A Thread for Premium Dead (whatcha Grateful for?)

mellowgerman

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Hi friends, considering a decent number of Grateful Dead fans on this forum and plenty of Guilds finding their way on stage with the boys over the years, I thought there should be a thread for premium Dead. What recordings/shows are you most Grateful for?

Obviously there are so so many good ones, but just throw a few of your favorites out there (Guilds or no Guilds)! Also, if in 6 months you discover a new favorite, please come back and post it here! Always hungry for more recommendations.

Anyway, I'll start it off with a few of my all-time favorites...


Can't get enough of this version of Promised Land:


The ultimate Morning Dew:


top shelf Scarlet Begonias, super airy and groovy (medium-level Donna warning):


Young Bobby on fire:
 
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crank

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Of course the '77 Barton Hall, Cornell show is pretty famous and really good. Though I could do without their disco Dancing In the Streets. The jam portion if that is good.

I've have a live disc, Hundred Year Hall, which was recorded, I think, during the Europe '72 tour. Just recently I realized that Garcia actually sang the 2nd verse of China Cat Sunflower twice, missing the last verse altogether. I must have played that track a dozen or so times over the years and never noticed it until a few months ago.

Here it is:
 

mellowgerman

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I feel kind of similarly about the Cornell show. Not huge on any disco-y stuff they do. Really the only takes from that one I would consider truly exceptional are Row Jimmy and They Love Each Other. The rest is enjoyable but nothing special (in terms of the whole Dead catalog) in my opinion. Actually, if you listen to that whole Lakeland/Atlanta collection that the Promised Land I posted above is from, I think it's a WAY better collection for '77 than the Cornell one.
*Fun fact, when I shared the Row Jimmy from Cornell with a friend of mine, who lives not too far from Ithaca, NY, he got a huge kick out of the fact that he had just salvaged the old breakers from Barton Hall a few months prior, which were dated 1966, so he said "Whoa man! I worked on components that the Dead's power once flowed through!"

Finally, I hadn't heard that very nice China Cat before (at least not that I can specifically remember)... and I'm from Frankfurt originally!!!! So thanks very much for sharing that!
 

crank

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Best show I ever saw was my first in 1970 at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. I was 13 and had only recently, with Workingman's Dead, been introduced to their music.

I was never one to follow them on tour and did not feel the need to see them every time they came around. I probably saw them 10 or 12 times between 1970 and 1990. Last show I attended was in 1990 at Madison Square Garden.

I have seen all of the various spin offs and iterations post Jerry:

The Dead
Further
Phil and Friends
Dead & Co.
Rat Dog

Have also seen a few of the tribute type bands, DSO and Joe Russo's Almost Dead.

I play in a jam band called AHD: About Half Dead. The name reflects our playlist.
 

mellowgerman

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Best show I ever saw was my first in 1970 at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. I was 13 and had only recently, with Workingman's Dead, been introduced to their music.

I was never one to follow them on tour and did not feel the need to see them every time they came around. I probably saw them 10 or 12 times between 1970 and 1990. Last show I attended was in 1990 at Madison Square Garden.

I have seen all of the various spin offs and iterations post Jerry:

The Dead
Further
Phil and Friends
Dead & Co.
Rat Dog

Have also seen a few of the tribute type bands, DSO and Joe Russo's Almost Dead.

I play in a jam band called AHD: About Half Dead. The name reflects our playlist.

I sure wish I could have caught an early/mid 70's Dead show... luckily they're one of the few bands that has the majority of their live shows archived and available for free consumption! Really a great experience to read Phil's book "Searching For The Sound" and to be able to look up all of the specific shows/moments he makes reference to. So glad he kept such a detailed journal over all those years of touring!
 

crank

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I sure wish I could have caught an early/mid 70's Dead show... luckily they're one of the few bands that has the majority of their live shows archived and available for free consumption! Really a great experience to read Phil's book "Searching For The Sound" and to be able to look up all of the specific shows/moments he makes reference to. So glad he kept such a detailed journal over all those years of touring!
I haven't read that. It sounds like I should. I am waitlisted on local e-library for Bill Kreutzmann's autobiography.

Have you seen any of the post Jerry Dead spin offs?

