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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Joined: Nov 6 2007
Bring it on!!!!

What is all the hassle about complete shows & Rhino? I was pretty pleased with the job they did on Cow Palace. I love complete shows, but I do not absolutely love everything from every show. I love the concept of the live compilations (with the exception of rehashing best of/greatest hits), its the best of the best. Next to One from the Vault and GD Movie, So Many Roads Box is one of my all time favorites. The first volume of Road Trips looks great. I have to admit I was skeptical of Rhino at first, but so far so good. The complete shows that have been released are great and I love them, but I can't stand all the complete show whining and compilation bashing. Nothing beats hearing the best of the best shows, these are not bits and pieces.
Don't like what you see, then don't buy it. Simple.

Joined: Nov 6 2007

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this great idea. I can't wait to hear one crackling tune after another from the same tour. I loved "Live from the Phil Zone" and always wished he would do more of the same, so this is a welcome addition to the Vault releases.
Sure I like full shows as much as the next Deadhead (I have all 36 Dick's Picks), but there's just something special about going from a smoking, say, "Jack Straw" to a sizzling "Lazy Lightning/Supplication" without having to listen to another tired old "El Paso" in between.
Way to go, and keep 'em comin'.
PS - I'll second and third etc. the request for more DVD's, too!

Joined: Aug 20 2007
Suggestion for the next installment

Fall 84 PLEASE.

Thank you.

That is all.

Joined: Nov 6 2007
Great looking release!

Fall of '79 SWEET! Forget about all the naysayers and boobirds. This release is a fresh idea from a great tour. Since when have the Grateful Dead been afraid to take a chance on stage and try something new? Never! I'm glad to see a different approach. This certainly gives an opportunity to check out different shows/tours/sounds you may not have been turned on to. HDCD sounds much better than poopy downloads. No complaints here.

Yeah, we all want our own picks to be released, but in reality it's good to let these golden jams be heard in a context that all heads can enjoy. It's clearly stated that full shows are still going to be released so I'm not sure about all the complaining. I 'd love to see 11/5/79 released with an awesome setlist and the second longest "Eyes" ever, but I'm not crying about it. Keep up the great work guys! You've got my money. Long live the Grateful Dead!!!

'In fact your salvation is within yourself, in your own essence of mind, it is not to be gotten grasping at external people like me.' ~ Jack Kerouac

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Drumz Anyone?

Cool song selections...Brent's freshman year with the band. Would rather have entire shows, and did anyone notice that there were no Drumz?? Bet Mickey and Billy love that....

Joined: Jun 12 2007
Bonus disc?

I'm not going to get caught up in the complete show vs. partial nuggets debate.... I'm like many other folks that will listen to and appreciate either.

My comment is centered on the "bonus disc" concept. I understand that it motivates us to order from the dead site rather than going down to the local mega-store to buy this... but it bothers me that I might not get the "bonus" disc if I dont order it NOW. Juggling finances come holiday shopping time is usually a fairly precarious deal for a lot of us. If I cant order it for a month or two because things are tight.... well, no bonus disc for me.
Not only that, but sometimes the "bonus" disc has some the best music of the release... (example: the Dark Star was on the Academy of Music Bonus Disc).

Why not just make it and call it a 3-disc set, rather than 2 discs and a bonus disc that we have to order within a specific amount of time?
OK, so thats my question. Hopefully it doesnt sound like I'm bitching, cuz I'm not. I dont get stressed out often, but things like making sure I get the bonus disc can do it to me...

Joined: Jun 9 2007
Where is David, BTW

Hey now,
Is it just me or does it seem that Blair is taliking about David L. in the past tense?

That would be a real shame.

Eric S. Crane
Roswell, GA

Joined: Jun 11 2007
Nuggets are ok

I like the idea of doing both highlights/nuggets and complete shows. I love the shows but it does not leave room for great versions of songs where the entire show might not be available or salvageable. I love Fallout From the Phil Zone and So Many Roads, for instance. So I am ready to go with both. Put it out and I will buy it. Always have, always will.

Joined: Aug 22 2007
Veneta '72

it wouldn't be a road trip without the berkeley to the Field Trip shows.

Joined: Jul 22 2007
Off to a great start!

The 79-81 era is sorely under-represented as far as official releases go. Can't wait to hear this one.

How about a Fall 1994 highlights release, one that includes the Scarlet>Fire from 10/14/94?

I like complete shows as much as the next person, but I'll take a set of quality highlights too. Thanks!


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