Grateful Dead

August 27 - September 2, 2007

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

I undertook the Taper's Section last November with a pretty simple vision: to have fun providing folks a regular opportunity to hear vault material that kept their interest in Grateful Dead music fresh.

Recently, I and others that work on became aware that certain fans had been regularly downloading the tracks offered in the Taper Section. From the very beginning, this program has always been intended to be a "for streaming only" service. Downloading was never announced, described or promoted in any manner. The situation that developed over the past months is very different than my original plan.

Where we’re at today requires us to step back, gather some information, do some thinking and get back to you. In the meantime, we ask that you all realize that's and GDP's commitment to the Dead Head community is unchanged. We’re very excited to be hard at work with Rhino on a number of very cool releases and programs that you’ll be hearing about soon. Please bear with us until then.

See you next week,

This week, we’re going to explore some cool moments from the Family Dog in 1969, as well as some great material from 1980 and a taste of 1972.

Although most shows in the Bay Area in the late 1960s were BGP-produced concerts, there was a very hip alternative promoter, namely Chet Helms and his Family Dog at the Great Highway. At the end of the summer of ’69 (no Bryan Adams jokes, please), the Grateful Dead played a few shows at Chet’s cool venue, and from those shows we have some interesting material. From 8/29/69, we have a nice Easy Wind, Me and My Uncle>High Time, as well as the show-closing Lovelight, and from the next night, 8/30/69, we have a very good Morning Dew from early in the show. Be sure to check back next week for another rare track from the Family Dog in 1969.

One thing we always get excited about is a great tour with consistently great performances, with highlights too numerous to list. The mid-August to early-September 1980 tour is one such stretch of shows, and we have a few examples of great material from this tour this week. Unfortunately, two of the best shows from the tour are not in the vault (9/6 at Lewiston and 9/2/80 at Rochester), but what does live in the vault is exceptional. From 8/27/80 at Pine Knob in Michigan, the second set opening trio of China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider>C.C. Rider (or China>Rider>Rider, if you will) is as high energy as they come. From three nights later in Philadelphia we have the ending sequence of the show on 8/30/80, featuring Space>Not Fade Away>Black Peter>Sugar Magnolia, One More Saturday Night. A classic 1980 sequence if there ever was one. Unfortunately, the first set of this show is not in the vault. Finally from this tour, we have the show opener on 8/31/80 at the Capital Center in Landover, MD, with a rocking duo of Alabama Getaway>Promised Land. As the flipside to the Philly show above, the second set from this Cap Center show is not in the vault.

Lastly this week, we have a couple of tracks from the first night of the Europe 72 tour, the first two songs played on the tour, in fact. Both of these songs from 4/7/72 in London have a little extra something, as the band was clearly happy to be playing in Europe, a feeling that would evidently continue through the final show on 5/26/72 in London. Oh, yes, the songs: Greatest Story Ever Told and Sugaree. Enjoy.

Be sure to check back in next week when we’ll have some music from 1969, 1972, 1973 and 1985. It’s going to be a busy week. Feel free to write anytime with questions or comments.

David Lemieux
vault [at]


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Joined: Jun 7 2007

I guess I came off sounding like a self-righteous, arrogant and precious little shit in my last post.

I have loved the Taper's Section. It had exposed me to so much music that I am so grateful to have heard. There's so much stuff on my hard disk that I haven't heard yet. I can say for sure that if my hearing all this stuff has accomplished anything, it is to make me want to hear much, much more.

David, thank you for all you have provided since November 27 last year. It's been a rare and special treat for all of us each week. As many have said, it's not that the music was necessarily hard to get or unique, or even in some cases, all that great per se, it's that it was exciting and really rekindled a lot of people's interest. I hope you aren't disheartened by the last week. Please keep it up. I'll keep listening

I'll also keep buying, if you guys want my business. I guess my gripe in my last post was that I felt like I was being blamed for all this. A weird position for a customer to be in.

Grateful_nirvanA's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
My post on June 4, 2007

Hello again,
I do not want to reiterate the words and sentiments previously posted regarding the change from downloadable to streaming-only music in this section. However, I do want to address the "recent" discovery that people were downloading the music. If my post on June 4th is not clear that I was (and obviously others were) downloading and making personal copies of the music you were making available, I do not know what you would consider a clear indication of such. To now come back and say this is/was a recent discovery is ludicrous. I agree that hope should be held out for future improvement, but it is simply wrong to lie to us about what you knew and when you knew it.

gdradio's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
it will all work out

it always does. thanks for the update, David!
Streaming Grateful Dead and more

Olompali's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
Victim or the Crime?

This is definitely the work of corporate profiteering and legalese. DL is doing an obligatory spin as any of us would do at our work, especially if the job was putting together GD boxsets, dvds and compilations.
One need to think any of the band members are involved because they got their payday in the lease deal with Rhino. They specifically stated the deal was struck because they didn't or couldn't, wouldn't get a handle on the business end of music making.
I imagine Ace, Reddy and The Devils are looking Furthur gigging and aren't involved with any of this.

