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OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 11, 2017 16:01

I spent a LOT of time during this year's Days Between (Aug 1st-9th, the days between Jerry Garcia's birth and his death) listening to a plethora of Jerry Garcia solo and side project material.

I'm a novice Deadhead but am doing my best to catch up ... and I am floored by the wealth of material Garcia recorded outside his "day-job."

Do any of you have opinions about any of the following?

* Since other members of The Dead had their own side-projects, I presume there was little or no resentment on their part toward Jerry's solo/extra-band endeavors?

* Is there evidence that Jerry's near-constant playing (he would frequently jump into a Jerry Garcia Band or Legion of Mary or Old and In the Way or New Riders of the Purple Sage gig whenever the Dead had downtime) either helped or hindered the quality of music played at Grateful Dead shows?

* Finally, is it true that the side-projects were outlets that allowed Garcia a low-key way to express himself musically in a much freer way, as opposed to The Dead shows, which as they became huger and huger may have begun to feel almost like an albatross around his neck?

Clearly, Garcia was a guy haunted by many demons. But he was also so full of music that he just couldn't seem to not play whenever he could. For any of you who might be new to some of his side-projects, my current favorite are the Legion of Mary shows in 1974-75 with Merl Saunders as his chief collaborator. Amazing jazz-inflected grooves. Here's a show from Madison, WI in 1975; starts off with a loose-goosey "Let It Rock" and just gets groovier:

[www.youtube.com]

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: August 11, 2017 16:03

Graham Nash - Songs For Beginners
David Crosby - If Only I Could Remember My Name
Jefferson Starship - Blows Against The Empire
Kantner, Slick, Freiberg - Baron Von Tollbooth
Grace Slick - Sunfighter

All great albums with Garcia slide guitar on them.

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: reg thorpe ()
Date: August 11, 2017 16:23

Quote
Silver Dagger
Graham Nash - Songs For Beginners
David Crosby - If Only I Could Remember My Name
Jefferson Starship - Blows Against The Empire
Kantner, Slick, Freiberg - Baron Von Tollbooth
Grace Slick - Sunfighter

All great albums with Garcia slide guitar on them.

also slide on NRPS 1st album


other selections to check out

Hooteroll? with Howard Wales
Garcia/Saunders
Legion of Mary

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: rbk ()
Date: August 11, 2017 16:55

Unlike most band vs solo members the 'Dead brought their solo songs into the Dead repertoire which allowed the songs to grow and become more interesting. It should be noted that The Wheel, Greatest Story Ever Told, They Love Each Other, Me And My Uncle, Cold Rain and Snow, Sunshine Daydream, Sugaree, Lazy Lightning, Cassidy and Alabama Getaway, among others, were regulars in the Dead the expansive songbook.

If Mick had ever suggested the Stones do "Just Another Night" Keith would have cold-cocked him.

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Date: August 11, 2017 16:58

Quote
rbk
Unlike most band vs solo members the 'Dead brought their solo songs into the Dead repertoire which allowed the songs to grow and become more interesting. It should be noted that The Wheel, Greatest Story Ever Told, They Love Each Other, Me And My Uncle, Cold Rain and Snow, Sunshine Daydream, Sugaree, Lazy Lightning, Cassidy and Alabama Getaway, among others, were regulars in the Dead the expansive songbook.

If Mick had ever suggested the Stones do "Just Another Night" Keith would have cold-cocked him.

They did it at the Stu-gig. Not sure if Keith still was on stage by then, though smiling smiley

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 11, 2017 18:10

Thanks, reg and dagger--good stuff to look into!

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 11, 2017 18:17

Quote
rbk
Unlike most band vs solo members the 'Dead brought their solo songs into the Dead repertoire which allowed the songs to grow and become more interesting. It should be noted that The Wheel, Greatest Story Ever Told, They Love Each Other, Me And My Uncle, Cold Rain and Snow, Sunshine Daydream, Sugaree, Lazy Lightning, Cassidy and Alabama Getaway, among others, were regulars in the Dead the expansive songbook.

If Mick had ever suggested the Stones do "Just Another Night" Keith would have cold-cocked him.

