Hey Now!

Dick's Picks Live Chat, February 29, 2000, 7PM PST

I thought it would be a good idea to talk to Jeffrey and David, since the Deadhead community has been so concerned about the future of the Vault, and in a vacuum of info, rumors start to fly (remember the big Microsoft rumor?) Jeffrey and David were more than happy to oblige, and dead.net's very own Sue Swanson set us up in the computer room at GDP headquarters, and we had a ball.

So...we had a small crowd of people in the GDF Conference Room peppering David and Jeffrey with questions, and we tried, in vain, to focus on Dick's Picks 16. Well, you get the idea!

Geoff Gould
GDForum.com sysop

David Lemieux and Jeffrey Norman

(Click here for some other pics)

Copyright 2000 GDForum.com and AOL, Editing courtesy of ChinaRider@aol.com

Geoff Gould: Since Dick Latvala passed on to the great vault in the sky, (imagine the juicy tapes he's digging now!) everyone wondered what would happen to the Dick's Picks series. Grateful Dead Productions has released 2 volumes since Dick's passing, the most recent being Number 16, from the Fillmore on 11/8/69. DP16 is only available from GDP, so check out dead.net. Tonight we are chatting with the two people who most closely resemble the "new face of Dick's Picks:" Audio engineer Jeffrey Norman and audio/visual archivist David Lemieux. Welcome Jeffrey and David !

David Lemieux: Thanks it's nice to be here

Jeffrey Norman: Hi there

Lindsay planer: David ... what is your background and what were the circumstances of you joining the GDM folk?

DL: My background is varied and diverse.

JN: John Cutler initially hired David as a film archivist...since his appearance here, his many talents & love of the music has shown through.

Cptn Trips: David and Jeffrey, are you "in charge" of the Vault now in the same sense that Dick was?

DL: well, "in charge" is not really the best way to put it - we work in there, as well as in the studio.

JN: I guess we're sort of the last filter for the vault. There are many people in and out of the band that help determine what comes out. But we have the keys!!!

DL: But as the material in there is so sensitive, it's best to only let a couple of people have access.

DBudd69918: Dave, when it comes to releasing stuff, do you guys pick it or do you go to the 'outside' for help?

DL: well, we haven't really "picked" anything specific yet. Dick, God love him, left behind many notes. It was a joy to walk through the vault with him and have him grab a tape off of the shelf. and say, "this will one day be a DP".

Lindsay planer: Jeffrey, take me through the whole process of creating Dick's Picks #16

JN: Lindsay, without Dick the process is a little different. Dick left many notes, suggestions as to what he wanted to come out. We have that info, as well as Dick has pointed specifically to shows to both David & myself. And there are many friends of Dick's out there that offer ideas. Ultimately we have to choose on performance, sound quality, era, and other esoteric stuff.

GG: I've been dropping hints here too! I couldn't help it, seeing all those reel-to-reel boxes!

DL: We rely on those sorts of notes and memories. We need those sorts of requests. One thing Dick taught me was to always have open ears. If a show is recommended, it will be listened to.

AlohaMRJ: Is it true Dick left a GD tape time capsule in a cave near Pahoa, Hi.?

DL: Don't know about time capsule...

SKULLnROSE: along with more releases from the vault can we expect some more video releases?

DL: Video releases are a good possibility

Cptn Trips: Brent shows from the 80's!! we want Brent! we want Brent!! ;)

DL: Thanks Capn...

Lindsay planer: regarding #16 what sort of tape stock - 6 or 10 inch reels? And @ what speed?

DL: 7" reels at 7.5 ips.

TreesRocksRivers: Is it true there isn’t going to be releases after 82 because of a clause in the contract with Arista?

DL: I don't know about that Trees

WPfan10071: I would like to hear Unbroken Chain live, any chance that could show up on any of the up come CDs?

DL: Well, Phil's reason for not putting an Unbroken Chain on the box set was that he never really thought the Dead nailed it in concert.

GG: I don't think the live versions of UBC are that listenable from a repeated point of view.

Pobbyweir33: pitsburgh 95 has continuously blown me and many other friends of mine away...please listen to it again

DL: Thanks poppy.

