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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

When it doesn't fit anywhere else
 #108010  by dleonard
 Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:49 pm
Cmnaround wrote:Post by Cmnaround » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:41 pm

Phil Lesh101 wrote:80's and early 90 were the better shows in my opinion.



Right on - seems like it was all balls out rock and roll and that morphed a bit when Brent died and things shifted to the synths and bruce's piano, with more spread out midi-driven expansive jams.
Early 90's better than 72,73,74,75,76,77,78?!
 #108016  by Cmnaround
 Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:36 pm
Ha - allow me to clarify - early 90's being through July '90.

I'm not discounting anything post Brent, but that change brought new directions, keyboard tone being a contributor.

Ps I didn't mean to imply the Brent era was better than 72-78. Two different times - but wow it all kinda just rolls into one after a while -
 #108021  by Grateful Dad
 Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:05 pm
Phil Lesh101 wrote:Brent = Greatness
I saw some real drag energy shows toward the end of the Keith & Donna era. Brent came in and picked them up big time. It was funny after 10 years he was still affectionately considered the "new guy".

I don't think they recovered after his untimely departure. Some good shows were in the 90's but overall a forgetful and uninspired era after Brent. I can't even bring myself to listen to '93-'95 stuff.

:smile:
 #108115  by Mick
 Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:57 am
dleonard wrote:Early 90's better than 72,73,74,75,76,77,78?!
Could be some fightin' words there!

Although, I have rarely run into much disagreement with two opinions I have long held:

1. At the end of the Keith/Donna era, things were definitely not working well on a variety of levels, and the quality of the shows reflected that.
2. The period of time starting when Jerry came back from the diabetic coma and ending with Brent's death was a high point for the band. Definitely not the only high point, and probably not even the highest point (although, from a commercial success standpoint it was), but there were a lot of great shows from a band that really had it together.
 #115242  by jason_stanfield
 Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:38 am
playingdead wrote:The B3 was the constant ... with SIX Leslie 147s by the end. Every played with a real Leslie onstage? Just one is stupid loud. I can't even imagine how loud six of them must have been.

79-81: Fender Rhodes -- eventually abandoned because it kept breaking on tour

82: Yamaha CP-80 electric grand -- same that Keith used toward the end of his tenure (77-79) -- a pain, too, because it has to be tuned like a real piano because it basically was a real piano with fewer strings per note and a piezo pickup. If you listen to the Dead from Egypt in 78, the CP-80 is out of tune because their piano tuner bailed on the trip at the last minute.

83-86: Yamaha GS-1 (massive early FM synth that used little paper punch cards to load sounds ... it had that killer percussive marimba sound -- Scott Larned got hold of it from Brent's wife and took it out with DSO on the tour he died on ... creepy)

87-90: Kurzweil controller and various Kurzweil, Korg and other modules

Brent used various synths early on for certain sounds before the digital stuff really came online ... a Prophet 5 -- listen to a 79 era Dancing in the Streets, or think the synth sounds on Alabama Getaway and Feel Like a Stranger -- and I think even some sort of Moog, but most of the time played the Rhodes and B3.
Thanks for this!

I play for Otis Lotus, a Dead band out of Jackson, MS, and I've been looking for a breakdown of Mydland's rig for a while.

Personally, I love playing with Brent-esque Dyno sounds, organ, and some of the synth sounds, though I haven't worked with a marimba sound yet -- it's way too unforgiving regarding timing! When it comes to straight piano sounds, I'm probably 1/3rd Godchaux, 1/3rd Hornsby, and 1/3rd my own undertrained, underpracticed "technique" informed by whatever I've picked up along the way (George Duke, Keith Emerson, Tommy Mars, etc.).

Lots of opinions on who's the "best" Dead keyboardist here ... personally, I think all of them had both merits and faults, but that's my own subjective taste and judgment. Bob's, Jerry's, and Phil's tones - and, of course, the band's music - evolved over 3 decades, so saying what's best from any of it (aside from obviously sloppy performances due to health/drug issues) is trying to hit a moving target while blindfolded.
 #115285  by jeffm725
 Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:39 am
jason, if you want the fully skinny on Brent in the late 80's (Playindeads post is on the money, but there is a lot more to whats going on there than just the keyboard) PM me and I can put you in touch with a guy I play with sometimes. He is good friends with Bob Bralove and has the same Kurzweil Brent used with some gnarly old modules all obtained because Bralove clued him in on exactly what was what. He gets a totally convincing 87-90 Brent tone.
 #115289  by jlg327
 Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:40 pm
I'd be curious to know which drawbar settings Brent favored...
 #148177  by YexeonChew
 Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:38 pm
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