Almanac 2018

Dead World Round-Up
by Jesse Jarnow

When the Grateful Dead launched their official Dead Heads newsletter in the early 1970s, it was primarily an effort to spread the word about the band’s upcoming shows and projects. But it was also deeply homespun, by heads for heads. Alongside tour dates, notes on their evolving sound system, and other pertinent information, its pages were filled with Jerry Garcia’s playful illustrations and the cryptical wisdom of the elliptical St. Dilbert, often through his earthly guise in Robert Hunter. “In the ocean of Hypnocracy, the shore is just another wave,” St. Dilbert once sayeth, words always worth pondering.

Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead circa 1971, first publicity photos with Keith Godchaux.

Sprung from the nuanced mythology that began on the tour buses (and in the liner notes) of Europe ’72, St. Dilbert offered a state of the Dead report the following year: “The Bozos and Bolos hypnocratically pursue a direction of self-determination in as many ways as interestingly possible.”

Some decades later, these early celestial missives are hailed as pioneering efforts in direct marketing, archived at UC Santa Cruz, and cited by scholars. When Deadheads started massing online in the ‘70s and early ‘80s, they began to operate their own Grateful Dead news services, too, to go along with the band’s newsletters. One of the very first news aggregators in history was coded by a Dead Head programmer at M.I.T. in the ‘70s specifically to scrape mentions of the band on the news wire.

Meanwhile, though, the hypnocratic pursuit of new directions have continued to push the band and its music to further, furthur, and still farther reaches, sometimes involving the musicians that constituted the Grateful Dead, sometimes their songs, sometimes both, sometimes neither. So it is that some 45 years later, the members of the Grateful Dead require a newsletter perhaps more than ever. Instead of one tour, there are many, seen by those on the road, as well as fans beaming in via their couches. (For more on what everybody has been up to individually and collectively, see below.)

But if the trip has always been long and strange, it might take St. Dilbert’s General Theory of Hypnocracy to explain the Grateful Dead singularity of the early 21st century, and how the Dead still seem to be following us everywhere. If there is an open channel for audio, sooner or later, it is as if Grateful Dead music is destined to come through it. There’s the long-running all-Dead SiriusXM station, of course, and the even-longer-running Grateful Dead Hour and the myriad local shows that continue to occupy the FM band on behalf of Dead freaks. There are Grateful Dead blogs and bands and Spotify playlists and Dead socials at neighborhood bars. There are Dead nights at major league baseball stadiums. There are podcasts and loosely affiliated email lists, and a musical energy that continues to draw people together. Everywhere people are having what the late tape archivist Dick Latvala used to call Dead-Ins.

There are old recordings that sound new and new recordings that sound old, familiar songs played in unfamiliar ways (and occasionally exactly as remembered). Through all, the Grateful Dead’s music continues to provide a timeline for a still-growing community, even if there’s no band on the road called the Grateful Dead.

Continuing the regular time-traveling safaris into the band’s vault, the last year has seen a number of successful journeys through the past, with a clean safety record of leaving no heads accidentally stranded in time. The big trip of the year, Pacific Northwest ’73-’74: The Complete Recordings, involved a pair of three-show excursions through that region, presenting Jeffrey Norman’s stunning new mixes of rich playing from the jazz freak heart of the band’s (second) one-drummer era. But that was only one destination. A 50th anniversary edition of the band’s psychedelic classic Anthem of the Sun included the alternate 1971 mix, third-eye-opening liner notes by Steve Silberman, and a far-out lenticular cover; and the Dave’s Picks series included stops in such far-flung space/time coordinates as Binghamton in 1977, Albuquerque in 1971, and Boise in 1983. (Don’t forget to sign up for your 2019 subscription, pith helmet not included.)

Grateful Dead

The Dead performing at the Hollywood Music Festival, May 24th, 1970. Photo Credit: Getty Images

For heads who enjoy the old-fashioned pleasures of watching their music turn around and around and around and around and around (with high-fidelity audio), there was plenty of new Grateful Dead vinyl, too. Continuing a history of limited edition LPs going back to 1973, when the band issued Wake of the Flood on hand-colored green discs, this year’s Record Store Day saw a complete February 1969 show from the Fillmore West (featuring the Live/Dead “Dark Star”!) There was also a six-record set of Portland ’74 (split from the Pacific Northwest box), as well as the 2018 subscription-only singles collection.

