Written February 23, 2017
A grainy, barely-watchable videotape of what became the Dead's "Sunshine Daydream" has been circulating the GD tape trader underworld since the late 80s at least. I contacted Ken Kesey many years ago when he started releasing portions of the film he and the Merry Pranksters made in their trip across America. Kesey said that it would eventually make its way to the public sphere - and, alas, it did - long after Kesey himself checked out of this world.
And it was worth the wait!!! "Sunshine Daydream" is a visual and audio delight. The Dead were playing great after their spectacular tour of Europe that summer and the planets aligned perfectly on that hot August afternoon in Oregon. The cinematography seems dated only occasionally, during close-ups that are WAY too close up for too long, for example, as was de rigueur for rockumentaries in the 70s.
This is a must-see for deadheads and a should-see for anyone who wants to see what the hippie world was really like.
Written January 17, 2017
Just to see new Jerry, that was enough. But the music was fantastic. The video coulda been cleaned up a bit more. The animation just clearly sucked. Oh, but that music!!!!
Written January 18, 2017
Only one thing missing- the closing credit attribution to the naked man on the post behind the stage, or was it an elephant in the room? Either way...
Written January 17, 2017
Too much talk, not enough music. I come to these annual Grateful Dead meet up at the movies events to see concert footage, and to hear songs. A lot of the footage in this film was about the backstory about the concert, and showed interviews with people who were there ( not particularly interesting) and people building the stage (again not interesting). Of course it is always amazing to see the Dead perform, on film or live, but a lot of the film was taken up by one of their super-long trippy jams, which works OK in a live setting when they play for hours, but not so well in a short movie. I would have much preferred to see them play more songs. The film last year at the 2nd annual meet up was much better. Also, I don't mind seeing nude adults dancing, it was kind of fun to see everyone having a good time, but there were some young kids in the audience for whom the film was not appropriate.
Written August 30, 2016
The closest anyone who's never been to a Grateful Dead show will ever get. And some very good background material, before the concert portion, to show what a great bunch of guys they really were and still are. The setting is a benefit concert to save Springfield Creamery in Eugene, Oregon, struggling to survive in 1972. The Dead decided to throw a benefit concert to raise money for them. In spite of over 20,000 in attendance, so many had not paid that they didn't raise the required amount. Was this the end of Springfield Creamery? Heck no, the Dead wrote them a check for the balance, and 31 years later, they're still in business. That is the background info. After the documentary portion at the beginning, there's plenty of great Grateful Dead music, and crowd shots complete with plenty of stark naked hippies. Anyway, the music is top-notch, and the closest thing I would call true "Jazz-Rock", as their jams in the tunes just take you on a musical journey along with them. Fun!