Dec 23, 2012

1974: A Step Back

We falter and fall away, nothing holds. Political action is impossible. All we are left with is our arts. I propose we turn our tools away from the service of all but their muses. Great deeds are needed. It is the 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.

(by Robert Hunter, from the Dead Head Newsletter, December 1974)


  1. And so we reach the hiatus.
    "What a relief...the band is tired." This letter betrays the "collective weariness" in the Dead organization after months of toting the Wall around and dealing with success, business, over-expansion, roadies, cocaine, and other fun stuff. More than I can cover in a comment.

    You can see 1974 is barely represented on this site! The Archive Clippings, on which I've largely relied, stop including very many newspaper articles after 1971, and turn mainly to in-house newsletters & communications. So the pieces here lately have focused more on business & technical aspects of the Dead, with not many show or music reviews.

    In the future this site is going to depend more on contributions from readers & collectors, as my sources run dry. But I will have some more rare & interesting pieces from the early years to include soon.

    But first, some articles from the hiatus...

  2. The Dead Head Newsletters usually included a schedule of the upcoming tour. This one, of course, didn't have that; instead it included a production plan for the upcoming album, known at this point only as "GD-103." (The third album on Grateful Dead Records.)
    The plan was to record the album in January & February 1975, mix & master the album in the first three weeks of March, and release it on April 30.
    Of course, the Dead fell a few months behind schedule!

  3. Though the Archive dates this newsletter as December, it was quoted by an east-coast paper in mid-November, so it must have been issued earlier.