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Grateful Dead, why don’t I get it?

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Martinoils, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. aeyeq

    aeyeq Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Yes sir, at this stage in life I have zero interest in trying to talk someone into or out of something they won’t or can’t grok.

    Like talking to a rock and no future in talking to rocks.
     
  2. cenz

    cenz Tele-Meister

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    Not a Dead fan, but I’ve been watching Long Strange Trip and it’s pretty good.
    My question for Dead fans is why does everyone hate Donna?
     
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  3. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's nothing wrong with you, Martinoils. I never got the attraction, either. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I love Donna Jean. She and Keith were friends of a friend when I lived in Oakland. Nice people.

    I think mostly Bob and her singing just clashed a bit. She came from the Muscle Shoals down-and-dirty soul-shout style, which is kind of loud for Bob- and Jerry-style warbling. (For my money, Brent's voice was a much worse fit. Ouch!)

    Also, she was kind of an add-on. Originally, Jerry was just interested in getting Keith into the band. Donna was an add-on. So to a lot of Deadheads, she might have also been a victim of the Yoko effect.

    You can see Donna in the movie Muscle Shoals:

     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
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  5. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    IMO, the "Dead" thing was an event.

    That's why their live shows were much more popular than sitting at home listening to their albums.

    I saw them a few times (including Watkins Glen... a BIG event) and enjoyed the music.

    But, I never bought into the cult thingy that they had following them around.

    My fav stuff ultimately was their acoustic albums (AB, WD etc,); and Jerry's collaborations with David Grisman at the end of his life.

    And, I certainly don't have any problems with those who revere them.

    It's all MUSIC and that's good!
     
  6. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nothing ;)...
    There are a lot of artists I didn't get into (including the Dead), there are many I grew into over the years, and there are even more I grew out of.

    I have nothing against the Dead. I respect their accomplishments and tip my hat to the people that have enjoyed them to the fullest. It just wasn't for me. Who knows.... the lightbulb may come on one day, or it may not.
     
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  7. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't hate Donna ( love the GD ) but she was loud and never quite in pitch and it's always noticeable as her voice is so clear, and above the others.

    But you can't poke a finger ( just) at Donna as it's not as if Jerry, Bob, Phil, Brent, has stellar voices.

    Just my opinion:

    I always think of Grateful Dead vocals ( say the actual melody of the singing, whether solo voice, or their 3 or even 4 part harmonies) as deserving an A for creativity and arrangement- just listen to " Attics of My Life," "Truckin'," "Uncle John's Band" amazing!- you try singing these right.

    But they get a C for actual execution live.
    They just could not sing their parts as well as they were written. But they tried

    But to quote Bill Murray in the stellar Meatballs, " It just doesn't matter!"

    ( to us whom love the Dead- it show their humanity, anyhow)
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
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  8. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Workingman’s Dead ++GOOD! Easy wind almost makes all semi-deification cult of personality worth the legions of a cult hysteria worth while. When I I was down the way, I could see them in the panhandle for free, they lived in the neighborhood, and all the summer of 67 nonsense, the mob, the media hadn't happened. It was almost as pathetic as Woodstock,
    ah, sigh , pause,........ an old lonely man reminisces about paradise being paved over and a parking lot taking it's place .
    The summer of love was a good time to get out of town , so I got on with my studies : DROP OUT 101 : A & B. Thank you Dr. Leary , Thank you Dr. Alpert.
    Oh? where is this going? Ah-Ha, you can't blame the the band, They just did a lot to support the free clinic along with Bill Gram.
    how do you spell nincompoops?
    0000kitty.jpg
     
  9. Cpb2020

    Cpb2020 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I enjoy the Dead a whole lot more than the Beatles. I recognize that may get me banned, but so be it. I’ve got no issues with those who love all things Beatles, or Elvis, for that matter.

    I don’t think there’s much to “get”. Either you like something or not, but that’s the beauty of having options.
     
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  10. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    i went to college and a guy down the hall always played the dead. I had never heard them. We, and three other guys, lived together the next year off campus and he still played the dead. It took about a year before I started to like some songs. One of the great things about them is there is something for everyone- bluegrass check, rock and roll check, country check, jams check. One could easily make the argument that they are the greatest band of all time. Having said this I do not care for phish or any other jam bands except off course the allman brothers. I went to one show and hated the scene in the early 1990's but the music has moments that are incredible. I tend to think musicians who like songs to be played like the album and who learn parts note for note will generally not like the dead.
     
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  11. suave eddie

    suave eddie Friend of Leo's

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    Getting close to 200 posts. Does the OP "get" the Grateful Dead yet?
    Other than the bizarre link to Yankee Candles, the OP has been absent since the first obvious troll post to start this all off.
     
  12. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I love Garcia's crystalline tone in the Casey Jones song.
    It's nuanced and a cool Strat feel,
    4-5 years before Knopfler came on the scene.

    I know Bob Weir has been touted as sophisticated/unique in his chording and all that,
    but I don't get that at all.
    I don't honestly see him as being strongly musical, and a weak singer.

    ymmv . My 2¢

    .
     
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  13. hepular

    hepular Tele-Holic

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    I always think of Grateful Dead vocals ( say the actual melody of the singing, whether solo voice, or their 3 or even 4 part harmonies) as deserving an A for creativity and arrangement- just listen to " Attics of My Life," "Truckin'," "Uncle John's Band" amazing!- you try singing these right.

    But they get a C for actual execution live.
    They just could not sing their parts as well as they were written. But they tried

    Expand that to entire band performances & you have stated the problem: I was on a cycling team whose president is a world-class percussionist (i'll leave it slightly vague). Dude took the responsibility for delivering a world-class performance to people who'd paid the cost for the ticket really seriously. Like, he spent nearly a year prepping his audition-pieces when he was up for a new gig. Now, he's a classical dude, so the repertoire is written--& if you miss the roll-in in bar 322 of a movement half the audience WILL know.

    But the principle is the same: how many tapes are there floating around of Dead shows that sound like the "free-form jazz exploration" at the zoo amphitheatre? If musicians aren't actually good enough--either in terms of chops or just being sober enough or both--to deliver in performance what they promised, they're not reassuring us about humanity or any such hoo-haw that's best saved for the 6th grade beginner orchestra performance. they're ripping people off. Now it helps immeasuraby if your audience is also too stoned to notice.
     
  14. suave eddie

    suave eddie Friend of Leo's

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    Here's a good example of Weir's unconventional rhythm playing. About 3 minutes in where it starts to morph from Not Fade Away into Going Down the Road is where you can really hear him.

     
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  15. mngsp

    mngsp Tele-Meister

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    I had never gotten the Grateful Dead either. One summer many years ago I made a commitment to spend the whole season listening to the Dead with an open mind and an open ear.

    The result was a wasted three months I'll never get back. Just dont get it and done trying. To each their own.
     
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  16. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    And they were not at their best at Watkins Glen! Back then, Dead shows were even-money crap shoots. Half were transendental, half were sonic Sominex.

    I was lucky: The first show I saw, they blew the roof off the theater for eight solid hours. Their lyrics mention sunrises a lot, and their custom was to play until it was light.

    Hey, we were all young once, right?
     
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  17. suave eddie

    suave eddie Friend of Leo's

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    Can't say you didn't try. I wouldn't do that with any of the artists I don't like.
     
  18. Lockback

    Lockback Tele-Meister

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    The only Dead song I ever heard that I like is "Touch of Grey".
    All the rest? Throw 'em in a trash bin. Couldn't stand them. Didn't like their writing, their singing, their playing, their subject matter, nothing. I never got 'em whatsoever.
     
  19. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    Personally I’m not a fan. I could never get into them. I might add that Jimmy Buffett is another one I could never get into.

    A lot of people love them. They just don’t do it for me.
     
  20. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Afflicted

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    They were an experiment in poetry set to music, primarily live recording techniques pioneering by various members of the band set to Hunter's lyrics. The lyrics are some of the most intellectually dense in all modern music. Their lyricist Robert Hunter was shaped by SF Bay Area counter culture community in the early 60's, the creative writing community at Stanford University, and particularly the CIA's secret MK-ULTRA program that he participated in at Stanford. Check out the book that annotates his lyrics and describes their meaning. It is a rabbit hole you can spend a life time going down.

    I wasn't a fan until someone who was close to the band turned me on and opened my eyes. Once I understood the music, I was mesmerized. I still am.
     
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