Now, the Widder K......

Joined: Jun 14 2007
Give us a break!!!

Who cares if we can download a few songs, with 30 years worth of music, you can't throw us a few bones every once in a while?

Joined: Jun 6 2007

David, I appreciate the communication, although I'll admit to being a little skeptical about the "official" reasoning behind the decision. At any rate, I am looking forward to the new stuff. One suggestion: I'd pay a $5 monthly subscription to be able to download from the Tapers' Section again. And I'd bet I'm not the only one.

Joined: Aug 27 2007
We are all you got!

Cmon Dave they are only MP3's...not even the format that traders for the most part want to take part in. It was a nice place to go pick up a gem or two...but streaming only..bogus
Here is an idea put some more official releases out both audio and video in a nice steady manner....I for one am not getting any younger so what are you/Rhino waiting for?

JeremyP's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007

Not working here. Changed to WMA, and that didn't work. Back to QT and the Windows Media player still presented, rather than the Quicktime player.

Sigh ...


izzie's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
Monday morning...

I was a little hesitant to log in this morning. Thanks for getting back to us, David.

I'm sad that while I can stream from other sites now at work, these streams aren't working for me.

Joined: Jun 7 2007
A likely story

I don't believe for a second that those responsible the Taper's Section only recently discovered that users were downloading the MP3s. Not for a second. On the contrary, I think they are covering their arses after the suits at Rhino figured out that music, and particularly full shows (or at least one full show - 5 May 78 - and large parts of other shows - 7 April 72) from its recently purchased vault were being distributed. Either that or Rhino management has provided a statement and forced David L to put his name on it.

While it's true that downloading has never been expressly sanctioned in the Taper's Section, not one mention of 'streaming' has been made. Quite where the above quote "for streaming only" is supposed to originate from I do not know. It was never explained that this was meant to be a streaming only service and the fact that until last week the file format was MP3 completely contradicts this claim. You don't stream MP3s, your browser downloads them and then play them.

Naturally you can download them each time you want to play them, but common sense says you should download them once and save them to your computer, which is what I did and what, I expect, everyone else did. In fact, for a while I simply re-downloaded the tracks each time I wanted to listen to them but this quickly became a hassle - I just saved them to my computer. As the Taper's Section continued I continued saving the MP3s each week. This way, as has been discussed in the past week, I and others could compile CDs, make tapes, transfer the tracks to MP3 players, to hear what David L wanted us to hear. I compiled a database of each track offered with info about date, location, format, trivia, etc.

The very fact that a full show and large chunks of shows had been offered over the course of many weeks also contradicts this supposed intention that the shows were streaming - once you've downloaded the seven or eight parts offered over a month, you can compile them on a CD or in an MP3 player. In the streaming format, this is much more difficult and pretty impractical. Why would I want a full show in ten different, un-attachable parts?

Through the Taper's Section I've been able to get a real appreciation of a lot of Grateful Dead I otherwise wouldn't have listened to do, especially 1980s stuff. I spend loads of my time at my computer so I mostly listen to tracks through my sound system connected to my computer so in this way, ironically, I had much the same experience as if all the tracks had been streaming only. In this sense, I can't really see the difference from Rhino's point of view between streaming and downloading, except that streaming audio has a much narrower audience than the downloadable stuff since, as people have explained, many can't access computers for long, don't have speakers, etc.

While it is good that we now have a (purported) explanation of the situation, the tone of the post above is pretty offensive. Essentially it points the finger at "certain fans" for downloading the MP3s when they shouldn't have been and cites this as the reason for switching to streaming. What else were we supposed to be doing with them? And this stuff about "certain fans" is a questionable - I bet nearly everyone who could download the tracks did download them. I never had any sense that doing so was wrong or not in the spirit of the service - the tracks were sitting here in a strictly downloadable format each Monday for anyone to take. If they had only ever been streaming I would have streamed them. I sort of figured I was doing the server a favour by getting the tracks once, then listening to them over time rather than revisiting every five minutes and hogging the bandwidth.

But no, apparently it's the fault of a few fans (I am one of them) so I guess the other fans who never downloaded the tracks should be pretty annoyed with us. It's a hilarious situation when a corporation offers a free service, then takes away parts of that free service on account of customers using that free service. The fact that I as one of the downloaders, i.e. a young (23 y.o.) customer who has purchased a lot of live releases, the Golden Road boxset, Download Series, etc and am gearing up for new purchases, am being blamed for this is pretty disturbing. I don't know what to make of it. I want to keep listening but if Rhino seriously thinks that fans (and how many 23 y.o. Grateful Dead fans in Australia can there be, really?) should be criticised for doing what I thought was the purpose of this service, then do I really want to engage with Rhino any more?

I appreciate David's fantastic work and I don't believe that he wrote the post above or, if he did, that it is sincere. I think he's trying to do his job and be a fan which, under present circumstances, must be really difficult.

Sorry for such a long post.


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