Europe ‘72: Epilogue

Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast


Season 5, Episode 10


Europe ‘72: Epilogue


Archival interviews:


- Jerry Garcia & Phil Lesh, by David Gans, Conversations with the Dead, 4/1983.


- Robert Hunter, by Denis McNamera, WLIR, 3/1978.


- Dennis “Wiz” Leonard, by David Gans, This Is All a Dream We Dreamed, 2011.


- Dennis “Wiz” Leonard, by Blair Jackson, Grateful Dead Gear, 2006.


JESSE: The Grateful Dead finished up a two-month 22-show European tour at the Lyceum in London on the 26th of May, 1972 and prepared to return home to California with some 73 hours of tape. Their original itinerary had called for the tour to close on the 30th of May, followed by five days at Olympic Studios in London, where the Rolling Stones had often recorded before becoming tax exiles. Presumably, the plan was to start going through the tapes. But that got scratched. Alan Trist of Ice Nine Publishing.


ALAN TRIST: Pretty much everyone flew home the next day. I don't even remember what I did; I may have stayed back and gone into the country and sort of cooled my heels at some country place or with some old friends or something. But I was pretty soon back on the job in the office — we all were.


JESSE: The band’s August newsletter wrote, “It was an incredible trip for all 43 1/2 of us (1/2 = Rudso, who was a real gem on the trip)”—Rudso being the newborn son of crew chief Ram Rod—“a real experience in working, traveling, fighting, and playing together. And despite the fatigue and discomfort of riding on two large coach-like buses for what sometimes seemed like an eternity (actually only about 1 1/2 months...but that's plenty long enough), we all managed to survive - although some of us were a little worse for wear - and we were all really glad to get home!” We ask you to once again rise and thank tour architect Sam Cutler. Sam had an especially rough reentry.


SAM CUTLER: What can I say? It nearly killed me doing it all. I had a burst ulcer when I got home, and the only person who came to see me in the hospital was Pigpen. Equipment guys did, but nobody from the band — only Pigpen. He came by briefly, and he was very ill.


JESSE: Poor Pigpen, man. He played one more show with the Dead, at the Hollywood Bowl, three weeks after they got home. There’s only an audience tape. His B3 playing is on point, but he doesn’t sing. If you think we’re having a hard time saying goodbye to Pigpen, we are. The Dead were starting to turn the page into their next chapter. At least in their mind, Pig would be part of it, as soon as he could be. But if chapters in Grateful Dead history can be clearly delineated, the show at the Hollywood Bowl was definitely the end of one and the beginning of the next. We spoke to promoter Sepp Donahower in our Listen To The River episodes last season, and he said this.


SEPP DONAHOWER: One show that was spectacular, I think for them and kind of a coming-of-age show, was when we put them in the Hollywood Bowl as a headline act. They played there once before, on a multi-act show, but this was really their coming out as a major arena artist. It wasn't easy getting them in there, because at that time the Hollywood Bowl was managed by the Los Angeles Symphony. I called up and said, “We want to bring the Grateful Dead in there” — the phone was all silent for a minute. But we got it in there, and it was a great show. And I think that was the last show that Pigpen performed with them.


JESSE: The lighting crew the Dead hired for Europe ‘72 became a fixture, pun totally accidental. Ben Haller.


BEN HALLER: After the tour, one of the first places we played was the Hollywood Bowl. And at the Hollywood Bowl, you can imagine, I'm standing with Rex, Steve Parish, a bunch of other people, and David Carradine, who was playing the Kung Fu guy, he came on stage and [was] being very obnoxious. We just kind of surrounded him and poor little David Carradine got walked off the stage. He didn't do any karate or anything… we threw him out of the thing.


JESSE: By the time they’d gotten back from Europe, lighting director Candace Brightman and follow-spot operator-slash-master tech Ben Haller were an item.


BEN HALLER: Candace and I were having a grand time in New York. We were on the seventh floor of a hotel in Brooklyn Heights, Columbia Heights, looking from the Verrazano Bridge to the 59th Street Bridge, all of Manhattan. One day, we look out, and there's a guy water skiing around Manhattan. Then we would join the band on the road. And about the second tour, [we were told that] everybody, band members, crew members — you cannot work for the Grateful Dead unless you move to California. So, we ended up going. We lived in San Anselmo for a couple of months, and then we found a house out in Salinas.


JESSE: From the relationship, the band’s lighting rig literally grew.


BEN HALLER: I'm hanging out with Candace — beautiful woman, brilliant, smart, we're having a good time. I built the follow spots. Back then, they didn’t have color changes for lights; or, if they were there, they were huge. A color change would be the size of a VW Bug. So I built these little smaller ones by hand, and pretty soon she could change light colors. It had four filters, and you could combine two — so you could go red, blue, or purple. Or you could drop ‘em all out and go white. We had a good old time.




JESSE: Post-production on the album began nearly as soon as the band got home. Dennis “Wizard” Leonard began the process. This is from Blair Jackson’s interview with Wiz. Thanks guys.


DENNIS “WIZ” LEONARD [2011]: When we're flying across the Atlantic, I was sitting across the aisle from [Bob] Matthews, and Matthews leans over and says, “Hey, Wiz, as soon as the gear gets back, I want you to play-pack all the tape.” Because we had fast-forward wound off a lot of tapes, the tape changes, back in there. And what I ended up doing was, I lived in the control room for — I don't know how long it was, but I played the whole tour. And Matthews and I talked about this the other day: he never knew that I actually sat and mixed everything. I went in there, lived in the control room and mixed the whole tour. The only thing I didn't do—because I was afraid to, as a new guy, afraid to ask—[was] ask for the 2-tracks doc to pull a 2-track.


JESSE: With the tape in order, the first step was to pull potential songs for the album. In the Dead’s vault, there were recordings marked Sub Reels #1 through #10. They contained all the contenders for the project, including some that didn’t make the cut, and it seems a few additional songs arrived on the final lists during the mixing stage. We’ve been highlighting the various finalists as they’ve come up over the tour, but we’ve posted a complete playlist of all the final choices, if you’d like to re-create the album selection process yourself. Grateful Dead archivist and legacy manager David Lemieux.


DAVID LEMIEUX: They physically spliced the versions for Europe ‘72 out of that master reel and put it on a sub reel to mix it from. So when we did Europe ‘72 the box set, everything had to be reassembled — because we did a remix, obviously. We didn't use the Europe ‘72 mixes. Jeffrey [Norman], it was very cool — he got to remix the “Truckin’” and the “Morning Dew” from the Lyceum. That was very cool to hear it without the vocal overdubs and things like that. Yeah, we basically reassembled the reels.


JESSE: Jerry Garcia’s handwriting is all over the tape boxes. We’ve posted some images as part of the Daily Dose on Dead social media. Except for the Hollywood Bowl gig on June 17th, the Dead had the month off. On June 3rd, Jerry Garcia got back to work gigging with Merl Saunders around the Bay Area. And on the 6th, he caught the third day of the Rolling Stones’ U.S. ‘72 tour, taking in the afternoon show at Winterland. And just after the Hollywood Bowl, at the behest of journalist/manager Al Aronowitz, Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, and Keith Godchaux also joined songwriter David Bromberg for a session at Wally Heider’s in mid-June.


AUDIO: “Demon In Disguise” [David Bromberg, Demon In Disguise] (1:27-1:57) - [Spotify]


JESSE: That was “Demon In Disguise” by David Bromberg, released later in 1972 as the title track of Bromberg’s new album. A few other tunes from those June ‘72 sessions would turn up on 1974’s Wanted Dead or Alive. There was some other Dead biz in June 1972. That month, Bob Weir’s Ace—recorded just before departure for Europe—made it into stores.


AUDIO: “Greatest Story Ever Told” [Bob Weir, Ace] (0:00-0:15) - [Spotify]


JESSE: And the Dead could be caught in movie theaters around the country that June in the documentary titled Fillmore, which we discussed in our episode last year, “The Closing of the Fillmore West.”


