who never listened to a Blue Note album and heard what real improvisation is all about.

But I've been to Dead shows, especially in early-90's DC at RFK stadium--I loved seeing all the punks show up in the parking lot to make fun of the hippies and buy their drugs.

Good times.
posted by bardic at 8:26 AM on March 2, 2005


Thanks docgonzo... I only ever made it to six Dead shows while Jerry was still alive (seen the Other Ones since then, as well as "The Dead" last summer) but a roommate and a bunch of college buds were major heads (that's how I got into the band anyway) and I started collecting tapes, only amassed 50 or so, but did get some choice shows. Have a great one live at the Fillmore with the Beach Boys - circa 1970 or '71, can't remember... the idea of Mike Love onstage with Jerry & Co. still boggles the mind.

And bardic, it's not that I considered the Dead to be the best at improvisation; but at its best, this was a band that was completely attuned to one another and the music itself could be akin to a rollercoaster ride.

Last time I saw the band was June 30, 1995, at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, just a few weeks before Jerry died; the skies threatened all day, and when they opened up just before the second set, the band subsequently came on with a cover of the Beatles' "Rain."

And I had remembered to bring my rain poncho. Not to mention the day's, ah, chemical additives.

Coolest damn concert experience of my life.
posted by kgasmart at 8:37 AM on March 2, 2005


Of course, not everyone can handle music as far-ranging in style as the Dead made.

I can't handle it! It's too far-ranging....! I'm freakin' out, man! No, wait, that's not music, that's just my grilled cheese talking to me! I can't handle it!
posted by tpl1212 at 8:41 AM on March 2, 2005


kind of misleading write up ... they're releasing what's been released in the "dick's picks" series and their "from the vault" series, not the whole vault contents

Let's not forget that the vault contains essentially every show, with some notable exceptions. This is really a small fraction, but still a Good Thing.

And hey item: You could have at least spelled their name correctly.


Beach Boys - circa 1970 or '71, can't remember... the idea of Mike Love onstage with Jerry & Co. still boggles the mind.

Okie From Musgokee!

I haven't listened to my cassette tapes in many years, but I can recall around 1979 or so getting two cassette decks and dubbing all of my friends tapes. In the dim distant pre-internet days the tape underground was really underground, like in the back of Relix magazine or in The Golden Road. A double-well deck was a huge revaluation. Now I can download them, simply amazing.

So, a MeFi DeadHeads Meetup, kind peoples? ;)

I think we shall meet in the parking lot. For the Spectrum shows, it would always be "I'll meet you at the statue." "Hockey or Rocky?"
posted by fixedgear at 8:57 AM on March 2, 2005


>>>I loved seeing all the punks show up in the parking lot to make fun of the hippies and buy their drugs.

Custies.

Seriously though, the fact that nearly all their shows (and often from different sources/tapers) are available via archive.org is a wonderful thing. I've just recently started re-collecting all the ones I attended starting in Hampton 3-22-87 and ending in Shoreline 6-4-95.

:) :) :)
posted by birdsong at 9:08 AM on March 2, 2005


So, a MeFi DeadHeads Meetup, kind peoples?

That is an excellent idea. Although I love being able to trade quality shows with a minimal of effort, I do miss the social aspect of tape trading.

Anybody want to suggest a city?
posted by afroblanca at 9:09 AM on March 2, 2005


Dead w/ Beach Boys at Fillmore East: 4-27-71.

I can't wait to listen to all this stuff I just downloaded from that show, once this professor stops his talking at us. Thanks for mentioning this one, kgasmart!
posted by ibmcginty at 9:17 AM on March 2, 2005


As a long-time DH and BIG fan of archive.org, I must say I greeted yesterday's email with a bit of fear, as archive.org typically removes commercially available shows from their servers, e.g. this show. So while I don't begrudge the band the opportunity to make money on what is, afterall, their own legacy, I would be very disappointed if the vast repository of shows on archive.org went away.

