I have written previously about The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast, the official Grateful Dead podcast (see https://roymusicusa.com/2020/10/12/playing-to-the-tide-the-good-ol-grateful-deadcast-deep-dive-into-workingmans-dead/). The first two seasons went into deep dives of the classic Grateful Dead albums, Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty respectively. For season three, the podcast continues chronologically with the Dead’s next record, the live album officially called The Grateful Dead but for is all intents and purposes known as Skull & Roses.
Skull & Roses for the first time presented to the world at large the template for what the Dead sounded like on a typical night. There was the spacey improvisation of songs like “The Other One” but there were also covers of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”, Jimmy Reed’s “Big Boss Man” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode”. The record further displayed the amazing growth of Dead’s songwriting with the debut of three original compositions, “Bertha”, “Playing in the Band”, and “Wharf Rat” with all three going on to become concert staples.
Originally release as a double album, the podcast has each episode discuss a ‘side’ of the record. As part of this thematic structure, there are stories of the legendary Fillmore East, the origins of the Dead’s most-performed song, “Me & My Uncle,” an experiment in dream telepathy involving the audience and more.
The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast: Season 3 – Episode 1: Skull & Roses 50 Side A
The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast: Season 3 – Episode 2: Skull & Roses 50 Side B
The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast: Season 3 – Episode 3: Skull & Roses 50 Side C