AUDIO: “Casey Jones” [Fillmore: The Last Days, 7/2/71] (5:02-5:24) - [Spotify] [YouTube]


JESSE: On Monday, July 3rd, the Grateful Dead—minus Pigpen—reconvened at Alembic to start the process of turning the multi-track tapes into a new album. Janet Furman of Alembic was the second engineer on the sessions.


JANET FURMAN: I was the person who loaded the tapes on the recorders. I would fast-forward or rewind to find the beginnings; that's kind of what the second engineer does. It was a process of, first of all, picking which were the best versions, and then deciding whether they were as good as they could be. So just about every vocal got redone. Fortunately, everything was well-enough separated that no one would know. Just about every vocal was overdubbed in the studio. The only vocals that were completely original were Pigpen’s — I don’t know whether he was satisfied with them, but I think he was just too sick at that point to be able to come in and change anything, unfortunately.


JESSE: We’ve also posted a complete list of session dates. The Dead worked on the album in a pair of two-week clumps, taking weekends off — from July 3rd through July 13th, minus the Fourth of July; and July 31st through August 8th. One sad bit is revealed.


PHIL LESH [7/22/72]: The reason we’re not doing any Pigpen songs tonight is—as you might have noticed—Pigpen isn’t with us, because he’s real sick at home, in a hospital in California. His doctors told him he can’t be on the road or doing recording, or any work at all, for about six months now. So, we hope that Pigpen will see you all next year, and we can take all your good wishes back home to him… makes me sniffle just to think of it.


JESSE: That was Phil Lesh talking to the crowd on July 22nd in Seattle, between the two groups of album sessions. The only Pigpen original on the album, “Mr. Charlie,” was mixed after most of the work had already been done, on August 14th, as if they’d been waiting for Pig to be well enough to come do some work. We’ll bust a myth here though: it’s sometimes reported that Merl Saunders added organ overdubs to Europe ‘72, but that’s not quite true. Merl did add some B3 parts on Skull and Roses the year before though, which we explored last year. Like Workingman’s Dead and Skull and Roses, the album’s production was credited jointly to Bob & Betty and the Grateful Dead. I wish we could’ve spoken with the late Bob Matthews more extensively about, well, everything, but we did speak with him a bunch about the finishing stages of Europe ‘72, of which he was rightly very proud.


BOB MATTHEWS: We did Skull and Roses and we did overdub vocals. We did them in the studio, and it sounded like they were in the studio. When we came back to do Europe ‘72, at this point, it was no longer Pacific High Recording — it was my studio, Alembic. They complained about how it sounded like it was in the studio. I said, “Okay, [you] want to recreate the vocal and mic environment?” If you’ll recall, I said each instrument had its own input, microphone, storage track. So we managed to collect enough amplifiers, max, and, out of the headphone output of each channel, powered a representation of each of the musicians’ cabinets, as it was on the ampline.


JESSE: That is, in the big room at Alembic—the same room where the band recorded Workingman’s Dead two years earlier—they set up a wall of amplifiers and ran the 16-track recordings out through them. Garcia’s guitar came out of one amp, Weir’s out of another, just like they were on stage.


BOB MATTHEWS [2020]: What I did for overdubs for Europe ‘72 was to recreate the stage.


BOB MATTHEWS [2021]: We duplicated the entire width of the stage, which was about 28, 30 feet wide. Between the inner part of that, we duplicated the layout of how the live stage was. So that included where Jerry's representative speaker stood, where Bobby stood, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.


BOB MATTHEWS [2020]: Each microphone that was on stage represented a source: a bass, Jerry’s guitar, the various components. There was one for each of them. The idea being that there was different leakage. So, what we did was, for the overdub, we played back the original tracks from the 16-track, and did not turn up the original vocal tracks. We recorded new vocal tracks with the leakage from the original 2-inch tracks being played simultaneously. So we got the correct phase sync as far as timing and sounding real, rather than sounding sounding overdubbed.


BOB MATTHEWS [2018]: We positioned them relative to how they were, attempting to put everything in phase. And because we did have this unique, discreet recording—discreet to the point of the cardioid pattern—and then put the vocal mics up with the monitors, and made a monitor mix, turned up the volume, so they approximated a relative level to the singing level that they were doing. And that's how we did the vocal overdubs for Europe ‘72, and why the vocal sounds so much better than Skull and Roses in that aspect.


JESSE: But this wasn’t vocal stacking like on American Beauty, they did all the harmonizing live.


BOB MATTHEWS [2018]: They tried to do it as was done. So yeah, it was three harp… three heart parmony. [Rich laughs] Three-part harmony, or two-part or whatever.


JESSE: Thanks so much, Bob, and fare thee well. One of the suggested names for the album was Over There, after the patriotic 1917 song about going to War. But on the track sheets, the working title is revealed as Steppin’ Out, which would be recycled into an excellent 2002 collection of the UK shows. At some point, Europe ‘72 took hold. Janet Furman.


JANET FURMAN: As far as choosing the songs and what order they would appear, that was mainly up to Jerry. I think Bob Mathews and Betty may have had a say in that, but Jerry made the final calls.


JESSE: Last episode, we spoke extensively about a song that didn’t make it onto the tour-end sub reels, a song the band didn’t start playing until nearly the end of the tour — meaning that they probably weren’t planning on trying to capture it on the album.


AUDIO: “Morning Dew” [Europe ‘72] (0:51-1:20) - [] [Spotify] [YouTube]


JESSE: The track sheet for “Morning Dew” is almost totally blank, showing only Garcia’s small vocal punch in and not even noting the song’s other tracks, the very last overdub for Europe ‘72, done on September 1st. We heard about Wiz’s “Morning Dew” experience at the Lyceum last time. The story continued slightly at home. This is from David Gans’s interview for This Is All A Dream We Dreamed.


DENNIS “WIZ” LEONARD [GANS, 2011]: Back home, I was walking toward the control room; the band was in, they had been in for a week or so, reviewing before they chose the sequence for the album. And Garcia burst out of the fucking control room, bounces over to me in real Jerry fashion. “Hey Wiz, guess what?” I said, “What?” He said, “‘Morning Dew’ from the Lyceum is absolutely on the album.” And he smiles, and he said, “And no one was in the truck.” It was like he embraced that, because it was the technological equivalent of what the band embraced musically — that, if we were doing it right, it just could happen. It would just make itself.


AUDIO: “Morning Dew” [Europe ‘72] (10:58-11:25) - [] [Spotify] [YouTube]


JESSE: Doing a last sweep of the vault, our archival team also turned up both Sub Reel #6 as well as a track sheet for “El Paso.” Turns out the band picked out the Rotterdam version from May 11th as a master take, with Weir, Garcia, and Lesh making a few passes at overdubbing vocals, plus new piano by Keith Godchaux. And that’s what’s being heard on the Europe ‘72: The Complete Recordings box.


AUDIO: “El Paso” [Europe ‘72: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 15, 5/11/72] (1:43-2:10) - [Spotify] [YouTube]


JESSE: Just as Europe ‘72 would bring the Dead’s music to the world, it would also carry the word of St. Dilbert.


BOB WEIR [7/22/72]: Are y’all hip to hypnocracy? It’s a new light for a fast fading world. I’m sure you’ll all want to investigate it as soon as you get a chance.


JESSE: “Is hypnocracy not the aspiration to know what it is?” concluded the liner notes to Europe ‘72. Alan Trist.


ALAN TRIST: I had a lot to do with the putting together of the copy on the album, as I did with all of the albums that the Dead produced in the ‘70s. Making sure, copy editing the list of venues, getting Willy’s little comment on there.


JESSE: Willy was Willy Legate, the author of the album’s liner notes, an old friend of Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter and Alan Trist.


ALAN TRIST: Willy had a way with words. Whether or not he was on the tour, he certainly got a lot of feedback. I think we were in contact with him as a placeholder in California, so he was there in some way. It was always a thing of: let’s find somebody different, or unusual, to make a contribution to this package. Willy would be the perfect candidate for that.


JESSE: In the liner notes, Willy wrote of the Bozos’ and Bolos’ rolling homes that, “the subtle difference in character and import and atmosphere between the two omnibuses was so profoundly hidden and enigmatic that you could never possibly understand it.” Willy Legate was neither a Bozo nor a Bolo, but probably understood hypnocracy before the wizened Dilbert achieved Sainthood. Back in the Palo Alto days, he’d been the first of the gang to experiment with LSD, writing to Sandoz for a free sample. For Garcia, Hunter, and Alan Trist, he was the just-slightly-older weirdo on the scene. Over the next few years after Europe ‘72, as St. Dilbert’s observations began to pepper the Dead’s newsletters, Willy Legate was often one of his channelers.


ALAN TRIST: I remember having several phone calls with him back in California. He was one of the people doing that. There weren’t many left though.


JESSE: When the Dead took their whole office staff to California, Willy Legate is who kept watch over the office. In later years, when the Dead took over a warehouse on the other side of the highway, Willy became the caretaker of Front Street.


ALAN TRIST: He was there all the time — I mean, he became, basically, the warden of Front Street and he lived in an apartment just around the corner. He was there the whole time in the later years. He kept the place clean and organized and ready for action. It was his domain.


JESSE: Alan also coordinated the album’s cover art.


ALAN TRIST: I remember working with Mouse and Kelley about the artwork for that album. I worked with them a lot in those days, including going down to the photographic studios where they had all the work done. They were very particular about how that was done.


JESSE: Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley had been the Dead’s close visual collaborators for years. They’d created the airbrushed mirrored rose for American Beauty and appropriated Edmund Joseph Sullivan illustration first for an Avalon Ballroom poster, then for the cover art to Skull and Roses. For Europe ‘72, they created what became remembered as the Ice Cream Kid, a rainbow-haired goofball in a red checkered shirt, smashing an ice cream cone into his forehead. Are we not men? Steve Parish.


STEVE PARISH: And there was the old bad joke about the Ice Cream Kid taking the test and couldn't get in his mouth. And so all of that bad humor got wrapped up in St. Dilbert and that thing. Humor is how you get down the road, and so the Bozo bus was full of laughs, man.We were all just yelling out funny jokes, and looking at people on the street — they're looking at us, we're looking at them.


JESSE: In Skeleton Key: A Dictionary For Deadheads, the artist Alton Kelley told Steve Silberman, “We were thinking about the cover for OVER THERE, which was what we thought Europe ’72 was going to be called. We were “over there”—we’d taken some designer drug, maybe DMT, and we were lying on the floor, and couldn’t get up. Then somebody told a joke about this spastic kid who won a contest by clapping ‘Deep in the Heart of Texas.’”


AUDIO: “Deep In the Heart of Texas,” clapped


JESSE: “When they gave him first prize, an ice cream cone—’Gee, thanks!’—he plopped it into his forehead. That’s when we thought of it.”


AUDIO: “Deep In the Heart of Texas,” clapped


JESSE: Let’s hang out for a minute with the images of Europe ‘72 for a moment, both the Ice Cream Kid, and a giant booted foot stepping through a rainbow, across the ocean, with a bit of checkered sock visible through a hole in the boot. They’re actually a bit of a change from the mood of the other Mouse and Kelley creations for the Dead. To talk about the art and iconography of Europe ‘72, please welcome back to the Deadcast, underground scholar Erik Davis, author of a heady newsletter titled The Burning Shore, as well as the brain-embiggening book, High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies. If you’re looking for some deep beach reading this summer, I absolutely recommend it.


ERIK DAVIS: I think I bought Aoxomoxoa first, which I also loved. But this is the one that I really listened to over and over again. For me, the cover art remains incredibly significant — almost kind of classic, like the primary encounter, along with Stealie and some of the other obvious images. To me, this really has always held a high place in my mind, capturing something about the Dead touring band, but also just a certain kind of energy of the counterculture that I think we don't memorialize quite as well, which is the kind of greasy kid stuff: MAD magazine, an element of sort of trashy satire. The kind of Bozos on the bus clown humor is sort of related to it, I think in some ways. But this figure of the Ice Cream Kid is just so perfect. When you think about Stanley Mouse, in terms of Dead iconography of course, there's the Mouse and Kelley Skull and Roses, the whole sort of idea of lifting imagery from the Victorian past and bringing it forward, and that sense of the kind of classic psychedelic poster art. But of course, there's this other dimension that we see very much in underground comics and Mouse’s own career, of this kind of hot rod culture, monster movie, EC Comics and, again, MAD magazine.


Mouse had this whole pre-California career in Detroit, really coming up with that Rat Fink stuff. Which was a marvelous surprise, but it also underscored something really important, which is how much of the hippie iconography, psychedelic iconography of the countercultural years, bubbles up from this earlier vein of kind of lowbrow weirdo, unsophisticated kid show bizarrity. That, to my mind, remains just as important as the sacred iconic mandala-like fantasy scapes that we might otherwise associate with psychedelic art. And you just see that in this Ice Cream Kid: the whole story is there. The goofiness, the idiocy, the kid-ness. These powerful icons that are as profane as they are sacred. I see that very much. Even if you just look at the ice cream blast on his third eye, it’s sort of like an exploding golden light on this dude's third eye, and you're like: wow, he's having a mystical experience! But of course, it's via an ice cream cone that, oops, missed his mouth and slams into his hilarious rainbow-colored hairstyle, which itself invokes various clowns and other iconography of the day.


JESSE: When the album was released, it came with a spread of Mary Ann Mayer’s wonderful tour photos, which we’ve been sampling in our Daily Dose on Dead social media. It also came with an advertisement for the Monster Company, the new t-shirt venture by Mouse and Kelley. While working on the art for Europe ‘72, the artists had asked the Dead for a $500 loan and started their first merchandising line. It might not sound like a lot, but for the first time, you could order a Dead t-shirt directly from the album. Just $3.95. The rock merchandising boom was finally getting into shape. Their new office, studio, and gallery was located in San Rafael, a homebase for them as well as other underground artists including Victor Moscoso and Dave Sheridan. It was a short walk or nearly instant drive from the Dead’s headquarters. Like the Dead, they would innovate in surprising ways, creating a new standard for 20-color silk-screen t-shirt printing over the next years.


AUDIO: “Deep In the Heart of Texas,” clapped


JESSE: The band’s summer newsletter that announced the completion of the album and the launch of the Monster Company also announced another new Dead-related venture. Sam Cutler had gotten right back to work after his hospitalization. In August 1972, he announced the establishment of a new business inspired by Europe ‘72 — Out of Town Tours, a full-service agency to book shows for the Dead, the New Riders, and other artists in their expanding family. But that’s also the next chapter. The Dead family’s ambitions were growing.


Seemingly the only person from the Dead camp who was bummed about the outcome of Europe ‘72 was lyricist Robert Hunter. His bitterness came in two flavors. He was bummed about the tour itself.


He told Steve Stilberman in 2001, “The Bolo-Bozo metaphor was a way of laughing it off, but the always incipient schism between crew consciousness and artist orientation became decisive. Every meal was a food fight. Sensitivity to cultures was nearly non-existent. It was not only insinuated but bluntly proclaimed that the show could not go on without muscle and tech. Strike was threatened. The band was intimidated and no one was able to call the bluff. I split off from the group at the end of that tour, feeling alienated, groundless and forlorn, eventually moving to England. Though I continued providing songs and collaborating with Garcia, in essence I retired from the Grateful Dead touring and business juggernaut after 'the '72 tour.” But a lot of Hunter’s feelings also seem to be bound up in the fate of the songs that he co-wrote for the album. This is Hunter speaking with WLIR’s Dennis McNamera in 1978.


