Mickey and the new releases!

On Tuesday night, Oct. 1st 1996, Dennis McNally came over to our office to type whatever responses Mickey Hart would have to our questions. Mickey was at Sammy Hagar's recording studio, and talked as Dennis typed. Unfortunately, at 6:00 PM sharp, the computer I was typing on decided to bomb out on me! Panic set in, but fortunately Dennis was there to tell people what happened. When you see a question that starts with Question:, that means it came from the audience in the AOL auditorium.

And now without further ado:

Copyright 1996 America Online, Inc. and the GD Forum

Dennis McNally : Our fearless leader and webmaster, Mr. Geoff Gould, has just managed to get himself bounced off the line...so we'll be back in the proverbial flash, when everything is just exactly ... naah, that's Weir's line.

Geoff Gould : sorry folks! Technical diffs; blah blah

GG : Welcome to tonight's event. Tonight we have as our guest, Mickey Hart, to discuss the new releases coming out this month. Welcome Mickey

Mickey Hart : Hi.

GG : Let's get this out of the way, what's the current state of the GD?

MH : It's at rest. There is no real state right now. It's dormant, I would say. As a group, that is. As individuals, we're each doing what we couldn't do when we were in the Grateful Dead. We're undertaking projects that require longer periods of concentration. It's just a matter of time --being in the GD was just so full-time. We're doing more of the things we never got to do.

Phil, for instance, is writing a symphonic version of Terrapin Station -- he's arranging it, and he's real busy at that. And he's also the master archivist, on the trail of all the good stuff in the vault, and raising his kids and like that.

Bob is eating the Dog. The rat is eating the dog -- or is it that the dog is eating the rat? Whatever he's doing, he's doing it a lot. He's also got his Satchel Paige Broadway play thing happening.

Vince is at the "Missing Man Formation" band, which has Prairie Prince, Steve Kimock, and Bobbie Vega

Billy is surfing and enjoying the good live in the islands (Hawaii) and I'm...

I'm, let us say, in the trenches with Sammy Hagar. Now the truth is, that when I met him just last June, I thought he was just another Dead Head friend of Weir's, but there was something about the guy I liked. Then I found out he played a little -- and then I found out he was changing jobs ... and now I'm working with him on a track for his album co-producing with Mike Clink -- for his upcoming big time record. And by the way, I found out this guy can really play! But maybe you guys all knew that already. Hagar's thing is definitely otherworldly -- it's got that fur-lined groove

Question : are you planning on doing another tour similar to the Furthur Festival, and possibly playing on stage with Bob this time around?

MH : Why not? I don't see why there shouldn't be another Furthur Festival -- I had a gas. It'll be better next time -- it was great, but it was out first time at it, and we learned a lot. We learned so much. Bob and I had never really done anything like it before, even after 30 years of Dead, it was definitely different. But yeah, we definitely should do it again, only better.

GG : First, the video "Ticket to New Year's" was released today. What do you remember about then? Why this date?

MH : It was scary. All I remember was that when I got inside Jerry's head -- I was Spock, and I was giving Garcia a mind meld, and what I saw when I got inside his mind was scary. I'm still scarred from the experience, really. But we'll persevere.

GG : [For those of you that are confused, Mickey and Jerry do a Spock/Santa schtick between sets in the video.]

MH : It was a good year. It was really up -- Jerry was healthy, we were laughing, we were playing. What could be better than that. And so this video is the cap to that year -- not too bad. Go get it. You gotta have it. It's one of those things you should have -- even I want to look at it -- I remember it was real funny. We actually worked and prepared it -- found out what it was like to try to be funny in front of the cameras -- it was a real learning experience. So you can see what we accomplished.

GG : The sound is killer

Question : are you opening up the vaults???? we will buy all!!!!!!!

MH : <Big laughter>... retail or wholesale? < More big laughter>

Question : What are some of your future plans? Your last CD was awesome

MH : We're building RAMU (Random Access Music Universe) -- the Son of RAMU 1. More powerful, a lethal weapon -- it's like a tricycle to a rocket ship. Amazing amounts of memory, easy access to my entire sound library-- I've never been able to put all my sound library in one place before and access them immediately. So I'm transferring my sound library into RAMU's brain and away we go...

GG : how many gigabytes?

MH : I cannot reveal the secrets -- this is on the secret scrolls. I'm not at liberty to do that. Some infidel might be listening. Consider it! What if it got into the wrong things. Maybe sometime... anyway, I'm in the middle of development, and the honest answer is -- I don't even know yet for sure. But a whole lot of gigabytes... Like I said, a whoooooollleee lot of gigabytes.

GG : Dick's Picks 6(from GDM only!) comes out next Monday; did you have any input into the choice of date?

MH : Dick is the maestro -- no, I had no input. We don't really know what sounds good any more, and Dick's ear is more accurate as to what really sounds good. I would consider him to be one of the top five Deadology authorities anywhere.

Years ago -- somehow he got me to his house in Hawaii --in the 70's, real early 80's, he was the first Dead Head taper I met. In this little tract house he had really formidable JBL monitors, they just rattled the glass. And he was just sitting there all day listening to this stuff, all of it -- I'd never thought anybody was that serious about our tapes before -- that it was that valuable of a commodity. 'Cause we were just making the music -- but the tape scene was growing outside of us, to where now it's a pan global phenomenon...And then at night he'd listen half the night on headphones -- so his wife and kid could sleep. I think they got divorced...Anyway, Dick is an authority and I trust his judgment completely.

GG : Dick will be here next week (10/10); we'll ask him a bunch then!

Question : We deadheads are somewhat obsessed with tapes - what are your top 3 shows ? ( so I know what to seek in trades)

MH : I couldn't even begin -- I haven't heard most of the tapes, none of us in the band have -- we don't sit around and listen to ourselves. It's just not done. Sorry about that.

GG : on the 15th, Arista releases a 2-CD set of the "Arista Years" What does "In the Dark" mean?

MH : Well, it started when we were making the record, at Marin Vets. I wanted to turn off the lights to see if we could play. So I had the quippies do that -- and the music was so funny, because nobody could see -- the fretboards or the tom toms, or whatever. We kept the groove, but the song went into this bizarre -- and then I thought of a cover with just eyeballs in the dark -- it didn't come out the way I thought it would ... and then it became a running joke. But I started by trying to play in the dark. It was like us -- we were kind of clowns, it fit us -- a nice light moment -- only the Grateful Dead could do it....

GG : Got any good Lowell George stories from his stint as GD producer?

MH : He was a great guitar player, and he went over the edge -- we had a night when we composed the unpublished song "The Drum is My Woman" -- I just found the lyrics, but no one will ever see them. It was sort of an erotic poem to your drum -- I don't know, but I'll have to check it out.

Question : Are there any plans for another "Grey Folded" type of project, possibly with new music from the existing members playing along side an old tape of Jerry?

MH : No no no no no.

GG : On the 29th, "Dozin' at the Knick", a 3-CD "Vault release on Arista comes out. Was the Knick special?

MH : It was always cold there.

GG : How are the Mint Juleps doin'?

MH : They're great, and back in England. They're probably sunning themselves on the Riviera.

Question : Mickey, will you be out with the monks again ?

MH : Of course. The monks will be back some day, and we'll help out, as always -- but I don't have any dates at this point.

Question : I thought your Rolling Thunder album was a great collection of people- I still play it all the time. Was the invocation done by the same Rolling Thunder that Bob Dylan associated with?

MH : Yes.

GG : I want to thank Mickey for coming tonight A big round of applause! Mickey is in the middle of the Sammy Hagar album project and is quite absorbed; I appreciate him taking the time

MH : Hey, it was fun. Thanks a lot, and we'll see you around. -- Promise.

GG : Now Dennis has a few words about "Shady Grove"

Dennis McNally : The last new piece of product coming out this fall is really first class Garcia -- for all of you who dig his acoustic stuff, this could be the best playing he did in the 90's -- Jerry and Grisman at Dawg's studio, doing oldtimey classic folk from Mississippi John Hurt's Lewis Collins to the Handsome Cabin Boy to Sweet Sunny South and, yes, Shady Grove. Beautiful stuff -- it'll be out late in October on Acoustic Disc Records (Dawg's label) -- and if you like acoustic, you'll love it. Thanks for "listening" in...

GG : Thank you Dennis for that tasty appetizer!

Thanks for coming everybody

Party in the Rose Garden!

good night

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