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The Deadhead's Taping Compendium, VOLUME II: An In-Depth Guide to the Music of the Grateful Dead on Tape, 1975-1985 Paperback – August 2, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Unique among major rock bands, the Dead actively sanctioned the taping of live concerts. This policy nurtured a subculture of Deadheads who have traded thousands of tapes over the years. This is the second of a projected three volume series documenting every known live Grateful Dead recording in circulation. (The first volume, covering the years 1959-74, appeared in 1998.) Getz, a poet and lyricist, and Dwork, a rock music scholar, divide the book into three parts: a historical overview of the Grateful Dead taping phenomenon, a chronological listing of hundreds of shows from 1975 to 1985, and a guide to recommended versions of selected songs, videos, films, and band-related web sites. Each entry in the chronology includes the date and location of the show, the songs played, the existing tapes, show highlights, and a "Comments" section. Dozens of rare photographs, many in color, cap off the book. As with the first volume, the biggest flaw is the lack of an index. While primarily aimed at tape collectors, this series is a gold mine of information for any Grateful Dead fan. Recommended for larger popular music collections and where the Grateful Dead is popular.ALloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"For Deadheads-especially tape collectors, this book is a treasure-an invaluable resource." (Billboard)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1st edition (August 2, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805061401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805061406
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.6 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #938,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
One would like not to be a spoilsport where the Deadhead's Taping Compendium is concerned. After all, the work put into it is simply amazing; and I enjoy reading show and tape reviews as much as anyone. However, any serious Deadhead will find several flaws that spoil the book's usefulness. Firstly is the severe lack of subediting the second volume seems to have received. One can put up with an 'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue' instead of 'It's All Over Now' (a completely different song) in one setlist or even a few. It's listed here in just about every setlist -- even in the 'hot versions' section at the back of the book. Another example: in a review of a Letterman appearance in 1982, the Dead were apparently pushing 'the forthcoming' Go To Heaven LP -- which was released two years earlier. These are just two examples of hundreds and they spoil my enjoyment and trust of the book. Secondly, the standard of reviews swings wildly. Some of the reviewers (Bob Clinton, Adrian Pide) are simply inept and should not have been published. Others, like John Dwork himself, I admire; I almost always agree with their thoughts on the music. But when they gush about close encounters with the Dead, the book becomes embarrassing. Dwork's starry-eyed account of how he blocked Garcia's entry into a hotel is a perfect example of the blind worship that drove the Dead to despair. These should certainly have been edited. Thirdly, there is a spectacular amount of Weir-bashing in this book. Given Garcia's erratic playing in the years 1978-1985, Bob Weir took up much of the slack and saved many a show from disaster.Read more ›
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By A Customer on May 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
As someone who wrote reviews for this (and the forthcoming) volume, I certainly enjoy the book. The criticisms of "a reader" above are certainly valid, which is why this book should not be billed or used as a reference book. Without question, there are many errors, but I use the book primarily as an enjoyable way to check out other people's opinions of shows I attended or have on tape. For that, it's unsurpassed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As you can see, this review is from 2013... long after these tomes have gone out of print. I finally scraped together my money to buy all 3 volumes (yes... we are talking several hundred dollars these days) and I can honestly say it was worth every penny!

I've been a Head since Cobo '77 (my first show), and hardcore since Duke '78 (my first show that I taped). I have access to pretty much everything these days, as do most Heads. But the problem is that even after listening for 35 years, I still can't hear everything! I have 3 1TB drives filled with shows... it's absolutely insane. That's where these books come in...

No, they are not perfect. But they provide a great, 3rd party frame of reference for navigating the gigantic body of work that has been gathered together by the Deadhead community. I find myself discovering nuggets that I had either forgotten or somehow neglected the first time around. It's absolutely wonderful!

Between these volumes, my trusty Deadbase IX (still my favorite), deadlists.com, and archive.org I have pretty much everything a "GD Completist" could ever need. The best $300 I've spent in years!
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By L. Jones on October 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
In terms of helping me organize my collection of shows, this book was a godsend. However, I agree with some of the knocks on the individual reviews as well. First, the Weir-bashing is not only groundless, it makes the reviews and those who wrote them sound shallow and trite. My God, people, if he bothered you that much, you should have stuck to attending Jerry Garcia Band shows or something and skipped the Grateful Dead. Second, while it's one thing to say, for example, that "this is my all-time favorite rendition of this song", it's downright moronic to start sequentially ranking stuff or getting overly specific about individual songs). Most people trying to use this book as a resource don't want to know if you think this particular "Uncle John's Band" was better than the one last week in Richmond but not as good as Rochester two nights later. They just want to know: What, in your opinion, are the highlights/lowlights of this show? Is it better than average for the period? Below? Run-of-the-mill? Is there anything unique- a song, or jam -that makes it stand out during the era under discussion? Does it circulate in high quality? No one gives a crap what kind of drugs the reviewer did, or who they were with, or whether Jerry winked at them. Unfortunately, for certain entries that's exactly the kind of junk you'll have to wade through. I own all three volumes in this series, and while they are chock full of interesting info and dispell many of the myths around the taping scene (contrary to popular belief, the Dead did not officially sanction audience taping until the 1980s), wading through some of the useless dribble ("my buddy and I hitched out to the midwest for this show...", "I ate too many mushrooms and had to leave during the second set," etc.) can try the patience of even the most enthusiastic collector.
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