ROBERT HUNTER [3/78]: There is a third album in that what I consider a series of Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty and then this Grateful Dead album — the live one, Europe ‘72.


JESSE: He was deeply attached to the songs, and believed they constituted a new LP of their own.


ROBERT HUNTER [3/78]: This was a surprise to me when this came out into a three-album set, because there was an album of songs, which was a companion to those, which had “He’s Gone,” “Jack Straw,” “Brown-Eyed Women,” “Ramble On Rose,” “Mr. Charlie, “Tennessee Jed.” And this is a fine, fat album of songs.


JESSE: And it’s true, you could totally make a great LP out of those tunes, plus “Comes A Time,” a veritable Europe ‘72 outtake. More than five years after the album’s release, Hunter was still lobbying for it.


ROBERT HUNTER [3/78]: I've asked Warner Bros., because they’re into putting out Best of the Grateful Dead albums sometimes, and they're doing a pretty nice job on that. But this I would like to put out as one record, which is a companion.


JESSE: Europe ‘72’s greatest hits in other words. Though Europe ‘72 contained three separate albums in some ways. An album of new songs, an album of old favorites like “Sugar Magnolia” and “Morning Dew,” and an album of jamming. Alan Trist.


ALAN TRIST: Those songs are amazing. I think it was Europe ‘72 where a lot of those songs were played for the first time and then they came out on a live album. Hunter and Garcia had written those songs in relation to the idea of a studio album.


ROBERT HUNTER [3/78]: I think, [with] a few in those three albums, I hit kind of the peak of my songwriting.


ALAN TRIST: He was very much in the momentum of American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead at that point, which were these hugely successful studio albums that really highlighted his work as a songsmith with Garcia. So he wanted to continue that successful process, but the realities of the band’s touring and finances and relationships with Warner Brothers and recording contracts — one thing or another, it turned out differently.


JESSE: Sorry Bob. Great album, though!


AUDIO: “Ramble On Rose” [Europe ‘72] (5:43-6:00) - [] [Spotify] [YouTube]


Album Release


JESSE: On October 25th, Warner Bros. President Joe Smith sent out a short letter and a promotional 7-inch with “Ramble On Rose” on the A-side and “Jack Straw” and “Mr. Charlie” on the flip, a nice even representation of the band’s three songwriters, though it was never released as a proper single.


AUDIO: “Jack Straw” [Europe ‘72] (4:15-4:41) - [] [Spotify] [YouTube]


JESSE: As we always must remind, album release dates in the early ‘70s were slippery things, with announced dates not really becoming an industry-wide standard until later on. But in the case of Europe ‘72, there really was an announced release date. In the band’s November newsletter, they announced it’d be out the 5th of that month. The album starts turning up in newspaper ads and reviews around November 16th, so it probably started making it into stores in those weeks. It began creating experiences for listeners right away. Dave Speidel left us this story.


DAVE SPEIDEL: My father worked at the Minneapolis Star newspaper in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their staff got a free demo album of Europe ‘72 for review — nobody wanted it, so my father brought it home and gave it to me. That's how I became a Dead Head, listening to that album. Later, I copied it onto a cassette and got an old mail truck and drove across America. Picked up hitchhikers everywhere along the way. We were driving across Wyoming, blasting out Europe ‘72, and we had a bunch of Dead Heads in the can with me. We ended up camping at a free campsite in Sheridan, Wyoming, blasting Europe ‘72.


JESSE: A triple LP was a pretty big deal in 1972, just slightly less than two hours of music. Previously, there’d been George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass in 1970 and the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. Chicago released the 4-LP Live at Carnegie Hall in ‘71, too, but in some ways Europe ‘72 helped kick off the triple-LP arms race. Also in stores in November ‘72 was the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s equally legendary triple LP Will the Circle Be Unbroken. There are plenty of songs on Will the Circle Be Unbroken that overlapped into Jerry Garcia’s folk and bluegrass trips, but here’s a game for your next road trip — what connections can you find with Europe ‘72? I’m going to go with that they both have Hank Williams covers.


AUDIO: “Lost Highway” [Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Will the Circle Be Unbroken] (0:12-0:45) - [Spotify]


JESSE: Three LPs allowed the Dead to stretch out and get to where they wanted to go. Just like at their real shows, they didn’t want to be rushed. Europe ‘72 was a carefully sculpted set that opened up nearly all facets of the Dead experience. In some ways, it was the most perfect blend of the studio/live hybrid they’d first tried to achieve with Anthem of the Sun. It made new Dead Heads everywhere, like our friend Steve Silberman.


STEVE SILBERMAN: I am forever grateful to Europe ‘72, and to the particular performance of “China Cat Sunflower”/“I Know You Rider” on that album. I was in my friend Mark Wilsey’s room — he was my best friend in high school, one of my best friends. And we were listening to Europe ‘72, which had probably just come out. And we’re listening to “China Cat,” but it was during that transition that I had the moment, really, of understanding what the Dead were doing. It was because, up to that point, most of the music that I liked was vocal music, like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; music that told stories, like folk music and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. There was some kind of narrative going on.


AUDIO: “China Cat Sunflower” [Europe ‘72] (4:03-4:33) - [] [Spotify] [YouTube]


STEVE SILBERMAN: We might have been stoned or not — I do remember it being day, so maybe we weren't. Mark was a young guitar player: he would practice guitar while I wrote poetry across the room. He ended up becoming a professional guitar player, and I ended up becoming a professional writer as well as, you know, a lifelong Dead Head. And that moment was really the moment where that all happened.


AUDIO: “China Cat Sunflower” [Europe ‘72] (4:42-5:02) - [] [Spotify] [YouTube]


JESSE: In the January 4th edition of Rolling Stone, Tom Dupree raved, “I am convinced that God made the Grateful Dead so that they could be heard in concert. Besides the tremendous amount of music which the Dead plays at a date (usually they will play until they are stopped), the band exudes a laid-back, happy confidence that puts a flame in the soul and a smile on the face; yes it does. The group is a living sense of security and contentment for pop music watchers, and it is probably our most important band still functioning.”


Robot Hull wrote a pretty amazingly nasty review in Creem and, you know, that’s cool. Michael Bourne reviewed it for Downbeat and was way into LP 3. “It is as if the evolution of all the music of the Dead had been synthesized (or rather, quilted) into a definitive and brilliant piece,” he wrote. “Truckin' is rustic rock, bouncing breezily down a dirt road - in the center of London, even. Then Garcia and Weir move out, improvising through each other with everyone listening, abstracting the music further and further, at first rocking it all, then freer with Garcia and Weir alone and introspective. The communion is intimate and the band is gradually and organically involved again; the tension is heightened along an edge of rock rhythm until, after the crest, it is moved into the simple beauty of Morning Dew.”


French Dead freak Philipe Sicard spoke to us about seeing the Dead twice in Paris, and once in Luxembourg. He was on the Bus.


PHILIPE SICARD: I went to San Francisco to see the Dead after I saw them in Paris, of course. In Winterland, December 11th, ‘72. I saw Hot Tuna, Country Joe and the Fish was great. I saw Jerry Garcia play with Merl Saunders.


JESSE: Philipe was in the Bay Area when Europe ‘72 hit the streets.


PHILIPE SICARD: I was in Berkeley, I remember. It was November 25th, something like that. You could hear all the songs from the record in all streets, Telegraph Avenue and everywhere. On the campus of the Berkeley university, it was a big thing.


JESSE: And what do you do when you’re a Dead Head visiting the Bay Area? You go see Jerry Garcia.


PHILIPE SICARD: I talked to Jerry when I was in Berkeley, after a show with Merl Saunders. I just wanted to tell him that I was so, so, so happy to see him, and [it was] such great memory when he played in Paris and Luxembourg. The Keystone was a very small place with a bar. There were very few people — it was very laid back, very relaxed. I remember the first set, it was terrible. Jerry Garcia, he played out of tune all the time. He was so disappointing. He came out, came to the bar and had a beer; and then there was a second set, and this woman came onto the stage. She began to sing, and he was a complete… he was another Jerry Garcia. He was just great. At the end of the show when he came by, he went back to the bar to have another drink. I told him I felt stupid; I told him, “Jerry, thanks, Jerry — it was like an orgasm.” And he smiled, and he laughed, you know? That’s all I could say.


JESSE: I love it. Also, that adds a nice bit to solo Jerry Garcia lore, seemingly the earliest known appearance by Sarah Fulcher. The Dead were already changing, as Philipe noticed when he saw them at Winterland.


PHILIPE SICARD: They had a new repertoire because Pigpen was not there anymore. So they would like to play new songs, or songs they didn’t play in Europe, like “Friend of the Devil” or things like that. And new songs, like “Stella Blue.”


JESSE: And when he saw Garcia and Saunders at Longshoremen’s Hall, Garcia and Saunders played an early version of “They Love Each Other” a few months before the Dead debuted it. New chapters beckoned for the Dead, but it was time for Europe ‘72 to go on tour, as these listener submissions remind us. Mark Mumper had seen the Dead in August ‘72, but didn’t quite get it at first.


MARK MUMPER: When Europe ‘72 came out in the fall, I was drawn in by the clear, quirky, cartoony Ice Cream Kid and rainbow foot hole in the shoe imagery of the album cover. I began listening. On my fifth or sixth hearing of the “Cumberland Blues” from Wembley, I began to get what they were doing, and actually to become aware that I was getting it, that they were really playing. The open atmosphere of the “Truckin’” jam; the Grateful Dead free jazz of its “Epilogue” passage, and the “Prelude” passage leading to “Morning Dew”; the harmonic feeling of the opening of “Morning Dew”; the emotional story of “Brown-Eyed Women” — [these songs] opened me to a realm of expression in music and song that… I don’t know what verb to use for what it gives my heart and mind.


AUDIO: “Brown-Eyed Women” [Europe ‘72] (0:34-0:56) - [] [Spotify] [YouTube]


JESSE: The album made its way around the world. Stephen Gardiner got Europe ‘72 in New Zealand.


STEPHEN GARDINER: I'm a Brit, but my family emigrated to New Zealand when I was three years old. So the Grateful Dead had come upon the consciousness of one or two 17-year olds. We started talking to friends about it, and we started importing records from a famous record shop in North Wales called Records. They were our lifeline — we would get onto them and they would get a full record before they were released in New Zealand, and we would get good copies,better copies, better pressings of all the stuff that was coming out of San Francisco. So we became a little bit like a marketing department for Warner Brothers and others, because we’d get these records pre-release, and we’d get big orders — we’d get 30, 40. We’d all put our money together and work together. You’d get Aoxomoxoa x 6; Happy Trails x 5. We were all playing these and talking to anybody we could about them. Within a year or so, even Warner Bros. worked out that when Anthem or Aoxomoxoa came out, or Live/Dead, they had to double or triple that they would normally send to little old Dunedin in the south of New Zealand. They scratched their heads and go: I don’t know what the fuck’s going on, but we’ll send them what they want! And they did. So that’s how quite a San Francisco-based music scene started up in Dunedin. Dunedin’s a funny little town. They call it a city, but it's very small: 100,000 people, and it really was at the bottom end of New Zealand. It has a strange link with San Francisco.


JESSE: A late 19th century gold rush in New Zealand brought miners, and miners brought with them the opium trade, and Dunedin became a new port in an international black market.


STEPHEN GARDINER: The same trade routes were used to flood Dunedin with Californian Sunshine, into this place that really got a bit of a hip scene — a bunch of young people who did nothing more than watch from afar what kids were doing in London, in San Francisco and elsewhere. This stuff poured in: it was cheap and freely available. The mix of it was just an amazing thing, and it was the start of a vibrant, psychedelic explosion, if you like, on a small scale. Nothing like San Francisco. But people were able to enjoy themselves. The cops didn't know what was going on. There was also a steady flow from Africa and from the Far East, particularly what's known as the Golden Triangle, which is heroin-producing area. There was an amazing flow of unbelievable weed and hashish. And all this combined with people growing their hair long, goofing around and enjoying the Grateful Dead, and other bands — this was all at its height in 1972, when that wonderful triple album came out.


JESSE: That very same Dunedin psychedelic scene would yield some amazing music, including one of my all-time favorite bands, The Clean. Not quite Dead freaks, more just music freaks. Heartily recommended.


AUDIO: “Anything Could Happen” [The Clean, Compilation] (1:01-1:19) - [Spotify]


JESSE: Anything Could Happen. A great book about the underground trade routes in the Southern Hemisphere in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s is Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade, by Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter. Europe ‘72 spread across the world. We spoke with Sanjay Mishra in our episode called “Playing Dead [Part 1]” last year. He was a young music fan at the far end of the Hippie Trail in Calcutta in the mid-’70s.


SANJAY MISHRA: So the way we got American music was through hippies, who came to India and then ended up being broke or wanting to do more drugs and running out of money. So, gradually, they’d start to sell their stuff. They’d start with bigger items, and then come down to tapes, records, whatever. And eventually, those records would make it down to us. I remember cleaning a lot of weed on Live/Dead. I just remember Europe ‘72 very clearly, because that was on the playlist — in rotation, so to speak, all of the time, for a long time.


JESSE: Sanjay and his friends started what was almost certainly Calcutta’s first Dead cover band, Maja Maha. Check out the “Playing Deadepisodes for more of the story. We also got this contribution from Chiku Parbat in Calcutta, who seemingly missed Maja Maha by only a few years.


CHIKU PARBAT: I got into the music only around ‘80, ‘81, when Reckoning had come out. I remember it was “Bird Song” I heard that grabbed me for the first time. I’d never heard such acoustic guitar-led collective group improvisation. And I realized instantly that this was music of great beauty and depth — very liberating at the same time, in a very haunting kind of way. I was hungry for more and, as luck would have it, a copy of Europe ‘72 [came around]. When we heard it, miraculously, we put the stylus for the first time on the side with “Jack Straw” and “China Cat Sunflower,” the Paris performances. We were in heaven: we had never heard such music, which was so liberating and beautifully joyful.


AUDIO: “China Cat Sunflower” [Europe ‘72] (1:02-1:24) - [] [Spotify] [YouTube]


CHIKU PARBAT: By the time we got to the “Truckin’”-led jam leading onto “Morning Dew,” I had become a Dead Head for life. I realized the tears were involuntarily streaming down my eyes, and I was totally overwhelmed. I wanted to hear everything that this band had put out. That particular evening where I heard my first brush with Europe ‘72, it was a life-changing event. It made me a Dead Head for life.


JESSE: Europe ‘72 itself became an anchor, a strangely smiling figure in a turbulent universe. Andrew Stuart contributes this.


ANDREW STUART: I came to Europe ‘72 and the Grateful Dead in general at 15, in the wake of psychedelic experiences that blew open my life in ways both beautiful and devastating. Other music was the soundtrack to those psychedelic experiences: The Beatles’ “It’s All Too Much”; “Interstellar Overdrive” by Pink Floyd. But the Dead’s music helped with what, these days, they call it integration. For weeks at a time, I did indeed feel tired and broken, my tongue twisted with words half-spoken and thoughts unclear, and the music was a solace, a bosom for my pillow. Europe ‘72 seemed to suggest an ecstasy on the far side of the existential explosions and upheavals. It's the sound of psychedelic optimism. Much later, YouTube videos confirmed what I intuited then, that this music was played and sang through smiles. The buoyancy of songs like “He’s Gone” and “Ramble On Rose” in particular showed that it was possible to roll on with a cosmic sense of irony, and that there was solid footing in the American mythos.