And for those (like me) who couldn’t get enough of Amir Bar-Lev’s heartachingly wonderful Long Strange Trip documentary, there’s a new DVD and Blu-Ray edition. This one has even more goodies, including a commentary track by Amir and editor John Walter, a 5.1 audio mix, and (YOWZA!) a half-dozen full performances from the band’s May 1970 performance at the Hollywood Festival on their (brief) Europe ‘70 excursion.

In the present, there continues to be even more new Dead music happening. There have been Dead & Company’s tours through the nation’s amphitheaters and arenas with Bob Weir, Billy Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart; a six-show guest-studded duo tour by Weir and Phil Lesh (you may know them from the band Furthur), many gigs by Phil and his comrades at their Terrapin Crossroads base and beyond, and even a Mickey Hart solo album with five new sets of lyrics by Robert Hunter. Rounding up the Dead’s world(s) gets harder each year.

Jerry Garcia


The most extraordinary event in the Garciaverse this past year was unquestionably the release of Before the Dead, an ambitious 4-CD/5-LP box set that captures Jerry Garcia’s intense period of folk and bluegrass exploration between 1961 and 1964. Compiled by Dennis McNally (longtime Grateful Dead publicist and biographer) and Brian Miksis, it offers a rare glimpse at Garcia’s path from his teenage folk duo with Robert Hunter pulling from the Weavers’ songbook to becoming a hotshot Palo Alto banjo picker and teacher. Stopping chronologically just short of Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, his acoustic band with the future Warlocks, the box adds a crucial piece of Garcia’s development to his official discography. Moving through styles with the same sense of hungry exploration the Dead would display a half-decade later, Before the Dead is as wonderful as it is revelatory.

Releasing music under the banner of Round Records, the label Garcia co-owned in the mid-1970s, a number of other archival Jerry Garcia solo projects made their into the world, too. Jerry fell head-over-heels (emphasis on head) for Hawaii when discovering SCUBA diving with a vengeance in the ‘80s and ‘90s. But--besides the Dead’s visits in 1970--he only traveled there once as a working musician, bringing the Jerry Garcia Band to Hilo in May of 1990. The subject of GarciaLive Volume 10, the laid-back feels of the early ‘90s Garcia Band is the perfect match for the island vibes.

A pair of Garcia releases returned to vinyl this year, too, including 1982’s Run For the Roses and a 40th anniversary edition of Cats Under the Stars, which Garcia often cited as his favorite solo album. For the space-heads amongst us, there was also the debut vinyl and streaming release of Side Trips, Volume One, the sole known document of Garcia’s regular Monday weird-outs at the Matrix in 1970 with keyboardist Howard Wales, his partner on Hooteroll? a few years later.


Benmont Tench, founding member of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Mudcrutch, performs onstage during The Jubilee - A Celebration Of Jerry Garcia, March 30th, 2018. Photo credit: Getty Images

Once sending out dispatches from fictional record company heads Anton and Roland Round, Round Records continues to surprise in its newest incarnation, with plenty more to come. This fall will see a still-secret vinyl release -- as well as a new box set, secret no longer, featuring Garcia’s performances at French’s Camp along California’s Eel River in 1987, 1989, and 1991, featuring the Jerry Garcia Band as well as the second public appearance by the all-too-briefly-lived Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band. A haven for the heads of Mendocino and Humboldt at a time when the Dead were the biggest touring band in the country, the music remains a very particular strain of Garcia-style sunshine.

A pair of big ticket events pushed Garcia’s songbook in new (and ever more hypnocratic) directions while highlighting how his musical legacy continues to live in the present tense. Held in March at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, and benefitting the Rex Foundation, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Jerry Garcia Foundation, performers at Jubilee: A Celebration of Jerry Garcia connected Garcia’s songbook to various trajectories in contemporary music, from the indie rock of Stephen Malkmus and Hiss Golden Messenger to the modern Americana of Margo Price and Josh Ritter. In August in Vail, Colorado, the Jerry Garcia Birthday Band reunited for a second performance, gathering various members from the Garcia diaspora, including Garcia Band organist Melvin Seals and vocalists Jacklyn LaBranch and Gloria Jones along with Dead & Company bassist Oteil Burbridge, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead guitarist Tom Hamilton, and Widespread Panic drummer Duane Trucks.

