Skip to main content

GRATEFUL DAWG

USA, 2000 (MIFF 2002, Backbeat)

Director: Gillian Grisman

Grateful Dawg traces the decades long friendship between the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and bluegrass picker and musicologist, David Grisman, who met by chance at a Bill Monroe concert in 1964.

Over a thirty year period the two kept in contact to write tunes, record, perform and talk for days about their shared passion. This documentary follows their fond collaborations and explorations over the years, constantly returning to footage from a pair of sublime concerts filmed prior to Garcia's quiet death in 1995.

A lot of the folk, gypsy, Caribbean and jazz influenced tunes that surface are a far cry from the Grateful Dead's six hour super jams but reflect a little known side of Garcia's career. It shows a different side of a man who survived the worst excess of rock and roll and practically spawned a personal cult.

"A treat for the ear... an affectionate compilation of home video, photographs, interviews and unreleased concert film that blessedly emphasises the music. For those that have never previously encountered Garcia or Grisman, here is the opportunity to make their rewarding acquaintance." - New York Times

Grateful Dawg is Gillian Grisman's debut documentary, the first for her company, 11th Hour Productions. She is the daughter of one of the subjects, David Grisman, and is currently working on a collaborative documentary with a group of filmmakers including Steve Buscemi and Doug Liman (Swingers, Go).

See also...

REJOICE & SHOUT

“Blues are the songs of despair, but gospel songs are the songs of hope.” - Mahalia Jackson ... Take a foot-stompin' journey into the heart and soul of gospel music from seasoned music ... More »

MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS

"May be the funniest, most meta music movie since Spinal Tap." - Pitchfork ... In 2010 indie darlings The National set out on a world tour on the back of their critically acclaimed album, High ... More »

WRECKING CREW, THE

“People will finally understand what it was like to be in the trenches of Rock and Roll… [this film is] the closest thing to being there.” - Hal Blaine, drummer for The Wrecking Crew ... More »

TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM

"You may not know their names, but the performances of these instantly recognizable backups singers are unforgettable." - Hollywood Reporter ... The back-up singers who made great songs greater and ... More »

TROUBADOURS

A documentary love letter to the LA singer-songwriter scene of the early 70s that took the world by storm. ... As the heady days of 60s political folk started to decline, LA found itself home to the ... More »

STRANGE POWERS: STEPHIN MERRITT AND THE MAGNETIC FIELDS

“The more time I spent with the music, the more I got to thinking this is really one of America's great songwriters at work.” - Peter Gabriel ... Best known as the frontman to the Magnetic ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director