Sep 18, 2012

1972 Newsletters (excerpts)

The Dead released six newsletters in 1972. Most of these repeat the same information about forthcoming Dead merchandise - tracklists for the Europe '72 album, order information for t-shirts, etc - along with the monthly tour itineraries. These selections show how things progressed through the year...


1972 has begun incredibly with the live double album GRATEFUL DEAD becoming the Dead's first gold record and a two month European tour scheduled for April and May. The European performances will be recorded in 16-track with hopes of material for a new live album to be mixed in the United States. . . .
We are virtually moving the office from San Rafael to the road while we're in Europe; a lot of work is in store to keep it all together, but we also anticipate a lot of great music and fun, especially since we'll be traveling with about fifty people from the Grateful Dead family.
By the time we return from Europe around June 6th we hope our Grateful Dead Songbook will be well underway and will be available to you sometime late this summer. It will include all the music and lyrics from our last three albums -- WORKINGMAN'S DEAD, AMERICAN BEAUTY, and GRATEFUL DEAD. Kelly will be doing the art work -- full color as well as black and white. There will be a full page illustration for each of the twenty-one songs. If you're not aware of who Kelly is -- check out the album covers of AMERICAN BEAUTY and GRATEFUL DEAD in particular...he did them!!! It should be a beautiful songbook; we're all looking forward to it with great anticipation.

And speaking of art work - - - we have all enjoyed the art work and letters you have sent us. We would have liked to have compiled a book of some kind with the most far out letters, drawings, and illustrations that we have received and send it back to you, but once again we have to admit to a lack of money to be able to do that. We have even received a personal letter written by a computer - - - we almost attempted to write a letter back but no one was versed well enough in computer language to carry it off.

We have also received a great deal of correspondence from those of you who are interested in Grateful Dead t-shirts. We had originally thought about having them printed to sell - - with the idea in mind of possibly being able to cover some of the expenses that the whole Dead Head trip has brought upon us - - but we changed our minds because of the commercial association it had with our trip, which was not what we wanted at all. We would like to be able to give everyone a free t-shirt but again there's no way possible for us to afford it. It is possible that if enough of you are interested in purchasing t-shirts in the future we might be able to get something together and happening. For now however, if you desperately need one, you might contact Kumquat Mae - the Deads' old ladies' store at: 1218 San Anselmo Avenue, San Anselmo, California, 94960 - and maybe they can help you.

We have also received numerous requests for itineraries for the band's tour schedule. We understand that you would like to know when the Dead are playing and where - - - however, so often dates and schedules are not confirmed until almost the last minute, consequently giving us no time to let you know when the band is playing and where much before they're on the stage. Sending out itineraries does not solve your problem of getting tickets either, as we're sure you're aware of. Some performances have been known to sell out the first day tickets were available, leaving many of you very disappointed. We regret the lack of more tickets, but the band is not into playing 18,000 seat arenas very often, if ever . . . consequently the number of tickets is very limited and they're on a 'first-come first-serve' basis. We are not directly involved in the actual selling of tickets; our main concern regarding the ticket scene is that the price be kept as low as possible and that no one gets burned in any way. We try to play in halls that hold no more than 5,000 people - - - preferably closer to a 3,000 seat capacity because of the problems with the sound that we encounter in the halls that are any larger. Our sound system really isn't capable of handling a bigger hall without sacrificing the quality of our music and the whole experience for everyone. We don't want the show to be a burn for our audience or for ourselves. We are into a quality trip, and we're not going to sacrifice it if we can possibly avoid it . . . so try and bear with us.

Because the halls we play in are as small as they are and we know you're out there trying to reach us, we have tried to reach more of you by doing radio simulcast broadcasts of our live concert performances - - - some of you might have heard a broadcast from one of our last three tours in October, November, or December of '71. [ . . . ] 

Although the Dead have not been on the road performing the last few months, individual members of the band have been directing their musical energy and talents towards recording and writing new music.
Garcia's solo album was released in early January --- a very unique and beautifully spacey album.
Bobby has recorded an album - it's called ACE. It's Grateful Dead family and friends, augmented by Tower of Power's brass section and features the fine songwriting talents of a prep school friend of Bobby's, John Barlow. . . .
The album is due to be released sometime this summer, late May or early June most likely, and the single will be out by the time you receive this circular. The single is One More Saturday Night with Cassidy as the B side.
Pigpen also has plans to do his own album - sometime this year possibly.
For those of you who are curious about what happened to Mickey Hart, he's still in Marin County working on what he hopes to be the final stages of his own album; he's been working on it for about a year now and some of the finest musicians have played on it - it's called ROLLING THUNDER.
You might also be interested in knowing what other albums Jerry has played on: SURREALISTIC PILLOW - Jefferson Airplane, VOLUNTEERS - Jefferson Airplane, Lamb's album, BLOWS AGAINST THE EMPIRE - Paul Kantner, FEED YOUR CHILDREN WELL [sic!] - Crosby, Stills & Nash, SONGS FOR BEGINNERS - Graham Nash, Crosby's album, Steve Stills' second album, Brewer & Shipley's album, Papa John Creach's album, HOOTEROLL - Howard Wales, HEAVY TURBULENCE - Merl Saunders, ACE - Bob Weir, and GARCIA - Jerry's solo album.

* * *

August 2, 1972

Dear Dead Heads:

We've formed "OUT OF TOWN TOURS" to handle all our tour business. They comprise Sam Cutler, Gail Hellund, Frances Carr and Bill "the kid" Candelario. Gail looks after the whole office scene; Sam and Frances work on the road and arrange all the business affairs of touring. Bill Candelario goes out to check on halls for acoustical properties and to make sure it's the kind of facility we'd dig to play in. We need your help.

The Grateful Dead enjoy playing in a specific kind of theatre - it's usually an older building (perhaps it's now used as a movie house) with anything from 3000 to 5000 seats. Examples of the kind of theatres we dig are The Stanley Theatre, Jersey City - The Fox Theatre, St. Louis - The Paramount Theatre, Seattle - and the Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles.

If you know of a theatre in your area, let us know about it. Please write to us - don't telephone. We'll look into your lead and if the theatre is what we're looking for, maybe we'll be able to do a concert there.

At this moment, we are unable to accept any free concerts, benefits, or concerts in football stadiums or the like. . . . .

Thank you,

* * *



The enclosed dates refer to our upcoming Western tour dates for the month of August and September that we have booked at the present time. Hopefully this will have reached you in time for you to still make a gig nearby, even though for some people it may mean driving a couple of hundred miles.
A new album is in the process of being finished, mixed, and mastered; it was recorded on our recent April and May tour of Europe . . . .
It was an incredible trip for all 43 1/2 of us (1/2 = Rudso, who was a real gem on the trip); a real experience in working, traveling, fighting, and playing together. And despite the fatigue and discomfort of riding on two large coach-like buses for what sometimes seemed like an eternity (actually only about 1 1/2 months...but that's plenty long enough), we all managed to survive - although some of us were a little worse for wear - and we were all really glad to get home!
At this moment we don't know whether we'll be putting out a double album or a three-record-set package. Warner Brothers objects to three disks in one package because of expected difficulty in marketing it, and being that we are near the end of our contract with Warner Brothers, we may find ourselves having to put out first a double album and later a single disk of just "space music." The newest release date for the album is now somewhere around the middle of October.
Speaking of albums, Mickey Hart's album "ROLLING THUNDER" is finally finished after a year and half's work and is due to be released in the first part of September. It features Mickey as well as at least thirty of the heaviest musicians around these days...really a fine album!
Kelly and Mouse (Grateful Dead album cover artists and two of the finest poster artists the San Francisco scene has ever had) are now into a mail-order T-shirt trip called "The Monster Company" and in the near future it will be possible to obtain high quality short sleeve (long sleeve may come later) t-shirts with art work from the new Dead album and from Bob Weir's album "ACE", and who knows what else in the days thereafter. There will be a mail-order coupon for these in the new album and any order should be accompanied by a check or money order for the amount of purchase - $3.95 per shirt . . . In many cases it may take up to four weeks for delivery.
We also now have a booking agency happening called Out Of Town Tours, as mentioned in the enclosed letter, with the hopes that it will make our whole road scene much tighter and more efficient. If you have any information that might be of help regarding halls and places to play, please let them know.
For those of you that are able to attend any of the upcoming gigs, you may notice that Pig Pen isn't on stage. He's still with us for sure, but he's home resting and recovering from another bout with illness, but we expect he'll be back on the road by the beginning of next year and probably working on his own album as well.
A songbook is still on its way but the release date seems to get pushed back more and more...but we'll let you know when it's out.

Take care, stay high, and we hope to see you soon,

* * *



The enclosed dates refer to our approaching East Coast Tour during the month of September, 1972. Hopefully none of these dates will be canceled at the last minute due to unfavorable circumstances; although it might be wise for you to check and make sure the gig is still happening on the appointed date -- as last minute changes do occasionally occur, and it would definitely be a drag to travel a long way and find a concert had been canceled.
The final touches on our new album -- a triple record set -- are almost completed, and the album is due to be released around October 15. . . . .

A Grateful Dead Songbook is still on its way; the publishing date is estimated sometime late in November. A mail-order coupon for the songbook will be included in the newsletter at the end of the year. It's sure to be a very beautiful and original songbook, complete with hand-written music and full page color illustrations.

It's almost time for us to hit the road again and with that in mind, take care, stay high, and we hope to see you soon.

* * *



High again and greetings from sometimes sunny California! We have enclosed an itinerary of our approaching November tour of the South and Midwest in hopes that you might get a chance to hear some 'Good Ole Grateful Dead.' Hopefully this information will reach you before we've already come and gone. We regret that we can't send them earlier but last minute changes keep us changing the schedule up until it's almost time to leave on tour. Before driving any long distance for a gig it's a good idea to always check to make sure the gig's still happening...otherwise you may find yourself the center of attraction in an empty parking lot in some town miles away from home!
Our new album "GRATEFUL DEAD EUROPE '72" is finally due to be released on November 5. It's a three-record-set with a photographic booklet of candid shots from our whirlwind European tour in April and May of this year. . . .

Pigpen is still in the band, but he's at home resting and getting his health back together; we expect to see him back on the road with us sometime in the beginning of next year. In the meantime he's been working on material for his own album which we hope to hear sometime later next year...maybe!
For those of you who sent money for T-shirts to Kumquat Mae and never received one's trying to burn you! Your order will be filled. There were unexpected problems with the people printing the shirts in Oregon, and consequently they were asked to stop their production. The Monster Company (Kelly and Mouse) are now handling the printing and distribution of Grateful Dead T-shirts...the Europe '72 album designs and soon the old skull and roses design. From now on there shouldn't be any more problems with deliveries, so please be as patient as you can.
We'll be in touch again, so take care and by all means stay high, and we hope to see you soon.
Have a happy Thanksgiving

* * *


from all of us to all of you

The Grateful Dead are home for awhile playing for the San Francisco scene, which includes another incredible New Years celebration scheduled for Winterland in San Francisco; however all of the tickets were sold within an hour after they went on sale.
A definite tour schedule for next year is still sketchy, but this much information we can relay: in January the band is taking time off from being on the road; in February a Midwest tour is planned; for March there is energy directed towards an East-coast tour; April has foreshadowings of work in the studio on a new album; and in July there are very vague plans for a possible European tour, but there are no details available at this time regarding tour dates.
Our Dead Heads operation may seem grossly inefficient and slow for those of you sending in your name expecting something back immediately. We have about 20,000 names on our list to keep in touch with and it's financially impossible for us to send out more than two newsletters a year to everyone and maybe one or two itineraries depending on where you live and if we're heading in your direction. We are able to only send itineraries to the states and surrounding states of the scheduled gigs. Due to a lack of complete and correct information very far in advance of the gigs, we send the itineraries late rather than not at all, with the hopes that if you miss a gig in your own city or state, you still might be able to make a show close by.
We've received many requests for information regarding tickets for Dead gigs; information should be sought through the promoter or the hall where the show is being staged. We are in no way involved with the sale of tickets.
We've also received numerous letters requesting information about where to get t-shirts . . . For those who ordered shirts from Kumquat Mae sometime ago...your orders will be filled, probably in late January or early February. There were unexpected problems with the printing of the shirts and consequently The Monster Company had to take over the operation...please be a little more patient.
A Grateful Dead songbook (American Beauty and Workingman's Dead sheet music, lyrics, and illustrations) is in the final stages of being completed, and we expect it to be published in late January or early February. All orders that have been received will be processed once the book is finally in print. For those of you that are interested you can order one from Ice-Nine Publishing Co. . . . Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.
Pigpen is still recovering from his extended illness but we hope to see him back on the road the first of the year. He's been writing and working on new material for an album of his own, but there are no definite plans regarding this potential album. We have one more album to give Warner Brothers to complete our record contract. Although a definite decision has not been made regarding the contents of this album, there is talk of an archives album from old live tapes.
We hope you're all enjoying the new album as much as us...keep on boogying and we'll be back with you before long...and by all means stay high!


  1. It appears the Dead sent most newsletters just to the area they were about to tour in (a surprisingly practical & cost-effective routine), though the first & last of these appear to be 'general' newsletters mailed countrywide.
    So if you were living in one area, you'd likely see no more than 2-3 newsletters a year.

    As mentioned, most of these from Aug-Nov are really the same letter, just slightly updated each month. These selections seemed to be the best way to present the changes, without getting too repetitious. (I trust most of you already know the Europe '72 track selections!)

    A lot, of course, was not mentioned in these letters. The constant optimism regarding Pigpen is notable. There seem to have been some behind-the-scenes negotiations with Warner Bros about the album...will Europe '72 be two or three discs? What will the next album be?
    By mid-'72 the Dead had already decided to form their own record company once the Warners contract expired; so they had no interest in recording another album for Warners.
    Hence we see, in August, mention of a "just space music" album to finish the contract; then in December, thoughts of an archival release from "old live tapes"...

  2. Since these are just excerpts, those interested in seeing the full newsletters can find them here: