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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" - GRATEFUL DEAD - "GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN" FEATURING THE ALBUM "LIVE / DEAD" BY THE GRATEFUL DEAD IN HIGH DEFINITION WITH NARRATIVE - EPISODE # 53 - THE CAPTAIN EXPLORES HIS COVE OF 8 TRACK TREASURES JUST FOR YOU!!

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“GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

LIVE/DEAD by The Grateful Dead (WB, 1969)

As I write this, my 19 year old son is working to establish a tie-dying business, creating custom shirts and other swag for a still bustling Grateful Dead community. They follow Bob Weir and the remaining avatars of the LSD era. Time, for them, has stood still, and their recreation-cum-religion continues to fuel the Utopian dreams of a half century ago.

I attended the University of Iowa from 1971-1975, and my only encounter with the Dead was when they played the Field House on campus. I took too much acid that night and missed most of the show, holed up in an apartment with a couple of Jesus freaks, who endeavored to save my soul – ALL NIGHT LONG. I only agreed to be preached at because I was too afraid to be alone. At dawn, I staggered home, weighing my hangover options: continue to flood my brain with hallucinogens, or embrace the abstinence that would inevitably have to occur.

The Dead were, and still are, primarily a live act. In my opinion they’ve only been successfully recorded in the studio twice: on Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty, their pair of folk inflected, harmony soaked recordings, from which emerged some of their finest compositions: (Uncle John’s Band, Box of Rain, Ripple, Truckin’)… For decades, there was a sizable cult of people trading home-made cassettes of their myriad live performances, (all sanctioned by the group), and now there are online archives of thousands of concerts to be parsed over by the faithful, and studied like the Torah.

Live/Dead is perhaps the foremost document of the classic Dead line up at their best – I’d venture to guess that it is certainly the best available on 8 track! It’s a cart I always wanted, and I scored a pristine copy some years back and I still listen to it regularly.

The more I listen, the more my respect grows for the endlessly creative, improvisational passages that this group was able to conjure, consistently, over the years. This is free-form jazz, translated through a folk-blues vocabulary – six players, all doing their own thing – as one – gestating motifs, now morphing them; chaotically coming apart, and, then, gloriously, coming back together. Guided by Saint Jerry, this sect of musical devotees lived out their socialist ideals, and succeeded in this capitalist society beyond anyone’s reckoning. And, they live on…and on….and on…

Side One

1. “Dark Star” (Garcia, Hart, Hunter, Kreutzmann, Lesh, McKernan, Weir) 27 February 1969, Fillmore West 23:18[a]

Side Two

1. “St. Stephen” (Garcia, Hunter, Lesh) 27 February 1969, Fillmore West 6:31[a] 2. “The Eleven” (Hunter, Lesh) 26 January 1969, Avalon Ballroom 9:18

Side Three

1. “Turn On Your Love Light” (Deadric Malone, Joseph Scott) 26 January 1969, Avalon Ballroom 15:05

Side Four

1. “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” (Reverend Gary Davis) 2 March 1969, Fillmore West 10:28[ 2. “Feedback” (Constanten, Garcia, Hart, Kreutzmann, Lesh, McKernan, Weir) 2 March 1969, Fillmore West 7:49 3. “And We Bid You Goodnight” (Traditional, arr. by Grateful Dead)


By Rich Buckland 04/10/2022 02:02 PM

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