#26754  by Viceroy
 Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:15 pm
great topic here. I think PigPen was the band leader while healthy. His R&B influence was the cornerstone of the great things that follwed. Keith was a terrific keyboardist, and i have to say i've seen nobody roll a better or quicker fattie than keith was able to do one handed, while still playing. But Brent was the one that resserected the Dead in 1979. At that time the Dead were great but lacking that something special that Brent immeditely brought to the table. in 1979, they were at the time playing theatres that held 2500-4000 people. Brent sparked new life into Jerry like nothing i have ever seen before, actually challenging Jerry and the rest of the band at times. By 1985 with Brent, they were basically only able to play large Arena's and colisium type gigs. I think Brent deserves alot of that credit.I think Brent was the most talented of them all as well, (i never really seen Pig play)and seemed to be the perfect fit for the Dead and their music. I remember the first time i saw the band with Brent (Ann Arbor '79), I knew then that this was going too be something incredible. I think Vince was an average fill in, although following brent was a tough job to fill.
 #128092  by pablomago
 Fri May 17, 2013 10:56 am
I saw The Dead in all eras. Pigpen was good as a "colorist" rather then a hot soloist. And he had that on stage personality. Keith was a great pianist as said. I've always had a love/hate thing with Brent. He did some great space, was a hell of a B-3 player, but his twitchiness got to me. I didn't like most of his original songs. When it was announced that the Dead were looking for a new keyboard player, there were rumors that they were trying to get Stevie Winwood and I even heard that they hired Bill Champlin from the Sons of ... I think either of them would have been a better fit then Brent. But that's just my viewpoint.
 #150005  by digital flower
 Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:03 am
Wasn't it Jerry that said at Pig's funeral, (paraphrase) " thats not Pig in that coffin thats the Grateful Dead"?

Keith was almost too much of a virtuoso to be in the dead.

Brent and Jerry had something going and I remember certain nights where the drove each other higher. Brent beats Donna anyday singing.