“I need a
miracle - every day!”
You could almost start believing in miracles when you read the press
release about The Grateful Dead's next boxed set. This is far from
the first time we touch upon May 1977, both in single releases ("To
Terrapin", Dick's Picks 3 and 29, Dave's Picks Vol. 1) and a 5-show
boxed set. But the four almost legendary shows, 5/5 in New Haven,
5/7 at Boston Garden, 5/8 at Cornell U., 5/9 in Buffalo Memorial
Auditorium, which have been making the rounds on cassettes for years,
have until recently been missing from "the Vault" and thus not available
for release in the superior technical quality we have grown accustomed
to. But now, the master tapes have been returned and restored along
with about 100 other "Betty Boards" which we - in Dave's words -
will hear much more about in the coming10-20 years! You can read
more about the contents and creation of this forthcoming release
The release date is May 5 - on the 40th anniversary of the first
of the four shows. The main attraction, Barton
Hall at Cornell University 05/08/77 (often touted as
the Grateful Dead's best concert ever), will also be released as
set. All versions can be pre-ordered now
A new year in
Dead-land has begun. Dave's
Picks Volume 21 has hit the streets and we still have
a few copies left, either retail or as the first installment of
the annual subscription. As previously announced, we find ourselves
at Boston Garden, 2 April 1973. The band is on fire from track one
- "Playin 'In The Band" goes over 17 minutes, and there is a long
and unique jam out of "Here Comes Sunshine". And whenever the show
ends with "We Bid You Goodnight" sung á capella, we and the band
know that it has been an exceptional evening.
Dave has already
revealed a bit about Pick no. 22. It will be the third night of
four in Ney York City's Felt Forum, also known as the bottom floor
of Madison Square Garden. In 2016 we presented a radio transmission
of the December
5, 1971 concert, and now we shall have the complete show
from the 7th + the second set from 6th of December. The remainder
of December 6, or at least most of it, will comprise the bonus disc.
March 10 shall
see the release of "Garcia
Live" Volume 8, a double-CD from November 23, 1991 at
Bradley Center, Milwaukee. The final line-up of the Jerry Garcia
Band, 1986-1992, was one of the best and by far the most stable;
in addition to Garcia and John Kahn it consisted of Melvin Seals
on keyboards, David Kemper on drums, and the two vocalists Jackie
LaBranch and Gloria Jones. The setlist is unconventional, gathering
in this one concert a number of rarely played songs.
Now is the time
to sign up for the 2017
subscription to Dave’s Picks - four 3-CD sets delivered
quarterly, plus the exclusive subscriber’s bonus disc. The limited
editions of 16,500 copies sell out fast, sometimes in less than
a day, so a subscription is the only way to make sure you don’t
miss out. The subscription price is unchanged from the last couple
of years. As usual, the selection of shows for Dave’s Picks 2017
is not fully decided at this time. But we know that Volume 21 will
be the show at Boston Garden on April 2nd, 1973. But in a year where
a large batch of master tapes long considered lost have been returned
to the vault and digitized, we can permit ourselves great expectations.
Picks Vol. 20 is now available at www.dancingbear.dk,
even though it is long gone at dead.net. For the first time in the
series, Dave has ventured into the eighties - the Brent Mydland
era - with a solid show from Boulder, Colorado 9 December 1981.
A rare recording
from 1962 has turned up featuring one of the very young Garcia’s
many folk- and bluegrass ensembles: Hart
Valley Drifters. Besides Garcia on vocals, banjo and
guitar, the band consists of David Nelson on guitar, Robert Hunter(!)
on upright bass, Ken Frankel on banjo, and Norm van Maastricht on
dobro. The repertoire is mainly folk standards as we know them from
Old & In The Way and the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band.
Dead’s 50th anniversary is still being celebrated with special releases.
2017 will see a new deluxe edition of the band’s eponymous debut
album as a 2 CD set, the second CD being dedicated to
the complete 29 July 1966 show padded with four cuts from the following
night. The album will also be released as a vinyl “picture
disc” with the entire surface displaying a mirrored
section of the original album cover. The release date for both versions
is 20 January 2017, but we accept preorders starting now.
the Grateful Dead’s 7” singles,
27 in all, will be re-released. They will be offered in subscription
with 4 yearly releases, just like Dave’s Picks. The mix will closely
resemble the original versions, but all other aspects of the sound
will be elevated to contemporary standards. The series will be limited
to 10,000 copies of each release, with the first single, “Stealin’/Don’t
Ease Me In”, to be released 1 March. The remaining three 2017 releases
are “The Golden Road/Cream Puff War”, “Dark Star/Born Cross-eyed”,
and “Dupree’s Diamond Blues/Cosmic Charlie”. Dancing Bear will not
be offering these releases separately, but only in subscription
with an annual renewal option.
releases of concerts originally broadcast live on FM radio keep
on coming at a fast clip. Vi don’t have the time or space to review
them all in these newsletters, so how do you choose? Some of our
customers go for specific periods or years, but you might also direct
your attention to the Grateful Dead’s traditional New Year’s concerts
in San Francisco. They were always long, high-spirited, and frequently
featured guest musicians. We already have 1976, 1978 and 1987(DVD)
as official releases; New Year’s 1971 and 1972 appeared recently,
the latter under the cryptic title “Hogmanay”
(a spirited Scotch New Year's celebration), and in the near future
1990, 1982 and 1986 will turn up.
We do have time
for one last recommendation: The closing of Bill Graham's venerable
Fillmore West was “celebrated” with a full week of all-nighters.
The Grateful Dead closed the third night with a full-length show,
but the two opening acts, The Rowan Brothers (Peter Rowan’s younger
siblings) and the New Riders, both had Jerry Garcia sitting in on
pedal steel guitar. The entire performance can be enjoyed via the
5-CD boxed set “Fillmore
West Closing Week, night 3”.
Dead band members have stated in interviews that the hoved their
legacy of songs would live on, after the packed it in as a touring
and recording unit. In the course of the Anniversary year, numerous
bands included a dead song or two in their shows and albums, and
quite a few tribute albums were released. Now comes the most ambitious
tribute release so far: A large and varied roster of musicians and
bands from the Indie world have got together and contributed to
the 5-CD boxed set “Day of the Dead”. The Dessner brothers, Aaron
and Bryce, of “The National” have curated and coordinated the whole
thing and play on several of the 59 very different interpretations
of Grateful Dead originals and covers. I freely admit that I know
very few of the many individuals and band names, even if many of
the latter sound like they were put together exclusively for this
release. Among the more well-known names are Wilco, Mumford & Sons,
The Flaming Lips, Stephen Malkmus, Cass McCombs, Bela Fleck, and
Lucinda Williams. Bob Weir and Bruce Hornsby also make appearances.
Part of the proceeds from this release will benefit AIDS and HIV
research. Even so, the price tag of the 5-CD box is fairly reasonable.
1971 the Grateful Dead played Atlanta Municipal Auditorium. The
show is famous (or notorious) for the heavy-handedness of the local
police force, rather than for its spectacular music. The raid (or
"fracas" as the track list has it) took place partly on the stage,
which allows us to listen to four minutes of Atlanta's finest in
action, captured and transmitted live in glorious hi-fi. Several
very exciting FM-transmitted shows are announced but not yet released
- more information about this will follow in late July or early
August, where we should also be able to reveal Dave’s Picks Volume
Dead's European tour in April and May 1972 has been available on
CD as individual shows since their release in 2011, but right at
this moment the sets are selling out fast. Probably helped by a
25% discount on the remaining shows. If you are unfamiliar with
this outstanding tour, or if you prefer complete shows to compilations
'72 Vol. I and
still available!), you should act now. We try to keep the catalog
on www.dancingbear.dk updated, but the inventory is dwindling day
by day. So, which one should you pick? The '72-tour was rather unique
by not having any weak shows, but among the remaining shows are
a few of my personal favourites:Wembley
a lively show, second on the tour, with one of the best and most
inventive Dark Stars you're ever going to hear.
de Lille 5/13/72,
free open-air spectacle in a city park, substitute for a cancelled
show a few weeks before. No easy-listening set list for the strollers-by,
but a true Grateful Dead show with a deep and spacy Other One as
the centerpiece. And finally, getting both personal and patriotic:
- my first show. Still singled out for praise in the dead.net chatrooms,
not least on account of the Dark Star>SugarMagnolia transition and
Pigpen's unique workout of Caution>WhoDoYouLove>Caution, sleazy
rap and all. Plus the funny sequence where Bob og Jerry makes a
bet whether the audience understands anything they're saying, complete
with a show of hands!
1978 - The Complete Recordings:
The new boxed set from the Grateful Dead consists of 5 complete
shows from July 1978, including the two phenomenal - and widely
circulated - shows at Red Rocks, Colorado. This release is not just
great news on its own terms, it could (and should) be the first
installment in a long line of future releases from a source that
deadheads have fantasized about for years: 'The Betty Boards'. The
nickname Betty Boards refers to the collection of master tapes that
Betty Cantor-Jackson made of more than a thousand Grateful Dead-
and Garcia Band shows between 1971 and 1980. The account of how
the tapes were sold, hidden away, rediscovered in varying states
of decomposition, restored, and little by little returned to 'The
Vault', reads like a crime thriller, except for the fact that there
are no real criminals involved.You can read the full story here.
Or you may whet your appetite on this condensed version: For the
longest time, live recordings of shows were not in high esteem in
the Grateful Dead organisation; the activity was regarded as Betty's
private hobby. She had to buy tapes and recording equipment herself
and consequently maintained right of ownership to the tapes, although
the rights did not extend to releasing the music. The tapes, mostly
packed in road cases, were kept in a storage facility after Betty
had to move out of her house, and when she couldn't afford to pay
the storage fees, they were auctioned off. Most of the tapes were
in three lots that we know about: One (big) lot was bought by an
avid collector of bootleg recordings, wo promptly started making
cassette copies and distributing them to fellow collectors. That
is why high-quality board tapes of such gems as Barton Hall 5/8/77,
Port Chester 2/18/71, and Red Rocks 7/7 and 7/8/78 can now be found
in a great many deadheads' collections. The second lot was acquired
by an individual who was only interested in the road cases and left
the tapes in a damp barn for a decade, where the tape boxes slowly
disintegrated from rot and mold. Fortunately, in 1995, he decided
to try and make some money from the tapes and contacted studio engineer
Rob Eaton, later guitarist in the Dark Star Orchestra, who took
on the job of trying to restore and identify the recordings. The
job took a lot of skill as well as time, but most of the recordings
are now digitized and stored safely in the vault at Rhino Records.
The last collection of tapes has been hidden away from the start.
Rob Eaton managed to track down the owner, who offered to sell the
tapes to the Grateful Dead organization for a price in the neighborhood
of a million dollars. The band is, understandably, not very keen
to pay for their own music, but secret negotiations are known to
have been going on. We expect to see many more releases of Betty
Boards, praised for their sonic warmth and stereo separation, in
the years to come. Producer David Lemieux has - as usual - uploaded
A video to YouTube where he goes on (and on) about the delights
of this release and the individual shows. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUa3ggtoTbw
Lastly, we have
a concert from 1976 by Kingfish
which, from 1974 to 1976, had Bob Weir as a band member during the
Grateful Dead's extended touring break. The band includes Matthew
Kelly (harmonica) and Dave Torbert (bass), both known from various
Grateful Dead projects and records.
once, this far into the year, we still have a few Dave's
Picks subscriptions left. The first installment has already
been published and can also be had separately -
DaP Vol.17 is a great show from
the Wall-of-Sound tour in 1974.
Thee Well' shows in Chicago
3-5 July are still available in all configurations: The complete
boxed set on 12 CDs + 7 DVD/Blu-Ray, The last show, 5 July, 4 CDs+2
DVD/Blu-Ray, and the "Best of FTW" compilation on 2 CDs.
In the course of the last year, a sizeable number of live concerts
have been released on various small record labels, with the common
feature that they have all been broadcast live on local radio stations.
A change in copyríght laws might explain this abundance of live
material which also includes releases by the Rolling Stones, Bruce
Springsteen, Allman Brothers, and many others. The Grateful Dead
releases from 2015 have already been announced in previous Dancing
Bear newsletters. Recently, a fine concert with Jerry
Garcia Band, "Midnight Moonlight" from 1982, has been
added to the catalog, as well as a very interesting show from 1978
Hunter and the band Comfort, led by Rodney Albin from
Big Brother. Right now, we are waiting for the arrival of three
concerts from 1971: Harding
Theater 7/11, Northrop
Auditorium 19/10, and Felt
Forum (Madison Sq. Garden) 5/12. They are scheduled to
arrive around mid-March, but can be pre-ordered now. A portion of
the Felt Forum concert is known to many through bootlegs and tapes,
not least because of one tune: ?(I washed my hands in) Muddy Water"
which was played by the Grateful Dead on that night for the first,
last and only time. But now we get to hear the whole concert.
let me repeat the advertisement for our revived T-shirts catalog.
The production series are small and when they are gone, they are
gone, probably just in the size you wanted. But such are the terms.
The same is obviously true of Dave's Picks and other limited edition
Black Friday is coming, and Dancing Bear goes all-in! This week-end,
Friday, November 28 thru Sunday, we will have a truly breathtaking
Sale with 25% discount on all Grateful Dead CDs and DVDs (including
boxed sets!), and 40% on other items in the shop including stickers,
patches, and CDs and DVDs by other artists (including bandmembers'
solo CDs!). For products already on offer at a lesser discount,
the discount is raised to the aforementioned percentages. EXCEPTIONS:
There is no discount on books, nor on the subscription for next
year Dave's Picks. Remaining stock discontinued by the supplier,
which therefore can't be reordered, is offered only while supplies
last. And remember: your e-mail order must be submitted between
28 Nov. 00:01 and 30 Nov. 23:59.
A couple of
new items: The Grateful Dead library has long since passed 50 titles
but now, finally, we see the first in-depth treatment of the Jerry
Garcia Band. The author has selected the - in his opinion
- top 13 shows from the 1972 to 1984 period, which are analyzed
in depth with lots of background information. The second part of
the book offers memories and anecdotes from his years of following
the JGB on tour, attending as many shows as possible, all described
with great enthusiasm and insight.
