August 27 - September 2, 2007
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 dead.net 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 dead.net'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.
vault [at] dead.net
Frankly, at this point, I couldn't care less about this whole fiasco. The lies and the cover-ups have sickened me to no end. The lack of product and the hollow promises of upcoming "very cool releases and programs" that never come to fruition (or are yanked back for no good reason) have tested my patience beyond endurance, and for that I am leaving. I am tired of being jerked around and treated like a faceless number at best and a criminal at worst, simply for liking the Grateful Dead. I strongly resent the tone DL and Co. took in the message above, essentially calling out loyal fans as "wrong-doers" for taking the bait he offered.
I currently own every release to date, and that is plenty for me. Part of the fun of being a Deadhead is the sense of community, bit in my opinion, Rhino's meat-fisted approach has destroyed that entirely. I will still enjoy the music, but in my opinion the Grateful Dead has died. They no longer exist, except in our own memories of concerts. The current face of GDM or dead.net is a shallow mockery of what was, and blasphemy, akin to a "flesh colored Christ that glows in the dark". Not much is really sacred indeed.
RIP The Grateful Dead
I can't wait to purchase the offcial release that contains the tracks with the reel flips. Or the tracks with the dropouts. Or the poor mixes from the early 80s. Or the less than stellar quality of the early matrix experiments from the late 80s. Or the complete 4/7/72 show so that I have paid twice for the tracks I already bought on Steppin' Out. Or the slightly-interesting-but-unlistenable-more-than-once rehearsals.
David, you did an awesome job. Thanks for all your work.
I completely agree that we have no right to these downloads, but this whole situation is just strange.
David wrote: "Recently, I and others that work on dead.net became aware that certain fans had been regularly downloading the tracks offered in the Taper Section."
Well, since downloading is the *only* way one could listen to these tracks, this just means that people had been using the Taper's Section!! You DID want us to use it, didn't you?
I have to agree with others who suggest that the streaming in no way replaces mp3s, and that it is very strange to think that this wonderful mp3 offering was cutting into the Dead's audience in some way... i'd wager the only people who even know about this site own multiple DPs, download series, official download copies of albums we owned on vinyl and CD... there is no way that a few mp3s from various shows was going to hurt this market. It really was a kind of a slap in the face to have this service removed. I'd even be willing to pay a (VERY SMALL) fee to have it come back as it was. I am still grooving on quite a few Scarlet > Fires etc. on my iPod--which is what you'd wanted, for gosh sakes, isn't it?
Thanks, David, for your efforts in mining great nuggets from the Vault. I realize the decision to switch the Tapers Section audio format probably wasn't yours, but since your name appears on the "explanation" for the change, I'll address my response to you:
The contents of the Vault clearly belong to the band and GDP, and we as fans have no right to expect free access to digital music files. However, those of us who are longtime supporters of and participants in the Dead's artistic and financial success shouldn't be asked to pretend that the switch to streaming-only audio isn't the withdrawal of a gift -- a gift we never asked for but that had been freely offered.
Likewise, the Dead don't owe us any explanations as to why it has withdrawn its gift of free music, but the organization should be courteous enough not to insult our intelligence.
"We didn't know files were being downloaded" is disingenuous nonsense (on the part of Dead Inc., at least, if not you directly). The Dead and Deadheads have always been technically advanced and adventurous. Feigning ignorance of how mp3 files work and how music lovers use them is ridiculous.
The band can and should do what it wants with its music archives, but it shouldn't try to bullshit its fans. Nor should it use you as the conduit for its bullshit. We all deserve better than that.
Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
>>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.<<
Nor was streaming.
Just did a quick text search for the word "stream" in all the previous TS posts.
C'mon folks, my *kids* know what to do with .mp3s.
I love the music, I'll get it however you let me, I'll buy it, I promise.
I'll pay for a subscription, I'll buy it clip buy clip, on CD whatever.
But you tell me that when you posted all those .mp3s and you didn't think
people would download them?
that there sounds like a Turd Blossom Special!
I could never really understand why Rhino took the downloadable format away......Are they that paranoid about losing money for future releases?????
Thanks David for some type of comment about this, I have no reason not to believe you. The selections over the past nine months have been outstanding.
Something tells me that complete downloadable shows in lossless form are in our immediate future. Thank God Rhino has something cooking on the hoirizon!!!!
Personally, I found some of the quality on the past downloads to be lacking in some cases. Don't get me wrong, I was very happy to hear those gems. My point is, if some of the past downloads were cleaned up and offered by Rhino for sale, I would likely purchase them. The downloads give you a good sampling of what one might want to have a better quality version of. My complaint with the Dick's Picks series is that the offerings are too few and far between and I can't pick what I want. If I could pick the shows I wanted and they were all great sound quality, I'd have to take another job in the evenings to meet my dead addition.
The change of format here has, sadly, effectively denied me the opportunity to listen to the music that David selects and comments on ... Why? Simply that I don't listen to music via my computer. Until two weeks ago I was able to download the mp3s from this site and transfer them to my iPod for later listening - since November I've found this to be a wonderful resource providing listening pleasure when I'm on my frequent long-haul travels.
I really don't see any difference between that and someone streaming the material onto their PC ... who has suddenly decided that downloading is a Bad Thing and streaming is a Good Thing? Given that the Tapers Section has always used lossy formats I don't see there be any overlap with high quality commercial releases - the 192K mp3s were fine for "hostile" listening environments but would very quickly reveal their limitations on a half-decent hi-fi system.
As others have suggested, I would be happy to pay a (modest) monthly subscription to get the mp3s back again - or even a higher fee if the music was then available to download in FLAC or other lossless format.
The current situation, though, leaves nothing but a bad taste in the mouth ... after the two splendid career-spanning box sets I had great hopes of the tie-up between GD and Rhino - on the evidence of the lackluster 3ftV and the PR fiasco over this resource, my confidence is fast disappearing. At this rate I will be re-examining my long standing policy to buy *every* commercial release by the Dead, even it I already had the material in other formats, as my little "thank you" to the band whose music has given so much pleasure over the years.
and thanks for the music and your efforts.
I´m a 55+ deadhead living in Sweden. I´m not that familiar with the computer world, so I must admit that I thought that the Taper´s section was for streaming only. First sometime in April or May I realized that I could download the music. And I did (that is, the music up to 1978).
Now the downloading thing has stopped. No big deal for me. I look at the positive things instead - the new website (terrific!), two fine new releases from Rhino (1976 and 1971) and so on.
So, I wish you David and your friends in the GD world good luck in your future work. I look forward to the future releases you mentioned in your latest message.
First off, many thanks to you David for hanging in there man, sure you have bills to pay too man. You are committed to the music and we all know it. Thanks for responding to us.
I must agree with the mob here, this is a thin excuse, MP3 's are for downloading, burning, transfering to Ipod's etc. They knew what was going down and are now pulling back. I have every song on my HD.
There must be more lawyers in the mix here then we realize. Jerry Garcia's website has not been updated in years, no more Pure Jerry releases, nothing at all? A smell a lawyer or two.
Why are things moving so slow at Rhino? I'll bet that all the checks have not been cut or some one ( Bob) is crying poor again. There is no other reason why things are not moving any faster. David can pull out music from the Vault and post it weekly, but Rhino has held out for so long, Why, all this has to be legal matters again. We all know how slow things move in the court system.
Now Rhino has pulled its best marketing tool of all, they could have easily tossed in a few commercials attached to these downloads about coming releases. Rhino could have used this technology in such a postive way. Rhino had its customers already lined up at the door, they choose to throw rocks at us instead of roses. All this has got to be tied to lawyers in the mist.
I'm very disapointed in Rhino and now mad at how they treat us, we are a solid fan base willing to pay any price for our Grateful Dead music in HDCD format. Now on top of everything happening here we get this lame excuse.
I really hope that all this will come to a end soon and David can get back to what he does best, putting out great music. I'm sure the Winterland Box set is all ready to go, we just need the legal team to sign off on it. I hate to think that the next great show coming out is now tied to a court dockett. Any Deadhead lawyers out there, please chime in here.
Coconut Phil. Simpsonville, SC,