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The Unofficial 31 Days of Dead
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China Cat Sunflower> I Know You Rider
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Help on the Way> Slipknot!> Franklin's Tower
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Morning Dew
Playing in the Band
Scarlet Begonias> Fire on the Mountain
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The Unofficial 31 Days Of Dead - 2015

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.

2015 Track Listing
1. Intro > NFA > Easy Wind (6.24.70 - Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY) - Read Daily Write-Up
2. Friend of the Devil (8.21.72 – Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, CA) - Read Daily Write-Up
3. Jack Straw (6.16.91 – Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ) - Read Daily Write-Up
4. So Many Roads (9.18.94 – Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountainview, CA) - Read Daily Write-Up
5. Playing In The Band (2.24.73 – University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA) - Read Daily Write-Up
6. Casey Jones, One More Saturday Night (12.2.71 – Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA) - Read Daily Write-Up
7. Hef interviews Jerry > Mountains of the Moon (1.18.69 – Playboy at Night, CBS Studios in West Hollywood, CA) - Read Daily Write-Up
8. Scarlet Begonias (7.19.74 – Selland Arena, Fresno, CA) - Read Daily Write-Up
9. Dark Star (12.11.72 – Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA) - Read Daily Write-Up
10. Crazy Fingers > Truckin’ > Comes A Time (7.8.87 – Civic Center, Roanoke, VA) - Read Daily Write-Up
11. Eyes of the World > Happiness is Drumming > Wharf Rat > Drums (6.28.76 - Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL) - Read Daily Write-Up
12.  Drums > The Other One > Cryptical Envelopment > Feedback > We Bid You Goodnight - (12.29.68 - Gulfstream Park Racetrack - Hallandale, FL) - Read Daily Write-Up
13. Iko Iko (11.2.84 – Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, CA) - Read Daily Write-Up
14. Estimated Prophet (5.7.78 – Field House, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Troy, NY) - Read Daily Write-Up
15. Stella Blue (6.28.88 – Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY) - Read Daily Write-Up
16. Cassidy (10.12.83 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY) - Read Daily Write-Up
17. Shakedown Street (10.31.79 – Nassau Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY) - Read Daily Write-Up
18. New Minglewood Blues > Big Railroad Blues (9.2.83 – Boise Pavilion, Boise State University, Boise, ID) - Read Daily Write-Up
19.  Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo > Big River (5.7.77 – Boston Garden, Boston, MA) - Read Daily Write-Up
20. Here Comes Sunshine > Space > Me & Bobby McGee (4.2.73 – Boston Garden, Boston, MA) - Read Daily Write-Up
21. Bird Song (10.18.89 – The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA) - Read Daily Write-Up
22. Hell In A Bucket (9.24.87 – The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA) - Read Daily Write-Up
23. Sugaree (3.28.81 – Gruga Halle, Essen, West Germany, GDR) - Read Daily Write-Up
24. China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider (8.16.80 - Mississippi River Festival, Southern Ill. University, Edwardsville, IL) - Read Daily Write-Up
25. Tennessee Jed (12.30.78 – Pauley Pavilion, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA) - Read Daily Write-Up
26. The Music Never Stopped (10.1.77 – Paramount Theater, Portland, OR) - Read Daily Write-Up
27. Help on the Way > Slipknot > Franklin's Tower (10/1/76 - Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN) - Read Daily Write-Up
28. Weather Report Suite Prelude > WRS Part 1 > Let It Grow (12.18.73 – Curtis Hixon Convention Hall, Tampa, FL) - Read Daily Write-Up
29. St. Stephen > The Eleven (2.12.69 – Fillmore East, New York, NY) - Read Daily Write-Up
30. Not Fade Away > Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad > Not Fade Away (11.7.71 - Harding Theatre, San Francisco, CA) - Read Daily Write-Up
31. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction > It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (10.10.82 - Frost Amphitheater, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA) - Read Daily Write-Up

December 1 
Introduction by Parrish > Not Fade Away > Easy Wind
6/24/70 – Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY 
I realize that it's risky to kick things off with an audience source recording but the Dead took risks all the time and in that same spirit I will follow their lead. And, since we are talking about the Capitol Theater in 1970 and no other known audio sources are available I'm betting that even the biggest soundboard snobs will (begrudgingly) let me slide on this one. Plus, this particular show was featured as one of "Nick's Picks" in The New Yorker Magazine (http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/nicks-picks). 

This set is justifiably well known for the massive Dark Star sequence that follows, but one would be foolish to overlook the ferocious NFA>Wind opener. The festivities begin with an exuberant introduction by long-time roadie, Steve Parrish. From the opening explosion of Not Fade Away, it becomes abundantly clear that the band is ON. Flawlessly, they segue into Easy Wind! Amazingly, it was the only time they attempted this unique and powerful combo. One must wonder why this combo was never attempted again.  A raucous crowd, excellent grooves, tons of telepathy, and Pigpen as the anchorman.  Back to Top.

LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd_nrps70-06-24.aud.pcrp5.23062.sbeok.flacf

Re-Listen to the Dead:  
Tuning: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1970/6/24/tuning
NFA: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1970/6/24/not-fade-away
Easy Wind: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1970/6/24/easy-wind

Artwork: 
Ticket Stub: http://i.imgur.com/yI0BvIf.jpg
On stage-1: http://i.imgur.com/8rEh5ei.jpg
On Stage-2: http://i.imgur.com/a5yj8Ru.jpg
On Stage-3: http://i.imgur.com/76aShHM.jpg
On stage-4: http://i.imgur.com/O7fhwMO.jpg
On stage-5: http://i.imgur.com/kIRUqmI.jpg
NFA: http://i.imgur.com/urM4u04.jpg
Stealie: http://i.imgur.com/gHcs5O4.jpg

December 2 
Friend of the Devil
8/21/72 – Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, CA
For one of their most radio-friendly songs you'd think that the Dead would have played Friend of the Devil to death the way they did with Truckin' or Sugar Magnolia. But, the reality is that FOTD was pretty rare, being played almost exclusively in the acoustic sets in 1970. So, it must have been a real treat when the band reintroduced an electric version in the summer of 1972. The song really benefits from Keith Godchaux's twinkling piano fills - he really nails it. 

The version featured here is only the second performance after the bust-out. Sadly after 1972, FOTD took another hiatus, being played only 3 times before the band's "retirement" in 1974. When it returned for good in 1976 the tempo had been slowed down to that of a wistful ballad never to change again making this all-the-more special. Back to Top.
 

LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd72-08-21.sbd.hamilton.150.sbeok.shnf
Re-Listen to the Dead:  http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1972/8/21/friend-of-the-devil

Artwork: 
In Concert: http://i.imgur.com/WpbYQmW.jpg
Original Lyrics: http://i.imgur.com/V4LmTZ9.jpg
FOTD: http://i.imgur.com/nXBfkGH.jpg

December 3
Jack Straw
6/16/91 – Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

Is there anything more cathartic than a sick Jack Straw? 

I attended this show with my brother, Dan and my friend Ed (aka, “Crazy Otto”). It was a heavy time for us because we had just received devastating news that Dan's best friend, Scott Robinson - who was supposed to be with us - was in the hospital in a coma from a senseless accident that occurred shortly after returning home from the shows in Charlotte. Reasoning that Scott would want us to rage on in his absence, we went to the RFK and Giants Stadium shows and tried to make the best of it. Ah to be young, naive and forever optimistic. The shows themselves were great. Unfortunately, Scott didn't make it and within one week we went from the happy, care-free times of going on summer tour with the Grateful Dead to the sobering reality of going to the funeral of a 22-year-old friend. Fighting back tears of paralyzing grief, we left Scott’s memorial service to the beautiful strains of Attics of my Life.

During that time of profound sadness we found comfort in the music of the Grateful Dead. For me, this astounding version of Jack Straw from Giants Stadium was a beacon of light during the darkest of times. It may not be the best version ever played but it's probably a contender for the best of the 90's. Maybe it was the second set treatment which always raises the stakes. However, a great deal of credit must also go to Bruce Hornsby for reinvigorating Jack Straw when he joined the band following another tragedy - the untimely death of Brent Mydland the previous year. It was probably one of Bruce's favorite songs in the Dead's repertoire. In fact, Jack Straw was the song that he contributed to the 1991 Grateful Dead tribute album, Deadicated. Not only did he take some of the lead vocals that are normally sung by Bobby, but on this version he and Jerry traded solos towards the end - each musician pushing the other to the precipice - resulting in a massive peak. Is there anything more cathartic than a sick Jack Straw? I think not. Grateful Dead therapy. RIP Scott. Back to Top.

LMA Link:  https://archive.org/details/gd1991-06-16.sbd.gjf.tetzeli.fix-17028.34783.reflac.flac16 
Re-Listen to the Dead:  http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1991/6/16/jack-straw

Artwork: 
Me & Dan: http://i.imgur.com/Cx6AfRo.jpg
Backstage Pass: http://i.imgur.com/kOZM4B9.jpg
Ticket Stub: http://i.imgur.com/jZ1bXLj.jpg
Giants Stadium: http://i.imgur.com/2nrc2s0.jpg
Jack Straw: http://i.imgur.com/EAXe1Ay.jpg

December 4
So Many Roads
9/18/94 – Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountainview, CA

The search is over. The holy grail of So Many Roads has been identified. Massive props go to Tom Bellanca for bringing this transcendent version to my attention a few months ago. Most people are familiar with the top tier versions from 10/1/94, 6/23/92 and 7/9/95 but this hidden gem just may be the best. 

Of course we would expect it to have that huge ending we all love and this version delivers those goods. 1994 was an exceptional year for Garcia’s vocals on ballads like Stella Blue (3/21 and 8/1) and So Many Roads (10/1) and his vocal delivery here is on right par with those performances - extremely passionate - but we also get a few other treats to ease our souls. 

First, Jerry changes the words a bit, opting for "So many roads to FILL my soul" before switching back to the more common, "EASE my soul." And then instead of ending the song after the final chorus - which was the norm - we get a rare, post-lyrics guitar solo. Unlike the brief, noodly solo in 10/1/94, this one is light years better. It starts off a little tentative - a few sour notes here and there as was typical in this era due to Jerry's fragile health. You can tell that he is struggling to keep it together with every note he plays but he stays focused, desperately trying to channel whatever magic may be left in him. The man was playing as if his life depended on it and in many ways he was - the reality of impending mortality. Suddenly he finds a melodic, bluesy pattern and patiently builds it up to a life-affirming peak. It's an extremely poignant moment. Chills! Finally, he brings it back one more time for a vocal reprise of titanic proportions not unlike the Eugene Standing on the Moon (8/21/93). It’s one of those stunning moments that catches you off-guard in disbelief where you impulsively say out loud, “Holy shit, I’ve gotta hear that again!” A beautiful, heart-wrenching version for the ages. Where is the soundboard? Back to Top.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je5iX_rdp_8
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd94-09-18.nak300.ladner.10069.sbeok.shnf
Re-Listen to the Dead: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1994/9/18/so-many-roads

Artwork: 
Jerry: http://i.imgur.com/bNDClkt.jpg

December 5
Playing In The Band
2/24/73 – University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Space is the place. Some of my favorite versions of Playing In The Band are from the summer/fall of ‘72. However, I've really come to appreciate the equally monster versions played in February ’73. An astute listener will notice a slight transitional change in the band’s jamming style. The raw, psychedelic cowboy sound that was so prevalent in ‘72 begins to be replaced with the Dead’s version of acid-jazz in ’73. The Iowa Playin’ is a deep, wide-ranging 21-minute journey into space that rivals anything the band was doing in ’72.

Only a fragment of this show exists and what we have reveals a band that is completely on top of its game. That is not surprising since Iowa immediately preceded the highly regarded shows in Lincoln (2/26) and Salt Lake City (2/28) both of which were officially released as part of the Dick’s Picks series (Vol. 28). Given what we know about those shows we can only wonder just how cosmic things got at the Fieldhouse on that fateful night in the dead of winter. Meanwhile, enjoy your journey...

End Note: As incredible as the contributions are by each of the band members I've gotta give the game ball for this performance to Bill Kreutzmann. His drumming on this Playin' In The Band is just not of this world. Back to Top.

LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd73-02-24.pset1-sbd.sly.16051.sbeok.shnf
Re-Listen to the Dead: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1973/2/24-1/playin-in-the-band

Artwork: 
Poster: http://i.imgur.com/6U3nFXO.jpg
1973 Jamming: http://i.imgur.com/n6SrBru.jpg
Trippy: http://i.imgur.com/3cauxF2.jpg

December 6
Casey Jones, One More Saturday Night
12/2/71 – Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA
A man's mistakes are his portals of discovery - James Joyce

A typically energetic 1971-style Casey Jones all of sudden starts to fall apart due to a rare miscue when Garcia tries to end it. Ruh-roh! No worries, the band recovers without missing a beat. When in doubt, just jam harder! Jerry begins to solo over the ending - probably the only time that has ever happened - and hot damn, it WORKS! They reprise the chorus and this time they nail it. Wow! Do they stop for a set break? Hell no! Gotta make it up to the fans for that flub so Weir calls for One More Saturday Night. The band is on fire and the music is frenzied. The audience must have been a giant puddle. Back to Top.

YouTube
 (a Dec. '71 compilation that includes the Casey Jones from 12/2):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1bFBf3csvE
LMA Link: 
https://archive.org/details/gd71-12-02.sbd.lai.6255.sbeok.shnf

Re-Listen to the Dead: 
Casey Jones: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1971/12/2/casey-jones
One More Saturday Night: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1971/12/2/one-more-saturday-night

Artwork: 
Ruh-Roh: http://i.imgur.com/ftAuEGm.jpg
Boston Music Hall Interior: http://i.imgur.com/VRrO0Lt.jpg
Raging: http://i.imgur.com/3Bnvtco.jpg
Casey Jones Cartoon: http://i.imgur.com/xowHMWf.jpg


December 7
Hef interviews Jerry > Mountains of the Moon

1/18/69 – Playboy at Night, CBS Studios in West Hollywood, CA
1969 + The Grateful Dead + Hugh Hefner + Playboy Bunnies + LSD. You do the math. I mean, can it really get any stranger than that? Here is a copy and paste of the story from Rock Scully's memoir, Living With the Dead:

"While we're making Aoxomoxoa, we get a taste of hippiedom's slow crawl into the straight world. Jerry and I have run into a humorous old hipster named Shel Silverstein at the No-Name Bar in Sausalito from time to time. He draws cartoons and writes for Playboy, and Jerry and I have always been impressed-like everyone else!-by the quality of the articles in that publication. Where else can you find pubic hair and Vladimir Nabokov face to face?

Shel's close to Hugh Hefner. One day he asks if the Grateful Dead want to be on Playboy After Dark, Hefner's TV show. We get the impression that Hef is trying to be part of the swinging sixties. Hippies! Free love! Mind-bending drugs! Even though he doesn't get out of the Playboy Mansion too much, he knows that something is going on out there and he wants to be 'with it.' and what could be more with it than a psychedelic hippie band from San Francisco. Now, that's swinging! Jerry's for it totally: 'What a goof! And a great way to shock people. So difficult to do these days, no?'

It's shot at a sound stage in West Hollywood. This is our first encounter with any kind of network television (CBS) and Owsley, now affectionately known to one and all as 'Bear,' is really keyed up. This is his main chance to show the world the great Owsley's contribution to modern audiophonics. Now they'll see! The show could be a milestone in broadcasting but-the ignorant fools!-they won't let him touch anything. They just want him to set it up and then they'll mike it and they'll do all that other, thank you. That's the way it is, by law you know, union regulations.

He can't get his way with the sound and he's really pissed off. Owsley Stanley, regulated to the deep recesses of the studio! I'll show them! Bear has his way with dealing with petty functionaries. He hit this big old coffee urn with an industrial dose of liquid acid and waits.

It's a random sampling because you don't know who's going to have coffee out of that urn and who isn't. But apparently before dinner everybody has at least one cup, which is quite enough. The ones that have a good time behind it never leave; the ones that leave never come back.

The LSD effect is soon all to apparent because Playboy After Dark is a very stiff-looking show. Hef walking around in his velvet smoking jacket sucking on his pipe like some bad actor in a faustian Brit upper-class drawing-room comedy. It's all goofily phonied up. The cheesy set is meant to look like a Chicago lakefront penthouse full of suave rich guys and beautiful women of easy virtue. Everyone's desperately trying to make it look like there's a real fun cocktail party going on. Some swingers come by to check out the evening's entertainment at Hef's place. And who should drop by but the Grateful Dead (just like they do every Thursday).

The cast consists of stacked babes in evening dress. Upwardly mobile, secretarial-type women with the bouffant hair and big tits escorted by smooth, soigne, model-type guys in tuxedos posing, smoking cigarettes, and fingering their cocktail glasses as if they are little glass zebras. A tacky American middle-class diorama with uptight people in it! Everybody here is fully versed in the Playboy philosophy (which differs from Existentialism in important ways that, uh, I don't think I'll go into right here). Anyway, the show is all about achieving the ultimate after-shave attitude. Bunnies in their bunny outfits are running around with trays of hors d'oeuvres. The extras affect nonchalance, affluence, and sophistication. And in the middle of this robotic scenario one of the bunnies begins to strip (too many cups of coffee!). It's a perfectly acceptable response to several hundred mics of Owsley LSD. Hefner is used to seeing naked women too, but only under clinically controlled conditions. He sees his suave-to-the-max trip beginning to crumble and he freaks.

'Shel! Shel!' Hefner is shouting. 'What's going on? This isn't in the script!' Shel soon figures out what's happening (Shel is hip), and calms Hef down: 'It's all part of the effect the Grateful Dead have on people. This is that Hippie Thing I told you about.'

Hef nods knowingly. 'Oh well, if it's all part of the, uh, psychedelic thing, that's okay. Really neat.'

One of Shel's jobs is to make sure that no one doses Hugh Hefner, which Owsley is trying like crazy to do. But Hefner only drinks Coca-Colas, sealed Coca-Colas (it's in his contract). He does not want to take LSD-he's paranoid as hell about the stuff. The Coca-Cola bottle-opening ritual is as elaborate as any at the Sultan's court. Hefner's valet sits on the royal stash of Coca-Cola bottles like a hen on eggs. When Hef wants a Coke, Shel goes over to the valet, who opens one and gives it to Shel, who hands it to Hef.

People are falling apart and leaving, right and left, saying, 'I don't feel well. I think I've got a fever, I gotta go home.' You can see acid beaming out of people's faces: the glow, the big, dilated pupils. Usually Hef's swinging is a low hum rather than anything resembling an actual party, but by now people are seriously getting down.

Meanwhile, George, the cameraman on the boom, has stopped filming the show. He can't take his camera off the babe. She's unhooked her bra and she's dancing loosely and seductively, and then starts to lift up her shirt. George's eyes are wide open, as big as saucers, and he's got a huge grin on his face. His boom has turned into a dinosaur's neck that he's riding across the set. He's shooting overhead shots, extreme close-ups down girls' blouses. It's all too bizarre. He's stripped down to the waist and his headset's all askew and finally the director comes out of the control room and shouts at him: 'Put your headset on!' But how absurd! Why should he? He's having the time of his life, oblivious to the chorus of voices yelling at him; 'George, watch it! What are you doing? Come on down from there!'

'No I ain't coming down.' He's right over the girl who's undressing. You can see on the tape where she is getting crazy and now she has all of her clothes off and George up on the boom has positioned himself right above her and will not get his camera off her. You can see it start to happen on the tape where they can't edit her out completely. For a change, some really crazy stuff gets on the show.

They're now down to two cameramen. They have to string this show together out of bits and pieces. At this point they are so short-handed (and the soundman is dosed beyond all recall) that they have to recruit Owsley-which is just what Owsley wants.

Then we come to the interview with Garcia. Garcia is by now high, too, because-that's right!-he drank a lot of coffee. You can tell it is going to pieces and Hugh Hefner is watching Jerry like an entomologist who has just spied a new species of dragonfly. Jerry's sitting opposite him looking real weird in a Guatemalan poncho-brilliant, psychedelic colors that vibrate right off the screen-and he's just grown his beard, big muttonchops, and his hair is tied in ponytails. Hefner, sucking thoughtfully on his pipe, asks Jerry a perfectly ordinary question like 'So where do you guys see yourselves going from here?' But instead of the usual pitch ('We're doing two weeks at the Rally Room in Lake Tahoe and then on to the EZ-Boy Convention in Omaha'), Jerry gives him a long and convoluted psychedelic rap.

'See, man, I don't know where we're going any more than you do, man. It's like we're not going anywhere, so much as we're closing the circle...the ourobouros, dig? The snake that eats its own tail, y'know?'

Hef's going along with it, even though he doesn't understand a single word Garcia's saying. Not even a hippie could figure it out, and here's Mr. Leisure Wear trying to reconfigure his face into the 'Hmmmmmmmmm, how interesting!' expression but it just won't go. He manages to get out a panicked 'Yes, oh, I see-why don't you play us a few songs?' The people are clapping, and Garcia ambles over to the rest of the band and picks up his guitar, straps it on.

The Dead do a beautiful 'Mountains of the Moon' with Tom Constanten on the harpsichord. They play for almost an hour. We've got the crew and the cast so high that nobody stops us.

Shel pretends to be very mad at us: 'Okay, who did this?' Privately, he's thrilled. Playboy After Dark is generally a stiff, weird-looking affair, like a cocktail party for the recently deceased. Tonight everybody's telling us this is the closest thing to a party Hugh Hefner's ever had."

Rock Scully Back to Top.


YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wx6OAfvlxTs
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1969-01-18.tv.ukmutt.33931.flac16

Re-Listen to the Dead:  
Hef interviews Jerry: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1969/1/18/hefner-interviews-garcia
Mountains of the Moon: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1969/1/18/mountains-of-the-moon

Artwork: 
Playboy After Dark-1: http://i.imgur.com/bFRZ0JS.jpg
Playboy After Dark-2: http://i.imgur.com/haN1KC6.jpg
Playboy After Dark-3: http://i.imgur.com/RBy6P80.jpg
Playboy After Dark-4: http://i.imgur.com/6XogHRT.jpg
Owsley: http://i.imgur.com/NrarlAk.jpg
Mountains of the Moon: http://i.imgur.com/VwirdF0.jpg


December 8
Scarlet Begonias
7/19/74 – Selland Arena, Fresno, CA

This is an incredible show and it is no surprise that it is finally being officially released as the next Dave’s Picks installment so I figured I'd better get this one in before I lose my opportunity. The stand-alone Scarlet Begonias in the first set is chock full of jazzy, gooey, melty goodness. Garcia using a cool fuzz-box effect during the jam portion making this a pretty unique version. He must have really been digging that sound because he breaks it out again in the second set for a crushing Spanish Jam. Back to Top.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcEwQB68zww
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1974-07-19.sbd.miller.32634.sbeok.flac16
Re-Listen to the Dead: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1974/7/19/scarlet-begonias

Artwork: 
Photo from show: http://i.imgur.com/FMvDunL.jpg
Promo Poster: http://i.imgur.com/zO2PFPY.jpg
Wall of Sound: http://i.imgur.com/heLpzON.jpg
Mars Hotel: http://i.imgur.com/EHrsARL.jpg


December 9
Dark Star
12/11/72 – Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA
From The Deadhead's Taping Compendium-Volume 1 (1959-74); written by Robert Goetz: 
One of the finest Stars. This Star meanders at first, but soon the sound gets really deep. Garcia, Weir, and Lesh enter improvisational bliss. This Star isn’t pleasant in the least; in fact, it’s one of the most sinister performances around. The pre-verse jams reach several different themes with each band member apparently taking turns in the creation. After the lyrics, the theme turns into a vast wasteland. Godchaux provides a haunting keyboard effect throughout while Garcia and Kreutzmann noodle around awaiting the ever-approaching “Tiger.” The effect is quite spaced-out, complete with hair-raising feedback and Lesh bombs galore. Ultimately the band returns from its nebulous state, and the final San Francisco Dark Star of 1972 comes to a conclusion. Back to Top.

Also see Dead Essays Blog: http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2009/12/december-1972.html

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvRKsyAF-h8
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1972-12-11.sbd.gems.107885.flac16
Re-Listen to the Dead: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1972/12/11/dark-star

Artwork: 
Trippy: http://i.imgur.com/tRl46wD.jpg
Winterland: http://i.imgur.com/EOHZNRu.jpg
Dark Star: http://i.imgur.com/RX3A0ll.jpg
12/11/72: http://i.imgur.com/tgYUkY3.jpg
Jewel Case Artwork: http://i.imgur.com/S0x1I5Q.jpg


December 10
Crazy Fingers > Truckin’ > Comes A Time
7/8/87 – Civic Center, Roanoke, VA

Picture the scene if you can. It's the summer of '87. The band had just released In The Dark, Jerry was healthy and the greatly anticipated Dead/Dylan tour was underway. I had seen the tour opener in Foxboro on July 4th but skipped Pittsburgh and Roanoke. Those shows were added on later and unlike the rest of the tour they were performed without Dylan in smaller indoor arenas. Like any self-respecting fan, I naturally wanted to know what I had missed. This being the 80s, there was no internet, so set list information was definitely not in real time. The most common way to obtain that information was by word of mouth - usually by talking to other fans in the parking lot before the show. So, I'm tossing a Frisbee around in the parking lot at Giants Stadium and a carload of fans park next to us. The people seem friendly so we begin talking. As it turns out, they had been to the shows in Pittsburgh and Roanoke. They have my full attention now. As they tell me about how the Neville Brothers joined the Dead for the second set in Pittsburgh I start to get a sinking feeling that perhaps missing the 3 indoor shows may not have been the best decision. By the time they get to the second night of Roanoke I am downright depressed. Scarlet>Fire>Estimated>He's Gone. It was a dream set list. But, it was the post-space segment that really drive the stake in my heart: Space > Crazy Fingers > Truckin' > Comes A Time. Crazy Fingers out of SPACE? And the rarely played Comes A Time as a second ballad (three if you include He’s Gone)? It didn't seem real. Were they messing with me? Each song from that set list felt as if I was being repeatedly punched in the stomach. I was crushed. I had been chasing Crazy Fingers and Comes A Time for quite some time and here they were played in the same show and practically back-to-back. Alas, in the nearly 100 shows I attended I never saw the band perform Comes A Time. I received some major consolation a few months later when I saw one of the best versions of Morning Dew ever at Madison Square Garden (9/18/87). But, I will confess that missing this sublime trifecta in Roanoke still sticks in my craw. I am sure that practically everybody reading this has their own sad story of a show they wish they had seen. 

Caveat Emptor - Individually, these songs are solid but not best-ever. Crazy Fingers floating out of Space was a one-time occurrence making this performance super special. It is puzzling to me why that was never attempted again. Like “The Wheel,” the song placement in the post-space slot is perfect. Truckin' is great fun. Weir gives it the Big 80's treatment with the "Livin' on crack verse" followed by some hilarious stuttering theatrics during the "You're sick of hanging around" verse. Finally, the solos in Comes A Time are reflective and beautiful as one would expect. Back to Top.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-l4zkqQ5Wg
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1987-07-08.sbd.miller.90146.sbeok.flac16

Re-Listen to the Dead: 
Crazy Fingers: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1987/7/8/crazy-fingers
Truckin’: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1987/7/8/truckin
Comes A Time: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1987/7/8/comes-a-time

Artwork: 
Back Stage Pass: http://i.imgur.com/AyyfSAC.jpg
Ticket Stub: http://i.imgur.com/bOghriz.jpg
Giants Stadium Ticket Stub from mail order: http://i.imgur.com/tktP97X.jpg
Roanoke Civic Center: http://i.imgur.com/5xCr0zn.jpg
Crazy Fingers: http://i.imgur.com/1YllXDx.jpg


December 11
Eyes of the World > Happiness is Drumming > Wharf Rat > Drums
6/28/76 – Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL

Some parts are excerpted from the Deadhead’s Taping Compendium – Vol. 2 (1975 – 1985). Lots of rare treats here. The band opens the second set with a fluid reading of "Eyes of the World." As was the case during this era, the intro jam is long and exploratory featuring luscious Garcia twirls and sparkling Weir sweeps. Rather than jam continuously on the intro riffs, the band maneuvers through several progressions, subtly teasing the "Stronger Than Dirt" jams more commonly found on the outro during the 1973-74 era. This unique modification was performed only 5 times - all in June 1976 – this being the last. After that, the “Stronger Than Dirt” jam was dropped from for good.

As the jam dissolves, Lesh steps forward with a few grounding shots, actually hinting at a transition, before Garcia seizes the moment perfectly with the segue into the verse. His solo after the second verse especially shines. After the final verse we are treated to a very rare – albeit brief - bass solo that eventually gives way to drums.

Slowly and methodically, the drummers arise, beginning with faint patterings, that echo the pulse of a percolator. Again seizing the moment in perfect synchronicity, the band segues gracefully into the sole live performance of "Happiness is Drumming" - an early, instrumental version of "Fire on the Mountain" that appears on Mickey Hart's 1976 solo album, Diga Rhythm Band. An untitled, embryonic version of this jam first emerged at the Watkins Glen soundcheck on July 27, 1973. While perhaps not reaching the same heights as that first performance, this gorgeous version is awe inspiring nevertheless. Garcia leads the jam with deliciously sweet exploratory lines and tantalizingly tart string bends. The backing groove is simplistically steady, remaining constant as the jam transcends its coloration. Upon dissolution, Garcia leads a note-by-note descent that settles comfortably into Wharf Rat Back to Top..

YouTube
Happiness is Drumming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3bsP-oSECI
Studio version of Happiness is Drumming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfoKUK19yoM
Fire On The Mountain (Unreleased Rap Version): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0jt-2huWAg

LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1976-06-28.sbd.digitalrbb.miller.112296.flac16

Re-Listen to the Dead: 
Eyes of the World: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1976/6/28-2/eyes-of-the-world
Happiness is Drumming: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1976/6/28-2/happiness-is-drumming
Wharf Rat: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1976/6/28-2/wharf-rat

Artwork: 
Jerry: http://i.imgur.com/lbZPzjL.jpg
Jerry Feelin it: http://i.imgur.com/yzhJroE.jpg
Diga-1: http://i.imgur.com/kEP8zUh.jpg
Diga-2: http://i.imgur.com/fT682ml.jpg


December 12
Drums > The Other One > Cryptical Envelopment > Feedback > We Bid You Goodnight
12/29/68 – Gulfstream Park Racetrack - Hallandale, FL


Before diving into my review I thought I would provide a little background of what it is like to experience The Grateful Dead in 1968 (excerpted from deadlistening.com blog):
"As far as the Grateful Dead go, 1968 contains a collection of music that is in many ways unparalleled across the vast 30 year span of their career. Like no other year, 1968 never spares a single minute toying around with the idea of taking you on a psychedelic music journey. It doesn’t gently take your hand and lead you down a path which exposes you to some magic land. No, 1968 is more like being run over by a freight train fueled on electric Kool-Aid steam. Drop the needle down at any instance of 1968 Grateful Dead and you’re catapulted directly into the heart of a musical expression so lysergic, so steeped in cosmic adventurism, it defies any true comparison to what we might generally bring to mind as the “psychedelic scene” of the late 60’s.”

Here is a snippet of the Dead's performance at the Miami Pop Festival in1968. This single-set clocks in at under an hour but boy did they ever make it count! There is a reason why they saved "The Other One" to close their set - this explosive version is absolutely face-melting. The assault begins right out of drums without Lesh's patented introductory bass riff (he didn't start playing that until 1969). The drummers, working together to form a symbiotic eight-limbed rhythm machine, lay down a manic tempo while Garcia peels off screeching feedback before blasting off into orbit. The swelling groove that's been released has a mind of its own. With his volume cranked ALL THE WAY UP Garcia trudges into battle and shreds everything in his path. The resulting jam is ferocious. Sadly, there is a jarring cut before the first verse. 

The entrance to Cryptical Reprise provides a brief moment of reflection and tranquility allowing the music to slowly spread its cosmic tendrils until a clearly possessed Garcia screams the last "Well you know he had to DIE." He hangs on to that last word for additional emphasis. It's terrifying. Following his cue, the band explodes and the onslaught continues. Jerry returns to shred mode, commanding his guitar to scream as the beautifully horrific moment of death has truly arrived. With nowhere else to go, the band delivers some "Feedback" followed by a foreboding "We Bid You Goodnight." Monstrous. Brutal. Apocalyptic. Essential primal Dead. Back to Top.

LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1968-12-29.sbd.miller.80197.sbeok.flac16

Re-Listen to the Dead: 
Drums: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1968/12/29-1/drums
The Other One: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1968/12/29-1/the-other-one
Cryptical Envelopment: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1968/12/29-1/cryptical-envelopment
We Bid You Goodnight: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1968/12/29-1/and-we-bid-you-good-night

Artwork: 
Jewel Case Artwork: http://i.imgur.com/lnSQYQ6.jpg
Miami Pop Festival Bumper Sticker: http://i.imgur.com/oITQ5MM.jpg
Miami Pop Festival Poster: http://i.imgur.com/RXSiIfd.png
Miami Pop Festical Program Book: http://i.imgur.com/fPULKmi.jpg
Feedback: http://i.imgur.com/wve6NDy.jpg


December 13
Iko Iko
11/2/84 – Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, CA

Talk about changing things up, how about Smokestack Lighting, Spoonful and Iko to CLOSE a FIRST set? Well, that's what happened during this 6-night run at the tiny (3,500 seat) Berkeley Community Theater in 1984. Because it is the set closer the band gives Iko a little more gusto than usual. This fun version is all about the bouncy, infectious groove. Like all great Iko's, it has a huge, extended finale with exaggerated vocals that even includes some classic Garcia growling. Hey now! Back to Top.

YouTube (Smoketack > Spoonful > Smokestack, Iko): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DyqSNFxpxs
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1984-11-02.sbd.braverman.9753.sbeok.shnf
Re-Listen to the Dead: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1984/11/2/iko-iko

Artwork: 
Poster: http://i.imgur.com/eIyCnDd.jpg
GDTS Ticket Stub: http://i.imgur.com/ONsa20Z.jpg
Jerry Fall 84: http://i.imgur.com/GDPp3BW.jpg
Aiko Aiko: http://i.imgur.com/weOwgHm.jpg
Eye-Ko: http://i.imgur.com/ji6COb2.jpg


December 14
Estimated Prophet
5/7/78 – Field House, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Troy, NY

A textbook version of "Estimated Prophet" from Spring of '78. This one has a BIG bridge solo with Jerry wailing the Mutron hard. The outro has a long, hypnotic jam that explores hidden valleys that are dark, smokey and mysterious. Back to Top.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT7hp3P8mH0
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1978-05-07.sbd.vernon.tetzeli.patch-8327.80126.sbeok.shnf
Re-Listen to the Dead: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1978/5/7/estimated-prophet

Artwork: 
Ticket stub: http://i.imgur.com/Zj0bgtB.jpg
On stage: http://i.imgur.com/tI0i4bK.jpg
RPI Field House: http://i.imgur.com/atW4HOq.jpg
Estimated Prophet: http://i.imgur.com/1z150k4.jpg


December 15
Stella Blue
6/28/88 – Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
This was a birthday show for me and I was fortunate enough to be in attendance with a group of friends to help me celebrate. The band has historically played well on June 28th (1974 Boston, 1976 Chicago and 1992 Deer Creek come to mind) and this high-energy show from SPAC '88 is no exception. The first set has great renditions of some of my favorite tunes - Candyman and Row Jimmy. It was fun to hear the "new songs" for the first time - Victim and Foolish Heart were only about a week old. 

The second set remains one of my all-time favorites with solid versions of Scarlet > Fire and Estimated > Crazy Fingers - the latter being a welcome change from Eyes which was the usual link with Estimated. 

The Stella Blue is a top tier version of the 80s. Garcia's soaring bridge solo is simply devastating. The way he holds that long, screeching note is sure to leave a wide grin of approval on Trey Anastasio's face. The outro solo is stunning. Garcia starts with delicate, echoing raindrop notes of beauty. Speaking of echoing, the band had set up speakers everywhere - even in the rural, backwoods where half-naked hippies tripping on acid blissfully twirled with eyes closed - so the music literally echoed everywhere. Eventually, Garcia finds a pattern and builds it to a life-affirming, anthemic peak. CHILLS! What an incredible birthday and the fun was just beginning because we were all heading up to Oxford Plains... Back to Top.

YouTube: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfnOfzrxfbM
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd88-06-28.fm-matrix.braverman.17956.sbeok.shnf
Re-Listen to the Dead: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1988/6/28/stella-blue

Artwork: 
Pre-gaming with my crew at SPAC: http://i.imgur.com/P2eI0A5.jpg
Back stage pass - http://i.imgur.com/LLHtcB9.gif
Ticket Stub - http://i.imgur.com/DlvNtiY.jpg
Jerry - http://i.imgur.com/lQ9A3no.jpg
SPAC entrance - http://i.imgur.com/Fz7tQBn.jpg

December 16
Cassidy
10/12/83 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

The boys may have busted out "St. Stephen" the night before and of course it was huge but this version of "Cassidy" from the following evening has way more energy and jamming. There, I said it. JUDAS! The jam is all one hopes for in this song; taken to a graceful yet fiery peak, the whole band nails down the reprise perfectly. Back to Top.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L06QCAIWKx8
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd83-10-12.sbd.harrell.8112.sbeok.shnf

Re-Listen to the Dead: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1983/10/12/cassidy

Artwork: 
Ticket Stub: http://i.imgur.com/PuJnRhM.jpg
Bobby: http://i.imgur.com/ZXlhf5P.jpg
MSG Marquee: http://i.imgur.com/O7wki7S.jpg
The Garden: http://i.imgur.com/828clcf.jpg

December 17
Shakedown Street
10/31/79 – Nassau Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
Fans of the Cape Cod "Dancin' In The Streets" will love this incredible 17+ minute version of "Shakedown" from Nassau a few days later. These funk-fests were largely driven by new keyboardist Brent Mydland who had found his groove by the fall '79. His clav and synth work combined with Garcia's Mutron capture the Dead's interpretation of theSuperfly funk sound that defined the 70s. At around the 12-minute mark, Jerry switches to the fuzz-box and starts peeling off speedy guitar runs over Phil's throbbing bass line which takes the music in a slightly different direction. Perhaps giving a nod to Halloween, this unique jam has a weird, trancey, Jurassic kind of vibe. Back to Top.

YouTube: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IJQ-1VaJCc
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd79-10-31.sbd.miller.29410.sbeok.flacf
Re-Listen to the Dead: 
http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1979/10/31/shakedown-street

Artwork: 
Ticket stub: 
http://i.imgur.com/81GsDuL.jpg
Jerry & Bob: 
http://i.imgur.com/Dxj3Fxq.jpg
Bob, Phil & Brent: http://i.imgur.com/43kfFbr.jpg
Phil: http://i.imgur.com/klw9ncN.jpg
Grateful Halloween: http://i.imgur.com/s5Q5qRJ.jpg
Shakedown: http://i.imgur.com/rHe12Fp.jpg

December 18
New Minglewood Blues > Big Railroad Blues
9/2/83 – Boise Pavilion, Boise State University, Boise, ID

"Citizens of Boise, SUBMIT for you are a Conquered People." That is how Phil Lesh greeted the audience as the band took the stage for its first appearance in Idaho. He must have really been feeling it. And, you know the old saying - when Phil is on the rest of the band is on.

