• August 24, 2012
    http://www.dead.net/features/blairs-blog/blair-s-golden-road-blog-two-field-trips-10-years-apart
    Blair’s Golden Road Blog - Two Field Trips, 10 Years Apart

    Forty years ago — August 27, 1972 — on a scorching Sunday afternoon in a large meadow in the heart of Oregon Renaissance Pleasure Faire land 13 miles west of Eugene, the Grateful Dead played one of the most famous shows of their 30-year career: The Field Trip, a hastily put together benefit to raise money for the financially imperiled Springfield Creamery, which was operated by Ken Kesey’s brother, Chuck. The area was Merry Prankster territory—it’s where Kesey and a few of the other Pranksters hailed from, and it’s where Kesey and Ken Babbs took The Bus after the Acid Tests. “Back to the land” was part of the hippie revolution/evolution for many; the Oregon Pranksters embodied that ethos.

    The Dead’s first performance—if you can call it that—in Oregon was at an Acid Test in Portland’s Beaver Hall in January ’66. No one seems to remember the exact date or what went on there. I guess that’s how you can tell it was a great success. Almost exactly two years later—in late January and the beginning of February 1968—they played five shows in Oregon during their great Northwest trek with Quicksilver, including their first in Eugene, in the University of Oregon’s student union building. One of my favorite 1969 Dead shows took place on the last day of May at McArthur Court gym on the U of O campus—an electric show from beginning to end, crackling with Prankster energy in the person of chatty host Babbs. They next played Eugene in January ’71 at Lane Community College, a gig for which only a muffled partial recording exists and which reveals nothing particularly extraordinary.

    According to an article in the Eugene Register-Guard newspaper in late August ’72, the Creamery benefit, which had very little advance publicity, was only expected to draw about 5,000 to the fairgrounds, but by the time the show started that afternoon with a set by the New Riders of the Purple Sage (with Buddy Cage now in the steel guitar slot Garcia once occupied), there were three times that number, and as the afternoon progressed, the crowd hit somewhere in the neighborhood of 25,000. There were traffic snarls on all roads near the concert, the facilities on site were inadequate for the size of the gathering, and, worst of all, the temperature soared as high as 108, an Oregon record.

    Yet, if you talk to folks who were actually there, or if you watch the evocative, much-bootlegged film of the event, Sunshine Daydream, you come away believing that, heat and water issues aside, the Field Trip was a little piece of pure Hippie Heaven. After all, it was just a single day of relative discomfort, the vibes were good, security nonexistent (and not necessary), the psychedelics flowed freely, and the Dead rose to the occasion and played magnificently.

    The band had been on a roll all year long, with the Europe tour that spring a particular triumph. But even by those lofty standards, the Field Trip was special. There is a reason why in poll after poll of Dead Heads through the years, 8/27/72 consistently lands at or near the top. Was it the most “important” Dead show of all time, as John Dwork contended in his intense but convincing 7,500-word essay about the show in The Deadhead’s Taping Compendium, Vol. 1? He called it “The quintessential Grateful Dead concert Experience—not just the display of technically and emotionally brilliant musicianship. But also a spiritually transcendent vision quest ritual for audience and band alike.” I can be talked into that.

    Still image from Sunshine Daydream, the superb 90-minute
    Field Trip film made by John Norris, Sam Field and Phil DeGuere.


    The set list is typical for ’72, but the playing definitely has that unmistakable acid edge that makes it sound bolder and more adventurous—just on this side of completely unraveling at any moment. The payoffs are huge and exciting. You can feel the band’s determination to hold it together as they fearlessly keep charging forward, exploring the nuances of whatever unfolds before them musically, clinging to one another as they simultaneously push off in different directions.

    Each of the three sets seems to soar higher than the one that preceded it. Set One achieves liftoff during a truly spectacular “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider.” If you’ve seen Sunshine Daydream, it’s hard to wipe away the images of bare-breasted young women in the crowd bopping to the music, or the vintage Prankster film footage of Neal Cassady piloting the bus to never-ever land. Before Set Two, Bob announces that the band is changing its name to the Sunstroke Serenaders, but the searing heat doesn’t prevent them from launching into what may be my favorite “Playing in the Band” of all time—18½ minutes of some of the finest structured psychedelic jamming you’ll ever hear. The “Bird Song” later in the set clocks in at a mere 12½ minutes, but also feels as if they’ve taken it as far as it can go.

    Set Three, which begins as the relentless sun finally starts to go down behind the crowd, opens with a trippy and transcendent 31-minute “Dark Star” that, for all its inherent looseness, actually is completely logical and coherent in its mystical progression through orderly and chaotic realms. That rolls into “El Paso,” which then drops into a stunning version of “Sing Me Back Home” dripping with existential pathos. Finally, “Sugar Magnolia” brings the crowd back from the brink and has everyone smiling and kicking up dust. The encore is a pair of crowd-pleasing rockers—“Casey Jones” and “One More Saturday Night” (on Sunday, but who cares?).

    Tapes of 8/27/72 have circulated for many years—the show was a cornerstone of any decent collection, and definitely among the handful of tapes folks used to explain to a newbie, “This is what the Grateful Dead is all about.” When VHS copies of Sunshine Daydream began turning up in the mid-’80s—my first was reasonably low-gen, but still grainy and missing the “Dark Star” for some reason—we finally had some visuals to accompany the music already burned in our minds. That added immeasurably to subsequent listenings. Someday, both the film and the audio version will come out commercially; it’s just a matter of time. As one of the filmmakers, Phil DeGuere, told me in 1986, “I’ve never seen anything else that captures the squirrely craziness of that period.”

    Almost 10 years to the day after the ’72 Field Trip—August 28, 1982—Kesey, Babbs and company brought the Dead back to what was now called the Oregon Country Fairgrounds for what was billed as “The Second Decadenal Field Trip.” Needless to say, the legend that had grown around the original Field Trip perked considerable out-of-state interest in this one (the first had been almost exclusively Oregon locals), and it became a summer weekend destination for thousands. Quite a few of our Northern California Dead Head friends made the trip to the Trip and all raved about what a magical environment it was. Peter Rowan, the Flying Karamozov Brothers juggling troupe and the up-and-coming Northwest bluesman Robert Cray opened for the Dead. And this time, the high temperature was only in the mid-’70s, and the promoters were ready to accommodate a large crowd. About 20,000 attended, and according to the front-page story in the next day’s Register-Guard, “Some shed their clothes and twisted near the stage. Others reminisced [about the ’72 concert] under trees with an ear of corn and a marijuana cigarette. A few merely listened.” Hmm, not sure about that corn-and-pot combo.

    As for the show in ’82 versus the one in ’72—that’s a completely unfair comparison! The ’72 is a consensus Top Five of all time; the other is… well … not. It’s almost like two different bands. The first had Keith and Donna and just Billy on drums. That unit was unusually nimble and agile, and ’72 was their first peak. By ’82, Mickey had been back for years, so the drum sound and the beat of the band in general had changed, and Brent had brought in different keyboard colors and vocal harmony textures. Substance issues occasionally contributed to musical inconsistency.

    The ’72 Dead, sans Pigpen, played almost no blues or R&B. By ’82, Bob was peppering nearly every set with a blues or two—Field Trip II had both “Minglewood” and the R&B classic “All Over Now.” After a sloppy opening, the ’82 show starts to pick up steam in the middle of the first set with a ripping version of a cover that came of age in ’72, “Big River,” followed by one of the best of their newish songs at the time, “Althea.” The aforementioned “All Over Now” rocks hard and then the set concludes with an exciting and jammy “China Cat” > “I Know You Rider” that surely had everyone there who loved the ’72 version grinning ear to ear. I have this theory that when the Dead hit those transcendent peaks, time disappears completely and it’s the same Grateful Dead Peak that courses through their whole history, popping up unpredictably with greater or lesser frequency. This was one of those.

    Set Two in ’82 does not begin with an 18-minute “Playing in the Band.” Rather, the fans are greeted with the breakout of “Keep Your Day Job.” Now, that might sound like an awful turn of events to some of you, but it was always exciting to hear a new song, and it had been a couple of years since Garcia had introduced one, and it was a rockin’ little tune (even if JG didn’t know the words yet). Two songs later there’s the debut of “West L.A. Fadeway,” which was great from the start.

    However, it’s not until the appearance of “Playing in the Band” (fifth song) that the second set gets a little wild and starts to fulfill the promise of that earlier “China-Rider.” There’s the merest hint of the just-revived “Crazy Fingers” toward the end of the “Playing” jam, but instead it charges into “Drums.” Dang! “Space,” a segment that did not exist, in a formalized sense, in ’72—“Dark Star” and “The Other One” took care of that side of the Dead—leads inexorably into a beautiful version of “The Wheel” (another song not in the live repertoire in ’72). Then comes “The Other One,” which the Dead did not play during the ’72 Field Trip, and it’s a good one. With its roots in the acid days and its allusions to Cowboy Neal and The Bus, that song is like the National Anthem of Prankster Country; the versions there always have plenty of juice.

    The rest of the ’82 show is well played and occasionally inspired. “Truckin’” is at its anthemic best, “Black Peter” is there to remind everybody that, ’72 or ’82, this day is “just like any other day that’s ever been,” and the “Playing” reprise neatly wraps up the pre-“Drums” voyage. The “Saturday Night” closer comes abruptly on its heels (cue clouds of dust!) and then the encore brings a final treat—a nearly perfect “Dupree’s Diamond Blues,” played for the first time in four years. “Same old story and I know it’s been told…”

    A splendid time was had by all, whether we fully appreciate the audio evidence of the day 30 years down the line or not. I like this quote from a 34-year-old fellow named Peter Zuhr, found in the August 29, 1982 Register Guard: “There’s been a lot of change in the last decade, but there are a lot of 10-year veterans here who came back to say, ‘This is still my life.’ From my own point of view, this is an affirmation and a celebration. We’re becoming settled in our own settled way.”

    I still feel that way today.

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Forty years ago — August 27, 1972 — on a scorching Sunday afternoon in a large meadow in the heart of Oregon Renaissance Pleasure Faire land 13 miles west of Eugene, the Grateful Dead played one of the most famous shows of their 30-year career: The Field Trip, a hastily put together benefit to raise money for the financially imperiled Springfield Creamery, which was operated by Ken Kesey’s brother, Chuck. The area was Merry Prankster territory—it’s where Kesey and a few of the other Pranksters hailed from, and it’s where Kesey and Ken Babbs took The Bus after the Acid Tests. “Back to the land” was part of the hippie revolution/evolution for many; the Oregon Pranksters embodied that ethos.

The Dead’s first performance—if you can call it that—in Oregon was at an Acid Test in Portland’s Beaver Hall in January ’66. No one seems to remember the exact date or what went on there. I guess that’s how you can tell it was a great success. Almost exactly two years later—in late January and the beginning of February 1968—they played five shows in Oregon during their great Northwest trek with Quicksilver, including their first in Eugene, in the University of Oregon’s student union building. One of my favorite 1969 Dead shows took place on the last day of May at McArthur Court gym on the U of O campus—an electric show from beginning to end, crackling with Prankster energy in the person of chatty host Babbs. They next played Eugene in January ’71 at Lane Community College, a gig for which only a muffled partial recording exists and which reveals nothing particularly extraordinary.

According to an article in the Eugene Register-Guard newspaper in late August ’72, the Creamery benefit, which had very little advance publicity, was only expected to draw about 5,000 to the fairgrounds, but by the time the show started that afternoon with a set by the New Riders of the Purple Sage (with Buddy Cage now in the steel guitar slot Garcia once occupied), there were three times that number, and as the afternoon progressed, the crowd hit somewhere in the neighborhood of 25,000. There were traffic snarls on all roads near the concert, the facilities on site were inadequate for the size of the gathering, and, worst of all, the temperature soared as high as 108, an Oregon record.

Yet, if you talk to folks who were actually there, or if you watch the evocative, much-bootlegged film of the event, Sunshine Daydream, you come away believing that, heat and water issues aside, the Field Trip was a little piece of pure Hippie Heaven. After all, it was just a single day of relative discomfort, the vibes were good, security nonexistent (and not necessary), the psychedelics flowed freely, and the Dead rose to the occasion and played magnificently.

The band had been on a roll all year long, with the Europe tour that spring a particular triumph. But even by those lofty standards, the Field Trip was special. There is a reason why in poll after poll of Dead Heads through the years, 8/27/72 consistently lands at or near the top. Was it the most “important” Dead show of all time, as John Dwork contended in his intense but convincing 7,500-word essay about the show in The Deadhead’s Taping Compendium, Vol. 1? He called it “The quintessential Grateful Dead concert Experience—not just the display of technically and emotionally brilliant musicianship. But also a spiritually transcendent vision quest ritual for audience and band alike.” I can be talked into that.

Still image from Sunshine Daydream, the superb 90-minute
Field Trip film made by John Norris, Sam Field and Phil DeGuere.


The set list is typical for ’72, but the playing definitely has that unmistakable acid edge that makes it sound bolder and more adventurous—just on this side of completely unraveling at any moment. The payoffs are huge and exciting. You can feel the band’s determination to hold it together as they fearlessly keep charging forward, exploring the nuances of whatever unfolds before them musically, clinging to one another as they simultaneously push off in different directions.

Each of the three sets seems to soar higher than the one that preceded it. Set One achieves liftoff during a truly spectacular “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider.” If you’ve seen Sunshine Daydream, it’s hard to wipe away the images of bare-breasted young women in the crowd bopping to the music, or the vintage Prankster film footage of Neal Cassady piloting the bus to never-ever land. Before Set Two, Bob announces that the band is changing its name to the Sunstroke Serenaders, but the searing heat doesn’t prevent them from launching into what may be my favorite “Playing in the Band” of all time—18½ minutes of some of the finest structured psychedelic jamming you’ll ever hear. The “Bird Song” later in the set clocks in at a mere 12½ minutes, but also feels as if they’ve taken it as far as it can go.

Set Three, which begins as the relentless sun finally starts to go down behind the crowd, opens with a trippy and transcendent 31-minute “Dark Star” that, for all its inherent looseness, actually is completely logical and coherent in its mystical progression through orderly and chaotic realms. That rolls into “El Paso,” which then drops into a stunning version of “Sing Me Back Home” dripping with existential pathos. Finally, “Sugar Magnolia” brings the crowd back from the brink and has everyone smiling and kicking up dust. The encore is a pair of crowd-pleasing rockers—“Casey Jones” and “One More Saturday Night” (on Sunday, but who cares?).

Tapes of 8/27/72 have circulated for many years—the show was a cornerstone of any decent collection, and definitely among the handful of tapes folks used to explain to a newbie, “This is what the Grateful Dead is all about.” When VHS copies of Sunshine Daydream began turning up in the mid-’80s—my first was reasonably low-gen, but still grainy and missing the “Dark Star” for some reason—we finally had some visuals to accompany the music already burned in our minds. That added immeasurably to subsequent listenings. Someday, both the film and the audio version will come out commercially; it’s just a matter of time. As one of the filmmakers, Phil DeGuere, told me in 1986, “I’ve never seen anything else that captures the squirrely craziness of that period.”

Almost 10 years to the day after the ’72 Field Trip—August 28, 1982—Kesey, Babbs and company brought the Dead back to what was now called the Oregon Country Fairgrounds for what was billed as “The Second Decadenal Field Trip.” Needless to say, the legend that had grown around the original Field Trip perked considerable out-of-state interest in this one (the first had been almost exclusively Oregon locals), and it became a summer weekend destination for thousands. Quite a few of our Northern California Dead Head friends made the trip to the Trip and all raved about what a magical environment it was. Peter Rowan, the Flying Karamozov Brothers juggling troupe and the up-and-coming Northwest bluesman Robert Cray opened for the Dead. And this time, the high temperature was only in the mid-’70s, and the promoters were ready to accommodate a large crowd. About 20,000 attended, and according to the front-page story in the next day’s Register-Guard, “Some shed their clothes and twisted near the stage. Others reminisced [about the ’72 concert] under trees with an ear of corn and a marijuana cigarette. A few merely listened.” Hmm, not sure about that corn-and-pot combo.

As for the show in ’82 versus the one in ’72—that’s a completely unfair comparison! The ’72 is a consensus Top Five of all time; the other is… well … not. It’s almost like two different bands. The first had Keith and Donna and just Billy on drums. That unit was unusually nimble and agile, and ’72 was their first peak. By ’82, Mickey had been back for years, so the drum sound and the beat of the band in general had changed, and Brent had brought in different keyboard colors and vocal harmony textures. Substance issues occasionally contributed to musical inconsistency.

The ’72 Dead, sans Pigpen, played almost no blues or R&B. By ’82, Bob was peppering nearly every set with a blues or two—Field Trip II had both “Minglewood” and the R&B classic “All Over Now.” After a sloppy opening, the ’82 show starts to pick up steam in the middle of the first set with a ripping version of a cover that came of age in ’72, “Big River,” followed by one of the best of their newish songs at the time, “Althea.” The aforementioned “All Over Now” rocks hard and then the set concludes with an exciting and jammy “China Cat” > “I Know You Rider” that surely had everyone there who loved the ’72 version grinning ear to ear. I have this theory that when the Dead hit those transcendent peaks, time disappears completely and it’s the same Grateful Dead Peak that courses through their whole history, popping up unpredictably with greater or lesser frequency. This was one of those.

Set Two in ’82 does not begin with an 18-minute “Playing in the Band.” Rather, the fans are greeted with the breakout of “Keep Your Day Job.” Now, that might sound like an awful turn of events to some of you, but it was always exciting to hear a new song, and it had been a couple of years since Garcia had introduced one, and it was a rockin’ little tune (even if JG didn’t know the words yet). Two songs later there’s the debut of “West L.A. Fadeway,” which was great from the start.

However, it’s not until the appearance of “Playing in the Band” (fifth song) that the second set gets a little wild and starts to fulfill the promise of that earlier “China-Rider.” There’s the merest hint of the just-revived “Crazy Fingers” toward the end of the “Playing” jam, but instead it charges into “Drums.” Dang! “Space,” a segment that did not exist, in a formalized sense, in ’72—“Dark Star” and “The Other One” took care of that side of the Dead—leads inexorably into a beautiful version of “The Wheel” (another song not in the live repertoire in ’72). Then comes “The Other One,” which the Dead did not play during the ’72 Field Trip, and it’s a good one. With its roots in the acid days and its allusions to Cowboy Neal and The Bus, that song is like the National Anthem of Prankster Country; the versions there always have plenty of juice.

The rest of the ’82 show is well played and occasionally inspired. “Truckin’” is at its anthemic best, “Black Peter” is there to remind everybody that, ’72 or ’82, this day is “just like any other day that’s ever been,” and the “Playing” reprise neatly wraps up the pre-“Drums” voyage. The “Saturday Night” closer comes abruptly on its heels (cue clouds of dust!) and then the encore brings a final treat—a nearly perfect “Dupree’s Diamond Blues,” played for the first time in four years. “Same old story and I know it’s been told…”

A splendid time was had by all, whether we fully appreciate the audio evidence of the day 30 years down the line or not. I like this quote from a 34-year-old fellow named Peter Zuhr, found in the August 29, 1982 Register Guard: “There’s been a lot of change in the last decade, but there are a lot of 10-year veterans here who came back to say, ‘This is still my life.’ From my own point of view, this is an affirmation and a celebration. We’re becoming settled in our own settled way.”

I still feel that way today.

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Forty years ago — August 27, 1972 — on a scorching Sunday afternoon in a large meadow in the heart of Oregon Renaissance Pleasure Faire land 13 miles west of Eugene, the Grateful Dead played one of the most famous shows of their 30-year career: The Field Trip, a hastily put together benefit to raise money for the financially imperiled Springfield Creamery, which was operated by Ken Kesey’s brother, Chuck. The area was Merry Prankster territory—it’s where Kesey and a few of the other Pranksters hailed from, and it’s where Kesey and Ken Babbs took The Bus after the Acid Tests. “Back to the land” was part of the hippie revolution/evolution for many; the Oregon Pranksters embodied that ethos.

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I can one day envision a small box set with the audio of 8/27/72, the audio of 8/28/82 and the dvd or blueray of 8/27/72. I can hardly believe that Sunshine Daydream has been mastered and hasn't ever been released for sale. TPTB have certainly released plenty of stuff that is imperfect, but is the best there is. I do wonder, as they pump out numbered limited edition box sets, Dave's Picks, VFTVs, etc., why they would not choose to monetize SSDD. Unless they think they are going to spend a pile o' dough to shine it up more, and then release it to theaters or whatever. We'll see!
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having no clue in those days, but '82 is one of my favorite shows ever. Loved the songs, loved, as always, the whole sunny-afternoon-show thing, loved the whole vibe. Also in my opinion it was the best food and vending scene EVER. I need to dig out my old slides...
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'Cuse, I believe the delay is due to ownership rights of the video. If I recall correctly, DL has said in the past that the band doesn't own the actual video. I think that's why it hasn't come out yet because everyone seems to think that if it was available it would have been released by now (similar to 5/7-9/77). I would assume that the reason the audio hasn't been released is because it is preferred to release everything at once instead of piecemeal. Makes sense to me. It seems that talk of the release of SSDD has reached a fever pitch in the past year or so, which has me hopeful that it will come out sooner rather than later. We'll see! (Figuratively and literally.)
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I like many others have low gen video and audio of 8-27-72. That being said I would buy the release of video or audio the instant it was released. Make it happen!
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got the Pacific Northwest native-american motif t-shirt, a classic. I concur with Mary E, the 82 show was everything you could have hoped for. Also, what Kesey, the Pranksters and the GD were all about, even if the show itself was a bit uneven. For me it was one of the most laid-back scenes I can ever remember at a Dead show. I can only imagine what the scene must have felt like in 72. Kesey & the Pranksters in the midst of all of this was the icing on the cake with their projects and energy! I was overwhelmed by the kindness of the folks in the local town of Eugene and the ease of making it to the show with free bus service. If it only could have stayed that way at every venue they ever played... Sure hope this one comes out as a packake DVD/CD set asap.. It would be a perfect time to put money issues aside - perhaps donate the profits to REX or something.
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...the other day about how great it was seeing the Dead outside in the daytime in a gorgeous environment. Their sound, when it was happening, was as big as the sky and as varied and majestic as the surrounding trees. Then again, it was hard to beat nighttime or indoors with Candace's lights illuminating the stage in impossibly beautiful and strange ways, indoors or out...
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As I was there in 1972 and 1982 I'm going to contemplate this with much care and thought. Will work on a piece over the weekend and check back in Monday.
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Thanks, Strider!
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Yes, those days were some of the days.And in 1987 the Dead brought that Field Trip vibe to California. And for two day, Aug. 22 & 23, we held forth at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angels Camp, CA. Assisted by "THE REVEREND" David Lindley and El Rayo-X And the always jammin' SANTANA. The boys played some of the best versions of songs I had ever experienced. Plus there was a Scarlet>Fire and I called the fourth Morning Dew of the year, (I had a shirt I got at Irvine Meadows on Easter Sunday and they played the Dew. Every time I wore the shirt that year they played the Dew. Until November at the Kaiser when me glasses broke during the first set and they played the Dew to cheer me up) During the Scarlet>Fire I danced from the front left of the stage around the back of the fairgrounds and during the Fire was on the right side and came across the front of the stage to meet up with my buddy at the original starting spot. Only at a Dead show. Complete entertainment, Air show, (ever so slowly he pulls back on the stick, Tradin' air speed for altitude) Even saw Uncle Bobo in the Campground chewin out some lam-O about the misuse of the showers. Ah.......
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As some of you know, the Kesey crowd had obtained the necessary permits and arranged with the Dead to play a third (two-day) Field Trip on August 22 and 23, 1992, but Jerry's health crisis that summer caused the gigs to be cancelled (along with shows at Shoreline, Cap Centre, the Spectrum, MSG and Boston Garden). I suppose that says something about the 10 years between '82 and '92 in itself...
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It's a little known fact that the movie Sunshine Daydream was shown at Stanford University in late 1974/early 1975. I think the venue was Memorial Auditorium, then a common site for various special film showings. The hand drawn flyers said "Sunshine Daydream: The Grateful Dead-Live in Concert." I was such a 12th grade know-it-all that I declared that it had to be false advertising, since I was not aware of any such movie. So I didn't go. I was pretty startled a few months later when I talked to some 11th grader who had gone to the movie on a date (we were at a Journey concert, but I would prefer not to talk about that). She described the whole thing, and I realized that there was something I didn't know about. I now realize that it was a rough cut of the Sunshine Daydream movie. It may have been the only public showing of the movie.
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as a person whose first concert was june of '92,ever since then, i've always been infatuated with the entire 60's/ 70's era concerts. the 8/27/72 concert would be unbelievably welcome to have on dvd/cd, or just the cd,or just the dvd and the profits going to charity, as anna suggested, would be the topper. all of you veterans .............. thank you for passing on the (fuzzy?) memories of all of these concerts............. love reading about your first hand accounts here because that's as close as i'll ever get. i do remember reading about the abundant nudity at these earlier concerts and i always wondered if missed chords or words ever coincided with shirts flying off? after all, they're guys..........well,except for donna......... : )
