October 24, 1971 – The Grateful Dead release their live album, “Grateful Dead,” popularly known as the “Skull and Roses album.”
This two-album set came in the middle of a very productive period for the band, when they were hitting on all cylinders and recording much of their best-loved music.
In July 1970, they released “Workingman’s Dead.” That following November, “American Beauty.” In November of ’72, the Grand Tour album, “Europe ’72” came out.
“Grateful Dead” is mostly an album of Americana covers–Merle Haggard, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Kris Kristofferson, Luther Dixon–with the psychedelic anthem, “The Other One,” co-writtein by drummer Bill Kreutzman and rhythm guitarist Bob Weir and featuring the famous one-line homage to the Beat Crown Prince Neal Cassidy, “there was cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to never-never land,” dropped into the mix.
The album also created the Dead Head fan universe with the invitation on the cover:
DEAD FREAKS UNITE: Who are you? Where are you? How are you?
Send us your name and address and we’ll keep you informed.
Dead Heads, P.O. Box 1065, San Rafael, California 94901.
This one cooks. It opens with “Bertha” and ends with “Not Fade Away” segued into “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad,” the latter of which includes perhaps the most famous Garcia solo ever. It was my habit for years, whenever I moved into a new place, to set up the stereo and put this on before I did anything else. I love it when I have the chance to go charging down the road late at night with those last two songs cranked all the way up on the speakers. Enjoy . . .
Furthur . . .