The Lost Sailor's Pub Forum Index The Lost Sailor's Pub

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

the keyboard section and their songs

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Lost Sailor's Pub Forum Index -> Conversations of the Dead - All About the Greatest Rock n' Roll Band Ever
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Ads






Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:01 am    Post subject: Ads

Back to top
swamiGD80s
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Posts: 1801
Location: Atlantic Beach, FL

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 11:23 pm    Post subject: the keyboard section and their songs Reply with quote

It's about time I started a fight around here - things have been pretty BOOOORRRRIIIIIIIINNNGG!

So I observe that most GD forum participants, both here and elsewhere, tend to dislike songs sang by the keyboard player, and more generally any segment of a show that featured the keys. I would say that as the keyboard section got more and more involved over time - from Keith to early Brent to late Brent to Vince&Bruce to Vince only - the less popular this involvement became. An inverse correlation.

Not following? Let me break it down. Keith had very little involvement, except for his wife singing a couple of songs, and that seemed to suit late-70s deadheads just fine. Brent came along and inserted himself into the rotation with Far From Me and Easy To Love You, which was met with some resistance. Later Brent became even more involved with songs like Take You Home and Little Light, which were generally unpopular. And then finally Vinny came along, who was never appreciated for his talent - and still is not. At first he was tolerated because Heads seemed to like Hornsby, but after Hornsby .. Vinny became the distant step-cousin in the family. His own songs were greeted with downright hatred, and even today Vince-bashing is rampant in the forums.

Ok, now getting to my point (see Colonial, paragraph separation makes it easier for the reader Laughing )

Would it have been better if the keyboard section never evolved into a bigger role? This is apparently what most Deadheads would have preferred, if you agree with the axioms in my above diatribe. So, for example, if Brent had come along and simply bowed at the feet of Jerry - never interjecting his own songwriting or too much personality in his playing. Simply, as Keith did in 76-78, letting the guitar section basically dominate every jam. That would have produced better music and more enjoyable shows? Then after Brent if Vince simply did his best to impersonate Keith and likewise just play some cute piano and let the big boys do their thing....no Way To Go Home....no Samba...just Eyes, Playin, Terrapin, Scarlet/Fire - the same old songs every night...that would have been much better?

Well as you might guess I dispute this conclusion - vehemently disagree. Thank god they changed things up and pissed off some traditional Deadheads. What I love about the GD, and what really made them special, is that they were constantly in a dynamic state of change. I'm not just talkin about Jerry, Bob, and Phil - but the entire band, their song repertoire, their sound effect petals, their electronic equipment - everything.

So for all the Brent and Vince bashers, I pose a challenge to you. Be an armchair quarterback and tell us what would have been better. Instead of Take You Home out of Space, or Way To Go Home after Samson, what would you have liked? Alligator?? St. Stephen?

I mean overall the band bent over backwards to appeal to their fans' tastes, as far as song selection. But as musicians you gotta understand their desire to play some new stuff. Songs like Stranger, Touch, Victim, Foolish were breakthrough material in the 80s, and likewise So Many Roads, Corinna, Days Between, and Eternity in the 90s. In fact, I think the 90s would have been just as good as any decade in the band's career had it not been for Jerry's precipitous decline.

_________________
Even the blind man knows when the rain is falling.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kochman
Captain


Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 10252
Location: Davy Jones' Locker

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your inverse correlation theory is good... however, what about Pigpen...
There is a whole subsection of Deadheads that actually think he was a talented musician and that his songs were, for the most part, great.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duderino



Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 3031
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good topic.
Just to get this straight, we are keeping Pigpen out of this??

Anyhow, I hear what you are saying. I am glad the keyboard players (post Keith) got more involved. Hearing the same old songs does not equal growth, and I think the reason a lot of old classics got dropped (St Stephen, Alligator, etc.....) was that they either got tired of playing them, they sounded dated or they were flipping the bird to the audience. If you want a pandering greatest hits band, go see the Rolling Stones or the Beach Boys.

As far as Brent's involvement and songs - his keyboard playing added a huge burst of energy and dynamics into the band. The older Deadheads that I knew were glad K&D were gone, because Keith was a vegetable and Donna screeched. Brent could sing and had all kinds of new sounds - the Hammond especially sounded great. To my recollection his soloing and use of synth's elicited few complaints, but his songwriting seemed to be divisive. I would say I liked most of his songs. Others did not like them because they were not "Grateful Dead" enough (close minded??) The ones I did not like wer:e We Can Run (good god sooo literal), I Will Take You Home and Don't Need Love. I just think they are bad songs. I did know people (girls usually) who liked those songs. I loved hearing Blow Away, Far From Me, Revolutionary Hamstrung, Gentlemen Start Your Engines, Tons of Steel. Pocky Way Mr Fantasy and the other covers he did were cool too. Keep On Growin, if they would have practiced it, would have been great. Anyhow, you can see I am a Brent fan, although I will admit having my buzz killed at shows by IWTYH coming out of space. Sorry but......Anyhow, back in the day it seemed like there were pro- and anti-Brent camps. Now with the internet and a lot of newer fans, there is more criticism. With Vince, I frankly had more trouble with his playing in the beginning of his tenure. Really inappropriate, loud synth riffs, etc.
I kind of lost interest in the Dead in the 90's so this is from today's perspective - I think he got better after Bruce left and his 2 originals really are not that bad, and could have been better if there was more enthusiasm behind them. He came in at a bad time, and I am not sure was the best choice. His and Brents songs were no worse than what Phil or Bob were putting out there in the 90's. But I think in the 90's and today with the archive, etc..people can sit back and criticize more easily, and want to hear "the classics" and deify Jerry. It's stylish to bash on Brent, Vince and even Bobby. Bruce somehow escapes censure although I think his keyboard playing could be a bit over the top and his voice was not all that great. So, that is my take on it. I would say I basically agree with you.

_________________
We used to play for acid, now we play for Clive.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
lucasmcain



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 1356

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yawn! The fact that you continue to not even acknowledge the fact the Pigpen was more than just a keyboard player and was actually a huge driving force in the creation of the band makes this argument pointless.

Furthermore, you actually typed this sentence " Keith had very little involvement, except for his wife singing a couple of songs, and that seemed to suit late-70s deadheads just fine. " is blowing off yet another chunk of Grateful Dead History. Since you admittedly don't really listen to early Dead and have pretty much ignored 71, 72 and 73, years where Keith absofuckinlutly contributed to the sound of the Dead what exactly is the point of this argument/discourse?

We get it. You like the later years. I like some of the later years. There is far more Donna Bashing around here and other places than there is Vinnie Bashing.

Vinnie gets bashed becasuse the band as a whole pretty much sucked balls during the last few years of their excistence and he was a convieninet scapegoat. Obviously, Jerry held the band together and when he sucked...they sucked. I mean 6 songs sets were the norm.

What would I have liked? I would have liked to see Jerry not [CENSORED] and give a 10th of a shit. I would have liked to see Weir write songs that were actually enjoyable melodic tunes instead of choppy insepid crap. Hunter is to blame as well. Lazy River Road???? helloooo Black Muddy River reprise. Days Between? horrible dreck that sucked the life out of a show just as badly as any IWTYH EVER did. I would have liked to hear Phil shut the [CENSORED] up! The man couldn't sing and the novelty wore off a looooooooooooong time ago. I would have liked to take Bruce's accordian and give it the Luca Brasi treatment and throw it in the East River. I would have liked to see some kind of Brent acknowledgement. I would have liked drums/space to not be 40 godamn minutes but I know lard ass was chasing Koons around like a sick puppydog! I would have liked them to get rid of their MIDI systems, in ear monitors, and all the other tech stuff that took away from the music. I've said it before, they played with their toys and nobs more than they played music.

