In August 1970 600,000 fans flocked to the Isle of Wight to witness the third and final festival to be held on the island. Besides the music, they also got a look at the greed, cynicism and... See full summary »
In the summer of 1970, a chartered train crossed Canada carrying some of the world's greatest rock bands. The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Buddy Guy, and others lived (and partied) together for five days, stopping in major cities along the way to play live concerts. Their journey was filmed. Written by
In the "C.C. Rider" jam scene, Jerry Garcia can be seen playing the famous rosewood Fender Telecaster played by George Harrison in the last public performance of The Beatles, on the roof of Apple Headquarters. It was loaned to Garcia by Delaney Bramlett; the two can be seen on-stage together during the jam. Harrison had given it to Bramlett after they toured together briefly. See more »
"Better Take Jesus' Hand"
Performed by Jerry Garcia and Sylvia Tyson
Jerry Garcia appears courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
under exclusive license from Warner Strategic Marketing,
Sylvia Tyson appears courtesy of Bearsville Records See more »
I was there at the Toronto performance(s). I was inside the venue all the time and never got to see any of the hassle with the cops and the gate crashers. The first time I saw it was in this film. I must say, Altamont it was not.
I was fairly well connected from working on the fringe of the music business in Toronto at the time and I knew some of the people who were on the tour. I would have given my left arm to have been on that train but it wasn't to be.
Let me tell you... this film just comes close - but no cigar - to how it REALLY was like to be there as it happened. The performances were, for the most part, electrifying and I can confidently assure you that the audience(s) had about as good a time as the performers!
I had been exposed to the "California contingent" which was on the tour years earlier in 1967 when I was living in Berkely and hanging out at the Avalon and the Filmore. I got to see the Dead and Janice before anyone had heard of them outside of California. This tour and this film caught them at their best as far as I'm concerned. Janice and the band were KILLER! Her set alone is worth the price of the DVD.
Watching this film was, for me, like going through a time-warp and being transported back to a more carefree time when I was minus wife, kids, mortgage,etc.
Although the production values aren't up to today's Hollywood snuff, considering what the producers had to work with, that they got it this polished is miraculous. I especially liked that the producers rounded up a number of the participants to interview them and get their take on it from over thirty years later.
The only significant down-side from my point of view is that some of the performers who appeared on the tour were not in the film and, in my opinion, their performances were no less worthy of inclusion. Some of the "travelogue" shots in the film could have been dumped to make more room for the music. I suppose that certain rights issues and technical quality issues were a barrier.
Anybody who has a warm spot in their heart for the music, the bands and the ethos of that era MUST add this DVD to their collection.
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