Over in the Shows Request topic, there's a bit of discussion as to whether the myriad guest artists who played with the Dead added to or detracted from the quality of the music and the whole experience.
Since it seems to be a subject on which mileage varies considerably, why not talk about it? Discuss here!
Steve Miller at Buckeye Lake 1992 walks up to the mike to sing his part of the Weight(?) and the mike is shut off , everyone cheers, Bob says "they really love you Steevie...." Sooooooo funny. People said it was pay back for him walking out and plugging in during a Morning Dew earlier on tour.
I just want to thank Bruce. Hey it opened me up to more Bruce!
A dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago...
no thank you. i like my dead straight up.
(maybe except for branford or bruce).
I agree Tom Petty really rocked out with the Grateful Dead...some of my best shows were when Susan Tedeski joined them and Joan Osbourne!! :)
Classic 2nd set with the nevilles. As far as other guests, I didn't really appreciate Dylan, he always appeared messed up. I liked Hornsby, I wonder if him and Brent would of played well together. Brent was the man!!! I don't recall seeing any other guest performers.
It was infrequent enough that it was special. And what a variety! I've seen the boys jam with Dylan, Steve Miller, Santana, Spencer Davis, Huey Lewis, Willie Nelson, Taj Mahal, Branford Marsilis, Ornette Coleman, just to name a few. Exciting stuff.
I wish that I had been there for Pete Townshend.
I loved seeing them play with other artists, even when they botched "IT". I loved seeing them peel away the husk that grew thicker every year and how much they enjoyed not being "them" for a few hours. I was also extremely lucky to have seen them play with Ron Wood,, Dylan, Petty & the Heartbreakers, Steve Winwood, Steve Stills, Bruce, Branford, Billy Cobham, Suzanne Vega and even Hall & Oats, just to name those I can think of at the moment. And I lived for the opportunity to see the likes of Santana and Steve Miller jam with the Grateful Dead. It kept me always wide eyed and on edge, like the way I felt on Christmas Eve or when the sun was setting on July 4th and Halloween night. Like ANYTHING (good) might happen - soon!
I can also relate to what marye describes in her experiences. I could see that kind of experience being too much under certain circumstances, with some artists. I think the scene sometimes brought too much out in all of us, from time to time (I know it did me and it was part of my personal growth process). I always felt our scene was never about perfection but every experience was just another note among many. Some were better than others, for sure. Those of us still here, hopefully are getting better and better at being fans, as well as human beings. I know it continues to get more beautiful and intense for me, as well as more fun.
The Dude Abides!
strangely enough, is, It Depends. And sometimes on more than just the particular artist.
Classic case in point, Neville Bros., as noted above, who through no fault of their own except deciding to be managed by Uncle Bobo really kinda overstayed their welcome as far as I'm concerned. And I pretty much love New Orleans music. Years later, I'd be happy to hear it again, but multiple nights on the same run, no.
Supreme classic case in point: Joan Baez. That Dance for Disarmament show at the Hall of Flowers (as I recall) at the San Mateo County Fairgrounds in December '81--pretty darn wonderful experience from an audience standpoint, with the Dead doing folk music. Of course there was that moment where Joan cut off Jerry's solo, but hey, at this point it was a quarter century ago. And I've still got the T-shirt too. But the fact that this segued into her opening every single damn show (or so it seemed) of the NYE run and inflicting appalling material like "What About Lady Di?" on long-suffering Deadheads, no. And on the other hand, when I was getting my NYE tapes, I asked to have JUST "Banks of the Ohio," the last song of her set, when the Dead were backing her, on the tape, and it remains one of my favorite things.
Having been a Dylan fan long before I was a Dead fan, I did not really think their joint tour brought out the best in either of them (or, for that matter, in me). The next year, or thereabouts, Dylan toured backed by Petty and the Heartbreakers, and that remains one of the best shows I've ever seen.
And yet, Bruce and Branford, never a bad moment, as far as I'm concerned, and many stellar ones.
It was a huge thrill seeing Carlos Santana jamming with the boys for a pair of tunes at the end of the first sets of the two Calaveras County gigs in '87.
James Cotton was tremendous blowing the harp at the Soldier in the first of the two shows in '92 (first "Schoolgirl" since the one they'd done with...Carlos in '87, which itself was the first one in ages).
Also was delighted to be stunned to see my homeboy Ken Nordine (it's true; I could walk out my front door, cross the street and be at his place within sixty seconds --who knew!) word-jazzing during "Space" at one of the RoseMafia Horizon shows on the '93 spring tour.
In each instance, they got up there, did their thing and left. Useful and unobtrusive.
I can't say the same for the mini-set with the Neville Brothers at New Year's '87/8. Generic, Nu Awlunz standards, and the show was all over with when they were done playing ("Wait, I thought they'd jam till dawn, at which point Bobo would serve us all hot scrambled eggs and toast...?!?").
I always enjoyed what Bruce brought to the table (and I don't know if he, in his capacity as "associate member," really belongs here), but anyway it used to be kinda silly how during "Friend of the Devil" he'd grab an accordion, and at the stadium gigs they'd put him up there on the video monitor and people would absolutely freak out --it's just the same old Bruce, y'all, only playing an accordion... ::rolleyes::