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The Unofficial 31 Days Of Dead - 2013
Clicking the, "Read Daily Write-Up" link will bring you down the page to read a review of, or the reason for making, the pick. At the bottom of each write-up is a link to where you can stream the music, and sometimes youtube video links, images of concert posters, concert reviews, and other miscellaneous goodies.
2013 Track Listing
1. UJB - 9.18.74, Parc des Expositions, Dijon, France - Read Daily Write-Up
2. Let It Grow - 10.29.77, Evans Field House, DeKalb, IL - Read Daily Write-Up
3. Terrapin Station - 1.22.78, McArthur Court, Eugene, OR - Read Daily Write-Up
4. Morning Dew - 2.24.74, Winterland, San Francisco, CA - Read Daily Write-Up
5. Playing In The Band - 10.26.72, Music Hall, Cincinnati, OH - Read Daily Write-Up
6. Bird Song - 6.22.73, P.N.E. Coliseum, Vancouver, BC, Canada - Read Daily Write-Up
7. Feel Like A Stranger - 8.10.82, Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - Read Daily Write-Up
8. Althea - 7.19.90, Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN - Read Daily Write-Up
9. Dupree's Diamond Blues - 9.20.82, MSG, New York, NY - Read Daily Write-Up
10. China > Rider - 5.19.74, Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR - Read Daily Write-Up
11. Shakedown Street - 6.30.85, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD - Read Daily Write-Up
12. Bertha - 10.23.89, Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC - Read Daily Write-Up
13. Mississippi Half-Step - 5.4.80, Baltimore Civic, Baltimore, MD - Read Daily Write-Up
14. Sugar Magnolia - 6.20.83, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD - Read Daily Write-Up
15. Scarlet > Fire - 2.3.79, Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN - Read Daily Write-Up
16. Estimated Prophet - 12.12.80, Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA - Read Daily Write-Up
17. He's Gone > Gloria Jam > CC Rider - 12.1.79, Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA - Read Daily Write-Up
18. Stronger Than Dirt - 9.28.75, Lindley Meadows, Golden Gate Park, SF, CA - Read Daily Write-Up
19. Black Peter - 12.14.71, Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, MI - Read Daily Write-Up
20. Greatest Story Ever Told - 9.28.72, Stanley Theatre, Jersey City, NJ - Read Daily Write-Up
21. Row Jimmy - 3.20.77, Winterland, San Francisco, CA - Read Daily Write-Up
22. WRS Prelude > Jam - 3.26.73, Baltimore Civic, Baltimore, MD - Read Daily Write-Up
23. Jam > Dark Star > Sing Me Back Home - 3.24.73, The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA - Read Daily Write-Up
24. Wharf Rat - 7.8.78, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO - Read Daily Write-Up
25. Dancin' IN The Streets - 2.26.77, Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA - Read Daily Write-Up
26. Franklin's Tower - 3.13.82, Reno Centennial Auditorium, Reno, NV - Read Daily Write-Up
27. Clementine > Caboose > Cross-Eyed - 1.23.68, Eagles Auditorium, Seattle, WA - Read Daily Write-Up
28. The Wheel - 12.5.81, Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN - Read Daily Write-Up
29. Space > Eyes > Slipknot > China Doll - 6.20.74, Atlanta Municipal Auditorium - Read Daily Write-Up
30. Truckin > Other One > Brokedown - 11.17.72, Century II Convention Hall, Wichita, KS - Read Daily Write-Up
31. Johnny B. Goode - 8.14.71, BCT, Berkeley, CA - Read Daily Write-Up
Uncle John's Band
9/18/74 - Parc des Expositions, Dijon, France
Featuring a dream first set, Dijon is clearly THE show of the often maligned Europe ’74 tour. Several songs are candidates for best ever renditions; most notably the extraordinarily jammed out “Uncle Johns Band” that OPENED the show – a true rarity. Even rarer is when Phil Lesh addresses the audience as he did following the encore to thank the loyal French Deadheads in their native tongue. You know it is a special show when Phil speaks. Back to Top.
For an excellent review of the Europe ’74 tour see Cliff Hucker’s article titled, Barbarian’s In Europe https://archive.org/post/342038/europe-74-notebook
Grateful Dead proverb #1: When Phil is on, the band is on.
LMA Link: http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-09-18.sbd.miller.20675.shnf
Let It Grow
10/29/77 - Evans Field House, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
This ferocious version of “Let It Grow” has Garcia relentlessly shredding everything in sight. It’s the kind of stuff that makes one pause to consider the unthinkable – is it possible that Fall ’77 was better than Spring ’77? Back to Top.
GD proverb: The degree that Fall ’77 is underrated can be precisely measured by the degree that Spring ’77 is overrated.
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1977-10-29.sbd.miller.92085.sbeok.flac16
1/22/78 - McArthur Court, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
The legendary “Close Encounters” show that I featured in the 2010 edition of “31 Days” (“St. Stephen”) is so monstrously epic that I had to revisit it again. This standard-setting version of “Terrapin Station” changed the way that song would be played in all future performances. The band absolutely crushes the outro jam with thrashing chords. Back to Top.
GD proverb: The compass always points to Terrapin.
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1978-01-22.sbd.miller.110632.flac16
2/24/74 - Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA
This was the last of a three-show run at Winterland that unleashed the transcendent phenomenon that was the Dead in 1974. Bill Graham’s introduction referencing the conflict in Vietnam sets the tone for the music that follows -- "Whatever evil is going on in the rest of the world, whether it's wars or kidnappings or crimes, this is a peaceful Sunday night with the Grateful Dead." Amen, brother Bill. “Morning Dew” – a song about the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust – translates those sobering introductory words into music. With a devastating middle solo that's trilled so hard it must have gone into triple-digit decibels, this quintessential version of Morning Dew is everything that a “Dew” should be: deep, mournful, powerful and religious. Back to Top.
GD proverb: Morning Dew is church
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1974-02-24.sbd.miller.116902.flac16
Playing in the Band
10/26/72 - Music Hall, Cincinnati, OH
The Europe ’72 shows are recognizable for their enormously intense psychedelic jams. By fall ’72 the jamming often approached a teeth clenching, skin frying fervor, most notably evident in some of the late ’72 “Playin’ in the Bands.” Take for example the lesser known Cincinnati “Playin’” which easily ranks up there with the Hall of Fame versions from Veneta (8/27), Oklahoma (11/15) and Houston (11/18). It is no coincidence that all of these versions were played in the second set. Before even listening to a note of the Cincinnati “Playin,” one must take notice that the X-Factor here is totally off the charts. The Music Hall is a 19th century symphony hall that has 3,500 seats and ranks acoustically as one of the finest performance venues in the world. Here’s where it gets interesting – the Music Hall was built on land that was formerly used as a pauper’s cemetery by a nearby asylum hospital to bury suicides, strangers and the indigent and homeless of Cincinnati. It is probably the only time the Grateful Dead ever played in a graveyard and, no, the pun is not lost on me! Oh, did I mention that the venue’s history has helped fuel its reputation as one of the most haunted places in America? Toss in the fact that the Dead played there just days before Halloween and you’ve got the makings for a truly weird experience. And once again, we’re talkin’ ’72 Dead. Are you kidding? I mean, could the planets be any better aligned?
This 25-minute, super-exploratory “Playin” just may be the most awesome “Playin’” ever but because of the mix where the drums are louder than everything else, it can be a little challenging to listen to. As a former drummer, I personally love being able to hear Billy K. up-front like this. 1972-74 is my favorite Bill Kreutzmann era. His jazz chops are astounding. But my absolute favorite moment here is the wah-wah psychosis that takes place between the 21:36 – 22:30 minute mark (at least that is the timing for the download link – it may be slightly different on the streaming link). That single minute is probably the most intense psychedelic music that the band has ever played. There, I said it. Now go check it out. Back to Top.
Here is a great review at www.ta.speedingarrow.net:
[i]The ghosts from the cemetery under the building must have been roused by all of the racket because the second set starts off considerably more, hmm, possessed. The mix for this set seems worse than the first: lots of Billy, not much Phil, and Bob's pretty much MIA. Jerry is still loud 'n proud, so this basically feels like the Jerry & Billy show in spots. And it's no surprise to notice this, but Billy is on fire in this one. On fire. Just tearing shit up from start to end. The jam starts down low and Jerry even vanishes for a bit (problems with his wahwah?) as Phil and Keith do their thing, but by 6-7 min he's back and is synched up with Billy as tight as tight can be. From this point on it's full on balls to the wall. The ebb and flow of this is incredible: one minute it's getting Tigery, then they're easing back -- at 12 minutes Billy almost drops out altogether and it sounds like the Reprise is on the horizon, but they build it back up again. Are Jerry and Billy duetting around 15 minutes, or is it just the mix? Sick, sick, sick. Phil and Billy have a turn and Phil's solo is as hot as I've heard him like this. Dig that "yeeeow!" from someone @18:56. The final typhoon comes as everyone joins back in and Billy starts pounding out this tribal beat. Whooooaaaaa -- at 23 minutes it's like the end of The Wicker Man with that giant wooden effigy engulfed in flames bowing down towards the pagan sunset. Sweet bejeezus. Jerry reels it back fairly quickly into the Reprise vocals. Unbelievable. Best Playin of the year? Ever? It's sure as hell a major contender. Words can't get into it. They only played like this in 72, and jams like this are why 1972 is as good
6/22/73 - P.N.E. Coliseum, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Here is a dream-like, ethereal version of “Bird Song” with a relaxed, jazzy-spacey groove that was such a trademark of the 1973 sound. You know who was such an important component of that sound? Keith Godchaux. Keith brought the jazz-funk with his trippy, watery-sounding envelope-filtered Rhodes. Back to Top.
GD proverb: Keith was a monster during the 1971-74 era
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1973-06-22.sbd.miller.88526.sbeok.flac16
YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDwxINVWqyg
Feel Like A Stranger
8/10/82 - University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
“Feel Like A Stranger” was always a promising way to start a show. Some of the band’s most legendary shows opened with “Stranger” including Hampton ‘89, FoxDen '80, Hartford10/15/83, Copps ‘90 and MSG 3/9/81 and 9/20/90. The funky, extended jamming usually foreshadowed the “crazy night” that often would lie ahead and this version from the tour-ending show at the Iowa Fieldhouse in ’82 is no exception. Here, Jerry and Brent showcase how well they musically interacted with each other. Back to Top.
GD proverb: Never underestimate the importance of a great first set opener
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1982-08-10.sbd.miller.102577.flac16
YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_zY6d_4vqU
Back stage pass: http://i.imgur.com/OLI6Txe.jpg
7/19/90 - Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN
If you like the version of “Althea” from the album Without A Net (Landover, 3/15/90) then you are going to love this version from Deer Creek a few months later. This “Althea” has great energy throughout and a sublime outro solo by Jerry. Alas, it would be the last version played with Brent. Back to Top.
