Volume #10, Issue #6 -- October 1983

Bits
By Toni

(from Vol. 2 #5--Oct. 1975)

On August 12, 1975, the Grateful Dead had one of their legendary private parties at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.  The party was attended by 400-500 close friends.  The party marked the release of their new album on United Artists.  The defunct group, called the Grateful Dead, reunited and played for their friends.

(from Vol. 3 #2--April 1976)

According to MARIJUANA MONTHLY, Grace Slick said that she once attempted to dose out Richard Nixon.  In 1970 Grace was invited to attend a reunion party given by Tricia Nixon, for Finch College graduates, at the White House.

Slick didn't even make it in the door.  It seems she brought Abbie Hoffman with her, and that was too much of a 'no-no' for the White House.  Grace said she was carrying 600 'mics' and thought that the old man was sure to drop by for a cup of tea.

(from Vol. 2 #5--Oct. 1975)

Back in 1973, the Grateful Dead created their own record company.  The idea had been kicked around for quite a while before that, since they had never been too happy with the way they were handled by Warner Brothers.  The purpose of their new company was to attain total freedom from normal channels.  They originally intended to produce, manufacture, and distribute their recordings by themselves.

With the release of the first album on the Grateful Dead label, Wake of the Flood, they immediately ran into problems.  The trouble was mainly in the lines of manufacture, where they were unable to maintain the high quality standards they had hoped for, and distribution, where they found themselves without the vast network of distributors they needed.  There were also problems with counterfeiting of the album.

Irregardless of that, they pressed on.  They released a second album, From the Mars Hotel, on the same label, and even went on to found a second label, Round Records, for related albums, not by the whole band.  Albums released on Round Records to date include:  Tales Of the Great Rum Runners and Tiger Rose; both by Robert Hunter; Old And in the Way; Compliments of Garcia; Keith and Donna; and Seastones, by Phil Lesh and Ned Lagin.

Besides their normal business ventures, the Dead were attempting to pioneer in new methods of music reproduction.  They were developing a holographic method of reproduction, whereby music could be recorded on tiny, virtually indestructible pyramids.  Another venture currently in preparation is a movie from their concerts last October at Winterland.

Because o fall this, the Dead wound up in debt.  They had three options.  They could do a large scale tour, declare bankruptcy, or sign with a record company.  Since they did not want to tour or go bankrupt, they looked around for a congenial record company.

They have found one in United Artists.  They have just signed a long term contract.  United artists will manufacture, market, and distribute all future Grateful Dead and Round Records products.  Besides future releases, United Artists is assuming responsibility for distribution of past releases on those two labels.

The Dead are understandably glad of the reprieve, and United Artists are overjoyed with the deal.  Commenting on the contract, Al Teller, president of United Artists Records, said:  "The Grateful Dead family has been one of the most influential forces in contemporary music for nearly a decade.  We are proud of and excited about this new association with such a vital musical entity."  Ron Rakow, speaking for the Grateful Dead, noted:  "We are very optimistic about this relationship which will allow us to devote our energies exclusively to creative activities.  We combed the record industry thoroughly and concluded that United Artists is best equipped to help us accomplish our objectives."

(Note:  In 1977, the Grateful Dead left UA and joined the roster of Arista Records--ed)

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