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i know this isn't facebook and i need to keep the posts relavant, but reading about poor double t's car insurance rates soar due to the announcement of a dead concert cancellation is just too much! you are a true deadhead brother!!! that's possibly the funniest post i've ever read. thank you, thank you ............ hehehehehehehe
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For being so cool, truly enjoy reading your stuff,
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I know that Key-Z Productions was selling VHS in the 80's. I also saw Denis Mcnally speak at his book release party in NYC (I think in the 90's). That night he said the movie had been restored and remastered. They even did some digital magic to cure the problem of instuments going out of tune due to the heat that day. He said it was ready and would be out soon. This film is a document of historical importance and should be released - NOW! Perhaps another meet up at the movies.
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The dirty baby sitting in a tire, eating a cookie is funny stuff. A CD / Blueray package would be most welcome.
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I didn't attend either of these shows, my bus trip was just getting seriously rolling in 1982, but I've got a copy of SSDD on DVD and I've always been impressed by the production values on this project. Of course, the music's great and it's very cool to have video of the scene at the show, but there's also a bunch of post-production material, like the stop-motion animation during Dark Star, that holds up after repeated viewings. That said, my favorite moment is a far more serendipitous one: at about 6:45 into Dark Star, a child of about 2 or 3 years old runs across the stage right in front of Jerry, who turns to his right and watches the child run off stage and back into the audience. At that point, the music shifts into something more forceful and focused and Jerry even kicks up a little dance step; apparently, that youngster's unbounded joy was quite contagious.
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I, too, was struck by that little kid running across the stage during "Dark Star" when I re-watched it the other day... I wondered if that kid had a cosmic "Dark Star" moment planted in his head forever.... I've always been on the fence about the animation stuff. My preference is always to see the band (and this definitely extends to all those late '80s videos with the cheesy FX and graphics), but some of that Terry Gilliam-esque stuff in SSDD is pretty cool. Those haunting bushbaby eyes!
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One of the Greatest Shirts Ever. Ruined after a Meriwether show. Would need extra large now anyway. Went to show solo, hitchhiked from Maryland. Had extra ticket gave to a guy for a ride from Portland. Spoonman!!!!!!!! Watching lines of cars coming in the night before, some headlights possibly from other planets. The Flying Karamozov between acts jokes. Why does the crack on your ass go this way {.horizontally} rather than this way {vertically}. Sitting in crowd, everybody thinking furiously, why,why? So when you go down a sliding board you don't go bbppbpb}bpppbpbp. {sp?} The Prankster Band? parading around the field and then hitting the stage to play the "Theme from Radio Free Brazil" This is a zen joke, what's the white stuff in bird shit? Sitting in the crowd looking at each other, what is it, what is it? It's all bird shit. Turning 360 degrees just to verify to myself that really, everywhere I looked there was a topless girl dancing.{and it was no big deal, Really} Just starting to stand in the sitting crowd as emcee says, what's invisible and smells like worms. Screaming at the top of my lungs "Bird Farts". Man on stage turning, looking at me and saying "Yeah, that's right, Bird Farts" As if my mind wasn't already blown enough. Newest happy memory, watching first set footage last week for 2nd time this year, this time actually seeing a younger me . I know it's been said before, but really, God Bless the Grateful Dead
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SUNSHINE DAYDREAM did play at a small art theater in New York City about eight to ten years ago. It was a special screening, and featured a bonus performance of "Sing Me Back Home." The sound and visual quality were amazing. At that time I was sure there would be a dvd release. I am surprised nothng ever happened. After all these years of watching SUNSHINE DAYDREAM over and over again, it remains an unreleased classic. however I still am puzzled why the film makers had to add the 1966 footage. It's interesting, but breaks the flow of the film. More Veneta performances soule have been preferred.
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Nice read! I have never listened to the 82 show. I didn't even know about it actually. I think I've had as many different sources for Veneta 72 as I have for Ithaca 77. I wasn't blown away by 8-27-72 the first couple times listening but it has grown on me since and is now in my top 5 for 1972 for sure. An official CD/DVD combo release would be fantastic. There is probably lots of extra footage not included in the film too. 2012 holiday release? Now...off to search for 8-28-82.
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Dupree's encore - huh? That's GREAT! I attended neither show -- '72 or '82 -- and would be sorely disappointe dif the boys tried to recreate what happened only once -- in 1972. Bucking the system, trend and popular opinion, I like Day Job -- obviously nothing too profound, transcendental and the like but boppy groovey little tune who's message is missed on just about everybody because the focus on what appears to be the antithesis of hippie/GD ethor -- "Keeep your Day job . . . " but the chorus (and inportant part) is almost invariably missed which is perfectly in line w/ the hippie/GD/idividual ethos ". . . 'til your night job pays" -- your "night job" metophorically meaning 'til what makes you happy and fulfills your purpose in this finite life on this planet is achieved and pays the bills/sustains you. C'mon fellow Deadheads who badmouth Day Job -- yeah it ain't no "Saint Stephen" (or pick your most loved and powerful Dead tune and insert here), but it a hip little tune w/ an uplifting beat and message that diametrically the opposite of conventional (lack of) wisdom. Kudos to the boys for living in the moment and not resting on their laurels in 1982!
