Donna Jean's topic. (with respect to her participation in the Grateful Dead. She has her own topic for her current works!)
given all the examples you've cited, you shouldn't feel like you have to hold back, even though I suspect we can all guess where your feelings lie on this particular topic. Didn't we just see someone nominate Dark Star as a pee break song? Furthur proof that it takes all kinds to make a market.
As for Donna, like I've said before every time I saw her with GD she definitely added to the experience, and for me some of the songs just have never been the same without her. Change happens. The last time I saw Donna was with her band at Gathering Of The Vibes last summer, and as usual, she and they were great! Double duty day for Jeff Mattson, too.
FWIW, Brent early on came across to me more like a timid schoolboy. Took him more than a few years before he started feeling his oats.
Conversation is always more interesting than recitation, so speak your mind and not someone else's.
I just had to laugh, these last couple of comments should be on the "deader than thou" thread.
On the bus, off the bus, donna sucked, she was great, opinions are like ...., everyone has one, and, I thought, the right to voice that opinion was a liberty we all have. My opinion of deeje won't be placed on this vine, don't want the dead police to get me.
I've never had the pleasure of meeting Donna Jean. Remember when she took maternity leave in December 1973? Phil had to fill in w the tenor notes in her absence!
thanks for posting that....besides, she's a wonderful person.....:)))
....but you're full of shit.
Donna Jean was a wonderful performer with a graceful stage presence. I'm guessing you never had the good fortune of seeing her in the band during the 70's. Don't base your opinion on an assortment of soundboard recordings!
Brent sure pleased a lot of people in the 80's; however, he couldn't ever replace Donna.
Donna was the WORST ever, in my opinion. Well, actually, I don't mind it when she's doing her job: BACKGROUND SINGING. Thus connecting Bob and Jerry's voice, balancing it. This is what background singers do. But when she starts wailing like a sick cow giving birth to a dinosaur, that's when my ears shut down completely (PLAYING IN THE BAND, SCARLET BEGONIAS, MUSIC NEVER STOPPED). Thankfully, during those peak Dead years when she was in the band (ONLY because her husband was the keyboardist) are listenable because she's in the BACKGROUND for most of the songs. I simply have to Fast Forward whenever she starts giving birth on stage. But for anyone who says, "She must have been good because Jerry loved her and she was in the band a long time" has to realize, IF SHE WAS DONNA JEAN SMITH, and no member of the band had the last name SMITH, she wouldn't be singing. And I don't care if she sang for Elvis and Aretha Franklin. That's their problem. The DEAD didn't need her. Brent had a better background voice than she EVER had.
I didn't really know an appropriate place to post this, but please keep Donna Jean and her family in your thoughts and prayers. Her mother passed away.
i do not understand all the posts bashing her, seems every show everybody was cheerin her on, even the shows with bad posts about i thought she was on! some ears have different taste buds i guess. ditto for the keyboardists too!
My 1st show was summer 1970, and from there I heard a lot of Donna. To me the band was just that, the band. I took what they gave me, was Grateful and accepted whatever they wanted me to hear, sticking with them through the whole trip. I know folks who wanted Bobby to drop off the face of the Earth, which always confused me too. And as someone said Jerry had her & Keith in a great mix in JGB in the 70's, which I also saw & loved. Remember, this woman was a Muscle Shoals girl, she had a great voice and could really sing. I think they didn't always have her miked right or mixed right, and of course there were those times when she would wail, but I took it all in and loved it all. And believe me I'm a real music bitch. But when it came to the Dead, they could do no wrong. Please continue to enjoy!
and thanks Deeje as I now know to call her!