Grateful Dead

Road Trips Volume 3 Number 1

Oakland, 12/28/79

The latest installment in our Road Trips series, now entering its third big year (and ninth release overall) is bound to become a favorite. Road Trips Vol. 3, No. 1 is the complete show from December 28, 1979, part of the sparkling run that has already given us the excellent Dick’s Picks: Vol. 5 (from 12/26/79). You’ll recall that these year-end concerts, held at the Oakland Auditorium because Winterland had closed down for good the previous New Year’s Eve, were the first holiday shows featuring new keyboardist Brent Mydland, who joined the band in April 1979.

The new lineup had been gaining momentum with each passing tour since that spring, and by December was truly hitting its stride. It helped, too, that the band was in the midst of recording their Go To Heaven album, so they were really playing together a lot during this period. This 12/28/79 concert is a blast: a super high-energy rock and roll show that also has its share of spacey jams and exploratory passages. The first set includes standout versions of “Sugaree,” “High Time” (rare enough that it always felt like a treat!) and “The Music Never Stopped,” while the second set opens with the always potent pair of “Alabama Getaway” > “Greatest Story Ever Told,” turns deep and introspective with “Playing in the Band” and “Terrapin,” and then later turns into a non-stop party with “Uncle John’s Band,” “I Need A Miracle,” “Bertha” and Good Lovin’.” If you’re not wiped out after that, the double-encore will waste you—“Casey Jones” and “Saturday Night”!

The sound on both discs is spectacular (it’s hard to beat great reels as source tapes), and as always the CDs have been mastered to the exacting HDCD spec, because you would accept nothing less. The colorful accompanying booklet contains a number of excellent Jay Blakesberg photos from those Oakland Aud. shows, as well as a typically inspiring essay by the always poetic Dead scribe Steve Silberman.

So it’s a win-win. A slam-dunk. A no-brainer. For more info on all the goodness packed onto these discs, click here. And when you finally come to your senses and decide that you can longer live another day without Road Trips Vol. 3, No. 1, you can order it here.

—Blair Jackson

Track List

CD 1: Oakland Auditorium Arena, December 28, 1979

SET 2:

CD 2: Oakland Auditorium Arena, December 28, 1979



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stone jack baller's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
Whining Boy Blues

We're up to 22 pages of whining and worrying when the CD is coming and why it's not always just exactly perfect...

Why don't you all take a walk downtown and help out some folks who are not whining, but just worrying about where their kids next meal is coming from.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

send me the order details (shipping info, order number, your email, etc.) and I'll get a crew on it. That sucks!

Joined: Jun 23 2007
Complete show!

Well done. Thank you and please keep the complete shows coming.

pantagruel's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
First time I've had a problem

I've ordered just about everything (music-wise) that's been offered here, but I've never had a problem . . . until now. I ordered RT 3.1 and Pure Jerry on Oct. 26th, credit card charged on Nov. 14. Today I received a package from Rhino that contained a packing slip for the discs, and nothing else. The package was empty. No discs. Interestingly, the package had been opened and taped shut, and there was an envelope taped on the outside of the package from a Customs Broker in Pennsylvania (this is all very strange because it's the first time I've seen anything from a Customs Broker after ordering tons of stuff to Canada). Ironically, this envelope contained a message asking me to rate their customer service. Well, not so good, I would say.

I've made repeated phone calls to the GD customer support line today. The line picks up, plays the all-customer-service-representatives-are-busy message, and then hangs up on me. Super-frustrating. Li'l help?

Joined: Jun 11 2009
Road Trips 1979

(Finally) got it after the credit card being charged on 11/16. All seems in order. I like the flow of music coming out but will shutter in fear with additional ordering...I rally want to order from the website but i'm not sure if the added stress is really worth it.

Interesting comparing this show to Dick's Picks #5. This period sounds alot like 1977 with abit more flesh in the keyboards and no Donna screams on PITB (whew!!!).

Joined: Dec 31 2008
I second gratefulhans

I think Gratefulhans makes many fine points. This Road Trips format is limiting to two discs because of the packaging and I think the bonus discs should be included straight up in the set. For this set, in particular, I was most intrigued by the bonus disc. I would rather be charged a couple extra dollars for three discs in proper packaging than continue with the current format-- the packaging damages discs.

That said, two recent RTs were quite good and complete shows, so that is all well and good. I just received this one last week and must say there are many fine moments throughout-- especially the Phil Bombs during Playing In the Band. They really melt a good version on this set. This Brent-era show is appreciated, but I would still rather see them release more shows from the 1985-1990, after he got his feet a bit wetter.

And really-- get this customer service thing taken care of. While I had no problems, this seems to be a real issue, especially with the international Heads. I recall receiving a DP disc with skips about 8 years ago. I called and they had a replacement disc in the mail to me by the end of the week. I do not look forward to the day I have a problem with an order.

Joined: Jun 6 2007
Importance of Customer Service

I share your sentiments, wharfrat1. I have no gripe with the selections, and never have had. As someone who never saw the Grateful Dead live (Australian), these releases are heaven sent. Keep them coming!

However, poor customer service can kill a business and a non-functioning web site is particularly toxic. Making promises and not keeping them (and no explanation) seems to be a common theme here (not you, Mary). Somehow Rhino have managed to take a functioning operation and turn it into a suicide pill. Outsourcing is not necessarily the best way to do things.

On a happier note both the Jerry and the RT arrived today, can't wait to get 'em on the CD player.

Happy Trails

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Welcome to the Heartbreak Club

Welcome to the club Meeko. I received the Jerry CD but no RT on the 16th. I have called and spoke with customer service 6 times since than and still no RT. The last person I spoke with on Friday said they would get the cd in the mail asap and he would send me an email personally letting me know when it shipped. As of today, nothing. I have ordered from at least 70-80 times and I have never had one issue until now. I am going to call CS one more time and track down the guy that promised me the email to see what the hell is going on. I guess my next step is to call and chew someone out at Rhino. My favorite part of the process is the customer service message that states you can look up old and current orders on the web. Maybe they didn't get the memo that has also died, along with the good customer service we used to get.

I have never once complained about releases, etc. I have never had any problems with formats, shows picked, whatever. But I will not tolerate spending my hard earned money and being treated like this. I cannot believe that all of these complaints are falling on deaf ears at Rhino. Come on boys, businesses live and die by customer service, get your s**t together.

Meeko's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
No Jerry Cd, Bonus disc skips!

The package arrived on 11/20 unsealed! No Jerry cd inside. Wharf Rat on the Road Trips bonus cd skips, man it's frustrating, because like a lot of folks here, I order everything that's released. Anyway I called customer service, they seem nice and helpful, so I hope these things are shipped as promised. Please actually seal the envelope this time. I want that Jerry/Nicky cd so bad!!!



Captain Stormfield's picture
Joined: Nov 4 2007
What's next? 80s?

I think they will finally yield to all the fan requests and jump into the 80s (but who knows?). To be fair, this 79 show is really like a hot early 80s show. On another note, I'm listening to the great 10/1/94 Boston Garden show on Sirius Grateful Dead right now. What a terrific late era show. Really good. Would make a fine release. I was at 10/2/94 -- it wasn't so hot (Samba in the Rain, Broken Arrow, anyone?). I guess I shoulda got tix for the previous night. Well, you know what they say about hindsight...


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