A new direction, too, is the Jerry Garcia Collection, offering limited edition art prints of Garcia’s art. Scanned from the original works, even just a look through the gallery is a quick demonstration of his remarkable range--intricate psychedelic comix-style cartoons, airbrushing, watercolors, pencil sketches, and digital experiments--each a perfect visual complement to some aspect of his guitar playing. There’s more to come.


Out on the byways of America, the hot young band Dead & Company continued to tour, celebrating their 100th show in Ohio this past June, featuring Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart alongside guitarist John Mayer with bassist Oteil Burbridge and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. Mickey Hart offered a state of the band report near the end of their summer outing. “Every tour is interesting for different reasons,” he says. “This tour was more about finding band-head, more like us finding a group-mind, a deeper group-mind than we had in the previous years. The new guys know the repertoire really well. I speak of John and Oteil, mostly. Jeff [Chimenti] knows it better than any of us, actually. So we learned how to play together and be expressive in different ways. It was kind like of an entrainment class, where we all learned to entrain, to be synced to each other.”


Dead & Company with Brandford Marsalis, Lockn' Festival, August 26, 2018. Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

Chilling out post-tour in Hawaii, drummer Billy the K was still blissed out. “My favorite shows this tour were the second night of Citifield, Eugene, and the last night in Boulder. All three transcended the music in very fulfilling ways. My cup runneth over.” Along with an appearance by legendary Meters’ bassist George Porter Jr. in New Orleans, the band’s Lockn’ set included a nearly full-show appearance by longtime Dead comrade Branford Marsalis on tenor sax.

“I don’t care how many stadium shows you go see, it’s gonna feel totally different if it’s filled with Dead Heads,” Oteil Burbridge says. “It goes way past entertainment. I think that the most extreme example of that feeling, for me, was summed up at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR. If you get the chance to see the band in that city at that venue, you would feel exactly what I’m trying to describe. It was a sacred experience, pure and simple.”

One mark of the band’s excitement is, since the last edition of the Grateful Dead Almanac, the introduction of over a dozen songs into the band’s repertoire, including old-time Dead favorites “The Eleven” and some of Bob Weir’s ‘90s originals, such as “Easy Answers” (the only Grateful Dead song with a Neil Young co-writing credit) and “Corrina.” Burbridge took on the barely-played Jerry Garcia rarity “If I Had the World to Give” (also heard in a recent excellent version by Bonnie Prince Billy) and Mayer tackled Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” never played by the Dead themselves, though--as Mayer’s version suggests--perhaps could have been.


Dead & Company with George RR Martin, Playin' In The Sand, Mexico, February 18, 2018. Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

Deep in the drums zone, always the dependable home for the weirdest corners of the band’s collective musical psyche, Mickey Hart’s sample-loaded Random Access Music Universe sample database helped propel them to new and far-out destinations. The jams “contained sonification of cannabis,” Mickey reports, his new favorite musical process, translating natural systems into sound. “I took the spectral data from the cannabis plant--the leaf, the root, the stem, the flower--and sonified it. Really, I just changed the form of it. We were going through the whole world of cannabis every few nights. We had different themes. We played dolphins and whales, and we played a sonficiation of water. We had a deep space zone, which was made up of epic cosmic events that were sonified, the radiation turned into sound. You could hear the Sun and the Milky Way, and the birth cries of the universe. Then we went into wood. All the sounds were made from redwood.” Sometimes the worlds of the Dead are actually wormholes.

After the tour, the band’s members returned to the hypnocratic seas on other vessels (see below), already pointed towards Dead & Company’s Playing in the Sand in Mexico, scheduled for January 2019.


Bassist Phil Lesh spent another year turning the Grateful Dead’s repertoire upside out and inside down, including (but hardly limited to) his ongoing Terrapin Family Band and a six-show tour with Bob Weir and percussionist Wally Ingram. Playing alongside Phish’s Trey Anastasio at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, and in Chicago and Boston with Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, Phil and Bobby found new and quiet spaces lurking within familiar songs.


Guitar - Ross James, Drums - Alex Koford, Guitar - Grahame Lesh, Bass - Phil Lesh, Terrapin Crossroads, February 8, 2018. Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

We received this virtual postcard from Mssr. Lesh, electronically airlifted from San Rafael: “In 2018, Terrapin Crossroads celebrated its 6th anniversary; it has become a destination for Deadheads from around the world and a place for me to perform with and mentor many developing musicians. The Terrapin Family Band represents the cream of that crop, and I’ve been focusing on that band as a way to reimagine the catalog as well as creating new work. Midnight North, my son Grahame’s band, is really catching its stride and is being recognized as a band to watch by many major music outlets. I couldn’t be happier about the music coming from TXR and from these two bands in particular.”


