Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Diagnosis: Completism

In a rare display of helpfulness, one of the commentators over at links to this interview with David Lemooooooooooooooooooooooo–



Stop it.

–ooox on the subject of the Europe ’72 box set, which was expensive and audacious and all-encompassing and hand-crafted from obscure wood: it was the perfect Grateful Dead release. It looked like this:

europe 72 box open

The shows are individually packaged up all nice; there are booklets of both the hard and soft covered varieties; the box is a manner old-timey. If the inside of your luggage looked like that, then you were on the winning side of Colonialism. I’m not a collector of anything tangible, but this fucker is cool; I would approve of someone purchasing one.

The interview is worth reading: DL goes into detail about the technical bullshit behind releasing a massive chunk of Dead like this, all the inside-baseball stuff about the 22-show, 73-CD box. But if you don’t have the time, I have collated the salient points for you:

  • Billy kept calling Rhino and demanding the set be titled You’re A-Peein’ Tour.
  • At several points during the interview, DL gets distracted by animals and the weather.
  • The mixing and mastering and whatnot took more than a year, mostly because of all the subliminal messages they had to weave into the music.
  • Due to several obscure treaties concerning the intellectual rights of countries, by purchasing the Europe ’72 set you become an EU citizen; you will have to let some refugees stay in your basement.
  • As usual, information about Bobby’s espionage activities during the tour have been censored by Big Dead.
  • A vinyl release was considered until someone did the math and realized that 22 Dead shows equals a million, billion LPs.
  • There are five golden CDs hidden within the 7200 boxes; the people who find them get to come to The Vault, where they will be murdered ironically by oompa-loompas.
  • Mickey wanted to put raccoons in the collector’s-item cases.
  • “Furious ones,”
  • Mickey said.
  • So David Lemieux said,
  • “What?”
  • “It’ll be funny. When the raccoon leaps out.”
  • “But you won’t be there when the person opens it, Mick.”
  • “We’ll know it happened, though.”
  • “And wouldn’t the raccoon die?”
  • “They’re tough little fuckers.”
  • And so on.
  • The stalwart (and under-appreciated) Jeffrey Norman required eight months to mix and master all three-and-a-half day’s worth of Dead music; throughout the process, David Lemieux would send him notes such as “Are those new trousers? They fit you well,” and “I believe in you, Jeffyballs,” and “You’re the best;” Jeffrey Norman was heartened by DL’s direct and sincere show of friendship and support, but he put an end to the Jeffyballs bullshit immediately.
  • Considered making Keith audible at all times, but finally decided on making Keith audible at some times.
  • Once you open the case and remove the booklets, you need to keep the softcover and hardcover separated; they will mate, and you will have pamphlets on your hands.
  • Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings is gluten-free.
  • During this interview, David Lemieutopiax is asked about whether releasing all of one tour would lead to further “theme” boxes; the questioner brings up a “Complete Cleveland” compilation, and DL does not begin to loudly berate him about how Atlanta would be a much better candidate for a complete collection; that is good manners.
  • On the other hand, are there any enormous themes left for another huge box?
  • Let’s see:
    • The only weapon in the Dead’s sheath as imbued with weight and importance (maaaaaan) is the Wall. You could do a complete ’74, but a bunch of shows have already been released and then there’s the September European tour; at least three of those shows are utter stinkers, not even average or boring: downright bad. But if you’re doing the “complete” thing, then you have to put them on.
    • Every New York City show: 157 shows, which puts you around 460 compact discs. The packaging could be a life-size Checker cab, and the mixing and mastering would take Jeffrey Norman the rest of his life.
    • TC Comes Alive: The Complete Tom Constanten Year-And-A-Half.
    • A random show from ’79, but slowed down so much that it takes up 70 CDs, and it comes in a nice wooden box.
    • 231 shows. 700 discs. $4,000. Every Dark Star show. It comes with Hologram Garcia. (Do not make Hologram Garcia.)
      • Hey, look at what I can do.
      • Stop screwing around.
      • I wonder if it goes any further. Do I dare?
        • AHHHHHHH!
        • Knock it off! Go back to normal.
        • I can’t! I don’t know how!
          • See!
          • Motherfucker, you put us back where we’re supposed to be.
          • OKAY. Wait. I think I can do this.
            • Shit.
            • I hate you.


  1. Luther Von Baconson

    April 27, 2016 at 10:48 am

    daughter-bullets. a first, no?

  2. Mean, Green, Devil Eating Machine

    April 27, 2016 at 11:46 am

    When is this Europe 72 box set being released?

  3. The list of possibilities is missing the Missing box, containing all the shows missing from The Vault.

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