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Celebrating 30 Years Of The Grateful Dead's 'In The Dark' July 06, 2017 10:07

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On this day in 1987, the Grateful Dead released its 12th studio album, In The Dark. This was the band's first album in six years, and its first studio album since 1980's Go To Heaven. It became unexpectedly popular, achieving double platinum certification in the U.S. It reached #6 on the Billboard 200 chart, the Grateful Dead's only top ten album. The peppy "Touch of Grey" peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, the band's only top forty single; it also became a frequently played music video on MTV. This would be the second to last studio album to feature legendary keyboardist Brent Mydland.
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Most of the songs had been played by the Dead since 1982 or 1983, which gave them a five-year edge on perfecting them for the album. After the critically panned Go to Heaven, which contained songs that were mostly under a year old, the maturity of In the Dark was significantly more appreciated. Since the band had been playing the songs for some time, they decided to record the baseline tracks for the album in a darkened empty theater ("In The Dark"), on a stage with the same lighting as they would use on tour. The idea was to capture the "feel" they had for the songs as if they were playing them to a live audience. This was done at Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael, California
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The cover art for the album was designed by Randy Tuten. The lettering forms the shape of an eye. Inside the lettering are photos of the band members' eyes. On the original LP, the photos were right side up, but when the album was released on CD in 1987, the photos were upside down. Though the band joked that the extra eye belonged to the Ayatollah Khomeini, it actually belonged to their long-time promoter, Bill Graham.
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Watch the official music video for "Touch Of Grey" here:
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Grateful Dead 'Meet Up' Announced For Jerry Garcia's 75th Birthday June 29, 2017 18:35

The 7th annual “Gratfeful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies” will feature a 1989 Grateful Dead concert at Washington D.C.’s RFK Stadium at theaters nationwide on Tuesday, August 1st. The one-night-only screening, presented by Fathom Events and Rhino Entertainment, commemorates what would have been Jerry Garcia’s 75th birthday. Highlights of the July 12, 1989 RFK show include the set-one opener “Touch Of Grey,” two songs with Bruce Hornsby sitting in (“Sugaree,” and “Man Smart [Woman Smarter]”), and one of the only filmed versions of “Black Muddy River.” The “Meet-Up” follows a theatrical showing of “The Grateful Dead Movie” earlier this year. Fans can find participating cinemas on the Fathom Events website.

Watch a 30 second trailer for the movie here:


Celebrating 48 Years Of The Grateful Dead's 'Aoxomoxoa' June 20, 2017 10:24

The Grateful Dead began their career as the Warlocks, a group formed in early 1965 from the remnants of a Palo Alto, California jug band called Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions. The band's first show was at Magoo's Pizza located at 639 Santa Cruz Avenue in suburban Menlo Park, California, on May 5, 1965.  Coincidentally, Velvet Underground was also performing under that name on the East Coast. After literally opening a dictionary and falling on 'Grateful Dead', the band would perform under its permanent name for the first time in San Jose, CA on December 4th, 1965 at one of Ken Kesey's 'Acid Tests'.

After signing with Warner Brothers Records, the band hit the studio hard over the next few years; releasing their debut self-titled album in 1967 and Anthem Of The in 1968. Just two months before the inaugural Woodstock in 1969, the Dead released its third studio album Aoxomoxoa. One of the first rock albums to be recorded using 16-track technology, fans and critics alike consider this era to be the band's experimental apex. This was the second studio album to feature second drummer Mickey Hart, who joined the band in 1967. The title is a meaningless palindrome created by cover artist Rick Griffin and lyricist Robert Hunter and is usually pronounced "ox-oh-mox-oh-ah."

When looking at Grateful Dead history, quite a few are connected with Aoxomoxoa. It is the first album the band recorded entirely in or near their original hometown of San Francisco.  It is the only studio release to include pianist Tom Constanten as an official member. It was also the first to have lyricist Robert Hunter as a full-time contributor to the band, which cemented the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter songwriting partnership that endured for the rest of the band's existence. It was also the first time the band would emphasize acoustic songs (such as "Mountains of the Moon" and "Dupree's Diamond Blues"), which would become the focus of the next two studio albums.

Some of the songs on Aoxomoxoa were played live briefly and then dropped. Only "China Cat Sunflower" became a set staple through the band's career, though "St. Stephen" was played until 1971, revived in 1976 and 1977 and played a handful of times after that. Likewise, "Cosmic Charlie" was played a few times again in 1976.

Track Listing:

1. St Stephen

2. Dupree's Diamond Blues

3. Rosemary

4. Doin' That Rag

5. Mountains on the Moon

6. China Cat Sunflower

7. What's Become of the Baby

8. Cosmic Charlie

Listen to Aoxomoxoa in its entirety here:

 


Bob Weir Will Lead An All-Star Cast For Jerry Garcia's 75th Birthday June 12, 2017 12:50

Join the Jerry Garcia Family in celebration of Jerry’s 75th birthday on Friday, August 4th at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO! The celebration will be led by Bob Weir & The Campfire Band and also features the Jerry Garcia 75th Birthday Band, an all-star band featuring original Jerry Garcia Band members Melvin Seals, Jackie LaBranch, and Gloria Jones plus Oteil Burbridge, Kamasi Washington, Tom Hamilton and Duane Trucks.

Tickets to the Jerry Garcia 75th Birthday Concert will be available via a special fan pre-sale beginning on Wednesday, June 14th at 10am MT via Jerry Garcia Fan Ticketing. Public on-sale begins Friday, June 16th at 10am MT via AXS.com.

Stay tuned for additional line-up announcements & special guests!


Watch The Trailer For Grateful Dead Documentary 'Long Strange Trip' May 16, 2017 14:48

As we inch closer towards the official release of the long awaited Grateful Dead documentary, Long Strange Trip, anticipating and excitement amongst the Deadhead community continues to grow.  We now have our first taste of the 241-minute film, as JamBase premiered its official trailer via Yahoo! Movies earlier today.  The film, which will begin showings in select theaters on May 25th, is directed by Amir Bar-Lev and produced by Martin Scorsese. The film includes many never-before-seen interviews, footage and photos combined with a career-spanning soundtrack focusing of the Grateful Dead’s live performances. Long Strange Trip will be available for worldwide streaming on June 2nd via Amazon Prime.  

Watch the official trailer for 'Long Strange Trip' here:


Grateful Dead's 'Meet-Up At The Movies' Returns To Theaters Tonight April 19, 2017 22:45

Tonight only, movie theaters across the country will host screenings of The Grateful Dead Movie in honor of the film's 40th anniversary. A short feature of the band's performance at Barton Hall (Cornell University) on May 8th, 1977 will also be shown prior to the film.  The Grateful Dead Movie, released in 1977 and co-directed by Jerry Garcia and Leon Gast, is a film that captures the Dead during an five-night run at Winterland in San Francisco in October of 1974.  The film features Dead classics such as “Dark Star,” “U.S. Blues,” “One More Saturday Night,” “Casey Jones,” “Playing In The Band” and “Sugar Magnolia."  Click here to find your theater and purchase tickets in advance.

These concerts marked the beginning of a hiatus, with the October 20, 1974 show billed as "The Last One". The band would return to touring in 1976. The film features the "Wall of Sound" concert sound system that the Dead used for all of 1974. The movie also portrays the burgeoning Deadhead scene. Two albums have been released in conjunction with the film and the concert run: Steal Your Face and The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack.

Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies is an annual event that began in 2011. At the Meet-Up, which occurs at multiple locations in the United States, concert videos and films of the rock band the Grateful Dead are shown in movie theaters. Each yearly screening occurs only one time. Fathom Events organizes and manages the presentations. The event provides a venue and opportunity for the band's fans, known as deadheads, to gather in celebration and camaraderie.

