How exactly are Grateful dead 'psychedelic'?

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

  1. Guy Smiley

    Guy Smiley America’s Favorite Game Show Host

    Location:
    Sesame Street
    Happened to come across this very performance on Sirius XM right now.

    I’ll just leave this here:

     
  2. Anton D

    Anton D Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chico CA
    I remember asking that question when I was a kid...then I tried them in an "enhanced" state and got the idea.

    I think the "psychedelic" part is more about them and us, and not the music in between.

    I say that as a huge Dead fan.
     
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  3. drad dog

    drad dog A Listener

    Location:
    USA
    Yeah, but why is Donny doing the funky chicken?
     
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  4. Sax-son

    Sax-son Forum Resident

    Location:
    Three Rivers, CA
    These guys were at ground zero for the psychedelic movement. Have you ever heard of the "Acid Tests"? They were the soundtrack for that. Some people confuse the Grateful Dead sound with that of say " Pink Floyd" or similar. Different kind of psychedelic, but all were valid.
     
  5. Cryptical17

    Cryptical17 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    I definitely can feel the psychedelia in the music..... each era of the Dead has its own style of trippiness and it’s fun to feel it.

    9/19/70 Fillmore East is my current Grateful Dead psychedelic groove
     
  6. ericc2000

    ericc2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tulsa, OK, USA
    Wow, I like that. I looked up the band on Wikipedia, and whomever wrote that article called them psychedelic folk. Kaleidoscope (American band) - Wikipedia Sounds just like how you described the Grateful Dead. Seems like you tend to like the kind of psychedelic music that sounds like early Pink Floyd, which is great, I like them too, but IMO, the Grateful Dead were also considered a psychedelic band. I do understand that not all of their music is considered psychedelic, but man, they did know how to make some really trippy music. Did you listen to that Blues For Allah song I posted earlier?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  7. Trainspotting

    Trainspotting Senior Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Weird premise for a thread. Psychedelic music doesn't sound like just one thing. The Dead don't sound like Pink Floyd, who don't sound like The Doors, or Hendrix, or 1967 Beatles, or The 13th Floor Elevators, etc. Yet they're all psych.

    Don't know why that's so hard to understand.
     
  8. holyroller

    holyroller Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    again, that's the US band. im talking about the UK band
     
  9. ericc2000

    ericc2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tulsa, OK, USA
    Oh, I didn’t notice that,
     
  10. Veni Vidi Vici

    Veni Vidi Vici Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Exactly. The Dead were never trancey, the way the VU, Hawkwind or some Krautrock are (or house music). But no less psychedelic for that.
     
  11. Anton D

    Anton D Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chico CA
    If you really want a mind bending listen, play DSOM or another Floyd album from that era and pretend it's BB King on guitar and they got hold of a tape with just him on his guitar playing blues riffs and that Floyd built an album around it.

    :frog:

    It's pretty fun.

    For me:

    Dead = bluegrass band took LSD with two drummers in the room and are trying to jam.

    Pink Floyd = blues albums with studio effects to make it psychedelic.

    Doors = Alan Ginsburg poems being read over a trio who forgot the bass player in Barstow and the organist took both parts at the gig.

    Beatles = doing whatever George Martin wanted with an unlimited budget. Also like bowdlerizing actual psychedelia for mass consumption. (Like calling Vanilla Ice a rapper to make rap less threatening.)

    The Flaming Lips and 13th Floor Elevators = really close to actual psychedelia.

    Disclaimer: this is all goofing off. Nothing is real...and nothing to get hung about.
     
  12. owlshead

    owlshead Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philly burbs
    Exactly!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Veni Vidi Vici

    Veni Vidi Vici Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Oh that's true... just play Them's "Baby Blue" and then the version by the 13thFE, and it's pretty easy to hear what "psychedelic" means...
     
  14. Trainspotting

    Trainspotting Senior Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    LOL. You forgot Hendrix though. And while you're at it, try Cream (not too different from Jimi, actually), the Airplane, 1967 Stones, Quicksilver, and Love.
     
  15. Anton D

    Anton D Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chico CA
    Yup, I was just trying to stir it up.

    :pineapple:
     
  16. Cryptical17

    Cryptical17 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Sometimes it seems that the psychedelia of the 60s bands lies in the artwork.....
    The album designs were definitely trippy. The poster art was EXTREMELY trippy (Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Etc.). The concert venues in San Francisco and elsewhere (for example Fillmore West or the Avalon Ballroom).
    The light shows were very trippy too.

    So maybe if the music wasn’t apparently psychedelic, but the scene definitely was!
     
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  17. bekayne

    bekayne Senior Member

    [​IMG]
     
  18. spinyn

    spinyn Senior Member

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Dead shows were my comfort zone for the psychedelic experience, at least at Fillmore West/Winterland/Henry J. Kaiser where there was a dancefloor and one was free to move around and experience the evening from different vantage points. (Kaiser became a favorite because of the hallways, the bar downstairs...there was a LOT of freedom in that building.)

    I got dosed by the band at the infamous May 1971 show at Winterland. (I sipped the cup unknowingly because I had cotton mouth from the peyote I had eaten.) By the time they got to "The Other One," I was seeing mandalas when I closed my eyes. To me, along with "Dark Star," "The Other One" defines the psychedelic experience musically. There is a organic mathematical quality to it that you see reflected in nature in things like flower petals.

    Check out the Miller soundboard of "The Other One" (that I can't post here) on Archive.org for some definitive psychedelia.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  19. spinyn

    spinyn Senior Member

    Location:
    New Orleans
    This pic is from 3.1.69 at Fillmore West, a show I went to during the "Live Dead" run that truly changed my relationship to music from then on.
     
  20. notesofachord

    notesofachord Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)

    UK storybook psych, which is playful, fantastical, and highly orchestrated is inspired by European fairy tales and classic literature.

    US folk-rock psych takes Americana and adds peyote to its tales of the Old West and prairie legends.

    Both styles are psychedelic. Neither are more “true psych” than the other. Of course, there are many other types of psychedelic music as well such as the heavy stoner rock variety, twisted alt-rock, and pure trance/electronic.
     
  21. Michael P

    Michael P Forum Resident

    Location:
    Parma, Ohio
    I did not pay much attention to them back in the 60's. I was a teenager looking for the records that got played on the radio. In that sense they were a one hit wonder:"Truckin'".

    When I finally listened to some of their tracks on YouTube I though they sounded like CSN&Y, not psychedelic at all.

    (as you can probably tell, I never did psychedelics or any other mind-altering substances)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  22. holyroller

    holyroller Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    this is actually a quality point made. completely agree on the differences and you can def hear it. I guess im just more a fan of the mystical UK psych
     
  23. notesofachord

    notesofachord Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)

    And that’s fine. Everyone doesn’t have to like the same stuff. There are many GD fans reading this thread that would not enjoy the UK Kaleidoscope band. The US band Kaleidoscope would be right up their alley though.

    BTW, since you’re a fan of UK psych, have you heard Blossom Toes? Their 1967 album We are Ever So Clean is very weird, but cool.

     
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  24. US Blues

    US Blues Undermining Consensus Reality

    On his white horse, Mescalito,
    He comes breezin' to town..
     
  25. plentyofjamjars67

    plentyofjamjars67 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan
    I have that LP and while it's good and cool and hip and obscure and may be your exact definition of psychedelia, I've always found the songwriting itself leaves something to be desired. It's what's kept me from appreciating it as much as other LPs from the era.
     
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