First, I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day and that you still have all your fingers.
Now, here’s a few hundred words on The Grateful Dead and why I hit a wall every time they show up on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 Greatest Albums. Spoiler Alert: I don’t like the Grateful Dead.
Another of the Dead’s albums is on The List at number 264. I was supposed to listen to it back in May. I have it in my project organizer. Seriously. I use OmniFocus for tons of stuff, including a schedule of when I should listen to each album and post the blog about it. In May, I was supposed to listen to The Grateful Dead’s “Workingman’s Dead,” followed by Tracey Chapman. I’m looking forward to the Tracey Chapmen album, but I gotta get past the Dead first. I. Don’t. Wanna. I’m sorry. I hate the Grateful Dead. Okay, hate is a little harsh, and I don’t think about the Dead enough to hate their music. I just don’t like it.
The Grateful Dead have a fascinating subculture around them. Deadheads. Or is it Dead Heads? I don’t know. I dated a Deadhead once. I have had the whole tape trade industry explained to me. At the time of this relationship, it was DATs that a lot of Deadheads traded. I even managed to score some acoustic Metallica thanks to a DAT trade the Boyfriend made. Do I need to mention that the Boyfriend in this relationship was 17-years older than me? I was in my mid-20s, and he was, I think, 41 when we started dating. I will say that he introduced me to a lot of cool music. Little Feat is a band that stands out in my mind as one that I learned of through him. I like Little Feat, we even saw them in concert someplace. I don’t remember where but I do remember that he was able to plug is DAT recorder into The Board and record the show. I might have a copy someplace.
Wait. This is about the Dead, not Little Feat. But there is something that I understand because of Little Feat and The Grateful Dead. Jam bands can make shitty albums, but they are a great live band. This is something that Boyfriend told me about the Dead. He rarely listened to any of the studio recordings that the Dead made. He said the concerts were always better because the Dead is a jam band. I like Little Feat’s studio albums and the live show we attended. I don’t like The Grateful Dead’s studio albums or the millions of DAT recordings of concerts I listened to during my relationship with The Deadhead. The dancing bears are cute, though.
If you’re wondering what Rolling Stone has to say about “Workingman’s Dead,” they said that it was “eight spooking country and folk tunes that rival the best of Bob Dylan.” I don’t know. I just cannot bring myself to listen to it. I have to move on. I got a Fast Car.