Dylan & the Dead is a collaborative live album by Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead, released on February 6, 1989 by Columbia Records. The album consists of seven songs written and sung by Dylan, with the Grateful Dead providing accompaniment. The album was produced by Jerry Garcia and John Cutler.
Dylan & the Dead was recorded in 1987, during a successful stadium tour of the same name. Songs from two of the Grateful Dead performances are documented on the album View from the Vault IV.
Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan July 12 1987 (full concert)
The Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead 1987 Tour was a concert tour by Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead taking place in the summer of 1987 and consisting of six concerts. Each concert began with a lengthy set by the Grateful Dead of their own material (sometime broken into a first and second set, per the Dead’s own practice), followed by a roughly 90 minute set of the Dead acting as Dylan’s backup band. The Dead had long performed many Dylan songs in their own concerts, so they were well-versed in Dylan’s repertoire.
“Dylan repainted his masterpieces. “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and “Ballad of a Thin Man” sputtered at first, but when Dylan and the Dead found the groove, the music soared. Whether prompted by a swirl from Brent’s organ, a bomb from Phil’s bass, or Bob Weir’s physical exuberance, Dylan found new paths to the soul of his creations. Watching the legends teeter towards disaster without a safety net made the ensuing crescendos more exhilarating.”
– Howard Weiner (Live for Live music)
Reviewer, “ing” at The Internet Archive:
“I was there and…
… listening back to this I think it is even better than I remember! The crowd was amped up. No doubt it was a lot of the newbie Touch of Grey fanbase there but it was an event and the energy fo the event was palpable (heh, running in from the gate, I tripped and fell and for a moment I looked up at the stampeding herd coming toward me and envisioned another Cleveland (The Who) happening (with me as the victim!)so I got up SO quick and hobbled toward the stage with my twisted ankle still smarting and laces still untied… but ultimately getting a fairly good spot not too far from the stage.
But LISTEN to this show… the band is pretty well on and the drums are particularly quite tight, something that I found annoying in many of the mid 80s shows (the loose drumming thing the guys seemed into most of the time). Jerry is singing pretty well and quite passionately, even getting some good crowd response (check out the Dew!). Jerry’s playing is really sweet. And: Pedal Steel! Need I say more? As to them playing rushed as some have said, I think it is more that they are playing tight… they aren’t as wasted… maybe they had to keep their heads together given the size of the crowd but I didn’t get the sense the show was rushed… it was a fun day.
And for the record, i have to say that I disagree with most people about not liking the whole Dylan and the Dead combo. I thought it was a great concept. Sure, it was a little thrown together due to their schedules and various habits said powers-that-be may have been battling at the time… But — hey that was part of what they were doing then and ultimately it was all about a sense of spontaneity and lighthearted fun and just putting it out there…”
“After an hour or so, it became clear to me that the band wanted to rehearse more and different songs than I had been used to doing with Petty. They wanted to run over all the songs, the ones they liked, the seldom seen ones. I found myself in a peculiar position and I could hear the brakes screech. If I had known this to begin with, I might not have taken the dates…. There were so many songs that I couldn’t tell which was which-I might even get the words to some mixed up with others. I needed sets of lyrics to understand what they were talking about, and when I saw the lyrics, especially to the older, more obscure songs, I couldn’t see how I could get this stuff off emotionally.”
– Bob Dylan (Chronicles Vol.1) after his first rehearsal with the Dead
Philip Chapman Lesh (born March 15, 1940) is a musician and a founding member of the Grateful Dead, with whom he played bass guitar throughout their 30-year career.
After the band’s disbanding in 1995, Lesh continued the tradition of Grateful Dead family music with side project Phil Lesh and Friends, which paid homage to the Dead’s music by playing their originals, common covers, and the songs of the members of his band. Phil Lesh & Friends helped keep a legitimate entity for the band’s music to continue. Recently, Lesh has opened a music venue called Terrapin Crossroads. He retired from touring in 2014 but continues to perform with Phil Lesh & Friends at select venues. From 2009 to 2014 he performed in Furthur alongside his former Grateful Dead band mate Bob Weir.
Happy Birthday, Phil Lesh!
I have picked two, of many, Bob Dylan related videos to celebrate Phil Lesh.
First a fabulous West L.A. Fadeaway from November 1999 Phil Lesh with Bob Dylan and his band tearing through this classic Grateful Dead tune. As a bonus we get a great Not Fade Away (Buddy Holly) fantastic stuff!:
My second clip is an acoustic cover of Dylan’s She belongs to me together with Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia in 1992, wonderful rendition:
Grateful Dead is a band that I’ve learned to love over the years, it has been a struggle. The reason for that is the not very good album collaboration with Bob Dylan (Dylan and The Dead, 1987). I bought it on casette and tried so hard to like it, but in my young and inexperienced ears this was all over the place and without energy. I like the album better now, but it is not among my favorite Dylan albums.
More important, it was unfair to judge Grateful Dead because of that record. I love American Beauty and I love Workingman’s Dead, and I think there are a lot of great live recordings of the band. With Bob Dylan and without Bob Dylan.
I think they are very skilful Dylan interpreters and they have even released an album with Bob Dylan’s songs.
Here are my top 10 Grateful Dead playing Bob Dylan:
Grateful Dead – Maggie’s Farm (19-09-1987)
Grateful Dead performs a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm” for Farm Aid III live via satellite from Madison Square Garden. Introduction by Dick Clark.
Grateful dead – Knockin’ on Heaven’s door (07-07-1989)
FK Stadium, Philadelphia, PA