Sunday, April 01, 2007

25% of Vualt Missing!

hee hee
I haven't been able to find out the whole story yet, but it appears that at least 25% of the Vault is missing...or "mis-placed," depending on the story.

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 Dead all started individual endeavors," said Mr. Edwards of Rhino, "and they needed a partner to provide infrastructure." Part of the arrangement said: "Under the landmark license agreement, Rhino assumes the primary responsibility for the full range of Grateful Dead assets, recorded and otherwise, including the vast archive of unreleased live concert recordings, the band's official website (, all related direct-to-consumer and merchandise businesses, the growing variety of digital initiatives, and select band-related name and likeness licensing."
That meant moving the vault. In August, the Marin Independent Journal reported on the transfer:

"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.
"Tapes from the shows were assumed to have been long lost. No soundboard recordings existed, either in the band's vault or among fans. Then family members of the former Dead keyboard player Keith Godchaux were cleaning out the family's old houseboat and found a box of tapes. Inside were original soundboard recordings given to Godchaux by Jerry Garcia as a way for the new band member to learn the music" reported the Associated Press. The tapes were a giant 1971 gap that, before then, the Dead had accepted as lost.

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 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 to have them, and now Archive their best hope!" pointed out an anonymous poster.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

april fools?

Sunday, April 01, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Seriously, if this is not an Aprils Fools joke (and I highly doubt it because you (SLC) are very thorough) then it's a little karmic, no?

"They didn't want to have them, and now Archive their best hope!"

Another sad day in the sage of the archives.


Sunday, April 01, 2007  
Blogger M. Luke Myers said...

The vualt is missing?? What will we do without the vualt?

Sunday, April 01, 2007  
Blogger SLC Library Boy said...

Sorry to shake your trust in me, Helen! ;^D

Monday, April 02, 2007  
Blogger Mark said...


Monday, April 02, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

I can take a joke just as well as the next dudette. No problem and good on you!
Mas Paz...........

Thursday, April 05, 2007  
Blogger kevo said...

Where the hell is this guy?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truth About Jerry's Death

I've kept this to myself for too long. I was part of the inner-circle of the Dead in the 80's-90's. Two band members, who will remain unnamed, poisoned Jerry while he was at the rehab clinic where he died.

He kept calling them from the clinic telling them how much trouble he was having with withdrawal. They secretly brought him something, telling him it was dope, that wouldn't leave any traces and stopped his heart. He was dead a few hours later.

The guilty band members knew Jerry would never clean up so they wanted him to go out before he saturated the market with his increasingly mediocre work, and they wanted to have control over all of the band's intellectual property. They have no idea that I know about this.

Monday, November 26, 2007  
Blogger kevo said...


Friday, December 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wheres the news about The Grateful Dead donating the archive to UC Santa Cruz. Rolling Stone got it quicker than you guys! Rolling Stone! Come on, this is Dead News!!

Friday, April 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...copies of missing tapes r not necessary...location of originals have been found.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...time is of the essence before they r moved.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008  
Anonymous pjs said...

Oh noes! The Vualt! :)

Came across this while browsing all things Dead today--take a look.

Some great classic shots there, mostly of Weir, some of Garcia. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 26, 2008  
Anonymous Inspiration, Move Me Brightly... said...

Has there been no news since April 1st, 2007 concerning the Grateful Dead or members of? Nothing at all?

Thursday, January 01, 2009  
Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see them at Madison Square Garden! I found their tour schedule & already found tickets over at :)

Friday, January 16, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a great site I found for Dead tickets. Not a bad design either - great black paisley background and deadhead images..

Grateful Dead Tickets...

I'll be there, thanks to these guys. Now just have to get my buddies rounded up and see who wants to take it "furthur" i ya know what I mean?

Thursday, February 05, 2009  
Blogger nanc said...

HOLY CRAPPE! i bought several hundred first recordings from concerts dating back to 1966 on audio cassette at a yard sale for an ungodly low thirty or thirty-five bucks almost three years ago!

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