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Grateful Dead - the Most Overrated Band Ever?


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22 minutes ago, Bill Brown said:

If you are ever in Texas, look me up, we can go sit outside on a warm day (ok, hot), eat BBQ (or crawfish if they are in season), drink cold beer, and listen to country music.  If you have your best girl with you we can get you up to speed with the Texas two-step (and if you don't have one there all always lots of lovely Texas ladies that love to dance). :)

 

Thanks, if I happen to visit Texas, I will contact you for sure.

After the two-step (just love the idea!) could we search for some Stevie Ray Vaughan legacy traces? ;)

 

Great playing - not only on dobro, I really mean it!

Where should i search to find country music like that.?

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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1 hour ago, Bill Brown said:

I actually would be pleased/hoped to get input that supported or argued against that opinion- @bluesman :)

Sadly, I can’t contribute because I can’t find a clear statement of an opinion.  In fact, I don’t understand what this thread is about.  What does overrated mean?  A whole lot of people loved the Dead, bought a whole lot of their albums and concert tickets, and thought their music was fabulous.  I’m not among them - in fact, I’ve never owned or played a Dead track at home and have only played any of their music myself when a band in which I was a hired sideman had it on their playlist (eg at a wedding or Bar Mitzvah).

 

What rating is erroneously high.....the amount of money spent?  the joy they bring to their fans?  I don’t think that’s for us to decide.  If you’re talking about Garcia as a guitarist, all I can tell you is that Santana thinks he was mighty fine.  Read the beautiful paragraph that Santana wrote about him for the Rolling Stone list of the 100 best guitarists a few years ago (Garcia was 49th, as I recall).  He played some beautiful lines and he played a lot of boring, rambling solos that made noodling sound like an art he’d yet to master.

 

To be fair, almost every musician in any genre that encompasses improvisation resorts to his or her personal cliches at times - even the greats.  Oscar Peterson noodled his way through many tunes with repetitive, formulaic solos that were artfully played but neither new or innovative.  Maynard Ferguson was a stunning player, but a lot of his playing had no content except beautiful high notes played only because they were so hard to play.  Their playing was loved as much because it was thrilling to hear anybody play that well as because it was great music.  Noodling?  I think so.

 

jerry Douglas? Sheer beauty!  Like Maynard, his playing and tone are so great that he’s fun to hear tuning up.  His simple accompaniment is one of the sweetest sounds in the world, and his improvisation is so well structured that it seems like he writes it out in his mind first and plays from a mental score.  But I’ll bet he has at least a few lines and phrases that he uses frequently in multiple songs.  We all do.  It could be called noodling.
 

As for groups like the Dead, when you play 20+ minute tunes in a 4 hour concert it’s hard to be endlessly creative through the whole thing, especially when your mind is psychedelecized (OK old rockers - who gets credit for that line???). Overrated is a meaningless term to me.  

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The first time I heard "psychedelecized" I was listening to George Clinton's "Free your mind your ass will follow".

 

Still good advice!

SSH

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55 minutes ago, bobbmd said:

are the DEAD as 'overrated' as gerry mcnamara was in the 2006 Big East Tournament?

While I am no Syracuse fan and usually don't like the "coaches kid" except The Pistol for LSU, Buddy Boeheim has been awesome. 

 

Just another tidbit. Jim Boeheim was Dave Bing's roommate as a freshman!

 

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1 hour ago, ARQuint said:

People requested Grateful Dead songs at Bar Mitzvahs? Who knew?

 

Well tells you something. Could you imagine them playing In Memory of Elizabeth Reed at a Bar Mitvah or wedding??

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1 hour ago, ssh said:

The first time I heard "psychedelecized" I was listening to George Clinton's "Free your mind your ass will follow".

 

Still good advice!

Close but not the first.  Hints: it was in a hit released 3 years before “Free Your Mind” by one of the first “psychedelic bands”.  The album version ran 11 minutes, which was outrageous in 1966.

 

That band and the many following their formula took noodling to a new level (or, as I see them, to a new depth).  Their solos were largely distorted, drug fueled sonic excrescences compared to which Garcia was Segovia.

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10 hours ago, bluesman said:

especially when your mind is psychedelecized (OK old rockers - who gets credit for that line???)

 

This was about soul, not mind :) The Chambers Brothers title song from what I guess was their best album.

 

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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7 minutes ago, Priaptor said:

Well tells you something. Could you imagine them playing In Memory of Elizabeth Reed at a Bar Mitvah or wedding??

You’d be amazed at the spectrum of taste in the crowd.  Most of these affairs would have been boring or worse if I wasn’t playing with truly great musicians who saw our collective job as making every song as good as it could be.  And an occasional bride, family, or guest would ask for a wonderful tune that challenged us.

 

I also played for Harriet Fay (a similar office equally as fine as MA) for several years after MA closed down.  She booked me to lead a “blues wedding”, so I went out to meet the couple-to-be several weeks beforehand to plan it out.  My first line to them was that I knew they said they wanted a blues wedding, but that their parents and grandparents probably had no idea what that meant.  I explained that I’d bring a band with players who knew the blues well and we’d play some popular numbers like Thrill is Gone.

 

The bride told me she’d be right back, and she came in a few minutes later with her parents.  They really did want a blues wedding and a band that could play some of the usual wedding stuff every once in a while.  They knew blues history and had a music collection that rivaled mine!  So I brought 6 serious blues players with me plus Georgie Bonds at the mic fronting trumpet, tenor sax, harmonica, and a full rhythm section with me on guitar. It was a great and totally unexpected experience - and they loved it!,

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8 minutes ago, sphinxsix said:

 

This was about soul, not mind :) The Chambers Brothers title song from what I guess was their best album.

Bingo!  I agree - it was probably their best. But even that was a very low bar.  I found absolutely nothing to enjoy in their music.

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@Priaptor hey thanks for the response did not think anyone would reply but try to find the hx(SU Basketball or on YouTube ) of that 2006 Big East Tournament Gerry McNamara singlehandedly won that tournament and was rated the most ‘OVER RATED’ guard by the national press and especially NYPost NYNews. The best was Boeheim’s post game press conference rant.

Yes I know about Jim and Dave Bing(they are still close)—I saw them play their senior year in Manley Fieldhouse against St Johns. Thanks again for the reply. This thread is a HOOT... keep it up everyone—I will have more to say later

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Thank you @bluesman, just what I was after.  Nothing at all to do with "most overrated," but only the musical aspects of the discussed performers.  I respect and like to read your comments in this regard and was wondering if "noodling" applied here.

 

I agree too with the tendency to phrases, tools that you hear in improvising musicians.  Certainly understandable, though I continue to think that I have never heard Buddy Guy play a cliche' (!) (seems almost impossible in the blues).

 

And your comments re. Jerry Douglas. Amen, amen, amen in just the way you describe.

 

And @sphinxsix, Austin it would be.  Though I am not sure of the status of Antone's (Antone was fairly shady), where he cut his teeth, listened to some of the greats and began sitting in.  Though he was born and raised in Dallas.  There is a nice statue of SRV on the river.

 

I so wish I had seen him before he died, but alas.  I did see Buddy Guy in Austin in a small club right after he burst back on to the (wider) scene with Damn Right I've Got The Blues.

 

And I have been mentally combing my country collection (and listening this morning on my way to the office) so will hit you with a ridiculous list when I can sneak some time. :)

 

I was worried this morning that I am a habitual "deviating from the thread topic" dude, but realized it is your thread so felt less guilty. :)

 

Bill

Labels assigned by CA members: "Cogley's ML sock-puppet," "weaponizer of psychology," "ethically-challenged," "professionally dubious," "machismo," "lover of old westerns," "shill," "expert on ducks and imposters," "Janitor in Chief," "expert in Karate," "ML fanboi or employee," "Alabama Trump supporter with an NRA decal on the windshield of his car," sycophant

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1 hour ago, sphinxsix said:

This was about soul, not mind :) The Chambers Brothers title song from what I guess was their best album.