Yeah, and those songs were not just Garcia-related; some of those were tunes that Bob Weir generated outside the band that became Dead staples.

I'm always curious about the outrage that sometimes accompanies the idea of the Stones doing a Mick tune; does it flow the other way about the band doing a Keith solo tune? Not sure.

It's of course impossible to compare the two bands. Their organizations and very raisons d'ĂȘtre were so very very different. One was a ragtag group of drug addled hippies, none of whom really wanted to be rock stars, but all of whom were driven by an unquenchable thirst for playing music with each other. And the other was The Stones.

After the rabid internecine warfare conducted at bayonets' length between Keithettes and Mickists on this site, it's refreshing to take a dip now and again in the collaborative communitarian 'we're all in this for the music' attitude that permeates the extended Dead family.

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: reg thorpe ()
Date: August 11, 2017 19:39

and the fact that the Dead allowed their fans to tape/trade their live shows made them that much more accessible to their fan base

like Jerry said "once we are done with it you can have it"

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: RollingFreak ()
Date: August 11, 2017 20:00

I'm a novice Deadhead as well, the way I see it as they all had a very open relationship with that stuff. Jerry's first solo album is as good if not arguably the better than any Dead album. And they played those songs a lot. I always wondered if that bothered them but I guess it didn't. Like, wouldn't they have wanted to pull the best parts of Garcia and the best part's of Weir's Ace and make an unbelievable record? Just wasn't their scene, they just did what they wanted.

I definitely think his constant playing was just a need to do different things. Slash from Guns N Roses loves to tour. Just in one form or another. Some guys adore that. I don't think he felt restricted in the Dead as it got bigger, but I think after awhile its hard to find new avenues you haven't explored with those songs. If you're playing it with different guys, in different arrangements, I can see it being very liberating. I mean, I have a kid's album with Jerry Garcia! I think the guy just wanted to pick up a guitar and play, literally all the time.

Again, I'm far from a massive Deadhead, but even at a small level I can appreciate and see what a talent Garcia was. It doesn't mean to overshadow the band, it just sort of naturally does. They're all incredible, but he's a beast in a different way. I don't know if there was resentment, and there are a lot of bands like that where it just seems to be ok for members to do that and no one minds. I'd think its weird, but I'm also not in a band. It never seemed to have a negative affect on the band from what I've seen. Regardless of whether they meant to or not, they all basically followed him live it seems. If he learned new things or wanted to try different styles, they did.

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: Maindefender ()
Date: August 11, 2017 22:20

Grab any Legion of Mary you can't go wrong.

Weird but fun project was Reconstruction in '79.

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 12, 2017 00:29

Quote
Maindefender
Grab any Legion of Mary you can't go wrong.

Weird but fun project was Reconstruction in '79.

Merl and Jerry had a great thing going -- so simpatico and they brought out fascinating things in each other. I didn't know Reconstruction but will ck em out now--thanks!

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 12, 2017 03:06

Quote
RollingFreak
I'm a novice Deadhead as well, the way I see it as they all had a very open relationship with that stuff. Jerry's first solo album is as good if not arguably the better than any Dead album. And they played those songs a lot. I always wondered if that bothered them but I guess it didn't. Like, wouldn't they have wanted to pull the best parts of Garcia and the best part's of Weir's Ace and make an unbelievable record? Just wasn't their scene, they just did what they wanted.

I definitely think his constant playing was just a need to do different things. Slash from Guns N Roses loves to tour. Just in one form or another. Some guys adore that. I don't think he felt restricted in the Dead as it got bigger, but I think after awhile its hard to find new avenues you haven't explored with those songs. If you're playing it with different guys, in different arrangements, I can see it being very liberating. I mean, I have a kid's album with Jerry Garcia! I think the guy just wanted to pick up a guitar and play, literally all the time.

Again, I'm far from a massive Deadhead, but even at a small level I can appreciate and see what a talent Garcia was. It doesn't mean to overshadow the band, it just sort of naturally does. They're all incredible, but he's a beast in a different way. I don't know if there was resentment, and there are a lot of bands like that where it just seems to be ok for members to do that and no one minds. I'd think its weird, but I'm also not in a band. It never seemed to have a negative affect on the band from what I've seen. Regardless of whether they meant to or not, they all basically followed him live it seems. If he learned new things or wanted to try different styles, they did.