GD proverb: Nothing beats summertime Dead
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1990-07-19.sbd.walker-scotton.miller.95783.sbeok.flac16
YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgZWGCt_I_M
Backstage pass: http://i.imgur.com/xpWGS1c.jpg
Ticket stub: http://i.imgur.com/l6URHIN.jpg
Dupree’s Diamond Blues
9/20/82 - Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
“Dupree’s Diamond Blues” – psychedelic carnival music that only the Grateful Dead could pull off. It was performed less than 80 times over a span of 30-years making it a bit of a rarity. The band reserved it for special occasions and fans like me chased it fervently. After 8 years and over 100 shows, I finally caught my first “Dupree’s” on 10/13/94 at MSG - the last time it was played. I can now die a happy man.
This top-shelf version of “Dupree's” comes less than a month after the band had busted it out at the 2nd Decadal Field Trip in Veneta. Here, Jerry blissfully wails away on his last solo with over-the-top guitar effects that almost get away from him. It sounds like giant psychedelic bubbles. Check it out! Back to Top.
GD proverb: The more you chase a song, the less likely it is that the band will play it for you.
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1982-09-20.sbd.miller.88857.sbeok.flac16
WPLJ radio Promo: http://i.imgur.com/Iksn3tJ.jpg
Hunter's Lyrics: http://i.imgur.com/Dj4m8r3.gif
Wavy Gravy: http://i.imgur.com/nKLG2iF.jpg
China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider
5/19/74 - Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR
Yesterday’s selection reminded me of how much I freakin’ love Aoxomoxoa. The incredible artwork, the deliciously lysergic songs, the weird vibe – it’s just all legendary stuff. “China Cat Sunflower” seemed like a logical choice today. The lyrics are among the earliest and most psychedelic that Robert Hunter ever penned. Legend has it that he wrote them while on LSD and there is no reason to doubt the truth of that. In David Gans' Conversations with the Dead, Hunter says:
I think the germ of [China Cat Sunflower] came in Mexico, on Lake Chapala. I don't think any of the words came, exactly--the rhythms came. I had a cat sitting on my belly, and was in a rather hypersensitive state, and I followed this cat out to--I believe it was Neptune--and there were rainbows across Neptune, and cats marching across the rainbow. This cat took me in all these cat places; there's some essence of that in the song.
During the 1973-74 era, the band used the much-loved “Feelin’ Groovy” jam as the entry into “I Know You Rider.” This version of "China > Rider" from Portland ’74 is one of the finest from that period. Back to Top.
Deadessays blog on China>Rider: http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2009/08/chinarider-early-years.html
GD proverb: Robert Hunter is a lyrical genius
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1974-05-19.sbd.miller.116983.flac16
Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwS_mHIPT3U
Hunter’s Lyrics: http://i.imgur.com/YhPmw7X.jpg
Aoxomoxoa Album: http://i.imgur.com/jx1WIpX.jpg
Portland '74 handbill: http://i.imgur.com/i3glXvC.jpg
Portland '74 Artwork: http://i.imgur.com/W4jZXn1.jpg
Setting up Wall of Sound atPortland: http://i.imgur.com/pDAcFdX.jpg
6/30/85 – Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
The Merriweather Shakedown. You know it. You love it. Now, get dirty with it. Back to Top.
GD proverb: When in doubt, twirl.
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1985-06-30.sbd.miller.89192.sbeok.flac16
Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us2ktIrcwxY
Ticket stub: http://i.imgur.com/82vR28h.jpg
Backstage pass: http://i.imgur.com/FMaUOV5.jpg
Shakedown St.: http://i.imgur.com/lEOlabT.jpg
10/23/89 – Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
The band was on a roll by the Fall 1989. Jerry had fully recovered from his 1986 diabetic coma and was healthier than he had been in years, the summer tour had ended on a very high note with an epic run at Alpine Valley, and the “secret” Warlocks shows in Hampton had created a lot of excitement with unthinkable bust-outs. Looking purely at the setlists, the shows in Charlotte are a little under the radar when compared with Hampton, Meadowlands and Miami. But, don’t let that deter you because this huge version of “Bertha” which seemingly came out of nowhere during the middle of the first set is as massive as the earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area less than a week before. It’s one of those rare times when Brent joins Jerry on the “jailhouse” verse. A monster! Back to Top.
GD proverb: Thou shalt not judge a show by its setlist
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1989-10-23.sbd.walker-scotton.miller.83327.sbeok.flac16
Ticket stub: http://i.imgur.com/Uhz8yJe.jpg
Fall 1989 all access: http://i.imgur.com/RWoEAyh.jpg
Mikel sticker: http://i.imgur.com/VlvaCZ3.jpg
SF Earthquake: http://i.imgur.com/PxQA8Vi.gif
Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
5/4/80 – Baltimore Civic Center, Baltimore, MD
This was my first Dead bootleg. I acquired it in the early 80’s. It actually belonged to my brother but he left it in my parents’ car. Possession is nine-tenths of ownership, right? I was pretty adverse to the Dead at the time but wanted to see what all of the fuss was about so I stuck the cassette into the deck and pressed the play button. The audio quality was pretty awful – it sounded like it was recorded with handheld microphones from the concession stand. The writing scrawled on the J-card was almost as bad as the audio quality and read:
Cornell 5/4/80. Side A: Half-Step > Franklin’s Tower > Stranger, Playin’ > Drums; Side B: Space > Black Peter > Sugar Magnolia, China > Rider and Brokedown Palace.
