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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digaman's picture
Joined: Jun 19 2007
Dream Sets

> Sorry to burst anyone's bubble but there are so many great shows out there, why put out bits and pieces?

Sorry to burst your bubble of devastation with very sweet news, rdevil, but as Blair wrote a little farther up: "Don’t worry, there will definitely still be full-show releases. We’ll have more on that soon."

So finally Rhino has gotten off its butt and is opening the floodgates, to both whole shows and compilations like this. Everyone up there knows that most hardcore Deadheads prefer whole shows, and Rhino's whole trip is delivering what passionate music geeks want. But there is also a place for a series like this, of discs where one track after another was the peak of that week, or that run, or that tour. Compliations are easy to dis in theory, but when these discs are on, they will peel the paint off your walls. I just finished writing notes for #2 in the series, and it's blistering. Plus, these discs sound great.

> No more Dicks Picks!

What 's truly tragic is "No more Dick!" I miss the cranky old beautiful so-and-so yelling at me through a cloud of sweet smoke to STOP FUTZING WITH TRYING TO READ THE TAPE CASES AND LISTEN! But why should Rhino call something a "Dick's pick" that Dick didn't pick? But Dick built a huge map of whole shows in his notebooks that will be guiding David Lemieux and Jeffrey Norman for years. For his friends, Dick made another kind of pick: mixed tapes. His mixes were insane and delicious, wildly mixing eras -- a '78 Scarlet > Fire followed by Pigpen, even spacy onstage chatter, favoring performances that made you think the speakers were going to burst into flames.

That's the spirit of these releases, and by focusing on individual tours or runs, the music has show-like coherence -- Lemieux told me he thought of these as "dream sets."

Steve Silberman

ggeoffre's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
Mixed Feelings

I am very glad to finally see something, just not sure I will like bits and pieces. Sounds like it will be very close to what we have access to via the Taper's Section. Would have preferred to see updated information on continuing to release more complete shows. Have been waiting a long time to decide how Grateful I would be now that the Rhino is Dead.

duplojohn's picture
Joined: Nov 2 2007

What's the deal with the CD media only?

It's 2007. Make it downloadable!

I spend a ton of time on the road, CD's???????

Joined: Aug 21 2007

I like this better than my brother Bilo or a cup of fermented horse urine. Yakshumash!

Marshun's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
I like travelin' by bus

You can get almost anywhere you like and fairly quickly with when going
sight-seeing or to the show. It's good for the environment to! I'm smilin' just imagining some of the jams and places we'll be passin' thru...!*!....I'm on!

Joined: Jun 6 2007
Hip Hip Hooray!!

1. Thank you for not forgetting about us. We love this stuff very very much.

2. Dick's Picks was truly a Head's dream come true. Its frequency and extraordinary playing was something you could really look forward to then. Boy, were we spoiled.
Thanks for all 35, and one extra special thank you for #36.

3. "Don’t worry, there will definitely still be full-show releases. We’ll have more on that soon." Big Hooray!!!! but we are definately gonna hold you to this one, if not heads may roll. Can we call these Dave's Picks??

Yeah!!! Road Trips heh? Sure, why not. We love it!!

Only time will tell but I'm def. seeing some light.

c_c's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
nice idea

nice marketing idear, there. just, please be sure to release some WHOLE shows, as Hunter suggested, AND definately whole runs of shows would be grate.

bits and pieces of individual shows is nice, but whole shows is always much much much better in my humblest of humble opinions. and a whole run of shows from a particular venue in a particular year would be a lovely plus.

AND, so long as we're talking,
what about more DVD releases of Views from the Vault?? THOSE are what I really want for Christmas.


"What's the point of calling shots, this cue ain't straight in line
Cue balls made of styrofoam and no-one's got the time"

rdevil's picture
Joined: Nov 2 2007
Devestating news

No more Dicks Picks!
Instead we get another compilation.
This is exactly what I don't want. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble but there are so many great shows out there, why put out bits and pieces?
Yes there's some great music on the discs but nothing beats hearing a show in its entirety, hearing the great moments in their true context.
For future releases please, please try to put out complete shows.

Hunter's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
Glad to see some new music

Glad to see some new music being released! I sure would rather see complete shows, or complete runs of shows, coming out. I'm on board though, my life is in your hands.
Rock on!

"The bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean."

Joined: Jun 13 2007
Trips 79

I like the idea.Its like a little taste of the fall of 79. NICE


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