Check out the official trailer for the 40th anniversary screening here:


Warren Haynes Will Play Jerry Garcia's 'Tiger' at Red Rocks in August July 26, 2016 17:06

Red Rocks Amphitheatre will host a Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration on Monday, August 1st, what would have been the late Grateful Dead guitarist’s 74th birthday. In celebration of the event, Warren Haynes will play Garcia’s iconic Doug Irwin guitar known as Tiger for the first time in public since the Dead’s final show in 1995.  Jerry Garcia Band keyboardist Melvin Seals will join Haynes at Red Rocks, along with Jeff Sipe (drums), Lincoln Schleifer (bass), and Jasmine Muhammad (vocals).

Garcia introduced Tiger at Oakland Auditorium on August 4th, 1979, and he continued playing the legendary guitar all the way through his final song ("Box of Rain") at Soldier Field on July 9th, 1995.  In 2002, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay purchased the guitar in an auction, and it was recently delivered to members of Dead & Company for their summer tour rehearsals. 

While appearing with Bob Weir on What Happens Live last month, Dead & Company guitarist John Mayer showed no interest in playing Tiger.  Mayer told host and fellow Deadhead Andy Cohen, “With all the love in the world … It’s not necessarily a contact I want to make … I don’t know that I want to make contact with that part of it, it’s a little touchy for me and it’s just so damn heavy that guitar!”

Tickets for the Red Rocks symphonic celebration are available via AXS.com.

Watch Warren Hayes play Garcia's 'Wolf' with The Boston Pops in Lenox, MA during June of 2013 here:


Throwback: A History Lesson With Jerry Garcia January 14, 2016 12:19

Today we look back on an in-depth interview with Grateful Dead guitarist/vocalist, Jerry Garcia.  This unedited interview with Garcia comes from the mini-series "The History of Rock and Roll."   Garcia shares memories from the earliest days of The Dead, including The Acid Tests, Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, songwriting with Robert Hunter & David Grisman, and many entertaining stories from the Haight-Ashbury days.  Dick Latvala provides a brief tour of the Grateful Dead Vault as a special bonus at the end of the interview.

Garcia was an American musician best known for his lead guitar work, singing and songwriting with the Grateful Dead, which came to prominence during the counterculture era in the 1960s.  Though he disavowed the role, Garcia was viewed by many as the leader or "spokesman" of the group.  He was well known by many for his distinctive guitar playing and was ranked 13th in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" cover story.  Garcia battled diabetes and struggled with addiction through the 80's and 90's, and ultimately died of a heart attack on August 9th, 1995 at age 53.

"The History of Rock and Roll" is a definitive 10-part documentary covers rock 'n' roll history from its humble beginnings in the '50s to Lollapalooza in the '90s. Fans can experience their favorite rock 'n' roll moments all over again through hundreds of exclusive interviews, classic footage, and unforgettable in-concert performances from rock 'n' roll's biggest stars. A must-own for any rock 'n' roll fan.

Watch the unedited, 53-minute interview with Jerry Garcia here:


VIDEO: Jimmy Herring Playing Jerry Garcia's Travis Bean TB 500 Guitar April 14, 2015 21:29

-Today, Widespread Panic shared a longer video of the musicians jamming on the Grateful Dead song, “He’s Gone” prior to their March 15th show in Spokane, WA. Jimmy Herring can be seen playing Jerry Garcia's Travis Bean TB500 guitar.  This six minute video showcases Herring's uncanny familiarity with Jerry's style, having toured with The Dead and Phil & Friends in years past.

-Many will recall that 1998 and 1999 found Herring, with bassist Alphonso JohnsonDixie Dregs (and former Widespread Panic) keyboardist T Lavitz and jazz drummer Billy Cobham touring as Jazz Is Dead. Jazz Is Dead released three albums; the material was fusion jazz-rock, largely instrumental-only cover interpretations of classic Grateful Dead songs.