This is one of the better shows of 1983 - Minglewood and Big Railroad Blues being major highlights of the first set. The pace is frantic. The playing is reckless. Weir's slide solo is loud, confident and nasty. It may just be his finest moment on slide ever. The energy sends a jolt of of electricity into Jerry who proceeds to lay waste to everything in site when the solo is passed to him. 

Do the boys rest? Hell no! Pausing only to reload, there is much more conquering to be done. Garcia begins picking the notes to Big Railroad Blues and they are off once again. This hyper-speedy version is ridiculous. Jerry's playing is relentless. He can't stop. It's one amazing guitar run after another. Just when you think he is finished, he just keeps going. It will leave you shaking your head in disbelief. The song gets stretched out about as far it can conceivably go. 

Were there any survivors in Boise? Back to Top.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTeYbBe9a9Q
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1983-09-02.mtx.seamons.100930.sbeok.flac16

Re-Listen to the Dead: 
New Minglewood Blues: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1983/9/2-2/minglewood-blues
Big Railroad Blues: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1983/9/2-2/big-railroad-blues

Artwork: 
All access pass - http://i.imgur.com/uf05fAB.jpg
Ticket stub - http://i.imgur.com/CuVcGsg.jpg
Jewel case artwork - http://i.imgur.com/LlAwtJi.jpg
Jerry - http://i.imgur.com/keN6oeT.jpg
Sinister Phil - http://i.imgur.com/3EYugTy.jpg

December 19
Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo > Big River
5/7/77 – Boston Garden, Boston, MA
The first of three shows that many fans consider to be the Holy Trinity of '77 Dead - Boston, Cornell and Buffalo. I'm sure all of you are familiar with these colossal versions of "Half-Step" and "Big River" so I'll curb the hyperbole and let you enjoy the music. Back to Top.

YouTube: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8BcuHWa9As
LMA Link: 
https://archive.org/details/gd1977-05-07.sbd.miller.88525.flac16

Re-Listen to the Dead: 
Mississippi Half-Step: 
http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1977/5/7/mississippi-half-step-uptown-toodle-loo
Big River: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1977/5/7/big-river

Artwork: 
Ticket stub - 
http://i.imgur.com/irMPiel.jpg
Jerry - http://i.imgur.com/gDhe19m.jpg

December 20
Here Comes Sunshine > Space > Me & Bobby McGee
4/2/73 – Boston Garden, Boston, MA
This unique performance of HC Sunshine opens up majestically into a classic “Space” jam where edgy, unnerving scraped strings and Garcia’s spooky shrieks unsettle and disorient the listener to the point that when Bobby suggests “Me & Bobby McGee” it becomes a blessed relief. This is quite an accomplished take on Bobby Mcgee, featuring excellent singing, an extraordinarily tight performance, and a flawless Garcia solo topped off with some wonderful harmonics. Back to Top.

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgEYAT9_cqQ
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd73-04-02.sbd.miller.17346.sbeok.shnf

Re-Listen to the Dead:  
Here Comes Sunshine: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1973/4/2/here-comes-sunshine
Me & Bobby McGee: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1973/4/2/me-and-bobby-mcgee

December 21
Bird Song
10/18/89 – The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
In the fall of '89 the Grateful Dead were embarking on what many consider to be their final creative peak. During this renaissance, not only did the band reach deep into their vast repertoire to resurrect some of their most beloved songs such as Dark Star, Attics, Help/Slip and Death Don't Have No Mercy, but also breathed new life into their regular songs as exemplified by this transcendental version of Bird Song.

This under-the-radar show picks up right where the band left off at the Meadowlands. The same dreamy Dark Star licks are ever-present in this Bird Song. We also get a bit of the trippy pan flute that Jerry favored on this tour from his new MIDI setup. The jam spirals higher and higher, eventually peaking with some thunderous "Other One" vamps before coming in for a landing on the final chorus. Back to Top.

YouTube: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyVKtB5VBq8
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1989-10-18.sbd.walker-scotton.miller.83776.sbeok.flac16
Re-Listen to the Dead: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1989/10/18-2/bird-song

Artwork: 
Backstage Pass - 
http://i.imgur.com/cXlLc6M.jpg
1989 Fall/Winter All Access Pass - http://i.imgur.com/rEAkyih.jpg
Spectrum - http://i.imgur.com/qPzeEtd.jpg
Jerry - http://i.imgur.com/dRmP4Ux.jpg
Birdsong - http://i.imgur.com/tdDnRl8.jpg

December 22
Hell In A Bucket
9/24/87 – The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA

This over-the-top version of "Hell In A Bucket" is well-deserving of its second set placement. Before unleashing the fury Bobby "warns" the audience about the soon-to-be-released MTV video. The energy is sky high all the way through. Jerry's guitar is squealing, Brent's keys are pounding and Bobby's vocals are taken to their absolute limit. The finale is incredible. Healy plays around with the effects on Weir's voice - it actually WORKS! After a bit he wisely lays off the effects and let's Bobby do his thing. He is totally in command. The notes he hits are so high and are held for such a long duration that it seems impossible that they could be made by a human. 80s Dead at its finest. Back to Top.

Hell in a Bucket Official Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9Bs4xhDyxw
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1987-09-24.sbd.miller.fix-92282.92506.flac16
Re-Listen to the Dead: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1987/9/24/hell-in-a-bucket

Artwork: 
Ticket Stub - http://i.imgur.com/AfuBXjT.jpg
Weir - http://i.imgur.com/0qXYHRn.jpg
You imagine me sipping champagne from your boot - http://i.imgur.com/2apSVXD.jpg
Phil GIF - http://i.imgur.com/N34tYXw.gifv
Spectrum - http://i.imgur.com/yf26UkB.jpg

December 23
Sugaree
3/28/81 – Gruga Halle, Essen, West Germany, GDR
The Dead generally had a poor record for "big" shows - cue Woodstock and Egypt - but they managed to play a very solid show at the Europe-wide Rockpalast TV and radio broadcast in 1981. I acquired a copy of the BBC broadcast on cassette many years ago from a tape trader in Germany who recorded the master himself (thank you Uli Teute). It's one of those tapes that has stayed with me due to the high quality of both the audio and the performance. 

The first set is particularly strong with a rare mid-set Shakedown Street, Althea and this superb version of Sugaree that is nearly album-perfect. Jerry is in terrific voice and each of his solos are very well crafted - especially the second one. It begins ever so patiently with Weir playing beautiful accompanying harmonics. The jam picks up speed and power hitting overdrive when Jerry nails his trademark sixteenth-note triplets repeating scale. Isn't that moment the reason why we listen to Sugaree? Since the camera is focused on Jerry we are treated to a rare, close-up view of him doing it! 

There were plenty of grainy VHS copies that circulated back in the day and have now made their way to YouTube. Maybe we'll see a cleaned-up official audio/video box set release someday? Back to Top.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld4wCgARzv0
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd81-03-28.fm.hanno.3306.sbefail.shnf
Re-Listen to the Dead: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1981/3/28/sugaree

Artwork: 
Rockpalast program - http://i.imgur.com/nu0dW9Z.jpg
Jerry - http://i.imgur.com/osTz647.jpg
Live at Rockpalast - http://i.imgur.com/zFAezcO.jpg
DVD Sleeve - http://i.imgur.com/8QHNKyy.jpg


December 24
China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider
8/16/80 - Mississippi River Festival, Southern Ill. University, Edwardsville, IL
It's gotta be essential listening when I select a show without a soundboard source. This China > Rider, played at an outdoor festival in torrential rain, howling winds and blasts of lightning, is not to be missed! The deteriorating weather conditions create a shared energy between the band and the crowd. The band is firing on all cylinders right out of the gate. The first signs of greatness appear during Garcia's solo in China Cat. Jerry is in fine form and seems to be giving everything an extra something special. As the China Cat jam gains more momentum so does the audience with wild yelps of approval. The signature peak is enormous. Things get even BETTER in Rider. The frenzied pace is fueled by the impassioned singing of both Weir and Garcia, as well as the clapping and stomping of the crowd. Garcia's screaming vocals on his "headlight" verse, complete with a perfectly timed Phil-bomb, is jaw-dropping. Confronting the weather in a very literal way with his guitar, Garcia's final solo is a combination of lightning fast notes, thunderous power chords and vicious fanning to which Phil drops another devastating bomb. The finale is nothing short of triumphant. The audience recording captures the moment in a way that no soundboard could. 

Concert memories excerpted from dead.net:
A lot of people became die hard Deadheads for life during this China Cat/Rider hurricane experience, including me. The show started as a totally average, ho hum yawner in extreme Midwest heat and humidity. Then we saw dark clouds boiling to the west and the breeze started blowing and the temp started dropping, all during LL Rain. Then as they went into China Cat/Rider it hit. And man did it hit! No cover over the audience. These days, bands out there delay the set and shut it down when a massive thunderstorm hits. They kept playing. The rain started coming down in sheets, the wind started howling, and the thunder and lightning became very intense. They kept playing. Lightning bolts right over the stage, rain coming down horizontally. They kept playing. The most intense China Cat/Rider ever. Everyone on their seats, jumping up and down and screaming, absolutely berserk, getting soaked like diving in a bath. Hardly able to see Jerry during the "I'd shine my light thru cool Colorado rain" line because of the sheets of rain. They became a different band and from that point to the end, the show was totally dynamic. 

Magical stuff happened during that thunderstorm. When Bob sang "the sun's gonna shine in my back door some day," and the thunder struck right on cue . . . well, it just doesn't get any better than that.

More concert memories excerpted from LMA
My first show. "Festival" relates to the summer concert series at what was a wonderful, natural outdoor amphitheater for over 15 years at SIU-Edwardsville. The day and nite transferred from hot, muggy, balmy to wind and rain. Full on thunder lightning in China Cat IKYR. Orange, purple skies early on then darkness, rain. Total crowd maybe 7-8K.

$7 tickets. Huge, classic Midwest thunderstorm rolled in and the band kept playin on. The site was a huge hill, which turned into the stoniest, sloppiest mudslide ever. 

This was a quintessential Dead summer gig with early Brent. The Mississippi River Festival was a beautiful venue on the SIU campus, surrounded by trees on the outside, grate for lazin' with the Dead. Small crowd, smiles everywhere, NO hassles as the band came out and hit from the start. One of the stoniest crowds I've ever been in, there was sooo much room to dance and run and jump, it was just silly. Sun was hot but the weather came in the 2nd set as the rain poured on all of us. During Ship Of Fools I was groovin' at the top of the hill completely drenched and high and marveled at this wonderful crowd of fools being in the moment, oblivious, or rather accepting, of the rain and being one with it. The whole 2nd set flowed really well with solid versions of China>Rider, Estimated>He's Gone>D/S>Other>Black Peter>Sugar Mag. I have heard better shows musically but when the magic hits the crowd and reflects back to the band, it creates really special nights. 
Back to Top.


LMA Link: 
https://archive.org/details/gd80-08-16.aud.vernon.14044.sbeok.shnf

Re-Listen to the Dead: 
China Cat Sunflower - http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1980/8/16/china-cat-sunflower
I Know You Rider - http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1980/8/16/i-know-you-rider

Artwork: 
Concert Poster - http://i.imgur.com/JO04Mvp.jpg
Ticket Stub - http://i.imgur.com/OaEOlPn.jpg
Photos of MRF: 
http://www.siue.edu/~skerber/distance3.jpg
http://www.siue.edu/~skerber/UNIV1b.JPG
http://www.siue.edu/~skerber/mrf10b.JPG-

December 25
Tennessee Jed
12/30/78 – Pauley Pavilion, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Where has this Tennessee Jed been all my life? There is so much to love here - the groovalicious tempo, the impassioned vocals and the overall energy. But the real showstopper is Jerry's HUGE guitar solo. The guy is clearly EN FUEGO. It begins with a flurry of twangy notes that make you wonder how on God's green earth Jerry managed to squeeze so many notes into such a small amount of space. While you are busy marinading on that he cranks his amp all the way up and enters uber shred-mode. WOWZERS!! Obviously pleased with their performance, you can hear Jerry say, "Hey, I'm glad we decided to do that!" Yes, so are we, Jerry! 

Why is this "Jed of all Jed's" buried at the bottom of headyversion.com with 2 votes? Back to Top.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMpNJRz2IZ8
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd78-12-30.sbd.miller.18092.sbeok.shnf
Re-Listen to the Dead: http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1978/12/30/tennessee-jed

Artwork: 
Poster - http://i.imgur.com/K9VyG6i.jpg
Ticket - http://i.imgur.com/AZMew85.jpg
On stage - http://i.imgur.com/1txxQa7.jpg
Tennessee Jed - http://i.imgur.com/Vdxd4pP.jpg

December 26
The Music Never Stopped
10/1/77 – Paramount Theater, Portland, OR
1977-78 was the sweet spot for "The Music Never Stopped" and this legendary version from 10/1/77 in Portland is among the very best. Garcia shreds the closing jam to an ferocious climax. Weir tries to end it but Garcia won't quit so they keep going. See, that kind of stuff happened to Bobby even before Jerry died. Back to Top.

YouTube: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOGaF8d8YW4
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1977-10-01.sbd.cantor.ashley-bertha.10689.sbeok.shnf
Re-Listen to the Dead: 
http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1977/10/1/the-music-never-stopped

Artwork: 
Ticket Stub - http://i.imgur.com/lSNsHkp.jpg
Backstage Pass - http://i.imgur.com/smy7RpA.jpg
Jerry - http://i.imgur.com/QtjuPV1.jpg
1977 - http://i.imgur.com/hxuteaN.jpg
Weir trying to cut off Mayer's jam - http://i.imgur.com/NkWgFlv.jpg
Music Never Stopped Single - http://i.imgur.com/z0b8VZw.jpg

December 27
Help on the Way > Slipknot > Franklin's Tower
10/1/76 - Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN
A charged "Help on the Way" led by Phil's perculating bass folds neatly into a long, spacey Slipknot! Some of the '76 Slipknots! suffer from aimlessness but this in not one of them. The band takes the theme into the nether reaches where many ideas and themes are explored with a jazzy, funky, laid-back approach. The playing is minimal and delicate creating a musical landscape that is smokey and mystical. There’s a passage in the latter part of Slipknot! when the jam dissolves into a wonderful dissonance. A gentle ascending scale lands the band on a unique, thematic jam that has a vague similarity to the "Orange Tango Jam" in Syracuse a few days prior (Dick's Picks Vol. 20). Keith jumps all over it and creates a fat groove for Jerry to add his silky, butterfly guitar licks that were so much his trademark in '76. It is a fabulous moment which ends all too soon. The band transitions back into the composed part of Slipknot! which drops into a stunningly beautiful "Franklin's Tower. Back to Top.

YouTube: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-rqC5E-jk4
LMA Link: 
https://archive.org/details/gd1976-10-01.sbd.miller.112800.flac16

Re-Listen to the Dead: 
Help On The Way - http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1976/10/1/help-on-the-way
Slipknot! - http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1976/10/1/slipknot
Franklin's Tower - http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1976/10/1/franklins-tower

Artwork:
Jewel Case Artwork - http://i.imgur.com/zkcMscY.jpg
Jerry - http://i.imgur.com/5zkd8Zp.jpg
Jerry - http://i.imgur.com/9L35q7e.jpg
Help on the Way - http://i.imgur.com/tU4BFl8.jpg
Original Lyrics - http://i.imgur.com/xEUjuoj.jpg

December 28
Weather Report Suite Prelude > WRS Part 1 > Let It Grow
12/18/73 – Curtis Hixon Convention Hall, Tampa, FL
The Dead ended the great year of 1973 on a high note with a pair of shows in Tampa. These shows are unique for a couple of reasons: (1) it was the first time since 1971 that the band performed without Donna who was on maternity leave; and (2) Jerry was clean-shaven. No doubt that these factors influenced the the music. The final night is immortalized on Dick's Picks Vol. 1 and is known for the band's legendary performance of "Here Comes Sunshine." This show from the previous evening is known for what is arguably the band's finest "Weather Report Suite" of 1973. 

Phil steps to the microphone a few notes into the "Prelude" to let the audience know that "this is the quiet section." Translation - take a piss break at your own risk. The opening sections are lusciously mellow. The combination of Jerry's slide guitar and Keith's Rhodes piano create a mood of wistfulness and melancholy. The band is bidding a bittersweet farewell to one of their best years ever. It was also one of their heaviest years as they coped with the tragic loss of Pigpen. The Grateful Dead capture these feelings in their music like no other band can. 

The transition into "Let It Grow" is soothing and healing like the warm glow of morning sunshine in Florida. Rebirth, a new beginning. The music traverses through several nuanced jazzy passages. The masterful interplay between Jerry and Bob pushes the music to greater heights. Toward the end of the jam the whole band collectively weaves several gorgeous, melodic webs. After the reprise they go into a frenzied hyper-speed mode before gently landing on the lovely ending. Back to Top.

YouTube: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpxx5olkfgU
LMA Link: 
https://archive.org/details/gd1973-12-18.sbd.miller.97511.sbeok.flac16
Re-Listen to the Dead: 
http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1973/12/18/weather-report-suite

Artwork: 
Radio Promo - http://i.imgur.com/GvIEvI2.jpg
A Clean shaven Garcia in Tampa Dec. '73 - http://i.imgur.com/4FSrF0J.jpg
On stage 1 - http://i.imgur.com/rNjbXSf.jpg
On stage 2 - http://i.imgur.com/05JEtrq.jpg
On stage 3 - http://i.imgur.com/DugrU6M.jpg
Curtis Hixon Convention Hall - http://i.imgur.com/ZlBkxzh.jpg

December 29
St. Stephen > The Eleven
2/12/69 – Fillmore East, New York, NY
If you're like me then you've heard all of the mind-blowing material from Live Dead, Fillmore West 1969 and Live at the Fillmore East 2/11/69. Those Hall-Of-Fame official releases have become so familiar to us by now that they are forever embedded in our DNA. It is easy to become complacent and think that those albums are all you need to adequately represent that era. So, why bother listening to anything else? I submit THIS transcendent version of "The Eleven." It is unique because of the extra long jam after the "William Tell" section. Rather than rushing right into the main 11/4 jam as was typical the band lingers in B-major and gives the music some room to breathe. The band lays down a fat groove that builds to a nice boil. This gives Jerry ample opportunity to explore some new territory that we have not heard before. These are the moments we live for. The Grateful Dead at their transportational best. The band patiently builds the jam the way they often did in "Caution" and "Viola Lee Blues." The tension eventually explodes into the 11/4 jam the way it only can in 1969. Jerry is flying, playing ridiculously dizzy runs of notes at hyper-speed and hitting one enormous peak after another. The post-lyrics section is indescribably joyous. Obviously depleted from exerting so much energy the band ends with a much-needed cool-down. 

This ASTOUNDING version of "The Eleven" carries strong endorsements from capn dooubledose and clementinecaboose who are two of LMA's most prolific reviewers. But don't just take our word for it. Go listen to it NOW. 

Oh, and the "St. Stephen" ain't bad either. ; ) Back to Top.

YouTube: The Eleven - 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQpzyTQFoSs
LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd69-02-12.late.sbd.kaplan.9072.sbeok.shnf

Re-Listen to the Dead: 
St. Stephen - http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1969/2/12-1/st-stephen
The Eleven - http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1969/2/12-1/the-eleven

Artwork:
Concert Poster - http://i.imgur.com/bvakHAt.jpg
Jewel Case Artwork - http://i.imgur.com/shDqw1D.jpg
Fillmore East - http://i.imgur.com/9tlsO8P.jpg
Jerry, Phil and Bobby - http://i.imgur.com/2UeCaA9.jpg
Psychedelic - http://i.imgur.com/9QTn21G.jpg

December 30
Not Fade Away > Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad > Not Fade Away
11/7/71 – Harding Theatre, San Francisco, CA

I figured I may as well end where I started - with "Not Fade Away" - because who doesn't love a sandwich? Brimming with unbridled energy, this is one of the all-time great performance of NFA>GDTRFB>NFA. The "GDTRFB" is especially hot. It just keeps GOING. 

One of the LMA reviewers summed the performance of this combo up perfectly: "[it] makes you wanna get naked and air-guitar." Love is real, not fade away. Back to Top.

Blog Show Reviews:
Dead Sources Blog (by Paul Grushkin & Kate Rosenbloom, from the Stanford Daily, November 11 1971) - http://deadsources.blogspot.com/2013/11/november-6-7-1971-harding-theatre-sf.html

Cryptical Developments Blog - http://cryptdev.blogspot.com/2011/11/grateful-dead-visit-old-west-harding.html

Harding Theatre - http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2011/11/harding-theater-616-divisadero-and.html

YouTube: GDTRFB - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7Qy5ReN1Ns

LMA Link: https://archive.org/details/gd1971-11-07.127503.fm.boswell.smith.flac16

Re-Listen to the Dead: 
NFA - http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1971/11/7-2/not-fade-away
GTRFB - http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1971/11/7-2/goin-down-the-road-feeling-bad
NFA - http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1971/11/7-2/not-fade-away-1

Artwork: 
Harding Theatre Exterior - http://i.imgur.com/uxji1FH.jpg
Harding Theatre Interior - http://i.imgur.com/0EJyKcK.jpg
Jerry & Bob - http://i.imgur.com/CpnNmU8.jpg

December 31
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction > It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
10/10/82 – Frost Amphitheater, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
I'm closing out this year with one of my favorite encores ever - Frost '82. The Dead rarely played double encores so it was a special show when did it. Here, Bobby gives an all-time performance on this rockin' version of "Satisfaction." High-pitched shrieks, over-the-top theatrics and a cheesy rap - it's there in all of its 80s glory. This is perfectly juxtaposed with Jerry's lilting version of Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue." 

Happy New Year everybody! I hope you enjoyed this sixth edition of the Unofficial 31 Days of Dead. I'll have links with zip files up soon. Wishing you all the best in 2016. Back to Top.

Blair Jackson's Golden Road Blog Memory of Frost '82:
http://www.dead.net/features/blair-jackson/blair-s-golden-road-blog-frost-memories

YouTube: 
Sugar, Satisfaction, Baby Blue - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVDYM0u26IM

LMA Link: 
https://archive.org/details/gd1982-10-10.mtx.seamons.86784.sbeok.shnf

Re-Listen to the Dead: 
Satisfaction - http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1982/10/10-6/satisfaction
It’s All Over now, Baby Blue - http://relisten.net/grateful-dead/1982/10/10-6/its-all-over-now-baby-blue

Artwork: 
Happy New Year - http://i.imgur.com/AH85Y8d.jpg
New Year's Eve Balloon Drop - http://i.imgur.com/ad5bX6U.jpg
Frost Ticket Stub - http://i.imgur.com/UboAyDK.jpg
Frost - Audience trickling in
Frost Audience - http://i.imgur.com/u73E1aU.jpg
Frost Stage - http://i.imgur.com/FtrFKSF.jpg
Jerry & Mickey - http://i.imgur.com/hVW6qHe.jpg