JESSE: In an age when liner notes were the topic of deep ponderance, the brief fragments of Hypnocracy and St. Dilbert were the opposite of a clarion call, but an obfuscating anti-message, perhaps a forerunner JR “Bob” Dobbs and the deeply hypnocratic Church of the SubGenius. Erik Davis.


ERIK DAVIS: A really key gesture inside of, particularly West Coast Prankster-derived psychedelic psychedelia, which is kind of a gesture of disavowal. You are not the guru; you don’t know what’s going on; nobody knows what’s going on; if you pretend you know what’s going on, you should be avoided. This sort of release of the sacred power or sacred knowledge that can easily come up in spaces where there’s psychedelics, where there’s religious ritual, where there’s out-of-body experiences, altered states. It’s very easy, as we can tell from today’s psychedelic landscape, to start to believe your own hype and to become infatuated with your own visions. There’s a sort of charisma that comes from these experiences that can be very intoxicating. So there’s this primal Prankster gesture of letting it go, of making fun of it, of releasing it, of winking but saying nothing — not building a system. Not saying, ‘Wait, if we had this synchronicity and that synchronicity, that must mean that the structure of the cosmos…’ you don’t do that. That’s actually moving against the medicine. And that gesture, I think, is really key. Again, I think that’s part of what’s happening with the whole humor that Europe ‘72 kind of reveals that a lot of the other records don’t do in quite the same way, where they maintain some of that not taking their bullshit seriously kind of attitude. Which, to me, is all about: we’re all just Bozos on this bus. We might have enlightenment experiences, but we’re still Bozos on this bus. We’re all on the Bus together — we don’t know where it’s going, we don’t know who is driving. That kind of humility enabled them to not become… yeah, just not get too far up their own story of what they were doing. And maybe even to maintain being a band with these outsized personalities, and not become more like a cult or something.


JESSE: For Dead Heads, Europe ‘72 was legendary right away. The liner notes listed the full itinerary, and it was obvious the album was only the beginning. The hunt was on. Please welcome Corry Arnold of the Lost Live Dead and Hooterollin’ blogs.


CORRY ARNOLD: I have an older cousin from New Jersey, and his best friend and former roommate moved to California and had 500 albums. Now, we've all got 500 albums. But in 1974, that was a big deal. And they were all cool. Occasionally, I’d go over there with my cousin, and his friend would let me play whatever I wanted. He had the Glastonbury Fayre triple album because he was a Gong completist. He didn’t like the Grateful Dead — he was a Gong completist, in 1974. So I would play it, and I had no idea the thing existed. And here was this amazing copy, an amazing performance of “Dark Star” that was completely different than Live/Dead, had been left off Europe ‘72. It was like a whole ‘nother world. I would tell people: there’s another album with “Dark Star” on it, and they’d go: No, there’s not. Yes, there was! I always wanted to buy the album, but it was impossible. But in the olden days, college towns and big cities had used record stores, but it was more like antiquing — they weren’t collector items, you just looked through everything. When I went to college in ‘75, I went to Rasputin’s Records every day pretty much, and would look through every single rock album. This was the old tiny Rasputin’s—later, a pizza place called Blondie’s—and I’d look through every album. If you found what you wanted, they were cheap. And lo and behold, after a year of looking, I came across the Glastonbury Fayre album: all the packaging with the pyramid and everything. $2.50. I looked it up with inflation, by the way; now, it’s $12. $2.50… it was incredible. I bought it, and then when I said to people, well, there’s another album, and they’d go, No there is not — then I could say: yes, there is! The Glastonbury Fayre album was the first indication, to me—remember, there were still bootlegs, but no tapes or anything—that something else was going on in Europe, and we only got the barest surface of it. Glastonbury Fayre was the only kind of iceberg poking above the water. So Mike White, wherever you are, thanks a lot for letting me listen.


JESSE: Uli Teute sent us a Relix tape trading ad from 1979 from a German Dead Head who was trying to collect the entire tour. By then, he had found exactly half. He was still missing the first night at Empire Pool, Newcastle, Aarhus, the Beat-Club session, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Lille, Munich, and the 2nd night at the Lyceum. In 2001, when the first edition of the Taping Compendium came out, there were still some missing tapes. The tour opener, parts of the second night at Empire Pool, and the third night at the Lyceum only circulated as ugly audience recordings. Aarhus was an incomplete soundboard, as was the Beat-Club, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt. Bickershaw was a mix of audience tape and board fragments. Nothing from the second night at the Lyceum circulated at all. And even of the soundboards that existed, a few shows were only around in hissy, multi-generation copies. Nothing like the beautiful tape pulled in the Alembic truck. Both Dick Latvala and David Lemieux curated some excellent Europe ‘72 releases from the Dead’s vault — specifically Hundred Year Hall, Rockin’ the Rhein, Steppin’ Out With the Grateful Dead. But if you’ve reached this point in this season of the podcast, I hope you can understand why all these virtually unheard multi-track tapes might be seen as a problem to be solved, and how there was really only one solution. Please welcome ace problem solver, Grateful Dead archivist, enthusiast, and legacy manager David Lemieux.


The Complete Recordings


DAVID LEMIEUX: The Grateful Dead Europe ‘72 box set was, I think at the time, certainly the most ambitious project that I'd ever thought of, or even had ever heard of. To this day, it remains that, in terms of the scope of the project. Around 2008, I really put a lot of thought into the complete run — 22 shows. I remember in a couple of meetings in 2007-’09 essentially being laughed out of the room. I remember, derisively, basically being snorted at: how many people are gonna buy this? One? I remember thinking, well, I’m gonna buy it… so there’s one! Yeah, maybe I know at least one’s gonna buy it. But I had it lined up that we would do compilations, breakouts, a fancy box — I had a steamer trunk in mind, to do it in some kind of steamer trunk with the stickers on it. I had this whole thing visualized. Big resistance, but primarily from one person. He was confident that he was right, and I was confident that I was right, and I held a lot less sway than he did.


JESSE: But management changes and Grateful Dead tapes stay the same age. In 2010, Mark Pinkus took over.


DAVID LEMIEUX: We talked for three or four hours. My position was being elevated to Legacy Manager; his position was being elevated to head of Grateful Dead… whatever the title was at the time. We kind of mapped out our vision of the Grateful Dead legacy and how it could be presented, whether it was the music or the merchandise. We’re about the same age, he’s a year or two older than I am. He said, “One thing I want you to know, on this Europe ‘72 project: I think it’s a great idea, and I’m 100% behind it. It’s been greenlit — let’s do it.” That feeling of being supported… that’s all you want, is your vision to be supported, and to be trusted.


JESSE: The entirety of this podcast wouldn’t be possible if not for what happened next, so forgive us if we make it sound pretty action-filled and heroic and awesome, because it’s this next work that really makes our time travel possible. So, first, let’s imagine a montage of David getting the squad together. The first call was to longtime archival engineer Jeffrey Norman.


DAVID LEMIEUX: Jeffrey found a studio in the Bay Area, Prairie Sun Studio, up in Occidental, Petaluma — it's way out there. It's pretty cool, kind of on a farm. They gave him a long-term use of their studio at a very good rate. So Jeffrey was there for six or seven months. Because he was so busy mixing—everything was mixed from the 16-track—Dave Glasser did the mastering. So Jeffrey would mix the show, ship the files off to Dave Glasser, he’d master it. It was a very, I think, efficient system. I’d say the mixing probably started before the new year.


JESSE: Thank you David for making it happen. And thank you Jeffrey Norman and Dave Glasser for making the Alembic tapes sparkle again. Please welcome to the Deadcast, Jeffrey Norman, whose job it was to thread up the oversized reels made for the Alembicized Ampex MM-1000 16-track, and port them into the 21st century.


