What is it about The Grateful Dead that you like?

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Jimbo
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What is it about The Grateful Dead that you like?

Postby Jimbo » Tue Mar 25, 2003 9:35 am

They play the lamest cover tunes and play them for far too long, their originals are written okay, but they're not Dylan or even Paul Simon, their voices sound like dogs imitating humans and be it country, rock or folk, they botch up pretty much any genre they choose to play. On paper The Grateful Dead sound like the worst band ever, but somehow they are (were) one of the most poular musical acts ever on the earth and I love them. What is it that they have that so many others don't? For me, what they have is context. I first heard them at the right time in the right place and it must have caught me in the right mood. It was 1973 in San Diego, I was a New Yorker who'd gone "out to the coast" and it seemed everyone I met out there knew and followed the Dead like they were family and I too could be in this family. So bouyed by $10 an ounce Mexican and such a hearty welcome I jumped on the bandwagon and I have been a fan ever since. What's your excuse?

Jiggle Billy
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Postby Jiggle Billy » Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:20 am

A lot of their stuff is pretty bad, but I like the late 60s to early 70s Dead, and mainly Garcia, to be honest. In this case, most of their songs are well done.

Jake
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Postby Jake » Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:52 am

I love the American Beauty album. In fact, I like all their pretty, acoustic stuff.

Jiggle Billy
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Postby Jiggle Billy » Tue Mar 25, 2003 1:47 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with Jake.

Jimbo
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Postby Jimbo » Wed Mar 26, 2003 1:17 am

Workingman's Dead and American Beauty are among the best rock albums ever, certainly the finest proto alt. country albums. Last year I went on a Dick's Picks buying spree. Dick's Picks are the series of triple live albums of supposedly the best concerts. It is from hearing so many of the band's imperfections therein from whence my cynicism comes. I have been to phenomominal Dead shows, but these albums don't seem to capture them best. I like the official live albums 1971's Live and Europe '72. Also, I may be the only guy who like Mars Hotel.

Hollywood Vantrell

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Postby Hollywood Vantrell » Wed Mar 26, 2003 7:34 am

Perhaps the fact that my first introduction to deadhead culture was via an old roommate who never paid his bills, has made it nearly impossible for me to enjoy them or relate them to anything positive. I have always thought they were a noodley, silly, overly-herbalized, exercise in six-string, dual drummer masterbation. I've heard the records. I've heard the bootlegs.,,,, I even got dragged to Soldier Field with a sack of savage mushrooms...., it has all been lost on me. At the end of the day, they just sound like silly hippies to me. No offence to the great dead horde. But I like punk, and the midwest psuedo-punk, brit-punk, brit invasion. So obviously, Jam rock (not the Jam) is not my cup of tea. Just my opinion,
For what it is.
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Postby Miss Blacks Black » Wed Mar 26, 2003 11:51 am

I went on a date with a guy this past weekend who, when he told me he'd seen the Dead ten times, I knew I would never be seeing again. Sorry to be an elitist fag, but there's just so little I could ever have in common with somebody who'd seen that band ten times. I can't stand them.

My introduction to them was my Freshman roommate at Western. She was from Plymouth, a really pretty blonde. She wore a lot of long skirts, smoked a lot of dope, and went to lots of Dead shows. She also got up an hour before class to shower, put make up on, blow dry and curl (!) her hair. I never understood that. How can you be a hippie and be so clean and groomed? Anway, Sugar Magnolia drove me out of that dorm room more tiomes than I could count.

Barabajagal
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Dead

Postby Barabajagal » Wed Mar 26, 2003 12:24 pm

Workingman's Dead, American Beauty, and Aoxomoxoa are a great triumvirate of Dead records. Great stuff on all of those I'll never get tired of.

The live stuff though, forget it! even if its halfway decent, if you're not a deadhead, it kinda sucks. I like Jerry's noodly style sometimes but it begins to irk me REAL quick. Not to mention the lack of vocal talent in the band. Frankly, any band that need be explained as "you got to trip with them live to really get it"...come on.

Having known many deadheads, as I'm sure you do, I notice that a lot of them aren't really music fans...they like the Dead, and maybe Dead-related jerkoff stuff, but many aren't really into music. Which tells me all I need to know about the Dead's success.

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Re: Dead

Postby DJMurphy » Wed Mar 26, 2003 2:22 pm

Barabajagal wrote:Having known many deadheads, as I'm sure you do, I notice that a lot of them aren't really music fans...they like the Dead, and maybe Dead-related jerkoff stuff, but many aren't really into music. Which tells me all I need to know about the Dead's success.

Wow, that just nailed it, Barabajagal! I never was able to crystallize it, other than a jaded disdain on my part of their retro/nouveau-hippie- utopian-lifestyle-paradigm which always smacked as hollow. Just another shill for cash, if you ask me. I agree with all other above comments; I bought American Beauty back when I was a stoner, but still actually enjoy it now I'm teetotal. But the rest of it? Let's just go with some of the well-known later period stuff. "Touch of Grey" is lite, brainless, polite, devoid of anything meaningful, and harmless. "Alabama Getaway"? "Shakedown Street"?? Utter shite. I actually like the guitar work Jerry did for Bruce Hornsby and Thomas Dolby, but really can't get into them on a deeper level than that. Too damn self-indulgent...

Surprisingly, I actually know a Dead-Head who has really good taste in music other than the Dead. Statistically speaking, he's the curve-wrecker; the rest are all into Phish, Dave Matthews and Blues Traveller.

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Postby jdconny » Wed Mar 26, 2003 4:07 pm

To get back to Jimbo's original post and what's my excuse? I have no idea. One day I just 'got it' and haven't stopped listening to since. The Dead have always been like an old friend to me. I could not listen to them for years and come back and it's like putting on an old pair of shoes.

Yeah they couldn't sing harmonies to save their life and Bob Weir's a cheeseball and the keyboard players were never that good and they played wrong notes and Garcia forgot the words and all that. Most people who are Heads, the ones who know anything about music anyway and there are a few of us out there, realize all this. But when they were good, they were really good and that's what made it all worthwhile.

Unfortunately I think they got a bad rap from their fans and the bands that followed in their wake, not to mention the scores of mediocre shows they played which are all documented on crappy sounding tapes. There's a lot of good stuff there, you just have to know where to find it.[/i]


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