Maybe we could find some middle ground, whereby archive.org gets to host everything and I just continue to give the band money, as I've been doing since 12-31-81.

(And as long as we're passing along recommendations, I suggest checking out 11-11-73 for its deeeep Dark Star, and 10-15-83, a well played show that serves as a nice sampler of what The Boys could do on a good night.
posted by mosk at 9:26 AM on March 2, 2005


I got on the bus pretty late but I did manage to see Garcia (GD, JGB, Garcia-Grisman) 200+ times.

I've been trading and taping since the XL-IIS ruled the world and you found your sources in the back of Relix magazine or scattered on the floor of moving VW buses. Back in the early 90's, my buddy Derek and I used to gopher setlists from cats.uscs.edu

One of my favorites is the smoking hot 10.27.91 (the first show after Bill Graham's death, as a tribute to Bill. The Sugar Magnolia that opens that show doesn't get finished until 11.3.91 at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park).

Also in that important run, Ken Kesey's eulogy for Bill on Halloween in a mindblowing DarkStar.

For those looking for some great early stuff check out 2.25.66 . For the folks who just caught the tail end of the bus check out the last run at the Boston Garden, particularly 10.1.94.

What's interesting to me is that the GD stuff has (for the most part) remained in the public domain with few restrictions, where the Garica solo stuff is pretty much locked down officially, though most of the stuff circulates if you put a little leg-work into it.

As for the Dylan stuff, the rehearsals in May of 1987 is where these guys really clicked the best. The actual shows from that tour pale in comparison. Jerry on Pedal Steel and Banjo showing off for Bobby D. is not to be missed. That stuff may never see the light of day officially, much like the 1969 Dylan / Johnny Cash sessions, but are nonetheless a must have.

As for selling the music via iTunes and whatnot, I hope that each China > (pause) Rider and Scarlet (pause) > Fire come with a caveat. Now more than ever, gaps between tracks still suck.

It shouldn't be too surprising that these guys are years ahead of everyone in terms of intellectual property. After all, Barlow wrote for these guys.

Also [warning self promoting link coming up here], I put up a couple Shows of the Day every weekday on my site, gankmore. Up today: 3/2/87 Kaiser, and 3/2/92 The Omni.

As for sucking, I think I mostly blame the nitrous.


Peace,

Chris
posted by Gankmore at 9:35 AM on March 2, 2005


Still missing something: Why would you buy live recordings on iTunes when you can trade them openly for free?
posted by smackfu at 9:35 AM on March 2, 2005


Still missing something: Why would you buy live recordings on iTunes when you can trade them openly for free?

laziness/convience?
posted by stifford at 9:59 AM on March 2, 2005


hey those johnny cash dylan sessions were available today on expectingrain.com. but the server is freakin. i only downloaded one song 'one too many mornings'. great.
posted by alfredogarcia at 10:04 AM on March 2, 2005


For the folks who just caught the tail end of the bus check out the last run at the Boston Garden, particularly 10.1.94.

I tell you, one of the things about the late scene (my first show: April 3, 1989, Pittsburgh Civic Arena) was that the music was obviously a shadow of its former self, in large part due to Jerry's... situation.

I specifically remember coming out of 1 or 2 shows and the heads around me were going, "Wow man, best show ever, Jerry was fantastic"... and I thought, Huh? Were you guys at the same show I was?

Nevertheless, as to my favorite tape/show - check out New Year's Eve 1988/89.
posted by kgasmart at 10:07 AM on March 2, 2005


Heads meet-up city suggestion: NYC.
posted by tidecat at 10:20 AM on March 2, 2005


The later shows were problematic for a number of reasons, but there were still gems throughout. I loved when Jerry brought back Visions of Johanna in 1995.

Jerry gets a lot of the blame for the slop in the later years, but I don't really buy that altogether. There's plenty of blame to go around. As for the music being a shadow of its former self, that's pretty tough to argue against (how do you top the Closing of Winterland?). But there were moments that made it all worth it. Take 8.21.93 in Oregon, the "Standing on the Moon" is the first time Jerry brings back the "be with you-s" after his end solo. It's just magic.

