Grateful Dead

RFK Stadium 1989 Box

Digital Download


The Grateful Dead battled the elements in July 1989, enduring drenching rains and stifling humidity during back-to-back shows at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in the nation’s capital. In spite of the bleak weather, the band thrilled the massive crowds both nights with triumphant performances that rank among the very best of a busy year that included 74 shows and the release of the group’s final studio album, BUILT TO LAST.

ROBERT F. KENNEDY STADIUM, WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 12 & 13, 1989 includes two previously unreleased concerts taken from the band’s master 24-track analog recordings, which have been mixed by Jeffrey Norman at TRI Studios and mastered in HDCD by David Glasser. The collection’s colorful slip case features original artwork by Justin Helton and a perfect-bound book with in-depth liner notes written by Dean Budnick, editor-in-chief of Relix magazine. The set will also be available as a digital download in Apple Lossless and FLAC 192/24.

When Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Brent Mydland, and Bob Weir rolled into D.C. in July 1989 for the Dead’s two-night stand at RFK, the band hit the stage running with a stellar rendition of “Touch Of Grey,” the group’s biggest hit from its only Top 10 album In The Dark, which was released in 1987. The following night, the band returned to its double-platinum commercial breakthrough when it opened the show with a fiery version of “Hell In A Bucket.”

“RFK Stadium '89 fell right in the middle of one of the best tours of the last 15 years of Grateful Dead performances, with these shows being the sixth and seventh of an 11-show tour. This tour is widely considered the start of a nine month period of sustained excellence, which ran from Summer '89 through Spring '90. The RFK shows are as good as any of the more famous shows from this period, including July 4 in Buffalo, July 7 in Philadelphia, and the Alpine run,” says David Lemieux, Grateful Dead archivist and the set’s producer. “When Bob Weir has asked me to provide copies of Grateful Dead songs to give to his bandmates to learn and rehearse, he almost always requests Summer '89, and I've often drawn upon the RFK shows for this purpose. It's really that good!”

Both shows feature standout moments, but the July 12 show is notable for a few reasons. Perhaps the biggest is that the first set featured at least one song sung by each of the band’s four lead singers – Garcia, Weir, Lesh and Mydland – something that rarely happened. Another surprise came when the band opened the second set with “Sugaree,” a song that almost always appeared during the first set.

Pianist Bruce Hornsby — who briefly joined the band between 1990 and 1992 — is featured on both shows. He played accordion during “Sugaree” and “Man Smart (Woman Smarter),” with a touch of keyboard-tinkling, on July 12, and then played more accordion the following night for “Tennessee Jed” and “Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again.”

For fans of Mydland’s tenure with the Dead – which began in 1979 and ended in 1990 with the keyboardist’s tragic death – these stellar shows capture that incarnation in peak form. Among the long list of highlights are performances of live staples such as “Eyes Of The World,” “Wharf Rat” and “I Need A Miracle,” along with rarities like “To Lay Me Down,” which was played only a few times in 1989. The July 13 show also features the band road-testing “I Will Take You Home,” a track Mydland wrote with Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow that would appear later that fall on Built To Last.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/10/17
Limited Edition of 15,000
Individually Numbered
A Exclusive

Listening Party: THE BIG ONE

Far From Me
Black Peter
To Lay Me Down
Looks Like Rain
Wharf Rat

Listening Party #1

"Wharf Rat"

Listening Party #2

"Let It Grow"

Seaside Chat: RFK Stadium

Product Details

R.F.K. Stadium, Washington, D.C. (7/12/89)

1. Touch Of Grey
2. New Minglewood Blues
3. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
4. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
5. Far From Me
6. Cassidy
7. Friend Of The Devil
8. Promised Land
9. Sugaree>
10. Man Smart, Woman Smarter
11. Ship Of Fools>
12. Estimated Prophet>
13. Eyes Of The World>
14. Drums>
15. Space>
16. I Need A Miracle>
17. Dear Mr. Fantasy>
18. Black Peter>
19. Turn On Your Lovelight>
20. Black Muddy River

R.F.K. Stadium, Washington, D.C. (7/13/89)

1. Hell In A Bucket
2. Cold Rain And Snow
3. Little Red Rooster
4. Tennessee Jed
5. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
6. To Lay Me Down
7. Let It Grow
8. He's Gone
9. Looks Like Rain
10. Terrapin Station
11. Drums
12. Space
13. I Will Take You Home
14. The Other One
15. Wharf Rat
16. Throwing Stones
17. Good Lovin'
18. U.S. Blues


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icecrmcnkd's picture
Joined: Oct 20 2015
Hendrix was an American

These bands aren’t any good?

Little Feat
Steve Miller
and there’s more but I got work to do around the house.

Joined: Sep 1 2014
Pop and Rock-Thin

Yes, I agree with your comments. Maybe pop music in the 60s had more finesse than the rock music that replaced it. Certainly during the psychedelic years, which The Beatles introduced and developed. The best records of 1966 and 1967 had a spirit of adventure about them. Studio experimentation was introduced, as well as more "exotic" instruments such as sitars. Melody was important. And the lyrics, in the best songs were great too- often surreal or featuring unpretentious social commentary. And it was studio music, as you say.

With rock came bigger, louder amps. Live concerts became more important than the records. I can remember hearing a Black Sabbath album before I saw them, and thinking it was alright. But when I saw them live...! It was like being hit by a truck. A very physical experience-the music seemed to hit you in the chest, and blow your head off. What was he "singing" about? Something about war...the devil...drugs...who cared! The feeling was the thing-and you either felt it or you didn't. You couldn't really "get" a band like Black Sabbath until you saw them live. With The Beatles-maybe it was the other way round-the records were the thing. Maybe that's also why they have, and will continue, to last.

Erikandjenn's picture
Joined: Nov 22 2016
Bobby and the Midnites:

Thanks for that link Thin! I am now obsessed. It had me dancing around the house like that dude in the SSDD movie:D

JimInMD's picture
Joined: Jun 27 2011
re: Lists

It was a work in progress, but I completely agree with your edits.

I just watched your YouTube link.

Thin's picture
Joined: Jun 21 2013

Dennis - two "n"s - got it. If your in the military I apologize for giving you a french name.... "French military pride" are not 3 words that go together.

Daverock - "Beatles are 'pop' not 'rock'"... Wow... OK.... I disagree with that statement on the face of it, but I know what you mean. Deadheads especially like LIVE music - understandable that a studio band may not be at the top of your list. The Beatles were so studio-only and wrapped in their own little world because they weren't touching the public anymore - they got isolated and started sending all these elegant, elaborate postcards from Mars (aka Abbey Road). Incredibly inventive and influential, but not HERE, no "stamp on the back of my hand, that concert last night was amazing!" feeling the next morning. Remember you'd like a band, then see them live and it was like 10X as good because it's loud and you're dancing and sweating and screaming F--- YEAH!" I would sometimes forget how powerful the Dead's music was between tours - the live adrenaline doesn't come through FULLY on ANY recording - and suddenly I'd be in front of a 10,000 watt sound system at MSG again, gobsmacked. By contrast, the only way to listen the Beatles was in your living room spinning vinyl, trying to listen over your neighbors lawnmower, saying "well that's cool". Kinda like having sex vs watching porn - you couldn't participate in Beatles music, you could only OBSERVE it, from a distance. Hendrix, Stones, Cream etc were much more real, accessible, relatable - earth-bound - gritty LIVE music - IN YOUR FACE - you could feel the grease. The recordings had a raw live feel that was more in touch with going to see a live band, and as we know seeing a band live was the real test. Beatles were isolationists, but music was becoming more participatory, and focused on big venues/festivals/live sound.

Love motown, but not my sweet spot. Respect, and I appreciate the influence on EVERYBODY (as I appreciate classical and show tunes), but not in my pantheon.

Finally Jim, your list of legendary American Bands is a friggin' embarrassment. There are SO many influential bands in the US that left their imprint - can't believe you forgot some of them. Let me complete your list:

Grateful Dead
Jerry Garcia Band
The Warlocks
David and the Dorks
Phil and Friends
Dead and Co
Oh, and OF COURSE let's not forget the VERY important lessons (mostly cautionary, too many to list) taught to all future bands by Bobby and the Midnites:

Joined: Sep 1 2014
British rock royalty

You have forgotten Hawkwind, surely the masters of this and any other universe. If you don't know who they are, there is a great video of them on YouTube doing their sole hit single from 1972, Silver Machine. It gives a hint of how exciting they were live around that time. Space Ritual Live, from 1973 is one of the best live albums ever recorded.

Joined: Sep 1 2014
The Beatles weren't a rock band.

