Grateful Dead

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marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
interview with Donna Jean

in today's SF Chronicle, here.

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Joined: Jun 6 2007
Good Ole Dona

Personally I never had much of a problem with Donna in the old days.
But I do remember lots of dead heads saying "I hope donna doesn't sing to much
tonight" while going into the shows. I think what was stated earlier is true...things
got so loud on stage that she couldn't hear herself properly. That's essential for a
background singer. I'm glad to see her back on the scene, looking well and having a good time.

dragster's picture
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Joined: Jun 11 2007
I know it's an old post, but

I know it's an old post, but any piccies???!

"May your dogs be with you"

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Joined: Jan 11 2008
Krummhorn

Dear fellow deadhead,its true donna live can be really out of key,but as many people apoinnt i go with the opinion that there must have been a severe problem with the monitors,just becuse with a band that powerful like the GD(and i do not speak in term of watts only....)any Backgroundsinger might have had a problem.strange,on the studio albums her voice fits in more than perfect......!Sure you might konsider the GD dead from 72-79,so please if you have any recordings from this period(Tape or Cd) send em over!i willingly take the heavy duty of freeing u of this stuff.....P,S. I pay even the postage:Peace

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Joined: Jan 19 2008
Donna

I can go either way. Sometimes Donna is right on the money and she fucking rocks. Other times I feel like she just makes noise. I'm listening to Don't let Go, JGB right now and I think she's great on this show. She was recently in town playing a gig and I heard that it was really good.
I don't think anybody should catch any flack for their opinions on the various line ups through the years. We're all hear to talk about this stuff aren't we? battman mentioned Vince up above, I think he said he was terrible. I think that his work with the Tubes was cool but I'm not too crazy about all of his work with the dead. Some very cool, some not so cool. Just an opinion.

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Joined: Jan 23 2008
Krummhorn

i agree with you completely. unlike you i haven't see any shows! but i hope my opinion is still valid. whenever her songs pop up i immediately switch it. the first time i heard Sunrise i think i wanted to cry, like "what is this?!" i was happy to see she wrote the lyrics and the music and not any other member (that would be disappointing).

but in the end i suppose it is about personal taste. I bet a lot of people like her! I just dont like female singing in general i suppose. It's better than i could ever do.

Golden Road's picture
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Joined: Jun 5 2007
"Don't Mind Him....

....he's just GRTUD, that's all."

GRTUD is to the profession of Psychiatry as George Costanzia is to Architecture. Nuf said.

In another note, Vince's work with The Tubes was incredible. My idea is that the Grateful Dead became afraid to venture out of it's comfort zone musically (even though they really wanted to, which is possibly why they hired Vince in the first place), in part because they didn't want to disappoint those fans that were behind the time / space curve (in relation to the evolution of their music) and that contributed to some sort of "dogmatizing" of their music (I also think it had to do with not rehearsing as much as they had in the past due to various circumstances). Folks like Vince may have been caught in some of that turmoil, musically and professionally, I don't know - I'm just speculating. I don't disagree with a previous post, just been trying to figure out what the hell happened from a spectator's point of view. The interesting thing about our whole scene is that hind sight is NOT 20/20, which is weird (but cool too). Again, I don't know anything about music technically because it's my last form of true entertainment. If I were to learn it technically, it would ruin the release I get when I'm in it's presence. I love turning that 4 hours of time over to someone else completely and not having to dissect and analyze every tiny detail. That's what I'm paying the performers for, after all. To put my idea another way, I know what I like and what I don't like, but I can't really say why and I reserve the right to change my mind at any time. In terms of critiquing the Grateful Dead and any of what it was or is, it may in fact be a journey into the heart of one's own soul but only because of how remarkable ALL the cast of characters are/were. I don't know but I've been told.

"All energy flows according to the whims of the Great Magnet. What a fool I was to defy him."

GRTUD's picture
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Joined: Jun 4 2007
Negativity and Dead Heads

Two thoughts on Krumm's post:
1) Over the years, I've noticed that when a DH is down on something about The Music, it generally reflects something about themselves or their current conditions. The Talmud writers said something about seeing the "world" as we are and such. I can say that when my kids annoyed me the most was when they reminded me of, well, ME (that reminds me, I must get over to the "Bigger than a Drive In Movie section);
2) Anytime someone says that a period of time as long as the six years Donna was with the band had NOTHING to offer, seems more than a bit irrational. That might be a clue to observation # 1, but I can't say in this case. I do think the post could have been constructed better. The line, "I'd be lying if I thought otherwise" should be included in a newly written song by Robert Hunter though. Just my opinion.

The Dude Abides!

Lossless Head's picture
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Joined: Jun 23 2007
Donna, can we cut her some slack??

Jerry really dug Donna.
Why else would he have her JGB fer so ,long!
For lack of a better backup singer, I think not...

In JGB she was very good, she was in tune and everything!.

After listening to many interviews from the '70's
Jerry obviously saw something in her..

I must admit, some of the early Donna + GD stuff seems like she's tone deaf but from my understanding the band was so loud she couldn't hear herself.

Basically what I'm saying is Jerry knew more about this than anybody, obviously. He wanted her in tboth GD and JGB for a reason. That's why I cut her the slack
that some people don't.

She does have all that (above) going for her and on top of that she was part of some of the best GD and JGB ever....
Just my .02

Lossless

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Joined: Jun 5 2007
Gonna get knocked for this

I'd rather listen to Donna wail thru any PLAYIN.Than ever listen to VINCE Sing and or play the keys. He was terrible.

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Donna Jean Godchaux