Another new book is a heavy tome, Live
Dead, devoted to the photography of Bob Minkin, who followed
the Grateful Dead on tour from the mid-seventies to the ending,
in 1995. A truly great book from a master photographer.
To celebrate the jubilee year of 2015, we once again present the
Dead Wall Calendar. This time around, the usual collection
of band photos has been replaced by colorful full-page illustrations
by artist Mike DuBois.
Another radio broadcast from 1988 has surfaced, this time from the
Performing Arts Center (SPAC) on June 28, 1988. The setlist
looks quite promising: the days of half-hour long jamfests were
long gone, but the entire second set is a continuous flow of songs.
And we get to hear the relatively rare performances of "Victim or
the Crime" and "Crazy Fingers".
There have been several new and not-so-new releases since
our last newsletter. The "GarciaLive"
series has reached no. 5, recorded New Year's Eve 1975,
where the Grateful Dead for once did not play Bill Graham's New
Year bash at the Fillmore or Winterland. Instead, some of the band
members spent the evening at the somewhat more intimate Keystone
Berkeley club where the Jerry Garcia Band were consequently able
to present their musical friends Bob Weir and Mickey Hart, plus
Matthew Kelly (harp), Greg Errico (drums) and Nicky Hopkins on keyboards.
The 2-CD set will be released October 21 and can be pre-ordered
The small record
label Klondike specializes in publishing shows, including some by
the Grateful Dead, that were transmitted live on FM-radio, frequently
on small local radio stations. The footage is often known by collectors
already, and you cannot expect quite the same careful mixing and
tweaking as on the Dead's own releases. Our first offering is from
April 1988 in Worcester, Massachusetts.
There is only one official release (Road Trips Vol. 4.2) on the
books from 1988. It is obvious that Garcia plays with renewed fervor
and energy after his coma a few years before, and the concert sound,
especially in the highly experimental Drums> Space > the Other One,
gives clear indication of the grand vintages that followed in 1989
Our second Klondike
offering is an early version of Old
& In The Way, as recorded in the
Record Plant studio 21 April 1973. There are several cuts that were
not found on the "Live
at the Boarding House" release,
from August of the same year. Moreover, they have not yet recruited
Vassar Clements to the team; Instead, we hear violinist Richard
Greene of Peter Rowan's old group, Seatrain.
Godchaux Band with guitarist Jeff Mattson last year published a
new album, "Back
Around", which we have only recently
added to the Dancing Bear catalog. Several of the songs are written
by Donna Jean, alone or with Mattson. There are also cover versions
of songs by the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, and a single Grateful
Dead number has slipped in, namely Crazy Fingers. Donna Jean is
not prominent in the mix and sings in a lower range than in the
70s with the Grateful Dead. All in all, an excellent album with
We have some
old news on the DVD front. The "View
from the Vault" series, which numbered
four volumes, was based on live video tapes recorded for the stage
monitors, which were - and are - an indispensable part of any large
stadium concert. The series has been discontinued from the catalog
for years, but now the whole series has been reprinted, at a lower
price than the original issues. The same goes for the DVD from the
New Year Concert 1987/88, "Ticket
to New Year's". Please be aware
that the DVD is encoded for Region 1, and thus requires a "region
have started the countdown to the "Jubilee Year" 2015, the 50th
anniversary of the debut of the Grateful Dead. In a "live chat"
a few weeks ago, where David Lemieux answered questions from viewers,
he, as usual, would not reveal very much in advance. But he did
drop a hint that they have some very exciting things in the pipeline
to be revealed throughout the year. It will be "really cool".
Soon, we shall
start taking orders for next year's subscription to the "Dave's
Picks" series. If you have already decided to subscribe, we
would appreciate an early indication by e-mail to orders(at)dancingbear.dk.
Due to the fact that, when the official subscription is announced,
it may be necessary to act quickly. We will also try to ensure more
copies for sale to non-subscribers than we had this year.
Back in 2012, while preparing the first "Spring 1990" box set, producer
David Lemieux realized that the shows from the spring tour, which
was forced to pass by, were much too good to remain in obscurity.
Consequently, we shall now (come September) get 8 more shows, the
lavish box set "Spring
1990, The Other One",
lovingly remastered from 20 tracks by Jeffrey Norman. Combined with
the previous releases "Dozin'
at the Knick" and "Terrapin
Limited", both of which are still available,
we can now listen to the complete tour, often referred to as "the
last great Grateful Dead Tour".
One of the shows
in this box set has gained almost legendary status, namely 3/29/90
with tenor sax player Branford Marsalis as guest musician. As a
tip of the hat to those who won't be able to obtain the complete
box, GDP has elected to release this show as a separate 3-CD set
Up To Find Out". The box will contain several
types of memorabilia, detailed here. Plus a 144 page book with essays
by Nicholas Meriwether and Blair Jackson.
A new release
in the "Garcia
Live" series, volume 4, is just around the corner. The
March 22 1978 show with the Jerry Garcia Band featured Keith & Donna
Godchaux and guest vocalist Maria Muldaur. The "Cats Under the Stars"
album was just about to be released, and from this we get extended
treatments of the title cut plus "Gomorrah" and "Love in the Afternoon".
You can peruse the entire set list here.
With these announcements,
it seems unlikely that we shall see more new releases this side
of summer. Dancing Bear wishes all customers a great holiday time!
No. 10 was announced for pre-ordering last week - and sold out in
a day. Luckily, this does not concern our subscribers, and as usual
we will have a few extra copies for sale without a subscription.
So, what's all the fuss about this time?
On December 12, 1969 the Dead played three gigs in a small - now
long gone - club on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles named Thelma. The
last night of the three has long been on the wish list of producer
David Lemieux, but unfortunately the tape with the first part of
the concert was missing. It re-appeared a few years ago, in a batch
with a bunch of others that I talked about in a newsletter last
January. And a major show it is, with Pigpen in great form doing
eight of his signature tunes: "Hard To Handle," "Good Lovin'", "Turn
On Your Love Light," "Alligator", "Easy Wind", "I'm a King Bee",
etc. Plus electrified versions of most tracks from "Workingman 's
Dead", which was released a few weeks later. You can listen to Dave's
own words (when he is not being distracted by an eagle in a treetop!)
by following this
link. It is also that time of the year when there's a
bonus CD included in the package, and not only for the subscribers.
It consists of hand-picked numbers from the night before , December
11. The setlist has not been published, but "Dark Star" is a distinct
1973 Jerry Garcia, David Grisman and John Kahn launched the acoustic
country and bluegrass group Old & In the Way, along with guitarist
Peter Rowan, known from the band Seatrain, and veteran country fiddler
Vassar Clements. In October the band played two gigs at "The Boardinghouse",
a small portion of which became the album " Old & In the Way " (1974
), released to great acclaim and creating a renewed interest in
bluegrass music. The album was released on CD in 1986, followed
ten years later by two more CDs with material from the same shows,
"That High Lonesome Sound " and " Breakdown".
three CDs together contained all the different songs that were played.
The new 4-CD set, "Live
at the Boardinghouse", presents the two shows exactly
as they were recorded, 55 tracks in all. If you already own the
previous three releases you may not have reason to want more, but
otherwise, at DKK 343 this set is a bargain!
The playing is at a very high level, not least thanks to veteran
Vassar Clements and as you know, bluegrass and the banjo were Jerry
Garcia's first musical obsessions. The two concerts mix traditional
bluegrass and folk standards with original tracks, mainly by Clements,
Rowan and Grisman and inspired cover-songs from various sources,
including Jagger/Richards "Wild horses", to name just one example.
If you love hot acoustic music with a nerve, you should give "Live
at the Boarding House" a listen.
In a completely different vein, we present the fourth album from
the duo "Dose Hermanos" entitled "Batique".
Dose Hermanos are old and not so old friends, namely Tom "T.C."
Constanten and Bob Bralove. T.C. played keyboards (harpsichord and
piano) with the Grateful Dead 1968-69 and was a major inspiration
for the experimental and improvisational style that the band developed
in those years. Bralove was hired by the group in the late eighties
as a MIDI technician, but since he, like T.C., had classical and
avant-garde piano training, he ended up during the Dead's last years
to deliver pre-recorded MIDI effects to the "Space" segments , and
sometimes even played along on keyboard behind the stage.
The tracks on "Batique" are improvisations for two pianos, yet cover
a lot of ground. Some tracks lean tqwards jazz , others are reminiscent
of TC's "prepared piano" effects on "Anthem of the Sun" , still
others are more in a classic and melodic vein. There?s nothing that
comes close to rock, but with two such intelligent musicians you
know you are in very capable hands. You can hear short excerpts
of all the tracks on Amazon.com.
