it is NOT a Grateful Dead production (hey, neither is Woodstock...) and one of the main reasons the release was delayed and the result is so fragmentary is that the promoters, while they treated the performers like gods, stiffed the crew bigtime, with the results that the camera guys ran off with the reels. It's something of a miracle that this was rescued at all; as I understand it the reels that were salvaged represent about a third of what was shot.
This is, of course, an oversimplification. But it is simply inaccurate to assert that the footage is in the GD vaults or that Rhino Records has jack to do with the whole thing. It's not even in the Store. And, as asserted above, while the Canadian National Film Board may have a full set, the Grateful Dead sure don't.
Hell, the Dead don't even get top billing on this. And they sure didn't call the tune.
It's still great.
I believe all the footage should be cleaned up and released on CD and DVD. I am shocked that the footage is in the GD faults and they have yet to release it. Oh yeah I forgot its probably up to Rhino records to release it. :(
been out of UK loooooong time & on return my family for first xmas back (which they know we don't celebrate) thought long 'n hard what to get me for prezzie ..lo & behold "express""..2Sorry,we recall ya like GDEAD .theres some of their stuff on it & a load of other stuff too hope its ok??" ...well, well!!SO good to see the guys havin so much fun onna train!! Funny seeing a young Kenny Gradney (Little Feat /bass) with Delaney & Bonnie at time, A real fine time seemed to be had by all & all performances ,by ALL were xcellent Burritos ROCKED (not enuff footage tho!:( ) I'd recommend this to all Deadheads catches em doin exactly what they do best playin in the band!! have fun watchin folks ..dont get much betta!! PEACE JIMI C
glad you found your way to us.
I'd drifted away from the Grateful Dead over the last dozen years since... you know, and music in general hasn't been as big a part of my life, nor has living in the past - I have grandchildren for pete'sake! Then I watched Festival Express with dear old friends, and I caught the bug again, especially with that Calgary performance of "New Speedway Boogie." Suddenly all my old Dead music was getting played again, and I then stumbled upon www.dead.net and the Taper Section etc. This led to finding an actual recording (on the internet archive) of the first show I attended (Utica NY 3-22-73) which changed my life. Insane! Now I'm head over heels back into listening to the Grateful Dead - largely due to the Festival Express DVD. Yes, it's a period piece, but what a period!
The best part for me was when they made a liquor run at the train stop in Saskatoon. The city is in a province where nobody travels to because "the prairies are so flat!" I was glad to see that my hometown was profiled for about 2 minutes with all those wonderful groovy 'lil artists!
Indeed it is a classic movie, But as for the "Canadian Hippies" wanting to get in for free I do belieive this was a problem of all "North American Hippies" not understanding the buisness end of the music. They all felt music should be free to listen to (get a radio then) like when the Dead would go to the park in SF and just play for everone. The train idea was fantastic as the performers said cause it let them all be together after the show for a long period, insteed of taking off in their buses to the next gig. The promoter in the movie had all the right intensions and the jam to prove it. Like telling the train company CN that he wanted the train to travel east to west and getting a full dinning car instead of just a catering car with cold sandwhichs, Or hiring more police for crowd control which was only needed for the people that thought it should be all free. But like Bob Weir said it takes a lot of money to get these bands on the road and they need to make a living too.
I never heard that the promoter stiffed the film company, but like the guy said in the movie the were hurting at the box office cause of the protests and bad press. But he kept the train a rolling for the bands and did not spare expenses for them.
just saw this a few days ago for the first time. One of those online movie places has it available to watch instantly. Give me Garcia on the SG and Weir on the 335 any day. I love that sound.
| Wait until the veil is shredded, then reveal it |
I wonder if Jerry's tie dye got thrown in the communal wash with the other band members clothes since when they are all on stage their shirts are all the same shade of purple! I noticed that and it made me laugh.Check it out next time you watch it!
BTW, the New Speedway and Hard To Handle in the movie are stupendous, as is Janis's footage. A great video! Too bad there is no footage of Mountain or Delaney & Bonnie though...bummer!
ya, how cool is that scene with buddy jamming and going down to the crowd level?! and his band was awesome. that bass player stole scenes throughout.....his singing on the train.... heck, just his hair was worth the price of admission! i'm curious--- what kind of serious conversation was sparked by the film? and btw, i've had a few friends who are not heads who totally were enthralled by the movie, so it stands on its own as a documentary too.