Grateful Dead Hour no. 469
By David Gans
Week of September 15, 1997
Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead are widely regarded as among the foremost interpreters of Bob Dylan's music. Bob himself has said so: in a 2006 essay by Jonathan Lethem, "The Genius of Bob Dylan," Dylan says "The Dead did a lot of my songs, and we’d just take the whole arrangement, because they did it better than me. Jerry Garcia could hear the song in all my bad recordings, the song that was buried there. So if I want to sing something different, I just bring out one of them Dead records and see which one I wanna do. I never do that with my records.”
Here's an excerpt of a 1981 interview with Jerry in which he talked about the greatness of Dylan's songs and the difficulty of playing live with him. I wish I had had a chance to talk with Jerry about it after the 1987 Dylan-Dead tour.
This two-hour (part two will be posted next week) compilation of Dead and JGB Dylan covers was a precursor to a CD I had the privilege of producing, Postcards of the Hanging: Grateful Dead Perform the Songs of Bob Dylan, released in 2002. I had hoped it would be a 2-CD set containing all of the Grateful Dead's Dylan covers, but the realities of the music business dictated a single CD (plus a limited-edition bonus disc with two more songs). Garcia Plays Dylan, a 2-CD set (heh) released in 2005, picked up the rest of the GD Dylan covers along with the complete Jerry-does-Dylan collection.
As mutual admiration societies go, the Dead/Dylan dyad is one of the all-time greats.
Grateful Dead 9/29/89 Shoreline Amphitheater, Mtn View CA
STUCK INSIDE OF MOBILE WITH THE MEMPHIS BLUES AGAIN
Grateful Dead 9/15/85 Devore Field, Chula Vista CA
SHE BELONGS TO ME
Grateful Dead 10/3/87 Shoreline
Interview: Jerry Garcia talks about Bob Dylan
Grateful Dead 12/3/81 Dane County Coliseum, Madison WI
IT'S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE
Grateful Dead 12/29/88 Oakland Coliseum Arena
QUEEN JANE, APPROXIMATELY
Grateful Dead 11/7/87 Henry J. Kaiser Aud., Oakland CA
KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR
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Thank you for listening!
- David Gans
Wow, I was at the Chula Vista show at Southwestern College field! A great clip. One of those rare Dead shows which was held in a very intimate outdoor field setting. A great vibe all around. One of my favorite shows. I walked up during the sound check and had rather relaxed conversation with Phil Lesh.