This is an excellent documentary detailing the early history of the Grateful Dead. Basically, it covers the first five years of the band's history, i.e. up to 1970, and it also includes extensive coverage of the San Francisco scene, and also of the general political ferment at the time, which particularly affected the younger generation.
This is a very detailed documentary; it lasts for nearly two and a half hours, and it includes a number of commentators who were very closely connected with the Grateful Dead, notably Rock Scully, Tom Constanten and Dennis McNally, and also David Gans and others, who can be relied upon to present a very accurate view of the whole scene.
There is plenty of early footage, including some interviews with Grateful Dead members. Anyone with an interest in the band, and the period, will find this well worth watching.
Although a fan of 60's psychedelia, I'm not a great Dead fan, although they have their musical moments. What fascinated me about this film was the historical context - this is an essential documentary for anyone interested in the cultural and political history of the United States in the second half of the 1960's. The interviews are all eloquent testimonies by guys who where intimately involved, and puts the "Peace and Love" myth into proper perspective. Well worth the outlay.
Though much of what appears on this DVD can be seen elsewhere, there is also much that new to me. Bill Graham's verbal abuse to Charlatans guitarist Mike Wilhelm is shocking. Some of the Merry Prankster footage is superb. The compiling and narrative of this release in excellent. I recommend it unreservedly to any Deadhead.
I bought this DVD for my Deadhead husband. He's followed the Grateful Dead since he was a young teenager living in the San Francisco Bay area. He says that even though he already knew a lot of the information that was presented on this DVD, there was still quite a bit of interesting video footage, and the interviews were really enjoyable. Plus, the DVD wasn't available in the U.S., so this was a complete surprise for him.
Yes a good release, one of the better documentaries of the time with new interviews. Only complaint is perhaps a bit more rare concert footage of complete numbers would be nice instead of snippets. However, good purchase for this particular era of musical and cultural change.
A fascinating DVD for anyone with an interest in the GD or the late 60s San Francisco scene. Very interesting to hear the views of so many involved with the band, especially David Gans and TC, plus some of the very old archive material. Always good of course to see Jerry!
Having followed the band since the start and with all the written material I have about them (+ music in general), I don't consider I learnt anything new from the film, but I really enjoyed the ride.
The one thing that struck me was how old the present interviewees looked, but I guess we all do now!!
This film would make an excellent documentary to for TV (BBC4 maybe?) and no doubt it will get an airing one day. In the meantime, if you want to know the result of the Beatles turning on a load of West Coast folkies to amplified sound, who subsequently formed bands to create some of the best music the world has seen, get a copy now!
Planning a tour soon of California music localities, I invested in this DVD. Well worth the money, it's informative and entertaining in equal measure. Lot's of interesting info on not just the music but the history of psychedelia in and around the Bay Area in the early 60's. It provides an insight into the band and the diverse musical origins of the members.