The Grateful Dead - Are any of you fans?

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duotoneduotone Frets: 295
Only really started to listen to them about a month ago and have slowly been working my way through their studio albums.

So far their 5th album ‘American Beauty’ (1970) is my favourite. 

The Bob Weir documentary on Netflix actually prompted me to properly listen to their back catalogue. 
https://youtu.be/wfNewpF-j1E
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  • mudslide73mudslide73 Frets: 1714
    I go through phases of listening to them a lot but their catalogue is so vast I'm still a casual. I got into the live stuff and it's an infinite rabbit hole.. more or less every gig is available and the majority of stuff has big improvised sections so it's endless. 
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  • MrBumpMrBump Frets: 527
    Quite ignorant about them, but Touch of Grey is one of my fav songs ever.
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  • neilgneilg Frets: 22
    edited November 28
    If you've got Amazon Prime there's a six part documentary series called Long Strange Trip that's worth watching.

    And for learning about Jerry's playing the youtube channel StichMethod is really good.
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  • duotoneduotone Frets: 295
    I go through phases of listening to them a lot but their catalogue is so vast I'm still a casual. I got into the live stuff and it's an infinite rabbit hole.. more or less every gig is available and the majority of stuff has big improvised sections so it's endless. 
    I haven’t touched the live stuff yet, I just wanted to get familiar with the studio versions first.

    MrBump said:
    Quite ignorant about them, but Touch of Grey is one of my fav songs ever.
    Yeah it’s a brilliant song, my other favourite song on that ‘In The Dark’ album is called ‘Tons of Steel’ 
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  • duotoneduotone Frets: 295
    edited December 1
    neilg said:
    If you've got Amazon Prime there's a six part documentary series called Long Strange Trip that's worth watching.

    And for learning about Jerry's playing the youtube channel StichMethod is really good.
    Cheers! I have AmazonPrime, I’ll check them both out.

    Edit: Started watching the 6 part Amazon Prime documentary, it’s really good.
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  • Jerry lives 
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  • Also check out The Other One on Netflix and try and get a hold of Festival Express. The dicks picks CDs tend to be quite good for live recordings. 
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  • CloudNineCloudNine Frets: 2301
    Quite a big fan myself. Have LOADS of CD's, quite a lot of the Dick's Pick's live stuff.

    Without going into all that stuff, these below are a great place to start for the live stuff imo:

    To Terrapin, Hartford '77? Some great jamming on this one:




    And obviously an earlier classic, is 'Live Dead'. You can feel the energy of the performance on this.




    We should also remember they were totally shit live at times, like completely shambolic.  =)

    # Previously Stevieb76 on the old Music Radar #
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4912
    At university I had a lot of '60s Grateful Dead posters and a couple of T-shirts.  I love that imagery, love the album covers, love the name... but the music never sounds like I imagined it ought to.

    Although having said that, I remember the BBC broadcast a Dead live show from Germany, some time in the '80s, and I found it utterly mesmerising watching Garcia with those amazing-looking guitars of his.
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  • gringopiggringopig Frets: 617
    edited November 30
    I listened to a lot of Grateful Dead and even went to a New Year's show 1989/90 (well, I didn't have a ticket but the parking lot was an eye-opener). They had a number of good spells from '69 to '73 and in the late '70s but they were getting tired and a lot of the much vaunted improvisation was diluted as they became a business more than a band. I like Europe '72 and a few of the Dick's Picks series. Their attempts at harmonising and the awful Donna Godchaux  put me off them a bit but I love Jerry Garcia's playing and always will.


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  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 5082
    I spent the summer of 1981 working on a summer camp in America. Lots of my co-counsellors were heavily into the Dead, so I got to hear a fair amount of their music.

    It just sounded like dull country rock to me, with the added bonus you get from some American bands of there being too many people in the band.
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  • joeyowenjoeyowen Frets: 3224
    No, but I love your body is a wonderland and daughters by john mayer so I'll go the gigs and scream for him


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  • gringopiggringopig Frets: 617
    edited November 30
    scrumhalf said:
    I spent the summer of 1981 working on a summer camp in America. Lots of my co-counsellors were heavily into the Dead, so I got to hear a fair amount of their music.

    It just sounded like dull country rock to me, with the added bonus you get from some American bands of there being too many people in the band.
    There was always an edge to them and they had the most outside weird audience. I mean really weird. There was no other band like them. Listen to the 1977 show; the playing is improvised. Not pretend improvised and the drums propel the whole thing. They were a dance band at heart and there will be no band like them again. A truly American phenomenon. The subsequent post Garcia stuff has been just a sham and Mayer tried ripping him off but now it's just nostalgia and the really weird hardcore oddness has gone.
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  • gringopig said:
    scrumhalf said:
    I spent the summer of 1981 working on a summer camp in America. Lots of my co-counsellors were heavily into the Dead, so I got to hear a fair amount of their music.

    It just sounded like dull country rock to me, with the added bonus you get from some American bands of there being too many people in the band.
    There was always an edge to them and they had the most outside weird audience. I mean really weird. There was no other band like them. Listen to the 1977 show; the playing is improvised. Not pretend improvised and the drums propel the whole thing. They were a dance band at heart and there will be no band like them again. A truly American phenomenon. The subsequent post Garcia stuff has been just a sham and Mayer tried ripping him off but now it's just nostalgia and the really weird hardcore oddness has gone.
    wisd
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  • they also had probably the largest single fanbase mailing list at the time - album from 71 had the following message: 



    I think something like 60k names and addresses at the time.
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  • Philly_Q said:
    At university I had a lot of '60s Grateful Dead posters and a couple of T-shirts.  I love that imagery, love the album covers, love the name... but the music never sounds like I imagined it ought to.

    Although having said that, I remember the BBC broadcast a Dead live show from Germany, some time in the '80s, and I found it utterly mesmerising watching Garcia with those amazing-looking guitars of his.
    My usual GD anecdote is about that broadcast. Having seen the imagery, the long hair, the guitars ( but never heard the music) I expected quite different things. It was a moment of huge disappointment for which I’ve never really forgiven them. 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • What did you guys expect them to sound like?
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  • gringopiggringopig Frets: 617
    Philly_Q said:
    At university I had a lot of '60s Grateful Dead posters and a couple of T-shirts.  I love that imagery, love the album covers, love the name... but the music never sounds like I imagined it ought to.

    Although having said that, I remember the BBC broadcast a Dead live show from Germany, some time in the '80s, and I found it utterly mesmerising watching Garcia with those amazing-looking guitars of his.
    My usual GD anecdote is about that broadcast. Having seen the imagery, the long hair, the guitars ( but never heard the music) I expected quite different things. It was a moment of huge disappointment for which I’ve never really forgiven them. 
    They came from folk and bluegrass and jazz. They were only a rock band because expectation suggested it. They played rock'n'roll but it was a mix of all American music forms. They were sly and subtle and it's worth sitting down and listening to them and let their 'gas' escape from the canister!
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  • What did you guys expect them to sound like?
    Long hair, skulls, guitars, scary name - probably closer to Black Sabbath than Willie Nelson.

    Lot of bands I never really heard at the time, just saw the pictures. I read an entire book about Kiss without hearing them ( they were a bit disappointing as well, although I wasn’t as far wide of the mark). I remember reading quite a lot about ZZ Top in Sounds and then getting to watch them on OGWT, exceeded my expectations and I’ve loved them ever since. 

    And I’ve still never heard Policeman With a Loaf of Bread. 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • gringopiggringopig Frets: 617
    edited November 30
    Apparently Jerry Garcia hated the name Grateful Dead and had a fear of skeletons! lol
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  • Fair enough, I grew up knowing the deadbeats and furry looking leftover adult deadheads who were all about peace and love so I only ever associated their visauls with that!
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4912
    edited November 30
    What did you guys expect them to sound like?

    As @EricTheWeary has said, I saw the posters, the hair, the guitars... I also had a book called "West Coast Story" in which I read about bands like Alice Cooper, the Beach Boys, the Doors and the Grateful Dead several years before I ever heard their music.  It had pictures of the Dead on stage with big lava-lamp light shows...

    I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting.  Not a proto-metal band, but certainly something intense, trippy and psychedelic.  And BASSY!  I guess something a bit like Iron Butterfly, or early Pink Floyd maybe?  And then to hear the reality - not that I've heard very much, even now - with that light, almost country-ish feel.  I really don't like "Americana", and it seems closer to that kind of sound than I ever imagined it would.

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  • gringopiggringopig Frets: 617
    edited November 30
    Have a listen to the 1977 show. It's not Poco or Lucinda Williams; not that kind of Americana. It's a unique mix of song forms of America. They frame playing against song forms. It's very intense but not explicitly in that some guy in headband is pummelling away on a wah wah pedal. It's as intense as you make it. Most of the audience for Grateful dead shows didn't need lava lamps to feel psychedelic though. They needed the two drummers to power them through. Careful listening reveals what they are really up to. No wonder Sonic Youth and the like were fans.

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  • not_the_djnot_the_dj Frets: 5666
    American Beauty and Workingman's Dead is about as far as I've got with The Dead.

    I'll check out the series on Prime, thanks to the chap that first mentioned it. 
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  • ronnybronnyb Frets: 547
    This is the house where they lived in the Haight Ashbury area of San Francisco. Visited earlier this year.
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  • CloudNineCloudNine Frets: 2301
    edited November 30
    Much wisdom in this thread from @gringopig   The thing about the Grateful Dead, if you do get into them, you are in for a treat in terms of available material, as due to the big 'taping scene' that went on over the years, they must be one of the most recorded bands in history. 
    # Previously Stevieb76 on the old Music Radar #
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  • duotoneduotone Frets: 295
    @ronnyb ;
    Nic picture, I remember seeing that on the Bob Weir documentary, he walks around inside trying to remember who lived in what room...said it was a bit hazy  =)
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  • duotoneduotone Frets: 295
    Discovered yesterday that there is a Classic Album show on the making of “Anthem of the Sun” & ‘American Beauty’. I need to track this down, nothing on YouTube atm unfortunately.

    https://qello.com/concert/Classic-Albums-Anthem-To-Beauty-2477

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