Years later I discovered that the cassette was actually a compilation of Baltimore (5/4) and Cornell (5/6). Despite the poor audio and information, I was immediately drawn in by “Half-Step.” Jerry’s fragile vocal phrasing was engaging. I especially liked the “Rio Grande-O” section. The ending crescendo was incredible and I remember pressing the rewind button several times to hear it over and over again. Even today, I am still impressed by this version of “Half-Step” and thought I would share its greatness with you all. Back to Top.
GD proverb: “Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”
LMA Link: gd1980-05-04.nak700.glassberg.motb.fix-96584.96910.flac16
Backstage pass: http://i.imgur.com/jMsPhrx.jpg
Ticket stub: http://i.imgur.com/RKEgenq.jpg
6/20/83 – Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
The Dead at the Shed. Has it really been 30 years since the legendary “Aborigine Sugar Mags” from Merriweather ‘83? Many folks traveled to Maryland after the Saratoga show thinking "how could they top that?" Well, the Dead’s performance on 6/20/83 certainly makes a strong case for debate. The intensity of the torrid weather no doubt helped propel the music to amazing heights that evening. The stories of the apocalyptic rainstorm are not exaggerated. It literally poured rain during the entire second set. But the rain was nothing compared to the lightning strikes. Here is a memory about that evening from a fan who was in attendance which I found on the blog, www.thoughtsonthedead.wordpress.com:
The lightning was hitting the struts and buttresses of the sound system and Phil was answering God right the fuck back with his own thunder and the crowd was swimming in mud and Bobby was dosed out of his head and starts babbling about Aborigines.
The show-closing version of "Sugar Magnolia" with the bizarre, Aborigine dream rap that the writer refers to is one for the ages that has to be heard to be believed. I did my best to transcribe it below:
You know, way Down Under
People they call the Aborigines
They think that dreams are the real side of life
They think this side is the dream side
So…what do you think about that?
The final notes of Sunshine Daydream feature some of the most primal screams I have ever heard. Proof that Bob Weir is absolutely nuts! Back to Top.
GD proverb: If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will.
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1983-06-20.nak300.grabski.32795.sbefail.flac16
YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Atb1JHSozwY
Merriweather Logo: http://i.imgur.com/d6oZIu2.jpg
Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain
2/3/79 – Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN
If you’ll please indulge me with another audience source recording I promise it will be well worth your while. The "Scarlet > Fire" from 2/3/79 is so crazy good that I couldn't dare leave it off "31 Days" another year. Here, the bridge jam in "Scarlet Begonias" has one of those special cosmic moments of bliss that we Deadheads all dream of. Just when you think Jerry is about to finish his solo and launch into the final verse he surprises everybody with wailing notes and takes it around another time. You can hear the crowd roar its approval and can visualize the hugs and high-fives that must have ensued. It's a stunning and exhilarating moment not unlike the ascending transition between "Miracle > Shakedown" on1/15/79 in Springfield (See “31 Days” 2011 edition, Day 28). It makes you wonder whether all of the darkness stemming from the Keith and Donna turmoil manifested itself into the heavy music that was laid down during the winter ’79 tour.
Without missing a step the whole band drops the jam perfectly into the final verse. Perfectly. Donna's humming/vocals on the outro are tastefully subdued and understated giving the music more room to breathe. Without wearing out her welcome she soon drops out and passes it off to Jerry who wastes no time diving into the jam. As was his signature style at the time, he plays fast and frantically which conjures up the image of electrical sparks bouncing about on his fret board (see “Lazy Lighting>Supplication” from 2/17/79 for a similar example). The transition into "Fire on the Mountain" is spectacular. Jerry's jamming in the last two minutes of "Fire" is nothing short of a complete face melting experience. Back to Top.
GD proverb: The darker the times, the harder the jams.
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd79-02-03.set2-nak.clugston.7116.sbeok.shnf
Jerry - http://i.imgur.com/elIiA5m.jpg
Jerry - http://i.imgur.com/jKYSF37.jpg
Full band - http://i.imgur.com/dqIc44Y.jpg
Jerry - http://i.imgur.com/qn9MA7k.jpg
12/12/80 – Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA
Today’s write-up is excerpted from The Deadhead's Taping Compendium - Vol. 2
Swing was (is?) smaller than many high school auditoriums; the soundboard was tucked under the roof at the back of the bleachers and was still closer to the stage than it would be on the next two nights in Long Beach. This intimate setting stimulated unforced and stunning vocal harmonies, which were well honed after the extended Radio City Music Hall and Warfield runs followed by a month of rest.
Following an energetic "China > Rider" comes a legitimate contender for the best "Estimated" ever played: fast, crisp, funky, aggressive, and absolutely breathtaking. As wonderful as the premier of "Estimated" was at this same venue, this rendition goes way beyond it, as if they were showing off how far it had progressed in the intervening three years. The intensity of the instrumental breaks are astonishing even to veteran Deadheads. Back to Top.
GD proverb: On great nights the music played the band
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd80-12-12.sbd.miller.31509.sbeok.flacf
Ticket stub: http://i.imgur.com/2xkuj52.jpg
Swing - http://i.imgur.com/jEv2p7M.jpg
Tour T-shirt - http://i.imgur.com/BY2zCvn.jpg
He’s Gone > Gloria Jam > CC Rider
12/1/79 – Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA
Today’s write-up is excerpted from The Deadhead's Taping Compendium - Vol. 2
Pittsburgh's Stanley Theatre was a dream venue: ornate gold filigree decorations, velvet seats, and primo acoustics - the perfect ambience for magical concerts.
