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Consistency is the Consequence

The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, all the million-dollar-groups could have it done easily, just by financial conditions, but it only required a group like the Grateful Dead to take a chance on the apparently impossible step: to be completely on their own and make up their own record label. The Dead have always been archetypes, in musical termes and as an extended family, now they made this step first. And by nearly equal earnings and expenses (1972: earnings
$1,424,534 – expenses slightly more than $100,000 a month) nobody can tell where this journey will lead. As Jerry Garcia once said: “The concept of the Grateful Dead is like an insane fast trip on a knife’s edge. Nobody knows where we’ll nosedive. Up to this point we stayed above.”
–Hans-Joachim Krüger (German magazine Sounds, February 1974)

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Bill ‘Kidd’ Candelario on the phones

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Pigpen meets Europe

The Dead arrived late Monday, not quite fresh from a two-day overland haul from Hamburg. Germany. Yet, when they awoke on Tuesday, just as on the first day in each new country so far a copy of their own Xeroxed newspaper; the Bozos & Bolos News, had been slipped under their hotel room doors.

The Dead began drifting into Room 4600 about noon. This was the Office Suite. where Rosie prepared the Bozos & Bolos News and others manned the telephones, while Sam Cutler greased the Dead machine – changing German marks into French francs and handing out daily “road money” ($10 for the ladies, $15 for the gentlemen, for food), dispatching couriers to check an English festival site and see why the latest Dead single wasn’t getting the desired promotion. worrying about lights and sound checks and transportation and luggage and laundry.

When the Dead arrived in Paris they’d been on the road exactly a month. They’d played two nights in London’s Wembly Pool (to 8,000 each night) and to smaller crowds in Copenhagen and what seemed to be half the cities in West Germany. The Dead had appeared at a festival in England in 1970, had performed at a free concert in France in 1971, but never had they done The Grand Tour, long de rigueur for American bands anxious to improve European record sales.

Outside Room 4600 the day was warm, the sky a cloudless blue. In small groups, the Dead set out to see the sights.

“Today is a free day,” the Bozos & Bolos News had said. “In the evening, Kinney is hosting a dinner for all of us (and a few discreet press people) at a very fine restaurant located in the Bois de Boulogne (the city park, but what a park!). It is called La Grande Cascade, and holy shit, is it ever neat! You might even feel like dressing special for it, although you don’t have to. It’s just that kind of place. . .”

At 7 o’clock, Sam Cutler was telling the bus drivers he was sorry, but could they please do this one thing. .. yeh, he knew he’d given them the day off, but they could have the next two days off, there was just this one dinner .. and yeh, of course they could join the boys for the Royal Kinney Feast.

By eight the ‘labor dispute’ had been settled and we were off by bus to Le Grande Cascade, a splendid wedding cake of a room with oval walls of glass that look out onto a lawn of blossoming chestnut trees. The dinner lasted three and a half hours. (As long as a Grateful Dead concert set.) During the serving of liqueurs, which followed the Alsatian Riesling Grande Reserve and the Chateau Meyney “Prieure Des Couleys” 1959 and the Champagne Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut, things got a little loose. That was when the Dead turned the waiters on.

“Here ya are, mon-sore. Do yer head some good.”

The waiter stood stiffly in his black tie and tails. Timidly he allowed the pipe to be raised to his lips. He sucked deeply, there was a cheer, he smiled, and the pipe was passed.
—Jerry Hopkins (Rolling Stone)

Photos: Main – Mark Raizene, Inset – Mary Ann Mayer