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View Diary: Isn't It time: Kennedy Center honors for The Grateful Dead (115 comments)

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  •  They also gave a lot to various charities. (9+ / 0-)

    They also allowed people to tape their music and put it on the internet for people to enjoy for free.  How many other famous bands do that?  Do you begrudge them all their fortunes.

    PS:  I never felt cheated by them, even after over 200 shows.

    GOP gun control: Better that a thousand psychopaths have access to semi automatic weapons than one innocent man be deprived of his second amendment rights.

    by Dedhed70 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:04:27 PM PDT

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    •  I don't begrudge them their fortunes (0+ / 0-)

      but they did make serious millions and ceased being "down to earth" a long time ago. The rich, including the Dead, do not live like the rest of us. They did let their fans tape their music long before the internet, but that's not a reason to honor the music itself.

      I never liked you and I always will.

      by Ray Blake on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:25:15 PM PDT

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      •  You sound pretty knowledgeable (4+ / 0-)

        about them.

        What date was your first show?




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:18:24 PM PDT

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        •  I saw them in early '66 (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, DeadHead, WI Deadhead

          I was 14, in a band myself. They had a skeleton light show crew along, projecting film loops and slides, as I remember. There were maybe 150 people at the gig. A short riser for a bandstand. They had great blues energy, and like I said, Pig Pen was for my money a great blues singer, better than Paul Butterfied, up there with Charlie Musselwhite. The Dead's modest entourage was about half bikers, half boho eggheads. A revelatory experience for me at that time.

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:36:08 PM PDT

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          •  Never cared much for the real early years (3+ / 0-)

            though I respect their place in the band's history. A bit too unpolished. As musicians, they hadn't, imo, developed enough discipline for my taste. Come 1970 or so, that started to change, as their experience playing with each other grew.

            I certainly wouldn't recommend the real early years to someone new to the Dead as a place to start exploring their music.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
            ~ Jerry Garcia

            by DeadHead on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:27:25 PM PDT

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            •  Huh? The early years include (0+ / 0-)

              the first album, Grateful Dead (1967), Anthem of the Sun (1968), Aoxomoxoa (1969), and then the CSN&Y homages, Workingman's Dead (1970) and American Beauty (1971), all stellar. It goes rapidly downhill from there. These were the golden years of the Dead, the rest is noodling and rehash. Polish was never the Dead's strong suit. The benefit of Pig Pen in the early years was that they had some soul. After that, they became rich hippies riding the insular gravy train of 60's nostalgia.

              I never liked you and I always will.

              by Ray Blake on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:51:43 PM PDT

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              •  Studio albums are great (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rubyclaire, WI Deadhead

                They lay down reference versions of their songs. Of course I don't deny the importance of those.

                Please note, I said 1970 onward.

                1972-1977 is not my idea of "rapidly downward." Some of the greatest performances they ever did were in that time frame.
                 




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                ~ Jerry Garcia

                by DeadHead on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:12:25 PM PDT

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                •  True, the Dead aren't an album band (0+ / 0-)

                  per se but they made some really good ones up until 1972. I used to take part in very long improvs of "The Eleven" back in the day. And I won't deny the power of the Deadhead experience for Deadheads. It's great to have a community. But there's a reason that few rock musicians are keen on the Dead (in spite of Phish and the like)--because it isn't and doesn't rock. Without Robert Hunter's distinct lyric writing, the music would be pure vanilla. And if I want to hear musicians who can really jam, I'll listen to Buddy Guy or Miles.

                  I never liked you and I always will.

                  by Ray Blake on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:55:26 PM PDT

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                  •  Few musicians are keen on the Dead? (2+ / 0-)

                    That is your own bias being stated as fact. It has no connection to reality whatsoever. Countless musicians have been influenced, have great respect for, and had the honor of performing with them.

                    Go ask Bob Dylan what he thinks about the Dead. Or Branford Marsalis. Or, if he were still with us, the late Clarence Clemons. Bruce Hornsby might have something to say about them, too.

                    You are entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts.

                    Go listen to any Scarlet Begonias /Fire on the Mountain played live in the year 1977 and tell me how "vanilla" it sounds.

                    Because, I think you overlooked a couple things in your assessment of this band.

                    Never mind.

                    You ain't gonna learn what you don't wanna know.

                    Have a nice evening.




                    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                    ~ Jerry Garcia

                    by DeadHead on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 11:15:49 PM PDT

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                    •  Elvis Costello loves the Dead. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DeadHead

                      Ditto Greg Ginn (Black Flag)- certainly an influence.

                      •  Exactly, and (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Free Jazz at High Noon

                        many more could be added to the list.

                        In other words, Mr. Blake is misinformed.




                        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                        ~ Jerry Garcia

                        by DeadHead on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 12:41:12 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I didn't say that nobody likes the Dead (0+ / 0-)

                          But Dylan made a couple born-again albums too, among his other, uh, side trips. It could be argued that Hornsby's career nosedive corresponds with his Dead gig, just about when I lost interest in him. And Costello is a fan of Georgie Fame, Dolly Parton and Abba as well, so take his willingness to show up with anybody who can still draw an audience with a grapefruit-sized grain of salt. Here's my point: I've been playing and recording with rock bands since my teens, hung out with hundreds of rock musicians on the East and West Coasts, and when the names of musicians who rock come up, the Dead and Jerry Garcia are not on the list. I don't recall anyone ever asking, "Hey Ray, play that great track from 'Go to Heaven'." Most guitar players I've known think Garcia was a mediocre noodler at best. Every solo was the same, with the same hackneyed phrases played over and over, whether  rock, country or pseudo-jazz. I realize the Dead are greater than the sum of their parts, with multiple drummers and keyboard players on hand to obscure their guitarists' limitations. They had legions of tie-dyed fans who followed them around the country and still hang on their every recorded word, calling themselves "Deadhead Dan" or whatever. More power to 'em. Love live the Grateful Dead.

                          I never liked you and I always will.

                          by Ray Blake on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:32:18 PM PDT

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                    •  Here's Elvis and Jerry working their magic. (0+ / 0-)

                      Play that funky music, white boys. ;>)

                      I never liked you and I always will.

                      by Ray Blake on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:33:22 PM PDT

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        •  January 2, 1970 (0+ / 0-)

          At the Fillmore East,

          GOP gun control: Better that a thousand psychopaths have access to semi automatic weapons than one innocent man be deprived of his second amendment rights.

          by Dedhed70 on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 05:52:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I used to be one of those tapers (7+ / 0-)

      Senheisser ME-40's, later AKG 460's, for mics onto DAT (digital audio tape).

      As for Ray Blake above, don't bother.




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:47:18 PM PDT

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    •  On the Kona Coast we remember them as real people. (12+ / 0-)

      Back in the early 90's the Dead got certified as scuba divers here with Jack's Diving Locker.  I can remember as a captain on the Kailua pier walking by their dive boat, and Jerry would be on board with a big grin, eager to go diving.  They also put up the money for the first environmentally friendly mooring buoys, because anchors dropped on coral is a primary cause of reef death.  Those buoys were a model for the rest of the state and are still in use.  I think one reason Jerry liked Kona was he that he could be treated as a real person, not just a celebrity musician, and people respected that.  

      Having grown up in the Bay Area I saw them a few times, and Jerry and his own band more than a few when he came up to UC Davis while I was in college.  You either got the Dead, or you didn't.  Fortunately for me, I did.  

      I tell you what, if you had seen Jerry on a dive boat with a bunch of strangers where most of them had no clue who he was, you would realize that unpretentious was a pretty good description.  He always had a happy grin on his face when I saw him there.

      But hey, I still have some Zep LP's as well;  I do agree that the Dead deserve the honor as a real American icon.  I remember when Walter Cronkite died one of the stories that came out was when he was dragged to a Dead concert and became a fan :).  

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