• June 20, 2013
    http://www.dead.net/features/greatest-stories-ever-told/greatest-stories-ever-told-shakedown-street
    Greatest Stories Ever Told - "Shakedown Street"

    By David Dodd

    Here’s the plan—each week, I will blog about a different song, focusing, usually, on the lyrics, but also on some other aspects of the song, including its overall impact—a truly subjective thing. Therefore, the best part, I would hope, would not be anything in particular that I might have to say, but rather, the conversation that may happen via the comments over the course of time—and since all the posts will stay up, you can feel free to weigh in any time on any of the songs! With Grateful Dead lyrics, there’s always a new and different take on what they bring up for each listener, it seems. (I’ll consider requests for particular songs—just private message me!)

    “Shakedown Street”

    “Don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart, when I can hear it beat out loud.” [Italics Hunter’s.]

    This is a song that wants us to listen, to give things a minute before we pass judgment on them, to check our negativity. I find it a nice pair, thematically, with “Eyes of the World” — it’s telling us to wake up, and consider the possibility that our perception may be as much at fault as the world, when we see only darkness.

    “Shakedown Street” is the title track of the studio album Shakedown Street. When I run into this phenomenon, I pay attention. The first studio album for which the Dead used a song title as the album title was Blues for Allah. And the only other ones besides Shakedown were Terrapin Station and Built to Last.

    I admit, the first time I heard Terrapin Station, I was a bit taken aback, as were many of my Deadhead acquaintances, by the use of a clearly disco-oriented sound for “Dancing in the Streets.” I think the harsh criticism the Dead came in for as a result had a direct influence on Hunter’s writing of “Shakedown Street.” As soon as the song came out, the first thing I noticed was, once again, the disco beat. But then the words came as an admonishment, and I believed right away that the song was about disco. So much of disco seemed, at the time, like corporate music—music being made more or less by machine—music that “had no heart.” I remember a song by a local band in Davis in 1977, entitled “Disco Tapioca.”

    Hunter seemed to be coming right out and saying that we can’t put the Dead into some box of preconceived notions. We had a responsibility, as listeners, to listen harder, to set aside our negativity. Of course, it’s completely likely and possible that Hunter constructed the lyrics for a different audience, perhaps even internal to the band and its circle, but regardless, the words are aimed somewhere in such a way as to make you sit up and take note.

    “Shakedown Street” debuted on August 31, 1978, at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. It opened the second set in what appears, on paper, to have been an amazing show. And given the setting of Red Rocks, I have no doubt that it was. And its final performance opened the second set on July 9, 1995, at Soldier Field, in the band’s last performance. In between, it was played on a regular basis, for a total of 163 performances of the song. The album was released on November 15, 1979—more than a year after the song was first played. (The song was released as a single, backed with “France,” at the same time as the album release.) Although I surely don’t know every performance, my own favorite has always been the New Year’s Eve opener in 1984, which strikes me as a monster version. (You can find it on So Many Roads: 1965-1995.)

    Where “Eyes of the World” seems gentle in its exhortation, “Shakedown” seems like someone shaking a forefinger at you. There is something edgy about it, and the very fact that Hunter acknowledges the darkness, and says he thinks it may be “from your eyes.” “Maybe you had too much, too fast,” he has Garcia sing. Hmmmm. There’s a line that comes back at me now and then, for sure.

    I love the echoes of other popular music in the lyrics. It’s as if Hunter is drawing a direct lineage from Chuck Berry to disco. And from even further back—perhaps to Tin Pan Alley and Broadway—with the “sunny side of the street” line. Here’s Dorothy Fields’s lyric for “Sunny Side of the Street”:

    Grab your coat, and get your hat
    Leave your worries on the doorstep
    Just direct your feet
    To the sunny side of the street
    Can’t you hear the pitter pat?
    And that happy tune is your step
    Life can be so sweet
    On the sunny side of the street
    I used to walk in the shade
    With those blues on parade
    But I'm not afraid
    The Rover crossed over
    If I never have a cent
    I'll be as rich as Rockefeller
    Gold dust at my feet
    On the sunny side of the street

    Quite a bit in common with “Shakedown Street,” there. And the Chuck Berry echo is captured nicely in the “you can never tell,” refrain, in which I hear “You Never Can Tell.”

