Happy birthday "Shakedown Street"

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/15/happy-birthday-shakedown-str.html

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Well, I’ve avoided them this long. Not going to start now.

Although I will have the ice cream.


To each their own, but I will never understand the appeal of the Grateful Dead. Aside from one of the coolest names in music history and live shows where the acid flowed like candy, they were sub par in an era rife with great acts.


Whoa, that gif gave me wicked flashbacks to that old floppy full of Grateful Dead screensavers.

Blackface is totally cool when it’s a GIF repeating over some song Boomers listened to back in the day.


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The “sfx” of this video had a HUGE impression on 8 year old me, so much that it inspired me (I don’t consider myself a deadhead) to become a life long fan. It probably could have propelled me into puppeteering also, but alas…


Good grief. Not even very many diehard GD fans are overly fond of this disco-y period in the band’s music. But to each their own, I guess.

Their version of “Dancing in the Streets” (from Terrapin Station) is in a “Crypto Disco” comp I put together a few years back. Right in there with “Another Brick in the Wall” and “I Was Made For Loving You”. Whew…

Some of their songs I can enjoy but this one is in that genre of “13.5 minutes of noodling intro while you wait for it to start”.

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It’s funny, I was oblivious to the Dead. but I can remember when The Wall came out and it sounded like disco to me and we all lamented. Today it doesn’t sound a bit like disco, although I can still hear that little winky-wanky guitar bit. To me it sounds like watery funk. I wonder if the Chilis have anything to do with that?

It’s an invisible man, not blackface. :slight_smile:

edit - I always thought it was the doo-dah man.


Love this track, and love The Dead, but still love this (old) joke:

What did one Deadhead say to the other when he ran out of weed?

“Man, this music sucks.”


My brother told me that one. He went to see them once when he was a teenager, and realised two things simultaneously: he was bored out of his mind, and he was the only person he could see who wasn’t chemically enhanced.

I always thought of them as one of those annoying bands where I really liked about 10% of their output (come to think of it, a lot of that was covers). Jerry Garcia was a phenomenally good guitarist; until his talent declined, I suppose for the usual reasons.

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I enjoy the studio version of Shakedown Street, but this live version really isn’t very good. I guess you had to be at the show.

For me the Grateful Dead are a social litmus test; them that can groove are apt to be intellectually curious and creative, a person I would like to sit next to at a potluck or BBQ, whilst them that “just don’t get it” are more likely to be finicky eaters, boorish and a tad bit stunted intellectually. As a general rule of thumb a conversation with someone who doesn’t like the Grateful Dead will be a litany of peevish, hackneyed polemics that upsets my stomach. But get me together with strangers at a picnic who appreciate the Dead and there is a strong probability that conversation will be deliciously affirming and down right heuristic.

If I were a fan of hackneyed premises (i.e.”only stoners like that kind of music”) I could say that I use the Grateful Dead in social situations as a true litmus test in order to find out who has more acid.

I used to shake it on Shakedown Street, before it went mainstream. I still shake there sometimes, but only ironically.


More live dead than you can shake a stick at:

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