Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses)
October 24, 1971
- Mama Tried
- Big Railroad Blues
- Playing In The Band
- The Other One
- Me And My Uncle
- Big Boss Man
- Me And Bobby McGee
- Johnny B. Goode
- Wharf Rat
- Not Fade Away
- Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad
- Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocal)
- Bill Kreutzmann (drums)
- Phil Lesh (bass, vocals)
- Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (organ, harmonica, vocals)
- Bob Weir (guitar, vocals)
(1) Additional Personnel
- Merl Saunders (organ on 1, 4 & 10 (overdubbed in studio))
The album that carried the now famous invitation:
DEAD FREAKS UNITE
Who are you? Where are you?
How are you?
Send us your name and address
and we’ll keep you informed
P.O. Box 1065
San Rafael, California
The official title of this album is Grateful Dead or possibly Grateful Dead Live. It is more commonly referred to as Skull and Roses (after the cover art) or Skull Fuck. The band originally wanted this latter title to be used but, not surprisingly, Warner Brothers objected. Faced with the probability of the album not being stocked by many retailers and therefore low sales the band gave way. The album became the group’s highest selling album at that time and the first for which they received gold discs.
The music makes the argument over the title irrelevant, in an interview for Rolling Stone Garcia commented: “It’s the prototype Grateful Dead. Basic unit. Each of those tracks is the total picture, a good example of what the Grateful Dead really is, musically”.
The striking skull and roses cover image originates from a black and white illustration by Edmund Sullivan taken from a nineteenth century edition of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Kelly added coloring and lettering to produce a poster for a Dead show at the Avalon in 1966.
The songs on this album are thought to be from the following shows;
– Johnny B Goode – March 24, 1971
– Big Railroad Blues, Not Fade Away and Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad – April 5, 1971
– Mama Tried, Big Boss Man and Wharf Rat – April 26, 1971
– Bertha and Me And Bobby McGee – April 27, 1971
– The Other One – April 28, 1971
– Me And My Uncle – April 29, 1971
– Playing In The Band – uncertain