Happy Birthday David Crosby: Performing With Members Of Grateful Dead As David & The Dorks

By Andy Kahn Aug 14, 2017 2:00 pm PDT

Renowned singer-songwriter David Crosby celebrates his 76th birthday today. A prominent American musician since the mid-1960s, his resume boasts stints with The Byrds, CSNY and a successful solo career which includes his 2016 LP Lighthouse and pending follow-up Sky Trails coming out next month.

Collaborations have been a hallmark of Crosby’s career, most notably with Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young, but also more recently with the likes of Michael League of Snarky Puppy, his son James Raymond, singer-songwriter Becca Stevens and others. In celebration of his birthday today, here’s a look back at a 1970 collaboration Croz as a part off with members of the Grateful Dead.

Billed as “David & The Dorks” for what’s believed to be a three-night run of shows in December 1970, Crosby was joined by Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, bassist Phil Lesh and drummer Mikey Hart. The collective was recorded rehearsing together in the studio as well as playing live before San Francisco audiences at The Matrix club.

The surviving tapes capture the foursome in the studio working on arrangements of “Cowboy Movie” from Crosby’s 1971 debut solo LP “If I Could Only Remember My Name” as well as the Dead’s “Bertha” and “Bird Song” which would be more formally introduced into the band’s live repertoire in February 1971. They also can be heard working up the standard “Alabama Bound,” The Byrds’ “Eight Miles High” and “Wall Song” which would appear on the 1972 Graham Nash David Crosby LP.

“Cowboy Movie” as well as “Laughing” from the same album were captured during one of the nights at The Matrix. “Bertha” and the Dead staple “Deep Elem Blues” were also recorded, along with takes on “Drop Down Mama” which eventually appear on Crosby’s 1989 second solo LP. Live editions of “Wall Song” as well as The Byrds’ “Triad” and the blues classic “Motherless Children” later popularized by Eric Clapton were also preserved on tape. Posted by Master Eddie, stream David & The Dorks below:


Tracklist & Timings

Studio Rehearsal

  • 00:00 Alabama Bound (4:10)
  • 04:10 Eight Miles High (6:06)
  • 10:16 Cowboy Movie (10:00)
  • 20:16 Wall Song (16:30)
  • 36:46 Bertha (15:07)
  • 51:53 Bird Song (3:33)

Live at the Matrix

  • 0:55:26 Drop Down Mama (4:17)
  • 0:59:43 Cowboy Movie (9:53)
  • 1:09:36 Triad (9:51)
  • 1:19:27 Wall Song (7:54)
  • 1:27:21 Bertha (4:14)
  • 1:31:35 Deep Elem Blues (7:27)
  • 1:39:02 Motherless Children (8:56)
  • 1:47:58 Laughing (10:23)
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