Dead Notes #10 :: New Potato Caboose (8/24/68 Los Angeles, CA)

Welcome to Dead Notes #10 where we revisit Two From the Vault, recently released by Light in the Attic Records for the first time on vinyl. 1968 was a deeply exploratory period in the early history of the Grateful Dead (previously reviewed in Dead Notes #2, #5, and #8) where sublime climatic jams are joyously inspired as Garcia’s licks and Pigpen’s swagger launch the group into new watershed moments. They were also performing new material from Anthem of the Sun in a suite — loudly exclaiming they were a solid ensemble that could both swing, yet tip-toe, at the brink of explosion, before instantly dropping back into reality while readying the crowd for the next roller coaster turn. Legendary Dead Archivist Dick Latvala had long called this era ‘primal Dead’ — as the group’s performances were so continuously raw, seething and unabashed. Anthem was finally released on July 18, 1968 and their label Warner Brothers immediately called it a ‘disaster not a triumph’ while NME raved ‘it’s so completely unlike anything you have ever heard before that it’s practically a new concept in music. It’s haunting, it’s pretty, it’s infinite … a complete mindblower’. Yet behind the scenes the band was in complete and utter shambles.

Only the good shit. Aquarium Drunkard is powered by its patrons. Keep the servers humming and help us continue doing it by pledging your support.

To continue reading, become a member or log in.