Live Grateful Dead Music
There's Nothing Like It
Live Grateful Dead music will never die. Even today, many years after the death of Jerry Garcia, interest in their music is as high as ever. The Dead left an indelible mark on the world of Rock that will never fade away.
I think most Deadheads would agree that the Dead were primarily a live band. By that I mean they performed at their best in front of a live audience. The exchange of energy between the band and the crowd inspired them in a way that the studio simply couldn't match. Even the band members themselves have stated that most of their studio albums don't come close to their live concert recordings.
There really was nothing like a Grateful Dead concert and there hasn't been anything like it since 1995. Sure, there's still periodic reunions of the remaining band members. Their tours are certainly enjoyable but it's just not the same without Jerry.
Fortunately, the Dead were the most recorded band in history and there's no shortage of live Grateful Dead music to hear. Nearly every show they ever played was documented in some form or another. Reel to reels, cassette tapes, Beta PCM, DATs, soundboard or audience tapes - take your pick. Oh, and don't forget the videos. Deadheads practically invented the art of taping shows and they pretty much perfected it as well.
Modern Tape Trading
I've been listening to the Dead for nearly as long as I can remember. When I was younger and I first discovered the band's music I used to dream of having copies of every show ever recorded. Their music affected me in a way no other band ever has and I couldn't get enough. But it wasn't easy to find high quality tapes back then.
- First, you had to know people who had them.
- Then you had to convince them to make copies for you.
- If you didn't have anything to trade, this could sometimes be difficult.
- If they weren't close friends who lived nearby, you had to mail them blank tapes with return postage.
- Then sometimes wait weeks for them to arrive, wondering the whole time if they would show up at all.
Needless to say, favorite tapes became treasures that were often played until worn out. I wanted very badly to hear all those shows that I knew were out there but had no hopes of ever finding them.
With the dawn of the digital era all that has changed. My dream has become reality. I never once thought that I would really be able to hear virtually every GD concert ever recorded. However, thanks to the miracle of the internet and file sharing technology like bittorrent, I've spent the last few years amassing an enormous collection of music and video footage.
I've benefited greatly from the generosity of a lot of people. They share freely out of pure love for the music itself and this is my attempt to give something back.
What This Site Is All About
Generally speaking, this is a GD fan site which will cover all aspects of the band with a particular focus on their live music.
Specifically, I intend to:
- Show you how you can get more free live Grateful Dead music than you could listen to in a lifetime.
- Explain why I still buy almost every official release and why you should too.
- Explore the vast library of books that have been written about them.
- Review a variety of shows from different eras of the band and recommend listening sources.
- Discuss Grateful Dead lyrics and provide some for their most famous songs.
- Recommend favorite versions of each song from different shows.
- Write about official releases of live Grateful Dead music, both CDs and DVDs.
- Explore the incredible world of psychedelic art and memorabilia including vintage concert posters, photos and the various images that have become symbols of the band.
- Give you my personal take on the history of the band and each of the band members.
But most of all, I'm building this website to share my passion for live Grateful Dead music with the world.