Chet Helms on The Grateful Dead

A few quotes from a Chet Helms interview published by Relix magazine in 1979, nearly a decade after he closed Family Dog on The Great Highway:

“The Dead are the only people I’ve cared about on a big concert scale to see.”

“As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather deal with [Bill] Graham than any of the Dead roadies, and some of them were fairly close friends in the past. I don’t like walking around backstage and feeling like for just standing in the wrong place I might get a knuckle sandwich.”

“Although one of the greatest things the Dead have maintained all these years is letting people stand onstage while they play, they reinforce a lot of exclusionary things in the music scene. By and large, the Dead and others let the audience sit there for an hour without having the courtesy of bringing on another band who could have that focus of attention. Energy is like money in the general economy: when it circulates, everybody benefits; when it’s held back, everyone suffers.”

“I have mixed feelings about the Dead. They virtually inherited the sensor image of community that existed here when people looked to the San Francisco scene and the magic of the ’60s. The exemplar of that now is the Dead, and that’s a thing of them believing their own press. It’s being fed back to them and they’re believing it.”

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Published in: on March 16, 2010 at 6:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

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