Even though 2013 is drawing to a close, there is still a little
more in the goodie bag. In the fall of 1989, the Jerry Garcia Band
was on top of their game, as witnessed by releases such as Merriweather
Post Pavilion and Shining Star. On some parts of the tour the concerts
featured an acoustic section by Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman, a precursor
to their cooperation in Ratdog. Two of these concerts will be released
as a 6-CD box set on December 17th: 9/5/89 September in Hartford
Civic Center and 9/6/89 in the Nassau Coliseum. Title: "The
Long Island Sound" Pre-ordering starts now.
was born as Florence Nathan in France, grew up in San Francisco,
became Phil Lesh's girlfriend, and experienced the local music scene
with a vengeance from 1964 to 1974. All the way (except for the
European tour of 72), she had her camera out and ready, and the
result is a highly personal and richly illustrated memoir. The title
with the Dead" is to be understood literally; Rosie spent
most of the Grateful Dead concerts dancing on stage or in it's immediate
vicinity. With this we wish all Dancing Bear customers a very Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year. Expect to hear from us again in
2014 - there will surely be ample opportunity!
Now is the time to order your subscription to next year's releases
in the "Dave's
Picks" series. As usual, Dave has only unveiled the first
release of the year - #9 in the series - which will be another show
from the "Wall of Sound" tour, University of Montana, 14 May 1974.
This show was, according to Dave Lemieux, in the running to become
the very first Dave 's Picks release, so it is high time it comes
out. Release dates for next year's four releases are February, May,
August and November, and as usual there's a bonus CD included with
the May release. Once again, Dave 's Picks 2014 will be limited
editions, but the limit has been raised to 14,000 individually numbered
copies. The price of the subscription is the same as last year:
1088 DKK plus standard shipping charge.
unknown, concert tapes continue to emerge from the strangest hiding
places and find their way home to "The Vault". Recently, Jerry Garcia's
(and Ken Kesey's) former girlfriend Carolyn Adams, a.k.a. Mountain
Girl, found a bunch of tapes of which the most interesting is a
purely acoustic performance from 1970 at the concert venue "Family
Dog at the Great Highway" in San Francisco. The Grateful
Dead performed this evening - for reasons unknown - not under their
own name, but as a combination of the two splinter groups "Mickey
Hart and his Heartbeats" and "Bobby Ace and the Cards from the Bottom
of the Deck". The repertoire is typical of the acoustic opening
sets common to the 1970 GD shows. What's atypical indeed is the
last 6 numbers, which is a solo section by Pigpen on guitar, harmonica
and vocals. And yes, he could actually play the guitar!
To wrap things
up, we present a DVD (or Blu- Ray), "Move Me Brightly". On 3 August
2013, 3 days after what would have been Jerry Garcia's 70th birthday,
there was a 5-hour concert at Bob Weir's TRI studio where a variety
of musical friends paid tribute to Garcia's memory in music and
speeches. The whole thing was captured on film by Justin Kreutzmann
(son of Bill the drummer) and this footage has since been cut down
to 159 minutes, to go on sale late November.
All these items
are pre-orders, but please be aware that the subscription must be
ordered soon to ensure that we are able to get the desired number
of copies. Therefore, both old and new subscribers, please order
soon to confirm your continued interest in our live releases!
thing has happened in Dead-land: Two weeks after its release, "Sunshine
Daydream" occupied number 5 on Billboard's rock album
chart! The only comparable precedent took place in 1987, where the
album "In the Dark" reached ninth place, while the single "Touch
of Grey" was #1, aided by a highly popular video on MTV. This achievement,
obviously, was not made by the limited collector's edition of "Sunshine
Daydream", but rather the 'bare bones' CD+DVD version without the
box, booklet, and bonus material, which this week reached an equally
impressive 18-place of all box- sets and #186 of all music sales
on amazon.com. Not bad for a 41 year old concert by a long-defunct
band! Note also that the Blu-Ray version is ONLY available from
dead.net, Dancing Bear, and a few other mailorder outlets.
The third release
in the GarciaLive series is just around the corner, featuring the
short-lived version of the JGB from 1974-75 called Legion
of Mary. Here Jerry Garcia was able to live out his jazzy
side in the company of sax player Martin Fierro, in addition to
"the usual suspects" - Merl Saunders, John Kahn and Ron Tutt. The
triple CD joins two concerts from December 1974.
