• February 16, 2011
    http://www.dead.net/features/blairs-golden-road-blog/welcome-my-blog-world
    Welcome to My (Blog) World!

    Why a weekly blog? Well, for a while now I’ve wanted to have a place where I can talk about music, issues, events and people related to the Grateful Dead and the post-GD world on a regular basis — and also hear what you have to say about this unique and fascinating universe we’re all wrapped up in to varying degrees. Basically, for the past few decades, much of my mind and spirit have been dominated by my interest in the Dead and the many tangents that have led from that incredible source of light and life. Of course, I’ve held jobs that have nothing to do with the Dead, raised two great kids, led what for all intents and purposes is a “normal” life, and listened to thousands upon thousands of hours of non-Dead music. But the Dead have always been at least in the background, and often in the foreground, of my life ever since Live Dead came out in November of 1969 and I subsequently saw my first show at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York, March 20, 1970. As Bob Weir sang (of a woman, I presume) in “Lazy Lightning,” “it’s an obsession, but it’s pleasing.”

    I suspect most of you have seen my byline around this site on stories or product promos, have read liner notes I might have penned for various Road Trips and other releases, and some may go back to my days as editor/publisher of The Golden Road Dead fanzine, or even further to my years at BAM, the free Bay Area music magazine I worked for between 1976 and 1983. If you went to Pelham (New York) High with me in the very early ’70s, you might’ve read my first-ever Dead review—of the Vintage Dead album.

    Golden Road magazine publishers
    Regan and Blair on duty
    at Red Rocks, 1987
    I moved to the Bay Area from suburban NY in the fall of ’73, arriving just in time to catch the 11/11 Dead concert at wonderful Winterland — quite a contrast from my previous GD show at giant and decrepit Roosevelt Stadium in Joisey on Jerry’s 31st birthday. For a few years, I’d felt I was destined to live in the Bay Area someday. Then, spending some of the summer of ’73 living with my older bro in the Oakland Hills and going to see several Garcia-Saunders and Old & in the Way shows (not to mention Van Morrison and all sorts of other faves who played in clubs here), pretty much convinced me to transfer to UC Berkeley for my last two years of college. I got my degree in Political Science (was and still am a political junkie), then went to the graduate School of Journalism there, with an eye toward being a rock critic. That segued into my long tenure at BAM, and that’s what allowed me to write my first book about the Dead, The Music Never Stopped (which, at the time, 1983, was the only history of the band available). The following year, my wife, Regan, and I started The Golden Road, which took me even deeper in the Dead world and gave me the opportunity to interview and write about so many of the cool folks who have been part of the scene through the years. We put out 27 issues between the winter of ’84 and the middle of ’93, by which point we were about to have our second child and didn’t have the time or space in our house to keep putting out a magazine. During that time my main gig was being a writer and editor at Mix, the leading U.S. sound and recording magazine, and I continue to write for Mix to this day.

    After Jerry died, I spent a couple of years working on the book Garcia: An American Life (published by Viking in 1999), co-produced the So Many Roads box set with my buddies David Gans and Steve Silberman, and also got involved with helping put out posthumous Garcia releases, including the All Good Things box. When Rhino took over the management of the Grateful Dead’s archival release program a few years ago, I signed on to work occasionally for the re-vamped Dead.net website and joined with Vaultmaster Supreme David Lemieux to play a small role in shepherding the Road Trips series.

    So, that’s who I am. In coming weeks, I’ll be bringing up various issues connected to the Dead world that we can bat around and (hopefully) have some fun with, I’ll talk about some recent books and films (good and bad) that have connections to the scene, no doubt take a trip or two down memory lane, and we’ll see where it all leads. If there are issues or questions you’d like to see addressed, let me know. Don’t be shy! We’re all friends here…

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Why a weekly blog? Well, for a while now I’ve wanted to have a place where I can talk about music, issues, events and people related to the Grateful Dead and the post-GD world on a regular basis — and also hear what you have to say about this unique and fascinating universe we’re all wrapped up in to varying degrees. Basically, for the past few decades, much of my mind and spirit have been dominated by my interest in the Dead and the many tangents that have led from that incredible source of light and life. Of course, I’ve held jobs that have nothing to do with the Dead, raised two great kids, led what for all intents and purposes is a “normal” life, and listened to thousands upon thousands of hours of non-Dead music. But the Dead have always been at least in the background, and often in the foreground, of my life ever since Live Dead came out in November of 1969 and I subsequently saw my first show at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York, March 20, 1970. As Bob Weir sang (of a woman, I presume) in “Lazy Lightning,” “it’s an obsession, but it’s pleasing.”

I suspect most of you have seen my byline around this site on stories or product promos, have read liner notes I might have penned for various Road Trips and other releases, and some may go back to my days as editor/publisher of The Golden Road Dead fanzine, or even further to my years at BAM, the free Bay Area music magazine I worked for between 1976 and 1983. If you went to Pelham (New York) High with me in the very early ’70s, you might’ve read my first-ever Dead review—of the Vintage Dead album.

Golden Road magazine publishers
Regan and Blair on duty
at Red Rocks, 1987
I moved to the Bay Area from suburban NY in the fall of ’73, arriving just in time to catch the 11/11 Dead concert at wonderful Winterland — quite a contrast from my previous GD show at giant and decrepit Roosevelt Stadium in Joisey on Jerry’s 31st birthday. For a few years, I’d felt I was destined to live in the Bay Area someday. Then, spending some of the summer of ’73 living with my older bro in the Oakland Hills and going to see several Garcia-Saunders and Old & in the Way shows (not to mention Van Morrison and all sorts of other faves who played in clubs here), pretty much convinced me to transfer to UC Berkeley for my last two years of college. I got my degree in Political Science (was and still am a political junkie), then went to the graduate School of Journalism there, with an eye toward being a rock critic. That segued into my long tenure at BAM, and that’s what allowed me to write my first book about the Dead, The Music Never Stopped (which, at the time, 1983, was the only history of the band available). The following year, my wife, Regan, and I started The Golden Road, which took me even deeper in the Dead world and gave me the opportunity to interview and write about so many of the cool folks who have been part of the scene through the years. We put out 27 issues between the winter of ’84 and the middle of ’93, by which point we were about to have our second child and didn’t have the time or space in our house to keep putting out a magazine. During that time my main gig was being a writer and editor at Mix, the leading U.S. sound and recording magazine, and I continue to write for Mix to this day.

After Jerry died, I spent a couple of years working on the book Garcia: An American Life (published by Viking in 1999), co-produced the So Many Roads box set with my buddies David Gans and Steve Silberman, and also got involved with helping put out posthumous Garcia releases, including the All Good Things box. When Rhino took over the management of the Grateful Dead’s archival release program a few years ago, I signed on to work occasionally for the re-vamped Dead.net website and joined with Vaultmaster Supreme David Lemieux to play a small role in shepherding the Road Trips series.

So, that’s who I am. In coming weeks, I’ll be bringing up various issues connected to the Dead world that we can bat around and (hopefully) have some fun with, I’ll talk about some recent books and films (good and bad) that have connections to the scene, no doubt take a trip or two down memory lane, and we’ll see where it all leads. If there are issues or questions you’d like to see addressed, let me know. Don’t be shy! We’re all friends here…

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Why a weekly blog? Well, for a while now I’ve wanted to have a place where I can talk about music, issues, events and people related to the Grateful Dead and the post-GD world on a regular basis — and also hear what you have to say about this unique and fascinating universe we’re all wrapped up in to varying degrees.

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I promise I won't ask one thing about the Europe '72 box set (ha, ha)! Anyway, I was wondering if you could shed light on why the Pure Jerry series disappeared? I do know that Rhino does not control the Garcia vault (that's the Garcia LLC), nor did Rhino release the Pure Jerry series. Nevertheless, I've been disappointed to see this series come to a stop (again). Can you discuss it at all? Will we see more non-Dead Garcia material soon?
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..Hey Blair... I got on the bus in sept. 88 MSG,, and boy , so lucky and glad I did.. never looked back... I am grateful for the shows I caught.. and I know your name from years of reading Relix and other such magazines and Your books... I guess my questions are far and wide... maybe even too controversial to bring up among family ... but, at this stage in the game..whatever.. ... Like, why dosent Billy & Mickey want to play with Phil and Bob anymore ...does that stem from Deborah Koons and all the went down at Jerrys Passing ? would you even know..?? I guess I can speculate like any other fan... maybe is that topic is to dark or supposed 2 be a kept a secret., it just don't matter anymore .. More Importantly : who is charge and when are they going to start releasing all the great DVD / Video Footage I know is in the Vault... 88-89-90, all those years were filmed... all the shows.. I feel that the footage, good or bad , should be released to the fans.. Its Healing to be able to sit down on a weekend nite, put in a nice DVD of a show you at, and kick back and enjoy it SO VERY HEALING & NEEDED. .. Please put in the good word, Release the VIDEOS I, for 1, would pay top dollar for a DVD Box set over a Audio Box Set , or any given day.. ...also, who are the spinners ? haha joking .. I read once the Bear had a super cool way of Audio-Rigging the Pyramids to some some crazy effects, but that never happened, either. I guess, what I really want to know is, what did Jerry think of all the spinners and tour heads? im sure it was nothing but love and maybe these kids are as odd as us ,, haha glad yer on-board Blair , good to say hi > truckin > other 1 > jam > drumz > stella blue
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I'm sure folks have a million questions and I'll do what I can to answer 'em (if I can keep up!). I get a lot of queries about the Garcia release situation, as I have been quite involved with that through the years. To be very honest, I'm not sure why more stuff isn't coming out faster. It appears that a lot of the legal hurdles surrounding the estate have been overcome, which is good news. One thing that delayed work for a while is that over the last several months all the tapes in the Garcia vault have been digitized--a very time-consuming effort. (This is something the Dead should probably do, too, but the scale of that project would be positively herculean, and not cheap, to say the least.) Anyway, there WILL be more Jerry releases coming, but I can't give you specifics about when. That last one--the Sandy Rothman-produced "Ragged But Right" featuring the JGAB--is very cool. As for the situation with Mickey and Bill and Furthur, I AM going to take the 5th on this one. I'm not really in a position to comment on it or say anything authoritative about it, as I have not been privvy to any inside info about it. I will say this, though: I love what Billy's doing with 7 Walkers; I think it's great the Rhythm Devils are out there from time to time doing their thing; and I'm a big fan of Furthur and their drummer Joe Russo. (I have a cool Joe Russo interview I'll be posting on Dead.net in the next couple of weeks.) Hopefully the Core Four will get together to make some music somewhere up the line. I wanna hear more Global Drum Project, too!
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How lucky we are to have you posting your thoughts and energy here. Became a fan about 4 years ago. Have read everything I can, listened to a ton and I do spend time thinking about the why's of the band. For no other reason than fun, I'll share this I re-read recently, in 'Darkstar,' Greenfield's book. I was struck by the possible meaning. Sitting at the Dead's offices, late in the Dead's career, Jon Mcintire said Jerry and he were talking about creating art, with Mcintire offering that art is created from suffering, as fuel for the act. "He got this furrowed brow while his eyes were flashing back and forth and he said, 'I know that's the stereotype. I know that's what history teaches us. But I'd really like to know what can be created from Joy.' What if it were true? And what if they were doing something fundamentally 'new', historically? Thx. Look forward to reading more. Ws.
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There's certainly BOTH in Grateful Dead music (and a million shades in between)... That's an interesting topic, Willy; maybe we'll tackle it up the road...
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The chemistry is so tight with Furthur right now that I really hope they do not tinker around with the line-up. Quite frankly I think they are a level above the Dead of 2009. That being said I just loved the 2 Rhythm Devil shows I caught last summer. In my opinion the more bands out there the more ways of achieving our GD fix! Now would I love to see the 4 back together? Of course! But I just don't see any reason to mess around with Furthur right now. "It's got no signs or dividing line and very few rules to guide"
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How does one not bring up the E72 box? There are no words to describe how absolutely whatever the whole thing is, no? But now that things are simmering a bit, the Dead mind can only wonder what's in store beyond next September. Have you a box you would pronounce the end all? And, on another note, what non-Dead music tides you over?Thanks for subjecting yourself to the madness. " Where does the time go? "
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I can't see beyond the box at the moment, as I'm in the thick of working on a humongo essay for it (boy, has that been fun! And time consuming...). So, I've been listening to little except E'72 stuff for about the past month. I have no idea what they'll come up with next year, but it's gonna be tough to top E72 Complete, to say the least. Fortunately, it's not a competition: '89 vs. '72! I love it all!

