at the harmonica convention (as a friend of mine called it) back in 87 at Telluride? Did everybody hold their breath and turn blue? I could tell a story about the supposed harmonic convergence but it wouldn't have anything to do with the Grateful Dead...
that Ed is a new fan, but a lot of the Furthur audience is. A growing number of that audience wasn't born when Jerry passed.
having survived the highly overhyped Harmonica Virgins (aka The Harmonic Convergence), I'm not so sure about the cosmology, but I'm kinda glad there are new fans coming along making an impassioned and closely reasoned case for the importance of Furthur on their own merits.
I mean, for a while in my early days there I preferred the Jerry Band to the Dead, too. There are no right and wrong answers here...
Also, I don't know about you, but I never saw Jerry without knowing how fleeting this was and how lucky we were (not that this was necessarily topmost in one's mind while getting soaked and trampled in the rain, but you get the drift), and I think the new Furthur crowd probably has some of the same thing going on, even though they've got a lot more options in the current festival/jamband/etc. scene.
Hi Ed --I just finished reading your piece over morning coffee so this is off the top of my head without much thinking.
I liked your piece. It is well written and is pretty thorough in it's treatment of comparing two runs of similar length by two different bands playing much the same material. I really liked the analogy of the copy of Dionysus' followers (dancing maened) made by the Romans even as I disagreed with it's import --that Furthur was as much of historical significance as the Grateful Dead. In this respect the two cannot be compared. Furthur will never have any of it's performances in the National Archive. Nobody (but you) is intimating they are good enough to have an exhibit in any museum, much less have their own museum (The archive at UCSC). The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland would be the obvious place to honor Furthur and I don't think they're ever going to do it.
Your summation at the end is the weakness of the entire piece. You don't really tie it all together and declare your finding. Were they comparable, not comparable or does the whole concept of comparing these two entities have any merit at all?
As with all of these types of articles about the Grateful Dead it is easy for me to pick out the inaccuracies in fact about the Grateful Dead's historical performances. The Grateful Dead did Jack Straw in the second set on a handful of occasions, The Grateful Dead played LTGTR from 1989 to 1994 something like 30 times. The Grateful Dead opened with Space on 10/31/85 into Werewolves of London.
I have been looking/calling for analysis of Furthur performances and I am grateful for yours. Especially your counting of the beats to measure tempo. There is definitely a slow-down there. They also speed up on a couple of tunes like Casey Jones and Cosmic Charlie. I do think you miss the main point when comparing Jerry and JK. I can't belabor the point here in as I've made it clear in other threads.
I thought the most interesting point in the whole article is that Jerry thought 2012 was a special year. And Furthur will be playing on the evening of the transformation/cataclysm. That is something I have been saying for years. I think many of us flashed on that at one time or another between 1965 and 1995. We just didn't see it would be with Bob & Phil carrying the torch into that dark and stormy night... Well, maybe not necessarily "dark and stormy", but an appropriate ritual for a couple of aging warlocks!
I just posted an analysis of Furthur's 8-night run at the Beacon this past April to the Grateful Dead's 9-night run at Madison Square Garden in 1991 on my blog:
I would love to get your feedback.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY JERRY
TO ALL FATHER'S HERE AND THERE
ALL OVER THE WORLD!
"The constant conflict in the band was, "Jerry, we're going on the road again." And he would say, "More money, man? Really, what for?" He had no financial incentive to go on the road with the Dead. The Jerry Garcia Band was selling out venues that the Dead had previously sold out. His artwork and ties were earning him money. And he had royalties from Cherry Garcia ice cream. He could have stayed home, made music, and painted. He had to ask himself, "What am I doing here with people who think I'm God, who are thirty years younger than me, who worship me but don't know me?" Jerry talked about it with Laird Grant, who was the Dead's first roadie: "This scares me," Jerry said. "I don't want this. It's too much weight."
Ahhhhh Jerry, thanks so much for all the good times. The more you do for others...
I think it was on one of those Rock History documentaries and the topic was Altamont. Jerry was giving insights on it, and I remember one of the things he said was "the air was particulating." I did read a quote where Jerry likened Altamont to "a day in hell." If anyone knows the documentary I am talking about I would like to know. I do remember that Altamont was presented as the end of the 60's.
Is that really you? It's been a long time since I saw you here...welcome back!
yea, i saw this last year and was a bit freaked by it.