Though the Dead’s collective profile has been less visible this year there’s been no letup in activity. Jerry Garcia is rehearsing with an as-yet-unnamed group that includes bassist John Kahn, drummer Ronnie Tutt and keyboard ace Nicky Hopkins. Bill Kreutzmann has joined Keith and Donna Godchaux’s jazz and R&B band (currently called Keith & Donna), though manager Jon McIntire is tempted to rename it the Godchaux-Kreutzmann Band “just to make it more interesting.” Phil Lesh has teamed up with MIT-trained composer Ned Lagin to create Seastones, a venture into `bio-electric music’ (one Round Records LP out so far). Bob Weir has been gigging for several months around California with Kingfish, a rock and blues band featuring ex-New Riders bassist David Torbert, and will soon enter the studio to begin a solo album. And finally, there’s Mickey Hart’s innovative Diga Rhythm Band, a high-energy percussion ensemble showcasing tabla master Zakir Hassain.
—John Grissim (Rolling Stone, 11/6/75)
We made a few of the Round Records albums at Mickey’s ranch studio. Two of them are pictured here, Tiger Rose by Robert Hunter and Seastones by Phil Lesh and Ned Lagin.
Tiger Rose was recorded at Mickey Hart’s Barn recording studio in 1975. It is Hunter’s second album.
Keith & Donna’s son Zion is featured on this album cover with doodles on his head courtesy of Jerry Garcia.
Most of Seastones was recorded at the Barn.
Phil Lesh, from hardcover edition of the book
Jerry Garcia, from paperback edition of the book
Is the Dead Going to Die
We falter and fall away, nothing holds. Political action is impossible. All we are left with are our arts. I propose we turn our tools away from the service of all but their muses. Great deeds are needed. It is time to retreat. It is time to advance backwards. No longer are there any choices. What a relief. People tire and you can only do one thing so long. The band is tired of touring for ten years and needs to take a year and go fishing, because they really do. They all have projects they wish to pursue and new material to write. Anyone who does not want them to do it is wanting them to drop dead on the spot through a collective weariness which only a total change can combat. We mean to keep an office together during the vacation, but revenues will be slight. The Dead Heads list has been turned over to Grateful Dead Records to maintain and to let you know what they’re doing — so please be patient if it takes a while to get a response of some sort. Each of the departments of the Grateful Dead must now become self supporting in order for the organism as a whole to remain healthy. There is a scheme to keep the overall structure intact so that there is something to take care of the details as the show goes back on the road. It is the fine response of Dead Heads over the years which leads us to conclude that there is something worth maintaining and that is what we’re up to.
– Robert Hunter (Dead Heads Newsletter)
Photo Credits: Tiger Rose art – Mouse/Kelly, Phil – Dr. Bob Marks, Jerry – Bob Seidemann