Certainly things got ugly for the Dead as the fans (or perhaps non-fans) there only for the parking lot festivities but those problems had virtually disappeared on the Further Festivals and various incarnations of the reformed surviving core members.
In regards to where things stand with them now I think theres more going on than meets the eye between the core members. Only time will tell whats up with these guys and if the organization known as GDP gets back on track.
I believe that the remaining members of The Dead bailed out of touring as The Dead because they wanted to dissolve the following. In order to do this they split up and went their own ways. I beleive they started seeing the following... AKA the HEADS..... as a liability. Im not downing on The Dead nor the HEADS but in my opinion the last generation of HEADS were getting unruly, remember when they stormed the fence at Deer Creek, In. and the policing at venues became very tight and it started making people feel very uncomfortable. Regardless of the past, a good show every now and then by The Dead shouldn't be unrealistic to expect. If Banaroo can go on for days, I think The Dead can still play together without worrying about unruly crowds. Maybe the Lawyers have made them forget about the Good Ole Days when none of that mattered and you just let it go and let the music take over.
Hard to say where they'll go from here. As much as a reunion would be great I can't help but to wonder if they could put together a band that will live up to peoples expectations. Jimmy Herrings out, Warrens out, Steve Kimock could still be in, Phish band members nah. They would have to reinvent themselves to make it viable. Maybe bring in new unheard sidemen.
Personally I'd love to see a Haynes, Herring and Barraco addition but doubt it would happen.
They need some top notch prog/fusion style players to make it happen.
Steve Morse anybody?
Having started my interests in the Dead around '84 and seeing them many times from that point in most of their incarnations, band, solo, collaborations and such, every project had a different energy.
The Grateful Dead in the '80s were on most of the times I saw them. Especially '87-'90. Though every era had great music (obvious favorite years aside-'68-'70, '72-'77 ect), I thought they were tight and concise consistantly in the late '80s. Post Brent '90s had it's good moments but never regained that energy they had with Brent.
Further '96-'98 was a mixed bag for me personally. Though the solo contributions and collaborations of the former members were for the most part cool, I thought having The Black Crowes were a bad choice for a headliner and Los Lobos I liked but did'nt really fill the void. By the time Phil got back into the game with The Other Ones I felt the music was back albeit different. In some ways I liked the experimental side but at others it felt like Dead light.
'99-'01 saw the emergance of some fantastic music and some not-so-fantastic music.
Phil- started what would evolve into the best post GD music with Phil & Friends, particularly the line-up with Haynes, Herring, Molo, Barraco. This band really had the zone. Great song writing, jamming and tight.
Ratdog- also did well though without the fireworks of top notch guitar playing.
The Other Ones '99- The reformation without Phil I missed and sounded like I did'nt miss much.
Terrapin Family Reunion- I had mixed feelings of this event. Overall I liked the music but felt my first visit to Alpine Valley since '89 saw this venue as a somewhat miserable experience for me personally so I skipped the second night. Phil & Friends in the afternoon were fantastic, Warren solo is always great, Mickey sounded nice and The new line-up for The Other Ones were better than ever but the extreme heat, oversold crowd, the concession stands running out of food and the overall vibe of the venue staff and security was too much. Not too mention the hotel we had reserved gave our room away making us drive way out of the way to find the last room available in the middle of the night at the Milwaukee airport hotel. At that point we decided too eat our second night tickets and skip the second show. I'll never go to another Alpine Valley show.
The Other Ones/'The Dead 02'-'04- I saw one show at The Palace in Auburn Hills in '02 and loved it. We had great seats and the line-up adding Susan Tedeski was fun. I did'nt see them in '03 but once again heard I did'nt miss much. The addition of Warren in '04 saw some of the best music the core members all played together IMHO. At least the show I attended and most of the recordings I've heard saw what was a potential beast. Too bad it only lasted one tour. Had this line-up continued they may have even outdone some of the glory days way back when.
The Other Ones/The Dead - '98, '02 and '04 were great. '00 and '03 not so great.
Phil & Friends - There and Back line-up the best thing since Brent.
Ratdog - Only saw them a handful of times and liked some but feel Bobs slowing down these days.
Mickey/Bill - have'nt heard as much of them outside of the Dead accept Mystery Box's performance at the Family Reunion and thought it was a good performance.
Bruce/Vince - Saw Bruce a couple times and he was solid. Vince I saw once shortly before his suicide and well....hmmmm, felt like a third rate cover band too me. He should have went with the Tubes reunion. (Sorry Vince fans but I simply thought he never really fit in until Jerry's final decline at the very end)
Good question. Are they feuding or just enjoying being there own boss?
I was really suprised when the The Dead didn't even get together to celebrate their 40th Anniversary in 2005. Not even one song together. I thought for sure it was a cause for a special show and I was ready to buy my ticket. But it didn't happen. I wonder why? I mean the merchandise was already out there but no shows. Maybe there are internal issues, between the remaining members, wouldn't you suspect. Why break up a good thing like this.
Sure Rat Dog and Phil & Friends are awesome but these guys obviously couldn't keep the band togehter after Jerrry died. Jerry, even though he was ill, he must have been the glue that kept the band together and jammin. The Dead stood for something more than music and they let it go after Jerry died. And don't tell me that Bob and Phil are too old to tour like they used to. These guys still live on the road and their not retired. So what's up? Any answers?
I still love the Grateful Dead music and always will! I miss them though :(
Well, this topic certainly peaked my curiosity because like many, I was hesitant to see The Dead, in a post-Jerry world. Would it be as good? Would it ruin my memories of all the GD shows that came before it? Who would sing/play Jerry's "parts"??? In the end, I was very pleasantly surprised at how fantastic The Dead Summer Tour was in 2004! It had that magical feeling - at least to me. It felt joyful, not sad. And to be honest, I thought that Warren Haynes was more or less channeling Jerry in both guitar and song. Warren was awesome and brought a new vibe, but one that fit in with the band and honored the spirit of Jerry. Jimmy on the other hand, I could do without. I thought his guitar playing was too tweaky, like he should be in a metal band, not with the Dead. I didn't care for his playing at all and thought his vibe wasn't "Dead" like. For whatever its worth.
Anyway, like most, I'm still waiting for the next Dead tour. I'm tired of RatDog, it doesn't interest me and I wont pay to see Bobby play with a bunch of folks I just dont dig. I've not seen the other side bands but I also have no interest in seeing them. For me, it's either The Dead, or my tapes. 'Nough said!
"...it's a band beyond description..."
I JUST READ NEWS OF LESH, WEIR AND HART ON TOUR WITHOUT EACH OTHER, PLAYING GIGS ALONE WITH SEPARATE BANDS. THIS IS NOT WHAT ANY OF US DEAD FANS WANT. ITS BAD ENOUGH THAT JERRY IS GONE, BUT FOR THE GREATEST MUSIC, DEAD BAND MEMBERS MUST ALL PLAY TOGETHER. WEIR AND LESH ARE IN NY ON 10-31, IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. SO GUYS FOREGIVE EACH OTHER. GET YOU GUYS ALL TOGETHER, MAKE MUSIC, HAVE FUN AND MAKE MONEY. STOP FEUDIN' NOW. KEEP THE MUSIC ALIVE AND THE DEAD TOGETHER
I've always felt that the sum was greater than the parts. Meaning that while I've thoroughly enjoyed PLF, RatDog, Planet Drum, etc. I think that the bands that bring together all the surviving (not "former") members of the Grateful Dead have something "etherially electric" that the splinter bands lack. Each of the surviving members basically "calls the shots" in his own band, but it is more a "meeting of the minds" when The Other Ones or The Dead play together. These are guys who have conversations-in-jamming, and since they were all part of the original development of the material over the course of 30+ years, they each have standing to influence the direction the jam goes. I just don't think this happens to the same degree in RatDog, where Bobby calls the tune; or in PLF, where Phil holds sway. Having said that, I think that when The Boys DO all get back together, the resulting jams are BETTER because they each have had the opportunity to work on the tunes in their own way. Seeing them together as "The Dead" is a treat; and all the moreso because it only happens every once in a while. And along those lines.... Come on Boys, it's been since 2004 already. Isn't it about time for Uncle John's Band to hit the road together again soon???
"Shall we go...."
Hi Guys I am brand new here decided to join to comment on this thread. I saw it in today's GD Bulletin #3. I'm running late for work so I'll be quick and then come back again! I enjoyed Warren in Phil's band. I agree he does play loud and is really bluesy compared to the "Jerry" type of playing but he was the foil to that. I don't think he completely overshadowed Jimmy Herring. When Herring took his turns he was nice and tasty. Warren to me was kinda the Pigpen element as he did a pretty sweet Lovelight near the close of a Beacon Theater show a good few years back that I enjoyed. I haven't heard anything from this new Phil line-up but I have tickets for one of the Nokia Theater Times Square NYC shows late this month -- I think 11/1 Thursday night. That is scheduled to be game 7 of the World Series if necessary and if the Yankees are in it and it comes to that I will be looking to trade my 2 tix for another night. Is there a specific thread here for that kind of thing?
Elsewise, I saw in today's GD Bulletin #3 that some full Phil shows with the new line-up are available to listen to online so I will do that today at work.
-enjoyin' the ride