A drum kit — called a drum set, trap set, or drums — is a collection of drums and other percussion instruments cymbals, which are set up on stands to be played by a single player, with drumsticks held in both hands, the feet operating pedals that control the hi-hat cymbal and the beater for the bass drum. A drum kit consists of a mix of drums and idiophones – most cymbals, but can include the woodblock and cowbell. In the 2000s, some kits include electronic instruments. Both hybrid and electronic kits are used. A standard modern kit, as used in popular music and taught in music schools, contains: A snare drum, mounted on a stand, placed between the player's knees and played with drum sticks A bass drum, played by a pedal operated by the right foot, which moves a felt-covered beater One or more toms, played with sticks or brushes A hi-hat, played with the sticks and closed with left foot pedal One or more cymbals, mounted on stands, played with the sticksAll of these are classified as non-pitched percussion, allowing the music to be scored using percussion notation, for which a loose semi-standardized form exists for both the drum kit and electronic drums.
The drum kit is played while seated on a stool known as a throne. While many instruments like the guitar or piano are capable of performing melodies and chords, most drum kits are unable to achieve this as they produce sounds of indeterminate pitch; the drum kit is a part of the standard rhythm section, used in many types of popular and traditional music styles, ranging from rock and pop to blues and jazz. Other standard instruments used in the rhythm section include the piano, electric guitar, electric bass, keyboards. Many drummers extend their kits from this basic configuration, adding more drums, more cymbals, many other instruments including pitched percussion. In some styles of music, particular extensions are normal. For example, some rock and heavy metal drummers make use of double bass drums, which can be achieved with either a second bass drum or a remote double foot pedal; some progressive drummers may include orchestral percussion such as gongs and tubular bells in their rig. Some performers, such as some rockabilly drummers, play small kits that omit elements from the basic setup.
Before the development of the drum set and cymbals used in military and orchestral music settings were played separately by different percussionists. In the 1840s, percussionists began to experiment with foot pedals as a way to enable them to play more than one instrument, but these devices would not be mass-produced for another 75 years. By the 1860s, percussionists started combining multiple drums into a set; the bass drum, snare drum and other percussion instruments were all struck with hand-held drum sticks. Drummers in musical theater shows and stage shows, where the budget for pit orchestras was limited, contributed to the creation of the drum set by developing techniques and devices that would enable them to cover the roles of multiple percussionists. Double-drumming was developed to enable one person to play the bass and snare with sticks, while the cymbals could be played by tapping the foot on a "low-boy". With this approach, the bass drum was played on beats one and three. While the music was first designed to accompany marching soldiers, this simple and straightforward drumming approach led to the birth of ragtime music when the simplistic marching beats became more syncopated.
This resulted in dance feel. The drum set was referred to as a "trap set", from the late 1800s to the 1930s, drummers were referred to as "trap drummers". By the 1870s, drummers were using an "overhang pedal". Most drummers in the 1870s preferred to do double drumming without any pedal to play multiple drums, rather than use an overhang pedal. Companies patented their pedal systems such as Dee Dee Chandler of New Orleans 1904–05. Liberating the hands for the first time, this evolution saw the bass drum played with the foot of a standing percussionist; the bass drum became the central piece around which every other percussion instrument would revolve. William F. Ludwig, Sr. and his brother, Theobald Ludwig, founded the Ludwig & Ludwig Co. in 1909 and patented the first commercially successful bass drum pedal system, paving the way for the modern drum kit. Wire brushes for use with drums and cymbals were introduced in 1912; the need for brushes arose due to the problem of the drum sound overshadowing the other instruments on stage.