Most don’t realize that this phase of their career was a total abandonment of what had been a wonderful gospel group. They were really great - Dylan agreed and helped drive their pre-psychedelic success.  They performed at Newport Folk in 1965 to great acclaim.  But time came one day, and the rest is history.

 

One reviewer of the initial single release described it as something like squeals that sound like a cat whose tail has just been stepped on, with cowbell smacks.

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1 hour ago, bobbmd said:

@Priaptor hey thanks for the response did not think anyone would reply but try to find the hx(SU Basketball or on YouTube ) of that 2006 Big East Tournament Gerry McNamara singlehandedly won that tournament and was rated the most ‘OVER RATED’ guard by the national press and especially NYPost NYNews. The best was Boeheim’s post game press conference rant.

Yes I know about Jim and Dave Bing(they are still close)—I saw them play their senior year in Manley Fieldhouse against St Johns. Thanks again for the reply. This thread is a HOOT... keep it up everyone—I will have more to say later

Yes I REMEMBER that Big East tournament well.

 

As a competitor myself in HS and college, I was a BBall junkie. Went to the first game Bill Bradley ever played. One of my coaches, Elmer Ripley, may he RIP, who is a hall of famer, got me tickets to that game a few rows behind the basket. Well they played the Pistons and the Knicks were getting beat and my buddy and I were leaving literally a couple of feet from the court when Bing gets the ball in the corner, takes a jump shot and his feet were literally at the height of my chin. I got to meet him that night as no one from the Knicks were in the mood. Bing was close to Elmer so he got me to see Bing instead of Bradley. A really nice guy. 

 

Tons of NY Basketball stories. My arch nemesis in HS was Mike Dunleavy. I played with 13 guys who made it to the NBA including Lloyd (World B) Free, Ernie Grunfeld, Bernard King and many more including a future amazing pitcher by the name of John Candeleria. 

 

Howard Schultz, of Starbucks fame, was captain of Canarsie HS same year I was captain of my team. World B. was a year behind me. Schultz was actually very good. 

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@bluesman, you remain a font of musical knowledge.  I suspect you are right about Antone.  I don't have detailed knowledge of any of it, just (probably naive) things I heard in the 80s when young (and I tend to like those eccentric cats in the music business, see Twiggs Lyndon Jr with The Allman Brothers- well maybe that isn't a great example).  I had heard the club was on the rocks at some point, nice if it is still around.

 

It is interesting to read how he emerged out of Jimmy's shadow while still in Dallas, Jimmy considered "the best around" at that time.

 

Isn't Antones where he heard and sat in with Albert King?  I hear a lot of Albert King in his playing (though of course he found his own voice).

 

Bill

Labels assigned by CA members: "Cogley's ML sock-puppet," "weaponizer of psychology," "ethically-challenged," "professionally dubious," "machismo," "lover of old westerns," "shill," "expert on ducks and imposters," "Janitor in Chief," "expert in Karate," "ML fanboi or employee," "Alabama Trump supporter with an NRA decal on the windshield of his car," sycophant

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Oh, and thanks for the recs

Labels assigned by CA members: "Cogley's ML sock-puppet," "weaponizer of psychology," "ethically-challenged," "professionally dubious," "machismo," "lover of old westerns," "shill," "expert on ducks and imposters," "Janitor in Chief," "expert in Karate," "ML fanboi or employee," "Alabama Trump supporter with an NRA decal on the windshield of his car," sycophant

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24 minutes ago, ssh said:

"One reviewer of the initial single release described it as something like squeals that sound like a cat whose tail has just been stepped on, with cowbell smacks. "

 

It's probably a good thing that reviewer didn't listen to Captain Beefheart!

 

Interesting observation!  Vliet was actually a great composer and played several instruments very well.  He reminds me of Zappa and maybe even a little bit of Miles. He was a meticulous and demanding band leader who wanted every note and every beat to be perfect.  And he was apparently a bit weird.

 

He sure trod a long, wide path from the blues rock of Diddy Wah Diddy to whatever you want to call his late stuff!

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1 hour ago, bobbmd said:

@Priaptor Wow what a BB history you have and none of those guys you mentioned or games you saw were OVERRATED were they-I am old enough to have watched the Syracuse Nationals play, saw the ‘62 NBA all star game in Syracuse and saw Cousy, Chamberlain, Russell, Baylor Oscar, Dolph Schayes etc and Hal Greer’s wife was one of my HS teachers plus those horrid refs Sid Borgia and Mendy Rudolph!

 

But back to the overrated DEAD/The Band and not so good Clapton(no one has ‘spit’ upon The Beach Boys yet)—y’all have to realize just what all bands groups solo artists meant to our generation caught up in assassinations and a war with wasted efforts/promises of presidents gone wrong. They(the artists) gave us something to gravitate to, hold on to, dream about and rally around and just enjoy their words phrases and foot stomping good music. For later generations who never saw them/heard/listened to their music originally— to denigrate their worthiness/and consider them ‘over-rated‘ is unfair and not their right or privilege only those of us ‘of the age’ have that right/privilege.

Couldn't agree more. And you are older than me so it goes more for you than even me, but I was close.  Those bands and individuals really did have a huge influence. 

 

Speaking of Hal Greer. Elmer would coach Hal Greer alone off season to teach him to get a quicker first step. He had me do the same exercise over and over and over again. Having a chair at the foul line and taking layups going around the chair in 30 seconds. I think, if memory serves me, Greer was ultimately able to do 7 in 30 seconds. 

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18 hours ago, bluesman said:

What does overrated mean?

 

Cambridge Dictionary and their example of use:

 

overrated
adjective
 
UK 
 
 /ˌəʊ.vəˈreɪ.tɪd/ US 
 
 /ˌoʊ.vɚˈreɪ.t̬ɪd/
 
 
If something or someone is overrated, that person or thing is considered to be better or more important than they really are:
In my opinion, she's a hugely overrated singer.
 
 
9 hours ago, ARQuint said:

People requested Grateful Dead songs at Bar Mitzvahs?

 

Surprise here as well.

 

7 hours ago, bluesman said:

They really did want a blues wedding and a band that could play some of the usual wedding stuff every once in a while.

 

I remember taking part in jazz wedding party, it was great!

Also Rumba one in NYC.

 

5 hours ago, bluesman said:

 And he was apparently a bit weird.

 

A tiny little bit.. or a little more than that 9_9

 

3 hours ago, bobbmd said:

y’all have to realize just what all bands groups solo artists meant to our generation caught up in assassinations and a war with wasted efforts/promises of presidents gone wrong. They(the artists) gave us something to gravitate to, hold on to, dream about and rally around and just enjoy their words phrases and foot stomping good music. For later generations who never saw them/heard/listened to their music originally— to denigrate their worthiness/and consider them ‘over-rated‘ is unfair and not their right or privilege only those of us ‘of the age’ have that right/privilege.

 

I think I begin to understand the meaning of GD to that generation, I've never had a problem with understanding the meaning of eg Hendrix or Joplin for them. GD is to a greater degree an American phenomenon than Hendrix or Joplin, I believe. 

This thread came out from a conviction that in case of GD the discrepancy between their cult status and their strictly musical abilities (compositions, soloing creativity and sophistication, instrumental technique..) was probably among the biggest ones (can't be mathematically measured of course though).

@bluesman As a musician how would you personally rate eg these three aspects (composition, soloing, technique) in case of GD.? Frankly, please :)

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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