Table Of Contents
Dead World Round-Up
By Jesse Jarnow With Gary Lambert
In the beginning, there was only one way to listen to the Grateful Dead. For the first six months of the band’s existence from December 1965 onwards, as well as their proceeding half-year as the Warlocks, you had to see them perform in person. If you were lucky and alive and living in San Francisco in the summer of 1966, you could’ve picked up their first single at the Psychedelic Shop in the Haight, but most people would have to wait for the band’s debut LP in the late spring of ’67.
Since then, and especially so lately, the ways to listen to the Grateful Dead have grown fairly uncountable. By sometime in 2023, it’s estimated that the Dead will have had more charting Billboard hit albums than any other artist in history, which isn’t too shabby for a band that allegedly didn’t sell records. These days, there’s virtually hot and cold running Dead wherever you look, listen, or smell. There’s Dead music everywhere. And that’s great.
But in another way, that’s only evidence of the more remarkable thing, the giant not-that-hidden pulsing tie-dyed iceberg that’s been lurking just below the surface since even before the first album, which is the continuous listening audience for the Grateful Dead’s music. Access to recordings is easy in the future we currently occupy, but it takes a little more to find (or even stumble into) experience and community. Because, as you may’ve sussed out by this point in your own adventures, the Dead remain a roll-your-own world-building kit that unfurls to a whole lot more beyond just their music, with that “beyond” left as a fill-in-the-blank for each individual Dead Head. More powerfully with each passing year, it’s the music that remains the connection point, the tangible surface to a colorful and ever-crackling web of Dead Head energy.
Traditionally, an almanac exists to track the comings and goings of the sun, moon, tides, seasons, and other natural forces. Certainly, the Dead world continues to operate within its own time scales and dimensions, and the Grateful Dead Almanac functions to offer updates on the newest releases and projects, along with other useful miscellany. But an almanac isn’t the territory and you still don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. “What good is knowing the price of tea on the space station if you don’t even have an umbrella?” St. Dilbert probably once asked, and who are we to argue with such sound profundity? Starting count at the first album, we’re 55 years into the flood and the deluge isn’t stopping.
Though Dead & Co. are wrapping up their remarkable 7-year run in 2023, there’s no shortage of other passage ways, entry points, ways, means, and portals. The surviving band members have been especially active this past year between Bobby Weir and the Wolf Bros. featuring The Wolfpack (and their shows with the National Symphony Orchestra), Phil Lesh and Friends’s return to the road, and the long-awaited new installment of Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum. And there’s no shortage of fresh archival Grateful Dead music via vault-keeper David Lemieux, either, between the quarterly ear-bending delights of Dave’s Picks and the new In and Out Of The Garden box set documenting the Dead at Madison Square Garden in the early ‘80s. We’ve got all that and more covered in this issue of the Almanac. Much more on all of that below.
But all this excellent music is also the soundtrack to life on that hidden psychedelic iceberg, what Jerry Garcia once called “the Grateful Dead weirdness scene.” And that’s still not a thing that can be packaged (though we stand by the Official Book of the Dead Heads from 1983), only pointed towards. So in this edition of the Almanac, we merrily point you towards the upcoming Meet-Up at the Movies (screening a never-released video of the Dead in Copenhagen ’72!) and the Dead’s official new Discord server.
Probably, as well, I should point you to the Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast, the podcast I’ve co-hosted with Rich Mahan since 2020. We’re finishing up our sixth season as I type. In the spring, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Europe ’72, speaking with members of the band, crew, family, and Dead freaks along for the ride, including Elvis Costello, Greenpeace founder Rod Marining (who got sucked into Garcia’s mouth in Lille!), sci-fi legend Michael Moorcock, and a trail of mind-blown Europeans. If you’re not a podcast listener, you can now read transcripts of those episodes and more (like that time Huey Lewis delivered Kesey family yogurt from Oregon to the Bay Area). In our episodes about the In And Out Of The Garden box, we went on Dead tour in 1981, 1982, and 1983, getting a third eye view of the protean days of Shakedown Street. It’s all part of a hidden participatory history that extends from the first moment the Warlocks stepped onstage at Magoo’s right through to this very second when your brain is processing these words. Far out.
More to the point, we point you to the nearest Grateful Dead weirdness scene you can manifest and the community that exists whenever two Dead Heads communicate. Play it loud. Believe it if you need it.
