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The Grateful Dead


Dark Star

Dark star, crashes
Pouring its light into ashes
Reason tatters, the forces tear loose from the axis
Searchlight casting, for faults in the clouds of delusion
Shall we go, you and I while we can
Through, the transitive nightfall of diamonds

Mirror shatters in formless reflections of matter
Glass hand dissolving to ice petal flowers revolving
Lady in velvet recedes in the nights of goodbye
Shall we go, you and I while we can
Through the transitive nightfall of diamonds




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China Cat Sunflower
by the Dead

Look for awhile at the China Cat Sunflower
proud-walking jingle in the midnight sun
Copper-dome Bodhi drip a silver kimono
like a crazy-quilt stargown
through a dream night wind

Krazy Kat peeking through a lace bandana
like a one-eyed Cheshire
like a diamond-eye Jack
A leaf of all colors plays
a golden string fiddle
to a double-e waterfall over my back

Comic book colors on a violin river
crying Leonardo words
from out a silk trombone
I rang a silent bell
beneath a shower of pearls
in the eagle wing palace
of the Queen Chinee

Peace
LionHeart
February 2006


The Grateful Dead
Official Dead Website
The Dead Lists Site
The Jerry Site


The Grateful Dead was an American psychedelia-influenced rock band. Formed in 1965 in San Francisco from the remnants of another band, "Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions," the Grateful Dead were known for their unique and eclectic songwriting style—which fused elements of rock, folk music, bluegrass, blues, country, and jazz—and for live performances of long modal jams.

Some of the band's fans followed the band from concert to concert for years. These so-called Deadheads were renowned for their dedication to the band's music. Many followers referred to the band simply as The Dead.

The Grateful Dead's career began under the name "The Warlocks" in Palo Alto, California, but as another band was already recording under that name (interestingly, it was the future Velvet Underground), the band had to change its name in order to get a recording contract. After meeting their new manager Rock Scully, they moved to the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco. Many bands from this area, such as Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother & the Holding Company, and Santana, went on to national fame, giving San Francisco an image as a center for the hippie counterculture of the era. (Also see entry for the San Francisco Sound.) Of these bands, the Grateful Dead had members with arguably the highest level of musicianship, including banjo and guitar player Jerry Garcia, blues musician "Pigpen" McKernan, the classically trained Phil Lesh and drummer Bill Kreutzmann . The Grateful Dead most embodied "all the elements of the San Francisco scene and came, therefore, to represent the counterculture to the rest of the country".

The name "Grateful Dead" was chosen at random from a dictionary. Some claim it was a Funk & Wagnalls, others an Oxford Dictionary, but according to Phil Lesh, in his biography (see below), "...Jer (Garcia) picked up an old Britannica World Language Dictionary...(and)...In that silvery elf-voice he said to me, 'Hey, man, how about the Grateful Dead?'"

The Grateful Dead became the de facto resident band of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, with the early sound heavily influenced by Kesey's LSD-soaked Acid Tests, as well as R&B. Their musical influences varied widely with input from the psychedelic music of the era, combined with blues, jazz, rock and roll, and bluegrass. These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world."

The Grateful Dead are well-known for their near constant touring throughout their long career in music. They promoted a sense of community among their fans, who became known as Deadheads, many of whom followed their tours for months or years on end. In their early years, the band was also dedicated to their community, the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco, making available free food, lodging, music and health care to all comers; they were the "first among equals in giving unselfishly of themselves to hippie culture, performing 'more free concerts than any band in the history of music'.
The parking lot of a Grateful Dead concert was as much a part of the event as the concert itself. One could find items for sale at many cars in the lot, from grilled cheese sandwiches to "kind" brews and nitrous balloons. (Some deadheads would earn their entire touring budget selling such items.) Concertgoers typically congregated in the lot for hours before a show, playing guitar, hacky sacking and getting high. After the show, a deadhead with the post-show munchies could probably find a grilled cheese sandwich made on a camping stove at the door of a VW bus by a friendly hippie.

