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 1974 with this list, and tried to cover performance clips most people can see on youtube, rather than every little fragment.
(This was updated in March 2021. Though some Youtube links might still be current, many will vanish or become outdated over time, so check for alternate sources if links are dead.)
For a more comprehensive list of Dead videos, see this great site:
Some other snippets of silent footage from the early days have appeared - uploaders Voodoonola and AlligatorWhine have been doing an excellent job putting compilation clips on youtube, mixing stills & other footage with the scanty Dead films. Some examples:
1/14/67 Be-In, Golden Gate Park - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lvH6gZH3j8
4/9/67 Golden Gate Park - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bagM_jQawY
(or re-edit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNPzRoL_1DU )
8/28/67 Golden Gate Park - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKQmOEpPYUE
3/3/68 Haight Street - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmP7oiwYImo (partial; a more complete clip from Historic Films has been removed)
8/4/68 Newport Pop Festival - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJcMUMh5IA8
5/3/68 Columbia University, NY - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFtQr_W3opM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq8sp6WF3bQ (several different edits)
5/11/69 Aztec Bowl, San Diego - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTbpEH2PCKU (this is a re-edit; the original raw footage has been removed)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBN4m7I7z7I (b&w clip dated "4/20/67")
(See also the brief show footage of Alligator 50 minutes into the CBC documentary "The Way It Is": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEejp5_UMyQ or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXBT8whuiiY&t=3010s)
5/7/69 Golden Gate Park - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV6rZRSYQt4 (brief shaky silent clip)
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, and an all-star jam at the end) - well worth seeing.
Hard to Handle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNoIeJ7EoZM or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mznr6-jmoxU
China>Rider - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSXSOgKQi6I or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0XVcM_osts
Super Jam - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH42XG2ibfg
(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 - this has also been released.)
One exciting thing that's come out is partial, poor-quality b&w film from 2/14/70 Fillmore East:
Hard to Handle - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdNiKbe_1QI
Dark Star (partial) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVvUDWonjXk
Been All Around This World - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQxVi0j90MQ
Me & My Uncle > Not Fade Away (cut) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwkrBNiB5cs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4seb9bpZZvo (the whole surviving footage, I think)
Some discussion of this clip is here:
Bill Graham commonly filmed Fillmore & Winterland shows (at least after 1970), but it's unclear how much more Dead remained hidden in the Graham archives.
After years of rumors, a "Hollywood Festival" DVD was released of the 5/24/70 show; but it doesn't look like much film exists of the Dead's show - from what I've heard the DVD mostly uses still images of the Dead, set to music, along with a few shaky, distant, out-of-focus, non-synced film bits randomly repeated throughout.
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."
Here is Hard to Handle - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThRhFFMQsn8
UPDATE: The English footage was released as a bonus with the "Long Strange Trip" documentary. Bits of Casey Jones, China Cat & Good Lovin' can be seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpJUZn_G6og
A couple songs from the "Festival Express" tour in summer 1970 came out in that documentary - Don't Ease Me In & New Speedway Boogie. (Much better were the DVD extras - Easy Wind & Hard to Handle.) Since then, part of a Lovelight has surfaced on youtube from Historic Films, which has collected the surviving film reels.
Easy Wind - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoJI3vesE0c (good copy down, only poor-quality tape currently up)
Don't Ease Me In - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp1MiIq9RQ8
New Speedway Boogie - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9NEBXqaHc4 (or here, unedited)
Hard to Handle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PdTeIx04pI
Lovelight - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJhnOq2q3ag (9 minutes of excerpts)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXUbDTPBpKI (1 minute of the end)
Candyman - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IukXw4yFXC0&t=1329s (part of a poor-quality VHS compilation of footage, w/ Easy Wind)
A couple Winterland shows, 10/4/70 and 12/31/70, were broadcast live on KQED-TV (as quadrophonic simulcasts with KSAN and KQED-FM radio). These videos haven't been seen since; there are rumors that they still exist in the KQED vaults, but I'm skeptical. I haven't seen any evidence that the shows were ever re-broadcast, so it's possible the footage was never kept in the first place, taped over or destroyed. Michael
Parrish wrote, "I got verification from David Lemieux at one point that
neither the 10/4/70 nor the 12/31/70 video remains in either the GD or
And yet, there are tantalizing hints in interviews shortly afterward that videotapes did exist; at least, band manager Jon McIntyre said, "There might be some tapes we can edit down. Warner Bros. wants to edit them down and make an hour program for the BBC." See the comments here:
The Dead's 6/21/71 show was filmed, and some pieces were shown on French TV. I'm not sure how much of the show survives aside from what has been 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. Parts of this show have surfaced in a mix of B&W and color, along with an interview with Garcia (overdubbed in French).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWbzmRBU6Lg or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT5yX6dqGWQ (1 hour) -
Morning Dew, Hard To Handle, China>Rider, Deal, Black Peter, Sugar Magnolia, Sing Me Back Home
The Dead were filmed a couple times on their Europe '72 tour. 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 first two sets were filmed, and perhaps it will come out on DVD someday... The broadcast songs include Me & Bobby McGee, Chinatown Shuffle, China>Rider, Jack Straw, He's Gone, Next Time You See Me, One More Saturday Night, It Hurts Me Too, Ramble On Rose, El Paso, Big Railroad Blues & Truckin'. (Unfortunately, the third set with Dark Star was not filmed.)
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:
A short interview with Garcia and very brief Dead footage are here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0vAqnq1vW0
No Dead show was professionally filmed for two years, between summer '72 and fall '74. There are some short amateur silent film clips of a few concerts mostly from '73 which don't show much of the band (they are mostly shots of the audiences, with the band only seen briefly or distantly). Some examples are 3/19/73, 5/20/73, 6/10/73, 7/28/73, and 5/25/74. More links can be found here: http://danb.altervista.org/videovault.htm
From the next trip to Europe, one surprising discovery recently was the (rather dark) surviving footage from 9/21/74, 24 minutes - you can see Ned Lagin onstage next to Garcia in the second set.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-G_mOM5LbQ - China Doll, part of the Playing jam, Row Jimmy & Big River
Then there's the "Grateful Dead Movie" DVD with lots of extra stuff from their October '74 Winterland shows on the bonus disc. 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. (At least, Lemieux hasn't made it sound likely.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKkr4w22uPI (includes Uncle John's Band, Sugaree, The Other One, Scarlet Begonias, China>Rider, Dark Star, Weather Report Suite)
Dr. Beechwood has put together a list of the concert songs used in the movie:
- "U.S. Blues" October 18 and 19, 1974
- "One More Saturday Night" October 19, 1974
- "Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad" October 18, 1974
- "Truckin'" October 19, 1974
- "Eyes of the World" October 19, 1974
- "Sugar Magnolia" October 17, 1974
- "Sunshine Daydream" October 19, 1974
- "Playing in the Band" October 16, 1974
- "Stella Blue" October 17, 1974
- "Casey Jones" October 17, 1974
- "He's Gone jam" October 17, 1974
- "Morning Dew" October 18, 1974
- "Johnny B. Goode" October 20,1974
- "Uncle John's Band" October 19, 1974
- "Sugaree" October 18, 1974
- "The Other One -> Spanish jam" October 17, 1974
- "Scarlet Begonias" October 19, 1974
- "China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider" October 17, 1974
- "Dark Star" October 18, 1974
- "Weather Report Suite" October 18, 1974
- "U.S. Blues" uses footage from October 18 for the closeups and October 19 for the shots of the entire band. (Phil Lesh's shirt changes color from white to rust-colored.) The audio is from October 18, according to the DVD commentary.
- "Sugar Magnolia" is from October 17, but the "Sunshine Daydream" coda is from October 19. (Bob Weir's shirt changes from blue to white.)
Here are some comments from one of the filmmakers, years before its release:
"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."