They were a pop group. Its meaningless to compare them to either the rock n' roll of the 1950s, or the rock music of the 1970s, as it was completely different. As I see it, the cutting edge music of the mid 1960s was pop, and The Beatles were so far ahead of everyone else in this field that no one else comes close. Certainly, their albums and singles up to and including Sergeant Pepper are untouchable. As pop music.

But in 1966 a new music was started in England, initially by Cream and then followed up by Jimi Hendrix, when he arrived in London a few months later. Hendrix expanded on what Cream had started, added his own soul and country blues influences, added the power of The Who, the guitar pyrotechnics of the Yardbirds, the lyricism of Dylan-rolled it all up into a ball, and kicked it out of the park. Rock music, for better or worse, was born.

From this point on there was pop, and there was rock. Pop became denigrated as bubblegum, for pre-teens, or, even worse, girls. Rock music was full of sturm und drang-exploding guitar solos, thundering drums and screamed vocals blasted out at deafening volume to hordes of male teenage malcontents like me. It was great!

JimInMD's picture
Joined: Jun 27 2011
list of American rock bands that rival this one

"I couldn't for the life of me produce a list of American rock bands to rival this one."

I stayed up all night working on a complete list of American bands that might rival the thorough list above. It took some time, I had to go back through months of listening.. but I did find I listen to music from American bands more than bands across the pond.

Here goes, in no particular order:

Grateful Dead


I happen to be channel surfing last night and stumbled upon a pretty good documentary, David Gilmour: Wider Horizons. Worth a watch for sure. And after that, for good measure, they played David Gilmour, Live at the Royal Albert Hall. My particular favorite Gilmour DVD. If you haven't seen or listened to it, and you like Pink Floyd.. get your hands out of your pockets and walk on over there and introduce yourself.. it's stunning.

LedDed's picture
Joined: Feb 16 2017
British rock royalty, etc.

(in no particular order)

John Mayall
the Yardbirds
Deep Purple
Black Sabbath
Pink Floyd
Judas Priest
Peter Green
Iron Maiden
The Beatles
The Rolling Stones
Robin Trower
The Who
Dire Straits
David Bowie
Electric Light Orchestra
Jethro Tull
The Kinks
Steve Marriott
Peter Frampton
The Animals
The Police
The Sex Pistols
Sisters of Mercy
The Stone Roses
The Cult
Led Zeppelin

Some artists obviously due (Jeff Beck, Clapton, Lennon etc.) are not listed individually as they are part of their bands (Cream, the Yardbirds, and others).

While blessed to live in the US, I prefer Scotch Whisky to bourbon, and I couldn't for the life of me produce a list of American rock bands to rival this one.

Ireland has produced it's share:

Thin Lizzy
Gary Moore
Rory Gallagher
Van Morrison




icecrmcnkd's picture
Joined: Oct 20 2015
Denis is pronounced de-knee

Dennis is pronounced den-nis

My British rankings:
Pink Floyd #1!!!!!

Who, Led Zep, Ziggy Stardust


Beatles - respect them, but they’re not that great. Decent music that was the right stuff at the right time.

Dennis Wilmot's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2012
Thin - that's Dennis with 2 "n"s :-)

I'm not saying I don't like the Beatles, how can you not like them? I grew up with them all around me. Movies, music and cartoons! Car-fuckin-toons!!!

I was just saying I never knew what it was that they had? Maybe it was JUST the right time for the youth to have their say? (or have their money extracted) On the flip-ish side you have all the clean cut "beach" movies with the "California surf" sound. (never much on the Beach Boys either, know all the songs, sang them all as a kid, but on look back?) Maybe I feel/felt the earlier late fifties rock n roll was a little harder and hotter. Even simple songs like "Peggy Sue" seem to have more "bite?", then most early beatles. "The Wanderer" also sounded a little darker. Certainly tons of syrup driven pop from that period also. Some things are hard to pigeon hole, there is so much happening in music all the time from so many different angles. In any event I would not want to piss on the legend of the beatles, I just always wonder what they brought to the musical table.

Greatest songwriters of the 20th century, boy there a large opinion question. :-) Hard to argue that Dylan wasn't one of them,,,, "the voice of a generation", right? But don't forget Holland–Dozier–Holland and all the Motown hits they brought to life. I was always argue Motown is the cocaine of music, NOBODY doesn't like MOTOWN!!! (How many white people weddings have you been to where they played Motown tunes? Hell the last KKK dance I attended was mostly Motown!) For my money the lyrics of Hunter are top of the list. His lyrics are timeless. Of course lets not forget the output of Pink Floyd. I always assume there is someone who writes all the pop crap of today for the Beyoncé's, the pinks, any of the Disney backed artist of the world. I don't listen to most, but I'm sure there is a segment who think this is the greatest (especially the Queen B)

In the end the most important thing to remember is, Dennis has two "n"'s.


Thin's picture
Joined: Jun 21 2013

Denis - I hear ya. If they're not your bag, I'm not gonna change your mind. But I don't see whether Paul/Beatles necessarily intended to do the brilliant things he/they did matters. If "Yesterday" was just raw inspiration popping into his head fully formed, that's even more impressive that grinding out for 10 hours at a piano. He did it with most songs he wrote (until the 80's), so you know it's definitely not not luck - he knew what he was doing, even if some of it was just instinct.

If the Beatles don't impress you I'm curious who you might nominate as the greatest songwriters/composers of the 20th century? Dylan certainly could not the bill, but he was kinda one-dimensional. Dude with a guitar and maybe 5 chords and everyone covered his songs, and he brought depth and gravitas to music, especially lyrics. But the Beatles literally changed the world.

Joined: Jul 9 2007
Hi-Res Flacs

Downloaded the high-res Flac files. Roughly 9gb, in about 5 minutes. I guess they've fixed their bandwidth issues (or something like that. Internet is still a bit of a mystery).

Sounds amazing! Now, I don't know if my ears can actually hear the high resolution or if I just think I can. My ears have taken a lot of abuse over the years. That being said, these are excellent shows. Glad to see more 80s being released.

icecrmcnkd's picture
Joined: Oct 20 2015
Song interpretations

There’s an MTV special on REM that still plays on MTVLive where Michael Stipe describes how the song The One I Love is about a bad relation and/or breaking up and was not intended to be a happy song, but when they would play it couples would hug and kiss because they interpreted it to be a happy song.

Dennis Wilmot's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2012
Dave the Rock - Songs

Why I can always tear up for "Eyes", sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own.

Joined: Sep 1 2014
Song interpretations

Maybe all interpretations of songs are valid, even if they differ from the intentions of the person who wrote the song in the first place. Listening in itself can be a creative act.

When I finished work, in 2013, I worked with a girl who had never heard of Pink Floyd. And I have hardly ever met anyone, in the last 30 years, who knows who The Dead are. Not only is longevity short lived-it is also regional.

Dennis Wilmot's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2012
The Mop Heads - Genuises?

I watched only a few minutes of the Beatle are the greatest musical geniuses of the history of forever. I know NOTHING of music theory, or modulation or chord changes, I just know what I like.

Anyway, when I see person A going on about why musician/writer/movie maker did this, that or the next thing, I always think that's THIER opinion. If Paul made all these clever, world changing musical things, then HE should tell us why and how (he is still alive, right?)

Years ago there was a guy who RAVED (and maybe more) about Kate Bush. Had all these interpretations about her songs. Fast forward, he gets to interview her for some reason and she was like, "no, the song ain't about God creating woman, but about a dog eating a baloney sandwich",,, (I'm paraphrasing :-)

I'm not saying the guy in the tux was wrong about Penny Lane's incredible 47 modulation changes, but maybe Paul didn't see it any way like that, only Paul can tell.

I sure like most of my generation we know every Beatle song, but I don't know if I've EVER understood WHY they were SO big. (they had their own fuckin' cartoon!!!!) Jerry never got a cartoon!!!

Maybe nothing for this subject, but since there's been talk about the shear GREATNESS of The Beatles, Dylan and dare I say,,, The Grateful Dead. Working with the "kids" at the store, (people under 25), has really showed me that not only is nothing forever, but forever isn't even that long. Ask a kid what dates lives in infamy? Ask if they know any swing group? Jolson? Bogart? Have they seen Gone With The Wind? Most stuff seems to really only last 2 generation, 3 if it's real big. Ask kids about Elvis. How far down the road will The Dead be remembered as much as Al Jolson?

Sorry for the prattle, time to listen to my Doris Day's Greatest Hits collection..... Everybody Loves a Lover..........

Joined: Sep 1 2014

I'm not trying to outdo you in any way, but you may be interested in this quote I came across in the Richard Thomas book I mentioned earlier, "Why Dylan Matters";

"Immature poets borrow; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different."
T.S Eliot "Philip Massinger," 1920

I think the same principles apply in music.

Mind-Left-Body's picture
Joined: Oct 5 2017
Lol unkle forte

If you had actually read my post, I asked if leaving stage early was a regular occurance for Zeppelin, or if it was limited to a couple of incidents, because I had never heard of them doing this. That's all. No judgment passed, no sides taken. I looked it up and saw it was a couple if incidents. I passed the question to the crowd, and the same isolated incidents were mentioned from late in the touring career. And yes, you were complaining, or you would not have mentioned it in the context that you did. Truth and complaint are not mutually exclusive. I would complain too. End of story, cheer up.

JimInMD's picture
Joined: Jun 27 2011
Tampa 1977 Shortest Ever Concert By Them

Unkle, sorry you got stiffed at this show.. I posted a link to a short discussion on this from one of the Steve Hoffman threads..
"In 1977 I saw Led Zeppelin in Tampa Florida.

They only played 3 songs then the show was cancelled due to bad weather and all hell broke loose,if you listen on YouTube The Song Remains The Same is really a killer version,give it a listen.

Glad I saw them in April in Atlanta only two times I ever saw them. "
Did it snow on Tampa that day or something?

Edit: I've been thinking about this a bit. In the 70's.. the average band toured to support their album sales. But this was Led Zeppelin. Just suppose the management of LZ saw the weather for what it was and decided to go on knowing things could progress to the point where they needed to pull out early. Better to cancel before riots occur and not play at all. But I bet they got paid anyway.

unkle sam's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2008
june 3, 1977

my forte? dude, what? Truth and complaining is two completely different things. It's a fact, they did a show, played 3 songs and left the stage even tho the tickets said rain or shine. If you had been there, you might understand, but, obviously, you weren't. I was and it was another police riot that I witnessed brought on by the fact that the band left the stage and never came back. What do you expect when they open the gates at noon for an 8pm show and let everyone get trashed to the point of violence. Then act like storm troopers when people get ugly. They even came out a bit early cause they knew it was going to rain, yet, as soon as the bottles started to fly, off they went without a goodbye, fuck you, or any explanation at all. First hand experience retelling the truth as I remember it.
My original post was to clarify the fact that Randy California never begrudged Led Zeppelin for anything. Never accused them of stealing his riff or his melody. You must have also discovered that Led Zeppelin opened for Spirit back in 1970 and yet, they can't remember one of Randy's songs. Sure, right...
Sure, it never happened, fake news, I didn't do it and they are all liars, sound familiar? Jesus Christ, what is this world coming to? Facts are lies, I don't believe it, not real, not my hero's... I love Zeppelin music, but a fact is a fact. People are not perfect and shit happens, but don't try and change what was. This concert and the one a few weeks later in Cincinnati by the Who where several fans were trampled is what ended the "stadium rock" scene. After this june concert, there wasn't another concert in Tampa stadium until the Eagles "The Long Run" tour in 1980. Talk about a bummer, that place was the tits for shows back in the early 70's.

Mind-Left-Body's picture
Joined: Oct 5 2017
Yes complaint

I did look it up, and found almost nothing. One rain / weather show and one drunk bonzo show that may or may not be substantiated. And I put it out the crowd here and didn't get anything other than the same isolated incidents. It was a complaint, no shame in that, not sure what you're complaining about now, other than it's your forte. How about you provide us with a list of shows

JimInMD's picture
Joined: Jun 27 2011

You had me at Look!

David Duryea's picture
Joined: Sep 28 2009
how to

Guaranteed way to trash Jim's morning productivity:

Look! Squirrel!

JimInMD's picture
Joined: Jun 27 2011
Re: Possibly

Ha.. that Beatles link quite possibly trashed my morning productivity. :D

On the bright side I had a very pleasant morning.

Thin's picture
Joined: Jun 21 2013
possibly - no prob

Hey "possibly", not offended at all, and sorry if that came across as chippy - I was having a bad day, that was just a frustrating exchange.

I'm a huge fan of these kinds of documentaries of songs/albums/backstories, especially GD/Bealtles. The "Anthem to Beauty" doc is great. Would be great to have one that covers "Europe '72/Wake/Mars", another "Blues for Allah/Terrapin/Shakedown/Go To Heaven".

There are a lot of great videos that focus on Beatles. My fav is a music theory-heavy 48 minute video that explains why they are probably the greatest composers of the 20th century, and on par with Beethoven, Bach, and Wagner - fascinating stuff: He goes through many of their songs - drop the needle at 19:58 for a forensic appreciation of Penny Lane, or 13:02 for a fascinating look at I Am the Walrus, 29:08 Eleanor Rigby, 15:24 Hey Jude, etc... I could watch it all day.

Erikandjenn's picture
Joined: Nov 22 2016

Good question

Joined: Apr 23 2008

Why are you spelling Fogerty's mame with an l?

JimInMD's picture
Joined: Jun 27 2011
Pickin on the Beatles

You have my interest piqued..

I am enjoying this thread immensely. It makes one think and at the core of the conversation is money and morality.

If I like something, I do try and buy it and support the artist(s). But what really got me thinking is the rip off of Bonnie Dobson by Tim Rose. Every time the GD puts out a show with Morning Dew, Tim Rose's estate gets a cut (more specifically a cut from Bonnie's cut). Then again, I love that tune, and Tim brought more of an edge into the mix.. it's quite possible he brought more attention to the song and inspired more to cover it and hence increased overall royalties. Thinking about that too much might just cause ones brain to fart.

Then there was the excellent research by Cousins of the Pioneers. And the infinitely interesting Beatles take, which I really want to watch. And Dylan.. Woodie Guthrie, Harry Smith, John and Allan Lomax, and on and on.

Its all quite complex and the purist in me doesn't know what to make of it all but the listener and hack-job historian in me seems less on edge. Ah.. the Carter Family and Johnny Cash, when country music was par excellence.

I guess it's true, some of these artists were standing on the shoulders of giants and there were some charlatans and snake oil peddlers in the mix as well. What brought us Pet Sounds, Sgt Peppers and dare I say Anthem of the Sun? In Anthem to Beauty, Tom Constanten is quoted as shamelessly borrowing prepared techniques from John Cage when discussing the transition between the Other One and the delicious sounds of New Potato Caboose. But where is the muse and what is the catalyst to propel it all forward? Where did the masterpieces come from?

A small sidebar, if you find this interesting I suggest the heady read by Dennis McNally, "On Highway 61: Music, Race and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom"

Really fun stuff.. thanks to all for keeping the thread interesting. its one of the reasons I rarely go to the Steve Hoffman forums. If you are patient enough to side step past a few trolls, the kind, witty and knowledgeable folks here consistently deliver the goods and remind me why I like the music, history and culture of the Grateful Dead so much.

possiblyMaybeAnother's picture
Joined: Oct 24 2017
@thin I really recommend the Beatles Deconstructed movies

I've only seen the Rubber soul movie but it's one of a series done for a bunch of Beatles albums. I keep meaning to catch the others but haven't had a chance, and they're not very accessible unless you want to pay for them. They get released in arthouse theaters but otherwise are only really available by buying the DVD or maybe they might be on Netflix or something.

If you're a Beatles fan or a musician, they're absolutely fascinating. He takes the album, song by song, and analyses how they were recorded, isolating the different tracks (Rubber Soul of course was done on 4 track), sometimes playing the "influencer" song, and also giving some history of what was happening in the lives of the Beatles at the time.

Hey man I'm not looking for a fight, I'm sorry I offended you! I just saw the word plagiarism and connected it with what I saw in the Deconstructed docu, and thought it fit in nicely with the discussion here. Isn't there even a John Lennon quote where he says something to the effect of "good artists copy; great artists steal?" I'm probably wrong about that too, which I'm sure you'll point out.

Joined: Sep 10 2009
Plagiarism continued...

I kinda' like this subject!
So here's another one: Eddy Arnold's I'd Trade all of my Tomorrows(for just one yesterday) written by Jenny Lou Carson in the 1940s. It does remind one of a line in a famous Kris Kristofferson tune.

direwulf's picture
Joined: Oct 15 2007
Standing on the shoulders of giants...

Thats plagiarism, if it's not in quotes!! Isaac Newton said it first :) but apparently he didnt quote either and stole it from the 12th century from a person named Bernard of Chartres.

But I dont know how you could put quotation marks around a sound.

You know who cares the most about plagiairzing music capitalists, lawyers and maybe Lars ulrich (he's got napoleon syndrome and seems to think he's good drummer, geesh some people!!).

If you are quality musician who is doing their own thing and uses others ideas in tasteful and respected ways, build upon the past by all means!

There only so many combinations of chords, notes and melodies. You could do something totally out there but I can only listen to avant-garde music for so long. People like what they like and have found. If it aint broke why fix it?

Erikandjenn's picture
Joined: Nov 22 2016
Re: Folgerty

This is a fascinating topic and the Folgerty topic has always been of special interest to me.
Till this day he can't give detail. I heard an interview recently (mabey on WTF).
What a crazy business!

Joined: Apr 23 2008
Maybe the most bizarre plagiarism case

Maybe I missed it but has anyone mentioned yhe wierdest plagiarism case of all? When John Fogerty was sued by he who can't dance for plagiarizing himself now that's wierd. The unfortunate thing is Fantasy records was responsible for keeping a lot of obscure good stuff in print (unlikely paying any royalties) through reissues of stuff from defunct companies. One example that comes to mind is the wierdest folk musicians on the planet The Holy Modal Rounders "Ma's Out There Switchin' in the Kitchen, Dad in the Living Room Grousing and a Bitchin',and I'm out here kicking the gong for Euphoria

unkle sam's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2008

No complaint, just the facts. Look it up.

Joined: Sep 1 2014
Elvis-The Beatles

The lines "I'd rather see you dead little girl, Than to be with another man" in The Beatles "Run For Your Life" on Rubber Soul also appear in the Elvis version of "Baby Lets Play House"-one of the best rockabilly tracks ever recorded, incidentally.

But again, the Beatles actual song is very different. John Lennon, who wrote it, later put his own song down as being substandard. And in the company of the other songs he wrote in 1965, it is. But he wrote so many ground breaking, original and still amazing sounding songs during the 1960s that the odd blooper is to surely to be expected.

Vguy72's picture
Joined: Jun 29 2007
I prefer the term borrowing....

....more friendly

Thin's picture
Joined: Jun 21 2013
possibly - nevermind

Possibly - I can't find the movie, you don't remember any of the the Beatles songs discussed or the songs they allegedly plagiarized, and now you're simultaneous emphatically REasserting "Yes, the Beatles plagiarized", and then in your last line saying maybe it isn't "plagiarism"? You're killing me. Moving on....

Vguy72's picture
Joined: Jun 29 2007
The worst example of plagarism I've ever seen....
possiblyMaybeAnother's picture
Joined: Oct 24 2017

I'm not huge into The Beatles and can't remember the actual tunes that were analyzed in the "Deconstructing" movie, and I don't feel like watching it again just to back up my comment. I do remember that the analysis in the movie was absolutely phenomenal, and I really recommend it, especially if you like The Beatles.

In one case, there was an Elvis song that the Beatles used, and that Elvis song in turn was taken from black radio. In another case, I wouldn't have recognized the source had he not played the two side by side. Part of the brilliance of the analysis was in tying the Beatles song to whatever it was they were listening to at the time.

Yes, The Beatles plagiarized. Yes, they made it their own. Yes, all music is in some way plagiarism; otherwise no one would ever be interested in anyone's influences. That's what I meant when I said we're standing on the shoulders of giants. Plagiarism is perhaps too strong a word.

icecrmcnkd's picture
Joined: Oct 20 2015
Blatant plagiarism

Vanilla Ice ripping off Queen.

Stones sue Verve, but Stones should have paid Staples

Joined: Sep 1 2014

I seem to remember reading once that Ripple has the same melody-or chord structure-to a song in one of the big musicals of the day. I think it was a song from Joseph and His Technicolor Dream Coat. I have never heard the song from the musical, so I can't comment. But apparently, if I remember right, both parties were informed of the similarity-and neither cared.

Thin's picture
Joined: Jun 21 2013
daverock - agreed

Agreed on all points - and subliminal songwriting happens. That's what happened to Harrison with "He's So Fine" - probably just heard it so many times in the background on the radio that he started humming it without noticing the source. (Yes he got sued - I think settled out of court for a pretty penny. There was a McCartney song (I think "Yesterday"?) that he wrote and didn't do anything with for a while because it popped into his head so completely and easily he assumed it was some old chestnut he had "learned" subliminally. But then he played it for everyone and no one recognized it, so he gave it lyrics and recorded it.

I've mentioned it before, but Geoff Emerick is the engineer who worked under George Martin for most of their albums - his book "Here There and Everywhere" is a fascinating fly-on-the-wall account of his time with them. A must-read with insights into every album that will allow you to hear their entire catalog with fresh ears.

Back to the Dave's Picks board. 25 should be coming soon!

Joined: Sep 1 2014
Come Together

I never thought Come Together sounded like You Can't Catch Me at all. True it lifts some of its lyrics, but its obviously-to me-a completely different song. Musically its nothing like Chuck Berry. I believe The Beatles were successfully sued for copying the earlier tune, so I must be in a minority.

I think George Harrison was sued for the similarity between My Sweet Lord and The Chiffons He's So Fine. I can see the similarity there, but I have always assumed that George used the melody without being conscious of the earlier, recorded, song.

When you play an instrument, you sometimes hit on a great riff or melody, and think it is original, only to discover some time later that it has already been used by someone else. I hit on a corker of a riff last year, which seemed to be original. After a few days of happily blasting away, it dawned on me that I was playing Street Fighting Man, without realising it.

Thin's picture
Joined: Jun 21 2013
You Can't Catch Me/Come Together

Yah, forgot about this one, but I hardly think it counts. This "plagiarism" topic came up in the context of Led Zeppelin/Dylan lifting songs in WHOLE CLOTH - lyrics, chord progressions, etc - and telling people "I wrote that". Comparing the Beatles to THAT is like comparing a murderer to a jaywalker. One line from the song IS borrowed: "Here come old flat top, he was movin up with me" was Berry's original line. That does NOT mean Chuck Berry wrote the masterpiece (and one of my favs) Come Together. The Beatles DID get sued for this, and settled out of court (by agreeing to cover 3 of Berry's songs! An odd punishment... "You stole my song - your "punishment" is to please, PLEASE record 3 more!" - Trivial suit, comical resolution.

Nobody hearing those two songs together would notice borrowed line if you didn't point it out. Is this the only example of Beatles alleged "plagiarism" we can think of? "Possibly" had mentioned that the movie he saw had examples of plagiarism, which I suspect were more explanations of influences and inspiration (ie: John taking the chords from Moonlight Sonata and playing them backwards as a starting point when writing "Because", or George Harrison calling one of the Byrds to tell him they had just recorded a chorus structure inspired by them) That's not plagiarism - that's just getting shown the light in the strangest of places....

Hey, is there a GD board around here somewhere?

KeithFan2112's picture
Joined: Aug 6 2014
@Mind Left Body

The funny thing is that I lifted the joke.

Joined: Sep 15 2009
Beatles Plagiarism

Come Together/You Can't Catch Me

Joined: Sep 10 2009
More plagiarism fun

This is a great bass lick from James Kirkland in 1960(check out the great James Burton solo while you're there...):

Same lick recycled by the Blues Magoos, 6 years later:

..and finally Deep Purple in 1970, with a little twist added:

Thin's picture
Joined: Jun 21 2013
re: Beatles plagiarism?? Yeahhh... No.

Hey "possibly" - I read your comment and had no idea what you were talking about. So I found and listened to a podcast called "Deconstructing Rubber Soul", and I STILL dont know what your talking about. The podcast was disappointing. I was expecting an intelligent deconstruction of the songwriting and influences - instead we got two stoners singing (badly) half of every song on Rubber Soul, then giggling and citing a bunch of mostly common knowledge stuff with no real focus. "Deconstruction"? Reminded of Chris Farley interviewing Paul McCartney on SNL.

EDIT: OK, my bad - I now see there's a separate MOVIE, not podcast, and the trailer looks MUCH more intelligent than the podcast I heard. But I still completely reject the idea that they "plagiarized". Were they influenced/inspired by Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Byrds, Dylan, Roy Orbison, Little Richard, Beach Boys and many others with deliberate nods to them here or there? Absolutely - vocal techniques, complex harmonies, guitar tones and riffs, song structure/modal changes, the little Richard "Wooo!!!".... But that's not "plagiarism".

SO let me suggest you name the Beatles song that you'd call the MOST glaring example of "plagiarism" (and the song they copied) so we can know where you're coming from.

Don't mess with the Beatles....

Joined: Sep 1 2014
Rubber Soul

That's a surprise about The Beatles being called plagiarists. I had always considered them to be original-or at least more original than most groups from their era. It seems I have thought this as I am not as familiar with soul music as I am with blues.

"Rubber Soul" is one of my favourite Beatles albums, too. Maybe the hint as to its sources is in the title. Perhaps a more appropriate title would have been "Plastic Soul".

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