Drummers began using metal fly swatters to reduce the volume on stage next to the other acoustic instruments. Drummers could still play the rudimentary snare figures and grooves with brushes that they would play with drumsticks. By World War I, drum kits were marching band-style military bass drums with many percussion items suspended on and around them. Drum kits became a central part of jazz Dixieland; the modern drum kit was developed in the vaudeville era during the 1920s in New Orleans. In 1917, a New Orleans band called "The Original Dixieland Jazz Band " recorded jazz tunes that became hits all o
John Phillips (musician)
John Edmund Andrew Phillips was an American singer, guitarist and promoter, most notably of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Phillips was a leader of the vocal group The Mamas & the Papas. Phillips was born August 1935 in Parris Island, South Carolina, his father, Claude Andrew Phillips, was a retired United States Marine Corps officer. Claude Phillips, while on his way home from France following World War I, managed, in a poker game, to win a tavern business located in Oklahoma from another Marine, his mother, Edna Gertrude, who had English ancestry, met his father in Oklahoma. According to his autobiography, Papa John, Phillips' father was a heavy drinker who suffered from poor health. Phillips grew up in Alexandria, where he was inspired by Marlon Brando to be "street tough." From 1942 to 1946, he attended Linton Hall Military School in Virginia. According to his autobiography, he "hated the place," citing "inspections," and "beatings," and recalls that "nuns used to watch us take showers." He formed a musical group of teenage boys.
He played basketball at George Washington High School, now George Washington Middle School in Alexandria, where he graduated in 1953, gained an appointment to the Naval Academy. However, he resigned during his first year. Phillips attended Hampden–Sydney College, a liberal arts college for men in Hampden Sydney, dropping out in 1959. Phillips longed to have success in the music industry and traveled to New York to gain a record contract in the early 1960s, his first band, The Journeymen, was a folk trio, with Dick Weissman. They were successful, putting out three albums and several appearances on the 1960s TV show Hootenanny. All three albums, as well as a compilation known as Best of the Journeymen, have since been reissued on CD, he developed his craft in Greenwich Village, during the American folk music revival, met future The Mamas & the Papas group vocalists Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot there around that time. Lyrics of the group's song "Creeque Alley" describe this period. Phillips was the primary songwriter and musical arranger of the Papas.
In a 1968 interview, Phillips described some of his arrangements as "well arranged two-part harmony moving in opposite directions". After being signed to Dunhill, they had several Billboard Top Ten hits, including "California Dreamin'", "Monday, Monday", "I Saw Her Again", "Creeque Alley", "12:30". John Phillips wrote "San Francisco" in 1967 for former Journeymen bandmate Scott McKenzie. "San Francisco" is regarded as emblematic of 1960s American counterculture music. Phillips wrote the oft-covered "Me and My Uncle", a favorite in the repertoire of the Grateful Dead. Phillips helped promote and performed with The Mamas & the Papas in the Monterey International Pop Music Festival held June 16 to 18, 1967 in Monterey, California; the festival was planned in just seven weeks and was developed as a way to validate rock music as an art form in the way jazz and folk were regarded. It was the first major pop-rock music event in history. John and Michelle Phillips became Hollywood celebrities, living in the Hollywood Hills and socializing with stars such as Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Roman Polanski.
The Mamas & the Papas broke up in 1968 because Cass Elliot wanted to go solo and because of personal problems between Phillips, his wife Michelle, Denny Doherty, including Michelle's affair with Doherty. As Michelle Phillips recounted, "Cass confronted me and said'I don't get it. You could have any man. Why would you take mine?'" Michelle was fired in 1966 for having affairs with Gene Clark and Doherty, she was replaced for two months by Jill Gibson, their producer Lou Adler's girlfriend. Although Michelle Phillips was forgiven and asked to return to the group, the personal problems continued until the group split. Cass Elliot went on to have a successful solo career until her death from heart failure in 1974. Phillips released his first solo album John, the Wolf King of L. A. in 1970. The album was not commercially successful, although it did include the minor hit "Mississippi", Phillips began to withdraw from the limelight as his use of narcotics increased. Phillips produced his third wife, Geneviève Waïte's, Romance Is on the Rise and wrote music for films.