"He's Gone" is mellow but oh-so-soulful. And then things get really interesting. The energy of the jam starts to build. At first everyone is pulling in his own direction. Jerry tries to build an up-tempo jam and eventually a "Gloria" jam evolves. Jerry plays very fast, he’s wailing away, but unlike in his usual leads the individual notes in this jam aren't as important as the general shape of what he's playing and the texture the notes create. He's found a hypnotic pattern, and it's obvious that he's trancing out on speed picking. He plays this pattern around the melody in the same way he noodles furiously in "Sugaree".
You can hear Bobby call out what's coming next: the old Ma Rainey blues classic "C.C. Rider." Amazingly, the band launches into this first-ever rendition fearlessly. The theatre explodes with joy. Bobby goes nuts on the vocals, showering dozens of us in the orchestra pit with spit. The rest of the band follows suit and jams out heavily. When Bobby comes back in from the jam for the final vocals, he's so stoked, so seriously into it, that his voice actually trembles! It gives me goose bumps every time I hear it. The band descends into a gorgeous little jam that drops into Drums. Back to Top.
GD proverb: You aren’t a real Deadhead until you have been baptized with Bobby’s spit
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1979-12-01.sbd.miller.96408.sbeok.flac16
Snowy theater: http://i.imgur.com/tdZR6oQ.jpg
Stanley inside - http://i.imgur.com/aOrYDS7.jpg
B&W Compsite: http://i.imgur.com/MDa72nw.jpg
CD Art: http://i.imgur.com/KOTNTwD.jpg
Bobby & Phil: http://i.imgur.com/WEFvdBA.jpg
Stronger Than Dirt or Milkin’The Turkey (King Solomon’s Marbles)
9/28/75 - Lindley Meadows, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA)
The show at the Great American Music Hall on 8/13/75 was a well-rehearsed, tight performance played for record executives that is forever immortalized on One From The Vault. There is no argument that it is a great show. In contrast, this show at Golden Gate Park occurring 5 weeks later was a free show for the fans. As such, it is a much looser, laid-back affair. Early in the show Bobby tells the crowd, “We’ll get around to all the old favorites we can remember.” Audience cheers push him a bit further: “You wouldn’t be clapping if you knew what that meant.” Later, a woman in the audience gives birth to a baby and Jerry noodles a few notes of “Happy Birthday.” Can you imagine the bragging rights that kid has about being born at a Dead show much less having Jerry Garcia himself serenade your birth? Dude!
Another important difference at the Lindley Meadows show was the vibe. This show is one of the rare documented times that the boys were dosed (the others being 8/27/72 and5/11/78). As such, there is a magical weirdness and a touch of danger that pervades the entire performance even if it is fraught with the occasional mistake (e.g., Weir’s lyric amnesia during Truckin’ and Jerry’s broken string at the end of Slipknot). So, I ask you, which show do you think was more FUN?
In the end it doesn’t matter at all. The band was showcasing their new material from Blues for Allah, and who doesn’t want to hear more of that? The band’s work for the album shines here with well-thought-out arrangements and lots of little interesting flourishes and vocal nuances that result from a lot of recent, careful work in the studio. Take for example, the Lindley version of “Stronger Than Dirt” that storms out of “Drums.” This tune is perfect for the two-drummer set-up. The snaking rhythm coils in every direction, riding the wind and circling the clouds. The band struggles initially with the complex passages which no doubt is attributable to their collective mental state. However, nothing fundamentally falls apart, and the slightly unfurling edges add to the psychedelic mystery. But once they get to the jam they are locked in as a unit and we have lift-off! You can feel the rug slip deliciously out from under your feet. Jerry’s leads are amazingly fast, fluid and exciting. Keith, too, takes a breathtaking jazzy solo on the electric Rhodes. Back to Top.
GD Proverb: “Allah means business” (Rolling Stone, no 199 (November 6, 1975)
LMA Link (SBD Bertha Remaster): https://archive.org/details/gd75-09-28.sbd.bertha-ashley.22257.sbeok.shnf
LMA Link (Menke Aud): https://archive.org/details/gd1975-09-28.fob.menke-falanga.motb-0069.91770.flac24
YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5XwNUrCZHA
Behind Keith: http://i.imgur.com/78KBxhf.jpg
Jerry Smokin: http://i.imgur.com/jq6uHI2.jpg
Full band: http://i.imgur.com/qOAYwOP.jpg
Blues For Allah: http://i.imgur.com/qvtWzEb.jpg
12/14/71 - Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, MI
I love the brief period that lasted from December 1971 through Europe ‘72. Pigpen was back. Keith was new. Their respective styles of blues/soul organ and barrelhouse acoustic piano really complemented each other very well. Bobby was gaining more confidence both as a guitarist and a front-man. The one-drummer setup allowed more freedom for Billy to swing. The addition of many new songs to the repertoire and the revival of older classics such as “Black Peter” seemed to breathe new life into a band that was poised to embark on new adventures every night. Back to Top.
