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Not Sure Where To Begin?

The intro posts are always a good start, followed logically by
my thoughts on Music & Being, which guide my writing.
You could also try my current favorite show on the blog,
plus there's good reading under the trading community label.
Or, take a walk on a
Listening Trail.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Happy Anniversary

The Guide celebrates having one year under its belt today. In the first year we’ve logged 70 show reviews. If viewed as being a brand new tape collector, that’s a pretty nice collection of shows to have gathered in a year’s time. Not an overwhelming number, but enough to start causing our non-Deadhead friends to think very seriously that we have some kind of problem, just the same.

In the old days this would represent something on the order of 160 cassette tapes – definitely time to start building some nice wooden cassette racks for the wall! Spread out over a year, we might not even have noticed that we dropped something on the order of $425 on our new cassette habit (to say little of stamps and bubble envelopes). Also worth recognizing is the fact that we would have probably spent a good deal of time sending a fair amount of this music out to other like-minded traders, turning other folks on to some amazing music.

That’s one thing about the Grateful Dead tape trading scene – it resonates with, and follows the laws of balance in the universe. There is a built in regulator switch to tape trading that makes it almost impossible not to share out at least as much music as you accept in. And the more you give, the more you get. It is (was) not uncommon to be gifted tapes pretty regularly, and this then would inspire us to do more of the same. Whether it be adding an extra tape or two in a trade just because you really wanted to share some show that wasn’t part of a trade request, or the handing out of tapes to strangers at a gas station when you see with a Grateful Dead bumper sticker on their car, this sort of stuff went on regularly in tape trading.

I know we touched on this a while back, but it’s also worth recognizing that after a year of this trading, our significant other has not been blind to our new found zeal for something having altogether nothing to do with said “other.” We’re probably spending a bit more time than could be rationalized under headphones, or in the basement. Does she/he know about that $425 bucks!?! And to be sure, we are catching grief for always exiting the normal activities of life every 46 minutes to go flip a tape – and I mean always.

The fact that we seemed powerless to stop these things was a telltale sign that we were in the right place. And I suppose that while the onset of our “digital age” has changed the very nature of our trading community forever, we can be thankful that so much music is now so easily accessible in forums such as this and others across the net. And the give and take is still alive and well. I can’t express how much pleasure I get from knowing how appreciative folks are about the content of this site. That’s what I’m getting in trade – the knowledge that I’m achieving a bit of my intended goal for the guide. Thank you all for that.

If the first days are the hardest days, we shouldn’t worry now about our ability to explore more great music in year two of the Grateful Dead Listening Guide. Whether you started reading a year ago, or have only recently stumbled into our corner of the web, I’m glad to have you along. The wide readership, responses, and always positive feedback are constant reminders that starting this thing was a good idea. I look forward to continuing to explore the music and musical spirituality that inspires me to write and share my thoughts with you all.

You can always blame that grizzled old Deadhead that lives across the street when your friends look at you with an air of confusion. Listen to the music play!


  1. I love this blog. You love the Dead for the same reasons I do. Keep up da good work.

  2. Happy anniversary, here's a slice of your favorite virtual cake.

    The great thing about detailed reviews of classic shows is your blog will still be fun and relevant long after most blogs have passed their 'sell by' date. You've singlehandedly written another volume of the Taping Compendium here - that's amazing, dude!

  3. Happy Anniversary and thanks for such a beautiful thing!! I dropped out of society for almost a decade, and in isolated Alaska, I don't get to share my love for the Dead that much with people around me. This blog has rekindled an essential fire in my soul!! In a weird dehumanized-cyber-sort-of-way I feel more connected to my tribe of yore than I have in a long time.
    Your take on the music is spot on, and you've totally turned me on to AUD tapes (which I used to hate) - with the high-quality AUD I feel so much more "in" the show than ever before. It's given me a better glimpse into the '70's shows that I was too young to attend.
    Thank you so much. Keep up the good work!

  4. jeez, one year already? happy anniversary, noah! Getting the nod towards an unheralded gem always adds a little something exttra to the experience of listening to and living with this music. I've had a great year reading your commentary, following your leads, and being reminded of why I started buying XLII's in bulk way back when.

  5. congratulations and good job! and thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings about this group of cosmic jokers that we love and the amazing music that they made. they were truly a special band and a unique institution and i know that many of us dearly miss being able to go to shows and connect with the magic of the music amongst our fellow freaks. nothing like it exists today. but your blog reminds us that people like you- the deadheads- were also heavily responsible for making the experience so positive for so many people. enthusiasm is contagious and, by informing the listener and contextualizing the performances and perpetuating the belief that music is valuable, the deadheads helped create an environment that allowed people to care about the music enough to transform a dingy grey municipal coliseum into a colorful vibrating church of sound. and though the band is gone and the tribe disbanded and we're all getting old and the notion that music should be revered and respected is fading fast, we can all be thankful for people like you who are willing to put in the time and effort to remind us that the music lives on and it is there for us to tap into and it is just as powerful as it ever was. thanks so much. peace.

    ps- big ups to the internets. if somebody had told me back in the day, as i was schlepping around my massive crates of crappy, crappy XLIIs and lustfully reading glorious setlists of unattainable shows in deadbase, that i would someday have instant access to amazing recordings of just about every show i never would have believed them...

  6. Happy are really good at opening my ears to some years that I have not listened to much and for that i send you a virtual bottle o' yr fave tipple. Cheers

  7. Buon Compleanno, Noah!
    and best wishes for 100 years more of grateful Dead Listening Guide.

    The Italian Head

  8. hear hear, yup. I agree with your words 100%. Well put, sir!

  9. Happy Anniversary and thanks for building this for all of us to enjoy and share. The depth of the archives of the GOGD is amazing and never stops teaching us, illuminating new universes and reminding us how much is still out there to be discovered. Keep going and know how much eudemonia you are giving the world with this website. "It's a rainbow full of sounds, it's fireworks, calliopes and clowns....."

  10. Happy Anniversary and many thanks for your wonderful site it makes many ole deadheads happy and will do for many years to come i,m sure

  11. I wanted to thank you for this outstanding site. It is one of my two favorite blog sites. I've been reading it since last spring. This is my first post. I found this site at just the right time, as I was trying to figure out the best GD "live" shows to collect and your site hit the spot perfectly. Keep up the good work!

    - augustwest / DT

  12. You guys are all too kind. Sorry it took me a while to come back in here and thank you all for your comments. Just been a bit busy on my end.

    Thanks you all for reading and listening along. I'm very glad to have you here.


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