On Tuesday night, Oct. 1st 1996, Dennis McNally came over to our office to type whatever responses Mickey Hart would have to our questions. Mickey was at Sammy Hagar's recording studio, and talked as Dennis typed. Unfortunately, at 6:00 PM sharp, the computer I was typing on decided to bomb out on me! Panic set in, but fortunately Dennis was there to tell people what happened. When you see a question that starts with Question:, that means it came from the audience in the AOL auditorium.
And now without further ado:
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Online, Inc. and the GD Forum
McNally : Our
fearless leader and webmaster, Mr. Geoff Gould, has just managed to
get himself bounced off the line...so we'll be back in the proverbial
flash, when everything is just exactly ... naah, that's Weir's
Gould : sorry
folks! Technical diffs; blah blah
GG : Welcome to tonight's event.
Tonight we have as our guest, Mickey Hart, to discuss the new
releases coming out this month. Welcome Mickey
Hart : Hi.
GG : Let's get this out of the way,
what's the current state of the GD?
MH : It's at rest. There is no real
state right now. It's dormant, I would say. As a group, that is. As
individuals, we're each doing what we couldn't do when we were in the
Grateful Dead. We're undertaking projects that require longer periods
of concentration. It's just a matter of time --being in the GD was
just so full-time. We're doing more of the things we never got to
Phil, for instance, is
writing a symphonic version of Terrapin Station -- he's arranging it,
and he's real busy at that. And he's also the master archivist, on
the trail of all the good stuff in the vault, and raising his kids
and like that.
Bob is eating the Dog. The
rat is eating the dog -- or is it that the dog is eating the rat?
Whatever he's doing, he's doing it a lot. He's also got his Satchel
Paige Broadway play thing happening.
Vince is at the "Missing
Man Formation" band, which has Prairie Prince, Steve Kimock, and
Billy is surfing and
enjoying the good live in the islands (Hawaii) and I'm...
I'm, let us say, in the
trenches with Sammy Hagar. Now the truth is, that when I met him just
last June, I thought he was just another Dead Head friend of Weir's,
but there was something about the guy I liked. Then I found out he
played a little -- and then I found out he was changing jobs ... and
now I'm working with him on a track for his album co-producing with
Mike Clink -- for his upcoming big time record. And by the way, I
found out this guy can really play! But maybe you guys all knew that
already. Hagar's thing is definitely otherworldly -- it's got that
Question : are you planning on doing another
tour similar to the Furthur Festival, and possibly playing on stage
with Bob this time around?
MH : Why not? I don't see why there
shouldn't be another Furthur Festival -- I had a gas. It'll be better
next time -- it was great, but it was out first time at it, and we
learned a lot. We learned so much. Bob and I had never really done
anything like it before, even after 30 years of Dead, it was
definitely different. But yeah, we definitely should do it again,
GG : First, the video "Ticket to New
released today. What do you remember about then? Why this date?
MH : It was scary. All I remember was
that when I got inside Jerry's head -- I was Spock, and I was giving
Garcia a mind meld, and what I saw when I got inside his mind was
scary. I'm still scarred from the experience, really. But we'll
GG : [For those of you that are
confused, Mickey and Jerry do a Spock/Santa schtick between sets in
MH : It was a good year. It was really
up -- Jerry was healthy, we were laughing, we were playing. What
could be better than that. And so this video is the cap to that year
-- not too bad. Go get it. You gotta have it. It's one of those
things you should have -- even I want to look at it -- I remember it
was real funny. We actually worked and prepared it -- found out what
it was like to try to be funny in front of the cameras -- it was a
real learning experience. So you can see what we accomplished.
GG : The sound is killer
Question : are you opening up the vaults????
we will buy all!!!!!!!
MH : <Big laughter>... retail or
wholesale? < More big laughter>
Question : What are some of your future
plans? Your last CD was awesome
MH : We're building RAMU (Random
Access Music Universe) -- the Son of RAMU 1. More powerful, a lethal
weapon -- it's like a tricycle to a rocket ship. Amazing amounts of
memory, easy access to my entire sound library-- I've never been able
to put all my sound library in one place before and access them
immediately. So I'm transferring my sound library into RAMU's brain
and away we go...
GG : how many gigabytes?
MH : I cannot reveal the secrets --
this is on the secret scrolls. I'm not at liberty to do that. Some
infidel might be listening. Consider it! What if it got into the
wrong things. Maybe sometime... anyway, I'm in the middle of
development, and the honest answer is -- I don't even know yet for
sure. But a whole lot of gigabytes... Like I said, a whoooooollleee
lot of gigabytes.
GG : Dick's Picks 6(from GDM only!)
comes out next Monday; did you have any input into the choice of
MH : Dick is the maestro -- no, I had
no input. We don't really know what sounds good any more, and Dick's
ear is more accurate as to what really sounds good. I would consider
him to be one of the top five Deadology authorities anywhere.
Years ago -- somehow he got
me to his house in Hawaii --in the 70's, real early 80's, he was the
first Dead Head taper I met. In this little tract house he had really
formidable JBL monitors, they just rattled the glass. And he was just
sitting there all day listening to this stuff, all of it -- I'd never
thought anybody was that serious about our tapes before -- that it
was that valuable of a commodity. 'Cause we were just making the
music -- but the tape scene was growing outside of us, to where now
it's a pan global phenomenon...And then at night he'd listen half the
night on headphones -- so his wife and kid could sleep. I think they
got divorced...Anyway, Dick is an authority and I trust his judgment
GG : Dick will be here next week
(10/10); we'll ask him a bunch then!
Question : We deadheads are somewhat
obsessed with tapes - what are your top 3 shows ? ( so I know what to
seek in trades)
MH : I couldn't even begin -- I
haven't heard most of the tapes, none of us in the band have -- we
don't sit around and listen to ourselves. It's just not done. Sorry
GG : on the 15th, Arista releases a
2-CD set of the "Arista Years" What does "In the Dark" mean?
MH : Well, it started when we were
making the record, at Marin Vets. I wanted to turn off the lights to
see if we could play. So I had the quippies do that -- and the music
was so funny, because nobody could see -- the fretboards or the tom
toms, or whatever. We kept the groove, but the song went into this
bizarre -- and then I thought of a cover with just eyeballs in the
dark -- it didn't come out the way I thought it would ... and then it
became a running joke. But I started by trying to play in the dark.
It was like us -- we were kind of clowns, it fit us -- a nice light
moment -- only the Grateful Dead could do it....
GG : Got any good Lowell George
stories from his stint as GD producer?
MH : He was a great guitar player, and
he went over the edge -- we had a night when we composed the
unpublished song "The Drum is My Woman" -- I just found the lyrics,
but no one will ever see them. It was sort of an erotic poem to your
drum -- I don't know, but I'll have to check it out.
Question : Are there any plans for another
"Grey Folded" type of project, possibly with new music from the
existing members playing along side an old tape of Jerry?
MH : No no no no no.
GG : On the 29th, "Dozin' at the
Knick", a 3-CD "Vault release on Arista comes out. Was the Knick
MH : It was always cold there.
GG : How are the Mint Juleps
MH : They're great, and back in
England. They're probably sunning themselves on the Riviera.
Question : Mickey, will you be out with the
monks again ?
MH : Of course. The monks will be back
some day, and we'll help out, as always -- but I don't have any dates
at this point.
Question : I thought your Rolling Thunder
album was a great collection of people- I still play it all the time.
Was the invocation done by the same Rolling Thunder that Bob Dylan
MH : Yes.
GG : I want to thank Mickey for coming
tonight A big round of applause! Mickey is in the middle of the Sammy
Hagar album project and is quite absorbed; I appreciate him taking
MH : Hey, it was fun. Thanks a lot,
and we'll see you around. -- Promise.
GG : Now Dennis has a few words about
Dennis McNally : The last new piece of product coming out this fall is really first class Garcia -- for all of you who dig his acoustic stuff, this could be the best playing he did in the 90's -- Jerry and Grisman at Dawg's studio, doing oldtimey classic folk from Mississippi John Hurt's Lewis Collins to the Handsome Cabin Boy to Sweet Sunny South and, yes, Shady Grove. Beautiful stuff -- it'll be out late in October on Acoustic Disc Records (Dawg's label) -- and if you like acoustic, you'll love it. Thanks for "listening" in...
GG : Thank you Dennis for that tasty appetizer!
Thanks for coming everybody
Party in the Rose Garden!
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