Last summer, Amir Bar-Lev‘s expansive Grateful Dead documentary, Long Strange Trip, was released, with the new music documentary getting viewings at iconic music venues as well as movie theaters nationwide before finding a home on Amazon Prime Video on June 2nd. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, the film widely received critical acclaim after its premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, including two Critics Choice Documentary Awards nominations (Best Director and Best Music Documentary) in addition to receiving the stamp of approval from Deadheads around the world.
The film examines both the rise of the Grateful Dead and its role in United States counterculture as well as diving deeper into the beloved and frequently idolized guitarist, Jerry Garcia. Across the multi-part, f0ur-hour-long documentary, the movie offers exclusive interviews from Grateful Dead surviving members, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir, in addition to other key figures from the band’s history, such as friends and family, crew members, famous fans, historians, and others.
Those who missed out on seeing the documentary when it hit the big screen or who don’t have access to Amazon Prime need not fret, as today, an announcement let fans know that Long Strange Trip will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray. The new release of Long Strange Trip will include both the original documentary in stereo and a new mix in 5.1 surround sound, plus a new track featuring commentary from the director, Amir Bar-Lev, and the film’s editor, John Walter.
With Long Strange Trip‘s Deluxe Edition, which is limited to a production run of 6,500, fans also get access to six previously unreleased songs from the Grateful Dead’s performance at Hollywood Festival on May 24th, 1970, marking the beloved act’s first show overseas. Another bonus off the Deluxe Edition is additional backstage film from the Dead’s 1970 U.K. tour, as well as previously unreleased footage of “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “Death Don’t Have No Mercy”, both of which were recorded in 1989.
Around 2003, while winding through the 16mm film outtakes for The Grateful Dead Movie in preparation for its DVD release, I came across a couple of unlabeled cans of 16mm film. I loaded the first reel onto the Steenbeck film viewing/editing table and was amazed by what I saw. … Not only rare, exceptional quality material from the performance at the Hollywood Festival, but loads of other terrific footage, showing the band at a Warner Bros. Records party in London (Pigpen surrounded by suits!), at a photo shoot (‘that’s one uncooperative bunch of musicians!’), at a rehearsal hall performing ‘Candyman’ vocal harmonies and, most exciting of all, backstage at the festival. This is truly some of the most remarkable, candid, and interesting footage in existence of the Grateful Dead and we’re thrilled to be releasing the entirety of this wonderful historical document.
You can pre-order Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story Of The Grateful Dead here. To secure the limited-run Deluxe Editions of the film, head over to Dead.net, where these special editions are being sold exclusively.