• April 28, 2011
    http://www.dead.net/features/blairs-golden-road-blog/blairs-golden-road-blog-gd-movie-still-thrills
    Blair's Golden Road Blog - GD Movie Still Thrills!

    I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: I believe The Grateful Dead Movie is the single greatest document of the Dead experience ever released. In just two-and-half hours, it explains—or at least illustrates—what is interesting and compelling about the Dead’s music, it captures what the fans were/are all about to a degree, dips into the band’s history a tiny bit, and serves up a heapin’ helping of some of the group’s greatest songs, from rockers to ballads to deep space. Seeing the movie in a theater with a couple of hundred other Dead Heads on 4/20—part of a nationwide one-night-only screening at 540 locations—reinforced the film’s greatness to me. It undeniably captures that ineffable whatever-it-is in spades.

    I originally saw the Dead Movie (it’s technically called The Grateful Dead, but no one calls it that—just as no one calls the “Skull & Roses”/“Skullfuck” album by its proper name, Grateful Dead) at its San Francisco premiere at the Northpoint Theater in mid-1977. A special sound system was brought in for the occasion, and though I recall a couple of unfortunate sound glitches that night, it was still awesome to see a film played at near concert volume. I just dug up the review of the film I wrote in the July 28, 1977 issue of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and I see that at the time I noted that “with virtually no advance publicity, the movie has arrived at San Francisco’s posh Northpoint theater, where it will play through August 2. It was worth the wait for Dead Heads. This movie is for you.” The brilliant 24-year-old critic claimed the Dead Movie “is perhaps the most artistic rock film ever made, and, in my opinion, among the most pleasing musically. It is devoid of the philosophical pretensions that marred feature-length films by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Yes …” Young Jackson, clearly bound for greatness even at that tender age, also talked about the “superb” editing, how “even though this film was shot during one brief period in the Dead’s career, it shows the quintessential Grateful Dead,” and raved about the opening: “ten minutes of the strangest, most spaced-out animation I’ve ever seen—a doper’s delight … Admission is only $3.50, half a buck under the Northpoint’s regular price. If you’ve ever liked the Dead, it’s worth every penny.”

    Unfulfilled Pulitzer aspirations for that jewel of a review notwithstanding (yikes, not my finest hour!), the opinions in the full review don’t vary much from what I felt seeing the Dead Movie a few years later at a repertory cinema in Berkeley, and after I bought it on VHS many years ago. Then I enjoyed it anew (along with all that incredible bonus footage: “Dark Star”! “China Cat”! “Weather Report Suite”! Commentaries! Mini-documentaries!) when the two-disc DVD version came out in 2004 — perhaps David Lemieux’s capolavoro as a producer/packager of all things Dead. It’s funny, it’s trippy, it’s moving, it’s exciting … and it’s probably the most revealing glimpse into the mind of Jerry Garcia we’ll ever get. Because this was Jerry’s baby, beginning to end. (Kudos, too, to supervising editor Susan Crutcher and her fine staff, who assembled the film to Garcia’s taste and vision.)

    I was struck again seeing it the other night just how Jerry-centric the film is. For a guy who was self-effacing and self-deprecating to a fault, it’s amazing how much of the film consists of close-ups of his face and his fingers. His little smiles, the looks in his eyes, the glances he shares with band members tell us so much about how he experienced those songs (or at the very least those specific performances). One of my favorite moments in the entire film is when the “Playing in the Band” jam, after going through all sorts of wild diversions and strange turns (including passages focused on Billy’s incredible drum work), finally returns to the “reprise,” and the camera is on Jerry and you see the reflection of the stage lights in his glasses, but you can still see his eyes clearly and they’re fixed on some indeterminate spot—maybe searching for the notes—and the melody from his guitar floats dreamily and gracefully, meeting Bobby’s and Keith’s parts in magical union, and all of that is communicated in his facial expression. In the extreme close-ups of Jerry’s left hand in action, his fingers almost become abstract objects as they dance and slide and stop for split-seconds, then quiver ever so slightly at the maestro’s touch. It’s like watching a virtuoso violinist, except you can almost feel the thought and intuition going into Jerry’s improvisation.

    There are so many fantastic moments in the film; I’m sure you all have your own favorites, too. I always like that dark and grainy and crazy nitrous party backstage late in the film; the Winterland mirror ball spitting thousands of points of moving light through the arena; that “Morning Dew,” which is just about as good as any the band ever played—and we have it on film! I can’t even guess how many times I’ve seen the animation sequence through the years (we even used to show it to our kids when they were young), but I still get something new out of it every time—some image I’ve never noticed before.

    Part of the draw of the 4/20/11 event was a healthy dose of never-before-screened outtakes of interview footage of Garcia and Weir (the latter with John Barlow) that provide fascinating windows into their quirky personalities. An unexpected bonus, though, was about 20 minutes of Europe ’72 tour photos by Mary Ann Mayer, set to a looped version of the 4/7/72 Wembley “Playing in the Band”—great to see that on the big screen. I would have loved the Dead Movie to have been louder, but seeing it in a theater again reminded me that the audio was mixed to capture the somewhat echo-y ambience of Winterland. It really sounds like the ol’ place, for better and worse—Phil, alas, does not come through as clearly as I like to hear him (but he sounds great on the must-own “Soundtrack” CDs that came out around the same time as the DVD).

    One last thought: With live operas and ballets from Europe now being broadcast regularly into American movie theaters in many cities, what’s preventing Furthur (and other bands) from doing the same? Sounds like a good time out at the cinema to me! I can think of 10 or 15 bands I’d pay to see that way.

    Do YOU have any reflections about the recent Dead Movie screening or the film in general? What’s your favorite Dead video?

    NOTE: The Grateful Dead Movie Event will encore for one-night-only on Thursday, May 5th. Click here to get tickets and more info.

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I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: I believe The Grateful Dead Movie is the single greatest document of the Dead experience ever released. In just two-and-half hours, it explains—or at least illustrates—what is interesting and compelling about the Dead’s music, it captures what the fans were/are all about to a degree, dips into the band’s history a tiny bit, and serves up a heapin’ helping of some of the group’s greatest songs, from rockers to ballads to deep space. Seeing the movie in a theater with a couple of hundred other Dead Heads on 4/20—part of a nationwide one-night-only screening at 540 locations—reinforced the film’s greatness to me. It undeniably captures that ineffable whatever-it-is in spades.

I originally saw the Dead Movie (it’s technically called The Grateful Dead, but no one calls it that—just as no one calls the “Skull & Roses”/“Skullfuck” album by its proper name, Grateful Dead) at its San Francisco premiere at the Northpoint Theater in mid-1977. A special sound system was brought in for the occasion, and though I recall a couple of unfortunate sound glitches that night, it was still awesome to see a film played at near concert volume. I just dug up the review of the film I wrote in the July 28, 1977 issue of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and I see that at the time I noted that “with virtually no advance publicity, the movie has arrived at San Francisco’s posh Northpoint theater, where it will play through August 2. It was worth the wait for Dead Heads. This movie is for you.” The brilliant 24-year-old critic claimed the Dead Movie “is perhaps the most artistic rock film ever made, and, in my opinion, among the most pleasing musically. It is devoid of the philosophical pretensions that marred feature-length films by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Yes …” Young Jackson, clearly bound for greatness even at that tender age, also talked about the “superb” editing, how “even though this film was shot during one brief period in the Dead’s career, it shows the quintessential Grateful Dead,” and raved about the opening: “ten minutes of the strangest, most spaced-out animation I’ve ever seen—a doper’s delight … Admission is only $3.50, half a buck under the Northpoint’s regular price. If you’ve ever liked the Dead, it’s worth every penny.”

Unfulfilled Pulitzer aspirations for that jewel of a review notwithstanding (yikes, not my finest hour!), the opinions in the full review don’t vary much from what I felt seeing the Dead Movie a few years later at a repertory cinema in Berkeley, and after I bought it on VHS many years ago. Then I enjoyed it anew (along with all that incredible bonus footage: “Dark Star”! “China Cat”! “Weather Report Suite”! Commentaries! Mini-documentaries!) when the two-disc DVD version came out in 2004 — perhaps David Lemieux’s capolavoro as a producer/packager of all things Dead. It’s funny, it’s trippy, it’s moving, it’s exciting … and it’s probably the most revealing glimpse into the mind of Jerry Garcia we’ll ever get. Because this was Jerry’s baby, beginning to end. (Kudos, too, to supervising editor Susan Crutcher and her fine staff, who assembled the film to Garcia’s taste and vision.)

I was struck again seeing it the other night just how Jerry-centric the film is. For a guy who was self-effacing and self-deprecating to a fault, it’s amazing how much of the film consists of close-ups of his face and his fingers. His little smiles, the looks in his eyes, the glances he shares with band members tell us so much about how he experienced those songs (or at the very least those specific performances). One of my favorite moments in the entire film is when the “Playing in the Band” jam, after going through all sorts of wild diversions and strange turns (including passages focused on Billy’s incredible drum work), finally returns to the “reprise,” and the camera is on Jerry and you see the reflection of the stage lights in his glasses, but you can still see his eyes clearly and they’re fixed on some indeterminate spot—maybe searching for the notes—and the melody from his guitar floats dreamily and gracefully, meeting Bobby’s and Keith’s parts in magical union, and all of that is communicated in his facial expression. In the extreme close-ups of Jerry’s left hand in action, his fingers almost become abstract objects as they dance and slide and stop for split-seconds, then quiver ever so slightly at the maestro’s touch. It’s like watching a virtuoso violinist, except you can almost feel the thought and intuition going into Jerry’s improvisation.

There are so many fantastic moments in the film; I’m sure you all have your own favorites, too. I always like that dark and grainy and crazy nitrous party backstage late in the film; the Winterland mirror ball spitting thousands of points of moving light through the arena; that “Morning Dew,” which is just about as good as any the band ever played—and we have it on film! I can’t even guess how many times I’ve seen the animation sequence through the years (we even used to show it to our kids when they were young), but I still get something new out of it every time—some image I’ve never noticed before.

Part of the draw of the 4/20/11 event was a healthy dose of never-before-screened outtakes of interview footage of Garcia and Weir (the latter with John Barlow) that provide fascinating windows into their quirky personalities. An unexpected bonus, though, was about 20 minutes of Europe ’72 tour photos by Mary Ann Mayer, set to a looped version of the 4/7/72 Wembley “Playing in the Band”—great to see that on the big screen. I would have loved the Dead Movie to have been louder, but seeing it in a theater again reminded me that the audio was mixed to capture the somewhat echo-y ambience of Winterland. It really sounds like the ol’ place, for better and worse—Phil, alas, does not come through as clearly as I like to hear him (but he sounds great on the must-own “Soundtrack” CDs that came out around the same time as the DVD).

One last thought: With live operas and ballets from Europe now being broadcast regularly into American movie theaters in many cities, what’s preventing Furthur (and other bands) from doing the same? Sounds like a good time out at the cinema to me! I can think of 10 or 15 bands I’d pay to see that way.

Do YOU have any reflections about the recent Dead Movie screening or the film in general? What’s your favorite Dead video?

NOTE: The Grateful Dead Movie Event will encore for one-night-only on Thursday, May 5th. Click here to get tickets and more info.

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I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: I believe The Grateful Dead Movie is the single greatest document of the Dead experience ever released. In just two-and-half hours, it explains—or at least illustrates—what is interesting and compelling about the Dead’s music, it captures what the fans were/are all about to a degree, dips into the band’s history a tiny bit, and serves up a heapin’ helping of some of the group’s greatest songs, from rockers to ballads to deep space. Seeing the movie in a theater with a couple of hundred other Dead Heads on 4/20—part of a nationwide one-night-only screening at 540 locations—reinforced the film’s greatness to me. It undeniably captures that ineffable whatever-it-is in spades.

