Yet another artist I've been told I should like, but despite several attempts I just don't. It's a pretty long list, though.
If they asked Skynyrd I woulda proudly said ,I swear, there is nothing weirder than New Jersey pseudorednecks. (And half of my family’s from Jersey)
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 ,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'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 have never understood the appeal. Still don’t.
It’s an easy shibboleth when feeling out players for a jam. Incompatible grooves.
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).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.