Between 1969 and 1974, Phillips and Waïte worked on a script and composed over 30 songs for a space-themed musical called Man on the Moon, produced by Andy Warhol but played for just two days in New York after receiving disastrous opening night reviews. Phillips moved to London in 1973, it was to be funded by RSR distributor Atlantic Records. Jagger and Keith Richards produced and played on the album, as well as former Stone Mick Taylor and future Stone Ronnie Wood; the project was derailed by Phillips' increasing use of cocaine and heroin, which he injected, by his own admission, "almost every fifteen minutes for two years". In 2001, the tracks of the Half Stoned or The Lost Album album were released as Pay Pack & Follow a few months after Phillips' death. In 1975 Phillips, still living in London, was commissioned to create the soundtrack to the Nicolas Roeg film The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring David Bowie. Phillips asked Mick Taylor to help out. In 1981, Phillips was convicted of drug trafficking.
Subsequently, he and his daughter Mackenzie Phillips made the rounds in the media in an anti-drug campaign, helping to reduce his prison time to only a mont
John Perry Barlow
John Perry Barlow was an American poet and essayist, a cattle rancher, a cyberlibertarian political activist, associated with both the Democratic and Republican parties. He was a lyricist for the Grateful Dead and a founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, he was Fellow Emeritus at Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, where he had maintained an affiliation since 1998. Barlow was born near Cora, Wyoming, as the only child to Norman Walker Barlow, a Republican state legislator, his wife, Miriam "Mim" Adeline Barlow Bailey, who married in 1929. Barlow's paternal ancestors were Mormon pioneers, he grew up on Bar Cross Ranch near Pinedale, Wyoming, a 22,000-acre property founded by his great uncle in 1907, attended elementary school in a one-room schoolhouse. Raised as a "devout Mormon", he was prohibited from watching television until the sixth grade, when his parents allowed him to "absorb televangelists". Although Barlow's academic record was erratic throughout his secondary education, he "had his pick of top eastern universities... because he was from Wyoming, where few applications originated."
In 1969, he graduated with high honors in comparative religion from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He claimed to have served as the University's student body president until the administration "tossed him into a sanitarium" following a drug-induced attempted suicide attack in Boston, Massachusetts. Following two weeks of rehabilitation, he returned to his studies. Prior to receiving his degree, Barlow was admitted to Harvard Law School and contracted to write a novel by Farrar and Giroux at the behest of his mentor, the autodidactic Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and historian Paul Horgan. Supported by a $5,000 or $1,000 advance from the publisher, he decided to eschew these options in favor of spending the next two years traveling around the world, including a nine-month sojourn in India, a riotous winter in a summer cottage on Long Island Sound in Connecticut, a screenwriting foray in Los Angeles. Barlow finished the novel, but it remains unpublished. During this period, he "lived beside Needle Park on New York's Upper West Side and dealt cocaine in Spanish Harlem."
At age 15, Barlow became a student at the Fountain Valley School in Colorado. While there, he met Bob Weir, who would join the jam band the Grateful Dead. Weir and Barlow maintained their close friendship through the years; as a frequent visitor during college to Timothy Leary's facility in Millbrook, New York, Barlow was introduced to LSD. These transformative experiences led Barlow to distance himself from Mormonism, he went on to facilitate the first meeting between the Grateful Dead and the Leary organization in June 1967. While on his way to California to reunite with the Grateful Dead in 1971, he stopped at his family's ranch, though had not intended to stay, his father had suffered a debilitating stroke in 1966 before dying in 1972, resulting in a $700,000 business debt. Barlow ended up changing his plans, began practicing animal husbandry under the auspices of the Bar Cross Land and Livestock Company in Cora, for two decades. To support the ranch, he continued to sell spec scripts. In the meantime, Barlow was still able to play an active role in the Grateful Dead while recruiting many unconventional part-time ranch hands from the mainstream as well as the counterculture.