DEAD & COMPANY
In times of uncertainty and adversity, the late, great philosopher/sage/Zen master Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra was fond of saying “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”
Here in our little alternative universe, things are a bit different. In the years since the original iteration of the Grateful Dead officially disbanded in 1995, the operating principle has turned out to be more like: “It ain’t over ‘til… well, ever!” Various configurations of former band members have come together, then dispersed, but every ending has turned out to be in fact another beginning, giving impetus to new individual projects and collaborations, inspiring infusions of fresh creative energy, and issuing an ongoing invitation to newer and younger recruits into the Dead Head community.
This was never more evident than in 2015, shortly after the four longtime core members of the Grateful Dead reconvened one more time at the Fare Thee Well concerts in Northern California and Chicago, announced as their final performances together as a unit. Those shows were events of enormous musical and emotional resonance, but it would quickly become clear that this grand goodbye was really a prelude to another hello. While Phil Lesh returned to his chosen path of interacting with an ever-changing series of Friends, his colleagues Bobby Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart announced soon after Fare Thee Well that they would be writing yet another chapter in the Grateful Dead saga, with a new project to be called Dead & Company, bringing them together with a hugely talented trio of partners: Jeff Chimenti, Oteil Burbridge and, most surprisingly, John Mayer – known as a full-fledged pop star in his own right as well as a widely acknowledged guitar hero, who had only in recent years developed a deep love for Grateful Dead music. Almost before the tears from the final show in Chicago had dried, Dead & Company revealed plans for a fall tour, which commenced in October 2015, continued through most of November and was followed by four shows leading up to New Year’s Eve in San Francisco and Los Angeles. After that promising start, the band really started to hit its stride with a full-fledged 2016 summer tour characterized by growing musical confidence and an attendant rise in audience enthusiasm. Indeed, it soon became clear that this would be by far the most popular of all post-GD incarnations, with Dead & Co. playing to sold-out houses in arenas, amphitheaters and, in some of the most Dead Head-intensive areas, stadiums.
With each subsequent tour, the musical conversation got deeper, the playing more nuanced, the reinterpretations of the Grateful Dead repertoire more imaginative and surprising, with the fresh perspective brought to the table by the younger players coexisting beautifully with the deep experiential relationship the veteran members have always had to this music.
Like every other traveling band on the planet, DeadCo’s roll got slowed in a big way in 2020, when the global pandemic wiped out all touring. But they got back to business in 2021, employing unprecedented health and safety protocols that allowed them to perform 31 shows in two separate legs, spanning a period from mid-August to the end of October. Having overcome so many of the formidable obstacles posed by the pandemic, the band was ready to move into 2022 with a full head of steam.
But when life looks like Easy Street… it would turn out that the new year would pose some considerable challenges of its own, the first being that the band’s plans to hold a third edition of their very popular Playing In The Sand festival in Cancun, Mexico was scuttled by COVID-19, with a new surge of infections directly affecting the host venue, the Moon Palace Resort. To complicate matters more, some band members and a good many festival goers had already arrived on site when the cancellation was announced and would find themselves unable to leave. Needless to say, refunds were issued to both the fans in attendance and those who hadn’t yet flown in, and the folks on site were also comped for their days at the resort. In a classic example of Dead Heads making the most of just about any situation, many of the folks at the resort, bless ‘em, created their own party absent of the live shows, dancing to recorded Dead music and engaging in spontaneous jams.
Dead & Co. returned to the road in earnest in June at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, kicking off a tour that at 20 dates was a bit less arduous than the previous year’s go-round, but the lower number of shows, if anything, seemed to instill in the band an even stronger resolve to make every moment count. They hit the ground running in L.A. and kept the momentum going, with everyone playing at a consistently high level, and every show packed with countless peaks and very few valleys. All this was accomplished although there was yet another challenge to be faced – Bill Kreutzmann had been faced with various health issues during some of the final shows in 2021, and had to sit out parts or all of some shows on this tour as well. But as had been the case last fall, a good friend and someone very familiar with the music was there to come to the rescue: Jay Lane, who has been one of Bobby Weir’s closest collaborators for more than a quarter-century, was on hand to join the rhythm section. As much as Billy was missed at the shows he couldn’t make or in which he saw limited action, Jay did terrific work in a difficult situation, and the whole band responded in kind. Thanks, Jay!
By the time the tour came to a close with two spectacular nights at Citi Field, in the great Dead Head stronghold of New York, there was widespread agreement (among fans and band members alike), that 2022 had been the finest year of Dead & Company’s career, and everyone looked ahead to what might come next.