The third new
item this month also features Garcia without the Dead. In 1970,
the countryfied hippies of the New Riders of the Purple Sage - colloquially
NRPS - released their first - and, arguably, best - LP, with Jerry
Garcia playing pedal-steel . He still did shortly after the album
release, in the broadcast concert which is now being released on
CD under the title "Glendale
Train". Many of the best tracks from the debut album
are played here, in addition to several which would surface on the
band's following albums where Garcia had long since been replaced
by Buddy Cage on pedal-steel guitar.
should be noted that Dancing Bear (finally! - some will say) has
got its own corner on Facebook - all in Danish, alas! It features
a brief introduction to the Grateful Dead, links to great performances
on YouTube, and a prize competition, which probably will not cause
our regular customers major headaches. It will be most welcome if
you give it a "thumbs-up" (= "Like" ), since this sort of thing
means a lot on Facebook. Searching for "Dancing Bear" will yield
several hits, but only one with the famous teddy bear logo. See
you on Facebook!
For many years, a frequently recurring query and discussion on www.dead.net
has been whether the movie "Sunshine
Daydream" would ever be released officially. A bootleg
version of mediocre quality has long been available on amazon.com
and other places, but now things are speeding up at last! Grateful
Dead has approved the project and Rhino have worked their magic
with the cleaning and editing. On the first of August (Jerry Garcia's
birthday) the movie saw it?s first and only performance in theatres
across the U.S., and on 17 September it will be released on DVD
and Blu-Ray, combined with the audio in a separate 3-CD set. The
bonus material includes several videotaped interviews, and as usual
there is a booklet with essays by David Lemieux and several others.
Check our website www.dancingbear.dk for more details.
And what is
all the hoopla about, then? The concert, commonly known as "Veneta,
Oregon" or "The Springfield Creamery Benefit" or ?The Field Trip?,
took place 27 August 1972 to support the author Ken Kesey's brother
Chuck, who ran a dairy in the town of Springfield. Ken Kesey and
the Grateful Dead were, of course, old acquaintances since "The
Acid Tests" around 1965. The venue was a park in Veneta, and the
film takes a lot of time showing the preparations done by a bunch
of amateurs, accompanied by audio from the actual concert. It was
an unusually hot day - the band had to take several water- and tuning
breaks - and there are a ton of pictures of dancing hippies clad
only in varying degrees of sunburn. And then the music! The band
does not slack off in any way felt on account of the heat - quite
the contrary. I will limit myself to highlighting Dark Star and
Playin ', both of which are played with an incredible density and
drive, rarely heard on other versions of these tunes. This release
is - again - a limited edition of 12,500.
Pre-announcement of Dave's
Picks Volume 7: The Grateful Dead may have wrapped up
the final show of the first leg of their 1978 Spring Tour in a town
called Normal, but this night was anything but! Yes, on this fine
evening, the Rhythm Devils shook the room with an exotic tribal
assault. Bob found his groove with the slide guitar, contrasting
nicely with Keith's block chording, Phil's thundering and swooping
bass-lines, Jerry's articulated leads. Heck, they even dabbled in
disco, teasing the audience with an unmistakable riffs from "Stayin'
Alive.." What does all this juiced-up, cranked to the max, sonic
savagery add up to? Top-level deliveries of fan favorites like "The
Music Never Stopped," "Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain," and
"Ramble On Rose," a jungle-vibed 14+ minute Rhythm Devils interlude,
an over-the-top take on Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" and
much, much more. Limited to 13,000 individually numbered copies,
this super-charged 3-CD set featuring the complete show from 4/24/78,
ships August 1st.
Picks No. 6, which was previewed in the last newsletter,
has been sent to the subscribers, and it appears that Rhino this
year have chosen to put the bonus CD inside the seal. This means,
of course, that purchasers of the (very few) extra copies will also
receive the bonus CD.
A CD which
has long been missing in the catalog is "Rare
Cuts and Oddities" from 1999. It was re-released on the
occasion of the worldwide "Record Store Day", April 20, and we have
managed to get hold of a few copies. It contains a mixture of demos,
recordings from rehearsals and live performances, recorded by Owsley
"Bear" Stanley in 1966. Some of the highlights among the many odd
rarities are: The only "Promised Land" with Garcia on vocals, a
triple-speed "Good Lovin ´", the traditional "Betty and Dupree"
which a few years later inspired Robert Hunter to write "Dupree´s
Diamond Blues", and Bob Weir´s perfect Mick Jagger imitation on
"Not Fade Away". The 18 cuts are preserved in a more than decent
quality, but the reconstructed ´stereo´ sound is better suited for
car radio than for headphones!
department, we offer the first in an announced series of jig-saw
puzzles featuring Grateful Dead LP cover art. The first release
Griffin´s iconic cover for "Aoxomoxoa". The 300 pieces
are printed on both sides, so you can also complete the back cover
with the big "family picture". Or maybe you should prepare yourself
for the coming summer days on the beach with a new "Lightning
- last but not least - we can unveil this year´s big box set:
There must be a special affinity between the Grateful Dead and springtime:
in 2011 we had the European tour, April and May 1972, last year
it was "Spring 1990", and now we can look forward to 5 shows from
the magical month of May
1977. The unique status of this spring tour is amply
evidenced by the previously released Picks from the dates 19, 21,
22, 25 and 28. The legendary shows from the beginning of the month:
New Haven, Cornell, Buffalo, et cetera, are absent from "the Vault",
but copies have circulated for many years. The forthcoming box set
fills the gap with 5 concerts in a row: 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th,
and 17th of May. They were recorded by Betty Cantor-Jackson and
bear her trademark warm and natural stereo sound, and have been
honed by Jeffrey Norman using the latest HDCD technology. It doesn´t
get much better than that! The box will - no surprise there - be
a limited release of 15,000 copies. The release date is set to 11
June and we accept pre-orders as of now. The familiar warning must
be given: Do not wait too long!
A new year has begun and that means 4 new releases in the Dave´s
Picks series, offered here both singly and on subscription. At this
point in time we are able to reveal details about the two first
instalments, no. 5 and 6 in the complete series. Over to Dave Lemieux
himself: "The first show, 11/17/73 at UCLA, is a major, heavyweight
Grateful Dead show, one of the best of any year, and being top-of-the-heap
from the 1973, that's saying a lot. It's one of these shows that
every time I've heard it in the past decade+, I've wondered why
it's not been released. I almost feel a need to apologize for taking
so long -- 40 years! This is really prime Dead. First set material
worth noting is one of the hottest, most inspired versions of "Here
Comes Sunshine" ever, and a "China>Rider" that's up there with the
best of 1973-1974, and that's saying something. The second set features
the best of the three "Playing>UJB>Dew>UJB>Playing" musical palindromes,
with every second of it exciting and interesting. And they top that
off with a late-show "Eyes Of The World" that is remarkably hot
and energetic. I say this without hyperbole, but to my ears and
many others, this is a top-40 Grateful Dead show of all time. And
the sound quality of this one is perfect, full, clear, great bottom
end, and overall terrific."
Dave's Picks Volume 6: We're really bad at keeping secrets around
here, so just imagine how hard it's been for us to contain our excitement
about the 2 now complete shows, once missing reels for more than
40 years, that have been selected to make up Dave's Picks Volume
6. The first major return of material to the vault since 2005's
Houseboat Tapes, Dave's Picks Volume 6 will feature 2 complete shows
with never-before-heard material from 2/2/70 Fox Theater, St. Louis,
MO and 12/20/69 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA. Long a mystery,
the riddle of the 2/2/70 set list has now been solved and the music
restored to its proper - and spectacular - sequence. 2/2/70 is also
notable as the first show without Tom Constanten. Tom, however,
makes his return to give his first-hand perspective on 12/20/69
in this volume's liner notes. Pigpen fiends, ask and you shall receive.
Both shows feature loads of Pigpen including a major 35+ minute
"Lovelight" from 12/20/69. Recorded by Bear with an excellent mix
and sound quality, this very special release feels like a return
to the classics."
been curious about the subscribers-only bonus disc, this one is
the stuff of lore as well. Like Dave's Picks Volume 6, the last-ever
Grateful Dead show at the Fillmore Auditorium - 12/21/69, was once
missing reels, but we've acquired the elusive first reel to go with
the end of the show that we've always had. This jam-packed CD, featuring
75 minutes of music (almost 40 minutes of never-before-heard), includes
one of only three versions of "Smokestack Lightning" from 1969.
You most certainly won't want to miss out on this highly collectible
Thank you Dave!
In older news, Rhino has quietly started re-issuing a few items
in the "Dick´s Picks" series that have been absent from the catalog
for a long time. ##2, 3, 4 and 16 are now available again, whereas
#15 only appeared for a short while before it was sold out again.
We advise you to keep a sharp eye on the website, as things may
change pretty fast. The unique box set "So Many Roads" from 1999
has also surfaced again - while the supply lasts - but it's quite
costly compared to other 5-CD sets. Nevertheless, it's back in the
Dancing Bear catalog in case some of you avid collectors might be
We are still
waiting for the pre-announced first release in the new "Jerry Garcia
Live" series, but the wait should be over before the end of January.
The Garcia store has also re-released a few older live sets, most
notably the brilliant "Don´t Let Go" 2CD set that was recorded during
Keith and Donna Godchaux's brief stint wiith the Jerry Garcia Band.
This set has some Grateful Dead tunes that we don't normally hear
from this band, and Donna's vocal contributions have never been
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