Our picture of the Dead in the studio is still very incomplete. We’re lacking anything like a Dead studio-sessions log, so a lot of these tapes are still mysterious or have no dates. They often circulated in haphazard collections with almost random labeling, and many entries are misdated or missing on deadlists. For an overview of the Dead’s studio activities, Blair Jackson’s book Grateful Dead Gear is the best source – it does not note outtakes, though.
This post also covers the ‘60s sessions:
The Deadhead’s Taping Compendium reviews many (but not all) of these tapes, and is noted when it does. Miscellaneous tapes including rehearsals that aren’t Dead studio outtakes are covered at the end.
NOVEMBER 3, 1965
“Emergency Crew” Autumn Records Demo
Golden Gate Recorders, San Francisco
Can't Come Down
The Only Time Is Now
I Know You Rider
Early Morning Rain
(All released on “Birth of the Dead” CD.)
See the Taping Compendium p.82-83.
It turns out this track is non-Dead. A reader reports that the band here was actually Fire and Ice Ltd., an obscure California "psychedelic" group that provided the backing music for the LSD album, and also released an LP called "The Happening" in 1966. (Hopping on the Pranksters' coattails!)
Bear's house, Berkeley
Viola Lee Blues rehearsal, multiple takes
Pigpen starts out singing & plays some harmonica, but he is drunk and leaves early, to the others’ annoyance. Weir takes over Pigpen’s vocal part.
This and all the early-1966 sessions were recorded by Bear.
Bear’s house, Los Angeles
Space/Blues Jam - “Watts Practice” tape
It’s A Sin jam>La Bamba jam>It’s A Sin jam – 2/23/66
(Though just an instrumental jam, this is the earliest known Dead sandwich. Without lyrics, the songs are debatable, and this could equally be titled Hurts Me Too>Twist & Shout jam.)
Feb '66 -
Hi Heel Sneakers
Viola Lee Blueshttps://archive.org/details/gd1966-06-01.136642.watts.sbd.mr.dat48k.sirmick.flac16
3/9/66 - "LA Practice"
Unknown Pigpen song
Who Do You Love
Sittin’ on Top of the World (several takes)
Walkin' The Dog*
Big Boss Man
It's All Over Now Baby Blue
You See a Broken Heart*
One Kind Favor
(Available on the “San Francisco Nights vol. 2” collection. *Walkin’ the Dog, Broken Heart & Promised Land were released on the “Rare Cuts & Oddities” CD.)
Not Fade Away
Betty and Dupree - 3/2/66
Stealin’ - 3/2/66
Standing on the Corner
Cream Puff War (2 takes, the second take breaks down)
(From the “Rare Cuts & Oddities” CD.)
Buena Vista Studio, San Francisco
Stealin' (4 takes)
Don't Ease Me In (15 takes)
Tastebud (5 takes)
Cardboard Cowboy (5 takes)
Cold Rain And Snow (10 takes)
You Don't Have To Ask (2 takes)
I Know You Rider (2 takes)
Take numbers are approximate. All the takes are instrumental except for one final take of each song with vocals dubbed.
The “Birth of the Dead” CD includes instrumental & vocal takes of Stealin’, Don’t Ease Me In, Tastebud, and Cold Rain, and vocal takes only of You Don’t Have To Ask and I Know You Rider.
Cardboard Cowboy was omitted, though it was included on Lesh's Searching For The Sound bonus disc - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXYWExZ9aE8
http://www.archive.org/details/gd66-06-xx.sbd.vernon.9513.sbeok.shnf - Scorpio Outtakes; but this set is incomplete, missing Cold Rain & Tastebud. (The Cardboard Cowboy takes are in here, but mislabeled as Tastebud.)
Some of the sessions may have been at Coast Recorders, San Francisco. Producer Gene Estribou recalled: “We went down to Western Recording and used their studio for doing some tapes that ended up being on the first 45 from Scorpio.” Blair Jackson suggests that he misidentified Coast Recorders. However, all of our sessions seem to be from his Buena Vista home studio.
See the Taping Compendium p.110-12. (Despite a tracklist on p.125, the outtakes are not reviewed.)
Silver Threads & Golden Needles
(From the “Rare Cuts” CD.)
Jon Hendricks Session
Columbus Recorders, San Francisco
Fire in the City
Sons and Daughters
The Dead backed Jon Hendricks for these two songs. The recording date has been disputed: deadlists lists these under July ‘66, and the CD liner notes say the recording was in March ’67; however the actual session was fall ’66. See: http://deadsources.blogspot.com/2012/02/november-20-1966-jon-hendricks-dead.html (See also McNally p.173-74.)
The single was released in April ’67.
Fire in the City released on “Birth of the Dead” CD.
These two tracks are also here -
“Grateful Dead” Sessions
RCA Studio A, Hollywood
I Know You Rider
Cold Rain & Snow
Cream Puff War (w/ vocal)
Sitting on Top of the World
King Bee [mislabeled as “The Same Thing”]
Down So Long [mislabeled as "Stealin'"]
New Minglewood Blues
[Mostly instrumentals, except for Cream Puff War. This tape is ridiculously sped-up. Down So Long was known as "Lucky Man Jam" on tapes.]
Viola Lee Blues - edit from alternate takes
Alice D Millionaire 2/2/67
Overseas Stomp (Lindy) 2/2/67
Death Don’t Have No Mercy (instrumental) 2/2/67
(These were released on the “Grateful Dead” CD bonus tracks.)
See the Taping Compendium p.136.
CIRCA JULY 1967
Lovelight rehearsal session, multiple takes, 45 minutes
This tape circulates as 11/19/67, but that date is wrong; this session clearly predates the 8/5/67 live version.
Anthem of the Sun Sessions
RCA Studio A, Hollywood
/Cryptical > Other One > Cryptical
Alligator > Caution
I was mistaken about this being a studio session; I now believe it's from an October '67 live show.
[Vocals mostly low, but come up in spots. These tracks are the same as on the Archive’s “10-20-67” session, which is in inferior sound & has an edit of the 1/14/67 Viola Lee Blues. This set also has a Lovelight from the earlier session, and an edit of the 11/19/66 Smokestack Lightning.]
Other One > Cryptical (instrumental)
[This second take also circulated on tape with the Death Don’t instrumental outtake from the first album.]
See the Taping Compendium p.147.
According to the Anthem CD liner notes, “There don’t appear to be any completed outtakes from the sessions – most of what’s still in the vaults consists of instrumental backing tracks and separate vocal overdubs.”
NOVEMBER 14, 1967
Anthem of the Sun Sessions
American Recording Studios, North Hollywood
Born Cross-Eyed (w/ vocals & second feedback ending)
Dark Star (instrumental)
[These generally circulated as filler on tapes of the 11/67 Shrine shows.]
Lemieux: “sometime in 1968, likely the summer”
AUGUST 13, 1968
Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo
“Nobody’s Spoonful” Jam
(Released on the “Aoxomoxoa” CD bonus tracks.)
SEPTEMBER 12, 1968
probably Pacific Recording Studio, Mateo
Clementine (many takes)
Clementine rehearsal with Phil on vocal, Tom Constanten on organ.
SEPTEMBER 21, 1968
Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo
This seems to have been a Hartbeats-type jam session; Lemieux writes that the players were Garcia, Lesh, Hart, and two guitarists listed as “David and Vic” - David Crosby and Vic Briggs.
Lemieux writes that there was another Jam, but unfortunately it was not included on the Taper’s Section!
NOVEMBER 6, 1968
Tom Constanten Rehearsal
likely Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo
St Stephen > The Eleven (multiple attempts)
See the Taping Compendium p.165.
OCTOBER 1968 – EARLY 1969
Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo (& possibly some tracks from Pacific High Recording, San Francisco)
St. Stephen >
Barbed Wire Whipping Party
Doin’ That Rag
Dupree’s Diamond Blues
Instrumental (Garcia & drums)
China Cat Sunflower
Doin’ That Rag #2
Mountains of the Moon
What’s Become of the Baby
Mountains of the Moon #2
http://archive.org/details/gd69-xx-xx.sbd.dodd.16760.sbeok.shnf (see the review from 9/22/10 for a summary of the tracks)
These are mostly basic tracks without overdubs, many thought to be from the 8-track recording sessions in late 1968. A couple may be alternate mixes; the first three tracks were abandoned, and St. Stephen redone.
Barbed Wire Whipping Party (shorter alternate mix)
CIRCA JUNE 1969
Garcia Solo Acoustic Demos
Dire Wolf (6 takes)
High Time (3 takes + false starts)
acoustic bottleneck blues instrumental
Pacific High Recording, San Francisco
I’m A Loving Man - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uSgXFlEt5Y
+ alternate mix - https://archive.org/details/gd1970-00-00.125545.studio.sbd.moore-berger.flac16/pigpen1970-xx-xxd1t20.flac (longer, only Pigpen singing)
Bucky’s Tune/Buckey’s Theme (instrumental w/ fiddle & pedal steel) - https://www.shnflac.net/index.php?page=torrent-details&id=260ccb3085a08b4162eee883afeea07ba2b8fb03
Possibly a session for a proposed Pigpen solo album. Pigpen & Weir sing I’m A Loving Man; John Tenney, fiddle; Dennis Parker, bass; Scott Morris, drums; Garcia, pedal steel.
Also see the Taping Compendium p.212.
SEPTEMBER 17, 1969
"Alembic Studio"/rehearsal space, Novato?
Blues Instrumental (2 takes)
Seasons of My Heart* (several takes)
Saw Mill* (several takes)
tuning ditties* (Merry-Go-Round, Merry Melodies, etc. - many takes)
Cold Rain and Snow (several takes)
The Eleven (several takes)
A two-hour rehearsal session. They try out the slow version of Cold Rain for the first time, and tackle the Eleven for twenty minutes and several other songs at length.* Seasons of My Heart, Saw Mill & the tuning themes have Garcia on pedal steel.
Workingman’s Dead Outtakes
Pacific High Recording Studio, San Francisco
Uncle John’s Band
[This set also includes Tastebud, the outtake from the first album.]
Mason’s Children (edited) – “So Many Roads” box set
New Speedway Boogie (alternate mix) – “Workingman’s Dead” CD bonus
Mason's Children was rejected by the Dead. Uncle John seems to be the same basic track & vocals as on the album, but without later overdubs.
American Beauty Outtakes
Wally Heider Recording Studios, San Francisco
Ripple - http://archive.org/details/gd70-workingmans-outtakes.sbd.7319.sbeok.shnf
Candyman – http://archive.org/details/gd1971-02-01.sbd.Studio.Rehearsal.120486.flac16
Truckin' > Frozen Logger - http://archive.org/details/gd69-05-10.sbd.tzuriel.1336.sbeok.shnf (filler track)
To Lay Me Down – “So Many Roads” box set
Candyman is a radically different alternate mix with more guitars, no lead vocal, and a longer ending. Truckin' is an alternate mix of the released version with more lead guitar, and a bit of Frozen Logger after the fadeout. Ripple has the album vocals over a somewhat alternate basic track. To Lay Me Down was dropped by the Dead; Garcia would later do it for his solo album.
Playing in the Band (3 takes)
Bird Song (4+ takes)
Greatest Story Ever Told (3 takes)
[Most takes break down early. This set also includes Candyman from summer 1970 & the Other One>Cryptical from fall 1967.]
See the Taping Compendium p.301.
Wake of the Flood Sessions
Record Plant, Sausalito
Here Comes Sunshine (4 versions)
Let Me Sing Your Blues Away (2 versions)
Let It Grow
Eyes of the World
Weather Report Prelude/Part One (3 versions)
Stella Blue (2 versions)
(Sunshine 1 - a basic take with Garcia vocal; Sunshine 2 - an instrumental jam from the same session or take; Sunshine 3-4 - two mixes of the album version. Let Me Sing 1 - an alternate “live” take; Let Me Sing 2 - a mix of the album version. Let It Grow, Row Jimmy & Eyes - basic vocal takes without all the overdubs. WRS prelude/part 1 - three mixes of the album version, the first two stopping early. Stella Blue - two mixes of the album version.)
Weather Report Prelude/Part One (instrumental) >
Let It Grow
“Garcia’s rough mixes”
Weather Report Suite (Weir solo acoustic demo) 8/4/73 – “Wake of the Flood” CD bonus
China Doll (alternate mix) 8/8/73 – “Wake of the Flood” CD bonus
Loose Lucy 8/7/73 – “Mars Hotel” CD bonus
Pride of Cucamonga (Lesh solo acoustic demo) 8/4/73 – “Mars Hotel” CD bonus
Unbroken Chain (Lesh solo acoustic demo) 8/11/73 – “Mars Hotel” CD bonus
Mars Hotel Sessions
CBS Studios, San Francisco
Pride of Cucamonga (2 versions)
Money Money (2 versions)
Unbroken Chain (3 versions)
Ship of Fools
[Note: Tracks 13-19 are repeats of tracks 5-11. The set also includes an instrumental Crazy Fingers from 1975.]
(The first three tracks sound like a single rehearsal session, all “live” takes with vocals: three takes of Cucamonga, one of Money, and a false start & take of Unbroken Chain. Then Phil’s acoustic demo of Unbroken Chain, same as the CD bonus track. The remaining tracks are all basic instrumental takes without overdubs: Unbroken Chain, Scarlet Begonias, Cucamonga, Ship of Fools, Money, Loose Lucy & US Blues. These are frequently different from the album takes – for instance note Garcia’s guitar parts in Cucamonga & Unbroken Chain.)
See the Taping Compendium p.554-55.
* * *
I stopped there; for a look at the 1975 studio tapes, see:
Here are some other tapes from these years that don’t really fall into the category of “Dead studio outtakes,” but should be mentioned:
Sound City Recording Studios, San Francisco
Merry Pranksters record Acid Test LP
The Dead attended this Pranksters recording session, but if they played any music, it wasn’t included. Last track: “Let the Dead sing some.” Garcia replies, “My voice is completely shot, Ken, I can’t even hold it, can’t keep a pitched note.” And there it ends; no musical involvement.
The Eleven *
Doin' That Rag (several takes)
Dupree's Diamond Blues *
The Other One > Cryptical reprise
Lengthy soundcheck practice before the Live/Dead recordings. Doin' That Rag & Dupree's are the earliest onstage Dead versions. *Two tracks released on Download Series vol. 12.
Friend of the Devil (original NRPS version)
Various Robert Hunter demos
Uncle John’s Band Jams
Note: a poor recording on a portable tapedeck. (One track is labeled a "Feelin' Groovy" jam, but both the jams are both on the Uncle John's Band riffs.)
“KSAN Garage Jam”
KSAN Radio, San Francisco
The Race Is On
Let Me In
Not on the Archive. Weir on guitar; Garcia on pedal steel; John Cipollina on guitar; Pete Sears on piano; Mario Cipollina on bass. Broadcast live on KSAN sometime in 1970; Weir seems to be playing for an audience.
Garcia & Hart recorded the “Port Chester Apology” for the canceled shows there in December 1970:
This set also includes several amusing radio promos, which are a separate genre of “Dead-on-the-radio” advertising that still haven’t been adequately collected. The Taping Compendium p.214 lists a number of them.
DEC 1970-JAN 1971
Wally Heider’s Studio, San Francisco
Garcia, Lesh, Hart and Kreutzmann all participated in these sessions, which generally featured David Crosby and/or various Airplane members. There’s too much to go into here, but for notes & annotations, see: http://www.philzone.com/philbase/perro.html
Also see the Taping Compendium, p.289-90 & 296-98.
No Dead songs were played, except for an early runthrough of Loser with viola, in which Garcia is teaching the song to Crosby & Lesh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKlImjF1Hec
Not on the Archive, but the rest of the PERRO sessions can also easily be found on youtube and elsewhere.
Mickey Hart’s Barn, Novato
http://spiritcats.com/nl_aditc_ok.mp3 (partial soundboard mix)
Various jams with Garcia, Weir, Lesh, Hart; David Crosby & John Cipollina, guitars; Ned Lagin on piano; maybe Merl Saunders on organ, & possibly other musicians. This may have been part of a radio broadcast that day; it seems to be the end of a long day of jamming. Garcia leaves for a New Riders show after the Wall Song. The two recordings have very different instrument mixes, and each has parts not on the other; Lagin's copy includes an Other One jam with piano at the start.
See the Taping Compendium p.338, and http://spiritcats.com/nedbase.html#aditc.
Keith Godchaux Rehearsals
Somewhere in Santa Venetia?
Bertha+, One More Saturday Night+, Brokedown Palace+, Tennessee Jed+, Candyman*, Cumberland Blues*, El Paso*
China>Rider+, Bertha+, Brokedown Palace+, Bird Song*, Jack Straw*, Tennessee Jed, Mama Tried*, Uncle John's Band Jam*, Me & My Uncle*, Truckin'+, Mexicali Blues*
Brown Eyed Women, Playing In The Band*, Jack Straw*, Deep Elem Blues*, Big Railroad Blues*, The Promised Land*, Attics Of My Life*, Tennessee Jed+, Me & Bobby McGee+, Mexicali Blues
Deal+, Tennessee Jed+, Jam, Brown-Eyed Women, Casey Jones+, Jack Straw, Mexicali Blues, One More Saturday Night+, Loser, Cold Rain & Snow*, Ripple+, Cumberland Blues+, Uncle John’s Band, Bird Song
[Some extra riffing before Cold Rain on alternate source *.]
Tracks marked * or + appear on the respective compilations, which cover all the dates in sometimes very different sound; as far as I know every track on tape is on the Archive. (For instance, there’s no specific Archive file for the 9/28 rehearsal, but all the tracks are included on the compilations.) Sound quality differs greatly between sources; Keith’s presence also varies.
Also see the Taping Compendium p.340-42. (The setlists in the Compendium sometimes differ.)
Bob Weir, "Ace" Acoustic Demos
"C Shuffle" (Walk in the Sunshine) - 2 takes; the second has Weir vocalizing the melody.
Unknown song - 2 takes; Weir vocalizes a melody in the second take. This tune was apparently abandoned.
Cassidy - 2 takes; again, the second take has a vocal melody, but no words yet.
Black Throated Wind - Weir sings the first verse, then stops.
"Madrigal" (Weather Report Prelude)
The demos are all just Weir on an acoustic guitar; it sounds like Barlow is taping him. The early takes are instrumental - the purpose was probably to help Barlow write lyrics for the songs.
Tom Constanten, Tarot Outtakes
Some outtakes from Tarot’s Touchstone album are included in the above set. They have a classical feel, with TC-like keyboards, acoustic & electric guitars, flute, and a string section. There’s also one long experimental collage with strings that sounds just like a Constanten creation. (Four more instrumentals purported to be “Tarot music” outtakes are also circulating; these are in a very different style, with acoustic guitar, pedal steel, piano & violin, and don’t sound like the same musicians.) Supposedly, Garcia, Lesh & Hart appear on some of the outtakes.
I don’t think Garcia or the others were involved at all; as far as Dead involvement goes these are fakes, since they’re just Constanten & unknown musicians playing his compositions, and possibly aren’t even related to Tarot.
See the Taping Compendium p.441.
Mickey Hart’s Barn, Novato
“Fire On The Mountain,” “Area Code 415” & “Silent Flute” Albums
Among the many projects going on at Mickey Hart’s barn studio during his “Dead hiatus” were several unreleased albums. Garcia & Lesh sometimes contributed, along with many other musicians. I won’t go into the details here, but the most well-known track from these sessions is undoubtedly Mickey’s version of Fire on the Mountain:
See the Taping Compendium p.362 & 555.
Also see: http://hooterollin.blogspot.com/2012/08/album-projects-recorded-at-mickey-harts.html
Pigpen Home Demos
About an hour of Pigpen’s home recordings circulate. Their date is completely unknown; reviews in the Taping Compendium, for instance, are on p.125, 298-99, & 449-50. Many of the songs described, though, are still not available digitally – clearly more demos used to be on tape that haven't been transferred yet.
The most common available session is this one: