Do you like the Grateful Dead?

Do you like the Grateful Dead?

  • Yes

    Votes: 284 59.4%
  • No

    Votes: 194 40.6%

  • Total voters
    478

Cedar

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,712
I often wonder how many people don't like the Dead because most of what they have heard is the live era with Donna?

Personally, I much prefer the post-Donna era of what someone once called the Professional Grateful Dead. Check out some of the summer of '89 shows--ridiculously good playing, singing, harmonies, insane jams, sticking the landings, joy...a band firing on all cylinders.
 

TELECASTER88

Member
Messages
174
The Dead were a band I wrote off from the beginning because of my roots in punk. But enough friends over the years with good taste swore by them, or at least swore by certain eras of them, that I felt like I needed to figure them out.

For about ten years I did an annual attempt to grok them, following everyone's advice, etc, and maybe made a little headway every few years.

Then, maybe three years ago, it absolutely clicked for me, and I became a huge fan. I now love everything through Mars Hotel. Once the fusion elements creep in they start sounding like what I always imagined they would sound like, and it's not really my cuppa tea. The live shows are still good, but the studio recordings don't do much for me at that point.
 
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Jorge E

Member
Messages
4,478
I have had a like/hate relationship over the years. When I was in high school in the bay area in the late 70's they were just IT for a lot of people. I went on a date with a girl to see them at Winterland in 1977. I'd just seen Frank Zappa there a year earlier and he put on a seamless 90 minute show with a hyperactive drummer (Terry Bozzio) and I thought that was pretty great.

So the Dead show starts off and after 45 minutes they are taking a 30 minute break backstage. Nobody in the crowd seems to mind, they are playing volleyball. The group comes back, do a few more songs. Singing is terrible. Nobody seems to mind. They take ten minute breaks between each song. Nobody seems to mind. We left early and no that date wasn't really the start of anything great.

I did see them 4 or 5 more times over the years. One particularly fun one was around 87 at Frost Amphitheater. I saw them at Oakland Coliseum once and it seemed like they just could not get off the ground. Excruciating. Jerry had a MIDI guitar and was making elephant noises.

I've come to appreciate them more over the years but still don't own any CDs or anything. From time to time I'll watch a show on YouTube.
I get this . Them the Starship and Journey maybe a lesser degree Montrose had a strong hold . My peers who had older hippie brothers and sisters were into them and I went to the shows . I even in my 15 year old brain noticed a formula the 2nd set being the somewhat freeform and a guarantee One more Sat nite on a sat show . I went to see em 10 times . It was easy cause they played 4 night runs every few months and thr rule was you were suppose to go to multiple . Running in with Deadheads pushed me away . When I first saw em they could be critical ,

bad nite , not connecting etc but by the last shows I saw it was ,


magic and belittling if you questioned it ,

Bob is just not really a slide player ?


I decided it wasn't for me and the last show may have been the Warfield Dead set/reckoning stuff . Saw em one more time at the Bill Graham memorial and thought they sounded tired .....So not for me and in recent time come across better Dead heads then my teen years . I admit I liked side 2 of Garcias first solo album . A nice set of sounds
 

Jarick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,932
No, not for me.

I was obsessed with the music video for Touch of Grey when I was a little kid.

But I can't get into jam music at all, it's too meandering.
 

ChrisVereb

Member
Messages
2,243
I have never understood the appeal. Still don’t.
It’s an easy shibboleth when feeling out players for a jam. Incompatible grooves.
I'd agree, but in the opposite. I bet it would be a challenge jamming with a bunch of players who didn't like the dead (well, stringed instruments jam at least).

I love the Dead, and think their catalog will be played at jams for quite a while. I listen to Joe Russo's Almost Dead way more than I listen to actual GD currently. I love those songs, and love the fact that there's so many great performances of those songs recorded by such a wide variety of musicians over the years.
 

Blanket Jackson

Trash! Pick it up!
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
16,990
The Dead were a band I wrote off from the beginning because of my roots in punk. But enough friends over the years with good taste swore by them, or at least swore by certain eras of them, that I felt like I needed to figure them out.

For about ten years I did an annual attempt to grok them, following everyone's advice, etc, and maybe made a little headway every few years.

Then, maybe three years ago, it absolutely clicked for me, and I became a huge fan. I now love everything through Mars Hotel. Once the fusion elements creep in they start sounding like what I always imagined them to sound like, and it's not really my cuppa tea. The live shows are still good, but the studio recordings don't do much for me at that point.
With the exceptions of American Beauty / Workingman's Dead and Terrapin Station (for different reasons) the Dead studio albums sound relatively lifeless to me (especially compared to the live renditions). It even took me a while to see that, given my usual preference for the studio versions from other bands. When I started listening to the Dead someone recommended Live Dead to me, and I barely got through a single listening - "where are the songs I know?" LOL. A few years ago I could not stop listening to that album for about a month strait, because of the interplay within the band (and Pigpen doing Pigpen).

Like the saying goes, "There's nothing like a Grateful Dead concert"
 

X Ray

Member
Messages
111
Do I like the Grateful Dead? Let's see.
I like them when they were a psychedelic group. I like them when they were a roots group. I like them when they were a folk group. I like them when they were a Jam Band. I like them when they were a fusion group. I like them when they were a jazz rock band.
I hate funkos and I even have one of Jerry!
Yes. I like the Grateful Dead.

IMG_20220526_155727765.jpg
 

Bozak

Member
Messages
6,214
I've seen them twice with Jerry and there are a lot of things I used to really hate about the Dead - the endless jams, the two drummers, the wandering bass, the hippy vibe.

But I've come to not mind those things so much for the things I do like about them, for one thing they created a dance scene, everyone danced at a Dead show even if you couldn't and that's fun. Also they created their own soul music, Jerry was a soulful guy and his best songs are very touching, when you hear a full stadium singing along to Uncle John's Band or Ripple it's a powerful thing that few bands in history have achieved.
 

Scott SG

former
Messages
1,992
Thank God we know where everyone stands!

So important to know who likes a band and who doesn't. Nothing worse than making the mistake of assuming someone likes something when they don't.

Maybe we can do the same for a few more artists so we can get a better picture.
 

dcburn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,706
Met a close friend of mine back in January of '95. He's a huuuuuuge Dead guy.

He was getting VT tix and asked if I wanted in. Ddin't know much about the band, figured they were more of a cover band haha. Anyways, I was just about 21 and dead broke, so I passed and said they were always on tour and Id see them eventually...

Well...

Deep dive of bootlegs commenced for over twenty years. There wasn't anything you could tell me about any year, any tour. I knew every note!!!!

Purchased a cheap acoustic guitar from the HOG and the Grateful Dead anthology book by '97 and got started learning chord shapes from the boxes...

All my early guitar learning was Grateful Dead.
 




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