Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1118

By David Gans

Week of February 22, 2010

Wrapping up the complete show for 8/10/82, and getting started on the complete show of 9/27/76.

Here is an amusing story about "Walk in the Sunshine," from an interview with lyricist John Perry Barlow on the KFOG Deadhead Hour January 10, 1986:


Gans: That song is called "Walk in the Sunshine," and you Deadheads haven’t heard it much ‘cause I don’t think the Dead have ever played it live.


Barlow: For good reason. That’s the worst song we ever wrote.

Gans: (laughs) But I know that it could’ve been worse.

Barlow: Well, that depends on how you look at it. Now I’m wondering. But at the time we were under duress, we were already in the studio, and Weir and I had been battling over this song, and my father died the night before that was written, and I had to write the song and get back, for obvious reasons. And I was feeling especially burnt out, and I wrote the first thing that came into my head, and it was just terrible.

Gans: This?

Barlow: Yeah, I thought so.

Gans: Well, Bob didn’t like it either, right?

Barlow: No. It was straight out of a greeting card. Sort of a hip cosmic greeting card.

Gans: "Go placidly amid the noise and haste…" (laughs)

Barlow: Well, yeah. Desiderata is a lot better. Painfully obvious. It was like 14-year-old very earnest poetry. But it was all I could come up with. I was just shell-shocked. So I figured that the only way that I could get Weir to do it so I could get out of the way, whatever the consequences, was to write something that was really twisted and perverse that would make the sunny sentiments of "Walk in the Sunshine" seem much more palatable, and then he’d agree to do it, and then I could leave.

Barlow: So I wrote a song called "The Dwarf."

Gans: Based on the Lagerkvist novel.

Barlow: Right, based on the Pår Lagerkvist novel about a very twisted little man able to manipulate everybody in power around him. It’s kind of a great song, now I see, but I figured if I gave Weir this twisted song it would work. The pity was that I didn’t throw away "Walk in the Sunshine" and just give him "The Dwarf" and let the devil take the hindmost. That’s what I should have done. (laughs)

Gans: Well, I’ve seen the lyrics of "The Dwarf." I don’t remember them offhand but it seems to me there’s...

Barlow: A lot of deep sickness in it.

Gans: It’s definitely the obverse of this lyric we just heard.

Barlow: Exactly. It’s the Thanatos for the Eros here. But much more interesting.


Note: the 9/27/76 set begins with a bit of an audience recording because the soundboard tape didn't get started right away. There are other audience patches in this show, too. Thanks to Charlie Miller for providing this nicely restored recording.


Grateful Dead 8/10/82 U of I Field House, Iowa City IA

Bob Weir, Ace

Grateful Dead 9/27/76 War Memorial, Rochester NY

Every Wednesday, we post a program from the Grateful Dead Hour archives for your enjoyment and enlightenment. You can browse or search the playlists at or on the GD Hour Search page, and let me know what program(s) you'd like to hear by emailing me at

Thank you for listening!

David Gans

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Joined: Sep 4 2007
In the ear monitor system

Canyon critter
Yes , obviously Jerry s health in 1995 marred what could ve been many an excellent show . there are flashes , very far in between that year to consider good .

I meant in my comment that the band was trying to play and perform perfectly , due to the fact of having the monitor mix fed in their ears ..... That - Marty garcia mentioned in GD gear created the possibility for the Dead to play on stage as though they were in tHe studio

I love many shows form spring 93 . Jerry s health is great and kicking a** playing wise .

94 saw the beginning of his qualitative decline slowly but surely . And there are neat flashes , and about 10 shows which are perfect from 1994 . Read again , 10 , not the 70 others . The 70 others range from mediocre , to ' intriguing ' .

As far as 95 goes , to round out a complete idea of my point , it d be pretty lame to ' slam ' all of the band s attempts at playing good music . I saw 4 shows that year . And 2 of the 4 were really intriguing . Take care friend

And GO CHILE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

Canyon Critter's picture
Joined: Oct 20 2008
Superiority of late '92 and '95?????

Huih? Are you high???? Ok, I'm not saying I didn't love '93 summer tour...but '95???? Guess I don't understand man, I would say differently...but I need more explanation?

But I will say Superiority of the Grateful Dead took place sometime in the 70's for sure as far as sound. Ok, let me try to understand this...and believe me I'm not slamming you, but I would like to understand how you say Perfect or %150 Perfect. You mean they were striving for perfection? Personally there were flashes of brilliance all over every era that I heard (cept my point of view is skewed from 81 NYE on as far as live), Yet some Era's has more frequent flashes of brilliance. Or mutliple "aftershocks" if you know what I mean. take for instance summer of '72 and ' that was a friggin "natural catastrophe" if you understand my metaphor.


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Joined: Sep 4 2007
Late 92 to 95

The superiority of the music played in the late 92 - 95 period is due to the important fact that the band was trying to perform as though they were in the studio . That important detail i forgot to include .. Thanks .....

Joined: Sep 4 2007


You re a reputed voice in the Dead community . I had an idea / opinion i wated to share here

I ve been analizing the music of the Dead , from late 1992 ( mainly 1993 ] , and also the final 2 years of eh Band s tenure playing live .

I ve noticed a detail that we , the fans and you can possibly get much out of . The in the ear monitor system that Marty garcia ( the technician whom desigend the in-the-ear monitors for the GD ] , permitted the band to perform and have their own mix beamed to them through the ear pieces .

The band then when playing , would feel as though they could play ' perfectly ' , as though they were in the studio

I ve been hearing some SBD s of the spring of 1993 , which sound spectacular ; to be more percise Chapel Hill March 24 ( 1st night of the 2 night stand at the Dean Smith dome ] . And during the show, there are POWERFUL moments of pure aural bliss . Thanks to the perfection the band was searching for playing wiht the ear monitor monitor system .

I find the music excellent , if we conceptualize the fact that , for example on March 24 , 1993 , they began w Jack straw . And that Jack straw is Just exactly perfect . I mean 150 % perfect ( Vinces piano runs , the drums , jerrys solo , the good vocal efforts } . The set continues with a fair Stagger lee . A swell W D Doodle . A masterful Roses . You sense that the band is trying to play PERFECT ( and i value that ] . In GD Gear by B Jackson , Howard Danchick and others constructively criticise the band as playing a bit or quite different at times than before the implantation of the in-the-ear monitor s . And its true obviously - the difference and the varied and relevant opinions . There are different stimuli , perhaps that the band encountered etc , than when they had speakers onstage ( before } . But i value the perfection that the band obtained and that we have to enjoy ( cherish ] , w the SBD recordings from those 3 and a half years

The rest of that show is highlighted by an intriguing 2nd set that although a bit low in intensity , features a neat and potent set list ( a splendid box of rain ] , that through and out of drums space go into some awesome jams during a beautiful Box of rain , Spanish jam , GDTR , Stones , Not fade away

This is just an example of how i see the 92 and beyond period , as totally rich and worth seeing from this intriguing viewpoint i suggest . Thanks for reading , the space - pardon to ramble so long .....

p.s. This music is aging like the finest wine . Enjoy and dont miss it


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