Apr 19, 2022

April 17, 1972: Tivolis Concertsal, Copenhagen, Denmark

Grateful Dead plays Stakladen tonight. Tomorrow the San Francisco band appears on direct TV from the Tivoli concert hall, Copenhagen, at 9.30 – 10.00 PM.
This covers the whole of Denmark and specifically Aarhus. Not since Iron Butterfly in January 1971 has an American rock band visited Aarhus. Incidentally, DR has never before aired a direct transmission of a rock concert.

(from the Aarhus Stiftstidende, 16 April 1972)

*

NO TALENT, NO KNOWLEDGE

Very few people probably noticed it, but last night TV debuted a brand new format. For the first time during the ten years rock music and TV have co-existed, Danish TV threw itself headlong into the dizzying experiment of a direct transmission from a rock concert. Incidentally, this occurrence – like it is in other countries – ought to be as common as the transmission of a football game.
And Danish TV, which has never viewed rock music as anything more than a call signal, let an invisible announcer declare that now, now, Now, Now follows a transmission from the Tivoli concert hall with the supergroup Grateful Dead! Supergroup...hah! Which smart-aleck spun TV that yarn? Much can be said – and is said – about the American band Grateful Dead, but a supergroup, who has never sold more records in these parts than the sale of Christmas trees after Christmas, has surely never been seen in the world.
And what did TV do to the band? Yes, did to! No keeping in the background and relating the events in professional camerawork. No, put big, nice, talentless Edmondt Jensen on the stage. TV can do anything. Even interrupt an ongoing concert. Good evening, everybody. Welcome. Have a good time.
He didn't say "Welcome to the sandbox", but that was the gist of it.
Then a song of an undefinable style, then a Country & Western song, followed by an old-school rock song, and that was it. Oh yes, we certainly got a good impression of the American band Grateful Dead. What it is capable of, what it stands for, where it wants to go.
And while the three songs constituted what is known as a warm-up in the world of rock, three cameramen tested their zoom-lenses. Closeups drawn out to totals. Totals zooming into closeups. No pause – constant movement. Not one striking picture. Not one original camera angle. Nothing, except blatant amateurism and ignorance.
Exactly like an article in this paper some days ago, written by a lady who must have returned to Earth and to life after a prolonged stay somewhere else. The name is Gerda Vinding. As some might have noticed, she postulates a connection between narcotics and rock music.
As some might also have noticed, the connection is denied by nobody...only the lady's premises are questioned. Of course, there is a connection. Many of us were talking and writing about this when the subject was hot, some four or five years ago, when the Beatles started it.
At a time when narcotics were all the rage among young people, it was only natural that a style of music that reflected the youth culture – or the lack thereof – would intermittently deal with drugs.
Today, drug-taking is no longer "in", and narcotics have long been out of the picture where music is concerned.
Calling what we heard tonight "acid rock" can only be justified by ignorance.

(by Paul Blak, from the Aarhus Stiftstidende, 18 April 1972) 


 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkznlP29TjQ (partial Danish video of the show - this is a combination of later broadcasts, not the short original live broadcast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU30HpQlV94 (brief excerpt of a Garcia interview by Edmondt Jensen)

Thanks to Bjørn for the article & translation.

See also https://www.dead.net/deadcast/europe-72-denmark  for Garcia's interview by Dan Turell & Peder Bundgaard in MM magazine.

2 comments:

  1. Not a review of the Dead's show per se, but a dyspeptic review of the TV broadcast. Blak wasn't too interested in the Dead per se - just a middling American band apparently, not a "supergroup" and definitely not "acid rock"! But he does want to bitterly complain about the inept broadcast, and an earlier newspaper article on drugs & rock.
    It's hard to evaluate the live broadcast since we don't have it, only the compilations of other parts of the show included on later broadcasts. It probably wasn't quite as bad as he says...at least by the usual '60s standards of zoom-happy, announcer-heavy TV concert films.

    His confident assertion that drugs are no longer part of music is quite a take! I haven't seen the earlier Aarhus articles on the Dead, but it seems the conservative press was alarmed at the prospect of a drug band like the Dead running loose in Denmark. To quote from my previous post: "Earlier, newspaper columnists in the daily press had called for the group's performance to be banned, believing that these veterans of Ken Kesey's acid tests...could influence the concert audience in an unfortunate direction. But Jerry Garcia declared in the press: 'I do not give LSD to anyone!'"

    Only a minute of Edmondt Jensen's interview with Garcia circulates as far as I know. Garcia says: "Ultimately, the thing that we'd like to happen would be that there would be no more identification of groups on the basis of names... Music would be seen as what it really is, which is a group effort... Hopefully there would be like one enormous rock & roll band, from all over the earth... Everywhere there's musicians, there would be this continuum of music - and people would go to concerts, for example, where there would be no headliner, there would only be music. I think it would be groovy if it went to that place, rather than the star system and all the rest of that show-business stuff [which is] really unnecessary... I think there's a trend toward that happening, people playing more and more in different configurations - because it's fun."

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  2. There's a tiny bit more of Jerry & Jensen in this 1974 documentary that subsequently aired on Danish TV, titled "Uncle John's Children," also including some Tivoli footage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GAakbJGTto

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