Grateful Dead Archival Live Release Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Al Gator, Feb 5, 2021.

  1. GuitarStrangler

    GuitarStrangler Forum Resident

    Slovenia, Europe
    Dick's Picks, Vol. 24: Cow Palace, Daly City, CA 3/23/74

    First disc is very strong in my book. Starting off with very energetic US Blues and Promised Land, with Jerry ripping it on guitar. Geat party feel is established and I can easily connect with this show right of the bat. I dig the setlist. Excluding the »tuning in« first part of US Blues, the sound on my system is good, though not great, but nowhere as bad as I heard it was for this release. Here we have first ever performance of Scarlet Begonias. Being that it is first ever live rendition of it, I find it quite amazing how well they perform it, though it is yet to climb the heights it would reach later. Also I think this was the first 1974 Deal that I have heard, and it is a SMOKING one. Cassidy in this arrangement is a very interesting rarity. China>Rider is superb! Sparks fly all over the place and there is a definitive magic in this vigorous and classic rendition, despite Jerry missing the start of »I wish I was a headlight« verse. Weather report Suite wraps up the first disc and it is one more exquisite rendition.

    Second disc: yeah it is good, but I would not say it is better than the first. This PITB is too sleepy for my taste and I really need to be in a specific mood to fully enjoy it. There is plenty of substance of course (I mean, just listen to Bobby and marvel from where he draws inspiration for that 2 million licks he's playing?), but I also find it to be too noodly - to be honest, especially on Jerry's part - and there are no peaks and magical moments to remember. Which never happens when I listen to ANY '72 PITB for example. UJB here is not to good vocally, but the jam that follows is very good. There's nothing wrong with this Morning Dew, it is very strong, but again I'd say it is not up there with the best ones. If I compare this whole PITB>UJB>MD>UJB>PITB sandwich with the one from Winterland 11/10/1973, which is not too far removed in time, I can say that I definitively enjoy the Winterland sandwich much better. This one is good, but the Winterland 73 one is great to exquisite. The reminder of the set is all good, but except spirited Bertha (always among my favourites) nothing stands out as much.

    Note of interest: I am not allergic to Donna's PITB screams per se, but here it's a mess. I still haven't decided whether this sounds as a sheep or goat bleat!

    For some reason I'd like to compare this DP with DP7, though I am aware that it is somewhat of pointless apples vs. oranges case, but that perspective would help me to form a rating for this release. I prefer almost all of the shorter numbers found on this pick to the shorter numbers found on DP7. There is more energy in the air on DP24 and I found the sound on DP24 to be better, more rounded, at least in my book. Also this whole release flows better. BUT longer DP7 jams contain so many exquisitely high highs that overall I prefer it over this release. Still, this is a strong listen with nice setlist and also many moments of greatness within longer jams, for me especially China> Rider and Weather Report Suite.

    Overall rating: 3.4/5
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  2. Al Gator

    Al Gator You can call me Al Thread Starter

    Clickable Thread Guide

    List of releases

    By Release Date
    By Concert Date
    This week: Various (released 2002-03 on Postcards of the Hanging)

    Next week: 1972-04, 05 England (released 2002-07-09 on Steppin' Out with the Grateful Dead: England '72)
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  3. Al Gator

    Al Gator You can call me Al Thread Starter


    Postcards of the Hanging: Grateful Dead Perform the Songs of Bob Dylan

    Recording date: Various
    Recording location: Various
    Release date: March 2002