On that point, there had been some intrigue earlier in the year, when Rolling Stone, citing unknown sources, published an article claiming that Dead & Co. would cease touring at the end of 2022. That seems to have come as a surprise to the band itself, and the magazine wound up walking the story back, reframing it as rumor rather than fact. There was considerable relief and joy when it was announced that the music would continue in 2023, with another edition of Playing In The Sand, and there were strong suggestions that a full-on Summer tour was in the works as well. However, when official word of the latter was released, it came with this announcement, making real that which had only been rumored about the 2022 tour:
“As we put the finishing touches on booking venues, and understanding that word travels fast, we wanted to be the first to let you know that Dead & Company will be hitting the road next Summer for what will be our final tour.”
All those who have come to love this band over the past seven years couldn’t help but find this news bittersweet. But if the history of this extraordinary musical and cultural adventure has taught us anything, it’s that there always has been a whole lot more sweet than bitter in the mix. In messages on their social media feeds, some of the band members put it in helpful perspective.
Bill Kreutzmann wrote:
“The Grateful Dead always felt timeless from our very beginnings at the Acid Tests where ‘time’ did some funny things so we left it behind altogether. This music will always exist, always evolve, always be the soundtrack of our ever-changing lives.
But the form changes. It always has, from when we invited Mickey to join the band to the many shapes and forms it took after Jerry left us. And so it’s almost time for another change.
I have loved this chapter with Dead & Company, as we got to explore the music with some new interpreters and different antennas, but we always knew it was just a chapter. The music never stops.
I hope you’ll join us for one final Dead & Company tour next summer and after that… as always… I’m really excited about what comes next.
Thank you all for being with us on this journey. It’s far from over so keep those seat belts on because we’ve got some wild nights ahead.”
Mickey Hart added:
“Dear Dead Heads-
I want you to know that this has all been because of you. When we saw what Fare Thee Well meant to all of you, and how good it felt to be back together, we knew there was a chance for a second life, another dance around the sun. Little did I know the life Dead & Company would have. I'm so looking forward to the festivities that lie ahead. This tour will be one for the books...
The beat goes on...”
And Bobby Weir contributed a statement that was more terse, but perfectly on point:
“Well, it looks like that’s it for this outfit; But don’t worry, we will all be out there in one form or another until we drop…”
By the way, one would be well-advised not to bet against Mr. Weir’s powers of prognostication. In August of 1995, Bobby said to a friend who was lamenting the end of the Grateful Dead, “Hell, we’re just gettin’ started.” How right he was!
And so, for 27 nights commencing in Los Angeles on May 19th, travelingx around the country to some of the most cherished cities and venues in the Dead universe and then bringing it literally all back home to wind things up with two shows in San Francisco, Dead & Company will close this latest chapter in the Grateful Dead continuum in grand style. And as for the next chapter? As Bobby’s statement made clear, this a life’s work, and deep personal and creative connections exist among these players that will surely be manifested in other configurations and combinations, with collaborators both familiar and new.
Like the man said: Hell, we’re just gettin’ started!
Jerry Garcia would have turned 80 on August 1st and the mid-summer celebrations were joyous. San Francisco threw two weeks of Garcia-related events, including panels with Big Steve Parish and David Nelson, library exhibits, and a few shows, capped by Phil Lesh and Friends at the idyllic Stern Grove in Golden Gate Park, plus Jerry Garcia Night at Oracle Park. Other Garcia Nights (all benefitting the Rex Foundation) happened at ballgames by the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, and the St. Louis Cardinals. At Red Rocks, there was a Jerry Garcia 80th Birthday Symphonic Celebration at Red Rocks with Melvin Seals, Jacklyn LeBranch, Dave Schools, Tom Hamilton, Duane Trucks, and Lady Chi, with the Colorado Symphony. That’s a whole lotta Jer.
There’s a slew of new solo Garcia from across his solo career, as well. This December will see the expanded vinyl release of his self-titled 1972 debut. GarciaLive Vol. 18 captured a smoking November ’74 night in Berkeley with Merl Saunders just as the Dead were starting their hiatus. Black Friday’s mini-Record Store Day will include a 5-LP vinyl edition of Pure Jerry: Hampton ’91 featuring Bruce Hornsby. And the Jerry Garcia Band’s Halloween ’92 show at the Oakland Coliseum Arena--Garcia’s return to the stage after a three-month break--arrives on October 28th as GarciaLive Vol. 19.
The solo Garcia scene remains participatory, too. Garcia Hand Picked has recently launched in Colorado, Oregon, and Michigan, joining California, Boston, and Maryland. And for those interested in a different kind of Garcia hand-picking, there’s the Alligator Fender Custom Shop replica, a handsome reproduction of Garcia’s seriously customized guitar of choice from mid-1971 to late 1973, complete with the stickers that made it famous.
