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Band: The Grateful Dead

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The Grateful Dead

Not Crap.
Total votes : 165

Postby coat on Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:51 pm

i heard about this one time jerry and co were playing in washington state and like they were playing by a volcano and jerry said something about the volcano and like, the thing blew, and everyone turned into angels and that's how deadheads came about. deadheads really were dead!
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Postby same on Sat Mar 26, 2005 6:22 pm

when i was a youngster in the midst of my long d&d and metal phase, i used to think that the greatful dead were cool simply because of their skull logo. it was a sad day when i actually heard them, not unlike the time i saw the rocky horror picture show. hearing the misfits for the first time made up for it though.
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Postby Lazybones on Sun Mar 27, 2005 11:03 pm

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Postby stevenstillborn on Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:20 am

Lazybones wrote::smt015

Thought I'd give this one a bump since people are arguing over the Greatful Dead and VU.

oh yeah, and CRAP.
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Postby Peripatetic on Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:41 am

The crappiest crap that's ever been crapped.
rysie wrote:The original dumb shit was so very nearly compressed
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Postby full point on Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:44 am

i gotta chime in here....

The Grateful Dead's sound system was WAY ahead of it's time.

I used to hate this band with a vengeance. However, after watching "The Grateful Dead" movie I found them to be a pretty okay band with a rather tolerable live show. Bob Weir seems really weird and shady to me. J Garcia is an annoying hippy. The bassist seems pretty cool and the drummers and keyboard guy seem okay too. However, their playing AS A BAND is definitely a force to be reckoned with. To write them off purely because they're hippies is gae. (Hippies are pieces of shit though....don't get me wrong). It's just what hippies do with their time that determines their c/nc status.

I think it was the Alembic dude that built all of their sound equipment for them which is really pretty awesome. Ever notice that most sound-guys dig the dead? You gotta respect that amount of quality gear. They were silly hippies but they did have SOME taste in gear, at least.

Not crap with a mid-grade WF.
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Postby khallgren on Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:24 pm

Vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and piano each had their own channel and set of speakers. Phil Lesh's bass was quadraphonic, and each string had its own channel and set of speakers. One channel amplified the bass drum, and two channels amplified the other drums and cymbals in stereo. Because each speaker was producing the sound of just one instrument or vocalist, the sound was exceptionally clear and intermodulation distortion between instruments was nonexistent.

The Wall of Sound was designed to act as its own monitor system, and it was therefore assembled behind the band so the members could hear exactly what their audience was hearing. Because of this, a special microphone system had to be designed to prevent feedback. The Dead used matched pairs of condenser microphones spaced 60mm apart and run out-of-phase. The vocalist sang into the top microphone, and the lower mic picked up whatever other sound was present in the stage environment. The signals were summed, the sound that was common to both mics (the sound from the Wall) was cancelled, and only the vocals were amplified.

That's badass!

I'd been watching some live show on Detroit PBS for a while and decided to look up what the deal is with the vocal mics. Pretty cool.

I don't like the dead, but they seem nice and a lot of their stuff sounds pretty good.

Not crap!
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Postby Angus Jung on Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:42 am

Several books have been written about the Grateful Dead. Which one is best?

I would appreciate, but am not very confident about receiving, a considered opinion.
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Postby kerble on Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:51 am

joshsolberg wrote:Q: How many Deadheads does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: Never happens. They just follow it around in a van for 25 years, watching it burn out.

no no no.....

Q: How many Deadheads does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: None. Deadheads screw in dirty sleeping bags.
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Postby Brett Eugene Ralph on Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:51 pm

I was very surprised to see, in the movie Festival Express, Bob Weir defending the Canadian cops who'd attempted to impede masses of hippies who'd stormed the concert because music should be free and "for the people." A cop had gotten his head busted open and Weir expressed real concern for the cop and his family, pointing out that the cops had kept their cool and that it was the longhairs who'd been unruly and violent. That the Dead opted to play a free concert at some park after their scheduled set at the festival just as a show of good will impressed me. The Dead come off as intelligent, concerned individuals in this film, unlike Rick Danko, who appears to a garden variey coke-addled cretin.

Too bad the Dead's music totally sucks because I was willing to cut them some slack there for a few moments. I must admit, though, that twice in my life--much to the amusement of my ex-wife--I mistook a Grateful Dead song on the radio and started "getting into it." The first time an instrumental passage fooled me into thinking it was the Allman Brothers; the other time the "broken" singing (like Tim, this is the only thing about the Dead that occasionally delights me) made me think it was The Band. Just goes to show how wrong you can be...
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Postby bigc on Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:29 pm

In the mid to late 60's the Dead were rocking pretty good.

They sure managed to suck ass by 1972 though.

The early stuff really is pretty solid. When Pigpen died it went to hell, though.
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Postby Incornsyucopia on Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:07 am


I love Pigpen, but I can't believe you'd dismiss their post-'72 material if you were actually familiar with it. 1972 was in fact one of their peak years (that continued through '73-74); the various releases from their European Tour of that year, along with numerous other shows reveals a rock band embarking to destinations unknown of jazz-rock psychedelia.
One of my favorite moments is from a concert in Frankfurt, Germany documented on the official release Hundred Year Hall. After jamming on "Turn On Your Lovelight" for a while the band is looking for a place to go. Garcia wants to go into "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad," while Weir and the drummers are pushing for "Not Fade Away." Eventually Garcia wins out and they go into GDTRFB, but it's a marvelous example of the Dead's openminded willingness to improvise entire sets, not just within a pre-selected group of songs as nearly all other groups do.
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Postby Incornsyucopia on Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:19 am

Angus Jung wrote:Several books have been written about the Grateful Dead. Which one is best?

I would appreciate, but am not very confident about receiving, a considered opinion.

There have been several, but as to which one is best that would depend on what kind of an account you're looking for. If you're looking for something academic, Perspectives on the Grateful Dead: Critical Writings by Robert Weiner would probably be the best. For more salacious commentary try Living With the Dead by Rock Scully their long time associate and tour manager. Perhaps the most balanced would be Dennis McNally's A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead. A good place to start might be to check out the reviews on Amazon.com. Any specific questions you might have I could do my best to answer. Good luck searching.
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Postby Mazec on Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:41 am

Angry_Dragon wrote:I've tried and tried to listen to this band that Lee Ranaldo says is a huge influence and it just doesn't happen. CRAP

Don't believe Lee when he cites the Dead as major influence. He's just being modest. He wants to give somebody partial credit for his awesomeness, as if somebody else had a hand in generating his creativity.

When I throw on a classic SY record, however, it's generally the sounds of Lee and Thurston being awesome that I hear, as opposed to those of their real or imaginary influences.
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Postby Jodi S. on Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:08 am

One of the best Dead things I have ever heard was the Plunderphonics version of "Dark Star" - most of Oswald's stuff is available for free online but I am not sure if this is.

I listened to it because I wanted to hear what all the fuss was about, re: "Dark Star" since every Deadhead I have ever spoken to is always like "Duuuuuude, Dark Star!"

Never mind that for years I thought they were talking about "Highway Star", which is most assuredly Not Crap.

I will still listen to Workingman's/American Beauty on occasion, and one of my "housework" shirts is a tie-dyed Dead shirt from their string of concerts at MSG years ago.
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Postby Mark Lansing on Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:51 am

American Beauty and Workingman's Dead are nice albums, though the rest of their catalog leaves me cold, and if they really were an amazing live experience, I sure get no sense of it from the live tapes and videos some otherwise well-meaning friends have subjected me to.

However, I don't hate the Dead half as much as I hate their fans, an incredible number of whom are self-righteous and self-absorbed faux-hippies who seem to think dropping acid in public equals a major cultural experience. Gimmie Moby Grape, the 13th Floor Elevators or the Sir Douglas Quintet any day. (Or Television, while we're at it.)
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Postby eephour on Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:46 pm

I really, really like Garcia's vocals, guitar playing and his tone. He had such a melodic way of playing, and when he was on, he was amazing. Of course I've heard a fair share of shows where he is just a noodling junkie. I can do without the rest of the band, except maybe Phil who always seemed pretty likable to me.

Someone asked about at GD book to read, I would read Lesh's autobiography its pretty damn good. There is an unauthorized bio on Jerry called Captain Trips that I was told was pretty funny as it told a bunch of crazy Jerry stories, but I never managed to find a copy.
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Postby Ekkssvvppllott on Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:48 pm

The Dead?

No thanks.

Surely they had some great moments, but I can think of a million other things I'd rather do than sift through their back catalog in search of that all too rare gem.

Granted, I'm immensely biased against The Greatful Dead seeing as how I went to a suburban public high school in which the "cool kids" listened to them and Phish and the usual litany of atrocious preppie-rock bollocks, but I don't feel that I'm missing out on anything at all in continuing to ignore their music.
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Postby BClark on Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:49 pm

NC. what a band. "live dead" is a great live recording. "american beauty" and "workingman's dead" are great albums.

WF very high for starting the whole "jam band" thing. but that's like giving zeppelin a high WF for starting the whole "arena rock" thing... doesn't speak to the quality of the band itself.
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Postby Superking on Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:22 pm

I like Workingman's Dead quite a bit.

And I have always liked "Touch of Grey" quite a bit. It makes me do some kind of herky-jerky softshoe thing, like a bum dancing fancy in 1937.

They made a lot of crap, but I'm going Not Crap.
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