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darkstarwolf
Fresh Boarder
Posts:5

Why I love listening to Dark Star...

#158602 2 years, 2 months ago
The Dead's spacy yearnings were best served by Keith's presence. Although I agree completely with Blair's take on TC's importance to the epochal 69'sound, it wasn't until I heard a 72' Dark Star than I knew I would be studying this band's effect on my psyche like a religion for the rest of my days. When I think back on my initial exposure to the Grateful Dead, I fondly remember the 'Dead Hour' with the 7/26/72 Dark Star>Comes A Time from the Paramount Theater in Portland, Oregon that I became a true believer. If I had just stuck with 'Skeletons' as my initial foray, then I would have never put Hendrix and Zeppelin on the back burner and dedicated every iota of my musical fancies to the 'boys'. The acid angle is extremely important (although I know T.C. abstained) to what the Dead's sound means to me. With the importance of John Coltrane firmly entrenched from their inception, once Miles and 'Bitches Brew' took over the Fillmore in 1970, the ripe, glistening seed of something completely original was awaiting a complementary voice to accompany Garcias foray into the ether of the Acid Rock sound. By 1970, country-rock had replaced the acid underpinnings of the 'Rock' sound, and it would have been understandable for this aspect of the genre to be assimilated completely into the fabric of the sound. But it took Keith completely matching Jerry's fluid chromatic runs in 'Playin, Truckin, Dark Star, and the Other One' to completely make the Grateful Dead as the weird entity we have come to love... It wasn't just Keith' jazz chops, it was his pairing of melodic ideas that melded so well with Garcia's continuation of the development of his sound...Basically, what i'm saying is that the placement of Keith's acid-jazz runs on the aforementioned examples was so integral to what the band was about, that it is almost irrelevant what the other fine players contributed, without Keith cementing the Deads sonic acid explorations, they would be a more traditional Rock and Roll outfit...
The following user(s) said Thank You: Chester, ecojaded, kevin, 23atwell
BillyDeLion
Junior Boarder
Posts:294

Re: Why I love listening to Dark Star...

#158624 2 years, 2 months ago
Interesting angle, never saw it that way but I see your point.

I think most listeners focus on Garcia and the contributions of the rest of the band slip under the radar. This is why I've heard so many people put down Weir's guitar playing - they hear a cool guitar riff and they assume it's Jerry.
These are the good old days!!
23atwell
Platinum Boarder
Posts:4783
I love what I love and I want it that way

Re: Why I love listening to Dark Star...

#158821 2 years, 2 months ago
BillyDeLion wrote:
Interesting angle, never saw it that way but I see your point.

I think most listeners focus on Garcia and the contributions of the rest of the band slip under the radar. This is why I've heard so many people put down Weir's guitar playing - they hear a cool guitar riff and they assume it's Jerry.


Your exactly right. I can't help but focus on Jerry cause that's who I fell in love with, him and his playing. Jerry just stands out more to me. It is crazy how many times I assumed it was Jerry but it was bobby playing that riff after watching video. The mix of the band was perfect with Jerry more up front. Now bobby try's to be more up front than John and it doesn't work for me that we'll.
And I'm going to sit right here until I die
bow4bass
Junior Boarder
Posts:225

Re: Why I love listening to Dark Star...

#159091 2 years, 2 months ago
check out 1972-08-24

27 minutes into morning dew . . i like it


t
Island Head
Platinum Boarder
Posts:4829

Re: Why I love listening to Dark Star...

#159224 2 years, 2 months ago
This Dark Star on Jerry's birthday in 1973 is amazing, 13 minute JAM before the first verse
archive.org/details/gd1973-08-01.partial...eblut.182.sbeok.shnf
Last Edit: 2 years, 2 months ago by Island Head.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Chester
wlewis
Platinum Boarder
Posts:6472

Re: Why I love listening to Dark Star...

#159312 2 years, 2 months ago
i like your post a lot, however i don't think other contributions are almost irrelevant in any way. the grateful deads sound changed so often
who else is gonna bring you, a broken arrow?
fourwnds
Senior Boarder
Posts:421

Re: Why I love listening to Dark Star...

#159575 2 years, 2 months ago
darkstarwolf wrote:
The Dead's spacy yearnings were best served by Keith's presence. Although I agree completely with Blair's take on TC's importance to the epochal 69'sound, it wasn't until I heard a 72' Dark Star than I knew I would be studying this band's effect on my psyche like a religion for the rest of my days. When I think back on my initial exposure to the Grateful Dead, I fondly remember the 'Dead Hour' with the 7/26/72 Dark Star>Comes A Time from the Paramount Theater in Portland, Oregon that I became a true believer. If I had just stuck with 'Skeletons' as my initial foray, then I would have never put Hendrix and Zeppelin on the back burner and dedicated every iota of my musical fancies to the 'boys'. The acid angle is extremely important (although I know T.C. abstained) to what the Dead's sound means to me. With the importance of John Coltrane firmly entrenched from their inception, once Miles and 'Bitches Brew' took over the Fillmore in 1970, the ripe, glistening seed of something completely original was awaiting a complementary voice to accompany Garcias foray into the ether of the Acid Rock sound. By 1970, country-rock had replaced the acid underpinnings of the 'Rock' sound, and it would have been understandable for this aspect of the genre to be assimilated completely into the fabric of the sound. But it took Keith completely matching Jerry's fluid chromatic runs in 'Playin, Truckin, Dark Star, and the Other One' to completely make the Grateful Dead as the weird entity we have come to love... It wasn't just Keith' jazz chops, it was his pairing of melodic ideas that melded so well with Garcia's continuation of the development of his sound...Basically, what i'm saying is that the placement of Keith's acid-jazz runs on the aforementioned examples was so integral to what the band was about, that it is almost irrelevant what the other fine players contributed, without Keith cementing the Deads sonic acid explorations, they would be a more traditional Rock and Roll outfit...


Gosh, mighty bold statement, and I liked reading it. Without the blues though nothing would have come of any of this oufit and jazz is like the blues dressed up going downtown. Acid tests gave them the map as to where this could possibly go and the Jazz element was like a great great side road, and I luv sideroads as they are always more interesting. Without the Blues backbone though that runs through so much I wouldn't be able to appreciate the whole picture, once I understood how deep that muddy river runs my understanding is so much more intimate. Can't leave out Pigpen, no pig possibly no GD. Bobby be a blues man. But this is my opinion looking backward looking at the whole as not having lived through as it was being laid down. Also, I know what you are saying about Keith and Jerry and their melodic realtionship, but you Have to have Phil's counterpoint to. Without Phil and the tack he takes with his bass' off beat runs unmelodic approach at times and you have way way less of what makes this band so special. Just another rock and roll outfit. He does not just give it to you all the time on the down beat in the appropriate key and you really have to keep listen' and frankly I really don't understand what he does or why, I just know he is in there spinning his yarns and it keeps me guessing and tuned in. Fer sure this fed Jerry's direction and forays. I've read how much Coltrane was an influence on the Dead and to be honest again, Coltrane is a challenge for me. I fully appreiciate his ballads and the ebb and flow of improvisation, that is so melodic with his slower numbers. But its the dissonant stuff and lightening runs that I have a hard time wrapping my head around and I think that might be the point. It isn't easy. Out of that disorder comes a new order, like what the dead learned about doing while loaded up and wheels greased. All of this was fully realized in Dark Star's early days. That tension and release bringing us home and back down to earth. Which is what Bitch's Brew misses out on to really really make it the best fusion record imho. Jerry always knew you needed that melody and sweetness. Jazz/Blues dissonance/melody what came first the chicken or the egg, can't have one without the other me thinks. Luv the shades and hues of it all. Give me my good ol' boy country that soothes my soul. Enough of my babbling tripe, thanks for the post. I'm leaving so much out I feel, but I'm also starting to feel like I can't express myself understandably. But as much as I can for as long as I can, I get high listening to everybody playing at the same time together and seperate, it's hard to hear that whole, then Jerry same as JK comes slipping in and makes it so easy and lovely in the end bringing me home.
Denver Man
Platinum Boarder
Posts:7416
On the day I was born daddy sat down and cried

Re: Why I love listening to Dark Star...

#159590 2 years, 2 months ago
You nailed it by referring to 1972. Something very magical happened that year. Coming to the end of my 40 yr anniversary tour of Europe 72 I was reminded just how in tune everyone was with one another that year. The whole band! The way they fed off each other was beyond comprehension. I agree the 72 Dark Stars are epic for lack of a better descriptor. Also what other year do you get a ~ 15 minute Truckin that could take you to places you never thought Truckin could take you?

God Bless the Grateful Dead
I went walkin' out last summer
Tryin' to find a breath of air
I went walkin' on the mountain
A friend had told me I'd find you there
The following user(s) said Thank You: kevin
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