 But I still manage to listen to other things. I'm quite keen on the forthcoming Robbie Roberston solo album "How to Become Clairvoyant"--very old school, classic RR sound, with lots of Eric Clapton on it. I interviewed Robbie yesterday for an article I'm writing about the album for the April issue of Mix. I've also been digging the new Paul Simon album, which is a return to form for him I'd say, after that rather disappointing collaboration with Brian Eno. Is that PS album out yet? I haven't been to a record store in a while. A couple of weeks ago Regan and I went to one of the Arhoolie Records 50th Anniversary celebrations at the Freight & Salvage club in Berkeley and that was tremendous fun--Ry Cooder was the ostensible headliner; he's one of my all-time favorites and he didn't disappoint, doing a mixture of old songs like "Vigilante Man" along with a hilarious new tune called "No Banker Left Behind." Love that guy! Wish he'd tour more (or at all, for that matter). Hey Rhino guys, when do we get a big, deluxe Ry Cooder box? ;-)

 And two nights ago, on Valentine's Day, Regan and I went out to the Rancho Nicasio in rural West Marin County and had a nice dinner and saw one of our favorite local groups, the Baguette Quartette, who play French music from the '20s to the '50s.

 So, I try to mix it up. I watched the Grammys... liked Lady Gaga's song; thought Dylan was scary (but dug the Avett Bros.and Mumford et al); wish Eminem would cheer up a bit; liked one of the two Arcade Fire songs... couldn't care less about who won or lost anything, as the choices are almost always lame and disappointing. Not worth investing the energy in that part of it, but I like the spectacle for the most part...

