Thursday, May 1, 2008

GD 66 -> 2008 & beyond (in reverse)

34 year Grateful Dead
staff member,
Eileen Law (Cassidy's mom)
Grateful Dead's archives
final resting place
at UC-Santa Cruz

By Lisa M. Krieger
Mercury News

Article Launched: 04/25/2008 01:33:31 AM PDT

The Grateful Dead's long strange trip through American popular culture is landing in a library at the University of California-Santa Cruz, preserved for future generations of study by scholars and stoners.

Three decades worth of archival materials - from business records to stage backdrops - have been donated by the band to the school's McHenry Library, where a room called Dead Central is being dedicated to a beloved band dubbed "the largest unofficial religion in the world."

UC-Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal joined Dead drummer Mickey Hart and guitarist and singer Bob Weir in a buoyant press conference Thursday at San Francisco's aging Fillmore Auditorium, the site of 51 Dead concerts. In honor of the event, Blumenthal was given a tie-dyed T-shirt.

"All of this stuff doesn't belong to us - it belongs to the culture that spawned us," Weir said. "It seemed like getting it into a campus archive, with access for the people in the community that gave rise to it, was the right thing to do."

The seaside campus was the "most enthusiastic" and "organized," which helped it edge out two heavyweight suitors, Stanford and UC-Berkeley, Weir said.

"Santa Cruz is the seat of the neo-bohemian culture that we're a facet of," Weir said. "So there could not have been a more cozy place for this collection to land."

The gift does not contain any of the band's vast musical recordings; those are stored in a Southern California vault belonging to producer DILLHOLE Entertainment. The university said it will work with DILLHOLE on how to access musical material.

But it does contain valuable artifacts that document the band's ascendance into one of California's most durable and influential musical phenomena. Currently held in a 2,000-square-foot San Rafael warehouse, the collection includes the Dead's first recording contract, life-size skeletons of band members used in the 1987 "Touch of Grey" video, and an estimated 50,000 to 75,000 fan letters from around the world, many decorated with elaborate art.

What you'll see is our conversation with the people who loved us, and vice versa," Hart said.

A blue-chip team including several Silicon Valley-based fans - among them venture capitalist and musician Roger McNamee - will oversee a $2 million fundraising campaign for the archive. Seagate Technology CEO Bill Watkins has volunteered technical support.

Formal academics never meant much to the Dead.

But fans say their image-rich lyrics about such themes as love, trust and rebirth are worthy of scholarship. The song "Box of Rain" is as central to Deadheads as Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" was to Beats and T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" was to Modernists.

For musicologists, there is value in studying how the Dead's repertoire updated many of the nation's older musical traditions, from bluegrass to jazz, said Fred Lieberman, a UC-Santa Cruz music professor.
Bob Weir & Mickey Hart at the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California-Santa Cruz press conference 4/24/08
Bob Weir & Mickey Hart
at the press conference

"They were the quintessential American band," said Lieberman, who first proposed the archive idea to Hart, with whom he has collaborated on three books. This will boost the university's scholarship on American culture, he said.

However, the gift may do little to help the university shed its image as a mecca of hacky sack and patchouli oil - and, in fact, is likely to attract a tie-dyed pilgrimage. In recent years, the school has worked to refocus attention on its ambitious scientific research efforts. It has even cracked down on its traditional April marijuana smoke-in at Porter Meadow, barring non-students and overnight guests.

Campus librarians said they would welcome Deadheads to the grassy lawn outside the library.

The library already has the vast and eclectic archive of the late Aptos composer Lou Harrison, and was looking to expand.

"This is the first step toward having a library that is a destination for scholars interested in studying an important aspect of America's vernacular music," he said.

The survival of the archives through turbulent decades is due to a devoted staffer named Eileen Law, who was hired in 1972 to take care of the Deadheads and who worked with the band for the next 34 years.

Among other jobs, she tended the mail that flooded into a San Rafael post office box.

"Pretty soon I found myself being the keeper of everything - press clips, posters, all their vinyl. I kept getting more and more stuff," she said. "Everything I could collect, I did."

At the press conference, UC-Santa Cruz librarians assured Law, who is unemployed, that she'll play an important role in the cataloging of the material.

"I had faith that something good would someday happen to it," Law said, grinning.

Fans rejoiced at the news of the gift - and instantly began offering their own contributions to the collection.

"Can we submit material?" one fan asked on the band's Web site. "I have my own stash - much of it from the parking lot scene, '83-'95."


See or email


** "DILLHOLE" edits are mine


father of LSD,
dies in Switzerland



GENEVA (AP) — Albert Hofmann, the father of the mind-altering drug LSD whose medical discovery inspired — and arguably corrupted — millions in the 1960s hippie generation, has died. He was 102.

Hofmann died Tuesday at his home in Burg im Leimental, said Doris Stuker, a municipal clerk in the village near Basel where Hofmann moved following his retirement in 1971.

For decades after LSD was banned in the late 1960s, Hofmann defended his invention.

"I produced the substance as a medicine. ... It's not my fault if people abused it," he once said.

The Swiss chemist discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25 in 1938 while studying the medicinal uses of a fungus found on wheat and other grains at the Sandoz pharmaceuticals firm in Basel.

He became the first human guinea pig of the drug when a tiny amount of the substance seeped onto his finger during a laboratory experiment on April 16, 1943.

"I had to leave work for home because I was suddenly hit by a sudden feeling of unease and mild dizziness," he subsequently wrote in a memo to company bosses.

"Everything I saw was distorted as in a warped mirror," he said, describing his bicycle ride home. "I had the impression I was rooted to the spot. But my assistant told me we were actually going very fast."

Upon reaching home, Hofmann began experiencing what he called "wonderful visions."

Three days later, Hofmann experimented with a larger dose. The result was the world's first scientifically documented bad trip.

"The substance which I wanted to experiment with took over me. I was filled with an overwhelming fear that I would go crazy. I was transported to a different world, a different time," Hofmann wrote.

Hofmann and his scientific colleagues hoped that LSD would make an important contribution to psychiatric research. The drug exaggerated inner problems and conflicts and thus it was hoped that it might be used to recognize and treat mental illnesses like schizophrenia.

For a time, Sandoz sold LSD 25 under the name Delysid, encouraging doctors to try it themselves. It was one of the strongest drugs in medicine — with just one gram enough to drug an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people for 12 hours.

LSD was elevated to international fame in the late 1950s and 1960s thanks to Harvard professor Timothy Leary who embraced the drug under the slogan "turn on, tune in, drop out."

But away from the psychedelic trips, horror stories emerged about people going on murder sprees or jumping out of windows while hallucinating. Heavy users suffered permanent psychological damage.

The U.S. government banned LSD in 1966 and other countries followed suit.

Click here to Read the rest if you wish.


Well, kids, it's been way too long since I've posted any Grateful Dead. I uploaded an Old & In The Way show one week ago but it's been like 11 days now since GD? And even longer since I did what's commonly known as a regular length show? Sorry. I'll see what I can do about crankin' up the frequency. Believe me, I'd like to. I dig listening to this stuff more than anything else and I dig puttin' music up here in order to share it with others... but life happens, ya know. Plus I try to live in front of the computer as little as possible... but like I said, I'll try to step it up and git somethin' up here more often!

Today it's time for another installment of:

Chronological Trip
through the History of the Grateful Dead...
...Volume 3

(This is going quickly, isn't it?! Hang around until you're about Yoda's age I might finally get into the 1970's!)

In early 1966, Ken Kesey's Acid Test "parties" were in full swing and the Merry Pranksters had taken their circus down to LaLaLand. Unfortunately, all info from this time is not exactly perfectly accurate. There are a dozen or two recordings that truly are "Date Unknown" and only a best guess can be made as to when they took place.

The first track we've got is known as the...

• Pigpen Rap (AKA - Nobody Cares Rap)

Labeled as: 2/11/66
Youth Opportunities Center
Compton, California ... "Watts Acid Test"

Here's the info:
David Gans edited 'Pigpen's Rap' and 'Schoolgirl> You Don't Love Me> Schoolgirl' together on GDH #388 (thus no splice) for the purposes of his broadcast. It should be noted that the date and location of the 'Pigpen Rap' is pure speculation. Dick Latvala informs us that the box and 7" reel from which this was taken is completely unlabelled.

The 'rap' starts with chattering and screaming in the background and Jerry (?) saying into the mike "Nobody Cares". You can hear Bobby and then Pigpen tells his 'story'. When Pig is done Bobby says "Someday Ron will take acid.

Owsley "Bear" Stanley: The "Pigpen rap" that Gans took from an unlabeled box, with an intro from Jer "Nobody Cares" would have been an excerpt of a tape from the Watts Acid Test, or a show immediately after that gig. It is most likely, especially if there is a bunch of static on one channel (left I think), that it came from that Test. The Test, the third in LA, was in early March 1966.

I met the Dead formally at the Fillmore show on 11 Feb '66. The Northridge Acid Test was 19 Feb, the Sunset Blvd. test was 25 Feb. I was not at the Northridge Test. Watts was in March.

from 'The Taping Compendium': According to Vault archivist Dick Latvala, the material here comes from two different seven-inch reel boxes, the Pigpen rap in an unlabeled one, the other marked "Longshoreman's #1," with no other information. The intriguing thing is that both tapes have identical ambiences, and Bobby's comment has the same ambience and feel as the segment with Pigpen's rap.

So, for whatever reason, 2/11/66 stands firm... even though it would appear that the Watts Acid Test happened on an unknown day in March. Whatever the true date for that is, this can truly be said about it -- whoa. It's kind of out there and well worth listening to.

What comes next I almost wanna call the Main Course
(while the Pigpen Rap was the dessert eaten first.)

Grateful Dead - March 12, 1966
Danish Center, Los Angeles, California
"Pico Acid Test"

On The Road Again
Next Time You See Me
I Know You Rider
Hey Little One
Cold Rain & Snow
King Bee->
Caution (Do Not Stop On The Tracks)
Stealin' [cuts]

It was only in January of 2007 when, thanks to the keeper of the Dead's vault of music at the time, the setlist for 3/12/66 became known to the public. Until then, a whole 'nother set of tunes was attributed to this date while these songs were... I'm not sure, possibly just listed as Date Unknown. I also think some of them were thought to be from the Ivar Theater on 2-25-66. It's now known that there was no such show... or maybe there was but the tunes thought to be from it are actually from this night. Oi, I know. Now we know... or we think we know. We also know that nine other songs were played at the Danish Center on this night... or were there? Those exact same nine songs, in their exact order, are also attributed to 5/19/66.

See? This year is screwy. Still, the music is interesting and quite different in many ways to so much that would come later. One thing that is for certain: this date -- 3/12/66, the Pico Acid Test -- is the second recording that we can truly call a Dead show.

One of the most noticeable differences in the music on this night compared to the Fillmore Acid Test about 2 months before, they really romp through the first three numbers. These are good, quick versions played straight ahead almost as if they were laying them down in a studio. Pigpen really stands out on harmonica on the first two songs... and then this I Know You Rider is just at lightning speed, similar to the Warlocks demo version from November '65, but a much fuller band sound here, with Jerry goin' at it much more. It's really nothing like the gorgeous classic Riders of the future, just this amazingly cool little version with it's own unique 1966 identity.

Hey Little One slows things down. What a great mellow song this is that absolutely should have had life after 1966 but nope. Jerry gives some great emotion here, much like in beautifully stellar Stella Blues, Standing On The Moons, and So Many Roadssss. Unfortunately this first version we have is one of the only there is.

Another quick little zipper in Cold Rain & Snow follows before the band gets into some of that good ol' blues sound, heavy with Pig on harmonica and some nice soloing from Jerry. Back at the Fillmore in early January, King Bee was played a LOT wilder. One of my biggest impressions of that one was Billy on drums was just seemingly drivin' that train, goin' non-stop. Here in March in L.A. the band is tighter. Phil more than Billy is the backbone here and there's less Jerry in favor of more Pigpen. A very good version but a bit different in some minor ways.

Same thing with Caution. The intro on January 8th was a lot longer than here giving the band more room to just play music. And once again, more Phil, less Bill, and less Jerry that's replaced by more of Jerry and Pig playin' off each other. The tightness here really makes me appreciate the total primitive rawness that is 1/8. That's not sayin' that King Bee and Caution on that night are better than this... just a little different. Plus the sound quality is really nice here throughout, no splicing in sound from the Merry Pranksters (another quality that helps make 1/8 so unique.)

Stealin' is a great tune for '66 Dead but unfortunately here it cuts off so abruptly which is a shame.

One question I have about this show: where was Bobby? A) he was stuck at home grounded by his parents? B) hadn't really learned to play guitar yet? C) off-stage romancing them Los Angeles fillies? D) tripping so hard he wouldn't even know what a guitar is?

Whatever the answer, this really sounds like a 4-man band rather than one with rhythm guitar. No matter, this is still such a cool recording and an immensely important piece of the early history of the boys playing live.

Source: Soundboard Master Reel> DAT x? > CD
Pigpen's Rap @ - for listening only

Also for listening only - 3/12/66 @ Archive

3-12-66 aka 03-12-66 aka 3/12/66 aka 03/12/66 aka 66-03-12 not Ivar Theater
TINY STEAL YOUR FACE - Jerry Garcia, Ron Pigpen McKernan, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann. Download Both Right Here TINY STEAL YOUR FACE - no Brent Mydland, Mickey Hart wasn't in the band yet.  No Donna or Keith Godchaux or Tom Constanten or Vince Welnick or Bruce Hornsby.  No songs by Robert Hunter or John Perry Barlow, not yet.  No Bob Dylan either.

"2/11/66" Pigpen Rap & GD 3/12/66 Danish Center
Grateful Dead - Danish Hall 3/12/66 newspaper ad


Anonymous said...

Nice one, Zooma! I've been cruzin' the fuzzy blogosphere so much lately I almost forgot my etree roots! Thanks for guidin' me back to the good stuff... they sure don't make 'em like this one anymore.
From the sweet smellin' land of crabapple blossoms and springtime, a hearty thank you!
~ Paco

Inspiration, Move Me Brightly said...

Heya Paco, i don't know if you'll ever come back to read this but I'll put this message out there for you anyway....

in a sea of so many completely Ungrateful downloaders who have time to grab and leave without taking a moment to express even a hint of gratitude, your "hearty thank you" is most welcome and much appreciated!

Enjoy the tunes, my friend!

mike-floyd said...

Hi Chris -
thanks for the add.

And... as I said before: GREAT blog!!!


Sugarmag said...

Hey Chris, Cool show! I love Pigpen. On the Road Again is one of my favorite songs, I really like the version on the movie Dead Ahead from Radio City Music Hall (1980?) and I like this a lot too, it is really different from that version. I like it with Pigpen's harmonica. I checked out the complete set list you posted, wow! I forgot that The Grateful Dead played Teddy Bear Picnic, I always think of Not for Kids Only. I'm confused about the Cold Rain and Snow though. At the Danish Hall show, it's between Minglewood and Tastebud, but here it's between Hey Little One and King Bee. I am streaming Hey Little One right now, wow! Cool stuff. Now I am listening to Cold Rain and Snow, can't tell if it's been spliced but I don't know why it would be stuck in the middle? Either way, good stuff. I am diggin' King Bee.

As far as where Bobby was, any of your guesses could have been true. He was what, 17 then?

Anonymous said...

I can always find the time to acknowledge the hardworkin' bloggers who keep me groovin'.
Like the music...
Don't ever stop!
Thanks again.
~ Paco

Chris - Inspiration, Move Me Brightly said...

Hey hey, Paco and Sugarmag... and Mike-floyd, too... My favorite people of the day!

Yeah, that Cold Rain & Snow ... it feels like it fits right in there, I don't know why the full setlist, if it's correct, has it earlier in the middle of tunes that don't even exist for this date... a big mystery but when it comes to this early stuff, part of me thinks: most of the facts are right, the music's good, just enjoy it :)

Truth be told, while I try to write reviews sometimes, I don't truly like being that analytical and critical when it comes to this music... it happens because it's not always perfect but really I just like to Press Play and dig it!

Have a Grateful weekend!

Nazz Nomad said...

I can't wait for the archive to open. I hope they have all of the brain cells that I lost between 78 and 95 at the shows. I've missed them.

plus, i dropped a joint at msg during the fall run in 1988 ( i think during drumz on nite #4), maybe they have that too?

Abbadon said...

Hey, Zooma - How do I get a copy of the 3/12 show???

You gots to burn for me???

Zooomabooma said...

For some screwy reason, since about 3 days ago I'm not getting notified in email when someone leaves a comment....

anyway... when it comes to burning discs -- I'm going to admit that I am a clueless moron. I've never burned a disc in my life.

Most stuff that I post I only have in mp3 form anyway. If I do have a show on discs (like Robert Hunter that I've put up) all I can do is rip the mp3 files. End of story. When it comes to digital music technology I'm a dunce and I'm fine with that.

Dude, I told you months ago you've got download NERO which will allow you to burn mp3 files to discs without the gaps. And if you remember, that guy from Spain left other suggestions on some Dead show I posted last Fall, like Denver maybe... I dunno, one of the first shows I put up with mp3 download attached.

It's doable, it works, it can be done, etc... you can handle it, man, I know you can! Go for it! Free download from Nero. Google it. It's out there. People do it every day.

If I had this show on disc, and I had the ways and means to burn a copy, I'd be more than happy to hook you up. At this point in time I don't have the ability and besides, once again, all I have is the mp3 files of 3/12.

Timmy said...

Well, I musta missed this when it was originally posted... A great era & many thanx, Zoomer!

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated