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Jerry LOVES the...


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Bruce Hornsby... im tellin ya'll... watching View from the Vault 2 again and the smile that those two share are enough to make two people that hate each other smile... i often wonder why Synth was in the band at this time? Who the hell were the Tubes? sorry if there are fans out here but i had never heard them let alone gave them a chance... the late 90's Dead would have been fantastic if Bruce had of had the chance to hang around and groove... I mIss you Jerry!!

edited for spelling mistakes... J Roc? :)

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Mydland OD'd in late 1989 and had to be hospitalized. It was at this point that Garcia put out some feelers towards Hornsby, thinking of him as a replacement for Brent should he check out down the road. Which, three days after Summer 1990 tour, is exactly what he did. The prospect of jail time and chemical monitoring in connection with DUI charges, and with the resulting estrangement from his wife and daughter, it seems it was too much for ol' Brent. One roll of the dice with a speedball later, and he was gone.

In what I still feel is one of the poorest decisions the Dead ever made, 1990 Fall Tour and the European tour remained on schedule, leaving the band approximately two months to find a replacement. Hornsby was called in as a pinch hitter but didn't want to commit to the job indefinitely, for reasons totally understable. He was a succesful solo artist after all. The Dead really only had the patience to try out a handful of keyboardists (T. Lavitz, Pete Sears...) before Vince showed up. Basically, he was the first one that could hit the high harmonies and was a competent player, so he was in. About a few weeks later, he made his debut with the band at the late-great Richfield Coliseum in Ohio. Hornsby hooked up with them at MSG a week or so later, and the early-to-mid 1990's Dead line-up was consolidated.

In the end, Vince really wasn't the right man for the job but remember, dude was living in a barn at the time of the audition, contemplating bankruptcy, when he got the call suggesting he should go try out for the Dead. McNally's book suggests some members of the band were appalled with the enthusiasm with which Vince embraced his new found wealth, they being now well used to money.

Also, Vince was handicapped by Bob Bralove's poor taste in keyboard programming. Essentially, Bralove dialed in whatever sounds he felt were appropriate, and Vince - with some input mind you - simply tootled away on that rinky-dink keyboard of his. He was always a side-man, never in this kind of spotlight, and certainly was not used to an ensemble in which everyone is playing lead all the time. Also, poor guy had like 200 songs to learn in a very short time.

Funny, I was just listening to 9-13-93 last night (Philly) and was reminded that Vince really had nights where he could shine. His playing on this night was sensitive and thoughtful, bold and supportive. And I'm not so sure an instant classic like "The Days Between" could have been realized without Vince's aesthetic. In about a year from then, Garcia would begin to seriously fail with shocking regularity and listen as the band - including Vince - rally behind their befuddled "leader".

Still, the man simply didn't share his colleagues inherent command of blues and roots music forms, let alone free-form imporov, and in the end was a poor choice. But don't blame Vince, blame the band for choosing to hit the road less than three months after their keyboard player of 10 years dies!


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T.Lavitz tried out and didn't get the gig? I have a few Dregs albums and the Keys are the only part I like about them.


Steve Morse consistently blows my socks off (much more so than any keys player the Dregs, or Dixie Dregs, ever had). Which Dregs albums do you have? (If you don't have "What If" or "Night Of The Living Dregs", I recommend them most highly.)



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The way I heard it told was like this:

T. Lavitz - Jerry's pick

R. Barraco - Phil's pick

V Welnick - Bobby's pick

Vince one because of the high harmonies... I say the other two were better choices.

T.Lavitz tried out and didn't get the gig? I have a few Dregs albums and the Keys are the only part I like about them.
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