Grateful Dead

Come Join Us For Road Trips!

It’s time to put a little gas-gas-gas back into the ol’ Tour Bus and give it another spin, because Grateful Dead is very pleased to announce the debut of a new series of archival releases called Road Trips!

Here’s the deal: We all loved the Dicks Picks series. Over the course of 36 amazing releases between 1993 and 2005, GD archivists Dick Latvala (R.I.P.) and David Lemieux continually blew our little minds plucking one righteous show after another from the vaults, from classics like the February ’70 Fillmore East run (DP4) and Englishtown ’77 (DP 15), to overlooked masterpieces like 9/28/76 (DP 20) and 9/21/72 (DP 36), and shows not in general circulation among traders at the time, such as the February ’68 shows of DP 22 and the superb “Houseboat Tapes” from August 1971 that made up DP 35. Coupled with the many exceptional releases culled from multitrack tapes (the Fillmore West box, Steppin’ Out, The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack, Nightfall of Diamonds, et al) and the popular Download Series, there’s been a lot of musical territory covered over the years… but not all of it, of course—not even close!

With Road Trips we’re going to try something a little different. We want to plug in a few more pieces of the Grateful Dead puzzle by putting the spotlight on different tours and series of shows that have been neglected through the years. Take Road Trips Volume 1, Number 1, for instance. This two-disc set (plus a special Bonus Disc - now sold out) was culled from the Dead’s blazing fall 1979 East Coast swing, when the band was just hitting its stride with new keyboardist Brent Mydland. You’ll find killer versions of “Dancing in the Street” > “Franklin’s Tower,” long exploratory jams on “Playing in the Band” and “Terrapin,” a rattle-your-brain “Shakedown,” and lots more, all pulled from the master tapes in the vault and expertly mastered in HDCD for maximum power and clarity by Jeffrey Norman. The sold out Bonus Disc offers another hour-and-a-quarter of highlights from the tour. (You can find the complete track listings for all three discs here.)

Every Road Trips release will come with a beautifully designed booklet containing an essay about how the music on the discs fits into the Dead’s long history, plus many rare and never-before-seen photographs. We think you’ll agree it’s a pretty cool package. But wait, there’s more (as they say)! When each “edition” of Road Trips is announced on this site, we will also give you a link to an affiliated site devoted to the series which will include such goodies as articles and reviews from the tour (See one reviewer after another mess up Grateful Dead song titles! See the band savaged by cretinous critics!); additional photos; and any other weird/cool stuff we come across. Together we can paint a really rich and vibrant audio-visual picture of different stops along the Grateful Dead highway!

And this is just the BEGINNING of what we promise will be a tidal wave of releases, which will include more rarities from the deepest corners of the vault, multitrack releases, box sets (the patient will be rewarded; nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say no more), DVDs, downloads and who-knows-what-else. So keep your Third Eye tuned into this space for more in the coming weeks and months!

--Blair Jackson

A Few AFAQ’s (Anticipated Frequently Asked Questions) About Road Trips

Sounds pretty interesting, but what took you guys so frickin’ long? We thought you’d forgotten us.
Naw, we never forgot you. It’s just taken a little longer than expected to get the ball rolling again and to figure out how to move forward in a way that will satisfy and hopefully also expand the fan base. As a certain sage known to all of us once wrote: “It takes time to pick a place to go…”

Is Dicks Picks over, done, kaput?
Yes, that series of releases ended with Volume 36. It will continue to be available, however. Road Trips will have a little more flexibility than Dicks Picks, in that we are not limited to full-show releases, or even 2-track tapes…or anything for that matter—we haven’t made any rules about what IT is. I guarantee we’ll surprise you from time to time.

But we want to hear full shows, too!
Don’t worry, there will definitely still be full-show releases. We’ll have more on that soon.

OK, I guess it might be pretty cool. I’ll check it out. In fact I’ve got a ton of ideas of shows and tours you guys should be releasing…
Well, let’s hear it. Of course we want your well-reasoned insights and input! The Dead have always looked to Dead Heads for inspiration and ideas, and you’re needed now more than ever!


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marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

you might also ask this in the In Search of Info topic in the forums.

Joined: Aug 5 2009
New Haven CT show Cancelled Jerry got sick Nov., 1978

I was inside the New Haven Collisium, almost fully packed, when they announced that the show was being cancelled due to illness. I think it was in Nov., 1978. I don't have a good memory of what went down afterward, and hope that someone who was there could write me back. T.Y.

Joined: Sep 13 2007
Dick's Picks Series

If you were to listen to the ENTIRE Dick's Picks series from Volume 1 to Volume 36 nonstop (not counting the amount of time changing cds in the cd player) it would take you exactly 5 DAYS...7 HOURS...59 MINUTES...11 SECONDS!

lazylightning39's picture
Joined: Aug 16 2008

Ive poured my heart and soul into this band since 84'. At 40, I go in and out of my listening phases. I've been at it again at a frenzied pace going back to my few 72' Europe shows I have, some 84, 85 and 89. I realized, although I have a nice collection of shows covering every year 68 - 95, I NEED MORE! Years ago, I purchased a lot Dicks Picks, W/O net, Nightfall, Dozin, etc. I saw as many shows as possible 84 - 95, at least 10/year. That must have counted as a tenth of a percentile of the revenue the boys earned... that landed them on the Forbes Top 100. Considering the show reviews in the internet archive, there are soooooo many more shows i'd like to dl. Cmon Phil/Bobby... In the last two years alone, i've seen both your (very fine shows).... dont get me wrong, but man I've paid a prety penny for Rat Dog & Phil shows that far exceeds the prices I paid to see the "full ensemble".

mattthrelkeld's picture
Joined: Jun 18 2008
Road Trips!

