NED LAGIN Seastones (1975)

Seastones (1975)
Prescient Space Electronica

A piece of rare avant-electronica, courtesy of Ned Lagin (and pals Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, David Crosby, Grace Slick and others). First issued on the Dead’s Round Records in 1975, the original 42 minute version has been expanded for CD by Ryko to include an additional 30 minute version from later in the year. Spacey rumblings and atmospherics filled with burps and bleeps… it’s all quite weird, rather pointless and tough to define (the player below will let you skip ahead to sample). AMG calls Seastonesa shifting sonic landscape out of which the strangest things may emerge.” Of course, you’d never know from listening who was involved. Lagin was also the Dead’s uncredited live keyboardist in ’74-’75, playing a part in their live space improvisations. Amazon.

The December 1975 Version (31:17)
The Original February 1975 Version (42:34)


  • Bile
    September 2, 2009 - 20:53 | Permalink

    "Lagin was also the Grateful Dead's uncredited live keyboardist in 1974-1975, playing a big part in their live space improvisations."

    Actually, all of the live recordings I have from this era that include his performances credit Lagin reliably. More often then not, only Lagin and Lesh would perform between the first and second sets, and many of the tapers at the shows eventually stopped recording their explorations. But when it comes to to the Grateful Dead's "live space improvisations", it was with Keith Godchaux on the grand piano, not Lagin.

    Nice to see this stuff getting some attention, but I'd recommend it only to true Dead enthusiasts… Or the sincerely adventurous.

  • Sven DiMilo
    September 2, 2009 - 22:28 | Permalink

    Lagin played electronic keyboards throughout most of the Dead's shows in 1974. However, he could almost never be heard. Apparently the gigantoid Wall of Sound PA system they used that year had a limited number of inputs, and Lagin's keys were patched through one of the vocals lines when it wasn't being used. It didn't work very well.

  • JohnnyVandal
    September 2, 2009 - 22:40 | Permalink

    This fine piece of music simply cannot be enjoyed without ingesting a bottle of Boone's Farm Apple Wine (which I did circa sometime in the 70's while attending college)

  • Mona
    September 3, 2009 - 00:50 | Permalink

    Pipped to the post. I was preparing a post over at 'Pathway' of this one…there are quite a number of live Lesh/Lagin explorations at the archive to download. Hey I do like this stuff (with or without the alcohol!)

  • Dave
    September 3, 2009 - 02:12 | Permalink

    Not bad but you can't dance to it

  • Anonymous
    September 3, 2009 - 21:40 | Permalink

    I've always liked (some) of the concepts behind this thing: taking a fast sequence of notes and slooowwing them down, and taking slow parts and speeding them up so that they sound like blips and bloops–quite cutting edge for 1975!
    (The 30 min. "bonus" track is quite pleasant & 'melodic' compared to the original version especially when the creepy, processed 'vocals' kick in!)

  • Capt. Willard
    September 25, 2009 - 18:37 | Permalink

    Point taken. I guess what I meant by "uncredited" is that he was never considered an actual member of the band. Not that he should have been. But to almost all except Deadheads who collect live shows, the guy's a virtual unknown.

  • chrismx
    April 26, 2011 - 20:46 | Permalink

    Bravissimo for your fantastic blog and your wide range of original stuff !!!
    I am posting my comment here because of the space left…
    And by the way I was very unlucky to see the Dead with Lagin in Paris in 1974 (porte de Versailles), and 30mns of Seastones drove the crowd mad, it was so bad the whistles covered the screechy and painfull sounds.I taped the concert, and just like the Internet Archives, I lost the return of the band for the second part.The studio version is much …better… for sure…

  • Willard
    July 5, 2011 - 07:16 | Permalink

    Search HERE

    • July 5, 2011 - 08:45 | Permalink

      my first Dead show was in Hartford in 1974 and the Phil and Ned Seastones just blew my mind.. still ranks as one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. So glad I tracked you down over here, the site is great.

  • Rob
    October 31, 2011 - 14:36 | Permalink

    You know what? It was a search for this album that brought me to your exalted premises for the first time, must be… Oh… two shut-downs ago, when you were still called Never Get Out etc. I’m very grateful to Phil and Ned for that.

    Some Dead shows where he played as a member of the FULL band…. a Dark Star in Boston in 1971, Fillmore East 20 sept 1970 (the acoustic set), and intermittently during the years with Keith. I can’t remember any other dates. Ned gave up on the Dead after Kezar, 23 march 1975, apparently because the politics got too heavy for him.

    lostlivedead blogspot has a fascinating, comprehensive article about this question.

    Best regards

    • Willard
      October 31, 2011 - 15:16 | Permalink

      Cool. Thanks Rob. Any idea what kind of politics? As a casual fan, I didn’t know there much in the way of politics in that camp.

  • Rob
    October 31, 2011 - 16:03 | Permalink

    You should definitely have a look at lostlivedead. Such a great researcher the guy is.

    The question of “what kind of politics” isn’t too clear, but it is sorta suggested that certain people were trying to tighten up all the looseness that had reached its peak in 1975, in order to reconstitute the band (who now owned a lossmaking record label) and get them making money again as a band. In particular Garcia’s multiple side projects were depriving other people of an income. Merl Saunders was sidelined in July 1975 and never found out what the problem was. When Jerry went back out on the road it was with Keith and Donna (and initially Kreuzmann too, I think).

    Who was behind all this? I don’t know. But Ned Lagin, it seems, liked a creative, intellectual, free-form sort of scene, so you can imagine he would’ve been happy around the Dead in the early seventies. Then suddenly, after 5 years, he walks away.

    • Willard
      October 31, 2011 - 16:42 | Permalink

      Thanks for the tip, Rob. I’ll pop them in the blogroll and will check back for more. Thanks for the info, too. I’ve never read much about the Dead (need to rectify that) and wasn’t aware of the interal issues going on. Funny how you get saddled with a notion – like outside Dead projects were all about the musical discovery – and forget about things like day-to-day dealings, personal interactions and financial battles that also paint the picture.

      • pete
        November 2, 2011 - 21:09 | Permalink

        As I recall, Garcia told an interviewer at the time that his inspiration for making his first solo album was that he wanted to buy a house. The really serious Dead money didn’t happen till “Touch of Gray” in 1987.

        • Willard
          November 2, 2011 - 21:15 | Permalink

          It’s easy to forget they didn’t sell many records way back when, and spent a fortune on touring.

  • Rob
    October 31, 2011 - 17:37 | Permalink

    Thanks for all the new music Willard.

  • r
    November 1, 2011 - 07:20 | Permalink

    Whoa! I’ve got the vinyl version of this. Got it years and years ago, same broad genre as Tangerine Dream and Klaus Shulz. Enjoyed it then but haven’t listened to it for 20 years or so. Always wondered about the back history, now resolved thru the other posts here. Thanks, from someone who only got on the bus a few years ago, so missed all the live history.

    • Willard
      November 1, 2011 - 08:50 | Permalink

      And now you get an all new version, too. Thanks for chiming in.

  • I-)
    September 30, 2014 - 11:03 | Permalink

    Annotated Nedbase 1970 – 1975


  • I-)
    April 28, 2016 - 13:03 | Permalink

    Ned Lagin has an official website where he writes extensively about his photography, art, and music, and, has several galleries of wonderful images to explore.

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