With the exception of 1975, when the band was on "hiatus" and played only four concerts together, the Grateful Dead toured regularly around the USA from the winter of 1965 until July 9, 1995—with a few detours to Canada, Europe and three nights at the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt in 1978. (They also appeared at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and the even more famous Woodstock Festival in 1969; their largest concert audience came in 1973 when they played, along with The Allman Brothers Band and The Band, before an estimated 600,000 people at the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen.)
Bandmembers

Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals (1965 - 1995)
Bob Weir - rhythm guitar, vocals (1965 - 1995)
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals (1965 - 1995)
Bill Kreutzmann - drums (1965 - 1995)
Mickey Hart - drums (1967 - 1971, 1975 - 1995)
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan - keyboards, vocals, harmonica, percussion (1965 - 1973)
Tom Constanten - keyboards (1968 - 1970)
Keith Godchaux - keyboards (1971 - 1979)
Donna Jean Godchaux - vocals (1972 - 1979)
Brent Mydland - keyboards, vocals (1979 - 1990)
Vince Welnick - keyboards, vocals (1990 - 1995)


For listen samples and reviews, click on CD cover photo. In new window,
click on CD photo again and scroll down.















Rosemary
by the Dead

Boots were of leather
A breath of cologne
Her mirror was a window
She sat quite alone
All around her
the garden grew
scarlet and purple
and crimson and blue

She came and she went
and at last went away

The garden was sealed
when the flowers decayed
On the wall of the garden
a legend did say:
No one may come here
since no one may stay


Grateful Dead DVD'S


Truckin' Up to Buffalo: (1989) DVD
The entire band is in peak musical form, making "Grateful Dead: Truckin' Up To Buffalo" one of the very best concerts. Arguably considered to be the Grateful Dead's best tour of their last 15 years of touring, this complete concert at Buffalo's Rich Stadium on July 4, 1989, features the quintessential Fourth of July song, "U.S. Blues."
With the picture taken from the master 1" video tape, shot with six cameras, and featuring an outstanding new 5.1 and stereo mix produced from the master multi-track tapes, this nearly three hour concert features such staples as "Touch of Grey," "Morning Dew," "All Along The Watchtower," "Deal," "Terrapin Station," and is sure to be a collector’s favorite!

A Night at the Family Dog 1970 (The Grateful Dead / Jefferson Airplane / Santana) DVD
Filmed on location at the Family Dog Ballroom in San Francisco in September, 1970, the show captures the heyday and diversity of the San Francisco sound with three of the most well known bands to emerge from the scene: Santana, who would release their second album at the end of 1970; The Grateful Dead, including original band member Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, who were making a name for themselves with their jam-filled performances; and Jefferson Airplane, who were at the time the biggest of the bands from the area.
San Francisco was an area of artistic creation during the mid-to-late 60's. Whether it was art, poetry or music, the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco was the place for like-minded individuals to explore and create. Noted jazz columnist Ralph J. Gleason took note of the exploding rock music scene and produced several television specials and documentaries spotlighting the music emerging from San Francisco. A Night At The Family Dog is one part of a two-part series (the other is Go Ride The Music) that aired on The National Educational Television Network in 1970.
The audio for this program has been extrapolated up to Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound mixes from their original mono source! This show has never sounded or looked so good!

The Closing of Winterland (1978) DVD
This release took some time to come out due to having the technology to sync up and clean up the audio and video tracks, many deadheads have tapes and vhs of this since it was broadcasted, but it never sounded better than here (much better than I expected). The video is decent, it's late 70's video, so I was'nt expecting miracles there, it's patchy in spots, but the good sound and performance make this a must have dvd for fans as it is and will be the only concert footage released from the 70's other than the Grateful Dead Movie. The band was at their peak during the 70's - this performance blows away the dvd's from subsequent years. There are many highlights including- "scarlet begonias>fire on the mountain", cippolina jamming on "not fade away", and a short but very good "dark star"...the guitar solo on "wharf rat" is a classic Garcia moment- probably his high point of the show- the whole 3rd set is great. The band is mostly "on" for this one, they were so hot in '77 and '78 that most of the shows ranged from good to incredibly good, this disc is a fine document from a time many fans have been wishing for...excellent work by the GD archivists.

