The Day Of The Dead

The Day Of The Dead seems an appropriate time to remember with fondness Jerry, Pigpen, Keith, Brent and Vince and to post a playlist of the 15 Deadsongs now in the Marconium (sorry, Dorian).


I’ve chosen different versions of the songs than I would normally, and even thrown in some post-1980 versions, so maybe there is something you might like in there….. I was tempted to keep the sequence in which they were A-listed, but the last couple just had to appear at the end, given their lyrics. Continue reading

Deadmusic For Deadhaters?

dayofthedeadalbumart2016The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner have – five years after its inception – released their 59-track, six-hour tribute to the music of the Grateful Dead, Day Of The Dead, to raise money for the HIV/AIDS charity Red Hot. Underpinned by The National, over 50 different artists and bands have recorded their versions of Dead originals, covers they made their own and even a couple of ‘inspired by’ tracks. The avowedly Dead-hating and -agnostic Observer/Guardian critics gave it 4 stars; from the other end of the telescope, as a Dead-lover, I think I agree. Continue reading

Remembering Jerry

All I know is something like a bird within him sang
All I know he sang a little while and then flew on

That’s how Phil Lesh sings Bird Song these days, changing the song’s subject from Janis Joplin, as originally written by Robert Hunter, to Jerry Garcia, who died 20 years ago today, having just turned 53 years old.

Hunter wrote the lyrics soon after Joplin’s much more premature, heroin-related death and they are little more than an amazed reflection on a mercurial talent – a more articulate version of ‘Wow, man, she sure could sing!’ Their application to Garcia’s playing (and, to a lesser extent, singing) is entirely appropriate.

Look and listen:

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A Rainbow Full Of Sound


A rainbow appears at the end of the first Fare Thee Well show’s first set. Was it real, fake or Jerry?

The music started again this weekend, not in some muddy Somerset field but in a soulless US football stadium in California.

A momentous musical event ignored completely by the UK media, I’m hungry for more information, impressions and feedback than I can glean from the web. Fintan!

I thought The Who managed to keep going fairly well for their 60-minute set; 75-year-old Phil Lesh kept going through 3.5 hours, almost non-stop. Reports seem to indicate that some of the music was pretty good too.

Happy Anniversary


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

Dead Daft

Ice Cream KidWhen 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, 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…..

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