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
Maybe if everyone put this much anger into politics, maybe just maybe we might be able to save this planet!!
In the summer of Jerry 65, Rhino Expeditions sent out a call to Deadheads far and wide and near and narrow saying “Come and join us on another voyage on the Grateful River.”
Well the Deadheads climbed aboard the shiny new Rhino raft to float on Grateful River. More and more joined; friends who hadn’t seen each other in years and newcomers who had never even ever been on the Grateful River. And they all started talking to each other, bringing up memories of other trips on Grateful River and all the shows along the way and telling each other all about themselves. Everyone was bringing up the magic golden times and the old Deadheads smiled in reminiscing and the young ones basked in the afterglow. The sun was shining, the fish were jumping, the birds were singing and the flowers were blooming along the banks of the Grateful River.
The raft was huge with all sorts of conversations taking place. As the voyage progressed people started noticing that the Rhino raft filled with golden nuggets every Monday and Wednesday. They picked up the nuggets and put them up to their ears and they heard the songs of the magic golden times. And the Deadheads started filling their pockets with the golden nuggets and put them up to their ears and listened again and again to the songs of the magic golden times. And nobody told them they couldn’t fill their pockets with the golden nuggets and listen to them over and over. The golden nuggets kept appearing in the raft every Monday and Wednesday and the pockets filled and the smiles got bigger and bigger and bigger. The Deadheads were all beaming on the Rhino raft and thought that it was one of the best things to ever happen in the land of the Dead on the Grateful River since the magic golden times. The Rhino raft was so clean and shiny and filled with golden nuggets.
But then one Monday morning the golden nuggets appeared and lots of the Deadheads couldn’t even pick them off the floor of the raft and some that could get them off the floor of the raft lifted the golden nuggets to their ears and couldn’t hear a thing. And none of the Deadheads could stick the new golden nuggets of songs of the magic golden
times in their old pockets.
And then the Rhino raft started shaking and rolling and then WHOOSH it went over a waterfall and into a whirlpool. The Deadheads all started saying “What happened to the golden nuggets, some of us can’t hear them and none of us can keep them, what’s up?” They sent out a loud collective call to Rhino Expeditions but didn’t hear a thing back.
And then some of the Deadheads started to get so mad that they were no longer being given magic golden nuggets to keep and weren’t told why by Rhino Expeditions that they started jumping out of the raft even as it kept going round and round in the whirlpool below the waterfall. Then worst of all, some of the Deadheads started calling each other names and upsetting other Deadheads and causing them to have hairballs! Well let me tell you the sight of Deadheads having hairballs is something that I wish I had never seen or heard. Then some Deadheads said that maybe some of you aren’t really Deadheads because of your behavior and then lots of the Deadheads started to question if they were really Deadheads after all. Yikes, confused yelling Deadheads having hairballs en masse on the Rhino raft. But still Rhino Expeditions did not reply. And I was there that week and I said “How many Deadheads does it take to give a silent Rhino a hairball?” But still Rhino expeditions didn’t answer.
Well the raft kept swirling around in the whirlpool for over a week with more and more Deadheads jumping out of the Rhino raft. But many stayed aboard and started to relax and stopped calling each other names and some realized that they could listen to the golden nuggets of the magic golden times and others just said “This doesn’t work for me”, but they still stayed on board too. Speculation and much talk circulated about what was in store for the next Monday.
The next Monday the golden nuggets appeared again but the Deadheads couldn’t keep these either. Along with the golden nuggets the Deadheads found a note from Rhino Expeditions written by a fellow Deadhead saying “We never meant for you all to keep the golden nuggets.” Most of the Deadheads were stunned and amazed at this since no one had ever told them not to keep the golden nuggets. Who wouldn’t have picked up free golden nuggets and put them in their pockets?
So now the Rhino raft is still on the Grateful River but the Deadheads that are left can’t yet tell if it is still in a whirlpool or starting to float down the river again. They do have some great new friends they have met on the raft and have listened to some amazing golden nuggets.
And I got the answer to my question; it takes 544 Deadheads to give a silent Rhino a hairball.
Gotta go, time to check on some cats.
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
Walt Whitman-Song of Myself
Over the years I've drifted in and out of my Dead craze. For some years after Jerry died, I didn't really listen at all, got into other bands. Then Dick's Pix came along and sucked me right back in, started buying those and trading boots. Then came Rhino, and I drifted again, lost interest, nothing new worth listening too. But alas, Taper's section, cool, and I was right back into it. All the while I was thinking, what a genius marketing strategy, give me a little taste, I get the addiction back. I think a lot of this has to do with lawsuits pending by Coons too, which is unfortunate, because I do believe this will alienate a lot of otherwise loyal customers. Anyway, what to do, there's a ton of good music out there these days, and without my interest being peaked so often anymore, I will spend more money elsewhere.
I stumbled across this tidbit on Yahoo! News:
Satellite radio adds Grateful Dead
Maybe the situation IS more complicated than it looks. Maybe Sirius wanted other official sources plugged up: they are promising exclusive content. Maybe I need to subscribe to @#$%^ satellite radio now ...
Cut, paste, and remove the space between _de and ad; to use this link.
I downloaded everything on here for months....I thought the Dead were giving back to their longtime fans. I spent thousands on 100+ shows, CD's, travel, breaking down on highways, etc. over the past 20+ years and I thought the Dead set this site up for their fans to download select tracks. I figured that true collectors would be given a taste of certain shows in here, and then eventually the Dead would make entire shows available for purchase or something along those lines. I am blown away by this week's realization that the Dead are still trying to milk their dwindling fanbase out of every nickel. This should and still could be a nice nod to their fans. It was a nice thought while it lasted, whether intentional or not.