Tie-Died - Rock 'n Roll's Most Deadicated Fans (1995) DVD
Filmed during the Grateful Dead's 1994 summer tour, this film chronicles the lives of the "Deadheads"-- free-spirited fans who follow the band around the country.



The Grateful Dead Movie (1976) DVD
The only Grateful Dead video to have received a theatrical release (in the mid-'70s), this film is a real time capsule. See Keith and Donna Godcheaux as integral parts of the band! See the Wall of Sound! See the trippy animation! See Jerry with all-black hair! The photography and sound are crude and not on par with those in some of the more recent Dead videos, notably Ticket to New Year's or Downhill from Here, but its earnestness, and its focus on an era in the Band's history with little other video documentation, more than make up for the lack of polish. There's some above-average music, too, especially "Eyes of the World" and the ever-irresistible "U.S. Blues."

Ticket to New Year's (1987) DVD
One of the saddest times for Deadheads since the death of Jerry Garcia is New Year's Eve. The Dead's legendary performances in the Bay Area ushered in a couple of decades worth of new years, and even if you couldn't make it, it was comforting to know the band was carrying on the tradition. Well, that tradition is gone, but there's a video experience that comes pretty darn close--The Grateful Dead: Ticket to New Year's, taped on New Year's Eve 1987 at the Oakland Coliseum. It's a creatively photographed and extraordinarily performed concert film that ranks among the best Dead performances on video, packed with delightful surprises. Some of the best: a robust "Terrapin Station," a rare rendition of the stoner fave "Dark Star," and an unflinchingly bluesy "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." The effect of the whole performance is that of a bittersweet valentine to a way of life that may be gone but is still beloved.



Downhill From Here (1989) DVD
Made for hard-core Deadheads only, this two-and-a-half-hour-long concert video (released after the death of leader Jerry Garcia) captures an entire live show by the psychedelic pioneers. Shot in the summer of 1989 at Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, Wisconsin, the Dead are caught during one of their latter-day musical peaks. Appearing jovial (Garcia actually moves during several tunes!), the band provides numerous patented extended jams during a two-set, 23-song performance. Lively highlights include Garcia's blistering solos during "Deal" and "China Cat Sunflower/I Know You Rider"; the spacey pairing of "Uncle John's Band" with "Playing in the Band"; and the tender ballad "Standing on the Moon." The motionless Dead were never a visually compelling live act, so viewers shouldn't expect anything more than close-ups of the sextet's faces and hands. However, such a conventional approach is preferred over the cheesy kaleidoscope of video effects that mar numerous songs here.

The End of the Road - The Final Tour '95 (2000) DVD
Music by Merl Saunders & Jerry Garcia,
Appearances by Babatunde Olatunji, Merl Saunders, Wavy Gravy, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann
Written & Directed By: Brent Meeske For 30 years, Jerry Garcia played guitar and sang for the Grateful Dead, and by doing so, inspired a modern cultural phenomenon – the legions of nomadic fans that made a communal way of life out of following Jerry and the Dead – the Deadheads. "The End of the Road" began shooting just 3 months before Garcia’s Death in 1995 – documenting ‘life on the road’ with this family of bohemian wanderers – on what would be the final tour with Jerry and the Dead. That summer the road came to an end back where it all began – in San Francisco – where thousands gathered one last time for eulogies from bandmates, friends and family at the memorial for Jerry Garcia.