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Hey, Yeah,this should be fun and interesting. How far we have come as a community! I recall being astounded by your book, The Music Never Stopped(Putnam Pub. June 1983) as being the only historical source out there at the time.Wore it out and got another copy,paperback (Delilah Books I think...) Cheers to you,sir, on this blog launch! Onward, shwack in nh
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WOOHOO! Mind you, I haven't seen the man since Laguna Seca, but still.
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Hey Blair... nice job... looking forward to it... Pelham HS huh? Stepinac here... unfortunately I was only 6 for the Port Chester shows :-) Can you give us some "Stories from the Vault" in your blog?... Your first encounters interviewing band members, roadies, extended Dead family in the background for your books? I think that could be interesting As always, iGrateful
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I think us south Westchester Pelham whitebread types thought Stepinac was trouble, iGrateful! White Plains, right?
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Blair - Always loved your writing. This sounds like fun. Please get those old Golden Roads reprinted! Or better yet save some trees and put them online. Namaste Eric
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Ok. Someone has to do it so it might as well be me. Why was this box limited to begin with and when it was discovered that there was huge demand, why wasn't it made available to everyone past the 7200? I got a personalized box and I dont really give a %$^% if there are more made past the 7200. I want everyone who wants one to get one and mostly, I don't want others to capitalize on this. Also, has this whole scenario changed the way large scale releases will be handled in the future? I am so excited that this weekly blog is happening. I am an old reader of the Golden Road and was dissapointed at its demiose. Understand the reasons but still,, I loved it
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I guess it was a just a two disc set..but a pretty good one from Rhino in Oct 2008; The Ry Cooder Anthology: The UFO Has Landed
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Thanks Blair. I am looking forward to this! Talking of Blogs are you following this one http://deadessays.blogspot.com/ The posts are fascinating, but are often very long and require an age to read and digest. Do you know who is responsible for them? A shorter and snappier blog here would be a great counterpoint to deadessays (unless of course you feel like writing 10,000 words at a time!)
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Hey folks! I love this idea, I always wanted to tune in to The Golden Road on the Grateful Dead channel and it's nice to have a similar idea here. At 17 years old and Deadicated I am so grateful to have found the Dead and all these WONDERFUL people. Thanks to all!!! Nathan.
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Looking forward to more to come. But I'm thinking that you need to post a more recent picture of yourself than one from 1987.... Nice news to hear about both Paul Simon and Robbie Roberston, have been looking forward to both albums and, frankly, hoping that I wouldn't be disappointed. If I only see one "old geezer" band this year, I want it to be Buffalo Springfield, but Simon is a close second. Rock on!
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Blair I have read and enjoyed all of your books and I was a subscriber for the whole run of "The Golden Road". I was very sorry to see it go. I see some net stirring that you have one or possibly? two books in the corral ready to be let out in the near future? Are you able to shed some light on the particulars? Also one of my personal non-Dead music interests is Miles Davis in all his incarnations-have you had similar interest in him or other jazz artists. I know there are several Dead connections to Coltrane, Miles, Tatum, Ornette, etc. PS: I am VERY HAPPY to learn that the Garcia vault is or has been digitized-to me this means something good may be about to happen!
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I do, in fact, have two finished books that are going nowhere at the moment. The first is a history of the various Fillmores (a very complicated legal situation I won't go into here). The second is called "Feed Your Head: San Francisco's Psychedelic Rock Revolution, From the Acid Tests to Altamont," which was slated to be in Jawbone Books' Day-By-Day series and traces the comings and goings of the Dead, Airplane, Quicksilver, Big Brother/Janis and Country Joe & the Fish from 1965 through 1969. It was completed over a year ago, was all the way through editing, we were in the process of researching photos, when the publishers decided they no longer had the money to publish the rather large tome they had commissioned. So the rights on that one have reverted back to me and I'm currently shopping it to other publishers, with no success so far (but hope springs eternal!). "Feed Your Head" will definitely come out in some form somewhere sometime... It's pretty cool, if I may say so myself...
