Grateful Dead “Making of Touch Of Grey”

grateful-dead-touch-of-grey-video-skeletons-jerry-garcia-guitar-1987

This mystical Tweet emerged from the Grateful Dead’s official Twitter account this morning:

The film is actually called Dead Ringers: The Making of Touch of Grey and was directed by Justin Kreutzmann, Billy Kreutzmann‘s son. It’s a 30-minute behind-the-scenes documentary about the origins of the song and infamous MTV video where the band performed as skeletons.

The song had been around for quite some time before it became popular in 1987. In the video, Jerry Garcia says he first heard “Touch of Grey” performed by lyricist, Robert Hunter, who wrote the lyrics in 1980 with a different melody. Jerry rewrote the melody and the Dead first performed it in 1982. That’s how things move in the Dead’s world. By ’87, Jerry said the song had become an anthem on tour and taken on a life of its own.

The Dead finally released the song as the lead single for their 1987 album In The Dark, and, on a whim, decided to film a music video to try to promote the record. The video became a smash hit on MTV, and propelled “Touch Of Grey” into the top ten. In the Dark, which is not a standout record by Dead standards or otherwise, became the band’s best-selling studio album. The Grateful Dead would never be the same.

We will get by / We will survive