GD proverb: 1971 was a good time to be the Grateful Dead
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd71-12-14.sbd.deibert.12763.sbeok.shnf
Ticket stub: http://i.imgur.com/AU9NYgv.jpg
Jerry Image: http://i.imgur.com/cQVrwpP.jpg
CD artwork: http://i.imgur.com/z75FadI.jpg
Greatest Story Ever Told
9/28/72 – Stanley Theatre, Jersey City, NJ
Today’s write-up is excerpted from The Deadhead's Taping Compendium - Vol. 1
In a tour running across the East Coast, the band played 11 shows over the final 16 days of the month. Part of that tour included a three-night stand at the Stanley Theatre in Jersey City, NJ. There is so much fantastic music contained just in that three-show stop, let alone the rest of the tour, that you can blindly grab any of these shows and always come out with some of the best Grateful Dead moments ever.
Today’s selection represents one of those moments - the most famous “Greatest Story” of all time. This “Greatest Story” contains a fully articulated “St. Stephen” jam led by Garcia, but the jam that follows is ferocious and definitely rivals the intensity of 8/27/72 in Eugene. Back to Top.
GD proverb: There's one pin the tail on the donkey game where everyone's a winner. That's the game where the donkey is 1972. You simply can't miss. If someone blindfolded you and asked you to randomly select a 1972 show from a hat, you'd pull out a winner every time. (GD Listening Blog)
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1972-09-28.sbd.miller.94268.sbeok.flac16
YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qbqUhX37mo
Ticket stub: http://i.imgur.com/bTQJrq3.jpg
Stanley Theater: http://i.imgur.com/RrlQfLl.jpg
Stanley Theater: http://i.imgur.com/XnXvSSz.jpg
3/20/77 – Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA
The 3-show run from Winterland in March 1977 is definitely worthy of box-set treatment someday. Here is a rare, second set “Row Jimmy” from the final night. Last time I checked, this gooey version had topped the list as the headiest of all versions on headyversion.com. Reviewers from that site describe it as “definitive” and gush over Garcia’s second solo as “one of the most quintessential Garcia solos ever. Back to Top.
GD proverb: Magical things happen when a first-set song gets second-set treatment.
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd77-03-20.sbd.miller.25610.sbeok.shnf
YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF7VPtQ7kDQ
Weather Report Suite Prelude > Jam
3/26/73 – Baltimore Civic Center, Baltimore, MD
1973 is a favorite year among Deadheads and for good reason. The fall and winter get a lot of hype but the March shows have a special trademark where the band finds its way into these wonderful free-form jams such as the inverted “Dark Star” from 3/24, the show-closing “Playin” from 3/28, the jam into the stand-alone “Rider” from 3/31, and the unfinished, runaway “Sunshine” from 4/2. The WRS Prelude jam from 3/26 that is featured today is another one of those moments that is so typical of spring ’73. The band had toyed with the composed instrumental “Prelude” on only two occasions (11/19/72 and 3/21/73) but both attempts were clumsily aborted. However, on this occasion a lovely free-form jam organically emerges. Sensing the impending magic, the band immediately locks in and lets the music take them on a journey of its own choosing. There are hints of “Dark Star” and Middle Eastern overtones. It is mesmerizing. It is a joy to behold. It is spring ‘73. Back to Top.
GD proverb: “Light up if you love the Grateful Dead” -- Wolfman Jack introducing the Grateful Dead on 3/26/73 before they strike up “Ramble On Rose” (Just like Wolfman Jack).
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1973-03-26.sbd.miller.34787.sbeok.flac16
Ticket Stub: http://i.imgur.com/04lpMSM.jpg
Wolfman Jack: http://i.imgur.com/yZAd4PA.jpg
Wake of the Flood: http://i.imgur.com/yIseYA3.jpg
Jam > Dark Star > Sing Me Back Home
3/24/73 – The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
Continuing on with the great spring 73’ tour. Today’s write-up is excerpted from the www.deadlistening.com blog.
Of course it's this shows extended jam in the second set that places this show on a pedestal, and for good reason. Out of Truckin' the band lets the music settle into a meadow of grass where wind barely whispers. Jerry delicately lofts out the opening lines of Dark Star, yet no one takes the reins with him. Instead, the entire band slips effortlessly into a rolling jazzy 1973 jam that typifies the year completely. This jam is as reminiscent of the big '73 Watkins Jam as nearly anything else on record in this year or otherwise. The tempo flies as Garcia unleashes long staccato runs that reflect and echo upon themselves leaving trails in the air, cutting a dewy mist with ripples of energy. The purity of the Grateful Dead's musical soul is stretched into the sky, pulling us into a rapturous dance erasing all physical barriers. In this music we feel the Grateful Dead resonate far more deeply within us than words may express.
A small guitar break finds Billy and Phil bebopping out a Drum and Bass solo. The rest of the band returns and picks up right where it left off. We are lost, fuse and reflected within the invisible fabric that beats in the empty space of atoms. Soon a Spanish Jam appears and is quickly vaporized into caverns, light years deep. Great drops of sound randomly take shape and gather together with invisible gravities. Orbits shimmer. Waves rise and fall. Slowly a subtle symphony takes shape. Singing stars and slowly bowed strings rise into harmonies, and the sky fills with a thousand sunsets. An ocean-sized crescendo, as delicate as an evening breeze through trees fills the infinity all around. Dark Star appears.
While it can easily be touted as the shortest Dark Star on record (at only about four and a half minutes), all fairness points to Garcia tipping the Dark Star hand some twenty-two minutes prior as the jam first took form. But we aren't here to quibble over the length of the song. The music flutters like slow rolling redwood tree-sized velvet drapes stretched for a hundred miles around us. And we are eventually left in awe as the band transitions liquidly into Sing Me Back Home. Here the gospel overtones conjure up that familiar feeling of sitting around a campfire, as a story is told. When Garcia hits his solo, notes blossom streaming flower pedals all around. He somehow conjures every ounce of the sound system's power into delicate footsteps that leave no trace in the sand. Grace, as simply delivered as ever. Back to Top.
