A truly all-star Deadcast examines the infinite approaches to playing Dead music, from traditional to radical, with a massive span of musicians who’ve played it, from jazz arrangers to indie rock heroes, from actual Dead members to Japanese cover bands.
The Deadcast examines how the Grateful Dead became a genre and school of music unto themselves, tracing the history of Dead covers to New Jersey in 1969, Calcutta in 1975, & beyond, featuring special appearances by Phish’s Trey Anastasio & Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan.
The Deadcast finishes its all-star “Skull & Roses” dive with cosmic diplomat Alan Trist, Courtenay Pollack’s new tie-dye speakers, a surprise trip abroad, the closing of the Fillmore West, studio parties, explorations of the album’s legendary art & infamous original name, & more.
We celebrate the 80th birthday of the late Robert Hunter, the Grateful Dead’s primary lyricist, exploring his extraordinary partnership with Jerry Garcia and work with other collaborators, as well his poetry, fiction, and solo career.
The Grateful Dead only visited England a half-dozen times in 30 years, but the quintessential American band’s relationship ran deeper than it might seem, filled with unexpected connections & fans as devoted as any Dead Heads back home, including lyric scholar Alex Allan.
The Deadcast sticks around the Fillmore East for even more backstage stories with stage crew member Allan Arkush, including movie nights with Jerry Garcia and the guitarist’s brief stint doing Hollywood sound effects.
The Deadcast trucks into Bill Graham’s Fillmore East, where the Grateful Dead recorded the bulk of Skull & Roses in April 1971, featuring stage crew member Allan Arkush, tour manager Sam Cutler, & a deep dive into “Wharf Rat” with Darkside’s Dave Harrington.
After special guest Judy Collins joins us to untangle the surprising origins of the Dead’s most-performed song, “Me & My Uncle,” the Deadcast wades into the oversold 3-night April 1971 Dance Marathon that became part of “Skull & Roses,” guided by tour manager Sam Cutler and friends.
Our celebration of the Skull & Roses 50th anniversary reissue continues as we explore the “spaceship in construction” of the Grateful Dead in 1971 with Rosie McGee, luthier Rick Turner (maker of Jerry Garcia’s Peanut guitar), tie-dye pioneer Courtenay Pollack, & rare audio.
We begin our 50th anniversary celebration of 1971’s live album Skull & Roses with co-producer Bob Matthews, lighting director Candace Brightman, tour manager Sam Cutler, David Crosby, & David Freiberg, plus lost sessions, a 6-night false start, dream telepathy, song origins & more.
We wish you a merry Pranks Day with a surprise Deadcast about the first known live Grateful Dead tape, from 1966, and reveal what happens when you try to shut down an Acid Test, featuring Merry Pranksters Ken Babbs and Denise Kaufman, with additional storytelling by Jerry Garcia.
The Deadcast season finale wraps up American Beauty and looks at the iconic Truckin’, the autobiographical album-closing road anthem, unpacking the band’s history from its verses, lost lyrics, and never-heard original ending.
A surprising and wide-ranging conversation with Ned Lagin, the pioneering jazz-trained electronic composer whose friendship with the Grateful Dead began when the band crowded into his M.I.T. dorm room to jam and would encompass contributions to American Beauty and Wake of the Flood, nearly 20 onstage appearances with the band between 1970 and 1975, and Lagin’s own Seastones project, released by Jerry Garcia’s Round Records, featuring contributions by Garcia, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, David...
Two episodes in one: we meditate on the harmony tracks and metaphysical overtones of the hymn-like Attics Of My Life, before David Crosby and Steve Silberman return for extended look at how the American Beauty sessions flowed into Croz’s masterpiece, If I Could Only Remember My Name, where Jerry Garcia and the Dead served as supporting musicians and friends.
Jumping off from “Till the Morning Comes” and the outtake “To Lay Me Down” we hear from Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay on falling in love with (and to) the Dead, Bob Weir on the secret to recording Phil Lesh, Stephen Malkmus with a psychedelic book recommendation, and time travel to Winterland in October 1970.
We examine how the Grateful Dead classic “Brokedown Palace” forms a hidden but powerful song suite with “Ripple,” the preceding song on American Beauty, with guests Bob Weir, pianist Howard Wales, longtime Dead publisher Alan Trist, historian Nicholas Meriwether, and musicologist Mike Hamad, plus a search for Pigpen’s cat.
On a very special bonus episode, we check in with Mickey Hart about his latest drones and hear high tales of Grateful Dead madness, from frying bacon onstage to using firearms as percussion, plus stories about his handcrafted instrument, the Beam, and a look into the Barn, his recording “crucible” in Novato and one of the great and oft-forgotten studios of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
We examine Ripple, the timeless cosmic hymn leading off Side B of American Beauty, written during what Robert Hunter called a peak experience, and take a close look at the Dead’s very own softball team, with guests Bob Weir, David Grisman, Ned Lagin, and many more, including Ripple chorale performer Sam Cutler.
To celebrate “Operator,” the fourth song on American Beauty and the first Grateful Dead song written solely by Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, we examine his life and offer an extremely rare look into the Pigpen archives, a collection of journals, letters, and more inherited by an old family friend.
We are honored to welcome the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir (!!!) for a deep look at his signature song, “Sugar Magnolia,” and the making of the Dead’s landmark American Beauty in 1970, plus surprising memories of the song from Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus and Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan.
In the fall of 1980, the Grateful Dead celebrated their 15th anniversary with a series of 25 special shows in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Manhattan, playing acoustic sets for the first time in a decade, along with two electric sets each night, The shows would yield the live double-albums Reckoning and Dead Set, as well as a Halloween simulcast that became the concert film Dead Ahead, We went behind this massive undertaking for a special bonus episode of the Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast.
The Grateful Dead’s most-covered song, “Friend of the Devil,” also uncovers the secret history of American Beauty, including a never-heard demo reel for the album and totally scrapped session tapes newly released as The Angel’s Share, with guests David Grisman, David Nelson, Stephan Barncard, and more.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary remaster of the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty, we begin our track-by-track exploration of the band’s bittersweet 1970 masterpiece, powerfully embodied by opening track “Box of Rain,” featuring archival audio, and guests including co-producer Stephen Barncard and Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig.
DESCRIPTION: In our packed season finale, we explore how “Casey Jones” combined folk traditions and became an underground hit too risque for pop radio, hear a break down of the multi-track, discuss the infamous sniff and other Workingman’s Dead’s finishing touches with co-producer Bob Matthews, figure out the location and date of the cover photo, and more.