Yeah he was almost a leader in spite of himself, RF. I missed out on so much Dead/Garcia stuff as a kid and younger man. Only saw them once, in 72 at the Hollywood Palladium (this was like two weeks after their legendary show at Veneta) and am ashamed to admit I was bored. They were aging hippies, given to slow meandering jams I didn't get, and I'd just come off a summer of seeing the Stones, Zepp, and was about to see Bowie. The Dead were ... blah.

And now I kick myself every day for having so little appreciation for what I'd seen and not processed. Oh well ...

Jerry has become, along with Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson, my favorite American musician of the 20th century. That cat could play! I cannot begin to do justice to the sense of exploration, fearlessness, and transcendence that his music represents to me. The way that band would listen to each other ... and the way they would occasionally find something in the music and follow it to an utterly profound and delightful conclusion ... well, it sometimes takes my breath away.

Anyway, with all the knives-out bickering over on the Mick "Gotta Get a Grip" thread, I've just been struck by how open and accommodating the Dead and their fans were about the musicians in the band just playing, in whatever configurations made sense to them, without getting all hung up about whose song it was, or who was doing a solo album and all that bullshit.

One of my favorite Dead-related quotes of recent years was from Branford Marsalis. He was interviewed about what it was like playing onstage with them and he said all the usual things: he dug it, they're a trip, etc. But what he said about the Dead's fans was incredible: once he'd appeared at a few Dead shows, he noticed that Deadheads began appearing in his audience, at Branford Marsalis concerts. He was surprised that they'd "crossed over" ... but then he talked to a few of them ... and realized that they had become the most knowledgeable fans he had! They were like, oh, man, we really dug that album you did 7 years ago with so-and-so and we thought it was a cool departure from what you'd been doing before that ... they were into his music at a level he'd rarely experienced in his career. I love that!

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: Maindefender ()
Date: August 12, 2017 11:01

Garcia was 99.9% musician. Robert Hunter was the Dead's primary lyricist and all of Garcia's side projects were Hunter songs or covers. He loved to play......top on my wish list along with seeing every Stones gig in their first year would be to see him perform every Keystone gig he ever played

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 12, 2017 23:34

Quote
Maindefender
Garcia was 99.9% musician. Robert Hunter was the Dead's primary lyricist and all of Garcia's side projects were Hunter songs or covers. He loved to play......top on my wish list along with seeing every Stones gig in their first year would be to see him perform every Keystone gig he ever played

Now, that's bucket list material.

Been groovin for the past day or so to 3 diff Keystone shows he did in 79 with Reconstruction ... thanks so much for that recommendation, MainD!

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 12, 2017 23:44

Quote
Hairball
Like LongBeachArena, I saw them once and was bored, but for me it was '77 or '78 at UCLA's Royce Hall. Being 15 or 16 at the time, I only knew of and really liked some their "Greatest Hits", but in a live setting it was a bit over my head. Never took the time after that to dig too into all of their history, but I did gain a better appreciation of their musicianship. Some aquanintances of mine in High school got really into them around 1980, and followed the band around the country...they took so much acid that each time they came back from a trek they were actually further away. I saw Phil Lesh and Friends co-headline with Dylan at the Ventura Fairgrounds in 1999 (or 2000?), and really enjoyed the extended jams, but again not something I could fully relate to.

Might have been this one, HB, on 12/30/78 on campus at Pauley Pavilion:

[archive.org]

Doesn't look like they ever played Royce Hall but they played Pauley bunches of times over the years. The soundboard above is from the date closest to your 77/8 memory. Looks like a good show!

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: Hound Dog ()
Date: August 12, 2017 23:54

Dead are right up there with the Stones for my wife and I. And I think Jerry's work outside the Dead is amazing. I really feel like outside of the Dead is where Jerry shined because he could play so many different styles of music.

Just got the complete Keystone recordings box set and it is fantastic.

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: August 13, 2017 00:33

Quote
LongBeachArena72
Quote
Hairball
Like LongBeachArena, I saw them once and was bored, but for me it was '77 or '78 at UCLA's Royce Hall. Being 15 or 16 at the time, I only knew of and really liked some their "Greatest Hits", but in a live setting it was a bit over my head. Never took the time after that to dig too into all of their history, but I did gain a better appreciation of their musicianship. Some aquanintances of mine in High school got really into them around 1980, and followed the band around the country...they took so much acid that each time they came back from a trek they were actually further away. I saw Phil Lesh and Friends co-headline with Dylan at the Ventura Fairgrounds in 1999 (or 2000?), and really enjoyed the extended jams, but again not something I could fully relate to.

Might have been this one, HB, on 12/30/78 on campus at Pauley Pavilion:

[archive.org]

Doesn't look like they ever played Royce Hall but they played Pauley bunches of times over the years. The soundboard above is from the date closest to your 77/8 memory. Looks like a good show!

Thanks LongBeach - that must be it! I tend to confuse those two venues as both are on the UCLA campus. I know I attended some shows at Royce Hall back in the day, but can't remember who (might have some ticket stubs in the old collection). As for Pauley Pavillion, I saw several UCLA basketball games there during the Bill Walton era - my dad had his business office right across the street from the campus. As for the Dead show I was at, I've since heard many times it was a great show from Dead heads familiar with that era of the band (although some of the comments in your link are kind of mixed). Kind of ashamed to say I was bored, but again I was only 15 and unfamiliar with the vibe of their live performances - plus I was just getting into the Clash which is almost the antithesis of the Grateful Dead!

.
.
_____________________________________________________________
Nothing to do, nowhere to go...you're talkin' to people that you don't know....



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-13 00:35 by Hairball.

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 13, 2017 01:13

Quote
Hound Dog
Dead are right up there with the Stones for my wife and I. And I think Jerry's work outside the Dead is amazing. I really feel like outside of the Dead is where Jerry shined because he could play so many different styles of music.

Just got the complete Keystone recordings box set and it is fantastic.

When you say "complete Keystone recordings box set" you're talking about this, right?

[www.dead.net]

I was on phish.net earlier today and found an ancient thread devoted to Jerry's side projects. There was near-unanimity of opinion there that his side-bands were tighter than the Dead and that his performances with those outfits were looser, more creative, more wide-ranging than with his "day job" band.

It's really remarkable what a wealth of beautiful music we would have lost had he been 'tied down' to just playing with The Grateful Dead. Poetry just oozed out of that guy's pores and I for one am grateful that he found so many varied outlets for what may very well have been the most creative performing mind in popular music in his era.

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: crholmstrom ()
Date: August 13, 2017 03:43

Thanks Hairball. I actually saw them twice. More accurately once & about 3 songs as I walked out on the 2nd show. Had a former friend who tortured me with them for a year & a half every day at work. I will never willingly listen to them ever again. That goes for cover versions of their stuff, too. Even by bands I like.

Hours are like diamonds, don't let them waste

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 13, 2017 16:44

Came across this 2012 RS interview with Bob Weir and found it fascinating:

[www.rollingstone.com]

Among its revelations (at least for me) were that Weir had organized a 4 1/2 hr concert celebrating Garcia's legacy on what would have been Jerry's 70th birthday. The show featured Garcia songs exclusively, both from The Grateful Dead and his solo career. Wonder if whichever Glimmer survives the other will hold a celebratory tribute to his partner in which he features songs from the other's solo career?

Also, here's a quote:

When the Grateful Dead were going strong, did you guys see each other's side projects and listen to each other's music outside the band?

Sure. If I came and checked out a Jerry show, generally speaking, I'd be pressed into service and would end up onstage. Either that or I'd be out with Bobby and the Midnights and we'd open for the Jerry [Garcia] Band, or stuff like that.

I'd generally end up playing with them, but I did actually go and catch the Jerry band on a few occasions, just to check in to see if he had a new lineup or a new presentation going. I had to see what that was all about, just to be up to speed on what he was up to, so that in my compositions and arrangements and stuff like that, you know. . . I'd take mental notes of stuff that he was doing that the Dead wasn't doing, and try to incorporate that into my vision of what the Dead would be capable of.


Again, imagine Mick showing up at a Winos show or Keith at Webster Hall, just in order to check out what the other was doing, with an eye toward using new approaches to help advance the Stones musically.

Impossible to compare them too closely, of course, but very different worlds, nonetheless ...

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: bob r ()
Date: August 13, 2017 18:33

I thought the Dead were good when they were 'reigned in"-- Workingmans Dead, American Beauty, Terrepin Station, etc--
I lost the plot when they would drift off into those jams....I saw them once and its seemed like they only played two songs and the show went on for hours....I know they were into improvisation like Jazz musicians, but boy it could really get boring-- but I do have to say, they are and were talented musicians...Garcia especially

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 13, 2017 21:54

Quote
bob r
I thought the Dead were good when they were 'reigned in"-- Workingmans Dead, American Beauty, Terrepin Station, etc--
I lost the plot when they would drift off into those jams....I saw them once and its seemed like they only played two songs and the show went on for hours....I know they were into improvisation like Jazz musicians, but boy it could really get boring-- but I do have to say, they are and were talented musicians...Garcia especially

I hear ya, bob r. You've described the way I felt about the band for most of my adult life. I think the only two Dead albums I ever owned up till a couple of years ago were Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. And they can still bore me when I come across a particularly uninspired show on archive.org.

But, oh man, when they were on, they were something. When Phil would refuse to let Jerry wind "Morning Dew" down, feverishly whipping him up to heights unimaginable, or when Keith or Brent would lock into a groove with Jerry and what had only seconds before been aimless noodling would suddenly become a passage of nearly inexpressible delight, or when you'd listen to "Playin in the Band" from Veneta in 72 and try to guess the exact moment the acid kicked in ...

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Date: August 13, 2017 22:06

Quote
rbk
Unlike most band vs solo members the 'Dead brought their solo songs into the Dead repertoire which allowed the songs to grow and become more interesting. It should be noted that The Wheel, Greatest Story Ever Told, They Love Each Other, Me And My Uncle, Cold Rain and Snow, Sunshine Daydream, Sugaree, Lazy Lightning, Cassidy and Alabama Getaway, among others, were regulars in the Dead the expansive songbook.

If Mick had ever suggested the Stones do "Just Another Night" Keith would have cold-cocked him.

alabama getaway is on a greateful dead studio album go to heaven.

cold rain and snow is a cover tune from the very fist studio album

me and my uncle was a cover song and was first covered in grateful dead setlists

what do these tunes have to do with solo work?

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: August 13, 2017 22:24

When I was still at the young age of 12 or 13 exploring different types of music, I bought the Grateful Dead's Blues for Allah album (which was their latest release at the time) based on the cool cover art alone.
It was dreadful listening experience at the time , and never made that mistake of buying something without a clue again. Still have the album though, and still think it's a cool cover!



I did like the albums Terrapin Station and Shakedown Street quite a bit more. The former had the great reggae-ish Estimated Prophet with the "California...." refrain, while the latter had I Need a Miracle which seemed to get a lot of radio airplay at the time.

Estimated Prophet




I loved In The Dark - the tunes Touch of Grey, Hell in a Bucket, and West L.A. Fadeaway are still some of my favorite songs by any band.
That album, along with the Skeletons in the Closet compilation have always been enough Grateful Dead for me (give or take some other tunes), but maybe someday I'll dig deeper.

.
.
_____________________________________________________________
Nothing to do, nowhere to go...you're talkin' to people that you don't know....

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: Hound Dog ()
Date: August 13, 2017 22:35

Long Beach yes that is the one.

One thing I also wanted to mention is that Dead & Company with John Mayer is absolutely awful to me. His vocals ruin such great songs.

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 14, 2017 00:17

Quote
Hairball
When I was still at the young age of 12 or 13 exploring different types of music, I bought the Grateful Dead's Blues for Allah album (which was their latest release at the time) based on the cool cover art alone.
It was dreadful listening experience at the time , and never made that mistake of buying something without a clue again. Still have the album though, and still think it's a cool cover!