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"The GD Movie" - I own the DVD, and the VHS. I've seen it many many times. To watch it on the big screen was even better. And... to sit with a bunch of fellow deadheads and watch it....even more fun. I saw a screening in Asheville, NC. There is definitely something there. Maybe the GD organization could start periodical showings of any of the many home videos, on the big screen, or find stuff we have not seen yet. "The Closing of Winterland, "Downhill From Here," "Dead Ahead," any of the View from the Vault relases...the sky is the limit. My very "deadhead friendly" town would support it. I am sure there are many more that would too. If it's all we can do... how about "The GD Movie" every April 20th. By the way... The "Playin' in the Band" part of the film is still fantastic....far out '74 stuff. Thanks - Trent
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I saw it in a theater on Long Island packed with Deadheads. It was a thrill a minute. The entire audience was practically crying during Morning Dew. I would see it again and again just for that Dew! Jerry has been gone so long that I often forget just how amazingly talented and sweet he was. The movie also shows just how awesome Deadheads were in the 70s. I also saw the movie when it first came out in 1977. They used to have midnight showings every Friday night at a place called the Mini-cinema in Uniondale, LI. They played all kinds of cool stuff there like The Harder They Come, Rocky Horror, and the occasional Three Stooges marathon. The best part was that we all got high in the theater. What great memories! "Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own."
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...that a handful of fans got up and danced in the entryways at either side of the theater where I saw it (in Emeryville, CA), careful not to block anyone's view. I was tempted, but was boppin' in my cushy, bouncy seat...
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The movie is beautifully shot and edited, even the animation at the beginning is way ahead of it's time--building in intensity until we are right inside Winterland. The shots of Phil showing off his bass are priceless. I like my DVD copy with the extra footage. My experience seeing the movie at the theater on 4/20 were not that great. The movie lost it's feed (broke) and the sound could have been much better. The small quiet crowd could have also been a factor but it was a nice try and I'm happy other people had more positive experiences. Great movie now if we can just get Sunshine Daydream.
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My 4/20 experience was a hoot & a half. Not a ton of folks in the local theatre (maybe 40?), but a lively crowd for the most part - spontaneous applause, hoots & hollers, lingering chats at the end - and, most importantly, the theatre crew turned it up nice and LOUD! I've had the VHS/DVD for years but nothing matches the big screen - it's the closest I'll ever come to being at a Grateful Dead show in 1974. If I can talk the missus into it I'll go again on May 5th - Maybe I'll show up late though, as the extra half hour of talk (at the beginning, when we're geeked for the music!) was good for one time IMHO.
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After seeing it when it was originally released (finally), I wasn't all that impressed, but it's grown on me. I attended the final two nights of the run and it's fun to see the whole scene. The DVD is a must for it's bonus disc material. By the way, Phil's bass in the 5.1 playback is great. There was mention of additional songs/footage and I, and I'm sure plenty of other folks, would love to see another release. You better hurry. We're getting a little long in the tooth. What about New Years Eve 1970? Calebration? Do masters even exist?
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I went to see this on April 20th and when I left the theater I felt like I was walking on a cloud. I went home and slept like a baby. There is something about seeing this movie in the theater that is so different than watching it at home. When I read here that there is going to be an encore performance on May 5th I immediately bought tickets...without even thinking about it. I think that if they showed this movie in the theater once a month I would go every month. Jim
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I wasn't expecting the nostalgic rush of emotion I experienced when I saw this movie with it's cranked up volume 34 years after I first watched it. The film reminded me so much of the audience energy at Winterland at the Closing. When I was at DSO at the end of March there was a guy in front of me who told me he helped direct another Jerry Garcia film from the same era: Angel's Forever, Forever Angel's. Taking both the GD Movie and this Hell's Angels production, I can't help but thinking that Jerry was emulating Ken Kesey's decision after One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Both artists decided to immerse themselves into the "movie" as a primary mode of expression. I don't know much about the Hell's Angel's film or what lasting significance of what the Pranksters patched together footage from Furthur in 1964 will have, but I'm optimistic that the Grateful Dead Movie will be a significant historical artifact for the generations to come. I haven't seen anything better for capturing the rock/psychedelic "musicking" experience at its finest...
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Quite possibly one of my most favoritest 'Eyes' of all time... I originally had it as filler on a tape way back when, so I was very excited to see the whole soundtrack released on disc.