Also extremely exciting is the first authorized documentary about Jerry Garcia, being in the works from none other than Justin Kreutzmann and team. Justin and his team are on the hunt for rare and unseen material. While they’re of course looking for any good film, video, or photos of Jerry, they’re also very interested in documentation of the Dead Head scene, including photos or footage shot on tour, in the parking lot, or even just their feelings about Jerry. Interested Dead Heads are invited to get in touch.
As we go to press, Bobby Weir is mid-flight, having just celebrated his 75th birthday and made his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra. Weir’s concerto, created in collaboration with composer Giancarlo Aquilanti, has been a long time in the works. A follow-up to the 2011 piece First Fusion, it’s not so much a piece of music as a way of music, an attempt to connect the richness of the symphony orchestra with the richness of Grateful Dead improvisation. We discussed it pretty extensively with Bobby, Giancarlo, Don Was, and others on a very special Bobby 75 edition of the Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast.
The performances at the Kennedy Center are only one part of what’s been unsurprisingly a busy year, featuring tours by both Dead & Co. as well as Bobby Weir and the Wolf Bros. featuring The Wolfpack, his new 10-piece soul/country/jazz combo. They’ve released two volumes of Live In Colorado on Third Man Records, Volume One in the spring and Volume Two in the fall. And in April, they celebrated the 50th anniversary of Weir’s 1972 solo debut Ace with two shows at Radio City Music Hall (featuring Tyler Childers, Brittney Spencer, Ron Carter, and John Mayer). One of the Ace 50 performances will be included as a bonus disc on a very special forthcoming reissue of Ace, also featuring the original album remixed by Derek Featherstone with Bobby and Don Was. Can’t keep a good Weir down. (And might we recommend the Ace 50 episode of the Deadcast, as well?)
Just after we went to press last year, Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads announced its closure after nearly a decade in San Rafael. What has been an enormous bummer for Phil, the Terrapin family, and the Bay Area music scene has at least been a win for Dead Heads everywhere else, though. This past year has seen Phil leading his friends hither and thither, there and back again, from California to Maine for a variety of unpredictable sets with world class musicians, including an acclaimed stop in Illinois for a one-off set with “PhilCo” featuring Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Nels Cline. And as the Almanac goes to press this year, Phil and many friends are preparing to descend on the beloved Capitol Theatre in Port Chester for an extended residency with a variety of collaborators old and new and in-between.
Bill the Drummer felt the love this year, helping to pilot Dead & Co. to new heights this summer, and finding himself emblazoned on the very first official Bill the Drummer merch, taboot. He even got to watch a few Dead & Co. gigs for the first time with his understudy Jay Lane filling in for him. Turns out, he really enjoys watching the band play and loves the music as a listener as well as a drummer. But he’s counting the days ‘til he’s back behind the kit and drumming a dozen or so miles a night with Dead & Co. at Playing In The Sand in February, and he also perpetually looks forward to whatever comes next with his own all-star band Billy & the Kids, which he keeps on call for special occasions.
Planet Drum has returned to Earth! Formed by Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain in 1991, the all-star cosmos-spanning rhythm ensemble manifested on stage for the first time since 2006, joining Bobby Weir and the Wolf Bros. at the Frost Amphitheater on the Stanford campus, a beloved home of the Dead in the ‘80s, with more gigs on the horizon.
In August, Planet Drum released In the Groove, their first Planet Drum album since 1998 (and the Global Drum Project in 2007), featuring Mickey, Zakir, Sikiru Adepoju, and Giovanni Hidalgo, including the big single “King Clave.” Mickey has been working, too, on a forthcoming Atmos mix of the album. Keep your ear out.
In a way, the new Planet Drum was a half-century in the making. This September also marks the 50th anniversary of Rolling Thunder, Mickey’s 1972 solo debut that included his first collaborations with Zakir (and Zakir’s father, the tabla master Alla Rakha), not to mention contributions from the Dead, Stephen Stills, John Cipollina, Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, David Freiberg, the Tower of Power Horns, and other Bay Area luminaries.
Mickey continued working on his visual art this year, as well, with many of his paintings appearing in the on-screen visuals during the “Drums” and “Space” portions of Dead & Co. shows. He is currently working on a new collection.