Prior to his death in 2017, John Byrne Cooke intended to produce a documentary film that documented this era. Barlow became interested in collaborating with Weir at a Grateful Dead show at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, in February 1971; until Weir had worked with resident Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Hunter preferred that those who sang his songs stick to his "canonical" lyrics rather than improvising additions or rearranging words. A feud erupted backstage over a couplet in "Sugar Magnolia" from the band's most recent release, culminating in a disgruntled Hunter summoning Barlow and telling him "take —he's yours". In late 1971, with a deal for a solo album in hand and only two songs completed and Barlow began to write together for the first time, they co-wrote such songs such as "Cassidy", "Mexicali Blues" and "Black-Throated Wind", all three of which would remain in the repertoires of the Grateful Dead and of Weir's varied solo projects. Barlow subsequently collaborated with Grateful Dead keyboardist Brent Mydland, a partnership that culminated in four songs on 1989's Built to Last.
He wrote one song with Vince Welnick. In 1986, Barlow joined The WELL, an online community known for a strong Deadhead presence, he served on the company's board of directors for several years. In 1990, Barlow founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation along with fellow digital-rights activists John Gilmore and Mitch Kapor; as a founder of EFF, Barlow helped publicize the Secret Service raid on Steve Jackson Games. His involvement is documented in The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier by Bruce Sterling. EFF sponsored the ground-breaking case Steve Jackson Games, Inc. v. United States Secret Service in support of Steve Jackson Games. Steve Jackson Games won the case in 1993. In 1996, Barlow was invited to speak about his
Kristoffer Kristofferson is an American actor and singer-songwriter. Among his songwriting credits are the songs "Me and Bobby McGee", "For the Good Times", "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", "Help Me Make It Through the Night", all of which were hits for other artists. Kristofferson composed his own songs and collaborated with Nashville songwriters such as Shel Silverstein. In 1985, Kristofferson joined fellow country artists Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash in forming the country music supergroup The Highwaymen, formed a key creative force in the Outlaw country music movement that eschewed the Nashville music machine in favor of independent songwriting and producing. In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, he is known for his starring roles in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Heaven's Gate, Blade and A Star Is Born, the latter of which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. Kristoffer Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas, to Mary Ann and Lars Henry Kristofferson, a U.
S. Army Air Corps officer, his paternal grandparents emigrated from Sweden, while his mother had English, Scots-Irish, Swiss-German, Dutch ancestry. Kristofferson's paternal grandfather was an officer in the Swedish Army; when Kristofferson was a child, his father pushed him towards a military career. At the age of 17, Kristofferson took a summer job with a dredging contractor on Wake Island, he called it "the hardest job I had." Like most "military brats", Kristofferson moved around as a youth settling down in San Mateo, where he graduated from San Mateo High School in 1954. An aspiring writer, Kristofferson enrolled in Pomona College that same year, he experienced his first dose of fame when he appeared in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd" for his achievements in collegiate rugby union, American football, track and field. He and his classmates revived the Claremont Colleges Rugby Club in 1958, which has remained a southern California rugby institution. Kristofferson graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor of summa cum laude, in literature.
He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa his junior year. In a 2004 interview with Pomona College Magazine, Kristofferson mentioned philosophy professor Frederick Sontag as an important influence in his life. Kristofferson earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. While at Oxford, he was awarded his Blue for boxing, played rugby for his college, began writing songs. At Oxford, he was acquainted with fellow Rhodes scholar, art critic, poet Michael Fried. With the help of his manager, Larry Parnes, Kristofferson recorded for Top Rank Records under the name Kris Carson. Parnes was working to sell Kristofferson as "a Yank at Oxford" to the British public; this early phase of his music career was unsuccessful. In 1960, Kristofferson graduated with a B. Phil. degree in English literature. The following year he married Frances Mavia Beer. Kristofferson, under pressure from his family joined the U. S. Army, was attained the rank of captain, he became a helicopter pilot after receiving flight training at Alabama.