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Is it true that 5 minutes are edited out of the Eyes of the World that was release on the CD set?
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But what the PTB need to do is release a massive dvd box set of new, new VFTVs.Just put 'em out. Good Times. I recently watched one again after quite awhile and guess what..the "special effects" not only did not turn me off...they satisfied! Wait...I know, cheesy and obtrusive but in our current reality of massive war and strife there is seemingly very, very little of anything even remotely psychedelic looking and sounding (though I recommend Aronofsky's flick, "The Fountain.") So Powers That Be..stop being afraid of the criticism of the look of the VFTVs and put out a box of volumes 5-10. Inexpensively, of course. "Let it Loose Let it all come down.." /Jagger-Richards
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There is no Eyes edit that I'm aware of... It appears to be in its full splendor.
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Haven't A-B'd them, but my recollection is that a chunk of the master 16-track of "Eyes" (including a verse, maybe?) no longer exists following its use in preparing the film????When we put it on the So Many Roads box set years ago it was a stereo version mixed down from the original 16-tracks at the time the film was being made. I notice the timings on the two are, on SMR, 18:20 before the "China Doll," and 13:02 before the "China Doll" on the Soundtrack CD... Like I said, though, I haven't compared 'em...
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Except that this is a filmed experience. The similarities are summed into a few words: IT IS FUN! THIS IS GREAT! I enjoyed seeing it projected on a large screen immensely. IT IS FUN! Hint, hint: I would like to see "Sunshine Daydream" like this, soon.
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Couple random observations from seeing the movie on the big screen: I stopped going to the movies about five years ago (am satisfied with waiting til releases come out on disc) for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that the coming attractions and ads were screened at EAR-BLEED levels. So it was with some irony that at the screening of the Dead CONCERT movie at an AMC theater in the Woodland Hills section of L.A., the sound was obscenely low. I finally got up and asked the management to crank it, which they at last did. Uh, HELLO?!? Un-fucking-believable. Sorry, but I don't think rock concerts translate particularly well to the movie medium. A rock concert and a movie of a rock concert are simply not the same thing. I've owned the movie on disc for several years and prefer watching it at home on TV. Also thought that the interview footage with Jerry and Weir was a bit self-indulgent and could have been trimmed or divided up at various points in the movie. Felt a bit static to open the movie with that, rather than concert footage. The good: an animated, relatively thin, pre-hard-drugs Jerry looked postively joyful playing the music. Loved that. And his vocals sounded wonderful. Almost too wonderful. The magic of post-production? Very poignant moment at the end of the Weir interview in which he talks about how the band believes the planned hiatus will lead to the members living longer, then the cut to Jerry, who, well ... the rest is history. Once in a while you get shown the light In the strangest of places if you look at it right.
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Hmmm... that is a pretty sizable chunk of time...
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One last thought: With live operas and ballets from Europe now being broadcast regularly into American movie theaters in many cities, what’s preventing Furthur (and other bands) from doing the same? Sounds like a good time out at the cinema to me! I can think of 10 or 15 bands I’d pay to see that way. Amen to that brother. I'm hoping that is where Weir's TRI Studio, and Phil's Terrapin Landing are taking us. Do you hear anything?
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Alas, it did not play recently up here in Canada, so I have not seen it in the theatre since its original showing so long ago. But I do watch it on dvd, and (here come the hisses) I am always somewhat dissapointed! I LOVE 73-74 dead, but still think the best parts only made it to the bonus DVD. Am I crazy, or what, but I find the Dew to be tired, and the Stella perfunctory! I also hate animation during the footage (the open sequence aside), which is so common with all Dead movies/videos. I never appreciate someone's idea of what "trippy" visuals are like, and one advantage of a movie over an actual show (perhaps the ONLY advantage!) is seeing close up the fingerings of Jerry and Co. Often when they get most interesting, some damm visuals are overlayed. Oh well, curmugion am I!
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A couple of years ago I revisited the Dead Movie and was inspired to post a detailed account of my reaction to the film, which was overwhelmingly positive in so many ways. Seeing the film again was a revelation. Instead of boiling it down right here, however, I'll just paste the link for anyone interested. Oh, and how amazing would it be to see all the footage from those Winterland gigs assembled in their entirety? Who wouldn't pay to own that? I know I'd be first in line. Here's the link top my thoughts: http://halmasonberg.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/midnight-movies-the-gratef…
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I love the Grateful Dead Movie, and seeing it in a theater with a lot of other Deadheads was wonderful. The sound was good, too, although it could have been louder. My only complaint was that the digital delivery system did not have the resolution of film. I could see lines on the screen, which I expect while watching TV, but it was a bit jarring on the movie screen. On the other hand, it was fairly easy to ignore. Steve Premo -- Santa Cruz, California "If there's ever an answer, it's more love" - Tim O'Brien
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I;m headed to the movie tonight in Glen Allen VA with my 11 yr old and 4 yr old.... even though we've seen the DVD like 10 times, they are psyched for the big screen ! I'll let you know how it went tonight when I get back... Peace ! Nothin' left to do but :-) :-) :-)
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Did they love it? "Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own."
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This will stand as the best video just cause it was the first but i enjoy 'em all from Dead Ahead to the pay per views on NYE 85-86, Ticket to New Years, etc. Downhill From Here holds a special place for me as I was there, and the Winterland DVD is fantastic too. Blair, do you know what ever became of the guy in the film who was pissed about the filming? The guy who shook hands and made a bet he wouldn't be lining up to see it? Wonder if he owns all the releases now or just went on to be a big fan of Air Supply or some other crappy band. If you get confused, listen to the music play!
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I always thought it would be interesting to track down some of those folks in the film, but I don't even know where you'd begin...
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So yes, I took my oldest & youngest to the Glen Allen VA showing Thursday night, and as I said, we have the DVD, and they've seen it mostly the animated beginning which they always enjoy, but it was boys night out and my oldest is now playing guitar (very well I might add...) so I want to provide him with experiences of true guitar artists, if not LIVE, then as close as possible for him to see if he's got the bug to play/write/enjoy real music rather than letting him get influenced on the Grammer School bus with Pop crap where no one is playing anything. He dug it... he was very interested in hearing the Jerry interview and even MORE interested in Bobby's interview... then the animation... and then the show... we left after Sugar Magnolia because it was a school night and the two of them were starting to nod off... but it was positive. The only negative (if you want to call it negative) was that he is learning about drugs in school and had just asked me what Chrystal Meth was and Heroin... and he obviously saw all of the joints and buds that were displayed and I think that may have turned him off from the Band or he may now associate them negatively to drugs. I tried to explain about back in the day and natural drugs vs synthetic but, it's a conversation for another year... bottom line son is thatdrugs are not good... don't let anyone tell you they are not, let me know if / when they are offered to you...I'm gonna know immediately anyway, so... And dont tell yor mother!! :-) My 4 year old asked me to play that Red White and Blue song... now HIM I gotta keep my eye on :-) !!!!! Nothin' left to do but :-) :-) :-)
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Hey Blair, why not start right here... at Dead.net? Some percentage of folks in the movie must still be on the bus, but perhaps don't actually check through the posts. A banner on the home page might attract some of their attention (and perhaps something on archive.org? I can think of other methods, but they might be a bit too complex--why not an announcement like there was in Europe '72, of the "attention Deadheads" type with official Dead recording? Some of these folks no doubt still purchase such things!Anyhow, just a suggestion, from "a crazy one"! (Hey, I don't really like movies, ANY movies, what can I say!)
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i went 4/20 w/my sister who is not a head, but who got it-- the evening unfolded beautifully- and the atmosphere in the theatre was light-hearted and cheerful. at first just kate and i were there, but then a few groups trickled in until there were around 35-40 of us. (of course there was one couple who just HAD to sit right in front of us tho the theatre had plenty of seats-- ugh!) we had dancers and twirlers and sing-alongers and clappers and boy was it entertainment in all directions. i reaffirmed by love for the band and the heads and the people who get the bright ideas to make these movies and the people who organize the showing of them. all in all it was a rockin night at the movies- so glad i went. i'm grateful someone decided to put this together-- thanks! caroline
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What a Party !!!! So crazy - that after watching this movie probably 100 plus times, that I did get excited to go see it again. All Good Spirits. My beautiful wife Katie Mae and myself hurried to the theater, I was in fear of being late. We get there in good time, watch the Europe 72 Pics - awesome shots . It made me really sad when i saw the one picture of Pigpen - he almost looked sick. The Europe 72 Tour documented as Live Music shows no sign of sickness as far as audio. He looks thin, like he lost a lot of weight. The Grateful Dead Movie does illustrate the band, road crew, and the fans. The Hypnocatic Triangle of Life. No more than 10 people in the theater. After the movie started, I went back out to the concession stand (they teased us with the word ice cream when they took our tickets) - they were gone. Not a soul in the place. Though i did hear another movie playing - i didn't see a person outside of our movie the rest of the evening. We just said heck with it, Katie went out to the truck and got us some beer! The Movie had never looked, nor sounded better. Felt like you were actually there at the concert. Made me think back to a time when me and my dad went to an Imax Theater and watched a Rolling Stones Concert - I recall my ears ringing afterwards because it was so loud. BTW, did our movie get played on an Imax Theater .. ???? Wow - that would be the Shiznit !!! With a little pane .. Been nice to see the extra video footage that was included on the DVD Release .. but of course, I had to work the next day. Inspiration. Move me brightly. Fueled my insane mind with possibilities that are endless. My little story-movie-book--whatever it may be .. The GD Movie is canon of course. When ole Uncle Sam gets locked up in the pen, who else is gonna bail him out??? Miss Liberty of course! For those out there with bright unfocused eyes - who haven't seen the Movie yet - check it out. Guarantee to get your feet a tapping! Peace. and Chicken Grease. Nephew or a niece , or go back to the Chicken Shack !
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hypnocratic .... was the word i was aiming for ....
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Ah, yes, I remember well going to the movie at a little movie house called the Shady Oak with my GD girlfriend of couple months - what a freaking panic!!! We sat right up front to the Jerry side. Though belated, this was my first GD concert-going experience. My real first one was at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City in July of '78 - my God, it was soooo hot!!! I only had one truly amazing experience at a show and that was 8/16/80, the rest were just not at all as cool my pseudo trip to the Shady Oak. Fortunately, I'm able to relive that experience a few times a year, and have been doing so ever since it came out on VHS so many years ago. I love the animation and shots of band members and between song interludes, but what I like most is how the members of the audience are captured to perfection with their idiosyncratic ways of relating to a certain song at a given moment during that song. The Chinese dude during Stella, the guy by concessions during Sugar Mags, and how could you ever forget the Chiclets guy hugging the stage, singing word-for-word and feelin' every song to his soul!!! Damn! Cheers and Happy Mother's Day. " Where does the time go? "
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After seeing this movie many times on the small screen, and at my local movie house on 4/20 I think I have figured out why the pre-retirement period has always been considered the Deads greatest era. LSD. I think Garcia might agree because if there is a theme running through the show it's acid. The band interviews all appear to be filmed while they are psychedeicized and the focus on the fans certainly appears to favor the ones that have "turned on". I know I was a huge acid head when I was younger and though I did not see my first show till 85, and loved the 10 years of shows I saw, i still think the music played by the band before 1975 was the best and most ....indescribeable. I'm curious to hear other thoughts. Please chime in:-)
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I'm sure I was in the minority, but all I ever needed at the shows was the music. OK, maybe a couple beers. I just didn't want to miss anything, so I found great satisfaction in absorbing every note, and for me, I had to be completely coherent to do that. It's the same reason I don't drink anything at baseball games - I don't want to miss any of the nuances that come up throughout the game. Besides, my brother often told me that acid probably wouldn't do much for me since my brain always seemed to operate on abnormal wavelengths anyway!
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@Bolo24. For clarification when I said I like my Dead on acid I meant Jerry and the boys being under the influence not myself. That being said I also like myself on acid:-0. And think shows that contained a crowd of a higher mind had a better chance of providing vibes back to the band that took things to a higher level. Unfortunatly much of the post retirement period was plagued with Jerry high on coke and heroin instead of acid, so regardless of other factors the music was going to be limited.
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I love the GD movie because to me it's a time capsule. I don't remember the early Seventies, the first decade of my life. My parents were clueless about popular music so I grew up not knowing about rock and roll and the Grateful Dead in particular. It wasn't til my cousin posted a GD poster on his bedroom wall following Englishtown '77 that I had any minimal idea.Thanks to the magic of video, I was able to see what things were like back then. Although the music is great, for some reason I love the documentary aspect of the film... the backstage moments with the band and the crew, and especially the fans. It is obvious that Garcia the film maker was very interested in capturing the fans' side of the story. Because without the fans, the Deadhead experience just wouldn't exist. I wonder if most of the young California heads are alive today. I'm sure some or many have passed on since '74. It's so long ago now. Winterland itself has passed on, nothing but a condominium community on Steiner Street, San Francisco.
