25% of Vualt Missing!
Most of you know that the Vault was moved to Burbank last year after Rhino took over responsibility for running the business side of the Grateful Dead.
"The musical legacy of the Grateful Dead - some 13,000 live audio and video recordings spanning the band's 30-year concert career - left Marin County in a temperature-controlled truck and is now being stored in a huge Warner Brothers Music vault in Southern California.
The transfer of the priceless 'vault' recordings - from a Novato warehouse to a Fort Knox-like facility in Burbank - is a physical manifestation of a milestone deal that effectively dissolves Marin-based Grateful Dead Productions and turns over the Hall of Fame band's business operations to Rhino Entertainment, a subsidiary of giant Warner Music Group."
Ironically, the article then quoted Grateful Dead Archivist David Lemieux saying "It's sad to see it go...but it couldn't be in better hands."
This wasn't the first time the Vault was moved and, last time, Lemieux was in charge of the transfer. "About two years ago, we had to move The Vault. It meant going from 2,400 square feet of space, which was sizable, about 60 by 40 and then we went down to 18 by 40" said David Lemieux in a 2005 interview. The Archivist went on to explian how choices were made on what to store:
"At that point, I really had to make some decisions. Obviously, I wasn't going to get rid of any Grateful Dead. It's their Vault. I realized Mickey had about a 1/6 of the entire 2,400 feet. I talked to the band and the CEO and the decision was made that each band member would take responsibility for their own stuff. Phil doesn't have a lot of stuff, but what he has is very safe. Mickey has built himself a vault. Terrific little place. Bobby has his in a specialized facility. Hunter same thing. Garcia [estate] has theirs in a very specialized facility. What we do get is The Dead, all the audiotape they do for the CDs they sell, the hard drives, the videotapes. They pull video off the big screens. All that ends up in the Vault."
Parts of the vault have been lost and recovered before. Dick's Picks 35 was nicknamed "The Houseboat Tapes" because the material came from some tapes found on the Houseboats owned by Grateful Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux's parents.
Some of the most popularly traded Grateful Dead concert tapes are called "Betty Boards" by traders. They are called this because the tapes were recorded off the Soundboad by Betty Cantor-Jackson. Most of these found their way into circulation when autioned to the public by a storage company.
So there is hope the tapes will surface. What exactly is missing is unknown. Archivist David Lemieux has not replied to emails inquiring about the Vault. Rhino is not responding to queries either.
The message board over at Archive.org has a couple posts from Brewster Kahle in which he acknowledges that he's been contacted by Rhino about possibly providing them with copies of a few of the missing shows. They have not indicated which shows these would be. And, if they are wanting SBDs, they might have some trouble. "They didn't want Archive.org to have them, and now Archive their best hope!" pointed out an anonymous poster.