The summer saw the latest product of Bob Weir’s half-century of in-the-field guitar tech R&D: Bob Weir’s Real Deal pedal, developed by Bobby and guitar tech Mike McGinn, and now produced by Pigtronix.


Bob Weir and Wolf Bros. rehearsing at TRI Studios, October 15, 2018. Photo Credit: Bob Minkin.

But primary on Bob Weir’s horizon this fall is yet another new ensemble, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros. Featuring Weir alongside a rhythm section of bassist (and legendary producer) Don Was and longtime Ratdog drummer Jay Lane, the trio intend to sally forth into the repertoire of the Grateful Dead and the worlds beyond.

“For a while now I’ve been itchin’ to explore our songs in a trio setting,” Bobby said when the band’s tour was announced. “An upright bass, my acoustic or electric guitar and a drummer. We did some rehearsals this past spring and it was big fun -- and that’s the whole idea. We were kickin’ around Dead songs as well as tunes from my back pages. I’m pretty sure we’re gonna have a big adventure with this…”

And no matter what announcement came along with the shows, we have complete and utter faith that Weir & co. will be able to find some creative new ways to confound expectations.



Bill at Lockn' Festival, August 25, 2018. Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

Bill the Drummer sends word from Hawaii, where “while not on the road, I like hanging with my sheep flock and growing great organic produce on our farm that we sell weekly at the farmers’ markets on Kauai. I’m also working on a cannabis cookbook with recipes featuring our locally homegrown organic produce. I’ve really been digging the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind [by Yuval Noah Herari] on Audible, and I highly recommend Joe Rogen’s podcast interview with Paul Stamets, the mushroom mycologist.” Life sounds pretty swell in Hawaii, if you ask us.

“Vote in November like your life depends on it,” Billy adds. “Our planet is under attack by science deniers.”


Unsurprisingly to anyone keeping track, Mickey Hart has remained musically hyperactive. Since the last Grateful Dead Almanac, he released RAMU, a full realization of the space-time instrument it’s named after, Mickey’s Random Access Musical Universe, as seen in the Long Strange Trip documentary and on Dead & Company tour. Loaded with samples from the Smithsonian Folkways archives, MIDI triggers by Jerry Garcia, percussion all-stars like Zakir Hussein, a pair of vocals by Animal Collective’s Avey Tare (aka Dave Portner), and much more, the album also features new lyrics by the Grateful Dead’s Robert Hunter.


Mickey at Playin' In The Sand, Mexico, February 17, 2018. Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

Mickey’s musical year also included bringing the Beam to the Hayden Planetarium in New York, where he performed amid the cosmic swirl of the dome-projected Musica Universalis. With the horizon twisting and diving, Mickey’s sonificiations and drone poems soundtracked a luminous journey from the big bang to the inner contours (and bigger beats) of Mickey’s brainwaves, with sonifications made from EEG readings.

Before heading out for a last summer weekend with Dead & Company, Mickey was also preparing for a two-day event at the Kennedy Center, titled Music and the Mind. “It’s about music cognition,” Mickey says. “It’s performance and it’s scientific studies on how the brain responds to music, and how it can be used in mental health, for healing. [For one performance] I’m trying to embed everyone in the soundscape of a New Guinea rainforest. We will be the insects, and the birds. It’s [built on] a recording by Steven Feld. He recorded everything that moves in a New Guinea rainforest. He won the MacArthur for that.”

At the top of Mickey’s book pile this month is The Physics of Jazz: The Secret Links Between Music and the Structure of the Universe by Stephon Alexander. “It’s a neuroscientist’s journey through theoretical physics, music of the spheres, string theory, all that, and relating to jazz,” Mickey raves. “He goes on an adventure to meet Brian Eno and Ornette Coleman, making the connection between neurologic function and jazz. The brain is jazz!”


John Perry and Bob

John Perry Barlow and Bob. Photo credit: Bob Minkin

JOHN PERRY BARLOW. The longtime songwriting partner of Bob Weir (and later Brent Mydland), John Perry Barlow died in February at the age of 71. He had recently completed a new memoir, Mother American Night: My Life in Crazy Times, co-written with Bob Greenfield, published by June in Crown-Archetype. Bob Weir, Sean Lennon, Lukas Nelson, and others honored Barlow during a Graduation from Meatspace ceremony at the Fillmore Auditorium in April.

OTEIL BURBRIDGE. Released just after the last edition of the Grateful Dead Almanac, Water in the Desert was Dead & Co. bassist Oteil Burbridge’s first solo album in over 10 years. Gearing up for a round of Oteil and Friends shows with vocalist Alfreda Gerald and longtime Jerry Garcia Band organist Melvin Seals, Oteil says, “You are really experiencing the best of church when those two start feeding off each other. It’s pretty awe-inspiring.” He’ll have more gigs soon with the Jerry Garcia Birthday Band, as well as Voodoo Dead (with Jeff Chimenti and Steve and John Kimock). Oteil is also making a return to Vida Blue, his New Orleans groove collaboration with Phish keyboardist Page McConnell. “We got the old band back together with Russell Batiste [of the Meters] on drums,” Oteil says, “plus Adam Zimmon [from Ziggy Marley’s band] on guitar. The Spam Allstars also re-joined us on some of it. Those were some really fun sessions at Criteria Recording Studios in Miami and I can’t wait to hear it all finished up.” Mostly, Oteil notes, he’s psyched to be hanging with his three-and-a-half-year-old son. “Watching him grow and develop is nothing short of miraculous.”

THE OWSLEY STANLEY FOUNDATION. Legendary Grateful Dead patron, alchemist, and original soundman Owsley “Bear” Stanley left behind a legacy that (among other things) includes a massive cache of high fidelity live recordings, which he referred to as his “sonic journals.” While some of these have become archival releases for Grateful Dead (including his wonderful February 1970 recordings from the Fillmore East, on Dick’s Picks, Volume 4) and other acts, the Owsley Stanley Foundation has begun restoring and releasing many of Bear’s best unheard recordings. They made their debut release with Doc and Merle Watson’s Never the Same Way Once, beautiful acoustic recordings made by Bear in 1974 at San Francisco’s Boarding House (where he’d recorded Old & in the Way the previous fall). This summer saw an expanded and remastered edition of Bear’s February 1970 recordings of the Allman Brothers Band opening for the Dead at the Fillmore East, including three versions of “Mountain Jam.” Gadzooks! Also: more please!

NED LAGIN’S SEASTONES. Ned Lagin, the experimental electronic composer who collaborated with the Grateful Dead at various points from 1970 through 1975, has released an expanded two-CD iteration of his 1975 biomusic opus Seastones, originally released on Jerry Garcia’s Round Records. Though it’s not always easy to tell, the original Seastones features performances by Garcia, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, David Crosby, Grace Slick, Spencer Dryden, and David Freiberg. A collection of “moment-forms” intended to be listened to on shuffle, headphones and the highest fidelity are most recommended. Alongside Cat Dreams (his first released music since the 1970s), it’s for sale via Ned’s SpiritCats site alongside essays, art, and more.

Jesse Jarnow is the author of Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America, published in paperback in September by Da Capo Press.


Listen to the "The Wheel" from So Many Roads (1965-1995).


Announcing Dave's Picks 2019 Subscriptions And Dave's Picks Vol. 29

Well, starting out our 9th year of the Dave's Picks series, you might be asking, "how can they outdo the previous 28 Dave's Picks?" We sure are aiming to do so! As you'd expect, we receive many suggestions and requests for releases, and one of the top vote-getters on a consistent basis is 2/26/77, and we're thrilled to start the year with such an exceptional, sought-after show. Just as we started 2018 with an upper-echelon A+ Dead show (11/6/77 Binghamton, NY), that's exactly how we're beginning 2019. And just like the three spectacular shows that followed in 2018 (11/17/71 Albuquerque, NM; 9/2/83 Boise, ID; and 6/17/76 Passaic, NJ), we're planning on an equally strong 2019, filled with surprises and excellent playing throughout. Exciting times ahead! Thanks to everyone who's supported the series both from its inception in 2012, to all of the more recent subscribers. We REALLY appreciate the faith you have in us to consistently deliver great Dead shows to your door four times per year with the Dave's Picks series. We work hard on all aspects of our releases to make sure you'll be as thrilled with the finished, delivered CD as we are. Dave's Picks Vol. 29 will likely go down as one of the most well-received Picks in the series, and the show we're considering for Vol. 30 (plus the Bonus Disc!) will be another smashingly wonderful release. As all of the subscription hoopla indicates, there are plenty of benefits to subscribing, not least of which is ensuring you'll definitely receive all four releases in 2019. It's going to be a great year! Thanks again for coming along for the ride; great times ahead!

David Lemieux
October 2018

You just can't get enough! And neither can we. The Dave's Picks Series is summer love, spring, fall, and winter. So in 2019 we're turning up the Dave's Picks production run to 20,000 of each of the four releases. We've said it before and we'll say it again - while this means there will be more to go around, the best advice we have to give is... subscribe. When these releases go up for sale a la carte, they sell out within hours. Hours. No hyperbole here. The only way to avoid disappointment and be guaranteed all four Dave's Picks in 2019 is to subscribe.

In addition to the four CD releases in 2019, totaling 12 CDs, you’ll also get the subscription-exclusive bonus disc, which has proven to be one of the most highly sought after collectables we’ve ever released and free domestic shipping. Subscriber bonus discs will not be released outside of this offer. Early bird subscribers can nab a sub at $99.98 (regular pricing will be $115.92).

Get one and gift one here!

The Grateful Dead 7-Inch Singles Collection 2019 Subscriptions

We're also back with the highly-collectible 7” vinyl series and a subscription to that series, to boot. We're eight deep into the chronological releases of each of the Grateful Dead's singles and 2019 will see the next batch remastered on 7-inch colored vinyl featuring newly commissioned artwork, each limited to 10,000 copies and available exclusively at Didn't subscribe last year but want to collect the whole set? Singles 1-7 (soon to be 1-8) are available a la carte in the store.

The first release, arriving March 1, will be 1973's “Eyes Of The World” b/w "Weather Report Pt. 1.” This limited-edition reissue features newly remastered audio, transferred from the original analog master tape of the mono single mix, mastered by Grammy-winning engineer David Glasser with original artwork by Matt McCormick.

Other volumes to be released in 2019 include:

“U.S. Blues’”/“Loose Lucy”

“The Music Never Stopped”/“Help On The Way”

“Franklin's Tower”/“Help On The Way”*

*A B-side So Good They Included It Twice

Get one and gift one here!


Every year we tackle the challenge of the "BIG BOXED SET," sometimes it's even two! The criteria never changes - t's got to be exceptionally performed music, sound fantastic, and contain complete shows. This year, we were able to present not just a glimpse of the Grateful Dead's extraordinary exploratory tour through the Pacific Northwest, but their two-tour bounty as the PACIFIC NORTHWEST ’73-’74: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS.

We paired two short runs made up of six previously unreleased shows - P.N.E. Coliseum, Vancouver, B.C. (6/22/73); Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR (6/24/73); Seattle Center Arena, Seattle, WA (6/26/73); P.N.E. Coliseum, Vancouver, B.C. (5/17/74); Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR (5/19/74); and Hec Edmundson Pavilion, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (5/21/74). Each show was mastered in HDCD from the original master tapes by Jeffrey Norman at Mockingbird Mastering. The transfers from the masters were transferred and restored by Plangent Processes, further ensuring that this is the best, most authentic that these shows have ever sounded.

And if you are looking for a unique gift, well, this one comes in an ornate box created by Canada’s preeminent First Nations artist Roy Henry Vickers. To complement the music, the set also includes a 64-page book with an in-depth essay by Grateful Dead scholar Nicholas G. Meriwether and photos by Richie Pechner.

So rich was this tour, we also plucked the very best for a smaller compendium and a single show for 6-LP release. Find out which ones here.



By now, you've probably binged on the glory of the greatest story ever told - LONG STRANGE TRIP: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE GRATEFUL DEAD. But trust us, it will take repeat viewings to clearly see it all. Have no fear, we've got a DELUXE EDITION on DVD and Blu-ray coming down the line with extra footage from the cutting room floor.