Live Dead - The Grateful Dead in Concert (Downhill from Here, Ticket to New Year's, View from the Vault) DVD
ive Dead: The Grateful Dead in Concert is a great sampler of live performances from the latter third of the Grateful Dead's career. Like all Dead performances, there's a fair amount of chaff with the wheat, but among the three discs--Ticket to New Year's, View from the Vault, and Downhill from Here--fans will find many gems, as well as extra footage not available on VHS. Ticket to New Year's, taped on New Year's Eve 1987 at the Oakland Coliseum, is among the band's best filmed performances, featuring a robust "Terrapin Station," a (blessedly short) Space and Drums that segues sweetly into the stoner fave "Dark Star," and an unflinchingly bluesy "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," sung by Jerry Garcia with clear-eyed wistfulness. View from the Vault, taped July 8, 1990 (16 days before keyboardist Brent Mydland died of an overdose), in Pittsburgh, offers both great versions of Dead classics (including "Eyes of the World," "Let It Grow" and "He's Gone") and an intimate look at the dynamics that few could notice when attending a stadium show, including wonderful interplay between Garcia and Mydland. Downhill from Here, shot in the summer of 1989 at Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, Wisconsin, features cheesy, unnecessary video effects. It is redeemed by Garcia's blistering guitar solos during "Deal" and "China Cat Sunflower/I Know You Rider," a spacey pairing of "Uncle John's Band" with "Playing in the Band," and the tender ballad "Standing on the Moon."




For Serious Dead Heads



Sunsout Grateful Dead 40th Anniversary 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Features:
19 inches x 30 inches
1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Puzzle Pieces are Random Shaped
Made From Thick Puzzle Board
Protective High Gloss Finish

The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics (Hardcover)
by David Dodd (Commentary)

Even the most hardcore Deadheads will be impressed by this obsessively complete look at the Grateful Dead's lyrics written by Robert Hunter and John Barlow, as well as selected traditional and cover songs that were basic parts of the Dead's repertoire. In 1994, Dodd (The Grateful Dead Reader) founded the first Web site of annotated Dead lyrics, and this book is the product of that project, which united academics and fans in finding "new references, resonances, and refractions" in favorites like "Dark Star" and "Uncle John's Band." The annotations range from a look at the influence of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," Stephen Foster's "Oh Susanna," and Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde on Hunter's "New Speedway Boogie" to a recipe for cream puffs by Denver Post food critic John Kessler to illustrate "Cream Puff War," an obscure tune by Jerry Garcia. But the heart of the book is Hunter's exquisitely written foreword, which is equal parts love letter to the lyric tradition, impassioned argument on the importance of songwriting and creativity, and reverie for the Grateful Dead themselves and his luck in being their primary lyricist: "I lived lyric year in and year out for decades and never lost my taste for it."

Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead (Hardcover)
by Phil Lesh

Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh has written the memoir one might have expected: energetic and flawed, but sure to be loved by fans. Lesh joined the band's original members—Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzman and "Pigpen" Ron McKernan—in 1965 and helped morph the legendary outfit from its beginnings as a jug band to the unique, psychedelic improvisational jam band that spawned arguably the most loyal, iconic audience in popular music history: the Deadheads. What a long, strange trip it was. For 30-plus years, from being the house band for Ken Kesey's acid tests to stadium tours in the 1980s and '90s, the band pioneered a new paradigm for musicians, operating as an extended, albeit dysfunctional, family. Along the way, three keyboardists died, two managers robbed the band, bad deals were signed, massive debt was accrued and drug and alcohol problems flared. In 1995, the trip finally ended (or did it?), when Garcia died. Lesh infuses his prose with his wacky personality, which is endearing, but also maddening, especially when he's rendering acid trips or discussing music. Indeed, many fans who twirled ecstatically at Dead shows will struggle to follow Lesh's extended explanations of the band's compositions. Also, the second half of the band's life gets short shrift. Nevertheless, Deadheads will surely celebrate Lesh's honest, intimate remembrances.

Grateful Dead The Roses Logo Pants
These pants are covered with Grateful Dead The Roses Logos in an all-over print.
100% cotton knit
Imported
Covered waistband; Adjustable drawstring tie; Open fly; Side pockets
Machine washable; Easy care.

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