Please make yourself at home! Check some tags, do some reading, leave a comment.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

From the Picky Deadhead Department

Nice to see people reading around some old posts. My writing is so tortured, but I do still love some of the ground we have covered together. Thanks for your support.

From the Picky Deadhead Department

I happily bought 7/5/73 (Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders, GarciaLive 6: July 5th 1973, Lion's Share [Round Records, JGFRR1009, 2016]), knowing more or less exactly what I was getting. I love the aesthetics, I will give the much-appreciated liner notes a good, close read, and the music is well-chosen and sounds nice.

Two complaints.

First, the CDs fit too snugly on the plastic center rings - 2 of 3 cracked when I lifted out the discs. Yes, I am hard on things, but they're too tight.

Second, more delicate, but said with love and admiration for the social compact that has always bound the Dead and its fans, and in the hope that the Garcias might honor it, too. Here's a little "open letter" for your consideration.

Thanks for the music, Round Records. Now, let's talk about your promise that "every effort was made to prepare this performance for release in a manner that honors the spirit of its creation."

GarciaLive 6 is lovely in many ways, but let's recognize that you have repackaged and sold to your customers what we already had - copies of Rob Eaton's 1996 DAT transcriptions of Betty's master reels. Yet, as the Dead have shown with the smash hit July 1978 box set, arrangements truer to the spirit of things were available, and we might have heard fresh transcriptions from those beautiful master reels.

Please consider, in the future, that your fans support you carrying forward Jerry's musical legacy - which, let's face it, is really the heart of the matter. I will buy the musical product that you put on sale, conditional only on not being ripped off.

I don't think Round has crossed the line -- this isn't Steal Your Face, after all, heh heh --  but it's actually pretty close. When Fantasy resold me the same July 10-11, 1973 Keystone material for the fourth time -- vinyl, cassette, CDs, CD boxset -- I confess to having felt a little burned, a case where the Saunders folks advertised wrinkles as creases [Barlow]. I have only myself to blame, I guess I knew, but it was still pretty unfortunate.

I know you aren't getting rich on any of this. I am happy to pay a fair price for a fair product. If that means I pay a little more because the miraculous market demands a little price for those original reels, from my perspective, so be it. I am no audiophile, but I appreciate the beautiful sound of beautiful music, well -recorded and optimally-preserved and -presented.

Thanks, overall, for good product. Again, I love the look, feel, sound, substantiveness of the Round Records releases. I remain a loyal customer. Let's take it to the next level of openness and respect. Use the jazz model for dating - I want every information on every fragment. Don't use a picture of 11/26/77 in a release of 3/22/78 without making a note of it. Tell us about the tape diameter (e.g., 10"), stock (e.g., Scotch ?207?), the speed at which it was recorded (e.g., 15 ips), the record deck (e.g., Betty's Nagra, serial number SL11183), etc. Include it all, make it correct, please & thank you.

Looking forward to 11/8/76, and to more to come.

Sincerely Yours,



  1. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with most of what you are saying.

    I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with taking the DAT and releasing it on CD - if the DAT is all they have, *and* if the master reel is and will likely remain unavailable, then so be it. That should not keep anyone from releasing a good (and good-sounding) show.

    But the promise that "every effort was taken etc.etc." does sound misleading in that context.

    I am reminded of some GD live releases that have had entire sections spliced in from other shows. I know those are produced by different teams, but still there is a tradition of keeping quiet about these things.

    If they talked more about all the various details of such a production, I think it would make for a much more interesting release!


  2. It's funny but it's always bugged me that the cover art for the pure Jerry releases bares no relation to the release. It will be from a subsequent or previous release stylist note. It's plain weird. But not the good weird. I second your call for more information. Use one from the vault information about the recording as a template.


!Thank you for joining the conversation!