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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.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Welcomes and Greetings

Grateful Dead ca. 1972

Hello fellow fans of the Grateful Dead. My purpose in creating this blog comes from years of devotion to Grateful Dead tape/CD trading, and doing everything I could to share the music of the Grateful Dead with interested ears.

Times have changed in the world of our trading community, and some of the most apparent trends seem to be a deterioration or absence of what we once called the "community" and the explosion of availability of nearly every Dead recording ever at everyone's finger tips. It seems that the latter gave rise (or decline) to the former.

Most folks are no longer getting to know other traders, building lists of trading partners, exchanging lists, and mailing discs (or cassette tapes!) to each other, waiting anxiously at the mailbox for that next package of shows to arrive. Such is the price of the progress of technology. The bubble envelope has been replaced with the Bit Torrent and online archives. At the same time, there are more and more people "finding" the Dead and seeking out music to enjoy. Everyone wants to hear the best Grateful Dead show from 1973, after all. But which one is it?

The music is easy enough to find (, etc..). Knowing where to start is more and more of a mystery.

When I started trading, I dreamed of having all tapes at my fingertips (and set about collecting thousands of hours on tape to get there). Now that everything is so widely within the reach of a clever mouse, it seems likely that a paralysis can set in, preventing someone from knowing where to step first. Knowing that the Dead have plenty of shows that lack quite the luster of others (a hugely debated topic as to which shows are, and are not, worthy of either distinction), it is easy to potentially mis-step and come out disappointed. With such a huge collection to choose from, this is one adventure where it can get frustrating looking for a needle in a haystack.

Disappointment would be somewhat avoidable if every Dead tape collecting newbie had a grizzled old deadhead living across the street who invited them over to listen to old recordings and walk back home with arms full of music to copy. Online, that's not something easily found. And that is just what I aim to bring to you. If you came over to my home to borrow shows, I know a number of them that I'd recommend over others, and I would gain as much joy in sharing as you might in being turned onto some of the greatest music out there. Figuring out what you might like, and guiding you to more, would be a pleasure.

So, here on this blog, you can listen to a deadhead who has walls of tapes and CDs rant and rave over this great show, and that great solo; this amazing transition from Truckin' to Other One, and that amazing tone hanging in the air of an outdoor arena (mostly of the audience recording variety - more on that later). Hopefully you'll come away all the more devoted to the band you already love. I will provide signposts and spotlights for you to get the most out of every moment you take in listening to the Grateful Dead.



  1. A most excellent blog. I've bookmarked it and plan to be a regular reader. I've got a bucket load of shows (many as of yet unlistened to!), so your entries here are most welcome.


  2. Thomas, thanks. While my message is bent to the new-comer, I'm really thrilled to see folks with arm loads (or bucket loads) of shows finding pleasure on these pages. A number of established collectors have told me as much. It's very nice. Enjoy.

  3. I just stumbled upon your blog. At the ripe old age of 49, I am just now beginning to appreciate and enjoy the Dead. I've been a music fanatic my entire life, but the Dead never connected with me. Until recently. In the past month I've bought both box sets of their conventional catalog, about 10 Dick's Picks, about 5 other live sets, and just got the Complete Winterland in the mail today. Your blog will certainly help me navigate my way through what should be an exciting voyage. Thanks for doing it.

    - Steve

  4. Steve, welcome. You embody much of why I created this blog.

    It sounds like you have been doing a fair amount of driving on the GD Interstate. You've just found a turn off onto more of a two lane highway back road.

    We might not have fancy streetlights and rest stops, but we do twist and turn into the mountains, and the views are fantastic from here.


  5. Thanks for your devotion to an important craft. Keep on growin!

  6. Man, I just came acroos this site!!!! So cool!!! I've been "on the bus" since '69 when I got dragged to Winterland and I've never looked back. I love the reviews of the shows and the pictures are great!!! Thanks for all your doing here!!!

  7. Just want to say what a fantastic blog this is. Thanks for taking the time and effort to spread this music. Some of these shows aren't the typical that you find on every bit site out thee. So again, thank you.

    Phil K

  8. Phil, I appreciate your comments. Thanks for reading!

  9. I'm starting at the first entry and working my way forward. What a long strange trip I'm looking forward to. Mucho Gracias.

  10. Welcome, Mike. Happy trails to you.

  11. I never got to see the Dead (I was 11 in '95) but somehow I've managed to find my way into their music anyways. Along the way I've run into exactly the same problems your blog has set out to remedy. There are SO many shows out there that it's too time-consuming to try and find anything on your own when you don't know where to start.

    I've gotten by for a couple years on reading sparse reviews, grabbing some stuff off, and a couple stabs in the dark have turned out well. This blog is EXACTLY what I was looking for when I starting listening to these shows, and I look forward to giving some of these dates a listen. Thank you for doing this!

  12. What is great now that I am a regular reader of your blog is that instead of going to the SBD's discs, I now come here first and to the archive looking for the AUD.

    I saw today that the 5-28-77 Hartford show is being released so I am now listening to Jerry Moore's recording from the archive right now. Beyond the first 4 songs (they are patched) it is a magnificent tape. This show has some magnificent moments.

    I would love to see a review of this show. I will tell you though that you have me stuck in 73-74 era shows at the moment.


  13. I'm a frequent, and long-time visitor to your site, your podcast series is my oft-played companion on my long commute to work.

    Many, many thanks, Rob

    1. Rob, thank you so much for taking the time to express your thanks here. It is much appreciated.

  14. Love this blog. I live in the Uk and never really paid the GD much attention growing up. I dropped acid in 1976 and 1977(before it was taken away from us for over 3 years!) and listened to Anthem,Amoxoxoa & the other studio albums., then life happenened. Fast forward until 4 years ago and life changed(for the better) and amidst the many changes I made a very good friend and he reintroduced me to the GD. Now I'm a compulsive collector. However, I don't go for anything beyond 1978. I got some of the Road Trips, Truckin' Up To Buffalo etc but Garcia's voice especially leaves me sad. So I've stuck to 71-78. I've got very little space left on my 120 GB ipod but I keep discovering more great shows. Thanks to you, I've downloaded some of the Aud only shows that you recommend. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Please keep posting. Bill

  15. Just discovered this great blog. I live in the UK and was turned on to the Dead by a guy who used to give me a ride to work every day. That was 20 years ago and I still love how I can come across a show that blows my mind. Looking forward to using the site and checking out some eras of the band I'm not too familiar with, thanks man.


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