So yeah we all loved Dick's Picks but this is a great idea!!! I am a younger Grateful Dead fan, I fell in love with the Dead after obtaining a cassette of without a net,and that was a mix of songs from brent's last tour.Today, some 78 bootlegs,28 dick's picks, and several archive releases later that is still my favorite. Road trips is an awesome idea! People that are critical need to remember that the grateful dead and their people have provided us ith excellent music several times a year for years now! BE GRATEFUL PEOPLE, NOT CRITICAL!!! Every music we get is a true blessing and a testament to the magic and beauty of the Grateful Dead!!! thanks to the archives!!!! ...and a little summer '86 might be a beautiful thing....

Matthew Threlkeld

Joined: Jun 18 2008
road trips

how about fall '78? Jerry"s playing was unique upon returning from Egypt. I know we have the closing of winterland, but the October run is cool-so are a bunch of shows from November. Soundboards that do float are not the best quality either. How about the outstanding Passaic, NJ show (11/24/78) ? Thanks for listening!

dstache's picture
Joined: Sep 10 2007
Little Ben

I second Little Ben's request for the "other" '79 Cape Cod show to be released if in fact it exists in the vault.

Joined: Jun 7 2007
Road Trips Vol. 1 No. 3 / Vol. 2 No. 1

I have really enjoyed both Road Trips releases so far. I think the concept is great and means that people who aren't interested in a late 1979 full concert might be more likely to buy a compilation of the tour. I'm all for hearing more Grateful Dead, particularly from periods that hasn't been well covered before. All this shows are still on the LMA or in torrents so if anyone wants to track down the "missing" parts of the shows, they can.

The first release was an introduction to 1979 for me. I have several 1978 releases but late 1979 is chalk to 1978's cheese. Admittedly I can't see RT Vol. 1 No. 1 becoming a favourite but it's given me a whole new appreciation for Brent Mydland's work. I think the second disk from start to end is killer - brilliant Shakedown, roaring Passenger, thoughtful Terrapin into a deep Playing, followed by an NFA> Morning Dew that, for me, really sticks out for several other NFAs. I usually find myself enjoying an NFA whenever it's from but sometimes it drags. In the case of this one, I wish it was longer. I love the Dancin> Franklin's on disc one and the closing medley is great. There is something about this Wharf Rat that really hits the spot - it's a bit sloppy at times, and Jerry's voice is suffering, but I really feel it. A bit like the Three From The Vault Wharf Rat - tentative and rough but also very moving and with no sense of going through the motions.

RT Vol. 1 No. 2 is a slightly different proposition. It's 1977 and so is invariably a far smoother, far more precise set of performances. This release is fantastic. So much good stuff. While it's a bit unusual starting releases with the set-ending performances, and the segue from one night's Playing into another night's Drums is abrupt, I think this release is great. Let It Grow lives up to the hyperbole in the liner notes, Sugaree is huge, H>S>F is wonderful and the disc two jam is great with, for me, Black Peter a real highlight. I'm now keen to get Dick's Picks Vol. 34 (so kudos to Rhino's marketing team for that one) and get more into late 1977. I already have Dick's Picks Vol. 10 and love it.

I suppose many people feel that it's a missed opportunity - if the show has good stuff in it, release the whole show. Obviously I'm less of a purist than some. I think I prefer the idea of a compilation of the best bits of a run or a tour where that tour has lots of great moments but not necessarily lots of shows. I even enjoy compilations from tours or periods with loads of good shows (think Steppin Out or Fillmore West 1969).

Other people are frustrated by shows being divided up. I appreciate that but, from a business point of view, I guess Rhino is wary of making releases that are too specialised. That's partly due to misunderstanding the Grateful Dead "market" and partly due to conservatism in the music industry. I think that if they really wanted to cash in they would release everything. Instead they're trying to play it safe a bit by releasing things that, they believe, more people can enjoy, along with very specialised releases like the Winterland box set.

Despite the complaints, I think the Rhino-era releases have been good: Cow Palace, Road Trips, Winterland, even 3FTV is improving with time. My criticism, if any, is that every release has been from the 1970s. I think the Road Trips concept is suited to "inconsistent" eras, such as the mid-1980s or the 1990s. While there's loads of great music frlom the 1970s, I'd be really keen for a compilation from 1984, say, the Greek Theatre shows, or 1985. Anything really, provided it contains great music that wouldn't otherwise have made a Dick's Pick, Download Series or Vault Release since there is no stand out show. On the other hand, how about a RT Vol. 2 No. 1 containing one or both of the October 1979 Cape Cod shows?

Joined: Mar 11 2008
Sounds great, but yeah,

Sounds great, but yeah, whole shows would be even better.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

now to get Kenny's situation straightened out. Thanks for the update badger!


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