Lindsay planer: From your perspective and other than yourselves, who do you feel are your toughest critics?

DL: You are our toughest critics and you are who we listen to.

DBudd69918: Do the band members have favorite shows they talk about?

DL: DBudd... not really

Lindsay planer: What is the multi-track mandate ... we have not had one since the '69 Fillmore East show.

DL: We will hopefully see one rather soon.

JN: There will a multitrack out this fall. I can't tell you what it is, but you will like it.

Kbl36: how about Garcia shows, or does ms koons have ownership ?

JN: Yes, Deborah Koons has charge of Garcia tapes.

Kbl36: when will the Garcia stuff be out?

JN: I don't know when Garcia stuff will be out, but I believe this year.

Truknbones: aren't we supposed to be talking about dp16?

GG: yes, Truk, let's talk about DP16!

Cptn Trips: Whats the story behind "Dick's Gift"?

DL: and what is Dick's Gift?

Cptn Trips: I have heard of tapes called "Dick's Gift", out takes of LOM and Merl Jerry stuff from 71 to 75

GG: trust us, no answers here on whatever the heck Dick's Gifts are!

DL: I don't know of them, really

USmonkey1: How difficult wuz it 2-fill Dick's shoes...???...Any apprehension...???

DL: no one can fill Dick's shoes.

JN: I'm not even close to filling those shoes. I just hope we can do him proud!

GG: so, why DP 16? why that date?

DL: That was Dick's favourite show.

GG: David's a Canadian, you can tell from his spelling!

DL: Dick wanted that show for a long time but the audio problems prevented its release.

GG: there are some clams.

Lindsay planer: what software did you use to de-click?

JN: As you know, 11-8-69 has mucho problems Dark Star and before. I used absolutely as much as the master analog as possible. when the clicking is too audible, I used a post production declicking tool from Cedar. It does a great job getting rid of the clicks, but it also leaves some bad audio side effects. I did lots of cutting and pasting betweeen declicked and normal sound files. that's why you'll still here some clicks every once in awhile.

GG: is this like solving an old crime with modern DNA tools?

Wallpizza: any chance of a Video Dick's pick?

DL: Yes, Wallpizza, we are working on developing a DP-style video series

GG: lots of video reels in the vault.

Gr8philRed: don't turn the whole video deal into a KeyZ production style - please.

DL: Gr8phil: a DP style video series will be tasteful

MIXINNIXON: Why was King Bee cut from DP16??

DL: Dead Base was wrong. there is no King Bee.

Kbl36: who in the band shows interest in what’s put out?

DL: Well, I think they respect our judgement enough to not really interfere. Since Phil stopped being part of the DP team, it has been left to Dick, John and Jeffrey

GG: does anyone have the poster for 11/8/69? Does it say Fillmore West or Fillmore?

DL: Not I

Lindsay planer: It's west I have the poster in front of me.

DL: I must say, that DP 16 gets more interesting on each listen

Lindsay planer: IT ROCKS

DL: well said Lindz

SKULLnROSE: If you have connections with Ben & Jerry’s suggest a dicks picks ice cream flavor ;-)

GG: That brings up an important question. Jeffrey and David, we need to know your favorite ice cream flavor. It's tradition here,

DL: well, I love orange sherbet. Or sorbet as we say in Canada

GG: sorbet costs more than sherbet!

JN: Vanilla...sorry for the ordinariness

Gr8fuljwood: any video dp out in 2000

DL: Hopefully yes GR8 - Soon, actually, for the DP video. There was MANY shows video taped, mostly 1988-95, for the video screens. They all sound and look great and could be sued for video releases.

Lindsay planer: GIMMIE HINTS ON shapes of things to come

GG: yeah Lindsay!

Lonekoyote: Future DxPx determined by--Dx Notes?

JN: Lonekoyote, pretty much Dick pointed out specific shows, as well as general areas.

DL: There have been a lot of requests for 1984-1988 DPs. Many don't realize that those years have atrocious audio quality

JN: There are many years that would be great, but we don't have a lot of them.

DL: There are various problems with all of those years that prevent most shows in those years from being released, Dick looked long and hard for some shows from the 84-85 period, and the audio quality just lacked.

Pobbyweir33: 90's?

JN: Pobbyweir33, of course

Lindsay planer: so .. what other stuff is in the vault besides dead ... you ought check that out

DL: Well, there is a lot of other stuff, but it is not really ours to dig into. Bands the Dead used to play with, and that sort of thing

Lindsay planer: oh ... i see

Kbl36: how did Gans and Jackson and the others get to be in charge of So Many Roads.

JN: by invitation by Peter McQuaid

TreesRocksRivers: I swear I read something that Dick stated there was problems with Arista, in releasing anything post 82.

DL: Trees: there is no truth to that, in terms of using two track live shows.

JN: Trees...there is no Arista problem with 80's tapes...its just that most are cassette, often are dry sound boards, and the mixes were for the hall, not for tape.

MIXINNIXON: is there going to be a dp16 tour of the east coast??

DL: That is in the works, MIXIN

WPfan10071: Have you guys thought of looking for Personal tapes to help fill in the bad spots on your tapes?

DL: Well, Dick never really looked for the holes. To Dick, if the master wasn't here, he did not seek it. Hence, the Betty tapes are not in the vault in any format

Truknbones: are we ever gonna talk about dp16???

GG: ask a specific question about dp16 truk, and they'll answer

JN: Truknbones, please ask away on DP16

Kbl36: how long have the both of you been into the dead?

DL: I've been listening since 1985, first show in spring 87 (thanks mom)

Lonekoyote: How about a GD lottery--lucky winner gets to pick a DxPx?

GG: I'd like to win that contest lonekoyote!

DL: I am going to a lottery for the next DP. The day before it's released, I'll ask what people think it'll be and then the closest gets a copy on me

Truknbones: is the main ten here a rare find???

DL: There are a couple of other Main tens - There's a great one on 6-7-70 - Or maybe it's 6-6-70 - Deadbase calls it the Eleven. They were off by a number. It's a better Main Ten than 11-8-69

GG: I always liked the Main Ten on Rolling Thunder

Lindsay planer: Two words - Acid Tests??? What is releasable??

JN: acid test tapes are weird, weird...releasable, I don't know

Wallpizza: Have you thought about putting the DP's out by subscription? a la Book of the month club?

DL: It's been thought of - But...with credit cards expiring, people moving etc, it's a logistical nightmare

Pobbyweir33: release them real cheap;)

GG: DP's are already real cheap, a true bargain

Lindsay planer: and what of the WARNER's STUFF?

JN: No plans currently for remastering Warner's stuff

Truknbones: were they tryin stuff out for the studio albums here???

GG: they already tried remastering twice I believe on Anthem and Aoxomoxoa

Bricon7: when will we see a new video release?

DL: This summer we hope, Bri.

JN: Bricon, well anything is possible!

DL: We have just been given the green light for the DP video series, so it'll be sometime this year.

Trpr T: what show is up for video??

DL: no show has yet been decided on for a video

GG: I want to see the closing of Winterland video!

DL: There are aboot 100 or so good videos in the vault. I mean, full shows. That sort of thing

Romeo42246: when is Phil’s 60th b’day concert

DL: next Friday

Wallpizza: I love DP 16!!!!!!!!!!

JN: Hey I love DP 16 too

GG: what do you like the most wall?

Wallpizza: I love the long extended jams that comprise discs 2 &3

SKULLnROSE: do all the band members have to agree before you release a dicks pick?

DL: Not at all

JN: The band members actually do not enter the Dick's Picks fray...they figure that its better left to influences from Deadheads. Dick was one of the headiest, so it was a perfect match.

Gr8philRed: is there any way of releasing a dp with the accompanying bands??

GG: gr8phil, I think other bands from gd gigs would be cool, if not quite historic

Gr8philRed: maybe a new riders and a gd show combined?

JN: Gr8phil, that might happen. Certainly we like to get some guest appearances out. Usually arrangements with record companies are made for a specific show, and artist. It usually all negotiable.

Trpr T: are there any good quality videos from 72 to 74

DL: There are a couple of videos bits and pieces from 72-74, Tivoli 72, and then the outtakes from the October 74 Winterland shows. The GD Movie would be a great DVD release with an hour or so of outtakes included. It's a big project, thought, so it won't be anytime soon. I went through all the GD Movie outtakes (1000 reels of 16mm film) and they are incredible!

Wallpizza: When IS the Dead movie coming out on DVD???

GG: Monterey Home Video publishes that, maybe they will release the GD Movie on DVD?

DL: Wall: it will be get done, but not until we have time to do outtakes on the end.

PLemi95: What about Alpine Meadows?

DL: Alpine Valley - A great place.

Lindsay planer: why not put the outtakes in the movie?

DL: That, Lindz, would mess with Jerry's movie

Lindsay planer: AH - GOOD POINT

DL: They'd go at the end, as bonus tracks. We have discussed it, the GD Movie and it will be as bonus tracks or not at all.

Lindsay planer: how about the '85 video shoot i have seen other stuff from that?

DL: So Far? There is ALOT of footage from the So Far video shoot. That, too, would make a great release.

Truknbones: so far too???

DL: So Far Too indeed

NPgable: How bout anything from Sunshine Daydream??

GG: I have heard a band member say it will never be released

DL: Sunshine Daydream is owned by Kesey - What a great show, though. Kesey owns the films

Truknbones: was there a video from europe 72???

DL: Yes, a video from 4-17-72

Wallpizza: Cumberland Blues on DP 16-Yuck However, if you guys had left it off I would have been VERY angry because I like to hear the complete shows - warts and all.

DL: Thanks Wallpizza

GG: good point pizza; I don't see why we can't have some releases that aren't whole shows myself (blasphemy)

JN: Wallpizza, thank you very much!! We really struggled with the funkiness of Cumberland. In the end, it seemed the entire show should be released. And the early sound problems caused much debate. Dick figured that I would never let the 1st set out because of the sound quality, and maybe at some point i would have felt that way. But now, I really love the whole show concept, warts and all. And Dick would have dug this entire release

DL: Thanks again Wall. That's what we needed to hear

Bricon7: who's picking the Dick's Picks now that Dick has left the building?

DL: well, there is this guy down the hall. Really, Dick's notes are what guide us on the next DPs

Lindsay planer: From your perspective and other than yourselves, who do you feel are your toughest critics and what do they want?

DL: The critics are Deadheads, and especially DNC and internet users. There are some rabid Deadheads out there, All with valid opinions.

Lonekoyote: Suggestion: More elaborate liner notes and photos for DxPx.

DL: Duly noted, re. liner notes and photos

Lindsay planer: are you going to continue with his notebooks?

DL: Yes, his notebooks do guide us, and he did tell us several shows he wanted to be DP some day

Wallpizza: We were very worried how the DP series would fare after Dick's passing. You guys are batting 1000%

DL: Thanks Wallpizza

JN: Wallpizza, you're very kind...but we're putting out what Dick wanted, so far it’s been easy

Kbl36: whats up with the terrapin station project??

DL: Terrapin is out of our (studio and vault) hands.

Lindsay planer: how close are we to being able to get shows on demand?

DL: Lindz: shows on demand, eh? maybe some day, but not until the the audio quality of such an undertaking would be satisfactory to GDP.

GG: shows on demand kind of reminds me of the laser device no bigger than a pack of cigarettes they were talkin’ about in 74

TonyLathrop: I can get you guys pictures and flyers from 10-19-73 if you need them !

DL: Thanks Tony...

Truknbones: any clue for dp17???

DL: Truck: we are headed in a good direction

Jenstvn: how much are band members involved in the DP selection process?? more or less since DL passed?

DL: Jenstvn: no more or no less active since Dick died

NPgable: Are we gonna see any increase in the # of picks released in a year??

DL: NP: we hope to increase the level of releases. As we all know, Dick always wanted more

Lonekoyote: Is software available yet for downloading shows directly from Bob's brain?

GG: lol Lone!

Gr8philRed: what about the caveat emptors on the back of the liner notes????

JN: Cutler does a great job making up the caveat emptor. He's still involved by the way, we talk and confer with John often about upcoming releases.

TonyLathrop: use Dick's notes for liner notes

DL: Dick's notes are illegible for publication purposes

Wallpizza: I thought the "Cutler = the great obstacle" credit was hilarious!

JN: Wallpizza, Cutler made that credit himself!!

Wallpizza: any news on a vault release of 4.28-29.71??

DL: A Fillmore 71 vault release is back-burnered. but, you will be satisfied with this year's release.

Lindsay planer: Will the multitracks be on arista?

DL: That the record-business side of things, of which I know nothing. The way I like it...

Lindsay planer: thanks david

DL: a multi-track anytime Lindz

Lindsay planer: and two more dick's picks

DL: DP scedule remains the same. It'll be a busy year

Lindsay planer: so a video ... THIS YEAR?

DL: Lindz, a Video this year, yes...

Jenstvn: do band member sign off on DP projects or do they actively participate and throw out show dates?

DL: Jenstvn. The band respects our judgement, and doesn't get too involved. They care, but they are busy, and they know that what is picked will be unique, good quality, and great performance

JN: Jenstvn, no band members do not actively participate in DPs

Kbl36: how did you get your jobs?

JN: I got my job by being able to handle Parish's scrutiny at Front St!!

Kbl36: what year was that? that you got hired?

DL: I was hired aboot a year ago and worked on contract alot for the past year, and then was hired full time in September

Wallpizza: Any chance that you guys might frequent the DNC a little more often? ;^)

JN: Wallpizza, I don't participate in DNC too much just because I seem too busy. I will try to pay more attention because I like the input (really!)

DL: We will stop into DNC more often.

Wallpizza: Well Jeffrey we would love to have more of your input over there. You too David!

GG: I'm trying to get them to stop in here too!

Sled4now: Are there enough of Dicks notes to continue indefinetly?

GG: indefinitely is a long time sled!

Eyes710: when the next time will see some late 80's 90's dicks picks??

DL: Eyes: we don't know, but those years will not be ignored

Truknbones: were did this Lovelight come from, the same night???

DL: Lovelight is from 11-7-69, the night before

Lindsay planer: how did you choose the fade for disc two Jeff?

JN: I give the fade credit on disc 2 to David

Kbl36: i still would enjoy a best of series, instead of whole shows any chance?

GG: me too kbl

JN: Kh136, yes i will get off my whole show bias, and there will be some kind of best of a run, or something. As long as I have any say, it won't be a Dick's Zone.

DL: KBL: the consensus seems to be people like full shows, but if a two-night run warrants it, we will always look at a best of.

Bricon7: how about trouper's hall 1966

DL: Trouper's Hall, eh? Something to think aboot....

Lindsay planer: what if full shows don't exist

DL: Lindz: good point. Good example is 8-31-80. A no-brainer Dick's Picks. I mean, an incredible show. One of the best first sets I've ever heard. But, we do not have the 2nd set.

Sled4now: what about guest spots, Branford,Santana...

DL: Sled: there has been talk of a boxed set featuring special guests.

RJMSalem: how about some Legion of Mary shows?

JN: We don't really have input for Garcia shows. Cutler is working on that now

Gr8philRed: i think you should bounce around between eras - hit a 60s, then an 80s, maybe a 90s - repeat especially for those who've never been able to attend a 60s or 70s show

JN: Gr8phil, good idea

Lindsay planer: gimmie best of soundchecks

DL: Give me best of Yellow Dog Stories...

JN: Lindsay, how about a 2 Cd set of tuning

Lindsay planer: or better yet ... take a step back

DL: This is what we call Dead Air

GG: I'd like to see some more plunderphonic treatments

Gr8fuljwood: MORE 89-90 shows with brent

DL: There seems to be alot more Brent fans than many of us ever knew. I am a huge Brent fan. I was listening to some great 1987 stuff today, and it amazed me how soulful he was.

Bricon7: how about vince?

DL: BriCon7: we know you are big fan, so we'll do what we can to get more Vince out there

Lonekoyote: How about a Dick's Pans--worst versions ever? (Kidding)

JN: Lonekoyote, Dick once made me a cassette of "the worse" yikes, it was something

DBudd69918: Dave, is it a lot of fun?

DL: DBudd, YES

GG: I have a question for you guys. To what extent is the Vault haunted? How do you feel Dick's presence now?

JN: Hunter just told Bobby that he knows the vault is haunted...by Dick!

Gr8philRed: maybe Wendy could confirm

JN: I'll give Wendy the call

GG: I think y'all are running out of gas, what else do you (JN and DL) want to say?

JN: Thanks for all the comments...and questions...thanks for giving me my job!

Gr8philRed: it's kind of convenient that you'd run "out of gas" on the hour

GG: it's not me gr8. we have no limits.

Lindsay planer: speak for yourself: What is the largest challenge facing you both?

DL: Ensuring Dick would be happy with our work

SKULLnROSE: Dave and Jeff feel free to Email me to set up some trades

GG: right skull!

Lindsay planer: #16 what was the tape stock and speed

DL: 7" tape, 7.5 ips, Scotch tape

JN: Re DP 16 speed...it has various speeds, judging by Schoolgirl...just kidding

Aikoace: For JN and DL what are you guys listening to NOW ?)

GG: we hear the sound of keyboards clacking now

DL: I am listening to Lightning Norman type like a maniac with two fingers

JN: We're listening to Bob Weir's new album being recorded

DBudd69918: hey dave, bill here..

DL: Hey Bill T

DBudd69918: whats your favorite show right now?

DL: DBudd: I keep going back to 8-31-80, But I only have the 1st set...

Truknbones: c'mon!!!.... whats dp17???

GG: jeez truk, 16 isn't even cold yet!

DL: Truck: we don't know. And if we did, well, you know the rest....

Trpr T: is Weir's new album live or studio?

DL: Ratdog album is studio and it is sounding great

Gr8fuljwood: WEIR with all new tunes?

DL: Yes, Ratdog with all new tunes

Trpr T: Ashes & Glass

DL: that's one song

DBudd69918: is Bobby playing well?

JN: Bobby is playing great, as well as singing great. He's in working every day...I think it'll be a great album

SKULLnROSE: is the Ratdog cd named yet?

DL: no name for Ratdog CD, but it is really good

Gr8fuljwood: how many songs on the Ratdog album?

DL: No final cuts on the Ratdog album have yet even made, but I think you will all be happy with it

Lonekoyote: Confirm rumor: Entire 69 Live Dead run as Box Set?

DL: Lone: can't confirm, won't deny

Lindsay planer: Could you quash or validate the rumors that you are in cahoots w/ Microsoft.

JN: I am NOT in cahoots with Microsoft, I'll tell you that. And the GD org isn't either

Kbl36: what about the vault sale????

DL: vault sale: Sold, Dollar and quarter!

GG: the soda machine across from the Vault stole my dollar bill

DL: I really know nothing aboot the "vault sale", except that it is not being sold.

Lindsay planer: When Will FURTHUR 2K be announced?

Gr8philRed: what about the nye show this year? any plans?

JN: You guys are asking tour questions that I can't answer. They put me in the back of the building, and try not to tell me what's going on. Thank God David is paying attention for me.

Trpr T: why don't you guys leak me a tape or two?? I'll gladly spread it around!

DL: Thanks for the offer Trpr T

Lindsay planer: what's the weather like in Novato?

DL: sunny and 68

Sled4now: who is going to win the world series next year?

DL: Expos

JN: Sled4now, now you're talking good questions

Gr8fuljwood: cal expo shows in 89 yes

DL: Gr8: possible...

GG: Ok guys,I think we're done I'd like to thank Jeffrey Norman and David Lemieux for being our guests tonight. I hope we can get them back again

DL: Thanks everyone. Stay in touch.

Gr8fuljwood: david & john thanks keep it coming

DL: That's Jeffrey to you, buddy

JN: Thank you all, I'm a virgin chatroomer. and I hardly feel violated

GG: [pulling the plug] We bid you goodnight!

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