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Festival Express (9-Sep-2003)

Directors: Frank Cvitanovich; Bob Smeaton

Keywords: Music Concert, Rock and Roll, Hippies

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Bonnie Bramlett
8-Nov-1944   Delaney & Bonnie
Rick Danko
9-Dec-1943 10-Dec-1999 The Band
Jerry Garcia
1-Aug-1942 9-Aug-1995 Grateful Dead
Buddy Guy
30-Jul-1936   Damn Right, I've Got the Blues
Mickey Hart
11-Sep-1943   Drummer for Grateful Dead
Levon Helm
26-May-1940 19-Apr-2012 Drummer for The Band
Garth Hudson
2-Aug-1937   The Band
Janis Joplin
19-Jan-1943 4-Oct-1970 Ball and Chain (Piece of My Heart)
Bill Kreutzmann
7-Apr-1946   Drummer for Grateful Dead
Phil Lesh
15-Mar-1940   Bassist for Grateful Dead
Richard Manuel
3-Apr-1943 4-Mar-1986 The Band
Ron McKernan
8-Sep-1945 8-Mar-1973 Keyboards for Grateful Dead
Robbie Robertson
5-Jul-1944   The Band
Bob Weir
16-Oct-1947   Rhythm guitar for Grateful Dead


Review by Douglas Allen (posted on 13-Mar-2005)

A cultural treasure that should be in everyone's media library, right beside, not behind, Woodstock. Maybe the last footage of Joplin,and with a real band to work with -- priceless. Further evidence, if it is needed, of Garcia's immense talent and personality, and the added bonus of footage of Pig Pen. Electric or acoustic, there is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert. And The Band. Blazing. I prefer this footage to The Last Waltz. If you do nothing else this year, buy (don't rent, after you see it you will buy) this movie and watch Richard Manuel sing I Shall Be Released. You will not be the same.

Smeaton does it right. Puts the camera(s) on the musicians and lets 'em play. I was at the Winnipeg gig, but being in the same condition as most of the musicians, my memories of the day were a little "hazy." This film reminded me of what a privilege it was to see some of the finest acts in history at the height of their power. Do not miss this.

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