Night of the Living Dead

Grateful Dead – “The Eleven” from Live/Dead (1969)

Y’all may well disown me for this….

My apologies to SWR-heads, but I’ve been away for a bit, listening to the world’s most overreacted-against psychedelic jammers. Live/Dead is the only Grateful Dead record I own, but man is it a doozy. This track and the epic “Dark Star” are right up there with the best of Can and Miles’s Bitches Brew era. As far as songs go, the Dead left a hell of a lot to be desired…”Truckin'”? “Casey Jones”? Some of the shittiest attempts at folk songwriting ever. But their instrumental interplay, evidenced on this jam, was formidable. Garcia’s soloing is all major scale noodle, but against all odds, it works, not least because of the rubbery bass and in-the-pocket drumming of Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart. The Dead may flub a few more notes than Can or Miles, but the effect they achieve is similar: a hypnotic groove that you can drop into at any time and be amazed by. Just because every single asshole at your high school raved about “The Dead, maaaaan” doesn’t mean you should tune them out.

Try and count along

Posted by Glenn


Filed under 1960s, Instrumental, Live, Psychedelic, Rock, Space rock

3 responses to “Night of the Living Dead

  1. jeff wheeler

    i only have anthem of the sun. i got it when i was real gone into like the zombies and the incredible string band and i figured the more psychedelic i could get the better (and anthem of the sun was sold to me as the most ‘experimental’ record). man was i wrong. all the lyrics are about alligators and potatoes and there’s this whole jimmy-buffet-style humour running through the whole thing. maybe i’ll try live/dead though.

    how’ve you been, glenn?

    – j wheeler

  2. there’s a lot more than Live/Dead. American Beauty is a masterpiece, as well as Workingman’s. Just because Truckin’ and Casey Jones are huge hits doesn’t make them poorly written. The Dead have tons of great albums, my favorite being their debut.

    to me the Dead are a great Americana band, not psychedelic really. only listening to Live/Dead would comprise “tuning them out” imo.

    “always ready to defend the dead!” 😉

  3. Fair enough. I’ll try to wrangle a copy of American Beauty or Workingman’s Dead, and ask for some live show burns from my hippie buddies.

    I really hate Truckin’ though.

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