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It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.

Both are fantastic and the best of the best.. IMHO

Wow... a lot of wrong stereotyping here. I'll throw out some personnel opinion that I think to be truths.

Mostly, the Grateful Dead "thing" isn't about being stoned or lifestyle, it's about the music and I'll add that Jerry Garcia's musical "paintings" are very lovable.

They have the most prolific catalog that is second to none. You can put Steely Dan, The Stones and name your band and triple it and you will have the beginning of what you can explore in the GD catalog. If you add Garcia's output to the equation(Bluegrass, Western, Dylan, Jazz, Motown genre's)you (me) have a lifetime of discovery. Not all of it is great or even good and you can find plenty to criticize. Even some of my favorite songs aren't entirely good. Sometimes you have to "suffer" through some songs to get to when the band starts clicking or a Garcia solo that gives you goose bumps. You know when you are a true fan when you start loving the "bad" stuff.

Grateful Dead fans for the most part don't care if you like the Grateful Dead or not. So, I'm not going to try to make any converts but I will say this: Jazz greats like Ornette Coleman and Branford Marsalis don't play with wanna be's. They play with artists of the highest order and they both loved to play with the Grateful Dead.

As I get older, I don't listen to (as much anyway) the Stones or Zeppelin or Credence or most other classic rock bands I've loved over the years. But I still listen to the Dead and maybe even more. Very hard to describe but a lot of the music has a mellow bouncy quality, even when it's "rocking". See... Cornell 5/8/77 as the ultimate example of this.

My Magnum Opus is not Grateful Dead but a Jerry Garcia Band set. I listen to it at least once a month and have for years... it's the gift that keeps on giving: After Midnight- Keens College 2/28/80 Disc TWO. It warms you up with a sweet Marvin Gaye cover and then on to the groovy Tulsa sound of JJ Cale and then builds into a haunting and epic Beetles cover and finishes back to earth with Cale. It's moody, sophisticated, surprising and builds into an epic crescendo. It is not light listening. The rhythm section is simultaneously jazz quartet nimble and powerful. Garcia's playing is at it's very finest in coherence and improvisation. If I had a time machine and one ride to take, it would be to the front row of this set.

Steely Dan- Wow... what a fantastic band: Sophisticated and cool, the guitar riffs and horn sections, the weaving of jazz and rock and that's just the sound. The lyrics are equally cool and fun. New England Prep school meets Soho and Southern Cal Bohemia. There's nothing like it. Love everything about them with one big exception, there's just not enough of it. I cant keep listening to the exact same studio version of Pretzel Logic over and over again. I wish they had played live more with improvised versions of their catalog. (BTW... Grateful Dead has 3500 live shows floating out there).



Edits: 11/02/20

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