1. Asha Bhosle – Mera Pyar Shalimar
2. The Velvet Underground – We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together
3. Kittu – Baby Let’s Dance Together
4. Don Cherry – Brown Rice
5. Peaking Lights – All The Sun That Shines
6. Ananda Shankar – Raghupati
7. Kishore Kumar – Zindagi Ke Safar Mein
8. Lesley Duncan – Love Song
9. Condello – Crystal Clear
10. The Brazda Brothers – Walking Into The Sun
11. The Seeds – Travel With Your Mind
12. 13th Floor Elevators – Slide Machine
13. Emitt Rhodes – Time Will Show The Wiser
14. Waynell Jones – Jaybird Boogie
15. Bo Diddley – Prisoner Of Love
16. Suni McGrath – Picnic On The Moor
17. Grateful Dead – Uncle John’s Band (12/31/69)
18. Lalgudi G. Jayaraman & Ustad Amjad Ali Khan – Alap, Gat Tritaal & Ektaal
19. John Fahey – Jesus Is A Dying Bedmaker II
20. Bubble Puppy – Beginning
21. Fairport Convention – Matty Groves
22. Beacon Street Union – Green Destroys The Gold
23. The Poppy Family – I Thought Of You Again
24. Johnny & The Attractions – Young Wings Can Fly
25. Lata Mangeshkar – Aaina Wohi Rehta Hai
26. Suzanne Ciani – Wind In The Sea
27. Aphrodite’s Child – Loud, Loud, Loud
28. Neil Young – See The Sky About To Rain
29. Bob Dylan – Visions of Johanna
Perhaps the most ideal vision of a hippie paradise is the love scene depicted in Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1970 film Zabriskie Point. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but let’s just say there’s a whole lotta desert lovin’ goin’ on. And who better to score it than Jerry Garcia and Pink Floyd.
Posted on Dead scholar Blair Jackson’s website is Jerry’s commentary on the lengthy solo guitar improvisation. Imagine being in the room for this one…
“There I was on the old MGM scoring stage where they used to do Gene Kelly musicals and The Wizard of Oz — just me and my electric guitar and a little amplifier,” Garcia remembered. “And Antonioni’s back there [in the control room] with one engineer, and the scene is playing on a huge screen, and I’m picking along, trying to get my ideas. “I sat down and just played, and [Antonioni] said, ‘Oh, I like that very, very much. That’s very, very good.’ And I said, ‘Hey, wait a minute. C’mon, give me a chance!’ And he said, ‘Oh no, no. That’s exactly what I want!’ I wanted so badly to do something good because, well, it was Antonioni for chrissakes! He was satisfied so quickly I didn’t know what to think. I was unhappy about it. I was just getting warmed up and, boom, that was it.”
There’s certain names that seem to appear in nearly every walk of music, and one of those names is Howard Wales. Best known as a collaborator of Jerry Garcia, Wales backed a range of acts including Ronnie Hawkins, the Four Tops, James Brown, as well as an extended stint performing alongside guitarist Harvey Mandel. In 1970, Wales contributed parts to several songs on the Dead’s American Beauty LP and went on to perform a regular Monday night jam sesssion with Garcia at The Matrix in San Francisco. The following year, the duo recorded and released a fusion album titled Hooteroll? featuring a cover art by painting by Abdul Mati Klarwein, known for his famous work that adorns the cover of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew.
Last week I was reminded of this amazing album by none other than my good pal Buddy Miles, who mentioned the Wales/Garcia collabs as his favorite work by Jerry. Featuring several members that would later become the Legion of Mary, Jerry steps out of his element into a space that many say went on to influence the direction the Dead would take in subsequent years. That’s a discussion for another day, but for now dig Jerry’s funked out playing on “South Side Strut.”
While Alex Bleeker spends his days as the bassist in popular indie rock band Real Estate, he also moonlights as the guitarist and frontman in his own band, Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, which takes more from Crazy Horse, the Grateful Dead and Little Wings than The Feelies or Yo La Tengo. Over the past several years, Bleeker has performed sporadic shows in New York and Brooklyn either solo or with a rotating cast of musicians that has, at times, included members of Real Estate. During that time he also released a 7″ and an EP on Underwater Peoples, and will now release his debut full-length, titled How Far Away, on Woodsist in the Spring of this year. Stream “Don’t Look Down,” the lead track on the album, below.
It seems as though some people are placed on this earth to fulfill a specific purpose. Often, once that purpose has been fulfilled, the individual is taken from us, serving a nearly prophetic role on this planet. Jerry Garcia is one of those people, and on this day, he would have turned a ripe 70 years old. In celebration, we’ve created a playlist containing some of our all-time favorite Grateful Dead moments. Happy Birthday Jerry!
As Bob Weir said after scattering Jerry’s ashes into the Ganges River in India, “May you have peace, Jerry, and travel to the stars.”
1. Mountains of the Moon (2-22-69)
2. Nobody’s Jam (6-22-73)
3. Eyes of the World (9-7-73)
4. The Other One > (12-31-72)
5. Morning Dew (12-31-72)
6. Playin’ in the Band (3-24-73)
7. Estimated Prophet (12-27-77)
8. Dark Star (6-24-70)
9. Attics of My Life (6-24-70)
10. Dark Star (6-24-70)
11. The Wheel > Jam (10-3-76)
12. Jam > Ship of Fools (6-23-74)
13. Help On the Way > (6-14-76)
14. Slipknot! (6-14-76)
15. Franklin’s Tower (6-14-76)
16. Comes a Time (5-9-77)
During Vetiver’s recent session for KDHX, the West Coast folkers paid tribute to their roots with a rendition of “Don’t Ease Me In.” You can listen to the song below, or click here to hear the full session.
On July 26, 1972, the Grateful Dead performed the second of two shows at Portland, Oregon’s Paramount Theater. Coming just a week after Pigpen’s permanent departure from the band, the Dead were undergoing a series of major changes that would forever alter their sound. While Keith had been on board for nearly a year at this point, it was during this time that he was forced to step to the forefront, allowing him to become a greater part of the mould. This period marked the early stages of the transitional phase that propelled the band’s sound in a jazzier, more melodic direction—a sound that came into full view one year later on Wake of the Flood. The colossal “Dark Star” from this night finds the Dead in patient form, delicately exploring a 30 minute astral vision quest before drifting into the comforting arms of “Comes a Time.” I bid you safe travels.
I apologize for the delayed Jerry week posts—I’ve been deep in the Canadian north with very little internet access the past few days. So for today, we’ll catch up for the last two days with three classic Dead jams. All three versions are worthy of inclusion in any “best ever” discussion and are must-hears for any Dead fan. Primal Dead.
Today begins the week of tribute to our fallen hero, Jerry Garcia. It was 69 years ago today that the earth was blessed with this most amazing musical gift and for the entire week we’ll be honoring his legacy. To start, I thought it fitting to revisit the “Playing In the Band” from 11.18.1972 at the Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston, TX. Felt by many to be among the best versions, this 25 minute journey is the capstone on the song’s breakout year. The jam takes a hint from the Interstellar Coltrane-Rashid Ali book, quickly becoming a sonic stew with Jerry’s guitar lines carving strokes of color through your mind. Happy Birthday, old friend!
“In the great forest of music, you, the listener, explore and wander between the trees, until by happy accident you stumble upon a forest glade. There in a beautiful clearing in the woods spread with verdant grass in the sunlight, you stand in awe as the birds sing. Walking carefully toward the center of the clearing you notice an isolated group of delicate small flowers radiant in their perfection and perfect in their radiance. Those flowers, so fragile and insubstantial, so manifest and yet so vulnerable, are the Grateful Dead.” – Jerry Garcia