    If Hunter was establishing this musical lineage (and I truly have no idea whether or not he was—it’s just what I hear…), then it was one meant to legitimize disco, or any other over-commercialized music that had its beginnings in authentic music-making. “Used to be the heart of town.”

    Of course, beyond the musical meanings, there is always the fact that you can take almost any old run-down part of town and find vitality in its history. Just take the time to poke around(One of my favorite-ever Dead-related personalized license plates was JUSPOKN. That’s a good side-topic—what fun Dead-related license plates have you seen?)

    The song became useful in a number of situations. In particular, when the band first played the Bay Area following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, a friend correctly called the opener as “Shakedown Street,” which didn’t even occur to me. In fact, that concert was a benefit for the Earthquake Relief Fund. Were there other particular “uses” for the song? You may know of some...please chime in!

    Lastly, I think it’s really worth mentioning the album cover art for Shakedown Street, by Gilbert Shelton, of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers fame. It depicts a run-down, crime-ridden street, based loosely on Front Street, where the Dead’s rehearsal studio was located in a seedy section of San Rafael. (Truthfully, this street was never the heart of San Rafael…) Among the images on the street are a cop shaking down a suspect, a couple shaking their bones on the streetcorner to music (possibly emanating from the open warehouse door—the Dead’s studio?), streetwalkers, and a car filled with some very hairy dudes cruising the avenue. Eventually, the parking lot scene at Dead shows came to be known as Shakedown Street, nicely completing the circle.

    I always loved the sense of liftoff from a good live “Shakedown Street” when the crowd would chime in with the “Wooo!”

    “Shakedown Street” is one of the more successful Dead songs, in hindsight, and in the long run, at least according to this Deadhead. (Although I must admit to a distinct lack of cynicism on an ongoing basis. Not a very picky Deadhead...)

    What’s your take? Favorite performances? Other tales to tell about your experiences of the song? First impressions vs. later takes? License plate stories?

    Just gotta poke around...

    360942
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

9 years 8 months

By David Dodd

Here’s the plan—each week, I will blog about a different song, focusing, usually, on the lyrics, but also on some other aspects of the song, including its overall impact—a truly subjective thing. Therefore, the best part, I would hope, would not be anything in particular that I might have to say, but rather, the conversation that may happen via the comments over the course of time—and since all the posts will stay up, you can feel free to weigh in any time on any of the songs! With Grateful Dead lyrics, there’s always a new and different take on what they bring up for each listener, it seems. (I’ll consider requests for particular songs—just private message me!)

“Shakedown Street”

“Don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart, when I can hear it beat out loud.” [Italics Hunter’s.]

This is a song that wants us to listen, to give things a minute before we pass judgment on them, to check our negativity. I find it a nice pair, thematically, with “Eyes of the World” — it’s telling us to wake up, and consider the possibility that our perception may be as much at fault as the world, when we see only darkness.

“Shakedown Street” is the title track of the studio album Shakedown Street. When I run into this phenomenon, I pay attention. The first studio album for which the Dead used a song title as the album title was Blues for Allah. And the only other ones besides Shakedown were Terrapin Station and Built to Last.

I admit, the first time I heard Terrapin Station, I was a bit taken aback, as were many of my Deadhead acquaintances, by the use of a clearly disco-oriented sound for “Dancing in the Streets.” I think the harsh criticism the Dead came in for as a result had a direct influence on Hunter’s writing of “Shakedown Street.” As soon as the song came out, the first thing I noticed was, once again, the disco beat. But then the words came as an admonishment, and I believed right away that the song was about disco. So much of disco seemed, at the time, like corporate music—music being made more or less by machine—music that “had no heart.” I remember a song by a local band in Davis in 1977, entitled “Disco Tapioca.”

Hunter seemed to be coming right out and saying that we can’t put the Dead into some box of preconceived notions. We had a responsibility, as listeners, to listen harder, to set aside our negativity. Of course, it’s completely likely and possible that Hunter constructed the lyrics for a different audience, perhaps even internal to the band and its circle, but regardless, the words are aimed somewhere in such a way as to make you sit up and take note.

“Shakedown Street” debuted on August 31, 1978, at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. It opened the second set in what appears, on paper, to have been an amazing show. And given the setting of Red Rocks, I have no doubt that it was. And its final performance opened the second set on July 9, 1995, at Soldier Field, in the band’s last performance. In between, it was played on a regular basis, for a total of 163 performances of the song. The album was released on November 15, 1979—more than a year after the song was first played. (The song was released as a single, backed with “France,” at the same time as the album release.) Although I surely don’t know every performance, my own favorite has always been the New Year’s Eve opener in 1984, which strikes me as a monster version. (You can find it on So Many Roads: 1965-1995.)

Where “Eyes of the World” seems gentle in its exhortation, “Shakedown” seems like someone shaking a forefinger at you. There is something edgy about it, and the very fact that Hunter acknowledges the darkness, and says he thinks it may be “from your eyes.” “Maybe you had too much, too fast,” he has Garcia sing. Hmmmm. There’s a line that comes back at me now and then, for sure.

I love the echoes of other popular music in the lyrics. It’s as if Hunter is drawing a direct lineage from Chuck Berry to disco. And from even further back—perhaps to Tin Pan Alley and Broadway—with the “sunny side of the street” line. Here’s Dorothy Fields’s lyric for “Sunny Side of the Street”:

Grab your coat, and get your hat
Leave your worries on the doorstep
Just direct your feet
To the sunny side of the street
Can’t you hear the pitter pat?
And that happy tune is your step
Life can be so sweet
On the sunny side of the street
I used to walk in the shade
With those blues on parade
But I'm not afraid
The Rover crossed over
If I never have a cent
I'll be as rich as Rockefeller
Gold dust at my feet
On the sunny side of the street

Quite a bit in common with “Shakedown Street,” there. And the Chuck Berry echo is captured nicely in the “you can never tell,” refrain, in which I hear “You Never Can Tell.”

If Hunter was establishing this musical lineage (and I truly have no idea whether or not he was—it’s just what I hear…), then it was one meant to legitimize disco, or any other over-commercialized music that had its beginnings in authentic music-making. “Used to be the heart of town.”

Of course, beyond the musical meanings, there is always the fact that you can take almost any old run-down part of town and find vitality in its history. Just take the time to poke around(One of my favorite-ever Dead-related personalized license plates was JUSPOKN. That’s a good side-topic—what fun Dead-related license plates have you seen?)

The song became useful in a number of situations. In particular, when the band first played the Bay Area following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, a friend correctly called the opener as “Shakedown Street,” which didn’t even occur to me. In fact, that concert was a benefit for the Earthquake Relief Fund. Were there other particular “uses” for the song? You may know of some...please chime in!

Lastly, I think it’s really worth mentioning the album cover art for Shakedown Street, by Gilbert Shelton, of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers fame. It depicts a run-down, crime-ridden street, based loosely on Front Street, where the Dead’s rehearsal studio was located in a seedy section of San Rafael. (Truthfully, this street was never the heart of San Rafael…) Among the images on the street are a cop shaking down a suspect, a couple shaking their bones on the streetcorner to music (possibly emanating from the open warehouse door—the Dead’s studio?), streetwalkers, and a car filled with some very hairy dudes cruising the avenue. Eventually, the parking lot scene at Dead shows came to be known as Shakedown Street, nicely completing the circle.

I always loved the sense of liftoff from a good live “Shakedown Street” when the crowd would chime in with the “Wooo!”

“Shakedown Street” is one of the more successful Dead songs, in hindsight, and in the long run, at least according to this Deadhead. (Although I must admit to a distinct lack of cynicism on an ongoing basis. Not a very picky Deadhead...)

What’s your take? Favorite performances? Other tales to tell about your experiences of the song? First impressions vs. later takes? License plate stories?

Just gotta poke around...

Custom Sidebar

Listen on Spotify

Display on homepage featured list
Off
Custom Teaser

“Don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart, when I can hear it beat out loud.” [Italics Hunter’s.]

This is a song that wants us to listen, to give things a minute before we pass judgment on them, to check our negativity. I find it a nice pair, thematically, with “Eyes of the World” — it’s telling us to wake up, and consider the possibility that our perception may be as much at fault as the world, when we see only darkness.

“Shakedown Street” is the title track of the studio album Shakedown Street. When I run into this phenomenon, I pay attention. The first studio album for which the Dead used a song title as the album title was Blues for Allah. And the only other ones besides Shakedown were Terrapin Station and Built to Last.

dead comment

user picture

Member for

6 years 5 months
Permalink

LOVE me some Shakedown Street1 One of my favorite performances is from Egypt 1978, as immortalized on Rocking The Cradle. When my son was just a few months old, he'd lay on my bed and I'd play this song for him. He'd move his legs and shake his arms, dancing with the music. He even managed to sing a little "Wah wah wah," with the Dead's "Well, Well, Well... You can never tell."
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years
Permalink

Made fun of me when this came out because of the disco beat, even going so far as to sing "Disco Dead, Disco Disco Dead" over the "Well well well you can never tell" Lyric. Sigh. Gotta love older brothers sometimes. I always loved this song live. Check out 4/16/84. Show opener. Great vocal back and forth by Jerry and Bob towards the end.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

10 years 8 months
Permalink

The opening chord made parts of the ceiling come down!
user picture

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

Grateful Dead - Shakedown Street - 04/06/1982 from the Spectrum in Philadelphia, the exchange between Jerry and Brent is fantastic!
user picture

Member for

10 years 7 months
Permalink

Wasn't the album released in November 1978 ???? Making it coming out three months after it's Red Rocks debut ???? Love the 'Woo's in it -- for some reason - I've always wanted to jump a second too early. Good job David on hooking me every thursday with anticipation!
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years
Permalink

Shakedown Street was probably inspired by the late 70s disco trend, but the song actually has the sound that the Grateful Dead was using all throughout their music in the late 70s. Listen to a Cornell 1977 "Dancing in the Street" or "Brown Eyed Women" or "Estimated Prophet" or "Fire On the Mountain." They ALL have disco flavour to them... Lots of wah-wah guitar licks. Shakedown Street was basically a continuation of this particular groove. It's funny as the years went by, most Deadheads basically FORGOT about the tune's pseudo-disco roots. It became a fan favorite.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years
Permalink

The Shakedown Street LP was not released in November 1979, which was during the Brent Mydland era!! It was released during the Keith and Donna era....1978!! Hey, I wish Brent contributed to the album, but he was not a member of the band back then.
user picture

Member for

8 years 11 months
Permalink

But these lyrics by Hunter seem to refer to a place to score your party favors. It's easy to see it that way. This placed used to be the place to score, now, not. Maybe you had too much too fast when it was fat and now that you can't find it you're all negged out. Well, shake it off dude, just poke around. You'll find it, just don't overplay your part! Think about how the meaning of Shakedown evolved to the parking lot I'm not much one to interpret songs. I like the literal. I don't think lyricists sit around going "Hmmm, what secret meaning can I put in this song?" But I think something can be read into this one. BY the way, I would have to agree with the musical portion of Syracuse 84 Shakedown. Jerry's voice was wasted but he sure did let his fingers fly!
user picture

Member for

7 years 3 months
Permalink

I am from Indiana so I've seen a ton of shows at Deer Creek (now called Klipsch) They don't always a good "Shakedown" or none at all depending who is playing. Some shows they won't even let you hang out in the lot, forcing everyone in the gate. What BS. But when the right band shows up, the "shakedown street" at Deer Creek is amazing, I think. Located along the row of trees next to the creek and behind a couple of small ponds. Nothing complicated about it or anything but when its their, it seems like such a magical place and a little eerie when its not. I usually go into the show thinking I didn't spend enough time looking at all the art, meeting great people, and drinking cold craft beers from someone's cooler on wheels. I agree with Bird-song on the 4/6/82 Spectrum Shakedown. That one is definitely my favorite.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

8 years 10 months
Permalink

I first heard it on the radio back in '78. I liked it immediately. That said, my first show wasn't until 1982. anyone remember the old show "WKRP in Cincinnati"? Howard Hesseman plays a DJ. sometimes there would be a SYF on the microphone. anyway, one time, he introduces the next song by saying something along the lines of "here's an always reliable source, the Grateful Dead", and then he starts playing Shakedown Street. :)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) re: 8/31/78: it IS a great show. Mi0.5step > LPaso open'r, Jack Straw closes first set, Terrapin > Playin'...PLAYIN'! It's a hard show to come by. I have never found it on the archive, and and and...maybe someday. some Shakedown Street versions to enjoy: 6/30/85 11/24/78 8/28/81 11/25/79 ;) and many more
user picture

Member for

11 years 6 months
Permalink

Maybe I typed too much too fast there...thanks everyone for pointing out my error on the album release date. I thought that seemed weird, but didn't double check my factoids.
user picture

Member for

11 years 6 months
Permalink

Nights 2 and 3 of a 3 night run at Red Rocks were rained out so we all moved down to McNichols in Denver. Bob announces "It may do you some good to know that it's raining like hell outside." Then the bomb drops and they jump into Shakedown Street as if to say "We may not be at Red Rocks but there is plenty of fun to be had tonight in Denver". Hearing Shakedown that night forever changed my opinion of the song. Played live and stretched out it was/is a monster dance motivator. As far as I could tell (and remember) everybody was up and dancing.
user picture

Member for

8 years 1 month
Permalink

12/28/78 - Golden Hall, Community Concourse - San Diego, CA A rare Shakedown with Keith and Donna... A real MONSTER to start the 2nd set!
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years
Permalink

I became a Deadhead a couple of months prior to moving to Denver for school (1983) The whole city seemed friendly enough but hard to figure out, from this newcomer's perspective... It had dark sides, it had Colfax where you could find anything you needed, be it person or recreational. You just had to poke around... So I had that direct interpretation then. I never considered it to be about music & disco. I thought rather, that it was telling someone that they need to wake up and appreciate what you have, where you are & get back to being more positive. Or in the GD's & deadhead's way of looking at things... loosen up, relax & enjoy.
user picture

Member for

11 years 6 months
Permalink

Shakedown Street has been my ringtone for the past ten years, a version starting with a wild audience reaction to the opening notes (I blame Gans). No doubt about it, the NYE '84 So Many Roads version is huge. I reckon Shakedown Street is just the ticket to introduce neophytes who have made assumptions about, but never listened to, Grateful Dead music. It is a fine showcase for the most awesome rhythm section in rock music, as well as a nicely balanced song from a structural perspective.
user picture

Member for

11 years 6 months
Permalink

In celebration of the downfall of the Berlin Wall and paired with Let The Good Times Roll. Truly earth shattering intro and very apt!
user picture

Member for

8 years 1 month
Permalink

Great version... The Shakedown from Lewiston Maine, 1980 is another great one!
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 6 months
Permalink

I love the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and Fat Freddy's Cat... hilarious stuff, I've always been a big fan of his work. Check it out, y'all.
user picture

Member for

9 years
Permalink

Always my favorite. The interplay between Jerry and Bobby throughout the solo section (especially toward the end) demonstrated just how ridiculously good this band could be when they were all on the same wavelength. Jerry never sounded funkier!
user picture

Member for

8 years 1 month
Permalink

That is an awesome Shakedown...The NFA in the second set with Pete Townsend is also incredible...
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

11 years 5 months
Permalink

The fifth time they opened with Shakedown, and the first time in almost two years was a powerful taste of what was to come in the second set - a very spacy and bassy Playin' In the Band trip-let, with China Doll and The Wheel sandwiched between. I saw most of the winter/spring east coast tour, and this show in a very small music hall with excellent acoustics in Cleveland was in my top three with Cornell (UJB encore) and Syracuse (monster 13-song first set) in May. Phil was on that night and his bass stands out throughout the entire show beginning with Shakedown. They used to say "as Phil goes so goes the band." This night was no exception.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

10 years 8 months
Permalink

Does this sound thin and weak to anybody but me? Hate to be the negative guy, but c'mon. How long you been going to shows? I mean, if you never saw them before these times-say '8o on-I'm sorry, it's not your fault. If you're fortunate enough to have a frame of reference going back to '70 or before, then I'd be shocked if you thought this was anything but thin, weak and uninspired. As for Shakedown, I always thought it was TOTALLY personal to the city in which it was being played. I always thought of The Haight when I saw the cover art. Just one guy's thoughts.
user picture

Member for

11 years 4 months
Permalink

My favorite version of Shakedown Street is the one from 12/31/84 as mentioned in the article. Another favorite is the first set opener Shakedown from Foxboro on July 14, 1990. I'm gonna have to give a listen to other favorites mentioned.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

9 years 10 months
Permalink

Never understood why people took a negative from that perception. After all, they were a dance band more than anything.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

10 years 2 months
Permalink

I was leaving a DSO show in Cincinnati, Ohio, probably around 2006-2007, not exactly sure and I looked at the license plate in front of me. It said "FENNARIO." I thought to myself, "Where have I heard that before?" and then "oh cool." It was a nice drive back home that night.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

9 years 9 months
Permalink

I posted the following here:http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/49239/ a couple of years ago about what I think the song means. It sounds somewhat like what David is saying above. In the '70's there were some people who were disappointed in the "new Dead" and criticized them that they weren't as good as they were in the 60's and early 70's. This song is clearly a response to that. "Town" and "Shakedown Street" = Grateful Dead "You tell me this town ain't got no heart." Then: "Maybe the dark is from your eyes", meaning maybe it's your stupid fault that you don't like the new stuff. The hate is coming from inside you, you are projecting that onto the Dead. "Nothin' shakin' on Shakedown Street. Used to be the heart of town. Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart. You just gotta poke around." Meaning nothing good coming from the Dead these days, whereas they used to be the greatest, the "heart of town". But don't give me that crap, just open your mind and listen! Just because it's different, doesn't mean it's no good. "It's not because you missed out on the thing that we had to start." This addresses the very often heard refrain from people that were upset they weren't around for the early hay days of the Dead. Then there is the piece de resistance: it's a disco song! I think they must have did that on purpose as well. Of course they are going to get criticized for doing disco! So they write a song about being unduly and unfairly criticized and they put it to a disco song! FANTASTIC! These boys sure are creative! You gotta love it!
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

9 years 9 months
Permalink

Does WHAT sound thin and weak? Be clear. The song? The article by David? I have a "frame of reference" going back to 1974 as far as going to shows goes, but anyone does really via all the live concerts available on disk. Late '60's to early '70's is clearly my favorite Dead era, but what the song is saying is to not make snap judgments, open your mind, there is still something being offered here and just because it's different doesn't mean it's crap. Shakedown Street is awesome as a come back to this attitude. See my other post.
user picture

Member for

5 years 6 months
Permalink

It was a beautiful day in Chicago and we were wandering around the parking lot before the show June 22, 1991. Feeling good...then a random guy comes up to us with a big gong and gong banger thing...saying, "Free wishes!" So I thought about my wish to see Shakedown Street and hit the gong. Laughing, it felt great. Everyone around us thought it was a good wish too. It was time. Then they played it at the show and it ROCKED! My wish came true! Thanks to the guy walking around sending good wishes out there. It's a good thing to do and I was grateful. Edit: We bought a dayglo bumper sticker that said, "Caution, driver experiencing a hot shakedown." I remember as a DJ in college at lunchtime Notre Dame, playing this song over the radio in the dining hall and it went over well. Not sure what the discussion is about disco, a hot Shakedown is a hot Shakedown! When the circus is in town with the Grateful Dead, Shakedown street is in the parking lot because you can hear it beat out loud. Edit2: One of my favorite versions is Egypt. It was definitely shaking down on that street in front of the pyramids. I'm sure they heard it beat out loud!
user picture

Member for

5 years 4 months
Permalink

I always loved the smile on Jerry's face every time he started this song. You can tell he really enjoyed playing it, and that helped make it more enjoyable for me.
user picture

Member for

11 years 6 months
Permalink

I was there, and it's still one of my all-time faves. Exactly a year after my first show.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

4 years 1 month
Permalink

In my unabridged Random House Dictionary that is literally the size of a standard kitchen sink, the first three definitions for the word "shakedown" are as follows: 1. a bed, as of straw or blankets, spread on the floor. 2. a makeshift bed 3. a temporary place of rest This brings to my mind the story in The Bible regarding the birth of Jesus Christ.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

4 years 1 month
Permalink

You all know folks who say flat out that say they do not care for the Grateful Dead.Try playing them "Shakedown Street"the studio version without telling them who it is.It almost always plays out they love the song and ask who is this? Then comes the payoff when you proudly tell them it is indeed The Grateful Dead.
user picture

Member for

10 years 6 months
Permalink

November 21, 1985 at the Henry J Kaiser, what a version, indeed! Jerry's chopping firewood, Phil's got the thunder up and you find yourself thinking about how great of a rhythm guitar player Bob is!
user picture

Member for

4 years 2 months
Permalink

Yes indeed the debut at Red Rocks was amazing and well received. No one in my circle of friends ever mocked the "disco" sound. IT ROCKED! Too bad the '78 Red Rocks foursome, 7-7, 7-8, 8-30, and 8-31 (my first four shows) couldn't have ended up as a boxed set. Very few tapes ever circulated of the Aug. shows as it was a virtually unannounced reprise of July after the band recorded Shakedown. Been asking Dave for that for years. But totally Grateful to have the Betty boards. The Dead loved Red Rocks and proved it many times.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

1 year 6 months
Permalink

I always thought it had something to do with the Haight scene gone bad. I imagine all the guys were bummed by how it changed. My favorite Shakedown is 10-31-85. Between Shakedown, Looks Like Rain with gobs of delay on the vocals and the best Space-Werewolves of London opener, It has always been one of my favorite shows. But then again, I'm an 80's and early 90's kinda head.
user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

5 years 2 months
Permalink

Was just listening to 5/21/74 and noticed an all-too-brief Shakedown tease in PITB. Was wondering--for you trivia buffs out there--given the song's debut in late August 1978, what is the earliest known Shakedown tease?
40 comments
sort by
Recent
Reset
Items displayed
  • Default Avatar
    jimmyjack
    4 months 1 week ago
    first Shakedown tease?
    Was just listening to 5/21/74 and noticed an all-too-brief Shakedown tease in PITB. Was wondering--for you trivia buffs out there--given the song's debut in late August 1978, what is the earliest known Shakedown tease?
  • Default Avatar
    jreichwein
    1 year 6 months ago
    Shakedown
    I always thought it had something to do with the Haight scene gone bad. I imagine all the guys were bummed by how it changed. My favorite Shakedown is 10-31-85. Between Shakedown, Looks Like Rain with gobs of delay on the vocals and the best Space-Werewolves of London opener, It has always been one of my favorite shows. But then again, I'm an 80's and early 90's kinda head.
  • 1stshow70878
    1 year 9 months ago
    Aug.78 Red Rocks had 6 firsts
    Yes indeed the debut at Red Rocks was amazing and well received. No one in my circle of friends ever mocked the "disco" sound. IT ROCKED! Too bad the '78 Red Rocks foursome, 7-7, 7-8, 8-30, and 8-31 (my first four shows) couldn't have ended up as a boxed set. Very few tapes ever circulated of the Aug. shows as it was a virtually unannounced reprise of July after the band recorded Shakedown. Been asking Dave for that for years. But totally Grateful to have the Betty boards. The Dead loved Red Rocks and proved it many times.