Take the Long Strange Trip with the Grateful Dead

Good news, Deadheads: The Long Strange Trip leads to your home.

Originally released in theatres in 2017, the Martin Scorsese-produced documentary is a Deadhead’s dream collection of outtakes, concert footage, previously unreleased material and, if you splurge for the deluxe edition, a six-song concert filmed in 1970 and two full songs performed in 1989.

“Around 2003, while winding through the 16mm film outtakes for The Grateful Dead Movie in preparation for its DVD release, I came across a couple of unlabeled cans of 16mm film,” archivist David Lemieux told Rolling Stone. “I loaded the first reel onto the Steenbeck film viewing/editing table and was amazed by what I saw. Not only rare, exceptional quality material from the performance at the Hollywood Festival, but loads of other terrific footage, showing the band at a Warner Bros. Records party in London (Pigpen surrounded by suits!), at a photo shoot… at a rehearsal hall performing ‘Candyman’ vocal harmonies and, most exciting of all, backstage at the festival.”

Only 6,500 copies of the deluxe edition of Long Strange Trip are available, on either DVD or Blu-Ray, and can only be purchased from Dead.net, the band’s official website. Otherwise, fans can pick up a double DVD or single Blu-Ray. The film’s home release is set for November 16, just in time to kick off the holiday shopping season.

The film also contains interviews with Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. It was short-listed for the Oscars in the Best Documentary Feature category and selected one of the best documentaries in 2017 by critics alike.

The film’s director, Amir Bar-Lev, spent more than a decade making the project a reality and considers this to be his life’s work.

“If I’ve succeeded, then you get to the end of the movie and you don’t just have any more questions about why people love the Grateful Dead,” he told Business Insider. “You’re not even interested in the question anymore. My greatest hope is for the time you’re watching it you’re participating in a Grateful Dead story.”

It took nearly a decade for him to convince the band to give their blessing to the project, which was supposed to be a 90-minute film commemorating the band’s 50th anniversary but turned into a four-hour retrospective that dives deep into the band’s history.

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

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