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This has been bothering me ever since I watched President Obama honor Led Zeppelin at Kennedy Center.  I really like Led Zeppelin and have great respect for their influence in rock and roll.  They were truly a great band, from England.  The Grateful Dead are THE American band and I believe they should be honored for their long and illustrious career at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. by the President of the United States of America.

Please follow me down below the squiggle to find out why.

When I think of American bands that have had a lasting influence on the direction of American rock and roll or music (particularly live music) in general, the Grateful Dead should be at the top of anyone's list.  Led Zeppelin has deep roots in the blues, but their integration of other forms of American music pretty much stops there.  The music of The Grateful Dead, on the other hand is a fusion of folk, country, blues and jazz.  

The Grateful Dead were pioneers in the production of music and sound.  The first to use 16-track recordings in the studio.  The "wall of sound" system they used in the 70's is still the standard for optimal sound reproduction, as well as the standard design of most mega-concert sound systems.  They were also one of the first (if not the first) to really reach out to their fans, sending out newsletters and unreleased recordings to their fans at no charge.  They established a mail order ticket purchasing system that many groups still used.  One of the first newsgroups created on the internet (before e-mail) concerned the Dead.

The Grateful Dead changed the way many live concerts were presented.  Most groups did the same set night after night for their entire tour; if you saw them once, you saw them a hundred times.  The Dead rarely played the same song 2 consecutive nights.  While many of today's choreographed concerts are still done that way, many groups have followed the example of the Dead and give people variety and spontaneity that is often lacking in many shows.

Their work ethic was legendary.  In their thirty year history, they played over 2000 shows.  Jerry Garcia, with his side work included, has probably sold more tickets than any other musical figure in the 20th century.

Their impact on cover art for albums was also huge.  Grateful Dead logos are everywhere, from "stealies" to dancing bears and skeletons.  Merchandising, come on, you see Grateful Dead tee shirts and bumper stickers in any store that sells the stuff.

The Grateful Dead supported their community and have done many concerts for various charitable organizations.  Their sponsorship of the Lithuanian Basketball team in 1992 is a truly great story.  The surviving members of the band continue to perform benefit concerts for the Rex Foundation and other charities.

Their music appeals to all generations that bother to take the time to listen to it.  They have written some of the deepest, most powerful songs I have ever heard.  They rarely performed standard rock songs about sex, drugs and rock & roll.  Their music is still widely available to the public.  Unlike most famous groups who carefully guard copies of live recordings, tapes of Dead shows are available for free at countless internet sites.  The influence of their music on many of my generation is inestimable.

I could go on and on.

If you read this far, perhaps you can help me.  I want to know how to start an online petition to have the band honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. by the President of the United States of America.   Personally, I'd like to see Jerry on a stamp, but that's probably a little to much to ask. I know there are more than a few current or retired deadheads on this site and I would welcome your input.  I'm going to play around to try to make an acceptable draft of a petition, but I would really like input on how to publicize it.

Originally posted to Dedhed70 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:02 PM PDT.

Also republished by Shakedown Street: For Deadheads on Kos.

Poll

Should the Grateful Dead be honored at the Kennedy Center

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Comment Preferences

  •  and to top it off... (13+ / 0-)

    they seem to be down to earth, unpretentious, nice people that care about their fans.

    •  Jerry Garcia's down to earth (0+ / 0-)

      unpretentious mansion, five-car garage, Rolls Royce, etc. can be yours for a song.

      I never liked you and I always will.

      by Ray Blake on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:58:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  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

        [ Parent ]

        •  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

          [ Parent ]

          •  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

            [ Parent ]

            •  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

              [ Parent ]

              •  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

                [ Parent ]

                •  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

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  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

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  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

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  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

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  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

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  BTW, compare the Dead's 1967 recording (0+ / 0-)

                            of The Golden Road to later lackluster versions, including Further's. They're all on YouTube. The original has so much energy, joy and drive.

                            I never liked you and I always will.

                            by Ray Blake on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 06:20:51 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  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

                          [ Parent ]

            •  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

          [ Parent ]

        •  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 :).  

      •  He was wealthy, no doubt. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        That particular house seemed a bit out of character, I agree. You and I aren't the only ones that think so.

        'Out of character' - that is the key phrase that justifies my previous comment.

      •  Always one turd in the punchbowl (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Thinking Fella, Words In Action

        Congrats!




        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 06:39:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't want to spoil the party (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Free Jazz at High Noon

          so I'll go. (Not really.) The question at hand is whether the Dead deserve to be honored by the Kennedy Center. I vote no and have stated why. However, one of the best rock shows I ever saw was--brace yourself--the Grateful Dead live at a local junior high school just before their first album was released. That was when they had one drummer and Pig Pen, who was the authentic star of that band. It's a shame he died because he was the balls of the Dead. He had a great bluesy voice, played keyboards soulfully and was an all-around badass mofo. At that time, that band actually did rock. Their first album is a good representation of who they were at the time.  

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:07:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  They paid for health care and college tuition (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rubyclaire

        for their employees. Everyone had medical and dental insurance plus the band paid for college for the children of their employees. One of the reason's the band never stopped touring was because they were afraid they would no longer be able to cover their employees insurance. They were one of the top grossing acts in the early 90s the second time Jerry was sick and they could have taken a six month or one year hiatus to make sure Jerry got some rest and rehab. Frankly, they should have staged an intervention for him and had a full time sobriety coach like Downey Jr. has today.

  •  I like The Band. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, kyril

    I'd have to hear more of the Dead.  I can't stand their long jams.  Deal is a great song though.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:11:32 PM PDT

  •  But they were saturated with drugs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA, devis1, dov12348

    for most of their career. And their concerts were LSD-fest for a large portion of the audience. Their close association with drugs  has always been an enormous hindrance to official recognition.

    Let's wait at least until marijuana is legalized.

    Personally, I think Robert Hunter is the one who should be honored above all.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:22:23 PM PDT

  •  I still could use some advice on the process (5+ / 0-)

    I realize that this band inspires debate, but if anyone has any experience posting and publicizing an online petition, I would really love some input.  (Before I get high and forget what I was doing :))

    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 05:33:34 PM PDT

  •  I like the debate too. (8+ / 0-)

    I'm always happy when people are talking Dead.

    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 05:42:30 PM PDT

  •  They'll have to get in line (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanview

    I think Gwar is first.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:54:30 PM PDT

  •  Why hello there. (7+ / 0-)

    Republished to Shakedown Street for DeadHeads.

    :)




    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 06:12:03 PM PDT

  •  Not Really My Kind of Music Except for the Folk/ (6+ / 0-)

    bluegrass elements, but you make excellent points. And obviously there are many to be made.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:18:17 PM PDT

  •  This should give you some ideas for your petition (7+ / 0-)

    https://www.google.com/...

    I love the Dead; and I love the current incarnation, Furthur.  They are still making amazing music.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Love one another

    by davehouck on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:31:48 PM PDT

    •  Further is meh. Too much Weir (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Blake

      Why did they bring in fake Jerry (John Kadlicek) if Weir was going to sing Jerry songs? I know Warren Haynes and he had problems working with Weir because Weir ran"The Dead" (thanks guys for that incredibly stupid and confusing rebranding post Jerry). OTOH, Warren was used to a much more low key, more respectful of everyone attitude from his days in Phil and Friends.

  •  Ray does make one good point about the (5+ / 0-)

    Dead, and that is that they are a "get it or don't" proposition. And those who get or don't can take it to extremes- for example, I've known heads whose listening diet is solely Dead and JGB. Now there is a lot of music there, but come on!

    On the other end of the spectrum, I've known folks who hated the Dead. What didn't they like? One saw a documentary on deadheads and decided that "the music sucked." despite the fact that as memory serves there was little to no Dead music in the damn thing.

    Anyway, sure! Induct them alongside the Ramones. I'm not kidding.:-)

    •  For a long time I was agressively Dead-o-centric (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, Free Jazz at High Noon

      Only before discovering them, and, as the years passed since Jerry's death, after, did I listen to other music.

      Still, nothing comes close to them in terms of my listening preference.




      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 08:46:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not particularly fond. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Blake

      I do sort of miss what would happen when the Dead showed up in a city 40 miles from home -- even at that distance you could tell that the Deadheads were about.  I wanted to go to a concert, but for the audience and not for the musicians.

      The music, though, meh.  Perhaps there's some great subtlety I'm missing, but it's just bland with little expressive power.  Or maybe I'm the lowest of lowbrows because I really enjoyed Phish, which was endlessly compared to the Dead.

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:30:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, sure, the scene was a big pull (0+ / 0-)

        for non-Deadheads and DeadHeads alike.

        Must've been for the veggie burritos. Certainly not for the travelling drug market. ;)

        As far as blandness, towards the later years it became more and more hit and miss as far as quality of performance.

        Suffice to say, there was a reason why a lot of us HAD to go to every single show. It wasn't for elevator music, it was for the chance to experience a truly phenomenal musical journey.




        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 10:49:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, it was in search of community. (0+ / 0-)

          When I was about 24, I wanted to find some sort of intentional community of peaceful people.  The Deadheads gave off the impression of being just that.  If anything, the music was secondary.  There was also the Whole Earth/CoEvolution vibe that appeared to thread itself into that community.  Some of the smartest, freest people I knew and respected were into that general scene as well.  

          The community appeared to offer autonomy, community and emotional security, so I was sort of glad to see it land near town.  Had it landed in town, perhaps not so much...

          "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

          by Yamaneko2 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 11:17:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Jerry being dead (really) is a problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Blake

    I think the KC honors are limited to living people who are available to attend the ceremony, sort of like the Nobel Prize.   They are not given posthumously.  

    So who's around to get an award for the Dead these days?  Is Phil Lesh really that major a contributor to the development of rock music?   I think that's how the people who decide these things would look at it.   They could give it to The Who since Townsend and Daltry, the two major creative members, are still around.  Same story with Zeppelin.  If Jerry and Pig Pen were still alive, it might be a different story.    

    •  This'll just show (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead

      we forgive them for being late to the party... :-)

      What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

      by Words In Action on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:20:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Phil isn't any less of a contributor (3+ / 0-)

      than Jerry would be, though admittedly not as well-known.

      But I understand your point, and have no knowledge of their deliberation process/criteria.




      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 08:40:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So what. John Bonham has been dead for 30 years (0+ / 0-)

      And they are still honoring Zeppelin. Whether you like the Dead or not, they are part of Americana. Listen to American Beauty and Workingman's dead for the influence of American folk music. Listen to songs like Me and My Uncle>Big River and covers of Mama Tried, El Paso, Promised Land, etc. to see how country music listened to them. And then there's jazz in much of the jamming. Three American musical genres that influenced their music and the Dead are still influencing bands themselves.

  •  The Grateful Dead were unique in so many ways (6+ / 0-)

    The Dead performed many hundreds of songs. I heard that Jerry Garcia had a repertoire of 1200 songs. I can't even think of 5 love songs, the staple of rock and roll and pop music. And only one political song (Wave That Flag / US Blues). I consider Workingman's Dead as the greatest, most enduring folk / Americana album. Almost all of its songs are about death and loss (Black Peter, Dire Wolf, Casey Jones, High Time, New Speed Boogy). From High Psychedelia to Folk/Blues/Roots, The Dead, with Jerry Garcia as their leader, touched so many peoples' lives. Today I saw a poster of Jerry playing with Dave Grisman and few folks at some mountain festival later in his career. I was moved nearly to tears.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:49:27 PM PDT

  •  I never liked the Dead in college in the 1970s (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead, WI Deadhead

    when roommates were smoking pot and playing the early albums.

    Contrary to Ray Blake, Pig Pen was an awful singer, and I couldn't stand Donna Godchaux (although she did a magnificent job on one album song, the song Sunrise on the 1977 album Terrapin Station).

    But my brother started dragging me to shows in the early 1980s and I got converted.  When Jerry died in 1995, my brother was the first person to post a memorial website, back when that was novel.

    American Beauty is their best work, especially Ripple and Brokedown Palace, but there is so much that is excellent.  I'm a very big fan of Terrapin Station.

    Ray Blake's comments in this thread are a big fart.

  •  Saw them at RFK stadium (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead

    Man, did they stink up the place that day. Though you wouldn't have known it by the "swirlys" dancing throughout. I thought to myself, "they must have much better drugs than I".

    But, in fairness, it was unbearably hot. I think the stage had to be over 120 degrees. Jerry Garcia checked into the hospital the next day. Bob Dillon also played that day, also horribly. Ashen gray in color, I thought Bob might die right there, on stage.

    Too bad this was the only time I got to see the Dead play. I love the music and am sure most of their concerts were far better.

  •  Zeppelin stole from black musicians & took credit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WI Deadhead

    IMO, they were a very good band, BUT were plagiarists who stole lyrics form Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, Howling Wolf, and other black blues musicians and then incorporated them into their own songs denying any royalties or song-writing credits to the original artists they stole from in the first place.

  •  One techie quibble.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roberb7
    The "wall of sound" system they used in the 70's is still the standard for optimal sound reproduction, as well as the standard design of most mega-concert sound systems.
    That was indeed a groundbreaking system in a number of ways, and they probably would have continued using it if rising fuel costs hadn't made it financially impractical.  But I've never heard of another band using anything like it, let alone it being the "standard design" of modern systems.  
    •  Check out the placement of speakers and monitors (0+ / 0-)

      in most large concerts.  Then look at a picture of the wall of sound.  I think you'll notice the similarities.  Then check out pictures of other sound setups during the period, and see the differences in the placement of the system.

      The Dead also used Macintosh Amps and very high quality, cutting edge sound equipment in an attempt to deliver the best sound quality.

      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 06:27:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not really seeing it. (0+ / 0-)

        As I recall, there were two radically different things about that system.  
        One was that instead of combining all the signals at the mixing board and sending it as a stereo feed to the house system, each source had its own amplification chain and it s own speaker system.  This reduced what's called intermodulation distortion and produced sound of amazing clarity.  
        The other thing they did was set up pairs of vocal mics for each singer, with one of each pair having its polarity reversed, which canceled out most of the stage sound that those mics typically pick up. Again, this made for a clearer sound. It also allowed them to put the system behind the band, which couldn't be done with conventional systems because there would be too much leakage and feedback.
        But I don't recall anyone else using those techniques since then.
        The story I heard was that when they could no longer afford to tour with that system (actually two identical systems, since it took so long to set up, they "leapfrogged" so that the system for their next date was  always being set up) they broke it up and sold it, providing sound systems for probably every band in the Bay area.

  •  agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl

    Not that the Dead ever needed the approval of The Establishment to validate their contribution to the music scene and the world of music, but it's ironic that, given their longevity and crazy number of live performances, devoted followers, and truly unique place in American music that they wouldn't be honored by now. It would be an exercise in stupidity to try to compare and argue which band is more worthy of the Kennedy Center Honor, taste in music being individual, and Zeppelin's contribution truly significant, but suffice to say that to ignore a band that toured extensively for thirty years with a repertoire both drawing from and contributing enormously to the fabric of American music is indicative of how irrelevant the Honors can be.
    On a similar note, although I'm an enormous Stone's fan and pleased that these guys are still offering us their energy and music, it frustrates me to hear the over emphasis on their fifty years when they only offered tours once every so many years, while a band like the Dead toured extensively almost every year of their thirty together. It's like bragging on a fifty year anniversary with a spouse that you only had to live with for a few months every few years.

    •  The bigger questions would be: (0+ / 0-)

      1. Would they show up?

      2. Would their tye-dyed tuxedos clash with the multicolored ribbons that the award hangs around their necks on?

      ;-)

      I tend to agree with you about the Stones and their "longevity".

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      by a gilas girl on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 01:12:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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