Mickey Hart Appears On ‘Above The Basement’ Podcast


Drummer Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead and Dead & Company appeared on two recent installments of the Boston-based podcast Above The Basement. Hart spoke with co-hosts Chuck Clough and Dr. Ronnie Hirschberg in Boston the day before Dead & Company kicked off their current tour about a variety of topics including his friendship with the late Walter Cronkite, the musical chemistry of his latest band and more.

Hart began the chat by talking about his appreciation of Pythagoras and how the Greek philosopher used cannabis. The discussion then came around to Boston sports. Hart talked about his friendship with Bill Walton and his first time he spotted the basketball legend in the crowd at a Dead concert. Mickey went on to explain how he and Bill Kreutzmann are “tied at the heart” and the power of having two drummers. Hart gave a history lesson detailing popular music’s origins and how the traps are one of America’s best inventions. The drummer also discussed his work on music therapy, his friendship with the late Oliver Sacks, his RAMU database of sounds and many other topics.

Listen to Hart’s appearance on Episode 98 of Above The Basement:

Hart’s conversation with Chuck and Dr. Ronnie continued with Mickey describing his first field recording. Bob Weir convinced Hart in 1967 to record animals at the zoo. Unfortunately, Mickey’s first attempt was his only unsuccessful one. The drummer went on to talk about how he aims to clear his mind when he’s performing. The hosts then talk with Mickey Hart about the chemistry among the Grateful Dead and Dead & Company. Hart explained that Dead & Company haven’t reached the point of becoming telepathic at all times as the Grateful Dead were at their greatest.

One of the more fascinating topics hit upon comes towards the middle of the second installment when Hart detailed his 25-year friendship with Walter Cronkite. Mickey convinced the legendary broadcast journalist to attend a Grateful Dead show and Hart told the tale of Walter’s experience. Other subjects hit upon were the healing power of music, creativity and the importance of practice.

Stream Episode 99 of Above The Basement featuring Mickey Hart: