How exactly are Grateful dead 'psychedelic'?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by holyroller, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. great point ! :)

    No, no. Certain mind-altering substances can enhance any listening experience in surprising and delightful ways - that's true, however one doesn't need to be under the influence of psychotropic drugs to "get" the Dead. It is really a just a matter of one's level of consciousness and
    perspicacity. Having an undersdanding of the origins of the stylistic elements of their music offers an insight into the ways many followers approach the Dead's music - being tuned-in to the ways in which they combine elements of Rock, Folk, Dixieland Jazz, Bluegrass, Country Blues, and Gospel is entirely unique in the context of popular music, purely organic (probably one of, if not the last, band to hybridise styles in this way), and improvisational in essence.
  2. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
    If it hasn't already been mentioned, you need to check out anything from mid 67 to mid 69. There is a show from the fillmore east in june 68 that I have talked about many times. Don't let the quality get in the way. It's on the archive so easy enough to check out. One part was released but you need to hear the whole show.
  3. Damon Arvid

    Damon Arvid Well-Known Member

    San Francisco
    Actually, the question is not as dumb as it appears at first glance. I remember Garcia saying that while they performed on psychedelics, he never thought of the music as "psychedelic." Remember, these guys were not about fanboy marketing gimmicks, they were after a change of consciousness.

    That said, this discussion is about as fruitful as whether Family was prog or Hendrix blues.
  4. ruben lopez

    ruben lopez Nunc Est Bibendum

    Barcelona Spain
    Everything is psychedelic:agree:
    and so are the Dead.
  5. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Washington, DC

    Ummmm .... no.

    I have listened to the Dead and pretty much everything else more sober than not. Not surprising as I spend the overwhelming majority of my life sober and straight.

    Now, this thread is a discussion of the Psychedelic nature of their music. As such, it should come as no surprise that certain substances are going to be discussed. Psychedelia and Drugs, no matter what you think of them, are inextricably linked. And as bad as it could be for certain members of the band, the GD and Drugs are also linked.

    There it is. :cool:
  6. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Master Guns

    NYC Man/Joy-Z City
    If we really want to start a brouhaha I can talk about how I consider the Dead a progressive rock band.
  7. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
  8. ericc2000

    ericc2000 Forum Resident

    Tulsa, OK, USA
    Three words, “Blues For Allah”.
  9. TheDailyBuzzherd

    TheDailyBuzzherd Forum Resident

    Northeast USA
    I suppose "Workingman's Dead" confuses.

    Most that came before is psychedelic with some
    excursions back into the void on subsequent LPs
    such as, "Wake of the Flood" and "Blues for Allah".

    Ya just gotta listen.
  10. Guy Smiley

    Guy Smiley America’s Favorite Game Show Host

    Sesame Street
    Oh, you sweet summer child.
  11. jaxpads

    jaxpads Friendly Listener

    I read the title of this thread and thought, “seriously?” Lots of laughs here — thank you, I needed that!
  12. frightwigwam

    frightwigwam Talented Amateur

    Tangerine Dream were just a band that really took "Dark Star" to heart.

    The Dead contain multitudes, and maybe that gives you trouble. As many have said, their core psych years were in the '60s--and they get really interesting in that way when they introduced "That's It for The Other One" and "Dark Star" into their sets, in late '67-early '68, and developed the "St. Stephen>The Eleven" and "Alligator>Caution" sequences. They were into blues, r&b, avant-garde, and other things at the same time, but acid is all over their music in that era. In the early '70s, they developed their interests in Americana and jazz, as well as other kinds of music; still, often in their second sets, they could take you for a trip around the cosmos. But if you can't hear the psych, as you describe it, in their '68-69 albums and live sets, I don't know what to tell you.
  13. dsdu

    dsdu less serious minor pest

    Santa Cruz, CA
    Next thread idea - How exactly is Bazooka bubble gum?
  14. notesofachord

    notesofachord Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)

    I eat "Feedback" for breakfast:

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  15. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    LOL, I responded no to this very same/similar post of yours a few years ago (and it didn't go well). I would like to clarify that I certainly find them to be progressive, but I don't necessarily consider them to be prog. Terrapin might be an exception. In any case, as to the matter of psychedelic, I don't really think there's an argument to be made against that. Regardless of how they sound, they were part and parcel of the psychedelic movement in 1966. Sort of case closed, in my book.

    And no, one does not need to be under the influence of anything to appreciate what they were able to accomplish. I'll hone in on my favorite period: 1972-1974. These were some of the best musicians on the planet performing some of the best improvisationally-based music ever to be produced. Who cares how you define that? Just enjoy it for what it is.
  16. Siegmund

    Siegmund Vinyl Sceptic

    Britain, Europe
    Their psychedelic period lasted from 1966 to 1969. The image of the band for the general public is frozen in that timeframe, though, hence the tag.
    Gratefully Deadicated likes this.
  17. dsdu

    dsdu less serious minor pest

    Santa Cruz, CA
    But it doesn't hurt.:cool:
  18. posnera

    posnera Forum Resident

    This alone is probably the most psychedelic feature of the Dead. They could be 3 or 4 different bands in a single show, let alone across their entire career. If psychedelia is anything, it is seeing (hearing) things in a combination that was not perceived before.

    It has been stated in one of the Dead threads here that this album cover is their most psychedelic. I think I agree.

  19. US Blues

    US Blues Undermining Consensus Reality

    I attended some really psychedelic shows in the 80's and 90's. One of them was so far out that Barney the Purple Dinosaur was playing bass.
  20. Satchidananda

    Satchidananda Forum Resident

    I don’t disagree. And I think of Phish as being even closer to prog.
  21. Evethingandnothing

    Evethingandnothing Forum Resident

    I agree. But the Grateful Dead sound quite earthly compared to Syd's Floyd who sound like they come from a different planet accessed only "through the looking glass".
    ARK likes this.
  22. notesofachord

    notesofachord Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)

    The Osmond's "Crazy Horses" melts walls, man!

    GerryO, bekayne, Guy Smiley and 2 others like this.
  23. Andersoncouncil

    Andersoncouncil Forum Resident

    upstate NY
    Especially from 73-77. Reaching their full-on prog mode with the title track of your avatar.
  24. holyroller

    holyroller Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    New York
    Tangerine Dream is the name of the album. This is the UK band.
  25. holyroller

    holyroller Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    New York
    Listen to Dive Into Yesterday by Kaleidoscope if you want to know the definition of psychedelic
    YardByrd and Panama Hotel like this.

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