And Cinco de Mayo too. So apparently today is the actual date of the Dead’s 50th anniversary, brought to my attention by a Beast article, for what that’s worth. If there’s a tribute post to be written here, i’m not really the one to do it. But i did want to drop this video from their Meet Up at the Movies, apparently screened yesterday, from the July 19, 1989 show in Wisconsin. (unfortunately, WP won’t take the embed, so a link will have to do.) Jerry’s voice sounds like shit, but love this beautiful guitar on Sugaree.
Think one of he Beast commenters said it best –
Fare you well, fare you well
I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul
When they announced three Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago to celebrate the Grateful Dead’s 50th birthday, I wasn’t that interested. Why spend a fortune to see an ‘almost’ version of a band I love yet which faded long ago? The shenanigans around ticketing, reported on dead.net, confirmed my view.
But then they posted a sweet message announcing two more shows on Bay Area home turf and a lottery-style, fair-ish way of getting seats. Suddenly, I felt I was being invited to a party with 65,000 friends, so I committed to spending hundreds of dollars on tickets and a grand or so on flights and accommodation…..
Came across this Grateful Medicine article in my feed this morning, by a practicing and academic Deadhead psychiatrist round my neck of the woods here convinced of the theraputic healing powers of the Dead. Which reminded me that i had wanted to get around to doing my own Deadlist for awhile.
I’ve been intending to post something about the GD May ’77 box set that arrived three months ago. It contains some great music (particularly on the more delicate songs) but this week’s arrival has rather put it (almost literally) in the shade.
The official release of the 1972 Springfield Creamery Benefit concert and the film made of it, Sunshine Daydream, is a marvellous thing. A long-available soundboard recording and bootleg copy of the film on YT have hinted as much but the properly-mixed 16-track sound and a beautifully-restored set of visuals confirm it in spades.
Jerry Garcia couldn’t understand why anyone would want to film the band on stage (“We just stand there. We don’t do anything.”) but, with the addition of Prankster animations and copious shots of roasting hippies, the film is a fantastic document of a communal celebration of life through music. For example:
(Warning: contains naked human wobbly bits)
The film shows the final Dark Star/El Paso/Sing Me Back Home sequence, in which a star dies, two cowboys are killed and a prisoner walks to his execution. Whereas much of the show is suitably sunny and joyful, this is not: it is difficult, harsh and desperately sad. Yet also wonderfully cathartic.
This is the end of Dark Star. It is some of the most involving and intricate acid jazz* collective improvisation you’ll ever hear. To watch it being constructed from thin air is a jaw-dropping delight.
*Acid jazz = jazz improvised whilst under the influence of LSD.
Amy asked me for a second playlist of gorgeous Deadsongs to add to the one I posted for Robert Hunter’s 70th Birthday, so here it is.
There happen to be 11 tracks so please feel free to play the Tuesday game with it. Or just pass on by without a glance.
Haven’t done one of these posts in a long time, but really feeling like it’s time to give these guys the shout that they deserve. (And maybe you need a little something to listen to before the list goes up.) For starters, because not just anyone can take on the Midnight Rambler and do it justice.
What makes these guys such great cover artists? Well, you start with a southern boy with pipes to die for, (and Chris Robinson certainly has them) a definite requirement if you want to take on the likes of Mick, Joe Cocker, Stevie, Plant, etc. But you don’t do great Stones covers with pipes alone, and the band is more than up for the job. Brother Richie on guitar, and Chris on harp, do the Stones proud on this and many, many other Stones covers. (If i’m missing Mick and Co. at all here, it’s only because i’ve become addicted to the coke fueled live bootleg versions.)