GD proverb: Only in ‘73 was the band loose enough yet mentally synched enough to pull off an inverted Dark Star that feels like the sunrise after a night of lysergic mischief.
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1973-03-24.sbd.cantor.deibert.83407.sbeok.flac16
YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm4KtGVYYOk
Cover art: http://i.imgur.com/5OAkEiz.png
Ticket Stub: http://i.imgur.com/OfTJcWO.png
Newspaper article: http://i.imgur.com/cPETnVI.jpg
Phil 2: http://i.imgur.com/Rn8b5Ld.png
7/8/78 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
You may have noticed that the transition from “Dark Star” into “Sing Me Back Home” from yesterday’s selection included a “Wharf Rat” fakeout. For those that feel cheated by that turn of events here is an amazing version from Red Rocks ’78. Especially noteworthy is the long, dreamy intro, the triumphant, crashing chords at the end and of course, the humorous “Shhhhshing” rebuke during the bridge. Back to Top.
GD proverb: Silence is required during all Garcia ballads.
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1978-07-08.sbd.miller.106070.flac16
YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_ZhguXZgRE
Album Artwork: http://i.imgur.com/gZmtBzF.jpg
Red Rocks at Night: http://i.imgur.com/9jgoryy.jpg
Dancin’ In The Streets
2/26/77 – Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA
In their first show of what was to be a peak year, the Dead take 1977 by storm by playing the new album, Terrapin Station, almost in its entirety. Among the highlights is “Dancin in the Streets.” Many people defiantly turn their noses up at “disco Dancin’s” but Garcia’s soloing during this jam is so electrifying that it will win over the naysayers. With a fully cranked envelope filter guitar effect, he pushes on into gorgeous pockets of themes and syncopated lines, eventually locking into an infectious, uplifting groove that (almost) rivals the Cornell version. This is hallmark ’77 goodness! Back to Top.
GD proverb: Never hate on disco Dead
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1977-02-26.sbd.cantor.deibert.83283.flac16
Disco Sucks: http://i.imgur.com/7muTYXP.jpg
Jerry Christmas Ornament: http://i.imgur.com/VrxiGKb.jpg
Jerry Christmas: http://i.imgur.com/loodtVE.jpg
Better Dead Than Disco Image: http://i.imgur.com/JLtfTBt.jpg
Happy Holidays: http://i.imgur.com/5ae1RVz.jpg
3/13/82 – Reno Centennial Coliseum, Reno, NV
Today’s write-up is excerpted from the www.deadlistening.com blog.
This is one of those shows that teaches you that all shows are not created equal. Are you worried that you might be stuck in the 70’s? Unable to appreciate the 80’s? Let’s get down to business, my friend.
Franklin’s Tower is full of wild excitement. It throbs with an up-tempo vigor. Like solar flares exploding off the sun, Jerry’s solos erupt in a fabulous dance of energy, each one outperforming the last in their ability to twist fire into the air. Somewhere around the third solo passage it becomes clear that this is the sort of playing where Jerry is in his finest form. His last solo will just leave you staring in crazed disbelief. My God, can he get any more up? Yep, apparently he can. Back to Top.
GD proverb: Who knows what “Roll away the dew” really means but it sure as hell resonates.
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1982-03-13.s2.sbd.digitalrbb.miller.112858.flac16
Clementine > New Potato Caboose > Born Cross-Eyed
1/23/68 – Eagles Auditorium, Seattle, WA
Notwithstanding the controversy over the correct date of this show (1/22 & 1/23 vs. 1/26 & 1/27), we have a perfect psychedelic song suite from 1968 made extra incredible by the rare and gorgeously intricate “Clementine.” Inspired by John Coltrane's two-chord improvs, this Lesh/Hunter collaboration was played only 5 times. The wistful, baroque psychedelia provides a beautiful link into “New Potato Caboose” and then into a lysergic “Born Cross-Eyed.” Expose your mind to this ASAP. The whole band is other dimensional. Back to Top.
Essay on Clementine: http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2009/08/clementine.html
Essay on New Potato Caboose: http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2009/08/new-potato-caboose.html
GD proverb: 1968 Dead is not for sissies (Dr. Flashback)
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1968-01-23.sbd.miller.97343.sbeok.flac16
12/5/81 – Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN
At nearly four minutes, the length of the extended intro to this version of “The Wheel” is only surpassed by its sheer beauty. Back to Top.
GD proverb: The Omnipotent Grateful Dead
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1981-12-05.sbd.miller.111784.flac16
YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmbzvwJ_lVY
Backstage pass: http://i.imgur.com/OBZi3NN.jpg
Wheel Art: http://i.imgur.com/DqgmDQH.jpg
Space > Eyes of the World > Slipknot! > China Doll
6/20/74 – Atlanta Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, GA
June 1974 was a peak period for the Dead and it is deservedly well-represented with a plethora of commercial releases including 6/16 and 6/18 (Road Trips Volume 2, Number 3), 6/23 (So Many Roads Box Set), 6/26 & 6/28 (Dick’s Picks Volume 12). With so much amazing material out there it is all too easy to overlook the Atlanta on 6/20. That would be a mistake because the long jam in the second set is easily on the same level with anything else played that tour. Today’s selection begins with some frightening “Space” that atypically somehow emerges out of “Truckin.’” Just when you think things are getting just a little too weird Jerry begins strumming the happy chords to “Eyes of the World” – a song that was in its prime. This “Eyes” reminds me of the much-loved version from Jersey City (8/6/74) even if it doesn’t quite reach the same level of mastery. The series of jams afterward -- not to mention a Phil bass solo – are all top notch. There is also an added bonus – an embryonic version of the first-ever “Slipknot.” This eventually gives way to an album-perfect version of “China Doll.” Taken at a much slower pace than usual, Jerry’s vocal performance is stunning. The highlight is when he turns his fuzzbox guitar effect waaaaay up during his solo to create an intense, ghostly, and forlorn sound. I’m pretty sure that this was the only time he ever tried that, making this version very unique. A sleeper show that deserves more recognition. Back to Top.
GD proverb: Ignore the hype, listen to the band, every show has something to offer.
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd74-06-20.sbd.clugston.2179.sbeok.shnf
YouTube Link (Eyes): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsNS9s9__RQ
Album Artwork: http://i.imgur.com/jC9p224.jpg
Wall of Sound Design: http://i.imgur.com/G5wVY1w.jpg
Wall of Sound (June ’74): http://i.imgur.com/2usgIVw.jpg
Wall of Sound Lights: http://i.imgur.com/kOt3RCB.jpg
Jerry & Bob: http://i.imgur.com/lXhL1wd.jpg
Eyes of the World single: http://i.imgur.com/SvGAs3E.jpg
Eyes of the world artwork: http://i.imgur.com/NZBtjA7.jpg
China Doll Fractured: http://i.imgur.com/NrPKlkN.jpg
Mars Hotel: http://i.imgur.com/YGVGrRX.jpg
Mars Hotel: http://i.imgur.com/X5oSZsY.jpg
Mars Hotel alt shot: http://i.imgur.com/2FuKfoS.jpg
Phil bass solo: http://i.imgur.com/PBqt7lR.jpg
Truckin > The Other One > Brokedown Palace
11/17/72 - Century II Convention Hall, Wichita, KS
If you have been following my series of “31 Days” for the past few years you are probably well aware of my love affair with 1972. I was going to write a long, flowery narrative for today’s selection but in the end I decided to simply let the music speak for itself. So, go ahead and melt into a puddle on your living room as you listen to the Grateful Dead transition from a bluesy “Truckin’” into an intensely psychedelic “Other One” and then into a perfectly placed “Brokedown Palace” to rock your soul. Back to Top.
GD Proverb: "The Grateful Dead aren’t the best at what they do - they are the only ones who do what they do." Bill Graham
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1972-11-17.sbd.lai.1185.shnf
Album Art: http://i.imgur.com/sLitPwq.png
Album Art Back: http://i.imgur.com/LBz0DS9.png
Good Ol' GD: http://i.imgur.com/wpOmaoC.jpg
Jerry & Bob: http://i.imgur.com/SdBo4oa.jpg
Jerry & Bob: http://i.imgur.com/NSzLCmj.jpg
Jerry & Bob: http://i.imgur.com/Sewp5dc.jpg
December 31 – BONUS TRACK(S)
Johnny B. Goode
8/14/71 – Berkeley Community Center, Berkeley, CA
A thrashing version of Johnny B. Goode that ends with a scream from Bobby that is so primal it would make Donna smile. Back to Top.
GD Proverb: There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert
Album Art Back: http://i.imgur.com/zKJaHed.jpg
Bob & Jerry: http://i.imgur.com/zAiFiTN.jpg
12/31/73 – Cow Palace, San Francisco, CA
Allman Brothers with Jerry Garcia and Bill Kreutzmann
Not a GD show but it certainly was a concert for the ages by the Allman Brothers with Garcia and Kreutzmann sitting in as guests. Forty years ago today! Enjoy and Happy New Year to all.
Essays on GD & Allmans:
Stream & Download Links: http://thesteamengine.net/home/download-the-allman-brothers-band-1973-12-31-cow-palace-san.html
Whipping Post: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seFed8HURLg&list=PLKwZjyTedyRTL1gfis5I_LteLiU8YT49z&index=1
Linda Lou: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pbga6AgUCc&list=PLKwZjyTedyRTL1gfis5I_LteLiU8YT49z&index=2
Hideaway > You Upset Me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSzHF_HnkEs&list=PLKwZjyTedyRTL1gfis5I_LteLiU8YT49z
Bo Diddley > Mountain Jam > Bo Diddley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69kVMGsJ7ew&list=PLKwZjyTedyRTL1gfis5I_LteLiU8YT49z
Save My Life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4MwCN63IoQ&list=PLKwZjyTedyRTL1gfis5I_LteLiU8YT49z
Blues Jam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbsPB-9RdJ0&list=PLKwZjyTedyRTL1gfis5I_LteLiU8YT49z
You Don’t Love Me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY_yqc4_H_I&list=PLKwZjyTedyRTL1gfis5I_LteLiU8YT49z
Will The Circle Be Unbroken > Mountain Jam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ELEkA_rpKk&list=PLKwZjyTedyRTL1gfis5I_LteLiU8YT49z
Steal Your Peach: http://i.imgur.com/CuvEtGf.jpg
Album Artwork: http://i.imgur.com/o2VavOk.jpg
Alt. Artwork: http://i.imgur.com/JwvL1Dp.jpg
Garcia & Betts: http://i.imgur.com/fcZAwXz.jpg