I think this "Taper's section" has been a scam all along. Look at the graphic at the top right of this page. It shows the "taper's section" from an apparently outdoor Grateful Dead concert. I would guess the vintage of the photo is late 80's - early 90's.
Where are the crispy lo-gen aud tapes that the guys in the graphic were getting? All we ever got from this site was soundboards recorded by Bear, Betty, Healy or whoever.
"Taper's section" indeed.
RE: David L's response this Monday -
1. It's another misstep in a series of abrupt missteps regarding the legacy of something we all feel passionate about, the handling of the music in the vault. It's not just the yanking of the downloads, it's also the return of the Download Series discs without the covers. Ummm, why would I want to complete my collection without the matching cover art to the eight I've already got? Same with Dick's Pick's, I started to download them to save on postage costs, and since they offered tray cards & covers the only thing missing was the liner notes, again, now no cover art. Perhaps you get it after purchase, but it doesn't say that anywhere. Where's the 66 Rarities disc? The amount of solo and related music, even stuff on the Rhino label is paltry. Where's the Garcia plays Dylan disc? The store (the vault in effect) feels so half assed and poorly thought out. 12/31/76 & 2/19/71 both good shows in wide circulation, both are sonic improvements, but they feel less than inspired as choices. 11/73 anyone? I think for me all these things coalesced this past Monday with the streaming note.
2. The Taper's Section and the GDH archive releases was rebuilding interest in the music and the community, with older fans as well as newcomers. What an advertisting blunder, you have a hungry, near captive audience willing and eager to be pummeled with promo's for new products, features & services that now is once again scattered, upset, dissapointed and quickly losing interest again.
3. The trolls are out and they are really nasty. Alot of people wrote very heartfelt and interesting posts on the boards connected to the Taper's Section & the GDH Vault sections, but some of the posts are so angry and personal in nature, the vibe they put forth spoils it. I suppose this is generally true in any semi-anynomous forum and not too surprising, still...
4. Part of David Lemieux's response, posted this Monday, bothers me,
David Lemieux (in quotes) 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."
(cue: Dooley Wilson playing piano & singing As Time Goes By)
I'm shocked, shocked to find out that people were downloading the free content dead.net put up!
This sounds so lame and disingenuous. Since November of last year, I assure you, people have been regularly downloading these tracks. What may have happened is that as word of mouth spread, their bandwidth useage & costs skyrocketed.
"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."
Perhaps not, and one can never know what's in another's mind, but does David really want us to believe that he thought we would all sit at our PC's & laptops to listen and not save these files? Really? In an era when I-Pod's are ubiquitous? That the IT folks at WEA/Rhino/dead.net and the suits never saw this situation for what it was in any way, shape or form at any time. Phooey. Defies logic.
"The situation that developed over the past months is very different than my original plan."
I don't think anybody is really surprised by this. It's tragic as this was without a doubt one of the coolest things that has ever been done by any artist/record company for the fans. Particularly the rabid collectors, the heard most of it crowd, the deeply cynical, everyone was finding something of interest in what was being done every week in the Taper's Section.
5. Having taken the time to write a concise letter (due to filter: under 1000 characters) to the webmaster at dead.net getting their trite form response:
Thanks for your recent input regarding dead.net. We truly
appreciate your ongoing interest and support.
I should note that every time I wrote to David L. with query'sabout music in the vault I received a personal response.
I'VE READ MOST OF THE POSTS FROM THE LAST 10 DAYS.I'VE CONCLUDED FROM THESE POSTS THAT .
1-MOST WOULD PAY FOR SOME KIND OF MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION 4 THE CONTNUED TIDBITS
2-BRING BACK THE DOWNLOADS
3-GIVE US THE STUFF WE WANT TO HEAR.NOT JUST BOX SETS W/ SOME UNRELEASED MUSIC BONUS SHIT
4-LETS TAKE ASTEP BACK AND GIVE IT SOME TIME.THEY KNOW WHAT WE WANT.WE ALL KNOW IT COMES DOWN TO$$$$.WE ALL WORK .WE ALL CAN'T GIVE ARE SERVICES AWAY FOR FREE.WE ALL HAVE BILLS TO PAY.WHY SHOULD THEY.IT WAS GOOD WHILE IT LASTED.I HAVE FAITH THAT THEY'LL GET IT RIGHT.
5-IPOSTED TWICE LAST JUST AS ANGRY AS EVERYONE ELSE
6-LAST WEDNESDAY MY COMPUTER CRASHED & I LOST IT ALL!!!!!!!HELP!!!!
PEACE OUT ALL!!!!!!
Well, it was nice while it lasted, but haven't we come to expect this sort of shit in this endless parade of misery that passes for earthly life? I have to say that this whole, "we just realized that people were downloading the music" explanation is patently absurd. I would have preferred an honest "we aren't giving you any more free music" explanation. Are you actually saying that for 32 weeks you weren't aware that we were hitting the right mouse button and saving the files? I'm no computer expert, but wouldn't the number of hits and bandwith being used have been much higher if we were repeatedly connecting to the server to listen to the music, as opposed to connecting once, downloading the music, and then not connecting again? As someone else pointed out, free streaming audio download programs are easily available, so we can bypass this greedy scheme if we want to. Most of us, however, have an ethical relationship with the band, and don't want to steal the music. I won't. But this hurts, and feels wrong, and may well negatively influence my decision to purchase official releases in the future.
A while ago, somewhere, I don't know when.
Boo! Bring back the old tapers section. You are angering loyal fans and causing more problems than you know. Was it really that big of a deal to have an occasional song downloaded by fans that buy almost every official release that is put out?
Please rethink this stream-only policy.