My favorite right now is Billy and the Kids with Billy Strings and Tom Hamilton on guitars.

 

mellowgerman

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I've seen RatDog (in 2005) and 7 Walkers (in 2012). Enjoyed both shows thoroughly and certainly wouldn't mind catching another one of the spin-offs, though the ticket prices and large crowds often keep me at bay. I understand it's got to be expensive to put on these big events and tours, but at the end of the day, the Dead that I am so in love with is predominantly '66-'78 and the most important aspects to me there were what Phil and Bobby were doing in those days. Of course the rest of the players were all magnificent and likely Phil and Bobby wouldn't have created as much sonic sorcery without them, but those are just the focal points for me. After that period some of the magic fades to my ears -- understandably so and in the same way ya can't be an olympic weightlifter all your life!

It's rare for me to go to a big live show these days. I might shell out for the occasional Wilco or Hot Tuna gig (maybe a few others could bring me out of my shell or maybe if an old friend is encouraging me to go with them), but for the most part I prefer live music in small venues. There are so many talented musicians/artists that are yet mostly up-and-coming or that never go past the local level. Those intimate settings are always more enjoyable to me. Might also be due to my fun but exhausting couple of years touring with a few of my own bands, that I just got a little burned out on the big crowd scene.

All that rambling aside, I've watched quite a few Billy and the Kids performances online and always enjoy what I hear! The most impressive recent spin-off performance that I've seen (via the web) was Bob Weir and the Wolf Brothers on NPR ("Only a River" and "Bird Song" are particularly amazing):
 

crank

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I am much more one of Jerry's Kids. For me the band was more about Jerry and Bill and the other players found ways, really great ways, to play around them.

Bob and the Wolf Bros are just too sleepy for me.

Bob is truly a great rhythm guitarist and does some really nifty licks . I have never heard him play a good, flowing, cohesive guitar solo.
 

mellowgerman

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I am much more one of Jerry's Kids. For me the band was more about Jerry and Bill and the other players found ways, really great ways, to play around them.

Bob and the Wolf Bros are just too sleepy for me.

Bob is truly a great rhythm guitarist and does some really nifty licks . I have never heard him play a good, flowing, cohesive guitar solo.

There's certainly a lot going on in the Grateful Dead universe. I would venture to say that where we zoom in might reflect where our personal focus lies most as players? I am a bassist who also plays guitar, but I am not a lead guitarist. When I do play guitar, it's mainly as a songwriting tool, to accompany my vocals, or to help fill out a band/jam mix and add some extra textures. I prefer to play chords ornamented with little fills and simple melodies worked in. The thought of taking an extended, improvised solo is a bit outside of my 6-string-guitar-comfort-zone and not something I have much drive to pursue as a skill (more likely to exercise my bass improvisation). That's probably why I'm more drawn to Bobby and Phil. Though certainly not to say that Jerry, Keith, Bill, et al don't regularly bring a smile to my face!
 

crank

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There's certainly a lot going on in the Grateful Dead universe. I would venture to say that where we zoom in might reflect where our personal focus lies most as players? I am a bassist who also plays guitar, but I am not a lead guitarist. When I do play guitar, it's mainly as a songwriting tool, to accompany my vocals, or to help fill out a band/jam mix and add some extra textures. I prefer to play chords ornamented with little fills and simple melodies worked in. The thought of taking an extended, improvised solo is a bit outside of my 6-string-guitar-comfort-zone and not something I have much drive to pursue as a skill (more likely to exercise my bass improvisation). That's probably why I'm more drawn to Bobby and Phil. Though certainly not to say that Jerry, Keith, Bill, et al don't regularly bring a smile to my face!
Too bad we don't live closer to each other. We could jam on some Dead.

I love taking extended, improvised solos and it is more fun to do so with creative rhythm players. I have a favorite bassist I play with and we love to weave lines around each other and chase each other around the fretboard. Unfortunately, he recently moved to Florida, not Orlando, and we are trying out new players.

Here's a good Jerry song recorded back in the '70's.

I like Jerry's less processed tone back then.

Enjoying this conversation we are having.
 

mellowgerman

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Too bad we don't live closer to each other. We could jam on some Dead.

I love taking extended, improvised solos and it is more fun to do so with creative rhythm players. I have a favorite bassist I play with and we love to weave lines around each other and chase each other around the fretboard. Unfortunately, he recently moved to Florida, not Orlando, and we are trying out new players.

Here's a good Jerry song recorded back in the '70's.

I like Jerry's less processed tone back then.

Enjoying this conversation we are having.

That Stella Blue is definitely something special! I've always preferred the non-processed tones as well, in just about any setting. Granted most of my basses have somewhat complicated electronics but it's all tone shaping, not synth or digital effects which always were a no-go for me.

It's not easy to find people to play with, that you really gel with. The search is always tedious but well worth it once you make a quality musical connection with someone.
 

crank

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I've been reading an old interview with Garcia from Frets magazine. Found it interesting that he composed a lot on piano. Said it gave him a different perspective. I didn't know he ever played piano at all.
 

geoguy

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I believe that Jerry played everything except drums (including piano and organ) on his solo album "Garcia".

Gratuitous cut from that album:

 

twocorgis

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It's funny that the '77 Barton Hall show keeps being mentioned. Many people think it was the "greatest ever", and I have to disagree, as I was there. From '76 to '80, I saw most of the Dead shows within a 200 mile or so radius from Long Island, and while there were many good ones, I still think the best GD era was earlier; before Donna, and before Pigpen died. Back then, Jerry played off the shelf guitars through a Twin Reverb (mostly) with minimal effects. To this day I wish I was a little older so I could have seen some of those shows. The early Dead had a rawness that was never there later on.

In fact, after the early '80s, I much preferred the Jerry Garcia Band, and Jerry's other side projects. They were much more what he was all about musically, I think. The shows on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater come immediately to mind, and we even have a very clandestine recording of one that my bestie made at the time.
 

crank

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It's funny that the '77 Barton Hall show keeps being mentioned. Many people think it was the "greatest ever", and I have to disagree, as I was there. From '76 to '80, I saw most of the Dead shows within a 200 mile or so radius from Long Island, and while there were many good ones, I still think the best GD era was earlier; before Donna, and before Pigpen died. Back then, Jerry played off the shelf guitars through a Twin Reverb (mostly) with minimal effects. To this day I wish I was a little older so I could have seen some of those shows. The early Dead had a rawness that was never there later on.

In fact, after the early '80s, I much preferred the Jerry Garcia Band, and Jerry's other side projects. They were much more what he was all about musically, I think. The shows on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater come immediately to mind, and we even have a very clandestine recording of one that my bestie made at the time.
We may have crossed paths at a show or so. I went to a few out at Nassau Colosseum Dillon Stadium in Hartford and Roosevelt Raceway in NJ was '76. Moved to CA in '77 though and only saw GD once out there and once at MSG in '89 or '90.

Never saw JGB. Was listening to a live cd the other day.
 
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The Guilds of Grot

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I got to see JGB a couple of times with my older Brother. Once at the R.A.C. at Rutgers and once at the Capital Theater in Passaic. At the time the Capital was sponsored by Mateus Wines. That place had the stickiest floor I've ever had the displeasure of walking on!
 

mellowgerman

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Saw this today... made me think of this thread :cool:
256fbb011760bef4eb2352efde4bfb0a--dead-memes-grateful-dead.jpg
 

twocorgis

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We may have crossed paths at a show or so. I went to a few out at Nassau Colosseum Dillon Stadium in Hartford and Roosevelt Raceway in NJ was '76. Moved to CA in '77 though and only saw GD once out there and once at MSG in '89 or '90.

Never saw JGB. Was listening to a live cd the other day.
The shows I saw were mostly on Long Island, in NYC and upstate NY, Philly and CT. Saw many great ones, and Barton Hall qualifies as one, but greatest ever? I don't think so, but we all know what opinions are like.
 

Sal

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I'm not a GD fan but I know every note of the first Old And In The Way record, for many years the greatest selling Blue Grass record of all time. Jerry Garcia's banjo playing is heavenly.
 

crank

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I'm not a GD fan but I know every note of the first Old And In The Way record, for many years the greatest selling Blue Grass record of all time. Jerry Garcia's banjo playing is heavenly.
Great band and record. Every bluegrasser I know, including me, covers Midnight Moonlight.
 
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