The Grateful Dead

I’ve never been a Deadhead but I am envious of them. Unlike any other band…their music and fans belong in a special class. The fans are joined to an elusive club and a lot of them are really close. The band at one time was so accessible… more than any other band I’ve heard of… They have so much music to pick from…years and years of touring and recording. The band not only didn’t mind fans recording their concerts but set up a special place to record for a time. Led Zeppelin’s manager would have his goons smash fan’s recording equipment for doing that…other bands also.

They did not compromise…they did what they wanted to do and forget the rest. Top ten records? Nah…didn’t need them…didn’t have one until the 80s and still outdrew almost everyone. I’m happy they did have the one in the 80s…Touch of Grey…they really didn’t need it but it made the general public take notice. It was great in the 80s to see a cool anti-rock star Jerry Garcia with the Grateful Dead chugging away on MTV sounding better than the spandex idiots on the other videos at the time.

For me, I like their early seventies period a lot. Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty (which are two classic albums) From The Mars Hotel and a little later the adventurous Terrapin Station. I mostly like songs that are condensed down…hence why I was never really big on the long jams but I really respect the musicianship that went into them live. They could be playing folk, bluegrass, jazz and then switch on a dime to rock…and make it fit. To me, it was like a huge bus rolling down the road about to go off the cliff at any moment and then suddenly being jerked back on the road before the crash….sometimes it wasn’t but for the most part, it was pulled back just in time.

When Jerry died in 1995 I was sad. I didn’t know a whole a lot about him or the band…though I had their greatest hits in the early 80s…I knew enough to know someone and something special had gone too soon…I also regretted not being on that bus for a small ride anyway.

Songs I like:

Ripple, A Friend of the Devil, Mr. Charlie, Truckin, Uncle Johns Band (which I could listen on a tape loop for eons and eons), U.S. Blues, New Speedway Boogie, Casey Jones, Attics of My Life, Brokedown Palace, Box of Rain, Sugar Magnolia, Touch of Grey, Hell in a Bucket and a Garcia solo Sugaree…

There are many more I’m not remembering…




Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

8 thoughts on “The Grateful Dead”

    1. That is awesome. I like the fact that every show was different…not like seeing strict setlist….I can only imagine the atmosphere. They were very underrated musicians… jazz, rock, a little reggae, folk…. they could play anything.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You are fortunate that you got to see them when you did….The Dead developed a new category of music for themselves… well category is a bad word…that is one band you cannot put a label on. The more I learn about them…the more I regret not seeing them….BTW You have a great blog.


  2. Uncle John’s Band- I never get tired of- what a great song!.. I remember when Jerry died I was shocked- thinking back on it it was pretty predictable he was not the poster boy of good health. It’s probably a miracle he lived as long as he did. Saw The Dead three times in concert. Twice they were great the last time I saw them- not so great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never experienced the sixties or early seventies as an adult and as dumb as it sounds Uncle John’s Band transports me there…I can’t explain it… I regret I never got to see them. I have always lived in Nashville and we never got the big bands to come here like that back then. I had to travel to Birmingham to see the Who in 89 without Keith Moon though of course… Yes Jerry aged fast…if you look at pictures from 78-88 you can really tell.

      Liked by 1 person

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