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I went to the show before this one, the Friday closer of a five night run at Berkeley Community Theater, as the guest of Owsley, my only backstage experience. Who knew the next show would be so historic!
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I will always remember Billy K's kids, very young boys at the time, playing with toy cars on the floor backstage that night. When Set II started, Billy's wife told the boys daddy had to go play music. One started crying saying, "I don't want daddy to go play". She hugged him and said, "But daddy loves to play music". It showed me a nice human side to the whole deal.
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Sadly a group of us who were there in late August of 82 thought that show was one of the worst ones we'd seen. And it was relatively short. Ken Kesey gave a very cool introduction, but our guess was they'd spent too much time partying with him beforehand! The next year there was a short parody of the rocky 82 show put on by players at the Oregon Country Fair. I don't mean this entry to put down the group—they are so awesome—only to point out that they did have their less than sensational days occasionally!
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Got to see them in Nashville, TN in the fall of '72.....free concert at Vanderbilt Univ. It was the reference for all concerts before and after....Orange Sunshine on a bright sun shiney day. Anybody else there?
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Being there was strong medicine. Liberating right of passage at 18. Class of 72, left home.Moved west. First Rainbow Gathering in Colorado. On to Oregon. Read "Sometimes a Great Notion" that summer. Seeing the Dead in that meadow was the Aquarian dream manifest. It was a culmination of a few years of seeing the Dead. A right of passage. To travel a long trail of life of free thought and spirit. Looking back four decades. Very thankfull to to have been alive in that time and place. Huge thanks and graditude to Pranksters, Grateful Dead family and old Rainbow family and other free souls of those times for having vision, inspiration, courage, and plain old fun to explore new worlds. The versions of China Cat / Rider, Bird Song, and Dark Star have the feel of uncharted lands.
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I think Blair is right on about '72 and '82 being like two different bands. I am glad he says this, since I often say things like this and am, well, not received with much understanding. If someone have been to the '72 show, then locked away in suspended animation (perhaps just a ten year trip from what they ingested at the '72 gig!) then woken up for the '82 show, there is no way they would think they were hearing the same band! Yes of course they would have missed 10 years of "evolution", but if anyone were to think the '82 band was anywhere nearly as interesting, exploratory, challenging, innovative, thoughtful or capable of transcendence and inducing it in others, well, give me what you are having!
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JANE ... I watched the whole thing last night. I want to watch it again on a BIG screen. The sound QUALITY is outstanding, the performance is EXCEPTIONAL, the amount of soul, subtlety, power, and passion delivered is PROFOUND, and the VIBE is quintessentially SEVENTY-TWO DEAD !!! ... In many respects - at least for THE DEAD - this film footage - and PERFORMANCE - is far better than Woodstock. It also appears that the film crew were shooting in high quality millimeter, and the sound / recording crew knew what they were doing and captured the sound in MULTI-TRACK with a good post-performance MIX. ... WHEN did you become aware of this on YOU TUBE? ... Also, I had never heard of "Sunshine Daydream" !! ... I wonder why THE DEAD have never released this video. Surely, they could have afforded the Non-Exclusive Copy-Rights to release it. ... Is the AUDIO part of any DICKS PICKS ???? ... What a GEM !!! ... THANK YOU !!! ... BUT - one QUESTION: WHAT in the hell is PHIL LESH doing back there so often with his back to the audience, twidlling with the knobs and audio gear, huh? : ) ... Phil reminds me of Bill - OUR Bill - the way HE is always twidling with the knobs in order to find his perfect placement and set-up. AH - string wizards - they are all alike: always on the sacred quest in search of the Holy Grail of the Perfect Tone! : ) ... We gotta all get together and watch this thing on a big screen in surround sound just to hear and see what Jerrry is simultaneously doing with his hands and feet during this truly unique version of DARK STAR !!! : ) ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iShCk1qst84&feature=related
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Wow, this is some powerful testimony regarding the first Field Trip (I have not seen it), and a case for a professionally produced documentation of at least one of the band's major creative peaks. As for '82 and post college, my circle had started a notable conversion toward making enjoyment of the GD part of getaway fun (or moving to the Bay Area!), so making time and saving for the summer shed and outdoor shows was more important than say traveling to Spring/Fall arena shows. I really got off on SPAC and the sheds, and the Greek lottery/pilgrimage.
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that in '82, after driving straight through from Oakland, we arrived the night before the show in time to snag a camping site on the fairgrounds and then have time to run around and check out the place. The camping scene, which was like in the woods, not in some parking lot, was part of the awesome experience. Almost as soon as we arrived, my friend Julie was stung by multiple yellow jackets, which threatened to start the whole episode off badly, but despite the fact that they weren't really set up yet we were whisked away to White Bird, where Julie was treated by some of the cutest (and highly professional) medics we'd ever seen, and was soon in fine spirits. The contrast of this whole scene, and walking out after the show in the dark with the full moon rising, with the next show in Seattle, with mounted cops and ugly vibes, was huge.
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... was a benefit for the White Bird Clinic (as well as for Lane Community College, where it took place).
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First saw the film at the University of Oregon July 1974. Hardly anyone at the screening. My buddy Wynn who was also at Veneta in 72 also watched the movie at that time.That version of S.D.had Bird Song. Have seen Sunshine Daydream 15-20 times over the years. I watched it yesterday after work. The China/Rider outtakes are interesting. My friend who was a cameraman years ago could see the changes in film and lighting going from over exposed to Phil being underexposed. I like the way Dark Star has the setting sun-light into twilight with changing exposures on the band members. I knew Phil Deguiere one of the three film makers involved with S.D. through Yaqui Easter time outside of Tucson back in the late 90s. He was a great guy and had a super sense of humor.A sad loss when he died. A month ago I saw the 47 minute 1982 Veneta Prankster production on youtube for my first time.I loved it. Pretty sure I saw old friend Turbo Tom from Missoula in it. Both 1972 and 1982 were both amazing times. Apples and oranges to compare.My Mom died about ten days after 72 Veneta. Intense times. 1982 was transition from several years in Montana to New Mexico where I've lived for 30 years now. I have to reflect on the song "Day Job". My work career did not come into focus until I moved to the southwest. I love my work for the most part. Have worked in the woods most of my life to this point. 28th season (year) working with trail crews running trail programs. For over 10 years now working with youth in the poorest county in N.M. The song "day job" should not be viewed in negative light. Now the song "Money " is another story. If a person does something they love and can make a living at it then my my night job has paid out for a long time. As far as more descriptions of 72 or 82 I do not feel I can top what I wrote a few years ago in other parts of this web site. I will say this,getiing older is not easy, but I would not trade the time and era of when I grew up for nothing. Also good blessings to all you old-timers who made it to either of those Dead shows. Even the 1982 crowd are old timers now.
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On This Day in Deadhead History on the WELL, which is subjected to extensive and rigorous peer review, has the Portland Acid Test as 3rd January 1966. Grateful Dead also played a show at Beaver Hall the night before. On the date cited in Wikipedia, 15th January 1966, OTDIDH shows Grateful Dead played a show at The Matrix in San Francisco as the first of a two night run following the Mime Troupe benefit at the Fillmore on 14th January (billed as The Grateful Dead, Formerly The Warlocks). Just by the way, what does the "est 1967" mean in the new dead.net logo?
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Comparing the two shows is like comparing two totally different bands. Glad Blair said this, for when I say things to this effect, well, the response is hardly complementary! Gone is almost all that is exploratory, visionary, experimental and transformative. Jams by rote, sloppy playing, perfunctory transitions, tired music by tired musicians. Hell, I saw LOTS of shows in '82, put the highlights altogether and you do not get enough to compare with the Bird Song, Playin' or, of course, the DS from ten years earlier. Yes I know, it is different, bla, bla, bla, it IS different, but not all differences are improvements, it is clearly less interesting music. Can you have fun listening to it? Of course. Could you have a great time at a '82 show surrounded by folks you care fore, pumped up with your favorite juice, and so on? Yup! But it ain't just apples and oranges, it is a juicy sweet apple and a sour, dry stale orange!
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11 years 4 months
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Listening to the Band singing "I Shall Be Released" encouraged me to ask, or better yet, demand, the official release of Sunshine Daydream. It's definitely one of the best performances I've seen the Grateful Dead play. I was at the next concert, in Boulder, and still have vivid memories of that 3 set wonder show, notably the generous contributions from the Rainbow family. Ahh, what a great time to be a Deadhead with hardly a worry in the world.
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10 years 9 months
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Blair-could you do article on Jan Sawwka-who has now passed away-see NYT obit. today-I still remember his vivid stage hangings the band used on their summer stadium tours. He was working on a Mickey project apparently. I will now return control of the TV set to the viewer.
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8 years 11 months
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The new format looks hideous. Thanks for "upgrading." You are now "hip and modern."
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8 years 7 months
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Looks great to me. It's cleaner and sharper, and is a welcome change. Respectfully, one man's opinion. The release of 8/27/72, such an intriguing idea...
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I was too lean in the dollars to get the Europe 72 box, which was a GREAT idea. This show deserves to be released. What a great thing to have offered us Deadheads/Dead Freaks on 8/27/12. 8/27/72: the original 8/28/82: the Second Decadenal Field Trip August 1992: GD cancelled because of Jerry health issues, but there still was a gathering. 8/27/12: the PRIME time to release the original...umm...nothing. As my son taught me, "first world problems."
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    stoltzfus
    6 years 2 months ago
    If any show deserves to be officially released, it's this one.
    I was too lean in the dollars to get the Europe 72 box, which was a GREAT idea. This show deserves to be released. What a great thing to have offered us Deadheads/Dead Freaks on 8/27/12. 8/27/72: the original 8/28/82: the Second Decadenal Field Trip August 1992: GD cancelled because of Jerry health issues, but there still was a gathering. 8/27/12: the PRIME time to release the original...umm...nothing. As my son taught me, "first world problems."
  • Default Avatar
    stoltzfus
    6 years 2 months ago
    RELEASE THIS SHOW. RELEASE THIS SHOW. RELEASE THIS SHOW.
    RELEASE THIS SHOW. RELEASE THIS SHOW. RELEASE THIS SHOW.
  • Default Avatar
    Zuckfun
    6 years 2 months ago
    The new format...
    Looks great to me. It's cleaner and sharper, and is a welcome change. Respectfully, one man's opinion. The release of 8/27/72, such an intriguing idea...
  • Default Avatar
    mighty slim
    6 years 2 months ago
    Re: The New Format
    The new format looks hideous. Thanks for "upgrading." You are now "hip and modern."
  • Underthevolcano
    6 years 2 months ago
    off topic-BLAIR
    Blair-could you do article on Jan Sawwka-who has now passed away-see NYT obit. today-I still remember his vivid stage hangings the band used on their summer stadium tours. He was working on a Mickey project apparently. I will now return control of the TV set to the viewer.