Jerry's (Robert Hunter's too) later tunes, "Foolish Heart" (not so late) "So Many Roads", "Lazy River Road", "Liberty", "Days Between" are all great tunes. I'm glad I got a chance to hear them.

If you want a scapegoat for the later years, I suggest looking no further than Vince Welnick.
posted by Gankmore at 10:24 AM on March 2, 2005


If you want a scapegoat for the later years, I suggest looking no further than Vince Welnick.

No doubt, though I did dig the Tubes.

I mean, there were other problems late in the scene, too. The punks showing up to buy drugs referenced above was a big part of it; I remember standing on the lawn at one show and watching a whole boatload of gate crashers swarming through a hole in the fence and thinking, "You bastards, you're f*cking it up for everyone." And the subsequent police presence and drug busts prompted at least in part by the casual fans who thought of a Dead show as simply an opportunity to get wasted and out of control just sort of wrecked what had been a wonderful thing.
posted by kgasmart at 10:42 AM on March 2, 2005


I also think there were some internal problems in the band. The whole thing had become one of the biggest cash cows on the planet and dismantling it didn't seem to be an option. I think that was really tough for Jerry. If you look at 1992 when Bruce leaves the band, I think the GD became the least interesting part of what Jerry was up to musically. It's too bad his plan to play with Branford and Eddie Brickell in an all improv. setup didn't pan out. That would have been pretty great. But seeing Jerry with Grisman or with the Garica band, there was no doubt this guy still had serious chops (even if the third weak "sisters and brothers" in three shows did get a little old). The 4.21.95 Shining Star > Johnny Too Bad > Don't Let Go was amazing. Not Jerry's best, but what do you got?



Speaking of Brandford:

3-29-90
12-31-90
9-10-91
12-10-93
12-16-94

Speaking of Eddie:

9-20-93


I think (most of) these shows with special guests are great examples of what Jerry could do in the later years when he was motivated. Same goes for the rest of the guys. It was always different when there was a new ear to hear.
posted by Gankmore at 11:01 AM on March 2, 2005


I have trouble believing that the band would have done this if Jerry were still alive. I'm disappointed that he appears to have been the only one strong enough to keep the original vision alive.
posted by grateful at 11:12 AM on March 2, 2005


I was at the 12-16-94 show. Was a great night. My favourite thing about special guests, and especially Brandford, is that they always shook Jerry out of his malaise. At the 12-16-94 show Brandford had Jerry dancing, and kicking beachballs off stage again.

Thanks for the walks down memory lane, folks.
posted by terrapin at 11:12 AM on March 2, 2005


I specifically remember coming out of 1 or 2 shows and the heads around me were going, "Wow man, best show ever, Jerry was fantastic"... and I thought, Huh? Were you guys at the same show I was?

Historically that was a common occurrence from 1966 till the end, for many reasons, not nearly all of them neurochemical.
posted by Fupped Duck at 11:13 AM on March 2, 2005


No doubt Garcia's later years were not all that great but as everyone's mentioned there were some great shows and moments. His experimentation with MIDI in the late 80's/early 90's produced some really cool music as did the numerous guest appearances by folks like Branford Marsalis, Ornette Coleman and the few-year-long stint by Bruce Hornsby. But IMO, it wasn't all Jerry's fault, the whole band often seemed to be on auto-drive and setlists were far too predictable. And yes, the addition of Vinnie didn't help matters at all. His keyboard sounded like tinny, Casio shit compared to the roaring Hammond B3 (w/ spinning Leslie) of Brent Mydland.

That being said - I'd trade any post GD-related concert (Other 1's, Phil & Friends, The Dead, etc.) to hear Jerry's guitar live again.

A few later year recommendations:
5-26-95 Seattle
8-16-91 Shoreline
and the mighty '89 Hampton "Warlocks" shows:
10-8-89
10-9-89

Lastly (on preview) I agree that the later GD shows were probably the least interesting playing Jerry did. I count the many Jerry Garcia Band and Garcia/Grisman shows I saw at the Warfield (tiny compared to the stadiums/sheds the GD played at) as some of the best music I've ever heard.
posted by birdsong at 11:15 AM on March 2, 2005


I'm disappointed that he appears to have been the only one strong enough to keep the original vision alive.

Phil fought a lot of battles after Jerry died, and he agreed with you grateful (about what Jerry would want, at least). But I trust Phil more than any of the others to make these decisions and he decided to get behind this, and it is their decision to make. Thank goodness they didn't go the Windows Media format and Clear Channel route.

Waves to John. LTNS.
posted by terrapin at 11:17 AM on March 2, 2005


I have trouble believing that the band would have done this if Jerry were still alive. I'm disappointed that he appears to have been the only one strong enough to keep the original vision alive.

I think that's B.S.

Jerry didn't own the vision, he was way to humble to even want to own it.

And, Jerry always believed in selling "records" and I don't see why it would be any different today. Giving people free and meaningful windows into your music is a brilliant idea, but it doesn't pay many bills. You couldn't even (officially) bring your recorder into a JGB or Garcia-Grisman show. Billy, Mickey, Phil, Bob (not to mention Hunter and Barlow) all deserve as much credit as Jerry. Even if they're not as cute and furry (or posthumous).
posted by Gankmore at 11:24 AM on March 2, 2005


>>>Billy, Mickey, Phil, Bob (not to mention Hunter and Barlow) all deserve as much credit as Jerry.

Indeed. Just make sure Mickey doesn't sing anymore. Please.

:)
posted by birdsong at 11:27 AM on March 2, 2005


For some good insight into Jerry's midset in the later years check out this very impressive 1987 inteview.
posted by Gankmore at 11:55 AM on March 2, 2005


This is awesome. I love the dead, but I've gotta wonder why (at the dead store at least) they're selling downloads of the 256Kbps versions for more than the 128Kbps versions, and the FLAC versions for even more.

I mean, I've done a bit of mp3 encoding here and there, and it certainly doesn't take more than a few seconds longer to encode at a higher bitrate.
posted by terpia at 11:55 AM on March 2, 2005


mindset, rather.
posted by Gankmore at 11:55 AM on March 2, 2005


The cost model is pretty weird thinking in terms of music, but in terms of server costs, it makes good sense.
posted by Gankmore at 11:57 AM on March 2, 2005


Gankmore: Good point. I hadn't thought about the bandwidth overhead of the higher bitrate files. But still, the FLAC formatted download is only $2.50 cheaper than purchasing the disc.

At those prices I think it'd be a better idea to buy the CD and encode to your own liking.
posted by terpia at 12:18 PM on March 2, 2005


iTunes & iPod = the AOL of digital music listening.
posted by HTuttle at 12:42 PM on March 2, 2005


I must say I greeted yesterday's email with a bit of fear, as archive.org typically removes commercially available shows from their servers, e.g. this show.

Totally agreed. I've often wondered about the legalistic implications of official releases.

For example, if Deadhead A. has a show that he taped back in '76, and an official release of that show is made in 2005, does that mean that Deadhead A. is no longer allowed to (legally) pass on his copy to a friend? What if Deadhead A.'s tape comes from a completely different source than the official release?

BTW- I totally second the motion of having an NYC MeFiHeads meetup. Anybody else?
posted by afroblanca at 12:51 PM on March 2, 2005


Folks over at the Vince Guaraldi forums have been trying to determine which Dead show(s) fellow S.F.er Vince sat in on keys. So far, no definitive answers.
posted by walkathon at 12:52 PM on March 2, 2005


iTunes & iPod = the AOL of digital music listening.