I actually thought Vinnie was an MVP of the band in the final years. He at the very least brough energy to the band and tried to inject some cool covers into the repetoire. His singing sucked and I didn't like the tone of his keys, but at least the guy tried. For the record, I liked Way to Go Home!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kochman
Captain


Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 10252
Location: Davy Jones' Locker

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the heat you brought here lucas...
Just a few comments to stoke the fires here.

lucasmcain wrote:
Yawn! The fact that you continue to not even acknowledge the fact the Pigpen was more than just a keyboard player and was actually a huge driving force in the creation of the band makes this argument pointless.

Pigpen, basically, sucked. 45 minute Lovelights do not impress... repetitive as they get, and who needs the "rapping"?

lucasmcain wrote:
Furthermore, you actually typed this sentence " Keith had very little involvement, except for his wife singing a couple of songs, and that seemed to suit late-70s deadheads just fine. " is blowing off yet another chunk of Grateful Dead History. Since you admittedly don't really listen to early Dead and have pretty much ignored 71, 72 and 73, years where Keith absofuckinlutly contributed to the sound of the Dead what exactly is the point of this argument/discourse?

I think he means to say, he never took the reigns like Brent often did. There are few shows that are stand out Keith shows, especially as he wore on...
His earlier stuff was easily better, but it wasn't generally spotlight materially, he was just an excellent supporting actor.
Swami is talking about when the keyboardists would contend for the Oscar nominee for best actor on stage.

lucasmcain wrote:
We get it. You like the later years. I like some of the later years. There is far more Donna Bashing around here and other places than there is Vinnie Bashing.
That's because she was far worse than anyone else in the band, ever.

lucasmcain wrote:
Vinnie gets bashed becasuse the band as a whole pretty much sucked balls during the last few years of their excistence and he was a convieninet scapegoat. Obviously, Jerry held the band together and when he sucked...they sucked. I mean 6 songs sets were the norm.
Well, he did bring in his own level of suck... so he isn't a total scapegoat!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duderino



Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 3031
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucas does bring up some excellent points - the [CENSORED] level was much higher in the 90's - that is why I stopped going. I did not really care about who was playing the keyboards - watching Jerry not give a crap was heartbreaking.
- I totally agree with this whole rant:
"What would I have liked? I would have liked to see Jerry not [CENSORED] and give a 10th of a shit. I would have liked to see Weir write songs that were actually enjoyable melodic tunes instead of choppy insepid crap. Hunter is to blame as well. Lazy River Road???? helloooo Black Muddy River reprise. Days Between? horrible dreck that sucked the life out of a show just as badly as any IWTYH EVER did. I would have liked to hear Phil shut the [CENSORED] up! The man couldn't sing and the novelty wore off a looooooooooooong time ago. I would have liked to take Bruce's accordian and give it the Luca Brasi treatment and throw it in the East River. I would have liked to see some kind of Brent acknowledgement. I would have liked drums/space to not be 40 godamn minutes but I know lard ass was chasing Koons around like a sick puppydog! I would have liked them to get rid of their MIDI systems, in ear monitors, and all the other tech stuff that took away from the music. I've said it before, they played with their toys and nobs more than they played music. "

But lucas, I think you might need to read swami's post a little more. To me he did not really even mention Pig (a clearly dominant band member during his tenure, whether you like him or not) and not bashing Keith, just saying he a) did not sing, and even though the guy was doing amazing stuff on the piano, was in no way a front man. Brent, and to lesser degree degree Vinny, stepped up into the spotlight.
But nevertheless this thread should prove interesting and feisty!
I see lucas as the fire, Swami as the ice, and myself as lukewarm water.

_________________
We used to play for acid, now we play for Clive.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
lucasmcain



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 1356

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy

Fair enough Koch but you contradict yourself a little here. On the Pigpen issue you say he sucked and 45 minute Lovelights and rapping don't do it for you, however you state that Keith didn't have any Oscar winning performances or the spotlight.

" when the keyboardists would contend for the Oscar nominee for best actor on stage."

Well Pig definately had the spotlight on him during those Lovelights, Good Lovins and the handfull of blues tunes he did. He was a pretty big force in terms of stage presence.


I'd take Donna any day of the week over TC!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sundargu



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 124
Location: Minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lucasmcain wrote:
Hunter is to blame as well. Lazy River Road???? helloooo Black Muddy River reprise. Days Between? horrible dreck that sucked the life out of a show just as badly as any IWTYH EVER did.


Days Between horrible?? WTF.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spencer540



Joined: 07 Feb 2009
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duderino wrote:
I did know people (girls usually) who liked those songs


Got a big laugh out of that Laughing

Warning: I am probably the least qualified out of all of you to talk about the keyboardist songs. They're something I usually skip. Just a warning if I sound close minded and unappreciative

When comes to a keyboard player as a singer, I think Pigpens the most talented. Thats saying a lot since I'm usually not that interested in the era. I feel he's the only keyboard player who really had the voice to step up to the lead role. I know the majority of you will disagree with me.

With Keith, I've never heard the Wake Of The Flood version of "Let Me Sing Your Blues Away", but when listening to *9/11/73, its a song I rarely skip. I don't like Keith voice at all, but Martin Fierro and Jerry play off each other so wonderfully. So voice wise, I'd say he's my least favorite

After a long time of skipping over them, I've recently started to enjoy a few of Brents songs. And this is coming from someone who used to be a [CENSORED] Brent basher.

I know its bad, but I have never given a Vinnie song a chance. Not that I dont like them, I've literally never listened to one. Ever. Its more because he came in an era I rarely listen to.

Playing wise, its a dead tie between Keith and Brent.



* At about 4:39, I love when Keith says "Okay!". As to say "Okay Jerry, you can stop jamming! I wanna fucking sing now!!"

_________________
"JOKING?! Keep in mind, my friend, that this is serious business to most of us losers around here; we are, after all, wasting our precious lives debating these absurd issues. Have a little respect." - dylan&theded
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tizi



Joined: 07 Apr 2010
Posts: 985
Location: Lost somewhere in the Northen Adriatic

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lucasmcain wrote:
Well Pig definately had the spotlight on him during those Lovelights, Good Lovins and the handfull of blues tunes he did. He was a pretty big force in terms of stage presence.


Perfectly said!

_________________
I mean, sports are big, big, big business. (Phil Lesh)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kochman
Captain


Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 10252
Location: Davy Jones' Locker

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lucasmcain wrote:
Very Happy

Fair enough Koch but you contradict yourself a little here. On the Pigpen issue you say he sucked and 45 minute Lovelights and rapping don't do it for you, however you state that Keith didn't have any Oscar winning performances or the spotlight.

" when the keyboardists would contend for the Oscar nominee for best actor on stage."

Well Pig definately had the spotlight on him during those Lovelights, Good Lovins and the handfull of blues tunes he did. He was a pretty big force in terms of stage presence.


I'd take Donna any day of the week over TC!

No contradiction... I think Pig was in the spotlight, but yet he fucking sucked at it! Just being in the spotlight and actually deserving the spotlight are two different things...
That being said, I don't think Vinny deserved much spotlight either...

And, I would still take TC over Donna.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duderino



Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 3031
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
lucasmcain wrote:
Very Happy

Fair enough Koch but you contradict yourself a little here. On the Pigpen issue you say he sucked and 45 minute Lovelights and rapping don't do it for you, however you state that Keith didn't have any Oscar winning performances or the spotlight.

" when the keyboardists would contend for the Oscar nominee for best actor on stage."

Well Pig definately had the spotlight on him during those Lovelights, Good Lovins and the handfull of blues tunes he did. He was a pretty big force in terms of stage presence.


I'd take Donna any day of the week over TC!

No contradiction... I think Pig was in the spotlight, but yet he fucking sucked at it! Just being in the spotlight and actually deserving the spotlight are two different things...
That being said, I don't think Vinny deserved much spotlight either...

And, I would still take TC over Donna.


Koch - Pigpen sucked?? Come on, I'm not a gigantic Pigpen or "primal Dead" freak, but the guy was an integral member of the band who brought the funk factor with him and a huge amount of BALLS which I find lacking in that oh so wonderful year of 1973. Also, although Pig played keys, I never really thought of him as "the keyboard player" - he was more a frontman/blues belter who used the keyboard as a prop (OK the crack about the prop is going a little far I admit). My only problem with Pigpen was that Lovelight and Good Lovin just went on too long with all the raps, grunts and oo's and ahhs'. I will say the Live Dead Lovelight is a freakin classic - perfect length and it rocks. Other than a few of his later tunes (Two Souls, Chinatown Shuffle) most of the Pigpen tunes are either classics, or at least solid - if I may hijack for a moment, let us consider the a partial list of the songs he sang :

Operator
Easy Wind
Mr. Charlie
Hard To Handle
Lovelight
Good Lovin
Schoolgirl
Big Boss Man
King Bee
Alligator
Caution
Man's World
Katie Mae
Midnight Hour

Sure, his version of Hey Jude is wretched and he could ramble on a bit with his raps, but the guy lived and breathed the blues. I would say that body of work defies the [CENSORED] factor and perhaps stands the test of time more than Brent's or Vince's songs.

_________________
We used to play for acid, now we play for Clive.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kochman
Captain


Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 10252
Location: Davy Jones' Locker

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duderino wrote:

Koch - Pigpen sucked?? Come on, I'm not a gigantic Pigpen or "primal Dead" freak, but the guy was an integral member of the band who brought the funk factor with him and a huge amount of BALLS which I find lacking in that oh so wonderful year of 1973. Also, although Pig played keys, I never really thought of him as "the keyboard player" - he was more a frontman/blues belter who used the keyboard as a prop (OK the crack about the prop is going a little far I admit). My only problem with Pigpen was that Lovelight and Good Lovin just went on too long with all the raps, grunts and oo's and ahhs'. I will say the Live Dead Lovelight is a freakin classic - perfect length and it rocks. Other than a few of his later tunes (Two Souls, Chinatown Shuffle) most of the Pigpen tunes are either classics, or at least solid - if I may hijack for a moment, let us consider the a partial list of the songs he sang :

Operator
Easy Wind
Mr. Charlie
Hard To Handle
Lovelight
Good Lovin
Schoolgirl
Big Boss Man
King Bee
Alligator
Caution
Man's World
Katie Mae
Midnight Hour

Sure, his version of Hey Jude is wretched and he could ramble on a bit with his raps, but the guy lived and breathed the blues. I would say that body of work defies the [CENSORED] factor and perhaps stands the test of time more than Brent's or Vince's songs.

Yes, I went there...

Operator - Mediocre
Easy Wind - boring
Mr. Charlie - totally lame
Hard To Handle - WAY too long
Lovelight - WAY too long
Good Lovin - Decent
Schoolgirl - Pretty awesome
Big Boss Man - Pretty awesome
King Bee - Boring
Alligator - Pretty cool, but more for the music
Caution - Again, more for the music
Man's World - So so
Katie Mae - Boring
Midnight Hour - WAY too long

I'm sorry, gypsy lady raps don't do a thing for me... Most of the songs that are cool, they are cool because of the jams that accompany them.
The exception is Schoolgirl... I would also throw in Smokestack!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
GracefulDuck



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 190

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me....and I am only saying "for me"....the finest keyboards ever was Keith during the Europe 72 tour....in the space it was almost liquid. I haven't dosed in years, but just thinking about his piano floating in the stream makes me want to again. Hard to believe how it never reached that level again.
...at least for me.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tizi



Joined: 07 Apr 2010
Posts: 985
Location: Lost somewhere in the Northen Adriatic

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps the problem was never the keyboard player but the drums duo Very Happy

... they should have the Eagles drummer who can sing ...... Laughing

_________________
I mean, sports are big, big, big business. (Phil Lesh)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duderino



Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 3031
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tizi wrote:
Perhaps the problem was never the keyboard player but the drums duo Very Happy

... they should have the Eagles drummer who can sing ...... Laughing

Hahaha..OMG, that would have been horrible.

_________________
We used to play for acid, now we play for Clive.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
GracefulDuck



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 190

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tizi wrote:
Perhaps the problem was never the keyboard player but the drums duo Very Happy

... they should have the Eagles drummer who can sing ...... Laughing
tizi, did you know that Don Henley and Bob Weir are good friends? In any case, I believe you are thinking of the singing drummer in Genesis - Phil Collins. That would make much more sense for the Grateful Dead. Laughing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
swamiGD80s
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Posts: 1801
Location: Atlantic Beach, FL

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love me some Phil Collins!!

Edit: I will re-join the debate after consuming some coffee or liquor.

_________________
Even the blind man knows when the rain is falling.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tizi



Joined: 07 Apr 2010
Posts: 985
Location: Lost somewhere in the Northen Adriatic

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamiGD80s wrote:
Love me some Phil Collins!!

Edit: I will re-join the debate after consuming some coffee or liquor.


You can do as Jerry did when he took the famous šljivovica (pronounced: slivovitza) which is a serbian plum grappa very famous in the former Yugoslavia. You can listen the funny banter in the Pizza Tapes (the extra large edition) its track 26 "Jerry Plays Tony's D-28" Cool

_________________
I mean, sports are big, big, big business. (Phil Lesh)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tknight



Joined: 15 Feb 2009
Posts: 90
Location: left field

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 7:33 pm    Post subject: This space is getting hot, you know the space is getting hot Reply with quote

Swami-
Interesting correlations or contentions to ponder and I find myself provoked (good job) to respond with agreement with some of the sentiments expressed and disagreement with others.
And Swami, I enjoy the fact that you are more wordy than I am. (I am, I am…, I-I-I-I-I am! Er.. must stop doing that…)

First- Initially, I was unsure of the inverse correlation given that Pigpen used to be the most common front man on keys for the Dead (prop or not, Koch). On second thought, I guess Koch's statements regarding Pigpen do actually bolster the keyboard frontman debate even though Pigpen wasn't in the original discussion.

Once Pigpen was gone, somehow, it always seemed like it was the ‘new guy thing' regarding the next person sitting on that 'bench'. I do think that what that player brings to the table makes a difference. We can debate the merits of any of the keyboard player’s songwriting, singing, and playing ability adinfinitum. However, if we are simply talking about the Heads reactions to these musicians when in the spotlight, I see a mixed bag. Many of the songs just didn’t get a real work out (see 90's), but from my perspective those songs were welcome in the rotation. The Dead needed that variety.

Often however, the crowd sensed that this 'new' song might squeeze out one of the songs that that person wanted to hear on that night (Jerry or Bob song, take your pick). I can recall feeling horrified ( like Koch and Dude) at the state of Garcia while attending the ’95 Vegas run, so that turned any thoughts of a 'wishlist' into a conundrum. A quandry.And consider when Lucas said 6 songs was the norm in those days (for first set?) that would mean that any 'new' song would reduce the chance to hear some hoped for tuned in that deadhead's heart/mind. Then that keyboardist would get assigned the 'blame' for the desired song not being included at that show. Ergo distain for the new guy and his song, blame assessment completed. Again the new guy gets the heat.

I agree with what Lucas stated about Vince, at least he tried to get the guys going with his contributions, but the band (and Garcia) were in bad space often times during those later days. And when you were hungry to hear the band and this was your one shoy to see (many of us were not touring like back in the day ie. kids to feed and can’t take off from work to follow the boys, etc.) it probably was hard to take a Samba, or Far From Me, or a Stander on the Mountain. I do think that there was confusing resistance from many Heads when the band was working to avoid getting back into ‘ossified’ set-lists ala the late 70’s. Fans complain at one point with a lack of variety in set lists, but then complain as well when there is greater song diversity. Having new originals or especially some tasty covers (Gimme, gimmie some lovin…’) was a welcome delight for me back in the ‘80’s and throughout subsequent eras, as well.

That said the singing voice/range of Brent was much superior to the other keyboard players. His voice was simply spot on. Some heads didn't like his voice or his songs (structure & lyrics) however. However, I do find it very preplexing to note the distain toward Bruce for his virtuosity on the keys, especially when Brent is routinely lauded and afforded deserved accolades for his playing. I have never figured out how that works and don’t think I will anytime soon. For my 2 cents worth, there were times that the 'mix' was not helpful to any of the Dead's keyboardists either vocally or instrumentally.

Keith never wanted to be the ‘front man’ and his playing at its apex was sublime. He was a great ensemble player when he was on and I agree with brother Graceful Duck's review of Keith's playing in Europe. While this talent was apparent that for many other stellar shows/years as well, but he did burn out was we know. That doesn’t negate his contribution in my mind. I would have loved to have Garcia sing lead vocals on Let Me Sing Your Blues Away to free Keith up to hammer on the keys and play call and response with Garcia's guitar as the band jams it out. Brent, Bruce, or Vinnie could have covered that specific song well IMO.

I do think the placement in the rotation (see Dude’s statement on IWTYH out of space being a buzzkill is such an example) is a valid point. Shit, I found Black Peter or Around & Around to be colossal buzzkills because they changed up the pace so rapidly that I got whiplash (and not in a 'good way') and/or usually signaled the end of the show. And I like Black Peter (I know, I know, that is for the 'I confess' thread). The new keyboardist's tunes could have benefited from placment but more importantly with some practice (yes, practice) which would have aided immesureably in the maturation or evolution and I believe to greater acceptance/enjoyment of some of those ‘new’ tunes. No, the GD needed the new tunes and we needed the new tunes, eg. Foolish Heart became a great jamming vehicle. I loved it when the band would work it out during a tune with wonderful exploration and burst back into the tune or segue into another. Experimentation, I always hoped that would keep the boys interested. Nothing is worse that a bored artist.

And that is another point for me. Lovelight too long? Are you guys really saying that your think that the Hollywood Bowl Lovelight (8-7-71, I believe) was too long, too much jamming, or didn’t shine (pun intended) with Pigpen fronting the Dead? Or you won't consider that by Pig taking that spotlight, that offered Garcia a wonderful space, how he grabbed that oppportunity, went stratospheric and pushed the band to play catch me if you can? And you don't see Pigpen as essential to that? I disagree.

I see that as a great example of the synergistic effect (2+3=11) where each player’s efforts end up being much much more than the sum of their parts. The boys did that a lot and for me that was an intrical aspect of the Grateful Dead.

And I don't deny that Garcia was the prime/necessary factor for 'lift off' to occur. I am also not equating the duration/length of song with quality ("it ain't how long it is, it is what you do with it" Ms. tknight) but I am sure not adverse to an indepth deep exploration of a tune. I believe that is how these are fully developed and become 'better'. And I recognize that opinion is not shared by all here.

My side contention on the Dead's keyboardist is that we have the affinity for the one on the keys that was playing with the band and really took us there, whether on record, tape, CD, maybe even live, but the one keyboardist that was a part of that synergistic effect that touched us and added to taking us.them to that cusp, then that launch, when what the Dead did burst forth and accelerated with us 'in tow'. That memory is tucked (baked?) deep into our brain and the state-dependent nature of this intense memory often make any changes to the Band's line up (or even songs) harder for many.

However, I also propose that all the keyboard players came across live much more dynamic than on tape or video. The video or tape often seem to flatten out the intensity/immediacy of their and the band’s moments. It is like looking at a picture or even a video of Bryce Canyon as opposed to being on the precipice at sunrise or sunset. I believe there is an intensity an intimacy to that moment. It doesn't mean they didn't shine and mesh at other times and shows, but those moments... the tickle of the synapse as they transport.....

Live is different and when the boys were on new songs even by other band members really could hit the mark. While I know that you will argue with me, Koch, at those June 77 Winterland shows (the 8th?), even the Donna led Sunrise with the rest of the band cooking behind her, and Garcia’s swelling guitar runs, display that a band member whom many heads did not like/appreciate could actually front the boys live. And sound good doing it. Maybe that doesn’t come across on the tape (you probably skip over it anyway). When the Dead were on, they were on. (I also contend Donna came accross much less obtrusive live, even when she was 'off' than she does on tape/etc.)

Back to this thread, whichever keyboard player, if and when the band could get the beast off the ground and into in the air, there were a peak moments. Whatever era of the Dead. Sometimes we Deadheads get locked into a frame/formula, just like the Band itself used to. Sometimes we in the audience 'ossify' ourselves (phil's term for those late 70's repetitive seltlists).

I gotta quit, I have rambled enough. The Swami is grinning to himself and saying "what me wordy?" (Mad magazine reference).

To quote Duderino again “I see Lucas as the fire, Swami as the ice, and myself as lukewarm water. “

So I guess I’m the ambling stream difting into left field with this thread.

Thanks for making me think about this and the space to spout off about it.

And I must find some of the beverage that tizi is recommending.


Last edited by tknight on Mon May 23, 2011 10:33 pm; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
lucasmcain



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 1356

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see ya again tknight!! I was wondering how you were doing and I'm glad you came back to visit us and with a GREAT post to boot! Cheers.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tknight



Joined: 15 Feb 2009
Posts: 90
Location: left field

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, my friend.
Working 1 & 1/2 jobs (and not enjoying it a bit) have resulted being more of a tourist at the Pub.
Unfortunate, but necessary.
Swami's contention and the resulting resulting passion drew me in.
Your post escalated my already racing thoughts on this topic.
We are contemporaries in many respects.
Take care.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duderino



Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 3031
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamiGD80s wrote:
Love me some Phil Collins!!

Edit: I will re-join the debate after consuming some coffee or liquor.

Really? Phil Collins? Confused


and tknight - very nice summation of this topic.

_________________
We used to play for acid, now we play for Clive.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
colonialsrv



Joined: 03 Mar 2010
Posts: 286
Location: Rhode Island

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok swami you drew me in here.... (and I will use paragraphs, you must admit I have been better lately..... )Rolling Eyes

Anyhow just my opinion here, so I don't want to start a whole bunch of [CENSORED] like I did last time. A few posters above stated that you are not really a fan of early or even later 70s Dead. So that does tell me that you are really trying here to say that all the keyboard players should have just done what was wanted of them, be off to the side and basically shut the [CENSORED] up.

Now we all pretty much know and realize that Jerry was the glue that held the band together before passing in, so obviously he wanted more out of the keyboard players after K+D were asked to leave.

I actually loved hearing Brent do back up vocals, loved hearing Dear Mr. fantasy, and fucking loved it when he did Hey Pocky Way. It always got us all moving around and it created a really nice vibe.

I think we all (most of us anyway), think that by the 90s, the band was going way way way downhill. Basically they started to suck....now in my opinion was Vince talented?....Yes he was....he was great with the Tubes...

Now my next questions is did Vince's songs suck?....in my opinion yeah they sucked. I'm one of those people that think that Vince's songs didn't sound like The Grateful Dead at all. I don't think they ever should have even let him in the band. I think it was just a bad fit.

BUT.....Yes, I think it was great the more that the keys were involved in the band. I honestly think why the hell shouldn't they be involved in the songwriting and shit. If they weren't involved then it would the band...The Grateful Dead, and a keyboard player, and not a band as a whole.

_________________
NOBODY NOTICES WHAT I DO UNTIL I STOP DOING IT!!!!! fucking bullshit if you ask me, because I always have to explain what I'm doing. Miss the old days of touring and not having a care in the world.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Lost Sailor's Pub Forum Index -> Conversations of the Dead - All About the Greatest Rock n' Roll Band Ever All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
c d
e



Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Abuse - Report Abuse - TOS & Privacy.
Powered by forumup.it free forum, create your free forum! Created by Hyarbor & Qooqoa
Confirmed

Page generation time: 0.238