Someone asked me what footage exists of the early Dead, so I threw a list together of some filmed Dead shows - this is all probably common knowledge, but I thought it might be worth posting. (The first Taping Compendium also has a comprehensive Video Guide in the back, and a great informative interview with archivist John Platt.)
I'll be happy to see additions to this list if I've overlooked something - I only went up to '74 with this list, and tried to cover what most people can see, rather than every little scrap.
The earliest film of the Dead we have is from the Acid Test video, which I think is silent footage from 12.18.65 with sound from the 1.8.66 show, along with prankster interviews & other stuff.
Maybe someday the Viola Lee from Monterey will appear on some super-expanded Monterey Festival box set... (I don't think any more of that show was filmed though - Pennebaker stopped after one song.)
The Viola Lee - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axAfNjgdey4
Then there's the very enjoyable Playboy After Dark show from '69, which has Mountains of the Moon & St Stephen, and has been released.
There are some youtube videos of the Dead at Woodstock - Mama Tried, High Time, part of Lovelight, & backstage stuff. I'm amazed that the Dead allowed the full Lovelight from Woodstock to be released on the new set.
Part of the Family Dog 2.4.70 show (Hard to Handle & China>Rider) has been released as the "Night at the Family Dog" DVD (with Jefferson Airplane & Santana) - well worth seeing.
(I should also mention the related film Go Ride the Music, with performances from Jefferson Airplane & Quicksilver Messenger Service, and some brief comments from Garcia.)
One exciting thing that's come out is partial, poor-quality film of the 2.14.70 Dark Star - http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=17694318
Bill Graham commonly filmed Fillmore & Winterland shows (at least after 1970), but it's unclear how much more Dead is still hiding in the Graham archives.
It's been rumored that a new DVD is coming out with footage from the Dead's 5.24.70 show at the Hollywood Festival. But it doesn't sound like much exists - this is a good site about their appearance, with reviews:
According to the site, "Unfortunately, the BBC TV crew who were supposed to be filming the show were allegedly dosed on Owsleys finest and the footage was unusable as the cameramen were totally out of it - so we have the Dead or their followers to blame for this event not being preserved for posterity.The only footage known to exist is two or three minutes shot by Bob Colover on standard 8, as well as a few brief shippets on a short amateur (but very well filmed) silent movie."
More remarkable news comes from David Lemieux, who reports that the Vault has: "the band rehearsing at a beautiful little theatre, where they jam an electric Man's World and an amazing version of Candyman - and, best of all, two songs from 2 cameras from the show, Good Lovin' and Casey Jones."
Bits of the Festival Express in summer '70 came out in that movie - Don't Ease Me In & New Speedway Boogie. (Much better are the DVD extras - Easy Wind & Hard to Handle.)
The Dead also did a short TV special in August '70 called Calebration, doing several songs in the KQED studio - Easy Wind, Candyman, Casey Jones, Brokedown Palace, & Uncle John. It's in rather dodgy quality, but it's definitely worth seeing - it hasn't been released.
A couple Winterland shows, 10.4.70 and 12.31.70, were broadcast live on KQED-TV (the idea was to do a quadrophonic simulcast with KSAN radio). These videos haven't been seen since; there's rumors that they still exist in the KQED vaults, but I'm skeptical.
The "Last Days of the Fillmore" DVD has Casey Jones & Johnny B Goode from 7.2.71. (Note that the DVD is not the full original film; several other bands' performances were cut out.) Unfortunately, though the Dead's whole show was filmed, the 'outtakes' were all dumped, so it's unlikely any more will be seen of that show.
The Dead's 6.21.71 show was filmed, and some pieces were shown on French TV. A couple songs I've spotted on the internet, but I'm not sure how much of the show survives aside from what was broadcast. It would depend on whether the songs that weren't used for the original film were preserved - normally TV stations dumped unused footage when they filmed concerts.
Update: more has surfaced, in a mix of B&W and color, from the two original TV broadcasts - an interview with Garcia, Black Peter, Hard To Handle, Sugar Magnolia, Deal, Morning Dew, Sing Me Back Home, China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider (not all complete).
At least Hard to Handle, China>Rider, and Sing Me Back Home are on youtube. More here:
One common, excellent-quality 'bootleg' DVD that's available is "TV from the Tivoli", 80 minutes from the 4.17.72 show, which comes from a Danish TV broadcast from '72. Plenty of clips are on youtube.
The full show was filmed, and perhaps it will come out on DVD someday....Lemieux says that the complete show is in the Vault.
The Dead also taped a short show for the German show Beat Club on 4.21.72 - only one song, Saturday Night, was broadcast & has been released. At least one more song (BIODTL) has surfaced, though -
- and it's not on the audio tape we have, so it raises the question of how much more of this show exists in the vaults?
There was a Bickershaw Festival DVD released some time ago, raising exciting prospects that the 5.7.72 show was also filmed - unfortunately, from what I've heard it looks like a poor-quality 'homemade' compilation, with only one Dead song, Black-Throated Wind, set to random footage.
But there's still hope that more film from 5.7.72 will come out someday.
There's a nice page about that show here:
One of the comments below points out some (rather dark) surviving footage from 9.21.74.
You all know about the Grateful Dead Movie DVD with lots of extra stuff from their 10/74 shows. Considering how much they filmed, probably a whole extra movie could be made from the rest of the shows & backstage material.....this isn't likely to happen anytime soon, though.
There are other little bits of early film floating around - (sadly, almost all of it either silent-film or brief clips) - for instance, there's a tiny little bit of a '67 Viola Lee in the film Petulia.
(The 'outtakes', again, were junked.) You can see some tantalizing bits in the Anthem to Beauty documentary, which is essential viewing.
Here's a Dancing in the Street from 1967, from the film "The Hippie Temptation" -
And a silent clip of the Dead at Columbia University, 5.3.68 -
There's also a short news clip of a Viola Lee Blues from 8.28.67, and various other early San Francisco news pieces - unfortunately, in cases like these, the Dead were just briefly filmed as 'local color', and it's unlikely that any full-song footage survives.
As for the Sunshine Daydream film of 8.27.72, it's bewildering that it hasn't seen official release, but that's how it goes. Maybe it'll come out when we're old & gray - or when our kids are.
By the way, at least one 'outtake' from the film survives, Bird Song. (!) Here are some comments from one of the filmers:
"We were all suitably scrambled. Film magazines didn’t come fast enough because the changers had melted or become distracted, cameramen went off into enchanted but unintelligible directions of wobble and warp. By the time Jack Straw rolled around the earthquakes had slowed down and the camerawork improved. Much of the warpedness was considered unacceptable at the time but today it lends a certain authenticity.
We didn’t, by any means, shoot every song. We shot what we thought would be good candidates for the thirty minute project.
That project was hijacked by the notion that what we had was far more than a few precious stones; we had an ornament. It’s taken over thirty years for the half-life of that notion to become true. In the intervening years the film spent most of its life in the pump house of the producer, Sam Field.
**A couple of years ago, at the behest of Dennis McNally who wanted to screen it in conjunction with the release of his book, we brought it up to date, digitizing and adding two new songs to the original cut: a wonderfully emotive Bird Song and a twilight Sing Me Back Home that, because of it’s fading images, can’t help but move you.**
Most of the rest of the film is as it was the day it was set aside including the animation sequences in Dark Star which, due to lack of band footage, were patched in pretty much willy-nilly from old work print provided by Dennis Pohl, a New York filmmaker. We had intended he would create original, syncopated work for the final film.
There are still a few more miles to go, fine tuning the edit, remixing the sound, before we get to the final technical hurdle, conforming 1972 technology to current DVD standards, but with patience and perseverance this may someday, be available to all."
And this is what David Lemieux said about a possible release a few years ago:
"It's not in our hands. The people who own the film, physically own the film, who produced the original one, who have restored it and are ready to do something with it...that's about all I know, that they still have it. It's in great shape and they have put some effort into doing a good HD transfer and restoring it and preserving it. We all agree that it would be a good thing to come out some day. We do have the multi-track audio, so if ever it came out I would like to think that it would come through us so it could be mixed through a proper 5.1 mix. As it is, they can't do that. The only multi-track copy that exists is ours. The fact that it's Grateful Dead music, they would have to collaborate with us anyway. Nobody could just release something. Regardless, I agree it should come out. There's a lot of songs missing from the film and that's a product of them not filming a lot of songs. What I think would be ideal would be for it to come out on DVD, 5.1 mix, and then a three CD complete show of all released from the multi-track mix. That would be very pleasing to others and us. That's another thing. We have so little of the early era. Stuff that does exist should be given proper treatment and not just slapped together and thrown out, but really do the full Grateful Dead Movie treatment with it. Give it a 5.1 with some documentaries. Interview some of the people who were involved. I don't think it would be worth doing otherwise."