I find your ideas intriguing and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. Is it available on a free CD?
posted by fixedgear at 1:13 PM on March 2, 2005


This is pretty cool. I'm not a huge Dead fan anymore but there's alot of their music that I really like still.
posted by fenriq at 1:48 PM on March 2, 2005


For example, if Deadhead A. has a show that he taped back in '76, and an official release of that show is made in 2005, does that mean that Deadhead A. is no longer allowed to (legally) pass on his copy to a friend? What if Deadhead A.'s tape comes from a completely different source than the official release?

Trading (distributing) a show that has been released as a Dick's Pick or other release is fine as long as it is not from the same source. For instance there is a very listenable crowd tape of 12.16.92 on archive even though it is Dick's Pix 31. But trading soundboards would not be considered cool at all. Bottom line, buy some Dick's Picks. Anabell Garica is grateful not to be working at Dairy Queen. She told us that herself at her Dad's memorial.
posted by Gankmore at 1:54 PM on March 2, 2005


er, dick's picks 27?
posted by Gankmore at 1:56 PM on March 2, 2005


Another place where deadheads led the way: online communication. They're one of the reasons why The Well was able to stay afloat in the pre-internet days
posted by absalom at 2:02 PM on March 2, 2005


The Well made some folks famous but was shunned by a lot of us since rec.music.gdead was free and open.
posted by Gankmore at 2:04 PM on March 2, 2005


Just back to this thread after work and I'd like to leave my thanks for all the great suggestions of later shows -- although 1990.03.22 got me into the Dead (the Dear Mr. Fantasy > Hey Jude gets my every time) most of the stuff I d/l is pre-1980.

Even more, it's great to read such a fine, intelligent discussion of a common passion (and thankfully free of snarks.) Can anyone recommend any other good online forums for good Dead talk?

See you in Gotham for the meetup. Strangers stoppin' strangers...
posted by docgonzo at 3:02 PM on March 2, 2005


I think part of the reason people are willing to pay for the recordings is also to get the Soundboard quality. I don't know how many SBD recordings of the dead there are floating around on the archive, but in the case of Phish, they stopped letting tapers patch out a long time ago. People will pay to download their shows because they like the crispness of the sounboard as opposed to the atmospheric sound of audience mics. Depends on your preference.
posted by TheRoach at 3:20 PM on March 2, 2005


There were a lot more SBDs of GD shows in circulation than Phish. Paul Languadoc (Phish Front of House Engineer) really locked that down after 1992 or so. Of course the number of GD SBDs in circulation (at the time coming back from Europe as boots) is rumored to be a part of why Dan Healy was let go after many fine years of service as the FOH mixer for the GD.

As an aside, I've always felt like the GD crowds beat Phish crowds due to the Meyer Sound system the GD used. At the time it was the best in the business. I always thought it was much better than the system Phish built themselves. Then again I used to get a paycheck from Meyer.
posted by Gankmore at 3:58 PM on March 2, 2005


NYC MeFi Deadhead meetup thread here.
posted by afroblanca at 8:50 PM on March 2, 2005


Just recently I've been listening to more '74 Dead, and I've really liked the May 17 show in Vancouver

Hey, I was at that show. I was 15. My boyfriend smoked too much pot, went up to get a hotdog, passed out in the line, and we had to leave. Uh... not the best of GD anecdotes. But now, over thirty years later, I can hear what I missed.

Though I'm afraid I remember it as being terribly dull; I spent most of my time watching the hippies dancing.
posted by jokeefe at 10:14 PM on March 2, 2005


Really late to this thread...this was the thread that finally convinced me to join MeFi.

I am in the process of collecting all of the shows that the dead played DarkStar --> St. Stephen --> The Eleven --> Lovelight --> etc. That done, i will distill it down to its essence...and discover the greatest Eleven jam!

Wish that i were in NYC to meet-up, but alas i cannot...afroblanca please be my proxy(you are more than able)
posted by schyler523 at 2:08 PM on March 9, 2005


« Older Irark   |   Shoegazing Revisted Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments