“The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast,” the official Grateful Dead podcast, is a series devoted to exploring the music and mythology behind one of the most enduring, progressive, and influential bands in the history of recorded music. The podcast’s tagline is “For The Committed And The Curious,” as episodes will invite new fans to explore the band’s enormous mythology in digestible chunks and enlighten life-long Dead Heads about corners of the band’s history they never knew existed. No topic will be off limits on “The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast” as hosts Rich Mahan and Jesse Jarnow explore the band’s outrageous history, innovations, and impact from 1965 to today.
We explore the Grateful Dead's formative early 1966 months in Los Angeles under the patronage of Owsley Stanley, LSD chemist & the band's new sound engineer, featuring Owsley's assistants Tim Scully & Don Douglas, Merry Pranksters, Rosie McGee, & an archival interview with Owsley.GUESTS: Tim Scully, Don Douglas, Rosie McGee, Denise Kaufman, Ken Babbs, Starfinder Stanley, Hawk, David Gans
Listen To The River: Fox Theatre, October 1972We go behind the scenes, into the crowd, around the specially-installed mirror ball, & inside the music at the Dead's 3 legendary 1972 shows at St. Louis's Fox Theatre with promoters Sepp Donahower & Tony Dwyer, musicologist Graeme Boone, & Dead freaks who were there. GUESTS: Tony Dwyer, Sepp Donahower, Bill Weber, Drea Stein, John Ellis, Bob Simmons, Thom Pallazola, Joe Schwab, Mark Slosberg, Starfinder Stanley, Hawk, Graeme Boone, David Lemieux
The Grateful Dead's relationship with St. Louis went deep as the new Listen To The River box set and this Deadcast prove, featuring promoter Tony Dwyer, offstage jams at Scotty's Music, and the time the Dead crashed Richie Gerber's bar mitzvah.GUESTS: Sam Cutler, Tony Dwyer, Michael Scott, Richard Gerber, Mark Slosberg, Steve Fisher, Doug Heller, David Lemieux, Joe Schwab, Tom Wood, Bob Simmons, Thom Pallazola, John Ellis
Enter Keith GodchauxThe Deadcast opens its 4th season with one of the most unlikely but totally true stories in Grateful Dead history: how Keith & Donna Jean Godchaux approached Jerry Garcia at a bar and announced that Keith was the Dead's new keyboardist, going deep into Godchaux family history.GUESTS: Brian Godchaux, Donna Jean Godchaux MacKay, Greg Anton, Sandy Rothman
The Deadcast takes a special season-closing look at Jerry Garcia's classic eponymous debut with co-producer Bob Matthews and friends, recorded during the summer of 1971 by Garcia and a small crew of close collaborators including Bill Kreutzmann and Robert Hunter.GUESTS: Bob Matthews, Steve Silberman, Joe Jupille
Playing Dead, Part 2A truly all-star Deadcast examines the infinite approaches to playing Dead music, from traditional to radical, with a massive span of musicians who've played it, from jazz arrangers to indie rock heroes, from actual Dead members to Japanese cover bands.GUESTS: Bob Weir, Oteil Burbridge, Joe Russo, Peter Shapiro, Stephen Malkmus, Ira Kaplan, Steven Bernstein, Jeff Mattson, David Gans, Holly Bowling, Dave Harrington, Shu-Hey Iwasa, Jake Rabinbach, Rebecca Adams, Gary Lambert, David Lemieux
The Deadcast examines how the Grateful Dead became a genre and school of music unto themselves, tracing the history of Dead covers to New Jersey in 1969, Calcutta in 1975, & beyond, featuring special appearances by Phish's Trey Anastasio & Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan.Guests: Trey Anastasio, Ira Kaplan, Henry Kaiser, John Zias, Sanjay Mishra, Rebecca Adams, Jeff Mattson, David Gans, Gary Lambert, Dennis McNally
The Deadcast finishes its all-star “Skull & Roses” dive with cosmic diplomat Alan Trist, Courtenay Pollack's new tie-dye speakers, a surprise trip abroad, the closing of the Fillmore West, studio parties, explorations of the album's legendary art & infamous original name, & more.GUESTS: Alan Trist, Bob Matthews, Rosie McGee, Rick Turner, Courtenay Pollack, Stephen Barncard, Allan Arkush, David Lemieux, Nicholas G. Meriwether, Michael Parrish
We celebrate the 80th birthday of the late Robert Hunter, the Grateful Dead's primary lyricist, exploring his extraordinary partnership with Jerry Garcia and work with other collaborators, as well his poetry, fiction, and solo career.GUESTS: Raymond Foye, Greg Anton, Jim Lauderdale, Alex Allan, Nicholas Meriwether
BONUS: Over There: The Dead in EnglandThe Grateful Dead only visited England a half-dozen times in 30 years, but the quintessential American band's relationship ran deeper than it might seem, filled with unexpected connections & fans as devoted as any Dead Heads back home, including lyric scholar Alex Allan.GUESTS: Alex Allan, Richard King, Rich Lee, John Mulvey
Skull & Roses 50: Fillmore East Late ShowThe Deadcast sticks around the Fillmore East for even more backstage stories with stage crew member Allan Arkush, including movie nights with Jerry Garcia and the guitarist's brief stint doing Hollywood sound effects. Guests: Allan Arkush, Candace Brightman, Robert Cooperman, Blair Jackson
The Deadcast trucks into Bill Graham’s Fillmore East, where the Grateful Dead recorded the bulk of Skull & Roses in April 1971, featuring stage crew member Allan Arkush, tour manager Sam Cutler, & a deep dive into “Wharf Rat” with Darkside’s Dave Harrington.GUESTS: Allan Arkush, Sam Cutler, Dave Harrington, Robert Cooperman, David Lemieux, Gary Lambert
Skull & Roses 50: Side CAfter special guest Judy Collins joins us to untangle the surprising origins of the Dead’s most-performed song, “Me & My Uncle,” the Deadcast wades into the oversold 3-night April 1971 Dance Marathon that became part of “Skull & Roses,” guided by tour manager Sam Cutler and friends.GUESTS: Judy Collins, Sam Cutler, Candace Brightman, Sally Mann Romano, Rick Turner, Gary Lambert, Blair Jackson
Skull & Roses 50: Side BOur celebration of the Skull & Roses 50th anniversary reissue continues as we explore the “spaceship in construction” of the Grateful Dead in 1971 with Rosie McGee, luthier Rick Turner (maker of Jerry Garcia’s Peanut guitar), tie-dye pioneer Courtenay Pollack, & rare audio.GUESTS: Rosie McGee, Rick Turner, Courtenay Pollack, Bob Matthews, David Crosby, David Lemieux, Gary Lambert
Skull & Roses 50: Side AWe begin our 50th anniversary celebration of 1971’s live album Skull & Roses with co-producer Bob Matthews, lighting director Candace Brightman, tour manager Sam Cutler, David Crosby, & David Freiberg, plus lost sessions, a 6-night false start, dream telepathy, song origins & more.GUESTS: Bob Matthews, Candace Brightman, David Crosby, David Frieberg, David Nelson, Sam Cutler, Stanley Krippner, Stephen Barncard, David Lemieux, Gary Lambert, Blair Jackson
Hug the Heat, or the Story of the First Dead TapeWe wish you a merry Pranks Day with a surprise Deadcast about the first known live Grateful Dead tape, from 1966, and reveal what happens when you try to shut down an Acid Test, featuring Merry Pranksters Ken Babbs and Denise Kaufman, with additional storytelling by Jerry Garcia.GUESTS: Ken Babbs, Denise Kaufman
The Deadcast season finale wraps up American Beauty and looks at the iconic Truckin’, the autobiographical album-closing road anthem, unpacking the band’s history from its verses, lost lyrics, and never-heard original ending.Bob Weir, Stephen Barncard, Mickey Hart, Howard Wales, Steve Silberman, David Lemieux, Gary Lambert
A surprising and wide-ranging conversation with Ned Lagin, the pioneering jazz-trained electronic composer whose friendship with the Grateful Dead began when the band crowded into his M.I.T. dorm room to jam and would encompass contributions to American Beauty and Wake of the Flood, nearly 20 onstage appearances with the band between 1970 and 1975, and Lagin’s own Seastones project, released by Jerry Garcia’s Round Records, featuring contributions by Garcia, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, David Crosby, Grace Slick, and more.
Two episodes in one: we meditate on the harmony tracks and metaphysical overtones of the hymn-like Attics Of My Life, before David Crosby and Steve Silberman return for extended look at how the American Beauty sessions flowed into Croz’s masterpiece, If I Could Only Remember My Name, where Jerry Garcia and the Dead served as supporting musicians and friends.Bob Weir, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Stephen Barncard, Ira Kaplan, Steve Silberman, Erik Davis, William Tyler, Brian Kehew, David Lemieux, Gary Lambert
Jumping off from “Till the Morning Comes” and the outtake “To Lay Me Down” we hear from Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay on falling in love with (and to) the Dead, Bob Weir on the secret to recording Phil Lesh, Stephen Malkmus with a psychedelic book recommendation, and time travel to Winterland in October 1970.Bob Weir, Donna Jean Godchaux MacKay, Stephen Barncard, Stephen Malkmus, Billy Strings, Nick Paumgarten, David Lemieux, Gary Lambert
We examine how the Grateful Dead classic “Brokedown Palace” forms a hidden but powerful song suite with “Ripple,” the preceding song on American Beauty, with guests Bob Weir, pianist Howard Wales, longtime Dead publisher Alan Trist, historian Nicholas Meriwether, and musicologist Mike Hamad, plus a search for Pigpen’s cat.Bob Weir, Howard Wales, Alan Trist, Nicholas Meriwether, Mike Hamad, Nick Paumgarten, David Lemeiux, Gary Lambert
On a very special bonus episode, we check in with Mickey Hart about his latest drones and hear high tales of Grateful Dead madness, from frying bacon onstage to using firearms as percussion, plus stories about his handcrafted instrument, the Beam, and a look into the Barn, his recording “crucible” in Novato and one of the great and oft-forgotten studios of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
We examine Ripple, the timeless cosmic hymn leading off Side B of American Beauty, written during what Robert Hunter called a peak experience, and take a close look at the Dead’s very own softball team, with guests Bob Weir, David Grisman, Ned Lagin, and many more, including Ripple chorale performer Sam Cutler.Bob Weir, David Grisman, Sam Cutler, Alan Trist, Stephen Barncard, Ned Lagin, Stephen Malkmus, Steve Silberman, Nicholas Meriwether, David Lemieux, Gary Lambert, Jake Cohen
To celebrate “Operator,” the fourth song on American Beauty and the first Grateful Dead song written solely by Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, we examine his life and offer an extremely rare look into the Pigpen archives, a collection of journals, letters, and more inherited by an old family friend.Bob Weir, Jim Sullivan, Brain Kehew, Michael Parrish, David Lemieux, Gary Lambert
We are honored to welcome the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir (!!!) for a deep look at his signature song, “Sugar Magnolia,” and the making of the Dead’s landmark American Beauty in 1970, plus surprising memories of the song from Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus and Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan.Bob Weir, Rhoney Stanley, Stephen Malkmus, Ira Kaplan, David Lemeiux, Gary Lambert
BONUS: Dead Behind / Dead AheadIn the fall of 1980, the Grateful Dead celebrated their 15th anniversary with a series of 25 special shows in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Manhattan, playing acoustic sets for the first time in a decade, along with two electric sets each night. The shows would yield the live double-albums Reckoning and Dead Set, as well as a Halloween simulcast that became the concert film Dead Ahead. We went behind this massive undertaking for a special bonus episode of the Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast.
American Beauty 50, Episode 2: Friend of the DevilThe Grateful Dead’s most-covered song, “Friend of the Devil,” also uncovers the secret history of American Beauty, including a never-heard demo reel for the album and totally scrapped session tapes newly released as The Angel’s Share, with guests David Grisman, David Nelson, Stephan Barncard, and more.David Grisman, David Nelson, Stephen Barncard, David Lemieux, Gary Lambert, Brian Kehew, Mike Johnson
To celebrate the 50th anniversary remaster of the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty, we begin our track-by-track exploration of the band’s bittersweet 1970 masterpiece, powerfully embodied by opening track “Box of Rain,” featuring archival audio, and guests including co-producer Stephen Barncard and Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig.Stephen Barncard, David Nelson, Paul Feig, Sam Cutler, Steve Silberman, Rebecca Adams, Nick Paumgarten, Gary Lambert, David Lemieux, Andrew Peerless
DESCRIPTION: In our packed season finale, we explore how “Casey Jones” combined folk traditions and became an underground hit too risque for pop radio, hear a break down of the multi-track, discuss the infamous sniff and other Workingman’s Dead’s finishing touches with co-producer Bob Matthews, figure out the location and date of the cover photo, and more.GUESTS: Bob Matthews, Brian Kehew, Billy Strings, Bob Egan, Gary Lambert, David Lemieux, Michael Parrish
DESCRIPTION: We explore how “Easy Wind” was the only song on Workingman’s Dead sung by Pigpen and the first Dead tune solely written by lyricist Robert Hunter, featuring rarely heard radio promo spots recorded by Hunter.GUESTS: Bob Matthews, Rhoney Stanley, Eric Schwartz, Gary Lambert, David Lemieux, Mike Johnson, Brian Kehew
DESCRIPTION: With special guests Graham Nash and Rhoney Stanley, our dive into the Grateful Dead’s Workingman’s Dead examines how a mishap with an estimated $50,000 worth of LSD led to both the writing of “Black Peter,” perhaps the Grateful Dead’s most somber song, and turned Jerry Garcia into a Crosby, Stills and Nash fan.GUESTS: Rhoney Stanley, Graham Nash, Bob Matthews, Gary Lambert, Shaugn O’Donnell, Buzz Poole
DESCRIPTION: A very Jerry bonus episode explores Jerry Garcia’s early ‘60s years in the Palo Alto folk scene and his progression from guitar strummer to banjo picker during a prodigious half-decade before going electric with the Grateful Dead, including interviews with David Nelson and Bob Matthews, both one-time members of Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions.GUESTS: David Nelson, Bob Matthews, Nicholas Meriwether, Dennis McNally
DESCRIPTION: We flip sides on the Grateful Dead’s Workingman’s Dead and explore why “Cumberland Blues” is a much stranger song than it might seem, chart the transformation into the so-called Bakersfield Dead, and--in an extended interview--hear how new tour manager Sam Cutler helped the band turn themselves into a real-life workingman’s Dead during one of the most tumultuous and pivotal moments in their history.GUESTS: Sam Cutler, Shaugn O’Donnell, Bob Matthews, David Nelson, Gary Lambert, Mike Johnson
We explore “New Speedway Boogie,” the last song on Side 1 of the Grateful Dead’s Workingman’s Dead, examining how the song grew from the disastrous 1969 free festival at Altamont headlined by the Rolling Stones, and listen to never-heard session outtakes from “Mason’s Children.” GUESTS: Bob Matthews, Sam Cutler, Gary Lambert, David Lemieux, Buzz Poole, Mike Johnson, Brian Kehew
Our close listen to the Grateful Dead’s remastered Workingman’s Dead 50th anniversary edition continues with “Dire Wolf.” Album co-producer Bob Matthews reveals recording tricks. With David Nelson of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, we get a look inside Jerry Garcia’s living room as he learns how to play pedal steel guitar. We untangle the connections between “Dire Wolf,” the Zodiac Killer, and Sherlock Holmes to figure out the exact date the song was written, examine session outtakes from the Angel’s Share, hear from bluegrass phenom and Dead fan Billy Strings, discuss how “Dire Wolf” is only one of many connections between the Dead and Game of Thrones writer George RR Martin, and debut a "Dire Wolf" supercut.GUESTS: David Nelson, Bob Matthews, Billy Strings, Jeffrey Alexander, David Lemieux, Gary Lambert, Brian Kehew, Mike Johnson
The Grateful Dead’s masterpiece Workingman’s Dead song by song. For “High Time,” we look behind the purple door of Pacific High Recording with co-producer Bob Matthews and tour manager Sam Cutler, examine session outtakes and tape mysteries with Brian Kehew and Mike Johnson, and explore how “High Time” was a songwriting breakthrough for Jerry Garcia and his new housemate, lyricist Robert Hunter.
The first of our ongoing surprise BEAR DROPS, exploring the life and legacy of Owsley Stanley, the pioneer underground LSD chemist as well as trailblazing sound engineer for the Grateful Dead. With Bear’s son Starfinder, partner Rhoney, and Hawk Semins of the Owsley Stanley Foundation, we explore Bear’s singular personality, the hi-fi origins of the Dead’s quest for sound, and how Owsley was the inspiration for two of the Dead’s most potent symbols, the skull-and-lightning bolt Steal Your Face logo and the omnipresent dancing bears, seen everywhere and beyond, most lately on Nike’s NikeSB Dunk Low Pro ‘Grateful Dead’ sneakers.
Join us for deep dig into the rich history of WORKINGMAN’S DEAD with album co-producer Bob Matthews and others, beginning with a close listen to “Uncle John’s Band,” including its surprising roots in jazz history and Macedonian choral music, a further look into the session outtakes, and the story of the real-life Uncle John.