Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Chat about Equipment Info
 #17049  by ker1227
 Sun May 27, 2007 4:41 pm
I know what the beast was, but what was it actually made of??

I dont know if thats the proper name for it either, otherwise known as the space thing that mickey played
 #17054  by BuddhaG
 Sun May 27, 2007 5:18 pm
i believe what you speak of is the contraption called The Beam. I don't really know how it works but its similar to a huge guitar, in the sense that there are a set of strings over some kind of magnetic pick up ( a huge one). mickey uses a metal bar to stir up electro-magnetic fields by touching the strings and moving the bar around. theres some footage of him using it on the closing of winterland DVD. pretty badass sounding instrument if you ask me...

anybody know when they started using it?

is the beast perhaps that huge rack of percussive instruments that was at mickey and billy's disposal during Drumz?

 #17065  by BigJilm
 Sun May 27, 2007 8:25 pm
Its the world's longest wooden roller coaster. Go to King's Island. fuckin sweet...
 #17070  by willmusic
 Mon May 28, 2007 1:35 am
The BEAST was the rig of large drums suspended behind Billy and Mickey's trap kits. The BEAM was the long beam of aluminum (at first it was a piece of driftwood) rigged with piano wires and magnetic pickups. The idea of BEAST was originally conceived in the mid-70's and one of my favorite early examples of it being used in performance is from Winterland in Oct '78. It has since evolved and a modern version is still in use whenever Bill and Mickey play together.

 #17081  by tigerstrat
 Mon May 28, 2007 10:39 am
The Beast and Beam were both created for Mickey's work on the soundtrack of F. Coppolla's Apocalypse Now and made their stage debut with the Dead in 1979.

I took photos of DSO's beam... maybe I'll get around hosting them somewhere and link this thread...