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Author: Subject: What do people think of Brent Mydland?

Extreme Peach





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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 07:26 AM
Question for any deadheads out here.
What are your feelings on Brent Mydland? I have been listening to the Grateful Dead station on XM a lot for the past few years and feel like my views on the Dead have changed because of it.
Brent was the dead keyboard player from 79-90 before he died of an overdose. I feel Brent really got his spotlight around 88, and was somewhat responsible for the Dead's 80's sound. I don't claim to be a dead expert but I would assume that Brent got a lot more exposure due to Jerry's age and health.
Well here is why I am bringing him up. For the longest time I hated him, i knew he was a good keyboard player but hated his voice thought he drowned out the rest of the band. Up until a few months ago my feelings have completely changed. I love those late 80's shows and thought his contributions are stellar. I love his voice and now think he was an awesome fit at the perfect time for the Dead.
It is impossible to compare 80's Dead to any other decade of their music, kind of like Clapton, but I think my final decision is Brent was awesome, it is a shame he died when he did, he was really hitting the peak of his musical abilities.
I am just curious what other people think of him and his contributions to later Grateful Dead music?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3JzmvGRHt0

 

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Peach Bud



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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 07:35 AM
Yes, Brent was great. He pushed Garcia musically and had both technical skills and emotional focus. He was also lacking in the self-confidence department and fell into addiction, which ended him. Apart from Keith's playing from 72-75, Brent is definitely the best keyboard player the Dead ever had, IMO.
 

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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 08:17 AM
The guy was great. A real solid player and singer. Check out the Down Hill from Here and the new Crimson White and Indigo DVD. Both are from 1989. 89-90 is the last great peak in the Grateful Dead years. It's right up there with the late 70's in my opinion. Brent really came into his own and you can see on the videos how much Garcia really enjoyed playing with him. It's like the 2 were locked in together. Lot's of eye contact and laughs.

I was around 16 or 17 when I first started seeing the Dead. I hate to say it but at the time I really didn't care much for him either. I'm probably not alone in saying it's a classic case of not knowing what you have until it's gone. I don't think I liked Blow Away until I heard it on Dozin at the Knick when it cames out around 96. What a great jam song with Pig Penesque rap at the end. The new DVD has a monster version also. The Dead was clearly lacking after he died. They had some good shows in 91 and a few here and there up until the end but almost every show from 89-90 is worth a listen.



 

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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 09:04 AM
My first real listening of the Brent years with the Dead were from Without A Net. I thought, and still do, that Brent's voice is great. I envisioned an Aretha Franklin standing somewhere on stage in front of a microphone. I was very surprised to find out that it was Brent. I don't really care for the synth sounds the Dead employed more and more in to the late 80's. But it to ohas grown on me.
 

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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 09:54 AM
I think Brent was the best musician the Dead every hired....I was lucky enough to be at his first show

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 09:59 AM
Been listening to Grateful Dead since the beginning and have seen all versions of the band live. I've always liked Brent Mydland and what he brought to the band - from vocals to keyboards. And I always got a sense that he and Jerry had a simpatico relationship - both professionally through the music and personally. IMO they seemed to enjoy playing off of each other and they complimented each other.

[Edited on 8/2/2010 by lolasdeb]

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 10:15 AM
quote:
I think Brent was the best musician the Dead every hired....I was lucky enough to be at his first show


ditto on the first part...not so lucky on the second part

 

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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 10:19 AM
quote:
quote:
I think Brent was the best musician the Dead every hired....I was lucky enough to be at his first show


ditto on the first part...not so lucky on the second part


Why is that Peachjam....It was a long time ago but I remember the show as being pretty solid and a lot better than the show they had done at the Oakland Colosseum that was Donna and Kieth's last show....Greg Kin opened.....Charlie Daniels played support

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 10:29 AM
I remember seeing his first shows with the Dead in New Haven in 79, it seemed like fresh blood energized the band, and they were lucky to have him. I was shocked when he died.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 11:32 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:
I think Brent was the best musician the Dead every hired....I was lucky enough to be at his first show


ditto on the first part...not so lucky on the second part


Why is that Peachjam....It was a long time ago but I remember the show as being pretty solid and a lot better than the show they had done at the Oakland Colosseum that was Donna and Kieth's last show....Greg Kin opened.....Charlie Daniels played support


no doubt, I was just saying I wasn't lucky enough to be there

[Edited on 8/2/2010 by peachjam]

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 02:02 PM
never sold me a record.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 02:13 PM
That last year with Brent is just so consistently excellent - like a whole year of May 77
 

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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 04:40 PM
My thing with Brent was that his songs and singing would often grate me when listening to them on tape. He definitely added a lot to that late 80's sound but I can't think of a single song of his that I ever really liked.

But then I would see him live and say "whoa" this guy really has got some passion and his playing would be superb. I would often leave thinking he had "stole the show". And yes, seeing him and Jerry obviously enjoying each other's company was always a real pleasure too.


 

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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 05:27 PM
Pigpen was the first frontman for the band. Rapping the blues, there was only one Pig.
Tom Constanten was psychadelic classic and different for his short but intense stint. Keith was ragtime and fit right into the spacey jams of the 1970's.
Brent hit his peak in 1989 when I saw the band at Nassau for the spring run. The band played as tight as I have ever seen them, and I saw them first at Nassau in 1973. He was great. Shame that he became another casualty. I don't believe the Grateful Dead ever recovered from his loss. The music was not the same after, and then in 95 , it was over,

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 07:59 PM
the new album from Philly, Brent will send chills with Blown Away
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 08:00 PM
@1:10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74pEMz0LFc8
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 08:05 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROPcZ8S_nwE
 

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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 08:12 PM
great..a member the family
 

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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 10:06 PM
Love listening to 80s Dead shows and I like the Brent songs. They may have been popish but he sang them with such passion

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 10:08 PM
What do people think of Brent Mydland?


Who?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/2/2010 at 10:17 PM
http://www.deadlistening.com/2008/12/1981-february-26-uptown-theater.html
 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 8/4/2010 at 09:14 AM
I cannot get enough of him. I think the band plummetted after he died. Just take a listen to Blow Away on either Dozin at the Knick or Crimson White and Indigo, particularly the latter. On fire. Also, his verson of Never Trust a Woman at his last show is off the hook.
 

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  posted on 8/4/2010 at 11:53 AM
I was familiar with his work with a band called "Silver" before he played with the Dead. This was sometime in the 70's / '80's era. I believe he played in that band with a fella name John Batdorf. It was from the days of acoustic guitars / melodic sound / harmony vocals. When Brent joined the Dead, he showed a totally different side, and I thought he was a good fit during his years.
 

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  posted on 8/4/2010 at 06:46 PM
i'm a huge fan of Brent--one of the most diverse and talented keyboard players--provided a nice sound for the GD & loved his singing--very cool when he & Jerry sang together
 

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  posted on 8/5/2010 at 11:16 AM
im a huge fan of him also was jus streaming some of the late 80s show the otherday

 

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