Relix Unearths Peter Shapiro’s Grateful Dead Tour Documentary
Before impresario Peter Shapiro bought Wetlands Preserve, became publisher of Relix, re-opened The Capitol Theatre, launched the Brooklyn Bowl venues, co-founded LOCKN’ and became involved with a multitude of projects benefitting the jam scene, he focused on filmmaking. In 1993, Shapiro and cameraman Philip Bruell profiled the scene surrounding the Grateful Dead in the documentary And Miles To Go Before I Sleep | On Tour With The Grateful Dead Summer 1993. Relix recently shared the documentary, which can be viewed below as this week’s Throwback Thursday selection.
Peter Shapiro was a student at Northwestern University in 1993 and headed out on tour with Bruell that summer. A number of luminaries from the Grateful Dead world and beyond are featured in the film. Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, David Gans, John Perry Barlow and Wavy Gravy are just a few of the important figures Shapiro interviewed for And Miles To Go Before I Sleep. He also spoke with a bevy of Deadheads with the aim of telling the story of the community that formed around the band and continued in 1993, 28 years after the group’s formation. Additionally, the filmmakers gave context to the scene’s place in the music industry at large by chatting with rapper Ice-T and Spin Doctors vocalist Chris Barron about the Dead.
Read Peter Shapiro’s note about the film:
“I first ‘got on the bus’ in the parking-lot of Rosemont Horizon in March 1993. Three months later in June I went on summer tour with my friend, Phil, from film school at Northwestern, and a video camera. We went on the road seeking to capture a bit of the magic that I had been turned onto that initial night in Chicago. While we never got any of the band members to speak with us we were able to meet and capture many of the other characters that, combined together, created the circus that followed and surrounded the Grateful Dead in the 1990s. I recently got to watch the film again for the first time in a number of years. It was cool to feel the energy of the Dead’s Summer Tour again, so we felt we should share it more broadly. Some of this scene is still going strong today, with Dead & Co., Phil & Friends and other bands, but some of it you need a time machine to go back and get that feeling. Hopefully watching And Miles To Go can give people a taste of that once again.”
Watch And Miles To Go Before I Sleep | On Tour With The Grateful Dead Summer 1993 below: