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 Dead.net links to this interview with David Lemooooooooooooooooooooooo–

Really?

-oooooooooooooooooo–

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.

3 Comments

  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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