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: Jul 20 2007
Not so fast

Quote: "Sure we all want whole shows"

That's simply not true. Many? Sure. Most? Prolly. All? Nah!

I'm happy to pick such releases cherry-picked froma run of shows, particularly foe ertas with which I'm not familiar.

Besides, isn't canning such releases tantamout to saying the likes of Europe '72, Skull & Roses or Live/Dead suck bug time?

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
well maybe

well I've gone on the record often enough giving these guys a hard time, but maybe we should give em a break here.

First we are promised a 'tidal wave' of new releases including whole shows and a box set 'in the next few weeks and months'. That's the most concrete promise there has been, so lets hold 'em to it.

Sure we all want whole shows, but presumably Jeffrey Norman can only work on so much stuff at a time and if I were him I too might feel more inclined to invest my time mixing highlights from many shows instead of samey and sometimes rather uninspired first set material. (btw with the bonus disc you do get all of 11/9/79 Set 2, small but significant)

Shame about the end of DP and those 'what you hear is what you get' shows, but if this promised tsunami arrives of really high quality sounding whole shows then that might bring the smiles back

As posted previously I think this has been handled really badly in terms of communication and respect for this so-called online community, but now they have put their heads above the parapet and made some commitments, let's not throw rocks at them quite yet

btw. On the 'If I ran the Vault' forum a while back SPACEBROTHER suggested that the GDP team should create their own page/area on this site providing regular updates on the process, problems and thrills of choosing and mixing new material and also reacting to the numerous suggestions that have already been made on this site (well-reasoned or not). This would make them a bit more part of the community. Brilliant idea. Go for it!

yamadog's picture
Joined: Jun 6 2007
Road Trips

You Have Got to be Kidding!
We The Loyal Deadheads Do Not Need Compalation Albums,(Those Are For The Phony Fans,You know The Ones Who Say .I love The Dead And Cant Name 3 Songs)
What Your Coffehouse Cd Made A Billon,I Dont Think So. MAKE A GOOD BUISNESS DECISION,AND LET THE FANS HAVE WHAT THEY WANT.When I Frist Saw This I Said Holy Sh&T 5 Shows A Tour Run ,And Grabbed For My Credit Card.Unfortantly That Wasn't The Case.WE Will Spend For What We Want,But We Are Not Rolling Stones Fans Who Want 100 Best Of Albums.

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
special powere

yeah and I'm the only user online right now which means I get advance copies of everything

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
the worm has turned

yeah, I'll be on the road trip..order in already. Thanks for putting this out: '79 not high on my radar so this will be a good sampler, especially if the sound is really good (which I anticipate it is)

Most important thanks for the heads up on other releases. It is a real pick up for me just to know what kind of material is in the pipeline. But guys, you would have saved yourselves, the mods and us 'users' a whole lot of unnecessary grief if you had let us know just a bit more about what the plans were a bit earlier.

So first and foremost thanks : ) , please carry on keeping us updated from now on and finally please don't bogart that joint any more just 'cos you own the stash.

hookah's picture
Joined: Jun 15 2007

DP was great
ITS amazing that a whole new batch is going to be in road tripsss
id bet some iowa from 74 creeps into this seriess....nice

i want to get this so badly, HOW LONG IS DISC #3 AVAILABLE FOR?

- good vibes -

I can tell your future
Look what's in your hand
But I can't stop for nothing
I'm just playing in the band

Hal R's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
I'm hopping on board

Nice to see something coming out, I never doubted it. Not what I expected, but that makes it a bit exciting. Too bad there are instant naysayers, I always thought part of this was about being open minded and trying new things. Why not try something new?

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
Wiliam Blake

Joined: Jun 17 2007
A new release! YES!

So happy to see a new release, and the promise of more to come (sooner rather than later, let's hope). I agree with the rest who would like to have complete shows available as well, good to see that is still in the works. There are gaps in the Vault, shows that weren't recorded for whatever reason, the tapes were lost or damaged, etc., so this could be one way of getting what exists of parts of shows out there. I would also like to see the music available in download format as well. Keep it coming folks!

The bus came by and I got on...

Joined: Jun 4 2007
I agree with Steve Silberman

I agree with Steve Silberman that it's time we respectfully lay the "Dick's Picks" title aside. Not that we should ever stop raising our glasses and saying the magic word "Latvala!"--but it's time for something new. Some well recorded, well thought out compilations can be appropriate, especially if the comps come from shows where recordings only partially exist, technical problems marred large sections of the show, stuff like that. No, compilations should never replace whole shows per se, but they can serve as spectacular samplers.

For Blair Jackson, David Lemieux and all others involved: Keep Road Trips reasonably priced with plenty of extras (bonus cds, interesting liner notes, stickers, backstage pass/ticket reprints, whatever...) and make sure that whole shows are released as well as compilations. Also, I hope that you can walk the fine line between keeping a steady stream of releases and oversaturating the market. Do those things and it will work out fine.

Also, please, please, please do all that you can to make this series downloadable in both mp3 and a lossless format...this does not make it any easier to pirate copies because, lets face it, if people want to do that they can no matter what, but it will make it much easier for those of us who live far away and don't want to waste exhorbitant sums on postage, or for those who simply wish to skip the process of transfering their discs to their hard drives or portable players.

In other words, keep putting out a quality product and continue to treat us as the friends and fans that we are rather than just as sources of income, and you guys will do fine. I have faith in you.

R. Gray
Seoul, S. Korea

deadmike's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Nice ...

I've placed my order ... looking forward to hold the actual release in my hand ... and listen to the music of course ... =)

I havent got any 79:er in my collection of dead music, not on CD nor on tape. So this'll be the first ... but I prefer shows from 1967-77 ...

/Micke Östlund,
Växjö, Sweden


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