    All songs written by Bob Dylan
    1. "When I Paint My Masterpiece" October 11, 1989, Meadowlands Arena, East Rutherford, NJ] – 6:11
    2. "She Belongs to Me" [September 15, 1985, Devore Field, Chula Vista, CA] – 7:20
    3. "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" [July 12, 1989, RFK Stadium, Washington. DC] – 4:29
    4. "Maggie's Farm" [October 3, 1987 at Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA] – 6:13
    5. "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" [July 16, 1988 at the Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA] – 8:07
    6. "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" [June 10, 1973 at RFK Stadium, Washington, DC] – 7:35
    7. "Ballad of a Thin Man" [April 1, 1988, Meadowlands Arena, East Rutherford, NJ] – 6:40
    8. "Desolation Row" [March 24, 1990 at Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, NY] – 9:55
    9. "All Along the Watchtower" [July 4, 1989 at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY] – 5:44
    10. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" [December 3, 1981 at Dane County Coliseum, Madison, WI] – 7:23
    11. "Man of Peace" [June 9, 1987 at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, San Rafael, CA] – 5:51
    Bonus disc
    The first release included a limited edition, 2-track bonus CD.
    1. "Queen Jane Approximately" [December 29, 1988 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena, Oakland, CA] – 6:12
    2. "Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn)" [December 30, 1985 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena, Oakland] – 4:02
    The Grateful Dead regularly covered Bob Dylan’s songs, so a collection of them isn’t a crazy idea. In the later years, almost every concert would have at least one Dylan cover, and his melodic songs often fitted in well. Many of the versions on this compilation are taken from the mid to late 1980s (the album’s title was taken from the opening line of Desolation Row). While Bob Weir is probably best known for singing the Dylan covers, this collection makes a point of highlighting more than just his versions.

    We start with a slow version of When I Paint My Masterpiece, probably chosen for Jerry’s fine solo. Then it’s back to 1985 for a gorgeous She Belongs to Me; again Jerry’s solos are exquisite. Phil gets a turn in Tom Thumb’s Blues, and then the round-robin Maggie’s Farm gives each singer an energetic turn.

    We’re back to Bob for Memphis Blues Again; it’s amazing how he can remember all the words to a song like this but sometimes forgets his own! I must admit that these longer Dylan tracks can wear out their welcome, especially in the context of this album. But then Jerry gets a turn with a 1973 version of It Takes a Train to Laugh; it’s got a wonderful laid-back feel to it with some lovely solos.

    Now we get three Bob-sung tracks in a row. Ballad of a Thin Man is one of the more interesting covers, and it's sung with great enthusiasm. Then it’s on to Desolation Row, the longest and wordiest song on this compilation; it works well. All Along the Watchtower typically came near the end of a second set and brought lots of energy and fiery Jerry solos.

    I tend to think of Baby Blue as an encore piece, where it works perfectly. Jerry sings it with conviction and the band backs him superbly; it’s one of the highlights here. The album ends with Man of Peace, a rehearsal for the Dylan & The Dead tour with Bob Dylan himself handling the vocals, and it’s enjoyable despite Bob’s hard-to-understand vocals (some rehearsal chatter follows a short silence). Ironically, it feels a bit out of place here.

    Early orders came with a bonus disc with two additional tracks. Queen Jane Approximately is a serious Bob-sung first-set tune, while The Mighty Quinn is a Jerry track, typically an encore, and fun. I wonder if they should have been on the main disc instead of Man of Peace.

    The sound quality varies from track to track, but it’s always good, and the songs generally flow fairly well. The only jarring fade-out occurs at the end of Maggie's Farm (and The Mighty Quinn on the bonus disc).

    In the end I prefer whole shows, and this isn’t a compilation I reach for very often. The band does a great job, but Bob’s over-the-top singing is a bit much when heard as often as this. This one is for completists only.
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  4. Crazy Otto

    Crazy Otto Forum Resident

    Cologne, Germany
    Postcards of the Hanging: Grateful Dead Perform the Songs of Bob Dylan

    I’ve heard the GD perform each of these songs at one time or another (excluding Man of Peace), but this week was actually the first time I’ve listened to this compilation. Jerry has long been my favorite interpreter of Dylan tunes, Bob’s I can take or such, I much prefer the Garcia Plays Dylan release from ‘05 to this one (although not naming that one Escapades Out On The D-Train was a missed opportunity). All of that said, this was a somewhat interesting diversion.

    Notes & Highlights:
    • Masterpiece -- don’t think I’ve heard this performance before. I tend to prefer the ones from ‘87 (and those found on Dozin’ and Truckin’ Up To Buffalo), but this one has a nice pace and a passionate performance from Bob.

    • She Belongs To Me -- I always wished they’d kept this in the rotation. For ‘85, Jerry is in excellent voice and his delivery is perfect...maybe it’s time for me to give that year another chance.

    • Tom Thumb -- Phil’s singing on 7/8/90 (VFTV Vol. 1) is much better, but Jerry rips a stellar solo on this version (also found in the RFK box).

    • Maggie’s Farm -- like Big River, but about 1% as good (the GD version, not Dylan's). Pass.
    • Memphis Blues -- a good example of a Bob interpretation that’s often well played but otherwise a bit tiresome. I’ve also for sure heard better versions, but couldn’t tell you the dates.

    • It Takes a Lot to Laugh -- With Merl Saunders, Dickie Betts and Butch Trucks during the third set of a legendary show. Fun listen, but everyone seems a little afraid to step on each other’s toes. I much prefer the JGB versions.

    • Ballad of a Thin Man -- never really liked this song for some reason. Bob sings it well, but it doesn’t appeal to me any more than the original.

    • Desolation Row -- like Memphis Blues, but with a nicer melody and better Jerry leads.

    • Watchtower -- always thought this was a strange cover choice for them, but Jerry blows the roof off in every version I’ve heard. Also released on Truckin’ Up To Buffalo.

    • Baby Blue -- My favorite encore choice since forever and a nice performance I’d never heard before.

    • Man of Peace -- A really good rehearsal version. I’ve actually never heard the official Dylan & The Dead release or any of the sets they did with him. I should probably rectify that sometime.

    • Queen Jane -- like Memphis Blues and Desolation Row but thankfully not as long.

    • Mighty Quinn -- a fun and mindless encore choice that I always enjoyed more than most...but what’s with the fade-out?
    This is a decent enough collection, but not including Visions of Johanna (maybe my favorite Dylan song) and Heaven’s Door is questionable at best and definitely drops it down a few notches. If I’m being honest, it’s fine but in the end I’ll probably never listen to it all the way through again.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2021
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  5. superstar19

    superstar19 Refined Member

    Canton, MI, USA
    I love throwing this collection on every once in a while. I was listening to it yesterday and also missing Visions, but had the thought that maybe they felt the need to exclude it because it was already on Phil Zone and maybe they couldn't find another version worthy of official release? I'm okay with the Heaven's Door omission as the Dead's version of that is not a fave. The topic of cover songs came up in another thread, and one of the points brought up was how there are "covers" and then there are covers where the band OWNS the song and the Dead Dylan covers were highlighted as an example of that which I have to agree with and I don't mean to demean the original Dylan recordings by saying that as the originals are pretty damn good in their own way.

    She Belongs To Me is the highlight of the set for me no surprise and then surprisingly it's the Bob epics Desolation Row and Memphis Blues that absolutely kill. Love it when Jerry joins in on the backing vocals. This set is really great when paired with the Jerry "Garcia Plays Dylan" set that followed a few years later.
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  6. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, US
    I doubt that is the reason as in addition to the versions from 1995 that they have released, I remember hearing a good one from 1986 on the Dead Hour. Maybe they wanted Weir to have more of the spotlight on this disc.
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  7. Driver8

    Driver8 Forum Resident

    I have some catching up to do....

    Dick's Pick 21: This was one pick that I purchased right away - in fact it was the last Dicks Picks I bought upon initial release. It's an unconventional release for sure. Set One is solid and lively - I enjoy Dancin' In The Streets and Stagger Lee and then the band unleashes a *fantastic* Big River. The band stays hot with Brown Eyed Women, Jack Straw and a rousing Don't Ease Me In. A rather boring-ish looking set I sounds a lot better than it looks on paper.

    Set II and disc 2 kick off with a fine Samson and Delilah and then the band drops an amazing run of High Time>He's Gone>Spoonful>Comes A Time. Every second of this batch of songs worth hearing. The band slides into a Lost Sailor>Drums>Space>Saint of Circumstance - Sailor>Circumstance are usually underwhelming for me - but I kind of dig this long spacey version. The band breaks out a run of 3 consecutive covers: Gimmie Some Lovin'>She Belongs to Me>Gloria. I am a fan of 80's-90's era Jerry singing Dylan songs and She Belongs to Me is stunning!!!!! The band plays Keep Your Day Job as an encore and the show is over.

    filler: from 1980 Space>Iko Iko>AM Dew>Sugar Mags - well played and interesting, but also from 5 years before this release. It reminds of finding weird filler tacked onto the end of a tape, which was cool from a nostalgic point of view. I wonder if they could have found 35-ish minutes from 1985 to add on instead.

    It's a fun show - worthy of listening to. There are no heavy hitters in the show but the playing is spectacular at times and it features a unique set list.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2021
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  8. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    As usual, I'm a week late to the party, but there's something I've mentioned in the Grateful Thread regarding 3/23/74 that's worth repeating here:

    From 12:54-13:20 of WRS, Phil and Jerry get into a sparring match that rewards upon repeated listens. It's stunning how much they are intuiting what each other is doing and how close they come to playing exactly what the other is playing at the very same time (meaning, no call and response, but something more like mental telepathy).

    Not my favorite release in consideration of all of the other material we have (and Jerry is often down in the mix), but it goes to show that there are gems to be mined everywhere; especially in 1974.
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  9. Driver8

    Driver8 Forum Resident

    Back in 2001 I was fully engaged with the trading community, finding bundles of new cd-r's in my mailbox each week. I was swimming in live Dead goodness. This release was announced and I gave it a pass. I found this 2 disc set in a used bin for around $7 a few years later and picked it up. I wasn't immediately drawn to it, but over time I began to appreciate and enjoy this primitive release. I now consider it an essential pick - one that everyone should own. After hearing tons of hissy tapes over my life, the sound quality of this didn't bother me. We don't have a lot of '68 Dead to spin and fans should have this in their collections.

    The first show jumps out of the gate with an epic Viola Lee Blues - an early jam vehicle, the band chugs along for 19 minutes displaying some tasty guitar jams. I really got into this song when I found some Phil Lesh and Friends shows in a used bin once and heard a post-Dead version. Pigpen takes the mic for one of my favorite blues numbers: Hurts Me Too. A quick Dark Star segues into an early China Cat Sunflower which in turn transitions to a solid The Eleven. Raw stuff here - not polished, but passionate. Pigpen again takes the spotlight with Lovelight. Born Cross-Eyed is next. It's ok and finds it's way to a nice Spanish jam to end the disc.

    Morning Dew opens disc 2 and the 2nd show. Pigpen rips through a blazing hot Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. The band breaks into a tasty The Other One>New Potato Caboose. Things are going well and then all h*ll breaks loose with a crazy Alligator> China Cat>Eleven>Alligator>Caution>Feedback. This is such a great primal sequence with the band firing on all cylinders for 35+minutes. I have found myself revisiting disc 2 many times and it has become my go-to disc to spin when I want to hear some live 60's era.
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  10. Driver8

    Driver8 Forum Resident

    6/14/91 - I skipped this release because I had a crispy SBD on cd-r. While I eventually decided I would buy officially released shows that I already owned on cd-r or tape, I was not able to find and purchase a copy of this show. I cannot speak to the sound quality, only to the content.

    Set I: Starts with decent versions of Cold Rain & Snow and Wang Dang Doodle. Jack-A-Roe is very well played. Maggie's Farm is smoking hot and the momentum carries into a top notch Row Jimmy. BT Wind is next and is OK. Tennessee Jed is a personal favorite and it's rare to hear a version I don't like. The set closes with a hot Music Never Stopped.

    Set II: Help>Slipknot>Franklin's - go ahead and put this on every release. It's a fantastic trifecta and even in the post-Brent era, a welcome treat. Estimated is above average and the band explores their way into Dark Star. 15 Minutes of Drums/Space segues into a gorgeous Stella Blue and Lovelight closes out the set and the bands hits us with awesome Baby Blue encore.

    It's a good show for an early 90's one. I'd like to hear the official release and the filler someday. That Victim>Foolish Heart>Dark Star looks enticing.
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  11. Driver8

    Driver8 Forum Resident

    10/16/89 - Another show I owned on a decent SBD quality CD-r. I eventually bought the official release and appreciate the boost in sound quality. Set I (Disc One) is rather boring to me with standouts being a spectacular Feels Like a Stranger and a hot Let It Grow>Deal to close things out.

    Set II (Disc 2) is the reason for this release. Dark Star>PITB>UJB - almost 30 min of well played music. Nothing too exploratory, but just a nice sequence of songs. Drums/Space only lasts about 12 minutes before finding it's way to the delicate I Will Take You Home. The band shifts gears from the gentle ballad to the fiery I Need A Miracle. Dark Star re-emerges before the band drops a gorgeous Attics of My Life. A PITB reprise ends this smoking set. Likely exhausted from Set II - the encore is And We Bid You Goodnight.

    Disc 2 (Set II) is essential listening. A nice release that sounds great.
  12. Driver8

    Driver8 Forum Resident

    Despite the fact that I've had this show in my collection for years, it wasn't one that I had a strong feeling about. I decided to give it an uninterrupted listen - all 3 cds in one sitting.

    Disc One: The band sounds tight right out of the gate with a hot Promised Land. Sugaree is delightful and I enjoyed BT Wind more than I usually do. It's always good to hear FOTD and this version is very nice. El Paso is like every other El Paso, but the following Bird Song is awesome. Tennessee Jed and a great China/Rider are the remaining highlights of this disc.

    Disc Two; Set I continues with an exceptional PITB - jazzy and spacey, what a treat. The set closes with a standard Casey Jones. A strong Truckin' opens set II followed by above average versions of Loser, Jack Straw and Mississippi 1/2 Step. The discs ends with Me and My Uncle.

    Disc Three: The next three songs (60-ish minutes of music) are *out of this world* He's Gone starts things off before the band delivers a mind blowing 39min The Other One. As others have said, it's a psychedelic meltdown and rising from that chaos is a sublime and perfectly placed Sing Me Back Home. Sugar Mags closes out the set and a well played version of UJB serves as the encore.

    I think the band is on for this whole show. There isn't really a weak song here. The highlights are certainly PITB and the He's Gone>Other One>Sing Me Back Home combo, but I'ma fan of this Bird Song too. Overall I like this show more than I expected. A worthy release and a show folks ought to listen to.
  13. Driver8

    Driver8 Forum Resident

    A partial show, paired down to 2cds and omitting a few songs, this marked the official debut of the Wall of Sound. The details are fuzzy, but I was looking forward to this release, mostly to hear the PITB>UJB>AM Dew>UJB>PITB sandwich. I believe I had the full show and seeing that this was only a partial show turned me off from buying it upon release, but it made it onto my cd shelf eventually.

    Disc One: basically Set I - features the debut of Scarlet Begonias and Cassidy - both a great to hear in their raw-ish presentation. Brown Eyed Women is delightful and this is another above average BT Wind. Deal is hot and the China>Rider is high quality A strong Weather Report Suite rounds out a a very good disc one.

    Disc Two: basically Set II - I find the PITB>UJB>AM Dew part of the sandwich to be a little clunky, the transitions aren't smooth to my ears but the back half of the sandwich (AM Dew>UJB>PITB) is top notch with seamless transitions to each new song. I like the restrained version of AM Dew - while lacking in intensity, it delivers is beauty. It's a good ride overall - glad it's immortalized here. Big River is hot, Bertha is always good, Wharf Rat is A+ and the Sugar Mags closer is about what you'd expect.

    I'm not sure this is a "must hear" show, but it's really good. For fans who like to hear song debuts (Scarlet Begonias and Cassidy here) it's a nice artifact.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  14. Driver8

    Driver8 Forum Resident

    I agree with Crazy Otto and prefer the Garcia Sings Dylan collection more. I feel Dylan covers work best for the GD when they are incorporated into a show and it felt rather tiresome to listen to cover after cover after cover while spinning this release. I do, however, think there are some great tracks here. For example: She Belongs to Me, It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry, Ballad of a Thin Man, Desolation Row, All Along the Watchtower, and It's All Over Now, Baby Blue.

    If you're a die hard fan, you should grab this - otherwise invest your $$$ into other releases.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  15. Flaming Torch

    Flaming Torch Forum Resident

    I have always had a soft spot for this release and still play it on occasion. I do agree with Driver 8 (above) that the songs probably work better within a concert setting. I would also have put one of the GD live Visions of Johanna as an extra bobus on the bonus disc.
  16. John C Bradley Jr

    John C Bradley Jr Forum Resident

    Columbia, SC
    If you are like me and trying to catch up and get all the Dick's Picks, Road Trips, Dave's Picks that I missed, this one is going to be available as a Real Gone reissue in December, I think.
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  17. profusion

    profusion Forum Resident

    I've only listened to the the full 3/23/74 on the archive, but I found an inexpensive copy of DiP24 at a local used CD store yesterday, so I'll be giving my thoughts on it shortly. I also found Nightfall of Diamonds at the same store, so that'll be a new one for me.
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  18. Mr_Flanders

    Mr_Flanders Forum Resident

    Morehead, KY
    Real Gone is apparently reissuing a number of them I’m mid-December. I’ve got my eyes on DiP 15.”, which is happening then too.
  19. John C Bradley Jr

    John C Bradley Jr Forum Resident

    Columbia, SC
    I have my eye on Road Trips Vol. 2, No. 1 which is coming out in December (the 17th) as well.
  20. Islands

    Islands Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    Watkins Glen Soundcheck Jam (from So Many Roads 1965-1995) is one of my favorite jams that I've heard from the Dead. Are there more soundcheck jams officially released?
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  21. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, US
    I can't think of one, as I don't think they usually taped soundchecks (this was more of a short show for people who'd shown up a day early for the festival than a soundcheck). One time on the Taper's Section they posted an interesting "Shakedown" jam from 4/21/79 that was also the day before the show, Brent's first show.
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  22. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    New Jersey
    Numerous soundchecks have circulated, although I don't know if many of them have a big jam, probably not
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  23. track11

    track11 Forum Resident

    Yeah, I have always wondered about this. The Dead seem like soundcheck would be an opportune time to just jam freely a bit, but outside of Watkins, either that is incorrect or they just weren’t taped. Did Betty/Kidd etc ever tape soundchecks?
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  24. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, US
    I can't think of many from the 70's. (I remember there is a 12/26/79 soundcheck of "Black Throated Wind" taped by an audience member outside the venue.) In the 90's some tapers got soundcheck recordings by hacking into the band's in ear monitor setup.

    Just remembered that there is one around from 12/12/73. I haven't heard it but if I recall right they play some 50's rock and country songs in that one.
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  25. Mr_Flanders

    Mr_Flanders Forum Resident

    Morehead, KY
    I’m only about a year in to collecting live Dead, and they are going to bankrupt me if they keep this up.
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