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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by 1293, Aug 28, 2018.
Let me help you pin point it. It's their repulsive music.
For me I wouldn't call it "a lot" but some for sure - stuff like Attics of My Life and Row, Jimmy Row, that draggy whiny Jerry singing I don't hate but I will skip to the next song.
Their studio work was tight at least on Workingmans and American Beauty. But the live shows are what made me a fan.
I have this to say about that. What's missing here has been sent your way...
unnamed by Ray, on Flickr
keep it cool & groovy
I saw them once, back in the early 80's, in a sports arena with horrible acoustics. And it wasn't one of their best nights. They were out of tune, out of synch with each other, they rambled around, they sang off key. So, not a great experience. I just chalked it up to me not getting it and moved on.
Fast forward several years, and I had a lady friend who had been to 80+ shows, had a great tape library, and who schooled me on what to listen for, what made a great show great, what some of the best versions of songs were, etc. I really learned to appreciate them a lot more, and became a fan. Do I love everything they ever did? No. They failed miserably on occasion, but at other times, they were absolutely brilliant.
When I go camping with friends I play a lot of Dead songs around the fire, and everyone loves them. That probably says something.
I became a Deadhead in the 80's. I'd rejected them before then because I was rebelling against my hippie upbringing. This period and until the end is rightly regarded as the weakest musically, but is still the source of some of the most amazing musical moments I've ever experienced. I can't imagine how I would have reacted to some of the shows of the '70s. Garcia was a fantastic guitar player (I wax and wane on Bobby; sometimes Weir is playing these amazing and complex backing chords, other times he's just plinka-plinka-plink). I can understand why people hate them, too. I always advised people to try a Dead show at least once; it was like going to the circus.
I enjoy seeing Dead & Company now. Mayer is a better all-around guitarist, I think, and every show is great, but while they don't suffer through terrible shows (and it wasn't always laid on Jerry), they also don't have those transcendent moments when the band was on fire together. Garcia also played in tandem with the keyboardist and seemed to have a lively relationship with Brent Mydland. Mayer plays off Weir.
I love them. I spent years not listening and I am now listening to more live recordings than I ever did before. I saw them live many times but was not one to ‘go on tour’ in multiple cities. I listen to many different kinds and stay away from most jam bands. Except Sonic Youth, which I consider the best jam band and a worthy live successor to GD.
GD is the worst show I’ve ever seen and the best show. It’s the opportunity to watch a seasoned band venture out a little. It’s a tight rope.
But a special curated set of live songs should at least dismiss the notion that they couldn’t play. Taste for the music is another thing, of course.
As for successors, the Joe Russo Almost Dead band is a great group that adds a lot of energy and adventurousness to the GD repertoire. Great covers slipped in - my favorite might be Dr Feelgood She Does It Right. A lot of fun.
First saw the Dead at the Hollywood Bowl June 17th, 1972. It was Pigpen’s last show. I was in heaven, sitting with my cousin and best friend in the very last row. The band was tiny, but the sound was HUGE!
I caught an even Baker’s Dozen into the 80s with shows in Fresno, Bakersfield, Santa Barbara, UCLA, Long Beach, Oakland, SF, a New Years, and shows were both outstanding and boring. Saw Jerry twice on his own.
Further, the Joe Russo band, DSO, Golden Gate Wingmen, Cubensis were/are all very good. The Fare Thee Well shows we’re historically significant, but musically not always great.
Not for everyone, but then neither are Marijuana or LSD.
A friend bought four tickets for Dead &Company at the Hollywood Bowl in June. Guess where?
The very last row.
Interesting.....do you really think Mayer is better? (Maybe in the "all around" arena yeah) but I don't feel John is a Virtuoso - yet. In another 20 years very likely.
But Jerry and Brent - oh yeah, Brent period - the best Dead era, best singing, and more.
I went to probably 75-80 Dead shows, and here's the funny - never paid attention to the music, because for all but the last 3 times I was backstage and they were just background music for the party.
Then seeing Dark Star and watching the rhythm player closely did I realize what a phenomenal rhythm player Weir was. (Honestly didn't feel it watching Dead and Co, he's getting old, Unlike me)
But not arguing just found it interesting. Thanks for your post.
Wow, talk about reviving a Dead thread...
I saw about 25 shows before Jerry left us, and about 15 since.
Although some shows were better than others, I was never disappointed by any of them, and was always glad I went.
These days, Dead tribute band play the local bars often, and that's always fun.
For me, the Dead were often "Tales of the Old West".
I Know You Rider
Me & My Uncle
El Paso & Big Iron
Friend of the Devil
Jack Straw, etc...
Some are cover songs that them made their own.
Also, I saw the New Riders of the Purple Sage open for them many times.
One time in Giants Stadium, we saw Willy Nelson open for them, and we didn't even know who he was (1978?)
Recently, I saw Willy with "The Dead", a Phil thing. That was awesome.
I always considered the GD to be a folk/Americana/bluegrass band.
If you grew up listening to, learning to play in, and jamming in bluegrass circles, your odds of appreciating the Dead are probably much higher.
If your background was studio rock on the radio, the odds are lower.
I’ve tried hard to like the Dead but they just don’t move me. I’ve listened to nearly everything they have on Spotty. There’s no spark. I’m not saying that they’re not completely awesome to some people. Just not me.