Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Grateful Morning

Well it appears as if a compromise has been reached. According to an AP Story this morning, The Grateful Dead organization has backtracked due to the tremendous backlash of the Deadhead community, and have agreed to allow AUD downloads and SBD streaming on the Live Music Archive.

Although it doesn't get us back to where we were prior to this mess, it is probably a reasonable compromise. AUD downloads should never of been halted in the first place, and although losing SBD downloads is disappointing, the ability to stream is better than nothing.

But there is still a very grey area here that needs to be addressed. What about SBD recordings with AUD patches (like the '77 Cornell show for example)? What about SBD/AUD matrix versions? What about SBDs that were remastered and submitted (like the work that Ben did)?

Also, if SBDs are not available to download on The Archive anymore, will some, most or all of them be made available for purchase in the future? If so, what's the time table? If not all SBDs will be available for purchase, why could those not be made available for downloading once again on The Archive?

This is a very complex issue indeed. Answers to the questions above still need to be addressed. But at the very least, we know that we were heard, and the band cared enough to make a sensible decision that benefits both their fans, and protects their music at the same time.

More to come I'm sure...


At 12:24 PM, Anonymous US Blues said...

Thanks for the updates Ben. There are gray areas, but a board is a board- unless it isn't in the vault... (eg. 2.15.73, or some of the boards from the Fillmore East that were booted by people splicing into various line feeds!).

A dilemma with putting all the boards on sale is that many need editing work due to tape reel changes and cassette flips. Jeff Norman will be well-employed for years to come. It's much eaier these days to get a digital recording online as many bands do.

I am happy to buy boards, especially older ones, and I trust that other fans feel the same way. I do admit that I haven't bought all the 1980's stuff, because it doesn't move me the same way that early shows do. IMHO there are certain shows from 1973 that are more important than any 10 boards from 1987.

As always, the Dead lurch forward in fits and starts...

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Stewart said...

Sorry in advance for the rambling email:

Phil's note was heartening and even though it's only been a week (it seems like a year) people are already gaining a little perspective and calming down, which is good. I thank you too Ben for your ongoing reporting of of the LMA brouhaha.

I'm a soundboard guy through and through so the fact those are being restored but not the boards is a little bittersweet. I thought they had had a good system going in allowing boards of shows they hadn't yet officially released but not of those that they had, especially given that they only release a few shows a year, meaning some of the boards that were on the site may not see the light of day again for a LONG time.

Also, I doubt they lost big sales due to the availability of the boards for download. You and I are good examples of people who liked both buying the official music and downloading "warts and all" copies from LMA. I think generally those that wouldn't buy from GDM before aren't going to start now -- I suspect they'll just double their efforts to trade for shows (not a bad thing of course) or to download them from another less-known site. We'll see.

I am grateful however that they will allow a streaming option for boards, so I can still do at LMA what I had always liked best, which is to explore it for little surprises here and there. That makes it a Grateful morning indeed, despite what I written above. Though I must say that I too am anxious for more details and in particular an explanation for the terrible lack of communication from GDM.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger B said...

Hey Ben,

I agree: streaming is better than nothing.

I just hope they see that you can't expect people to buy EVERY show - shows that have literally been available for decades now - for free.

I mean, I have 100's of remasters and DATs here @ the studio, and most haven't even been uploaded to the archive yet. So, I don't think I'll be buying these shows if they are released because I already spent months remastering each show myself.

Plus, I have an FTP server here @ the studio, it's online 24/7 and currently hosting about 100 shows (new remasters, new/not in circulation).

Help yourself...spread the's all about the music...

Sorry for the rant, I'm overtired.

Have a good day,


At 4:18 PM, Blogger B said...

side note:

if you have a particular show that you really want to hear/download, let me know - i may have a freshly remastered copy around here somewhere...if not, i'll spend a month or so and fix it up for you.
just offering...

the music never stopped....


At 8:40 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Except for a couple of comments, most like those here on this thread have been very positive and open minded to what has been going on. I have to admit that I was pretty upset at first. But I've come to terms with the end result and am actually looking forward to finding some gems among the AUD selection on The Archive. In fact, I think I may of found one just now, 3/9/81 at MSG. Sounds pretty hot so far!

At 11:43 PM, Anonymous US Blues said...


The next night, 3.10.81 is a good one too, I was there and we had a fine time. Got tix for $5 from a scalper in Penn Station, shows didn't sell out back then!

I also recommend 5.5.81, the most recent aud version on LAMA of that show. That was another smoker, and my only front row seat, and first electric show!!! 1981 was a rock and roll year, not deep-space Dead but they could blow doors and it was a fun time. Ah, the memories...

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Ben said...

US - Thanks for the tips! Listening to the 3/10/81 Sailor>Saint now. Nice!

The quality of your average AUD of course is no where as clean as your average SBD. But the best AUD recordings put you right in the middle of the show. Some of the really good Matrix versions you could find on The Archive were the ultimate mix of the two. Guess we'll never see those again though.

This must be heaven
'Cause here's where the rainbow ends
And at last it's the real thing
Or close enough to pretend

At 9:39 PM, Blogger BubbleViewer said...

Three months ago I fell back in love with the Dead's music after a 20+ yr. hiatus. ('83 was last show; was in Japan much of the time) Picked up From Anthem to Beauty dvd on a whim and that did it.
Came across on unrelated matter at nearly same time and searched for Grateful Dead and was shocked/pleasantly surprised to see all the shows there. Downloaded a few, and then they were pulled.
Personally, I have no problem with the band wanting to protect those soundboard tapes and keep control. I recently bought the Fillmore West release and Dick's Picks 36 and loved both. I think having the huge selection of audience recordings, many of which are quite good, is enough. The band should have some "money in the bank" so to speak. I know some may say that goes against the dead's spirit, but you also want these guys to have something to sell to raise a little bread.
That said, what blew me away in listening to the archives is how good the band was in 1965, 1966. So many of the elements were already in place.
We need this music more than ever.
One question: I was at Cow Palace New Year's Eve 1976 and was surprised I couldn't find that show. Anyone have info?

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Bubbleviewer - Sounds similar. I was got off the bus in '94, and just got back on last year. The Archive was a big part of that.

Good question about the 12/31/76 show. I can't find it as an official release anywhere. Maybe they are planning an official release soon and asked for it not to be put back up on The Archive?


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