Grateful Dead

Today is legendary Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart’s birthday, joining the list of influential musicians turning 70 this year, including Mick Jagger and Roger Waters.

Hart joined The Grateful Dead this month way back in 1967 and played with them until 1995, although he did take a 3 year break from ’71 to ’74. Hart is one of the members of the Grateful Dead that continued playing after the death of Jerry Garcia in August of 1995. These steadfast few (Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart) tour under the abridged name The Dead.

Additionally, Mickey Hart has enjoyed a very successful career with The Mickey Hart Band, having released a record just last month. The album, called Superorganism on the label 360° Productions. Check out the “The Sermon”, embedded below for your listening pleasure. The studio version of this song is just over four minutes long, but this groovy live version is a whole 3 minutes longer.


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Grateful Dead Mickey Hart Superorganism The Dead The Mickey Hart Band The Sermon

I would urge that when thinking of the best songs of the 90's for our current poll that you give a nod to the tragically under-appreciated songwriting talents of Brad Nowell and his group Sublime.

I'm not going to vote on this poll because I would simply be copying the tracklist of 40 oz. To Freedom, or that of Sublime.

I realize that for a thousand artists the 90's were a prolific period.  You had your Smashing Pumpkins, your Pearl Jams, your Rage Against the Machines, your Faith No Mores, your REMs, your DMBs, your Black Crowes, your Nirvanas, your Ugly Kid Joes (haha no..... okay, maybe I loved them ), your Flaming Lips, your Portisheads, your Bob Dylans (Time out of Mind), your Eric Claptons ("Tears in Heaven" - hate on that song and we're no longer friends), your Princes (link not entirely related), your White Stripes, and so on all cranking out gems, but looking back, nothing is more "Nineties" to me than Sublime.

I'm sure it has something to do with turning fourteen and all of a sudden hearing a song about a hooker on the radio, but something about their self-titled disc jumped out and grabbed me.  I didn't get into Sublime until after Brad Nowell (lead-singer/songwriter/guitarist) passed away from a heroin overdose.  Their fame, in fact, skyrocketed with the posthumous release of Sublime just two months after the incident.  Hearing "Wrong Way" and "What I Got" naturally led to their back-catalog, two albums that did not disappoint.  Instead they opened up a world of other music to me.  I grew up on classic rock - the Rolling Stones, Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd.  That's all I ever really wanted out of life:  some girls, the hammer of the gods, and to not go batcrap crazy but still have my pudding

From Sublime you get to the Grateful Dead, you get to Bad Brains, you get to Bob Marley.  I cannot stress enough how mind-blowing that synthesis of influences was for me.  That's like traveling in three different directions at once.  And all of it couched in stories of the streets written with a keener eye and quicker rhyme than any of Nowell's contemporaries could offer.  Brad Nowell was a musical genius.  He infused his music with an all-pervading sprituality and generosity of insight.  It's unfortunate that because of his band's skate-punk tendencies they don't get any respect.  You have to look past the fact that he was, at times, a dirtball and a junkie to see that Bradley was a journalist and poet and Southern Californian prophet.  A definite inspiration.

I would recommend that you give a listen to the following tracks before our poll ends:

Don't Push   -  40 oz. to Freedom

Badfish  -  40 oz. to Freedom

40 oz. to Freedom - 40 oz. to Freedom

Pool Shark - Robbin' Da Hood

Greatest Hits - Robbin' Da Hood

STP - Robbin' Da Hood 

Boss D.J. - Robbin' Da Hood

What I Got - Sublime

April 29th, 1992 - Sublime

Under My Voodoo - Sublime

Santeria - Sublime


Pawnshop - Sublime


You will be glad that you did.   You can't leave Sublime out of the 90's equation.


PS - I made a great Sublime mix cd if you're interested in going a little deeper into the band's catalog.

Surgeon General's Warning:  There is some explicit language on all of Sublime's records. 




90's Bad Brains Bob Marley folk Grateful Dead hip-hop music poet prophet punks reggae ska skateboards Sublime
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