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I suppose I'm a bit late on this, but I'd like to comment... I saw The Movie at the encore presentation in a theatre in South Florida and the entire experience was absolutely perfect. The sound was LOUD and there were no more than 10 people in the whole place. Only one thing bothered me: That being that we came into the show "amped" for the The Movie and especially the animation and had to sit through those absolutely spaced-out, almost meaningless, fuzzily impressionistic interviews with Jerry and Weir. The first five minutes of Jerry was cool, and even funny, but then it just began to draaaaaaaaaaaaag to the point of irritation. Why not put that crap at the end of the movie with a warning in the beginning to stay tuned if interested. The Movie is already long enough and the interviews just didn't make sense to preface it... Otherwise, it was fabulous! I brought my girlfriend who is much younger and into jam bands and festivals, yet only mildly aware of The Dead. Ah... this younger generation simply don't know about the best band in the land! Anyway, she loved it... and came away with a great base understanding of the whole Grateful Dead mystique. And wasn't this Jerry's whole aim in producing this movie? To replicate the Grateful Dead Experience in a visual and audio representation? She said she felt like she belonged in The Dead experience The Movie so perfectly depicted and that she grew up in the wrong generation... HAha, yeah, don't we all!! My final comment has to do with a great piece of timing we experienced in seeing The Movie. We were itching for a break to go outside and "re-up" when 'Intermission' flashed on the screen. We immediately bee-lined for the bathrooms and my truck and as we did so, Playin' immediately started. Guess I hadn't seen the movie in awhile because we were kinda tricked into missing Playin', but dammit, we had to have a break! Anyway, we were allowed outside to my truck for a "break" and when we came back in, the band seemlessly went into the end of Playin' as if they were waiting for us to get back to our seats to proceed with the rest of the show...
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I've always been rather taken with the woman dancing in the U.S. Blues segment. The one with the hanky on her head.
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    Analogman
    7 years 5 months ago
    I've always been rather
    I've always been rather taken with the woman dancing in the U.S. Blues segment. The one with the hanky on her head.
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    GroundFunk
    7 years 5 months ago
    Final Word...
    I suppose I'm a bit late on this, but I'd like to comment... I saw The Movie at the encore presentation in a theatre in South Florida and the entire experience was absolutely perfect. The sound was LOUD and there were no more than 10 people in the whole place. Only one thing bothered me: That being that we came into the show "amped" for the The Movie and especially the animation and had to sit through those absolutely spaced-out, almost meaningless, fuzzily impressionistic interviews with Jerry and Weir. The first five minutes of Jerry was cool, and even funny, but then it just began to draaaaaaaaaaaaag to the point of irritation. Why not put that crap at the end of the movie with a warning in the beginning to stay tuned if interested. The Movie is already long enough and the interviews just didn't make sense to preface it... Otherwise, it was fabulous! I brought my girlfriend who is much younger and into jam bands and festivals, yet only mildly aware of The Dead. Ah... this younger generation simply don't know about the best band in the land! Anyway, she loved it... and came away with a great base understanding of the whole Grateful Dead mystique. And wasn't this Jerry's whole aim in producing this movie? To replicate the Grateful Dead Experience in a visual and audio representation? She said she felt like she belonged in The Dead experience The Movie so perfectly depicted and that she grew up in the wrong generation... HAha, yeah, don't we all!! My final comment has to do with a great piece of timing we experienced in seeing The Movie. We were itching for a break to go outside and "re-up" when 'Intermission' flashed on the screen. We immediately bee-lined for the bathrooms and my truck and as we did so, Playin' immediately started. Guess I hadn't seen the movie in awhile because we were kinda tricked into missing Playin', but dammit, we had to have a break! Anyway, we were allowed outside to my truck for a "break" and when we came back in, the band seemlessly went into the end of Playin' as if they were waiting for us to get back to our seats to proceed with the rest of the show...
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    Cryptical70
    7 years 7 months ago
    I was in pre-school when the Winterland '74 shows happened!
    I love the GD movie because to me it's a time capsule. I don't remember the early Seventies, the first decade of my life. My parents were clueless about popular music so I grew up not knowing about rock and roll and the Grateful Dead in particular. It wasn't til my cousin posted a GD poster on his bedroom wall following Englishtown '77 that I had any minimal idea.Thanks to the magic of video, I was able to see what things were like back then. Although the music is great, for some reason I love the documentary aspect of the film... the backstage moments with the band and the crew, and especially the fans. It is obvious that Garcia the film maker was very interested in capturing the fans' side of the story. Because without the fans, the Deadhead experience just wouldn't exist. I wonder if most of the young California heads are alive today. I'm sure some or many have passed on since '74. It's so long ago now. Winterland itself has passed on, nothing but a condominium community on Steiner Street, San Francisco.