Grateful Dead

June 28 to July 4, 2010

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Here we go, barreling through the start of the summer and ending the week here at the Tapers' Section with the 4th of July. This week we're going to cover 16 years of Dead, with music from 1973, 1985 and 1989.

Our first selection is from the late summer of 1985, on 9/3/85 at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, where we have the entire first consisting of Feel Like A Stranger>TLEO, Rooster, Dire Wolf, Cassidy, Big RR, Music>Don't Ease. That's a fairly typical song selection from 1985, but it's loads of great tunes, so no complaints here.

From a few years later in Miami, we have music from the penultimate show of the Fall Tour of 1989, on 10/25/89 in Miami, the entire first, which features Hell In A Bucket ; Sugaree ; Just A Little Light ; Friend Of The Devil ; Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again ; Cold Rain And Snow; Picasso Moon; Deal. This tour is filled with great music, from the start of the tour in Hampton to the final night in Miami (with that epic Dark Star!). This night in Miami is occasionally overlooked due to the next night's excellence, but as you'll now hear, there's lots to love about 10/25/89.

Lastly this week, we have music from 10/30/73 in St. Louis, the second of two nights on the great Fall Tour of 1973. From this show we have Here Comes Sunshine, Me and My Uncle, Ramble On Rose, Looks Like Rain, Deal, Mexicali Blues, TLEO. There are a couple of repeats from this week's earlier selections, but these versions are very different, especially the version of TLEO, which features an entirely different tempo and melody. Just goes to show why we keep listening to this band; there's always something new and interesting. When asked by my old film school friend Jeff how many versions of Sugar Magnolia can I possibly hear, I responded “all of them!”

We'll see you here next week for more great tunes. We don't yet know what we'll play, but we expect it'll be good. Feel free to write the address below with questions, comments, praise or complaints. We're you're one-stop, catch-all, answer-every-email place to voice your opinions about the music and our work here.

David Lemieux


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Joined: Jul 8 2010
71 thru 75

My favorite years and the song Here Comes Sunshine really hits me. Thanks for putting this wonderful music out there for all of us to listen to. I also love the 76-77 years and also the 85-spring 90 stuff. We all have our predilictions. The wall of sound changed my life.

Joined: Jun 29 2007
highfalutin goshalmighty

highfalutin goshalmighty sayingsso got mah ozarkian mind fishin and I find a bunch of gobblinup goinon, persnickin o'er squat. Somewhere, O somewhere, somewhere some where there must be some soul, not some guys who are cast-alluminum. Please. Give a god a break and let me believe that these guys are real. For some per-stupid reason I believe they may be.

mpace's picture
Joined: Sep 25 2009
80s Dead

Thanks for the music David! 80s Dead is a love/hate thing for me- there are some really good shows that display a real rockin', funky, jazzy, and soulful band- and then there's the Gratefuld Dead bar band (my best way to describe it).... You know the band that has a high bar tab, plays the medley version of songs and mostly uncomplicated numbers, a guitar lick here and there to stoke the memories of what was, and then bam you have the one two punch of Dear Mr Fantasy and Hey Jude Reprise (as cringe worthy as Donna's primal sceam IMHO).
I have been trying to really isolate what is it that I try to avoid about the eighties and here is my list (in no particular order)
1. Midi Effects
2. Bobby's guitar sound- the metal modulus sound, inconsistant levels, and of course the screechy slide (particularly when he uses it on the acoustic).
3. The vocals- hoarse and sometime croaky vocals were too common
4. Lyrics- thank you drugs for helping them forget lyrics to songs they sung for decades, or even recently recorded for that matter. Some people find it endearing, but I find it fustrating- kills the mood for sure! The developement of the mumble for the forgotten line... I know it happened in the 70s too, but it was more frequent in the 80s.
5. Another shout out to the big H and others drugs (see above number 4) for helping incredible musicians forget songs they have been playing for many years.

With all that said- when the band was on in the 80s they had a special feel that makes this decade unique. You can even seperate different parts of the decade and find different sounds- 79 (really 80, but to include the new Brent sound)-83, 84-86, 87-88(heavy on the bar band), and 89. Plus, I love the new songs that the decade brought- too bad they couldn't remember them most of the time Ha!

I went to see the captain, strangest I could find...

Joined: Jun 13 2007
This week...

May your celebrations keep you in the spirit
of freedom and liberty for the next year!
~Let your life proceed by your own design!

Happy 4th of July!


unkle sam's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2008
Miami 89

There were shows, there were shows, and there were shows between. IMHO these were the shows of 89. I was lucky enough to attend these last two shows in Miami in the fall of 89 and when it all was over, I floated out of the Miami arena on a cloud and stayed that way for a week, the boys touched my soul those two nights and the feeling that they left me with I will never forget. It was a calm, peaceful, fully rested and recharged feeling that you could call a spiritual awakening. Much like a psychadelic experience but without the drug.
Perhaps one day soon, the powers that be will finally release these two gems, especially the 26th, in their complete glory for all to enjoy. If you liked that little drum and echo at the end of the first set on the 25th, then the entire second set of the next nite, starting with that estimated prophet, is definately what you are looking for. That dark star>drums>space is over 45 mins of pure bliss that will take you anywhere you would like to go. These two nights, especially the second sets, are primal dead. There are several shows, most listed here or at other posts, that we all know are the real deal, yet they are, to this date, not released. Why? The fans know what they want and have, I'm sure, requested over and over again for the best of the best to be released, and in my opinion, these two shows are right up there with the best of the best.
After the show on the 26th, basking in the afterglow, we talked about the band and Jerry, how tight they were and how tired Jerry looked, his voice was definately showing the strain, it being the last show of the fall tour, and I think Jerry knew it, so, he let his axe do the singing for him, absolutely one of the best examples of what Jer could do with that guitar. I highly recommend these Miami shows and hope, one day sooner than later, they will be released so all can experience what I experienced those nights.
"There were days, there were days, and there were days between."

shwack's picture
Joined: Apr 12 2008

Hey Man,
Some remarkable music was played in the Summer of '85.
Perhaps some will be featured here at TS real soon.
Diggin' the hidden percussion at the end of the Miami piece.

Of course, Drums always welcome in this house!
You gotta play it through to get the treats
Merci Beaucoup Monsieur Lemieux

shwack in nh

grateful34's picture
Joined: Jul 18 2007
Good selections this week

I really like the '85 song! Thanks David, for what you do every week.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
As one who saw many shows in the 70's

I would put forth that Donna's 'screaming' was much less up front at the shows than it is now on the tapes.
Just like you could 'lean in' and get a better read on Jerry's guitar.
Somehow, in many instances the tapes can magnify some aspect of the show that was much less apparent while at the show.
Or maybe it was my selective attention and perception that night ;o}

The Truth is realized in an instant, the act is practiced step by step.

Joined: Oct 1 2007
Donna in the 70's....

Yup, Donna's contributions to Playin' in the 70's, on tape, can often be rather painful. At the same time, many Playin' 70's jams are the Dead at their most exploratory, often stretching to over half and hour of pure instrumental bliss. Interesting fact is that live her vocals came off less shrill, I think, perhaps due to the board mixes we are used to, and especially the monitor mixes which foreground vocals. (at least the Yea, Yea, Yeas, didn't last too long...) for me her least successful vocals were the "scating" out of Scarlet, which at times were obviously interfering with the band's desire to kick in the jam.

Benny Jakes's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007

Enjoying the treat at end of Miami.

Can i ask a qu? The chorus "Look away, Look away, Look away......Dixieland"

away from what?

Is that my glass? Can you see it? Understand me?


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