Throwback Thursday - Honoring Brent Today

July 23, 2015

In 1979 a reporter asked Mickey how he felt about their new keyboard player.
"He's making it more interesting...jamming... I'm thoroughly enjoying him..." ~Mickey Hart
Earlier that year Brent joined the Grateful Dead replacing Keith and Donna. He quickly became an integral part of the sound. His last show  was on July 23, 1990 at The World Music Theater, in Tinley Park, IL.  In 1994, he was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Grateful Dead.
RIP Brent.
A collection of Brent highlights over the years.
"By the time Brent had joined the band, the cloud that seemed to hang over the Dead"s keyboard seat seemed firmly in place. He grew up in the Bay Area suburbs of Contra Costa County, and swiftly joined a succession of local rock bands. A record contract took him to Los Angeles, where he caught Bob Weir's attention just as Bob was putting together a live band to represent his album Heaven Help the Fool. Garcia heard that band and was impressed by Brent, and when Keith resigned, suggested that Brent join the Dead. Over his 11 years with the band, his contributions grew mightily. His first, rather than sweet voice and songs "Easy to Love You," "Far From Me" grew much stronger by the time In the Dark's "Tons of Steel," and by 1989, when the Dead recorded Built to Last, he had some of the best material of them all, from "Just a Little Light" and "Blow Away" to the exquisite lullabye for his daughters, "I Will Take You Home." His 1990 death deeply hurt the band." ~
Original Article:
''He could take something and turn it into a fully scored, well-thought-out, harmonically structured masterpiece in about a minute and a half,'' Mr. Barlow said in an interview yesterday. ''Brent could pick his way through anything immediately, which meant he had the special requirement it was going to take to walk into the Dead overnight. He was musically central to the band, but he was so good at what he did that he was able to become fundamental to everything that the band was doing musically without it being immediately apparent to the audience.''  ~ John Barlow
Original Article:
"With In the Dark, we had to start defending the shows. People were breaking in. It was 50,000 people inside, 50,000 outside. There was a lot of pressure on us to keep the peace. But it was hot on all fronts – the band was in a good playing place. Brent was really cranking, and we were bringing a lot of the old stuff out – "Death Don't Have No Mercy," "Attics of My Life." There was no pressure to reinvent. We were just being the Grateful Dead. And Jerry was feeling good." ~Mickey Hart
Orignal Article:
"Brent’s contributions to the band were enormous – his haunting Blues-swept vocals (backup and lead), his rollicking keyboard play and his strong songwriting abilities. His talents added a bright layer to The Grateful Dead’s sound and repertoire – a dimension that hadn’t been fully realized during Keith and Donna Godchaux’s tenure (particularly the songwriting piece)." ~ Peter Wendel
Original Article:
"I had the best time in Brent [Mydland]'s final years." ~ Bob Weir
Original Article:
Watch Brent on YouTube:
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