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Cool man! I'm always wanting more current stuff to read, about the scene or whatever related to this great thing we got, everywhere. I didn't know you were from Pelham. Me, I grew up in Mamaroneck & Larchmont. I'm about a decade and a half behind you though, having gone through H.S. in the late 80's. Hit several shows from '87-'91, became my main thing, then tailed off a bit, did college, etc. When your Garcia book came out it was a big part of me getting waay back into the music. GD is still the greatest thing ever. So yeah, looking forward to this. We need an east coast guy like you (if there is one LOL) to do this too, to help us become aware of east coast stuff/happenings... * * * * * * * * * * * * * * -enjoyin' the ride -There'll never be another Jerry
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Blair, I hope it works out for you. It is nice to be in a situation where your work can be fruitful in the ways intended.
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It's great that you are doing this. You are a wonderful writer and liaison between "the organization" and the fans.Peace.
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Blair, are you in a position to liaise between the organization and the folks on here? One of the biggest sources of frustration here over the years has centered around the lack of answers from Rhino to peoples concerns about a wide range of issues. I am aware that this goes on a bit in the background, via PMs etc, but that doesn't help "the crowd".It will certainly be interesting to share some of your knowledge and anecdotes and I am looking forward to following this blog. Maybe some of the rambling side-trips that show up all over the place here will now be centered on this section. What do you know about beer?
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wasn't the first Grateful Dead fanzine I picked up but it surely was the greatest, and I miss it. Haven't got all the issues though. Gave away one issue to a Swedish journalist (the one with the story on the Grateful Dead meeting Led Zeppelin at a photo shoot) and had problem with the postal service and didn't recieve the last two years of it. But I'm forever grateful for finding The Music Never Stopped book around Christmas time in 1983. I wrote one letter to you through the publishing company but I dont know if you ever got it becuase it was through another letter to BAM and Barbara Lewitt, that I became aware of the Golden Road in late summer 1984. Before that I had only been getting the English Dark Star magazine/fanzine from the yearchange 1978/79 and to 1981 or something like that. I never knew then of Relix magazine because I never saw any ads in other American magazines like Rolling Stone and others. So, anyway, it was through you and The Golden Road fanzine I felt I became more of a Deadhead. Thank You! :-D Micke Östlund, Växjö, Sweden ------------------------------ My record collection: jazzmicke
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"I'm a big fan of Furthur and their drummer Joe Russo."I'd have to agree with this statement. Saw the Broomfield shows and the usual suspects delivered with an awesome performance. The drumming was the surprise for me. The versatility of Russo's drumming was astounding. He can come in with the group "POW!!!", play laid back, and roll on the toms like nobody's business. Very hard hitting which adds to the rock feel. I wish I could go see them again!!!
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Hey Blair,Those were some awesome shows. I wonder if the band knew that 8/13 was going to be their final gig there? It seems so according to the set list (especially the encore). After the RR shows did you guys head up to Telluride? I've been kicking myself for 24 years for not going:( "It's got no signs or dividing line and very few rules to guide"
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Hi Blair: Judging from your post here on the blog and other various places/spaces throughout Dead.net, you seem like you listen hard to lots of good music. Since I have a little audiophile in me, I was wondering if you'd mind sharing what your sound system is composed of, speakers, sources, amps and all. And don't be shy about listing those interconnect and power cord cables, if you're in to that kind of stuff. Of course, it its too personal, no big deal. Thanks.
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I have a pretty simple hi-fi system, nothing fancy at all: Yamaha receiver, Pioneer DVD/CD player (hoping to upgrade to Blu-ray soon) and Polk Audio tower speakers (which do sound really good). Frankly, I do most of my best listening on a little Phillips portable CD player on headphones. Or in the car. CDs are still my medium of choice. I'll buy FLAC downloads from time to time (mostly Furthur, but also some others, through Wolfgang's Vault, Downloads.com and other places...) and convert them to wav. files and put 'em on CDs. I'm finally coming to terms with the (slight) deficiencies of MP3, but it would never be my first choice. In my other world of writing for Mix and other folks, I'm increasingly getting codes emailed to me for MP3 downloads of new albums, rather than physical CDs (saves them a ton in mailing and manufacturing, of course, so I understand it), and I'm not too thrilled about it... Of course, when you hear an MP3 first (as with an album advance) you have nothing to compare it to. But I've A-B'd CDs with MP3s of the same album and there definitely is a slight but noticeable difference.

Jack Straw, we did go down to Telluride after those '87 Red Rocks shows. At the risk of being Dr. Buzzkill, I'd say that entire Denver-Telluride trip was better as a vacation--i.e. more fun--than as a showcase of great Grateful Dead. None of the five shows really slayed me, but it was a matchless experience, for sure. I'll cherish that Telluride experience the rest of my life.

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Ahhh no worries! I could see how the two venues themselves were the main draw. =) I'm trying to remember but wasn't the aftermath of RR '87 that the GD were banned from playing at RR? The little town of Morrison got over-run by hippies and the townsfolk freaked out. Same thing happened with Phish. As for Telluride, just the thought of the GD playing in Town Park for a couple of days blows my mind. One of the greatest mountain towns on earth. Jerry re-starting Brokedown Palace "because this is all fucked up, it must be the altitude" is a classic. "It's got no signs or dividing line and very few rules to guide"
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I got to town, I got to the B&B where I was staying jammed in with about a zillion other Heads I didn't know, as I recall, and I was really, really crabby and felt like there was something just really wrong with the whole scene--and got halfway up a flight of stairs and realized I couldn't breathe. There was no bleepin' oxygen up there! Whereas at Red Rocks, which was practically the flatlands by comparison, ti hadn't been an issue at all. Once I realized there was this little air issue going on I was much better!
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Welcome to the Blogosphere, Blair! When are we getting a '91 JGB show with a sweet 'Twilight' ? Waltah (~~):-} Where is our pal Schabs? :-)
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"It's got no signs or dividing line and very few rules to guide"
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Just want to let ya know, I've been reading your articles in BAM & some other news-mags for years. I read "American Life" about 3 years ago & it is brilliant. Tears & laughs & amazments abound. Thanx, Blair..............
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"tears and laughs and amazements" pretty well sums up the Grateful Dead experience! Waltah, "Twilight" will come out, I promise! When I was interviewing Robbie Robertson the other day, I mentioned that there were a couple of real good JG versions of "Twilight" from '91 and he seemed surprised and pleased.
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:-) Thanks!
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As Dubya so famously said to our very own egregious little shIt, Mr. Tony Blair, aka St. Tony of the Bloody Hands. Some randoms thought blobs here. I'm a nigh on 60 year old English deadhead, who stumbled on the bus at a very early age - just 16 - thanks to the great DJ John Peel (RIP) and some american students boarding with the family of a friend of mine at school in Cambridge. They told tales of what was happening on the West Coast (this was '66 onwards), it chimed with me - I'd been rading up on psychedelics for whatever reason since I was 15 or so, and had decided they were for me. So the Dead were the perfect hook to hang this desire on! First hear on Peel's famous 'Midnight Garden' show on Radio London, one of our famous pirate radio stations, he hit me with Golden Road, and then Venus In Furs by the VU. That was it, really. Sold on the Dead. Bought my Mono copy of the first album the day it came out, St. Pat's, 1967. Same day in the States so was I the first person to buy that album! Who knows! Come '70 and their brief visit, Live Dead was part of the aural wallpaper for our regular trips. Oh boy we had the best dealer - synth Psilocybin and Mesc, as well as fine Acid and hash. Permanently dosed loaded. But - the '70 show here at the Hollywood Festival was the day before my 1st year exams at Oxford Uni, and fail those - you were out. No second chance. So, as I was having such a good time, I did the exams and skipped the Dead. So when they turn up in April two years later, I have another dilemma. The Dead? Or my finals .... easy peasy, as the kids here, say, no contest. So one of the treats of the box set is that for the first time SINCE 4.7.72 I'll get to hear ... 4.7.72! Which is cool, as I was so high I recall little of either night, bar surfing Phil's TOO bomb the first night, on a huge wave composed of coloured sound. Yes! It was true! The Dead fucked with your head. BIG TIME! An impoverished student, I only caught the Wembley shows, B'shaw and the first and last Lyceum nights. Only. Gloy hallelujah we witnessed some sublime music, and the 4.8.72 Dark Star still stands for me as the Dead's Ode To Joy. 8.27 Ode To Darkness? Yup, love that one too, but would I rather have the shit scared out of me (as is good for one now and again) or soar on the wings of joy to heaven? You guessed - the latter, and indeed, when we got that Dark Star again (I'd long lost the Glastonbury Benefit vinyl album it was one), I took it down to Cornwall with me, dropped some mushrooms, and sat looking out to sea as the sunset and the music took me far away again. I could go on .... I may at a later date .. tales of an English deadhead, who, during the pre-internet days of the 80s, assumed he was the last living Deadhead in the UK. I have since met a few others who assumed the same! I can't wait for the box set; I recall the spoof alert about this some years back, and recall thinking - mad, but yup, I'd buy it. No choice. So thanks to all involved in this, most especially the band. That we are still being fed so much heart moving music is a source of wonder. I've been riding shotgun with the Dead, albeit from a .ong distance, fr 45 of my nigh on 60 years. Gimme more.
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11 years 6 months
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Blair, years ago you interviewed John Kahn and he mentioned that the 1976 era JGB (called themselves The Front Street Shieks) would hang out in the studio playing Bob Dylan material. Is there any of that in the vault? Thanks. Waltah
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11 years 4 months
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Best news I've heard in years. Could you see some late era releases from the Jerry Vault such as Fall '93 or maybe even '94? I thought I read somewhere that you have heard some stuff from Garcia/Grisman circa '94 and it wasn't pretty. The stuff they did in '92 deserves an official release with such tunes as "She Belongs To Me" and "Down Where The River Bends". Anyway, just rambling, if you could give some thoughts as to what eras might be considered for release, we're all ears!! Also, could you give any rational reason as to why new GD downloads have ceased to exist? It is the quickest and easiest way to get shows out as fast as possible to our grubby little hands. Maybe some Garcia downloads for the future?? Thanks Blair for all you do, any response would be appreciated. Yes, please release Twilight, the one from 4-19-91 would suit me just fine!
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10 years 10 months
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I vote for "Reconstruction"
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11 years 6 months
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Thanks to Jeremy for the vivid descriptions of life as an English Deadhead. Sounds like you had some great times! May they continue... I've been buried in the Europe '72 tour, writing some liner notes, so it's great having a little first-person glimpse of that world!

On some other questions:

There is at least one "Front Street Sheiks" tape in the JG vault; the little I've heard is extremely rough, probably not releasable (though I've only heard a bit, as I said).

The Garcia/Grisman live stuff (the masters of which are in the JG vault) is jointly controlled by both camps so would require an agreement. I would love to see some of that come out, of course, and I would think that it will be worked out at some point.

Yes, I could see a late-era JGB release, there are quite a few really good '93 shows and at least one great one from '94 (2/6).

As for a "rational reason" for the paucity of downloads... I can't think of any, but it's not my call...

Finally, there is exactly ONE Reconstruction show in the vault.... but it's a good one!

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...more about what is in the vault. From what has already been posted here it is obvious that there is a lot of interest in Jerry releases. Whether or not this is due to a lack regular Jerry releases lately whilst Dead releases continue to pour out I don't know. What I do know is that with Jerry's various aggregations, there is much more stylistic variation than with the Dead which in a way makes it more interesting. I get the idea that David Grisman is open to releasing stuff - as for the estate of Jerry it is less obvious. I am very happy to learn that there is a good Reconstruction show in the vault and hope it sees the light of day soon.
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11 years 1 month
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There were some really good late-era JGB shows, notably Halloween '93. A very typical set list for the time, but it has my all-time favorite version of "Shining Star" (despite Gloria and Jackie being a bit out of tune in places). There is also a hauntingly beautiful version of Daniel Lanois's "The Maker". On another note, I sometimes wonder how often Billy, Mickey, Bobby or Phil visit Dead.net. I'm assuming most or all of them use the internet, and I'm curious if they ever take a peek at the site just for the heck of it. Has one or more of them ever commented to you about the site or the contents of it? Curious. Of course, you may not want to share, which is fine. But I found myself during the "30 Days of Dead" give away a few months back wondering if any one or more of the core four ever poke around these here parts.
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11 years 6 months
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...I have no idea about the personal Internet habits of any of the band members. If I had to guess, I'd bet they don't sit around reading about themselves on the net and wading through the insults and blather on so many sites. (Not this one, of course!) But I'm just guessing...
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11 years 1 month
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Ah, fair enough.
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11 years 3 months
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You ve written some intriguing stuff in the past . And i take the time to send along a greeting I hope this space can be used by you and fans to debate the greatness of this music , amongst other things I also hope that in the future this band and its remaining members can decide to release this music ;not so much from a lucrative perspective ( they know they can sell out a box set in 4 days etc etc ] . Of course lucrative ventures are important if you re in some sort of business . And this band's business is music . But there - I think - is so much great stuff not released . And we re just waiting for the moment that they need ' something ' to come in aide . Its the truth At least theres tape trading and Internet archive . Maybe I ll just pass on what I just suggested in the previous paragraph . Good luck Mr Jackson with your Blog , and many - and myself included - hope that this can help strengthen our GD literary boundaries
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"I'd bet they don't sit around reading about themselves on the net and wading through the insults and blather on so many sites." ((((( Schabs )))))
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    azforker
    7 years 1 month ago
    mickey bill and Bob
    Grate to see them get together, Phoenix AZ gets The Mickey hart Band December 6th,The Compound www.mickeyhart..netdon't worry about what you don't have,go see what you do!
  • Default Avatar
    Wingo
    7 years 6 months ago
    Hi Blair / Dead Retirement community/resort?
    Hi,I just read your opening blog. I have loved the Dead for years and have an idea/issue that I would like to see discussed in your blog; What will the Grateful Dead experience be in 100 years, in 1,000 years? I just re-read some articles about the efforts to build "Terrapin Station" in SF. Phil was quoted; "We want to build a place where Deadheads can feel something of the community and freedom and abandon of Grateful Dead shows," former Dead bassist Phil Lesh explains. I have posted some ideas on a Facebook group site called "Branson by the Sea". I'd love to hear from you and the community.
  • DeadHead85
    7 years 7 months ago
    The Music Never Stopped
    Hey Blair After reading the first edition of your blog and reading about your first book. I figured It would be a good item for me to recieve as a possible birthday gift in march, since I havnt read it. Well it finally came, a family member ordered it for me off amazon and it came from Jersey or something up here to western Canada. I cant wait to dive in. I think I will start tonight, turn on some early 80's dead I think and have a good time. This is exciting. I enjoy your blog and essays keep em coming.