An ongoing series of articles on songs & performances of the early Grateful Dead.
In general I have a no-pictures policy on this site....but I couldn't resist this one. It comes from Sam Cutler's recent book, "courtesy of Ray Slade". Jerry is, fortunately, not looking for bootleggers to blow away, but out at target practice circa 1970 with Cutler and Slade.As a trivia note, originally the back cover of American Beauty was to have a picture of the Grateful Dead carrying guns like cowboys. (At the time, they considered themselves to be much like wild-west outlaws.)But Robert Hunter vetoed it. He said: "When American Beauty came out, there was a photograph to go on the back which showed the band with pistols. They were getting into guns at the time, going over to Mickey's ranch, target shooting...they were just enjoying shooting pistols. (For example, we got a gold record and went and shot it up.) I saw that photo, and that was one of the few times I ever really asserted myself with the band and said 'No - no picture of the band with guns on the back cover.' These were incendiary and revolutionary times, and I did not want this band to be making that statement. I wanted us to counter the rousing violence of that time. I knew that we had a tool to do it, and we just didn't dare go the other way."
Awesome photo and story to go with it! Great job!
Where are all those crazy deadheads . Especially the one's with the cross and nails . Damn Spinners .Sean
More content! Your fans await it!
I know...I await new posts as much as anyone. There are many things still to write about, and I'd post much more rapidly if I could. (I also get bugged when I see blogs that haven't been touched in weeks - especially my own!) But life gets in the way. Sadly, due to time pressures, I can't write more of the big posts I've been planning until January or February. But, I'll try to write some shorter posts to keep the site active til then...
thank god for robert hunter's sanity...
The thought of the Dead wearing guns on an album cover is unbelievable especially during that time in American history. Learned a new dead fact. :)
There are a few '60s pictures of the Dead with guns - playing cowboys & Indians in the woods, Bill with a rifle, Pigpen brandishing a rifle on the 710 Ashbury steps or drawing a revolver - and this classic of Pigpen with an M16: http://archive.org/post/561582/take-your-hands-out-of-your-pockets
this might be the photo that hunter objected to?http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ULCwWjMcMR4/T28j1iQb3_I/AAAAAAAAAHU/8nt8JP52srA/s1600/Grateful+Dead+Bang+Bang.jpgI-)
Then there's that passage from Jerilyn Brandelius' 'Family Album', pg. 65:"These parties included such structures as the ultra-conservative 'Black and White' ball and the redneck shootouts at Billy's ranch when the drummers hung cymbals and gongs from the trees and everyone blazed away at them with rifles and shotguns. In those days everyone rode horses and owned at least one rifle and one sidearm, so that 30 or 40 guns fired continuously for an hour or so, shredding the Zildjians and bringing the sheriff."Yikes!
Strange that fans tried for years to erase the facts that they liked guns, ate meat for most if not all their lives and wore fur and leather. They were the real hippies, not like these charlatans who try to hide their pasts.