Grateful Dead

To Terrapin: Hartford, May 28, 1977

By Blair Jackson

ToTerrapin_300x260.jpg

$19.98, $17.98
To Terrapin: Hartford, May 28, 1977

preorder_146x36.gifThe Show

May 28, 1977

And the whistle is screaming...
...Terrapin

3 Disc Set


Whether or not the fabled spring tour of 1977 was, as many Dead Heads believe, the strongest Grateful Dead tour ever, it was unquestionably a magical time stuffed-to-overflowing with amazing shows. Say the word “Cornell” to any hardcore Head and it means one thing—the 5/8/77 show at Barton Hall on the august school’s campus. But there were numerous other stops on the tour that produced monster shows, as well, from the five-night run at the Palladium in New York, to the incredible Fox Theatre in Atlanta (5/19 was part of the two-show Dick’s Picks #29), to the two Florida shows—Lakeland and Pembroke Pines (Dick’s Picks #29 and Dick’s Picks #1, respectively)—Tuscaloosa, Richmond… the tour was a scorcher from beginning to end.

What was up? Well, by the spring of ’77, the Dead had been back on the road for nearly a year following their famous performing hiatus, so Mickey Hart was thoroughly re-integrated into the band, and the septet was hitting a new stride. There was a handful of great new songs being integrated into the repertoire, including Garcia and Hunter’s complex, epic “Terrapin Station” suite, Weir and John Barlow’s cool, off-kilter reggae tune “Estimated Prophet,” and Phil and Peter Monk’s rollicking “Passenger.” Those songs would form the core of the album that the Dead were recording in the winter of ’77 with producer Keith Olsen down in Los Angeles. Olsen was a sharp guy with good ears (as they say in the biz), and he worked the Dead hard in the studio, forcing them to play perhaps a bit more precisely than they were accustomed to. Now, one can endlessly debate whether the result of Olsen’s approach was ultimately an album that was a tad too precise—a criticism even the band leveled at Terrapin Station—but all the laboring over parts and arrangements in the studio seemed to have an extremely positive impact on how the band played live that spring.

Which brings us to Hartford, Connecticut on the night of May 28, 1977—the final night of this Tour for the Ages, and the source of our latest release, To Terrapin. You’d never know from listening to this show that the band had been on the road for more than a month and 25 previous concerts, because it has that sparkle and intensity the band only had when it was fresh, feelin’ good and in full exploration mode. From the rippin’ “Bertha” > “Good Lovin’” > “Sugaree” trifecta opening, through the spectacular second set sequence comprised of “Playing in the Band,” a brisk and buoyant “Terrapin,” a fantastic one-of-a-kind “Not Fade Away,” “Wharf Rat,” and the “Playing reprise.” Definitely the band at its best!

So, why put this out now? Why the hell not? And what’s with all the questions? Just enjoy it. OK, aside from it being a classic show worthy of release, we thought it might be fun to revisit a concert played in one of the venues The Dead are hitting this spring on their tour—that would be the Hartford Civic (now the XL Center) on 4/26/09… why, that’s the 31-year, 11-month, 2-day anniversary show of this epic ’77 show! Anyway, this three-disc complete show release has been lovingly mastered to HDCD specs from the original reel-to-reel tapes by Jeffrey Norman utilizing the usual array of mysterious black boxes and sonic tools unavailable to us mere mortals. Artist Scott McDougal, who’s done such a bang-up job for us on the Road Trips series, has designed a beautiful package, and the always erudite Gary Lambert has contributed a fine essay which is accompanied by glorious photos of the band in Hartford in 1977. And because we know that in these tough economic times everyone could use a bargain, we’re offering To Terrapin at the very low price of $17.98 for all pre-orders placed on dead.net before the April 7th release date. That’s $2 under the suggested retail price. For the complete track listing and ordering info, click here.

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Joined: Jul 29 2008
Oh, the Easter Egg is becoming clear: it's cars!

Now if they'll just let us know what the Road Trip's gonna be.

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rdevil's picture
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Joined: Nov 2 2007
great release

Just wanted to say thanks for what looks like a great release. A complete show, in sequence, uninterupted from a great year.....perfect. If anyone's listening, thanks for throwing us 'completists' a bone. I will buy this and continue to buy complete shows. Wonderful!

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Joined: Jul 29 2008
I think I saw that...

...on a photo from a friend of mine's colonoscopy report once. He had a polyp.

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JackstrawfromColorado's picture
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Joined: Jan 2 2009
Ouch!

All I know is that it gives me a wicked headache if I look at it too long :-)

"When the smoke has cleared she said, that's what she said to me. You're gonna want a bed to lay your head and a little sympathy"

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Joined: Mar 12 2009
looks like...

a figure standing on a spotlit stage if you turn the image sideways (tilt your head to the left), that's really out of focus?

gratefaldean's picture
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Joined: Jun 22 2007
egg

I keep opening it thinking that it's suddenly going to make some sense, or something. Actually, it's beginning to creep me out. What's next?

Captain Stormfield's picture
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Joined: Nov 4 2007
Easter Egg

NOW what are they trying to do to us? What on earth is that? This just isn't right...

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Joined: Jul 29 2008
That new easter egg...

...looks like somebody's been sitting on a scanner.

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Joined: Feb 4 2008
new road trips

waiting too, the same for a new couple of downloads! and for the missing box set 1989 - 1995!!!!!!! sooner or later, I think ... some from Red Rocks would be fine ....

Captain Stormfield's picture
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Joined: Nov 4 2007
The Greek

Yeah, the Greek would be cool -- (some have even suggested a box set for the '84 run). Although I thought every Road Trips volume was supposed to be dedicated to a specific decade. Volume One, Numbers 1-4 were all from the '70s, so it stands to reason that Volume Two will all be '90s releases (Number One was from '90). Anyway, I guess we'll find out soon. I'm certainly waiting for the "More surprises to come" -- WHAT ARE THEY???!!!

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