All versions include the original documentary with 3 audio tracks: Stereo, 5.1 Surround and Commentary track with Director Amir Bar-Lev and Editor John Walter. The exclusive DELUXE EDITION boasts a previously unreleased, six-song live performance from the band’s first show overseas, filmed on May 24, 1970 in England at the Hollywood Festival, along with backstage footage from the band’s first trip over the pond. It also features two live performances from 1989 (“Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “Death Don’t Have No Mercy”). Snippets of all the bonus content were used in the film, but this marks the first time they will be released in their entirety.



This year saw the 50th anniversary of ANTHEM OF THE SUN. To celebrate, we released a two-disc deluxe version featuring a double dose of the original album - one fully remastered from the original 1968 mix and the other remastered from the more well-known 1971 mix - as well as a bonus disc of a previously unreleased complete live show recorded on October 22, 1967 at Winterland in San Francisco, CA. Newly remastered by Jeffrey Norman, this is the first known recording of the Grateful Dead with Mickey Hart, who joined the band in September 1967.

We've also got a very groooooovy limited-edition PICTURE DISC version. Check that out here.



All hail the "holy grail" of Grateful Dead shows! Our first pressing of Cornell 5/8/77 came and went so fast, we decided to press it again in 2018.

CORNELL 5/8/77 was recorded by Betty Cantor-Jackson. After several years the master tapes were seemingly lost for good, but that all changed at the end of 2016. The lost tapes finally made their way back home to the Grateful Dead vault, making it possible to officially bring the world this legendary show. The complete live show has been transferred and restored by Plangent Processes and remastered by long-time Grateful Dead engineer, Jeffrey Norman.

The 2nd pressing of the 5-LP Cornell 5/8/77 set is on 140-gram vinyl and the packaging features an alternative color-way.

Get your copy of CORNELL 5/8/77 VINYL here.

In The Community

Socially Grateful For The Holidays

Tis the season to be Grateful! Gussy up your social media for the holidays with one of our festive Grateful Dead designs. Click to download your selected art to your desktop. Upload as your profile picture or cover image.

Dead Covers Project 2019

Dead Covers Project

One thing is for sure, we are creatures of habit around here. In fact, we're counting the days until February. If you've been around for a while, you probably know why - the annual DEAD COVERS PROJECT. If not, it's when we are flooded with feel-good moments and sometimes - in the best possible way - teary-eyed ones too. It's when Dead Heads from near and far work tirelessly to bring the community their very best take on the Dead's rich legacy.

Wanna join the fun? Here's what you'll need to know to get started.

Sound just like Jerry? In the Phil Zone? Feel the force of the Rhythm Devils? The 2019 Dead Covers Project wants you! Let your creativity flow, visually and vocally, and your Dead cover could be featured on during the month of February.

We'll be taking submissions as soon as January 1st but the holidays are a perfect time to get started. Simply upload your video to YouTube, tag it "DeadCoversProject," and we'll make it available to view on the band's official YouTube channel, in February.

30 Days Of Dead

2017 30 Days of Dead Cover Art

Who needs a miracle everyday? We sure do and we bet you could use one too!

Consider this our gift to you for being so darn loyal... Each day in November we're giving away a high-quality 320Kbps MP3 download. That's 30 days of unreleased Grateful Dead tracks from the vault, selected by Dead archivist and producer David Lemieux! Intrigued? We're also going to put your knowledge to the test and give you the chance to win some sweet swag from the Dead.

Most of you know the drill by now, but for those, that don't, here's the deal:

You know your Ables from your Bakers from your C's, but can your finely tuned ears differentiate the cosmic "comeback" tour from a spacey 70's show? Each day we'll post a free download from one of the Dead's coveted shows. Will it be from that magical night at Madison Square Garden in '93 or from way back when they were just starting to warm it up at Winterland? Is that Pigpen's harmonica we hear? Brent on keys? Step right up and try your hand all November long and win prizes while you're at it.

All In The Family - Roy Henry Vickers

Photo Credit: Jennifer Steven

Esteemed First Nations artist Roy Henry Vickers gives us a glimpse into his illustrious career, the significance of the bent box, and how Woodstock broadened his cultural and musical scope in this edition of All In The Family. Read it here.

All In The Family - Sepp Donahower

Sepp in the 70s

If you were looking for a miracle during the early days of the Grateful Dead, Sepp Donahower would have been a good man to know. In this edition of All In The Family, the concert promoter talks about taking a trip to Haight Street to book the band, the challenges of the Wall of Sound tour, and a few of his favorite moments "on the bus." Read it here.