I did like the albums Terrapin Station and Shakedown Street quite a bit more. The former had the great reggae-ish Estimated Prophet with the "California...." refrain, while the latter had I Need a Miracle which seemed to get a lot of radio airplay at the time.

I loved In The Dark - the tunes Touch of Grey, Hell in a Bucket, and West L.A. Fadeaway are still some of my favorite songs by any band.
That album, along with the Skeletons in the Closet compilation have always been enough Grateful Dead for me (give or take some other tunes), but maybe someday I'll dig deeper.

I can honestly say that I have never heard a single Grateful Dead song that was better in its original studio incarnation than in its best live version. They were a pretty meh band in the studio, in my opinion ... although as you point out, HB, they did have some great covers!

As the band developed songs over the years they found new avenues of exploration and emphases, new ways in ... the songs' true hearts revealed themselves in time and the tunes emerged deeper, more soulful and funky.

(They are almost the antithesis of the Stones in this respect: to my ears, other than "Midnight Rambler" from 69-73, and "I'm Free" and "Sympathy for the Devil" in 69, no other Stones live version has ever topped its studio original.)

BTW, "Terrapin" and "Shakedown" are favorites of mine, too. And the "Help on the Way/Slipknot/Franklin's Tower" that kicks off Blues for Allah became a monster suite in concert.

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 14, 2017 00:21

Quote
Hound Dog
Long Beach yes that is the one.

One thing I also wanted to mention is that Dead & Company with John Mayer is absolutely awful to me. His vocals ruin such great songs.

We saw the final show of last summer's tour at Shoreline and really dug it. I agree about Mayer's vocals. I knew very little about him as a guitarist ... and, man, that dude can play! He lacks Jerry's poetic genius, of course, but I think Dead and Co may be on average a tighter more cohesive unit than the original Grateful Dead were. They never come close to the heights of the GD, of course, but they also seem to avoid the lows.

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: Hound Dog ()
Date: August 14, 2017 00:52

To be honest Dead and Co make me want to vomit. I think John Mayer tries to show off with his soloing and I just can't stand it. Sounds harsh but you couldn't pay me to go to one of their concerts.

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Date: August 14, 2017 02:48

Quote
LongBeachArena72
Quote
Hairball
When I was still at the young age of 12 or 13 exploring different types of music, I bought the Grateful Dead's Blues for Allah album (which was their latest release at the time) based on the cool cover art alone.
It was dreadful listening experience at the time , and never made that mistake of buying something without a clue again. Still have the album though, and still think it's a cool cover!

I did like the albums Terrapin Station and Shakedown Street quite a bit more. The former had the great reggae-ish Estimated Prophet with the "California...." refrain, while the latter had I Need a Miracle which seemed to get a lot of radio airplay at the time.

I loved In The Dark - the tunes Touch of Grey, Hell in a Bucket, and West L.A. Fadeaway are still some of my favorite songs by any band.
That album, along with the Skeletons in the Closet compilation have always been enough Grateful Dead for me (give or take some other tunes), but maybe someday I'll dig deeper.

I can honestly say that I have never heard a single Grateful Dead song that was better in its original studio incarnation than in its best live version. They were a pretty meh band in the studio, in my opinion ... although as you point out, HB, they did have some great covers!

As the band developed songs over the years they found new avenues of exploration and emphases, new ways in ... the songs' true hearts revealed themselves in time and the tunes emerged deeper, more soulful and funky.

(They are almost the antithesis of the Stones in this respect: to my ears, other than "Midnight Rambler" from 69-73, and "I'm Free" and "Sympathy for the Devil" in 69, no other Stones live version has ever topped its studio original.)

BTW, "Terrapin" and "Shakedown" are favorites of mine, too. And the "Help on the Way/Slipknot/Franklin's Tower" that kicks off Blues for Allah became a monster suite in concert.

i'd say the songs on american beauty and workingmans dead are better in studio form because the band never got the harmonies right live

Re: OT: Influence of Jerry Garcia side projects on The Dead
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: August 14, 2017 06:11

Just came across this: Garcia played 2,317 live shows with The Grateful Dead.

If you add up all of his various side projects over the years, you come to around 1,300 shows. That's a LOT of concerts outside your core band!

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