He completed Ranger School. During the early 1960s, he was stationed in West Germany as a member of the 8th Infantry Division. During this time, he formed a band. In 1965, when his tour of duty ended, Kristofferson was given an assignment to teach English literature at West Point. Instead, he decided to pursue songwriting, his family disowned him because of his career decision, sources are unclear on whether or not they reconciled. They saw it as a rejection of everything they stood for, in spite of the fact that Kristofferson has said he is proud of his time in the military, received the Veteran of the Year Award at the 2003 American Veterans Awards ceremony. After leaving the army in 1965, Kristofferson moved to Nashville, he worked at a variety of odd jobs while struggling for success in music, burdened with medical expenses resulting from his son's defective esophagus. He and his wife soon divorced, he got a job sweeping floors at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville. He asked her to give Johnny Cash a tape of his.
She did. He worked as a commercial helicopter pilot for a south Louisiana firm called Petroleum Helicopters International, based in Lafayette, Louisiana. Kristofferson recalled of his days as a pilot, "That was about the last three years before I started performing, before people started cutting my songs. I would work a week down here for PHI, flying helicopters. I'd go back to Nashville at the end of the week and spend a week up there trying to pitch the songs come back down and write songs for another week. I can remember. I wrote "Bobby McGee" down here, a lot of them."Weeks after giving June his tapes, Kristofferson landed a helicopter in Cash's front yard, gaining his full attention. Cash decided to record "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" and that year Kristofferson won Songwriter of the Year at the Country Music Awards. In 1966, Dave Dudle
Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ, 4/25/77
Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ, 4/25/77 is a live album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. It contains the complete concert recorded at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey on April 25, 1977, it was produced as a four-disc vinyl LP, in a limited edition of 7,700 copies, released on April 16, 2016, in conjunction with Record Store Day. The same concert recording was released in October 2015, as part of the 30 Trips Around the Sun box set. Side 1 First set:"New Minglewood Blues" – 6:12 "Deal" – 5:41 "Mama Tried" – 3:07 "They Love Each Other" – 7:17Side 2"Looks Like Rain" – 8:33 "Peggy-O" – 9:16Side 3"Lazy Lightning" > – 3:32 "Supplication" – 3:58 "Ship of Fools" – 6:40 "Estimated Prophet" – 7:59Side 4"Brown-Eyed Women" – 6:06 "The Music Never Stopped" – 6:46Encore:"U. S. Blues" – 6:33Side 5 Second set:"Scarlet Begonias" > – 8:52 "Fire on the Mountain" – 11:08Side 6"Samson and Delilah" – 7:55 "Terrapin Station" – 9:37Side 7"Playing in the Band" > – 9:23 "Drums" – 4:12Side 8"Wharf Rat" > – 17:34 "Playing in the Band" – 3:31 Grateful DeadJerry Garcia – guitar, vocals Donna Jean Godchaux – vocals Keith Godchaux – keyboards Mickey Hart – drums Bill Kreutzmann – drums Phil Lesh – electric bass Bob Weir – guitar, vocalsProductionProduced by Grateful Dead Produced for release by David Lemieux Executive producer: Mark Pinkus Associate producers: Doran Tyson, Ivette Ramos Recording: Betty Cantor-Jackson Mastering: David Glasser Tape-to-digital transfers: John K. Chester, Jamie Howarth Lacquer cutting: Chris Bellman Cover illustration: Tony Millionaire Art direction, design: Steve Vance Tape research: Michael Wesley Johnson Archival research: Nicholas Meriwether
Philip Chapman Lesh is a musician and a founding member of the Grateful Dead, with whom he played bass guitar throughout their 30-year career. After the band's disbanding in 1995, Lesh continued the tradition of Grateful Dead family music with side project Phil Lesh and Friends, which paid homage to the Dead's music by playing their originals, common covers, the songs of the members of his band. Lesh operates, he scaled back his touring regimen in 2014 but continues to perform with Phil Lesh & Friends at select venues. From 2009 to 2014, he performed in Furthur alongside his former Grateful Dead bandmate Bob Weir. Lesh was born in Berkeley and started out as a violin player. While enrolled at Berkeley High School, he switched to trumpet and participated in all of the school's music-related extracurricular activities. Studying the instrument under Bob Hansen, conductor of the symphonic Golden Gate Park Band, he developed a keen interest in avant-garde classical music and free jazz. After attending San Francisco State University for a semester, Lesh was unable to secure a favorable position in the school's band or orchestra and determined that he was not ready to pursue a higher education.
Upon dropping out, he auditioned for the renowned Sixth Army Band with the assistance of Hansen but was determined to be unfit for military service. Shortly thereafter, he enrolled at the College of San Mateo, where he wrote charts for the community college's well-regarded big band and ascended to the first trumpet chair. After transferring with sophomore standing to the University of California, Berkeley in 1961, he befriended future Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten before dropping out again after less than a semester. At the behest of Constanten, he studied under the Italian modernist Luciano Berio in a graduate-level course at Mills College in the spring of 1962. While volunteering for KPFA as a recording engineer during this period, he met bluegrass banjo player Jerry Garcia. Despite opposite musical interests, they soon formed a friendship. Following a brief period as a Post Office Department employee and keno marker in Las Vegas; this was a peculiar turn of events. According to Lesh, the first song he rehearsed with the band was "I Know You Rider".
He stayed until the end. Since Lesh had never played bass, it meant that to a great extent he learned "on the job", yet it meant he had no preconceived attitudes about the instrument's traditional rhythm section role. In his autobiography, he credits Jack Casady as a confirming influence on the direction his instincts were leading him into. While he has said that his playing style was influenced more by Bach counterpoint than by contemporaneous rock and soul bass players, one can hear the fluidity and power of a jazz bassist such as Charles Mingus or Jimmy Garrison in Lesh's work, along with stylistic allusions to Casady. Lesh has cited Jack Bruce of Cream as an influence. Lesh was an innovator in the new role. Contemporaries such as Casady, James Jamerson and Paul McCartney adopted a more melodic, contrapuntal approach to the instrument. While not abandoning these aspects, Lesh took his own improvised excursions during a song or instrumental; this was a characteristic aspect of the so-called San Francisco Sound in the new rock music.
In many Dead jams, Lesh's bass is, as much a lead instrument as Garcia's guitar. Lesh was not a prolific composer or singer with the Grateful Dead, although some of the songs he did contribute are among the best known in the band's repertoire. Lesh's high tenor voice contributed to the Grateful Dead's three-part harmony sections in their group vocals in the early days of the band, until he relinquished singing high parts to Donna Godchaux in 1976 due to vocal cord damage from improper singing technique. In 1985, he resumed singing lead vocals on select songs as a baritone. Throughout the Grateful Dead's career, his interest in avant-garde music remained a crucial influence on the group. In 1994, he was inducted into The Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Grateful Dead. After the disbanding of the Grateful Dead, Lesh continued to play with its offshoots The Other Ones and The Dead, as well as performing with his own band, Phil Lesh and Friends. In 1999, he co-headlined a tour with Bob Dylan.
Additionally and his wife Jill administer their charitable organization, the Unbroken Chain Foundation. The couple have two children together and Brian. Both Grahame and Brian follow in their father's musical foot
Brent Mydland was an American keyboardist and songwriter. He was a member of The Grateful Dead from 1979 to 1990, a longer tenure than any other keyboardist in the band. Growing up in Concord, Mydland took up music while in elementary school. After graduation, he played with a number of bands and recorded one album with Silver before joining the Dead's Bob Weir's solo band; this led to an invitation to join the Dead in 1979, replacing Keith Godchaux who had decided to leave. Mydland became an important member in the Dead, using a variety of keyboards including Hammond organ and various synthesizers and singing regularly, he wrote. After a tour in the early summer 1990, Mydland died of an accidental drug overdose. Born in Munich, the child of a U. S. Army chaplain, Mydland moved to San Francisco with his parents at the age of one. Mydland spent most of his childhood living in California, he started piano lessons aged six and had formal classical lessons through his junior year in high school. In an interview he commented that "My sister took lessons and it looked fun to me, so I did too.
There was always a piano around the house and I wanted to play it. When I couldn't play it I would beat on it anyway." His mother, a graveyard shift nurse, encouraged Mydland's talents by insisting that he practice his music two hours each day. He played trumpet from elementary till his senior year in high school. Mydland was dismissed for having long hair, he graduated from Liberty High School, California, in 1971. Mydland began playing rock'n'roll with friends in high school, was influenced by organists such as Lee Michaels, Ray Manzarek and Steppenwolf's Goldy McJohn, he became a fan of the Grateful Dead in the late 1960s, though was less impressed by their 1970s material. After graduation, Mydland lived in a quonset hut in Thousand Oaks, writing songs, he joined a band with Rick Carlos, invited by John Batdorf of Batdorf & Rodney to join their band. Mydland was asked to join shortly after, he formed the band Silver with Batdorf, releasing one album on Arista Records. Mydland got in touch with Bob Weir via a connection from Batdorf & Rodney, joined the Bobby and the Midnights as keyboardist and backing vocalist.
Mydland joined the Grateful Dead in April 1979, replacing Keith and Donna Godchaux, who had decided to start their own band. After two weeks of rehearsals, he played his first concert with the band at the Spartan Stadium, San Jose, on April 22. Mydland became an integral part of the Dead owing to his vocal and songwriting skills as much as his keyboard playing, he combined his tenor singing with founding members Weir and Jerry Garcia to provide strong three-part harmonies on live favorites. He fit into the band's sound and added his own contributions, such as in Go to Heaven which featured two of Mydland's songs, "Far From Me" and "Easy to Love You," the latter written with frequent Weir collaborator John Perry Barlow. On the next album, In the Dark, Mydland co-wrote "Hell in a Bucket" with Barlow. Built to Last featured several more of Mydland's songs: the moody "Just a Little Light", the environmental song "We Can Run," the live-performance-driven "Blow Away" and the poignant "I Will Take You Home," a lullaby written with Barlow for Mydland's two daughters.
Mydland wrote several other songs that were played live but not released on any studio albums, including "Don't Need Love," "Never Trust A Woman," "Maybe You Know," "Gentlemen Start Your Engines," and "Love Doesn't Have To Be Pretty. He co-wrote "Revolutionary Hamstrung Blues" with Phil Lesh collaborator Bobby Petersen, although the song was performed live only once, his high, gravelly vocal harmonies and emotional leads added to the band's singing strength, he occasionally incorporated scat singing into his solos. Mydland's vocals added color to old favorites such as "Cassidy," "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo," "Ramble on Rose," the Band's "The Weight", he wrote his own verse for Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster." He sang lead on many covers, including Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy," the Beatles' "Hey Jude", the Meters' "Hey Pocky Way." Mydland's last show with the Grateful Dead was on July 23, 1990 at the World Music Theater, in Tinley Park, Illinois. The last song he sang that day was "The Weight."
His portion concluded with the words, "I gotta go, but my friend can stick around." In 1994, he was inducted into the Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Grateful Dead. While Keith Godchaux had preferred to play only piano at concerts, Mydland was keen to experiment with different sounds during live performances, he changed his setup to add new sounds. However, Mydland would have liked to be able to play an acoustic grand piano during concerts as well, telling Keyboard magazine in 1982, "I'd like to use an acoustic more but there's just no room for it." He had used an acoustic grand only during the Grateful Dead's acoustic concerts in the fall of 1980. He used a rented harpsichord during these acoustic concerts, but told Keyboard magazine, "I never did feel comfortable with that thing." Mydland played several different electric synthesizers throughout his tenure. His early piano sounds came from a Fender Rhodes from 1979 through 1981, a Yamaha CP-70 in 1982. During this time he used analog synthesizers including a Minimoog, a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5.
In 1983, he bega