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Pig. Keith, Brent & that guy from the Tubes

PostPosted:Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:47 pm
by Art Shamsky
IMHO, Pig was the meat of the band in the 60's, if on attitude alone...but Keith was the best "all-around" keyboardist.

PostPosted:Wed Jul 14, 2004 8:56 pm
by ebick
Keith could sure tickle the ivories, but his refusal to play organ cost him points.......Brent was the man, versatile and a better voice tahn Donna.

PostPosted:Sun Jul 18, 2004 11:55 am
by Art Shamsky
Stumbled onto this...


But, rather than getting into another "Keith vs. Brent" war....lemme rephrase


Keith was the all around best PIANIST.


PostPosted:Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:50 pm
by Isaacsmonkeywrench
"his refusal to play organ cost him points"

As a keyboardist, it is fairly obvious that unlike pigpen's, keith's playing style was ill-suited for playing the organ. His piano playing was superb, and he made a spectacular entrance into the band in the early 70s. Brent, I will agree, was more versatile, but I don't think he was as skilled. Pigpen was more organ-oriented, and the band had an entirely different feel when he was around. Whether that feel was good or bad is personal opinion

PostPosted:Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:01 pm
by strumminsix
Okay, let's try to examine the 66-68 GD Pre-TC (whom you forgot by the way). Back then the GD were more of a R&B/Blues/Rock band in that order. So of course Pig was the natural leader and most skilled in that arena.

So there really is no comparison between Pig and anyone else.

Then look at Vince, he was a great fit as a bandmember but didn't bring much to the audiences ears.

So now we have Kieth and Brent. Brent played both organ and piano while Kieth only played piano. +1 for Brent. Also, Brent sang very well. +1 for Brent. Also, Brent harmonized very well +1 for Brent. Kieth was a very talented on Piano and in fact more talented on Piano than Brent +1 for Keith.

However, taking keys as a whole, Brent was superior and more versatile. +1 for Brent.

So, as I see it we have Brent 4 - 1 over Kieth.

PostPosted:Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:39 pm
by jck_strw
strumminsix--I would tend to agree with your score on Brent vs. Keith, however for me, it comes down to this:

Which would I rather hear? A tasty 72-73 or anything from the Brent years? I would take 72-73 in a heartbeat. When Keith was awake at the keyboard, nothing topped him. :)

Just like there's no I in team, the individual mano-a-mano would favour Brent, but taken as a whole, Keith wins.

PostPosted:Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:41 pm
by sarraqum
Brent did nothing but kick ass! He totally suited the 80's Dead. Keith had less flare but he suited the 70's perfectly. They all had their era.

PostPosted:Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:25 pm
by strumminsix
jck_strw wrote:strumminsix--I would tend to agree with your score on Brent vs. Keith, however for me, it comes down to this:

Which would I rather hear? A tasty 72-73 or anything from the Brent years? I would take 72-73 in a heartbeat. When Keith was awake at the keyboard, nothing topped him. :)

Just like there's no I in team, the individual mano-a-mano would favour Brent, but taken as a whole, Keith wins.
Bro, you got me on that one. I am a 73-74 fan all the way . But, it has nothing to do with the keys. Like you started, it has everything to do with the team. They had unique energy and a single drummer allowing some quickness and they were still so undefined from 1st set 2nd set norms and there was raw energy. Then you have the 77 - 78 when there was passion from a hiatus, and playing in Egypt and closing Winterland it was pure pleasure. But again, not for the keys.

And during those times Keith managed to stay awake during whole shows, well at least a couple, well, err, maybe :-)

Personally, I wonder some days what the GD would have turned into if Brent joined on in 72 instead of Kieth and Donna. Granted he would have been on the young side, I think, but I wonder none the less.

PostPosted:Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:23 pm
by ebick
You know what I wonder?

Let's face it. Jerry tempted fate and was close to death many times. Brent died way before his time, as far as I'm concerned. If Brent was still alive when Jerry died......I think the band continues, and I think Brent is the lead melody instrument.

The resulting incarnations, Further, The Other Ones, The Dead, whatever, they all have the same problem......the cart is leading the horse. The surviving members of the band represent the rythym section, and the fill-in guys the melody. The melody should take the lead, but how could they? If Brent were there, he could.

PostPosted:Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:04 pm
by Isaacsmonkeywrench
sarragum, you're entirely right in that brent suited 80's Dead. There are some who prefer 80's-era Dead because of Brent alone, even if it is commonly acknowledged that the 80's were a long downhill road for the Dead. In the same respect, people like me like early-70's-Keith-Godchaux-in-his-prime Dead for that reason alone. Pig is the same. They all suited their eras, even defined them.

Again, it's a matter of personal opinion, so it's impossible to say the any one of them were the single "best" keyboardist for the dead.[/quote]

PostPosted:Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:40 pm
by Cosmic C

Thats a great observation! Somethin' to definatly think about. As far as the keyboardist go, I tend to agree with Issacs, as is with GD on so many different occurances, it just so happens, in my humble opinion, that coincidently, each tickler worked out perfectly for their particular era. I don't think you could have a Brent, for example, in the sixties and have it work with where the rest of the boys were musically at the time.

PostPosted:Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:26 pm
by acidrain30005
I think that they were all best suited for the years that they were in the band.

PostPosted:Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:28 pm
by Benthegoodbum
Keith has always been my favorite of the lot in terms of playing. I often just focus on his playing in jams and I just get lost in how amazing it sounds. In terms of style...I'm all about PigPen. The dude just rocked. :cool:

PostPosted:Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:30 am
by BlobWeird
Now for my 2 cents. Keith could* be a good pianist when he wanted. As in when he wasnt just bein a drunk and smokin a cigarette and screwin around in the middle of songs. With that said my favorite is by far Mydland. He may not be as talented but he knew how to jam! I mean him and Jerry would just go back and forth back and forth. Gotta love the ending of Row Jimmy from Dozin at the Knick. I just heard it the other day for the first time in years. Mydland and Jerry exchanged licks the whole time its great. But yeah thats my opinion

PostPosted:Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:18 am
by Jimkkc
I agree with most of what has been said. I disagree with the sentiment about Pig - I never understood why he was there - to me the R&B covers from the Pigpen era sound amateur and beneath the collective talents of the rest of the band - were they having fun onstage? w/o a doubt; however, it is faily clear that once the boys begin to "go pro" Pigpen recedes. Yes, his health was failing (70-72), but the boys were also growing in ways far beyond Pig's playing ability. I am probably in the minority opinion here, but on the rare occasions I listen to Pigpen era Dead, it's not to hear the organ.

As far as the others are concerned? To my ears, Brent was the man. Vince had the playing chops, but not the "ugliness" or the attitude - Keith? great on jams, but what did he do that Brent couldn't do on the first set songs? And just remember Brent's gravel sounding harmony that somehow still held down the high end . . .