Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Grateful Dead
"The Same Thing"

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Man, I used to hate the Grateful Dead. I just despised them, you know? I thought the song Deadhead by The Teen Idles was hilarious:

Riding that train
High on cocaine
The music's really lousy
The fans are a pain

Trouble behind
Trouble ahead
Only good Deadhead
Is one that's dead

I've often wondered how they felt when Grateful Dead co-founder/leader Jerry Garcia died fifteen years or so later.

Sorry . . . tangent complete . . .

A number of years back, for some reason unknown to me despite the fact that the idea came from my own brain unit, I decided to buy a used copy I found of the reissue of their third album, Aoxomoxoa, replete with beaucoup bonus traxoa. I ended up really diggin' the long, drawn out, pyschedelic jams therein, and, naturally, started buying whatever I could snag from that period. My collection now sports twenty Grateful Dead albums (!). I should add, however, that they are almost all live recordings and nearly entirely from 1970 and earlier.

There are three exceptions to the above, two of which are sonic cut-up experiments: 1991's Infrared Roses, which features live recordings from the late 80s/early 90s mucked about with by soundman Bob Bralove, and 1996's massive Grayfolded, an amazing double-CD featuring recordings of Dark Star, spanning November 14, 1967 through September 13, 1993, that have been chopped, folded, contracted, expanded, etc. by John Oswald into two epic Plunderphonic versions of said piece: Transitive Axis (59:59) and Mirror Ashes (46:46). The third exception is Dick's Picks, Volume Two: Columbus, Ohio 10/31/71.

Today's song, however, comes from a legally released, but long unavailable, album from 1971 that featured live recordings made at the Avalon Ballroom in 1966. The Same Thing is a Willie Dixon song, and, to the best of my knowledge, this is one of only three versions of it by the Dead that have been released. In addition to this particular recording, there's one from 1967 in the So Many Roads boxset, plus a much later recording on Dick's Picks Volume 27: Oakland Coliseum Arena, Oakland, CA, December 16, 1992.

There's another album of Avalon Ballroom recordings, also on the Sunflower label, called Vintage Dead. Anyone have a spare copy?

1 biased opinion:

baconfat said...

there is also a "history of the grateful dead" lp on pride records that combines tracks from "historic dead" and "vintage dead."