DONNA JEAN GODCHAUX MACKAY
There’s news from Donna Jean! She sends an update from Muscle Shoals:
I have always been a fan of Frank Goodman (of the Goodman Brothers) since I heard his music in the late ‘70s. He is a fine songwriter, singer, and musician, who I thought deserved to be heard in a fresh way. So, instigator that I am, I spoke to Frank about coming to the NuttHouse Recording Studio in the Muscle Shoals area to record an EP. Frank readily agreed!
We just completed the tracks with David MacKay producing, Jimmy Nutt engineering, David on bass, Rob Malone on lead guitar, Pete Lavezzoli on drums, Freeman White on keys, and yours truly on background vocals. Frank, of course, played guitar along with his lead vocals and brought to the table some really excellent songs. It was serendipity!
We will begin mixing in early November and Frank will have both a physical CD and music platform availability. We’ll keep you posted.
Peace, Love, and Music!
FRIENDS & RELATIONS
OWSLEY STANLEY FOUNDATION
The Owsley Stanley Foundation continues to dip into the incredible wealth of Owsley’s audio archives, the Sonic Journals he captured while working as sound engineer with numerous acts both inside and outside of the Dead’s immediate family. The most recent addition is the wonderful The Foxhunt: The Chieftains in San Francisco, 1973 & 1976, capturing a pair of performances by Paddy Maloney’s Irish folk legends, including a set opening for Old and In the Way performed at Jerry Garcia’s invitation. Another pair of Bear’s Sonic Journals were officially released this year on Dave’s Picks 43, with music from the Dead’s shows on November 2nd and December 26th, 1969.
The gang at the Owsley Stanley Foundation continues to sift through Bear’s tapes, checking and double-checking to make sure they find everything, and this year they found a few somethings. Specifically, they found some never-circulated 1968 Grateful Dead from the Carousel Ballroom, a series of reels probably from the band’s last stand there in June ’68, featuring the earliest versions of “St. Stephen” and the first versions of “Dark Star” to crack the 10-minute mark. They’re not in the world just yet, but keep watching the skies!
NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE / DAVID NELSON
Merry Prankster Ken Babbs has been around the Grateful Dead since the beginning and even before, there for the first gigs billed as the Dead in 1965, otherwise known as the Acid Tests. His voice punctuates infamous Dead tapes with stage announcements from Woodstock, the 1972 benefit for the Springfield Creamery, and others, one of the few people the Dead trusted to be near a microphone. Babbs has a fine new memoir out now, Cronies, a Burlesque: Adventures with Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, the Grateful Dead and the Merry Pranksters. (We’d also suggest some excellent Babbs stories in Deadcast episodes about LA ’66 and the Story of the First Dead Tape.)
Master tie-dye pioneer Courtenay Pollack was the in-house tie-dye artist for the Grateful Dead, making everything from amp covers to giant stage backdrops. He continues his work, with shirts and other apparel available from Courtenay’s website.
Zero was formed by drummer Greg Anton and guitarist Steve Kimock after meeting while playing in Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux’s Heart of Gold Band in 1980 and have remained close to the Dead family ever since, pairing up with lyricist Robert Hunter a decade later. Hunter appears on the recent archival release Naught Again, presenting some pretty cosmic band intros during a pair of 1992 Zero gigs from the Great American Music Hall. (Greg also has a new live album, Starfire, recorded in 2019.)
ANNOUNCING DAVE'S PICKS 2023 SUBSCRIPTIONS AND
DAVE'S PICKS VOLUME 45
Well, here we are embarking on our 12th year of the Dave's Picks series, a dozen years of bringing you complete unreleased shows on CD, mastered directly from the Grateful Dead's master tapes. And the most remarkable thing? Even 45+ volumes
into the series, not to mention literally scores of other previous archival releases, we are still able to produce shows like Vol. 45, two complete concerts from Portland, OR, on 10/1/77 and 10/2/77. And wait until you see what we
have in store for Vol. 46 and its accompanying Bonus Disc that will exclusively be sent to 2023 Dave's Picks subscribers! I was reminded of this analogy in regard to sports teams that win championships: you've got to have a deep bench
of talented, quality parts to keep the run going at the elite level it requires. And the Grateful Dead's tape vault? The deepest bench there is! Cumulatively between the Dick's Picks, Road Trips, and Dave's Picks series Vol. 45 will
be the 98th installment, not to mention the countless box sets, vault releases etc. And the fact that the two Portland '77 shows are coming out in 2023? THAT's a deep bench! We have three more releases planned in 2023 that are all
going to knock your socks off the way we expect Vol. 45 will. A huge thank you for keeping this thing going; it's your interest and excitement that has allowed the Dave's Picks series to continue, and we really see no end in sight.
With each Dave's Picks selling out more quickly than the last, subscribing in 2023 will make sure you get all four complete show (in the case of Vol. 45, TWO complete shows!) releases throughout the year, plus the Bonus Disc that will
arrive with Vol. 46. Thanks again for sticking around. We're as passionate now as we were when the series started, perhaps even more so, and we plan to continue releasing Grateful Dead of the quality you've come to expect for a very long
Sweet summer love in the spring, fall and winter! We're back with another year of the Dave's Picks Series. If you've been with us for a while, you know that a subscription is your best bet for getting each of the four numbered, limited-edition releases featuring complete unreleased shows (totaling a minimum of 12 CDs), delivered to your door quarterly. You’ll also get the subscription exclusive bonus disc, which remains one of the most highly sought-after collectables we release, and free U.S. shipping. Subscriber bonus discs are not released outside of this offer. As always, early bird subscribers can nab a sub at $99.98 (regular pricing will be $115.92).
Dave's Picks 2023 will be capped at 25,000 copies of each release. Since you never know how quickly they'll go, why not subscribe, sit back, and relax knowing you'll get them all?
DAVE’S PICKS 2023 SUBSCRIPTION BENEFITS
• Four Limited Edition, Numbered Releases
• Highly Collectible Bonus Disc
• Free Domestic Shipping
• Delivered Throughout The Year
• Early Bird Pricing - $99.98
• A savings of over $25.00 versus purchasing a la carte
EARLY BIRD PRICING ENDS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15 AT 9:00 PM PT.
P.S. If it's Dave's Picks Vinyl you are after, we've got two titles coming your way. Cherry-picked from the 44 Dave's Picks released on CD, you'll just have to wait and see which volumes go to wax first.GET ONE AND GIFT ONE
EUROPE '72 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITIONS
From April 7 to May 26, 1972, the Dead performed and recorded 21 live concerts, plus a set in a television studio, with every night being an exceptional display of the magic that was uniquely the live Grateful Dead. These concerts and this tour, 50 years later, are still considered one of the highest of high points in the Grateful Dead's performing career.
What better way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of this incredible moment in time than with a couple of sets - 2CD and 3LP 180-gram vinyl - featuring audio newly mastered by GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer David Glasser and newly restored by Plangent Processes?GET EUROPE '72 (50TH ANNIVERSARY) (3LP) GET EUROPE '72 (50TH ANNIVERSARY) (2CD) GET THE HI-DEFINITION DOWNLOAD
LYCEUM '72: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS
When the Grateful Dead first unleashed their magic on the cautiously optimistic patrons of Wembley of 4/7/72 and 4/8/72, it was with the idea they would have just these two nights to impress a traditionally reserved London crowd. It turned out to be a smashing success, and they set about locking in four dates at one of London’s most storied venues, the Lyceum Theatre, to wrap up what some consider one of the greatest tours in rock history.
On these four nights, we find the band hell-bent on telling 'em "how it's gonna be," and boy, did they ever. Powered by what Jerry called "peak optimism," they delivered a steady dose of "primal Dead," - sometimes searing, sometimes soulful, sometimes serious, but always unwavering in focus. This willful determination moved them through transitive takes on "Dark Star," to majestic heights with "The Other One," through marathon runs of "Playing," another minute, another mile. It found Phil, philosophizing on how to "put our music into a place," Bobby and Jerry masterfully dueling as two of the top songwriters of their time, Bill elegantly ferrying songs to new lengths, and new members Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux adding organic warmth. And Pigpen? Well, he dotted his beloved classics - "Good Lovin'," "Mr. Charlie," "Lovelight," "Two Souls In Communion" - through set after set, conjuring up more clarity and charisma than anyone would have expected for his final few shows.
LYCEUM 1972: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS marks the Dead’s largest vinyl boxed set of all time, a 24-LP collection featuring these storied final four nights in their entirety on 180-gram vinyl for the first time ever. Limited to just 4,000 copies, the individually numbered set comes in a colorful slipcase with new artwork by Brian Blomerth. The four shows are organized in individual clamshell boxes, each one featuring the cover art that Scott McDougall created for each concert in EUROPE ’72: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS. The accompanying book includes a new in-depth look at the Lyceum shows by noted Dead scholar Nicholas Meriwether. And that all-important question of sound? Jeffrey Norman's luscious mixes are finally being heard in their full analog beauty. It all makes for a jolly good time, indeed!
GET LYCEUM 1972: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS GET THE HI-DEFINITION DOWNLOAD
LYCEUM THEATRE, LONDON ENGLAND 5/26/72
Fifty years ago, when Europe '72 was released, the third LP of the set included two sides of some of the finest, most uniquely beautiful music the Dead had ever played, and thankfully, recorded. The "Truckin'," "Epilogue," "Prelude," and "Morning Dew" knocked everyone's socks off. Decades later, when tape traders were able to hear the entirety of the final show of the Europe '72 tour, not only were they greeted with this spectacular 40+ minutes of music, but what is widely considered one of the best complete shows the Dead performed in their 30-year touring career. With "Playing In The Band" clocking in at more than 17 minutes, by far the longest version of this improvisational masterpiece by this point and ending their first set with the traditional second set closing "Not Fade Away>Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad>Not Fade Away", the Dead signaled throughout this show that they wanted to leave everything on the stage. They clearly weren't out of gas and wanted this tour to keep rolling. If there was one show that encapsulates the entirety of the excellence of the Europe '72 tour, it's this one. Pigpen would sing a few songs this night, the final show at which Pigpen sang, as he left the band a few weeks later. – David Lemieux
GET LYCEUM THEATRE, LONDON ENGLAND 5/26/72
IN AND OUT THE GARDEN: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN '81,'82,'83
Numbered and limited to 12,500, this 17CD set celebrates the band’s rich history at “the world’s most famous arena,” introducing six previously unreleased shows recorded at MSG between 1981 and 1983. It offers a front-row seat to the Dead in the early 1980s, an overlooked and underestimated era of rebirth for the band. At the time of the recordings, the group featured Brent Mydland. Mydland’s vocal power and colorful keyboard palette energized the band, invigorating older material like “The Wheel,” “Truckin’” and “Eyes of The World.” He also gave the band more musical flexibility, which encouraged them to dust off rarely aired treasures like “Dupree’s Diamond Blues” and “Crazy Fingers.”
IN AND OUT OF THE GARDEN touches on the three-year period after 1980’s GO TO HEAVEN was released, a time when the Dead were constantly on the road, playing more than 200 dates. While they were in no rush to return to the studio during this time, they continued to write new music. In 1982 and ’83, the band performed most of the songs that would appear on 1987’s IN THE DARK. The new collection includes performances of four songs from that album – “Touch Of Grey,” “Hell In A Bucket,” “Throwing Stones,” and “West L.A. Fadeaway” – plus the B-side, “My Brother Esau.”
IN AND OUT OF THE GARDEN comes in a custom box featuring new artwork by Dave Van Patten celebrating the band’s eclectic fanbase, with a cavalcade of illustrated Dead Heads. The collection also includes detailed liner notes by award-winning music journalist David Fricke, who explores the band’s connection to the Big Apple. It features newly restored and speed-corrected audio by Plangent Processes, mastered by Jeffrey Norman.
GET IN AND OUT THE GARDEN: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN '81,'82,'83 GET THE HI-DEFINITION DOWNLOAD
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK, NY 3/9/81
“We’re just now starting to loosen up to the point where we were, say, back in 1970, ’72, where we can start drifting from key to key, from rhythm to rhythm, and in the jams, some interesting stuff has come up. Once again, we’re tending to go new places every night.” - Bobby Weir, Rolling Stone, 1980
3/9/81 at Madison Square Garden delivers all that. It's got color and texture and freshness, keyboardist Brent Mydland's Hammond organ painting a new layer for the Dead to dabble on. And dabble they did, from the "shot out of a cannon" opener of "Feel Like A Stranger" to the "fleeting romance of 'Althea,'" to the high-gloss 80s blues of the first set to the second set, both intense ("China>Rider", "Samson And Delilah," "Estimated Prophet") and dramatic ("Ship Of Fools," "Stella Blue) in its ability wrap you up its spirals and accents. It's all undergone Plangent Processes tape restoration and speed correction, with mastering by Jeffrey Norman. Hot, hot, hot!
GET MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK, NY 3/9/81 GET THE HI-DEFINITION DOWNLOAD
Bobby Weir - ACE 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITIONS
This winter will see a handful of releases celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bobby's ACE. There will be a 2CD set which pairs a remastered new mix of Bobby’s solo debut with new versions Bobby recorded earlier this year at Radio City Music Hall with the Wolf Bros. featuring The Wolfpack and special guests Tyler Childers and Brittney Spencer. There will also be limited-edition 180-gram custom pearl white vinyl and 180-gram black vinyl. Each release has been remixed by Derek Featherstone and mastered by GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer David Glasser and produced for release by Bobby and Derek.
PRE-ORDER ACE (50TH ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION) [2CD] PRE-ORDER ACE ON PEARL WHITE VINYL PRE-ORDER ACE ON BLACK VINYL PRE-ORDER THE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
AMERICAN BEAUTY (DOLBY ATMOS MIX)
"Immersive Mixing Wizard" Steven Wilson was at the helm of one of our first forays into Dolby Atmos and boy, does it sound GREAT! Once a sound experience enjoyed only in movie theatres, immersive or spatial audio is making its way to fans. Atmos expands the existing surround audio systems by adding height channels, allowing sounds to be interpreted as three-dimensional objects.
“Unsurprisingly, Wilson’s Atmos mix is absolutely incredible. What he’s achieved is simply remarkable, especially for an album of this vintage. Nearly every instrument is assigned to its own speaker for an ultra-wide immersive presentation, yet the massive soundstage still gels and retains the feel of the original stereo mix.” - ImmersiveAudioAlbum.com
Steven Wilson is a singer, songwriter and GRAMMY®-Nominated (many times over) Immersive Audio Producer. Currently Steven is on tour as the lead singer and songwriter for British rock band, Porcupine Tree. Learn more about Steven Wilson here.
Learn more about Porcupine Tree and their current tour here.
GET THE AMERICAN BEAUTY (DOLBY ATMOS MIX)
What's In Store
In The Community
It's about to be high time for holiday cheer. We've got a handful of festive Grateful Dead designs made for your social media and we've got plans to make a few new ones too. Post up now or later, we don't mind. Simply download your selected art to your desktop and upload as your profile picture or animation.GET 'EM HERE
GOOD OL' GRATEFUL DEADCAST
A city-by-city tour of EUROPE '72, a double dose on Veneta, Oregon's Sunshine Daydream concert, a drop-in by the one and only Bobby Weir, it's been a busy year for the GOOD OL' GRATEFUL DEADCAST and we're only halfway through Season Six. If you're not already a long-time listener, join Author and WFMU DJ Jesse Jarnow and singer-songwriter and producer Rich Mahan on Thursdays as they weave together stories from Grateful Dead family members, Dead Heads, surprise guests, and historians with rare audio from the band. You never know who will stop by! Oh, and all episodes are now being transcribed for posterity and greater accessibility.
We want to hear from you!
Did you hitch an unforgettable ride? Make lifelong friends on Shakedown Street? Marry the gal with scarlet begonias tucked into her curls? Tell us (briefly) about the magic moments, the tryin' times, anything the Grateful Dead helped see you through. You just might find your story on an upcoming episode of The Good Ol' Grateful Deadcast.
BINGE HERE SUBMIT YOUR STORY
THE DEAD COVERS PROJECTS
We had un tres bon moment caravanning through Europe '72 for this year’s DEAD COVERS PROJECT. How 'bout you? You rambled through "Riders," delivered French and Ukrainian "China Cat Sunflowers," doubled down on "Tennessee Jed," "Brown-Eyed Women" and "Jack Straw," banded together as brothers and sisters, fathers and daughters, and proved, once again, that we truly are everywhere (and we're damn talented too!). You can check out this year's playlist at the link below.
No twiddling thumbs this winter. Grab your guitar and your gang and give us your best takes on your favorite Dead songs because the 2023 DEAD COVERS PROJECT is just around the bend. In fact, we'll be taking submissions as soon as January 1st. Simply upload your video to YouTube, tag it #DeadCoversProject, and we'll make it available to view on the band's official YouTube channel in February.CHECK OUT THIS YEAR'S SUBMISSIONS
30 DAYS OF DEAD
We hope you've been brushing up on your live Grateful Dead and making room on all your devices because we're about to drop a motherload of high-quality MP3 downloads on you. Yes, there will once again be 30 days of unreleased Grateful Dead tracks from the vault, one for every day in November, selected by archivist and producer David Lemieux. The tracks are yours, no strings attached, but we hope you’ll stick around for the challenge and the chance to win some sweet swag from the Dead.
You know your Ables from your Bakers from your C's, but can your finely tuned ears differentiate the cosmic "comeback" tour from a spacey 70s show? Each day we'll post a song from one of the Dead's coveted shows. Will it be from that magical night at Madison Square Garden in '93 or from way back when they were just starting to warm it up at Winterland? Is that Pigpen's harmonica we hear? Brent on keys? If you think you know, lob your answer in and you just might find yourself taking home our daily prize of a 2023 Grateful Dead wall calendar or the grand prize - BOTH of this year's coveted boxed sets!BOOKMARK THE PAGE