Rolling Stone’s “Live Dead” review

Getting ready for next Sunday’s 1969 marathon on the Sirius XM Grateful Dead Channel, I ran across a pointer to Lenny Kaye’s original review of Live Dead in Rolling Stone, published in January of 1970.

I like his opening paragraph:

Live Dead explains why the Dead are one of the best performing bands in America, why their music touches on ground that most other groups don’t even know exists.

Read the rest here.

5 Responses to “Rolling Stone’s “Live Dead” review”

  1. Don Schneier says:

    Kaye’s was one of two noteworthy RS reviews of Live/Dead. The other is memorable for including the phrase “Put on the Dead, and spread!” A Google search will bring up the piece, but without citation. I suspect that some SF old-timer will know exactly who the author was, and in which issue it appeared. Meanwhile, in case it is not known, Kaye went on to become Patti Smith’s guitarist, and his performing path crossed with GD’s in May 1979 when they were both part of the same bill at UMass, though there was no stting-in either way.

  2. Oliver Tepel says:

    The Live Dead review with that famous phrase was written by the great J.R. Young who established the review as fiction. He also did wonderful reviews of Ten Years After or the Woodstock album in that style (You don’t have to fully appreciate the music, guess he didn’t either.). If you ever stumble upon “The Rolling Stone Record Review” (First Edition, 1971) buy a copy, it’s worth the money and there’s a whole chapter dedicated to the work of J.R. Young.
    (Sometimes I wonder how it would feel to be an SF old-timer, but I was only born around that time, on the day of a great lost Fillmore Show…)

  3. Jorge Perez says:

    Been trying for years to read the J.R. Young Live/Dead review, as well as the one he wrote about one of Neil Young’s earliest albums. As far as I know, J.R. Young disappeared completely shortly after these reviews…. nobody knows what happened to him. There’s also a modern rock critic that writes using that style -the review as fiction. Don’t remember his name right now, but he published a book recently and writes regularly for a newspaper.

  4. Ira Zadikow says:

    In the original vinyl of the album was a small squarish sticker or insert, as I remember, which said “Put on the Dead and spread.”

  5. Craig Doyle says:

    Somebody once wrote a letter to Rolling Stone complaining that J.R. Young’s absolutely inspired reviews were “jejeune bullshit”. Nothing could be further from the truth. These gems of fiction captured all the complexities of the that late 60’s/early 70s zeitgeist with devastating humor and insight. His review of CSNY’s “Deja Vu” is a masterpiece of social commentary – to say nothing of being hilariously funny….

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