August 1, 2012

Dead Sources

All has not been quiet on the blogging front! Preparations have been going on behind the scenes, and I have started a new site to go along with this one:

I've often lamented how many newspaper or magazine articles about the Dead from the early days are now quite inaccessible or hard to find. Aside from their value as source material on the band's history, it's often interesting to see how the band was perceived by the media at the time, or how a show was described by reviewers who were there. But very few of these pieces have been reprinted - the Grateful Dead have no "Press Reports" book like some other bands have.

So the idea behind Dead Sources is to collect & transcribe as many important articles from roughly the first ten years of the Dead as I can find. There are many different kinds of pieces - news reports, show reviews, album reviews, some interviews, a letter or two, even a few ads or promo materials. My main rule is that each piece be interesting & informative in some way. (On the other hand, things like generic journalistic recaps of the band's history, or brief upcoming show announcements, I'll try to avoid.)

The archive has been invaluable, but of course is very incomplete. And in terms of finding, searching, reading or quoting an article, a typed text is much more accessible & useful than an image scan (though it's another step away from "the source").
When taken from a scan, the articles are very faithfully transcribed. (Some glaring typos are fixed, but some I leave in.)
I also gladly include pieces that are already up elsewhere on the Web, with links to the original locations. My principle is that duplication is far better than watching an article disappear when its website changes or goes down. And there are some sources from, say, underground or college newspapers that have been put online, but are little-known or not easily found in any case.

I've also added many of my own comments to the articles, pointing out things that struck me, or some obvious errors.

It is a site in progress - so far I've gone mostly chronologically, up through 1971. There are many more pieces to include, and numerous articles or reviews I'd still like to find.
So, if you collect such things, or have found old articles somewhere online that I've overlooked, please let me know or leave a comment!


  1. ...What a great work!!!!!!!!

    Our memory today is for Jerry: happy Birthday JERRY!!!!!!!!!!!

    A great THANX fron Italy


  2. I love the idea for your new blog, but unfortunately blogspot doesn't make it easy to read in chronological fashion.

  3. Yeah, blogspot is not the ideal format.
    I have added a chronological index, though, which should make it much easier!

  4. Sorry about not posting in a month - I've had my hands full, burning the candle at both ends, even without these Dead posts! But I will be posting more Dead sources shortly; I also hope to update some of the older posts here, and will have some (short) new posts ready this month.

  5. This is a great idea. Next time I am at the library, I'll dig up copies of articles from Austin and shoot them to you.

    I saw one article/review from 79 that was pretty funny. Among its observations were "the band was dressed casually" and something about Samson and Delilah being a long, touching serene ballad. I'll dig it up and send it to you.