JEFFREY NORMAN: The transfer was actually done on a Studer machine. Some machines don't take those 14-inch reels — they are big. They're really heavy too. You have to have a great transport that can keep speed pretty constant at the beginning of a reel, because one side’s got this whole mass on the supply side and the other side, the take up side, there's nothing. So you have to have a good transport that can keep a speed really even. The Studer that I had, which is an 820, would accept those wide reels, because otherwise that is a big problem. The process was aligning the tape machine as best you possibly can. There's one set of tones for Europe ‘72, and the levels at the digital side were good, not too hot. 24 bit, you’ve got a lot of headroom. It was pretty straight ahead: nothing between the tape machine, and we went into Pro Tools. Then we sent those digital files to Plangent Processes, and then they were time corrected with Plangent, which I thought really helped it out, solidified the bass and everything.


JESSE: Here’s how “I Know You Rider” sounded at the tour opener on one of the audience tapes by a taper seemingly named Roy, until then, the only way to hear it.


AUDIO: “I Know You Rider” [4/7/72 audience tape] (0:22-0:42)


JESSE: Thank you Roy, most sincerely. This is like the he-used-to-be-an-alligator-before-I-cut-off-his-tail-and-painted-him-yellow of audio comparisons, but here’s how it sounded after Jeffrey was done with the 16-track mixes.


AUDIO: “I Know You Rider” [Europe ‘72: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 1, 4/7/72] (0:35-0:46) - [Spotify] [YouTube]


JEFFREY NORMAN: I worked Monday to Friday, and they had the studio Saturday and Sunday. They would reset the console at the end of Sunday night, so they could use the… I didn't need the studio, I just needed the control room. It was a nice older board, older Neve board. Very sweet board that had its good and bad. It sounded great, had limitations about how many reverbs and delays and things like that you could use. Which was okay, because it wasn't like this was going to be an effects-heavy kind of mix. They had an automation system for memory-assisted mixing. They had a great… what's called flying faders, which is really the best. So they had that, and they had this old console that sounded great. The room, the mixing room — it took me a little while to kind of get used to that sound, I ended up bringing in my own speakers, because I just had a hard time kind of gauging if what I was doing was going to sound the same when I took it out, you know, that kind of thing. But it was great. It got into a routine every day for five months.


DAVID LEMIEUX: He'll go into the studio about 9 or 10, and he'll work on that song all day. Then right before he leaves—he works long days—about 7 o’clock, he’ll send me really, really close, like done. And whether it's a 3-minute “Me and My Uncle” or a 25-minute “Dark Star,” he’s pretty much done at the end of the day for that song. He sent it to me and I listened to it many times that night, on headphones and on speakers. I sent him all those notes. Part of the deal is that I need to get him those notes before 8 AM, because when he goes back into the studio, the first thing he sees when he turns on his computer are my notes about last night’s song. And they’re very minimal by that point: maybe when we’re on the “Casey Jones” Weir part of the song, maybe turn Weir’s solo up or something. It’s very minimal.


JEFFREY NORMAN: I like the combination of both. I like to use a fader to mix it all, but I like some of the advantages that you have in the digital world too. So I'm looking at both, using the faders but I look at the source material, as it’s essentially being played back. Instead of a tape machine over there, it’s a digital machine playing back. One great advantage of having digital as the playback is that I can do additional little tweaks of EQ, [or] instead of having to bring a fader down when there’s noise, I can just mute it in the digital domain and it stays that way. I don’t have to worry about bringing the fader up and down. I can’t use headphones — they’re too forgiving I think. [For] speakers, I like Meyers. There’s a little place here, a relatively small place, [I got] Meyer HM1 speakers. I use headphones particularly when I’m editing audience bridges, those kinds of things. I try to cut things down to be sort of a Grateful Dead length between songs, if you know what I mean. Not like bam bam, but 30 or 40 seconds, 50 seconds between songs, because that feels more natural. I try to make sure it sounds [good], if there’s a story going on that you can hear people talking that you want to hear. I try to make it so it’s seamless, and that time I’ll use headphones.


JESSE: Compared to the engineers who created the original album, it’s safe to say that Jeffrey stood a far lower chance of being accidentally dosed with LSD on a work day. But, compared to pretty much any other archival tape he might be mixing, there’s still probably a bit of a contact high in the aura.


JEFFREY NORMAN: Each show is a little bit different. A huge change from show to show, but I would always start with the sound of the drums and the ambience of the drums for each show — tweak that for that particular show, then build from there. Once I got something built, then a lot of it would stay the same for a show. There [were] not real good audience tracks. Talking Europe ‘72, in a lot of cases, there were no audience tracks. You just had to put in audience where you can find them, from the ambience of the other tracks.


JESSE: And it’s true, on the track sheets for Europe ‘72, there are almost no audience tracks allotted. It was a task Betty Cantor Jackson would take up on Reckoning and Dead Set in 1980. For you freak completists out there—and by you, I mean me—it seems like Paris is the only city in Europe where they set up mics to capture the audience. And of the Paris performances they pulled for Europe ‘72, they overdubbed over the audience tracks on everything except “Tennessee Jed” anyway.


AUDIO: “Tennessee Jed” [Europe ‘72] (6:46-7:08) - [Spotify] [YouTube]


JESSE: When the Dead picked the individual songs to include on Europe ‘72, they’d cut them from the master reels and went to work overdubbing.


JEFFREY NORMAN: The songs that were pulled were on a separate reel. For the big reels, you'd have to find that spot. But it was pretty easy: there goes a splice, you roll back, open it up, be really careful and you can cut it back in. Generally, that all works really well. Analog seems to be very forgiving when you cut it and put it back together. The only inconsistency was the fact of songs [on which] they had done overdubs. For the original Europe ‘72, they did a lot of vocal overdubs. So those things were moved around, and getting to those… that was a special problem, just because the sound changed. And even though they really tried to record it, make it have some ambience on those tracks, it did sound a lot different than the live [version] — the vocal tracks sounded different, because they were much cleaner. They were kind of interspersed where necessary, if Pig didn’t play on a song; if they had a track open, the vocals would go there. They tried to keep the original vocals as much as possible. But some songs, they didn't — they had to go over the original vocal tracks. When I mixed, I tried to be as true to the performance as possible and use… even if the performances were a little bit weaker, I just took it upon myself to make it as original as possible. So some of those songs that were on the original Europe ‘72 had vocal overdubs; where I could, I would use the original vocal. They were never bad. In all the work I've done with the Grateful Dead, it's truly amazing how seldom Jerry is out of pitch. He is a great singer as far as [pitch]. I worked on something recently, I go: god, Jerry’s a little bit out of tune there. It was noteworthy because it was so rare. In any case, in those tracks, I thought the vocals were generally pretty good. They might have been a little weaker than the studio versions. Sometimes they’re off-mic, those kinds of problems that happen live. It’s still not the same kind of ambience of a live performance. It doesn’t sound the same. But it did give a little bit more of an ensemble feel, so the newly recorded vocal didn’t sound so stark.


JESSE: It was also good to remember that he was mixing, as Zacherle once put it, the Grateful goddamn Dead.


JEFFREY NORMAN: I did have a really good time mixing some of the big jams: some “Dark Star”s, some of those big jams that could lend themselves to a little bit more space. I tried to make things a little spacier when they said to me, hey, I’m supposed to be bigger and spacier here. Sure, take that fader and crank it up on the bass… [laughs]


AUDIO: “Dark Star” [Europe ‘72: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 21, 5/25/72] (21:00-21:30) - [Spotify] [YouTube]


JESSE: That was the May 25th “Dark Star.”


JEFFREY NORMAN: Or in the build in “Morning Dew,” the middle build where it climbs up and it’s pretty strong — sometimes, the bass isn’t really powerful there. I would try to either add EQ at that point, just depending on what Phil played at that peak point. Or sometimes, the recording, just depending on where he was in the neck. But the feeling is that it really should get to a peak. So sometimes I would just try to boost that.


AUDIO: “Morning Dew” [Europe ‘72: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 19, 5/23/72] (5:55-6:25) - [Spotify] [YouTube]


JESSE: And the May 23rd “Morning Dew.”


JEFFREY NORMAN: Every once in a while, I'll hear a “China Cat” — there was a really good “China Cat,” I think from a Paris show. I’ll hear that on my Apple Music playlist that I just happened to put on in the morning that will be “Grateful Dead and Similar,” that Apple playlist. Of all the mixes that came from Europe ‘72, that’s the one they pull out. Then I go, “Man, that sounds really good.” Then I realize: Oh, it’s that one, that mix.


AUDIO: “China Cat Sunflower” [Europe ‘72: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 11, 5/3/72] (4:32-4:54) - [Spotify] [YouTube]


JESSE: It could be Jeffrey’s mix. It could also be the original Europe ‘72 version, drawn from the Paris shows. Whichever version and however it got there, good ears all around, Jeffrey, Bob, Betty, Jerry, and I guess even you too, Apple Music algorithm.


AUDIO: “China Cat Sunflower” [Europe ‘72: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 11, 5/3/72] (5:17-5:33) - [Spotify] [YouTube]


JESSE: This story came across our Deadcast Stories transom too late to include in our Paris episode, but I think it’s lovely, and we’re going to include it here. This comes via Fernand Berger-Vazq.


FERNAND BERGER-VAZQ: My grandpa John was the director of sound engineer[ing] at L’Olympia. Believe it or not, he was not a fan of pop music at the time; he was more into jazz music and classical. [He was] conservative on the culture. When the Dead came to town, he was amazed. He thought, Oh, what is this? He was in love with that music. The first time they came in, he thought, If Wes Montgomery was still alive, this would be his sound of the ‘70s. It sounded like jazz, according to what my grandpa told me. He remembered the smell of wandering around the theater. It was really one of his favorite dates, along with [other acts], among other African ambient music at the time. When the Grateful Dead came, he was amazed.


JESSE: The Dead returned to Europe a few times after 1972, first with a miniature tour with a giant sound system in 1974. After that, just like before Europe ‘72, there were a number of false starts. In 1976, they were supposed to play Wembley Stadium with Santana. In 1978, there were supposed to be European shows to go along with the trip to Egypt. They made it back not once but twice in 1981, finally playing the Rainbow Theatre where they were supposed to open Europe ‘72, and then again for another tour in 1990, where they returned to the venue formerly known as Empire Pool, then Wembley Arena. All of those are epics in their own ways, though Europe ‘72 laid the groundwork for them all: a two-month parade across Europe, equally unforgettable to band, audience members, and future listeners. And though most cities in Europe aren’t likely to have Dead-themed venues or bars with Dead nights like in the States, there’s also a real network of European heads. Thanks to so many of them for speaking with us over these episodes, helping us connect with many others, assisting with translation, and acting as heady tour guides. And not only are there European heads, there are now European Dead bands in nearly every country the Dead visited in 1972. Bill Giles, who saw shows at Empire Pool, Bickershaw, and Lyceum, has a fascinating perspective on the spread of the scene. He’s been playing keyboard in various Dead bands for decades.


BILL GILES: I was living in France, in Paris, in the ‘90s. When Jerry died, there was this sort of great awakening, as [has] happened in a great many places. I met up with a number of guys, Dead Heads and musicians. Indeed, they had their own band called Train Fantôme — Mystery Train. They organized a wonderful event that took place in January of ‘96 to celebrate the life and the music of Jerry Garcia. [It was] a whole bundle of musicians of all different styles, people who the music of Garcia had touched in different ways. There was a whole Sunday from 3 in the afternoon to 11 at night. A wonderful day. I started playing with these guys, and then we started doing a whole load of gigs. There were a number of young French guys who had been in the States, been in the Dead scene, and were really keen to organize events. So we played some place out in the country, that was cool. Looking for a chateau… lots of chateaus in France. We did a wonderful place called Le Divan du Monde, the Bed of the World, in Paris. We called that To Lay Me Down. And then there were some others on a barge. We played up in Potsdam, near Berlin — the Ship of Fools. Anyway, there’s a whole set of these gigs. The band was called Deadicace, which was “dedication” in French, but spelled D-E-A-D in our case. When I left France, we continued; we still did a few gigs, Paris, and the band came over and we played a couple of festivals in England. We played in Germany and in Amsterdam. That scene ended, if you like, and I came back to England. I now play with this band the Grateful Dudes. The Grateful Dudes have been in existence for about five years. We do regular gigs in London. But this year, there’s gonna be an outdoor festival to celebrate the music of the Grateful Dead, and in particular, the 50th anniversary of the Europe ‘72 tour. It’s going to take place on an organic farm in the Cotswolds, near Cirencester, in Gloucestershire. It’ll be happening on the first weekend of July — Saturday, the 7th of July. Profits from the event, if there are any, will go to charity. We hope to assemble as many people as possible in the UK who saw the Grateful Dead or who have liked their music, many of whom have probably gone into a bit of hibernation. What we’d really like to do is encourage people to come out from their hibernation — families, work, and all the other things that prevent people from going to music concerts and sort of staying with the scene. We hope that with this gig, the 7th of July, lots of people come out and have a great time. I might add we’re also doing three nights in Germany, Saxony in Germany, at another Dead Head festival. We’ll be doing three successive nights playing that.


JESSE: Dead freaks unite! A more recent convert to Europe ‘72 is Oteil Burbridge, bassist for Dead & Co., who went deep into the Dead’s catalog when he took up the bass chair. Oteil is the co-host of the wonderful podcast Comes A Time, who were also kind to have Rich and me on as guests recently. We talked with Oteil more extensively during our “Playing Deadepisodes.


OTEIL BURBRIDGE: I love the way it sounds. I love Phil’s sound back then — it's just like… unbelievable that he's getting that sound in 1972. Just unbelievable. But also, the band, just where they were as a band… you could feel that they're of one accord, of one mind. Everybody's on the same page, everybody's on the same drugs. Everybody's on the… you know what I mean? That's such a special time for that type of creativity to happen. It just kind of has a halo around it.


JESSE: There’s only one way to properly sign off from this season of the Deadcast, which is with one of the core tenets of Hypnocracy, thus far unmentioned. This comes from David Gans’s conversation with Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh in 1983, transcribed in Conversations with the Dead. David worries that knowing too much about the music might rob it of some of its magic.


DAVID GANS [4/83]: I've often felt like Toto the dog, pulling back the curtain and exposing the guy working the machine. I would have been much happier believing in the Wizard. Knowing how it works takes the romance right out of the situation.


JERRY GARCIA [4/83]: Knowing how it works is the romance of it. That great Hypnocratic saying, “In the sea of Hypnocracy, the shore is just another wave.” [everyone laughs] One of the sayings of St. Dilbert… isn’t that fabulous?


PHIL LESH [4/83]: Yep…


JERRY GARCIA [4/83]: That says it all right there. [continues laughing] That’s the whole treeth. The truth and the treeth.


DAVID GANS [4/83]: The treeth?


JERRY GARCIA [4/83]: Yeah, there’s the truth and the treeth. The treeth of the matter. That’s the treeth of the matter.


PHIL LESH [4/83]: The torth?


JERRY GARCIA [4/83]: Yeah, the torth!


JESSE: And that’s us here at the Deadcast — bringing you the treeth, the whole treeth, and nothin’ but the treeth. See you next time.


AUDIO: “Playing in the Band” [Europe ‘72: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 21, 5/25/72] (13:52-14:22) - [Spotify] [YouTube]