October 7, 2010 – 11:00 am

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France 1971 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Chateau d’Herouville (aka “The Honky Chateau”), Herouville, France, June 21, 1971. Very good soundboard.

“The group’s most exotic gig in 1971 was a one-shot in France,” Grateful Dead historian Blair Jackson wrote in Garcia: An American Life.

According to Jerry Garcia:

We went over there to do a big festival, a free festival they were gonna have. We went over [at the promoter’s expense], but the festival was rained out; it flooded. We stayed at this little chateau [Chateau d’Herouville] which is owned by a film score composer who has a 16-track recording studio built into the chateau, and this is a chateau that Chopin once lived in; really old, just delightful, out in the country near the town of Auvers, which is where Vincent Van Gogh is buried…

We were there with nothing to do: France, a 16-track recording studio upstairs, all our gear, ready to play, and nothing to do. So, we decided to play at the chateau itself, out in the back, in the grass, with a swimming pool, just play into the hills. We didn’t even play to hippies, we played to a handful of townspeople in Auvers… We played and the people came - the chief of police, the fire department, just everybody. It was an event and everybody just had a hell of a time - got drunk, fell in the pool. It was great.

And in The Dead Book: A Social History Of The Grateful Dead, Hank Harrison wrote:

The Dead started to play just before the sky got dark, but their entire set was illuminated by bright lights from the Paris socialized television station Link Two, which rebroadcast the event the next week. Their film technique was flawless, as one would expect from a French film team; the camera people were completely unobtrusive on the musicians; the lights bugged Phil a little. Pig Pen just barely recovered in time to sing after downing his two bottles of duty free Wild Turkey… Weir was in fine primal scream voice, and Garcia settled into his trancelike lassitude from which emanates the famous electronic genius that is particularly his.

They played for three hours, and during this time the workers and the fire department and little children lit hundreds of candles and placed them around the pool as if it were a religious shrine… a Lourdes or place of healing waters. As the party progressed, the candles were extinguished by the bodies of of various drunken celebrants being thrown in the pool by other drunken celebrants. The Dead played louder and louder; the locals had never heard anything like it before and they were delirious.

The group probably had Elvis in mind when they played this set. Apart from the usual one-two China Cat Sunflower-I Know You Rider combination, they also worked in The Promised Land and Big Boss Man. And maybe it’s because the Dead played there, the Chateau d’Herouville would be immortalised by Elton John the following year and artistes who had recorded at the studio subsequently included Pink Floyd, T Rex, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Fleetwood Mac and the Bee Gees.

Some parts of the Grateful Dead show at Hérouville were broadcast in France by the “The Second Channel” of the ORTF (French Radio and Television Broadcasting) on the July 24, 1971 edition of the rock program “Pop 2″. A second part of the show was broadcast in black-and-white on November 27, 1971. A video compilation of the show (PAL DVD) is shared by featseeker on the Dime site.

But more importantly, featseeker is also sharing the complete soundboard master reel audio on Dime. Thanks to featseeker for the effort and to Charlie Miller (transfers and mastering). featseeker noted:

- Disc change is seamless
- The intro to Truckin’ is cut
- First few notes to Me And My Uncle are cut
- Thanks to Rob Eaton for the discs
- Thanks to Joe B. Jones for his help with the pitch correction

Thanks to Rosie McGee for the photo of Jerry Garcia at the Chateau d’Herouville.
[(C) Photo by Rosie McGee.]

A full stadium crowd might have egged the Dead to stellar heights of ecstasy but here, with no crowd pressure, they still delivered the goods. The jams may not be that long but the vocals are much tighter and the playing as exquisite as ever, and on That’s It For The Other One, easily allowing the listener to soak in the vibes.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 226 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Track 101. Truckin’ (16.8MB)
Track 102. Loser (13.6MB)
Track 103. Me & Bobby McGee (12.8MB)
Track 104. Next Time You See Me (6.3MB)
Track 105. Morning Dew (19.8MB)
Track 106. Me & My Uncle (7.0MB)
Track 107. Hard To Handle (19.1MB)
Track 108. China Cat Sunflower (8.4MB)
Track 109. I Know You Rider (12.9MB)
Click here if you reside in North America
Click here if you reside outside North America
Track 110. The Promised Land (4.8MB)
Track 111. Deal (9.9MB)

Disc 2
Track 201. Playing in the Band (8.1MB)
Track 202. Big Boss Man (10.0MB)
Track 203. Black Peter (13.7MB)
Track 204. Bertha (9.9MB)
Track 205. Casey Jones (9.9MB)
Track 206. That’s It For The Other One (29.8MB)
Track 207. Wharf Rat (14.1MB)
Track 208. Sugar Magnolia (10.4MB)
Track 209. Sing Me Back Home (16.5MB)
Track 210. Johnny B Goode (6.6MB)

Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan - keyboards, percussion, vocals
Bill Kreutzmann - drums

Click on the link to order Grateful Dead albums.

  1. 15 Responses to “THE GRATEFUL DEAD - FRANCE 1971”

  2. hey bigo, thanks! this makes up for the olympia show i passed on cause it was missing a track awhile back. i got the munich, fillmore west, oakland and dead moon rising dead shows, when they were first offered too. all are good.


    By Ed Saad on Oct 7, 2010

  3. very nice indeed, thanks as always

    By jack hanley on Oct 8, 2010

  4. Thanks again, bigO!

    By Namoosedog on Oct 8, 2010

  5. Big O Amigos:
    Thank you very much. I hope all is well on your side of the world. This will make for some good post-homecoming coverage music. Any live “Dark Star,” in your Dead stash?


    By James on Oct 8, 2010

  6. Excellent! Thanks

    By Steve on Oct 9, 2010

  7. Great set, Great location, Great Sound, Great band… the Grateful Dead will never to be replicated !!! Thanks BIG O!!!

    By Mike C. on Oct 9, 2010

  8. Many, many thanks for this - sounds so good…

    By Martyn on Oct 14, 2010

  9. You can always love a soundboard

    By Gabriel on Oct 18, 2010

  10. Very interesting show. I have a pretty extensive GD collection (going back to the reel to reel days!), but I’ve never heard this one before. Very interesting. Jerry seems to be in a bit of a funny mood. Sings just about all of his death tunes here–Morning Dew, Black Peter, Wharf Rat, Sing Me Back Home–all in one show! He seems to really be feeling them too. Very unusual! (A Donna-free Sing Me Back Home is alone worth the download). He forgets almost all of the words to Bertha and instead focuses on playing. Very very mellow on his Rider lead. Seems a little disinterested on the Bobby numbers. Gets much more into it on the Pigpen numbers. Truly excellent Hard to Handle, with a little sort of start-stop jam right in the middle. Outstanding Deal–very laid back yet rollicking. A must have for folks who dig that tune.

    Sound: Bobby’s mike is up too high (typical for what Bobby wants). More interestingly, you can really hear Pig’s organ in this recording. He takes the first few tunes off (drinking), but then you can hear him clear as day.

    A great show. To repeat myself, very unusual and interesting. You can tell the French folk just love Pigpen! And you can hear Jerry melt their faces on “That’s it for the Other One,” which should more accurately be labeled “Cryptical>Drums>Other One>Wharf Rat.”

    Thanks BigO! Way to go!

    By John M on Oct 18, 2010

  11. A very fine recording with excellent sound quality.

    Unfortunately, when I attempt to convert to WAV format, my converter gives me an error message “unable to read from input file or invalid header.” I have never had a problem converting other files downloaded from BigO, including several albums today. I tried this conversion on different days with the same result, and also downloaded one of the songs a second time to make sure there wasn’t a problem the first time. Unfortunately the problem persists.

    Everything plays fine in MP3 format.

    Thanks for making this available.

    By Janania on Oct 24, 2010

  12. Thx again BigO for another great download!

    By bluehz on Nov 2, 2010

  13. Just a simple note. This photo of Jerry Garcia taken at the Chateau d’Herouville was taken by me and should, at the very least, have a credit to that effect. (C) Photo by Rosie McGee.

    Thanks very much.

    Rosie McGee

    By Rosie McGee on Feb 2, 2012

  14. Hello Rosie

    Thanks for your feedback. Have added the belated acknowledgement to the page.

    Once again, many thanks.

    By bigozine2 on Feb 2, 2012

  15. Hi BIGO. The html page links for this show are invalid. Please help . Thank you in advance.

    By Tunafan on Apr 1, 2016

  16. That’s It For The Other One (29.0MB - visit the html page for the track)when you go to the page’
    The file link that you requested is not valid.

    By Tunafan on Apr 1, 2016

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