Can Someone Explain The Appeal of "Jam Bands" Like The Grateful Dead to me?

River

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From the sound of it (taking a guess) the real "problem" with some jam bands is they don't know when to let it go (the two minute song with the 3 day jam in the middle).
I had lunch in Morrison, Colorado when Phish was playing at Red Rocks. The fans I came in contact with had no idea where they were, and some had a hard time recollecting why.

I don't think the music meant shit to most of them.
 

WMB

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No more tie-dyed underwear, no more dancing bears, no more travelling microbus hordes...I want to bomb the Mars Hotel and watch it all go up in flames.

Just sayin.'
 

Duane24

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as far as song writing goes, the dead are musical genius's

they have got some beautifully written tunes.


The problem with the dead is the preconceived notions, i think that above all else ruins peoples enjoyment of the music, they want to hate it because there are most likely more people that hate it than that love it, and they're being told to hate it by others.

me i appreciate all music, and its sad that anyone would cast aside jam music as crappy just because they dont like it. It serves its purpose and it advanced music, accept it and take from it what you will, its most certainly not crap.
 

Skintaster

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it may be worth noting you saw them during their lowest period. It doesn't sound like you're much a fan of the band though, period, but seeing them 67-73 might've been a different experience for you

That's possible, I suppose. I know that a lot of Deadheads consider the period I saw them to be the beginning of a bad change in both the music and the Deadhead culture.

I kind of doubt I'd have liked them if I'd seen them in the early 70's though. I've actually heard tons of live recordings of them, having several very dedicated Grateful Dead friends. It still just sounds like mindless noodling to me most of the time. It's boring music to me, I guess.

The only Dead stuff I like is a few (Very few) tunes off a couple of albums... So it's the much shorter format I prefer.

I think it's just a case of some music really affecting other people in one way, and me in another. I have no problem with that... Live and let live. :)

Although some of the comments in this thread have inspired me to look at a few other bands I might have missed.
 

Skintaster

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as far as song writing goes, the dead are musical genius's

they have got some beautifully written tunes.


The problem with the dead is the preconceived notions, i think that above all else ruins peoples enjoyment of the music, they want to hate it because there are most likely more people that hate it than that love it, and they're being told to hate it by others.

me i appreciate all music, and its sad that anyone would cast aside jam music as crappy just because they dont like it. It serves its purpose and it advanced music, accept it and take from it what you will, its most certainly not crap.

I don't know... I understand where you're coming from, but I approach all music with a fairly open mind. I just have never really dug the Grateful Dead all that much, especially the live "jams". I've known a handful of cool "Deadheads", and I've also known some that were just kind of druggy dirtbags. The Deadhead concert culture doesn't have any real appeal to me, but I can see why it might for some people.
 

River

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I don't know... I understand where you're coming from, but I approach all music with a fairly open mind. I just have never really dug the Grateful Dead all that much, especially the live "jams". I've known a handful of cool "Deadheads", and I've also known some that were just kind of druggy dirtbags. The Deadhead concert culture doesn't have any real appeal to me, but I can see why it might for some people.
I'm with ya.

There are many great GD songs. I've always found them catchy; a few stick in your mind and won't leave - ever.

But I've not the patience to listen to 20 minutes of meandering, no-groove noodling while chicks with their eyes rolled back in their heads flash me with anorexic non-boobs trying to score spare change for their "boyfriends".

Take me home, James.
 

Roberteaux

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R-Tea UX ..... You splained it good .... you splained it real good ....

.... But I hit the bullseye with 17 characters at post 12 .....

... now lets talk about the Ergot Alkaloids ......

Slacky, the day I can say so much as you (in so few words) is the day I will be a happy man. As a rule of thumb, it takes me five paragraphs to say the same thing as you could say in about ten words.

Ain't much to say about ergot alkaloids, unless you want to talk about chemistry and mycology. But these things, I would submit, would have the effect of making me even more boring than ever. You have been warned! :D


Before this thread rolls over on its back and belly-pops in the sun: let me hasten to add that one does not need acid to enjoy the Grateful Dead. I listen to them all the time, and I don't do drugs (other than ethanol and nicotine) at all. Any more.

As has popped out once in a while in this thread: if you enjoy listening to the Grateful Dead, then you enjoy listening to the Grateful Dead. And if ya don't, ya don't. And not being nasty to my buddy Skinny, but only wishing to render an apt analogy in a respectful manner I'd say: not everbody appreciates Lady G, either. Once you figure out why you like her and not the Dead, you will actually be able to answer your own question (and tell the rest of us WTF is going on as well!). :thumb:

For my own part: never saw them live and I'm not sure if I would have wanted to. For one thing, the whole "Deadhead" scene seemed largely to be a schtick to me... not quite so substantial as the more fervent of their followers would have it seem to be. And most of them were incoherent idealogues who were colorful to look at and really, really boring to talk to.

The other thing is that I am not a fan of listening to a bunch of jams. When Hot Tuna played in Utica back in the 70's, I found their whole set to be a snooze. I really like Hot Tuna-- especially their more acoustic stuff-- but damn! A 20-minute version of Sally, Where'd You Get Your Liquor From isn't a thing calculated to get me all tingly...

I can jam with my guitar instructor, and sometimes we go ten or fifteen minutes at a time. But I wouldn't want to sit around and listen to it!

So again: if you don't like the Dead, then you don't like the Dead. One thing about musicians: their tastes tend to incredibly discerning, but they also tend to forget that they are an extreme minority when it comes to who can be counted in the fan base of this or that artist. It's very easy for musicians to forget that success in the music industry is pretty much a popularity contest before anything else. I am not incredibly fond of Gilbert O'Sullivan... but he sold more records than I ever will!

And somehow, that counts for something...

--R :)

PS to Geo:

You showed your age that time, man! Double Barrel Orange Sunshine was the old O stuff, and was just fading from prominence when Windowpane reared its crystalline head. I figure you to be about three years older than me, then...

Indole rings... are a funny sort of structure... ;)
 

geochem1st

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.....
PS to Geo:

You showed your age that time, man! Double Barrel Orange Sunshine was the old O stuff, and was just fading from prominence when Windowpane reared its crystalline head. I figure you to be about three years older than me, then...

Indole rings... are a funny sort of structure... ;)

And this is one of the groups we preferred to listen to when we indulged back then:

2233-fs-moody-blues-in-search-of-the-lost-chord-320kbps.jpeg



River is as old as I am!
 

SteveGangi

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then again, jam band fans don't go to shows to hear 2 minute songs. of course though, not everyone is a fan, c'est la vie

You're right. the people that are already loving their music will eat it up. But, those who are not, just won't be into it and will stay away. Personally, despite how I may sound, I'm pretty neutral.
 

SteveGangi

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I'm with ya.

There are many great GD songs. I've always found them catchy; a few stick in your mind and won't leave - ever.

But I've not the patience to listen to 20 minutes of meandering, no-groove noodling ... .

Like I said, you should know where/when to stop. Not every song has to be a marathon jam.
 

EasyAce

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The original edition of this jam band made the Grateful Dead resemble the plain dead . . .

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCtaCO7BOJ4]The Allman Brothers Band, "Whipping Post" (live at the Fillmore)[/ame]

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcpwMZKPsQM]The Allman Brothers Band, "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"[/ame]

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91XHUivFMrU]The Allman Brothers Band, "You Don't Love Me" (live at the Fillmore East's closing night)[/ame]
 

Kashmir

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I can't remember who said it, it may have been Warren Haynes...

But during a jam, the Allmans make it happen, while the Dead wait for it to happen on its own.

Warren has played with the Dead, basically to keep his fingers in shape.
 

VictorB

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Warren has played with the Dead, basically to keep his fingers in shape.

They are some of the best live shows I've ever heard. When Warren and Jimmy Herring were in the Phil Lesh and Friends band it was pure heaven.
 

Kashmir

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They are some of the best live shows I've ever heard. When Warren and Jimmy Herring were in the Phil Lesh and Friends band it was pure heaven.

All kidding aside, I agree. However, I still think the sound in all of the Further bands are missing something without Jerry Garcia.
 

VictorB

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All kidding aside, I agree. However, I still think the sound in all of the Further bands are missing something without Jerry Garcia.

Agreed. I'd rather listen to Ratdog.
 

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