Grateful Dead

April 19 - April 25, 2010

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Greetings, and welcome back to the Tapers' Section. This week we have music from 1970, and a first set from 1992.

Our first stop this week is at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, just a few weeks after the 11/7&8/69 (Dick's Picks Vol. 16) shows at the Fillmore Auditorium, just a few blocks away. From 12/4/69, drawn from the cassette master recordings, as there are no reel-to-reel tapes from these shows, we have the first ever live version of Black Peter, followed by the first ever live version of Uncle John's Band (with lyrics; they had played it instrumentally).

From the very same venue about two months later, we have this very good, very inspired Lovelight from 2/6/70 at the Fillmore West. Every version of Lovelight in 1969-1971 was incredibly different, both instrumentally and in terms of Pigpen's rap, and it's always great to play one we haven't put on the Tapers' Section in the past.

From just three weeks later in San Francisco, on 2/28/70 at the Family Dog, we have a good trio of songs from the era, featuring some fine Pigpen amongst other things: Good Lovin', Big Boss Man, Casey Jones. Grateful Dead shows at the Family Dog always seemed to be a little more laid back than Fillmore West shows, almost giving the feeling that they didn't have to impress Bill Graham, so they could be a little more playful. That's certainly not say they were less professional, but the shows certainly feel like the band was playing under a little less pressure to perform.

Finally this week, from 3/21/92 at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario, we have the entire first set made up of Help On The Way> Slipknot!>Franklin's Tower ; Little Red Rooster ; Peggy-O ; Queen Jane Approximately ; So Many Roads. This was one of the few shows I saw from the first row (GDTS treated the locals so well! Thanks!), and I distinctly recall after So Many Roads, Jerry and Bob looked at each other, unable to decide what to play next, or unwilling to play anything further, so they decided to take the break after this unconventional first-set closer. Bruce Hornsby was gone from the band just two shows after this, but he sure did add a lot while a member of the Grateful Dead.

Be sure to join us here next week for more fine Grateful Dead music, including another taste of 1970, plus some 1986 and 1988. As always, you're encouraged to write to the email address below with questions or comments about the Tapers' Section. Be sure to put “Grateful Dead” in your subject heading to make sure the missive breaks through our state-of-the-art spam filters.

David Lemieux


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Joined: Jan 6 2009
Copps-Hamilton '92

Went to this show with my parents (local show) and girlfriend.....sat behind Jerry.
Distinctly remember the local paper The Toronto Star describe Jer as an 'ookpik with a guitar'.
My Mom remarked at setbreak as we walked the aisles.....'everyone looks so tired'....classic

derivative25's picture
Joined: Jul 4 2007
Grateful Dead.

This rendition of Franklins Tower reminds me just why I like the Dead so much, Jerry sounds so fine, his playing pure, in Franklin and in Queen Jane, a fine rendition there also. Salute.

Joined: Aug 25 2008

Forgive me, I know it's more kind and polite to say nothing so I'll just say that I get more listening pleasure from earlier eras.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Spring 92

I attended both Hamilton and both Auburn Hills shows from this tour and thought the playing and sound were great. I was up front in the middle of the Phil Zone for the Palace shows so naturally I favor those a bit more but catching my first Dark Star in the same set as Shakedown was pretty sweet.

If the option to release these shows as Road Trips is on the table, I envision a highlights type approach for Hamilton but the Palace shows would be more worthy of full show potential, especially the first night.

While were talking '92, how about releasing the first night of Soldier Field with Steve Miller, Norton Buffalo and James Cotton plus the first night of Deer Creek in their entirety?

Joined: Jan 13 2010
after CW&I

the 92 GD sounds slow and tired.

God bless these guys. maybe it's the sound system: Digital POWER at the theater, earphones for internet streams.


ststephen49's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
The 90's post-Brent...

shows really did show a different flavor of the Dead. I took my 2 young daughters to Pine Knob for the 6-19/20-91 shows & thought they were a blast. 1st night really flowed and the 2nd set Scarlet>Fire opener was great. Next night the 2nd set started with a raccous Throwin' Stones into a really lively Iko, then they jumped into the most blazing Watchtower I've ever heard. Great energy from the boys & the crowd and Bruce & Vince really brought out that distinct color they added to the music. I never complained about what they were doing at any given time, just trying to get into the space they were occupying and enjoyed the ride. A wonderful 2 days. Bring some of this out of the closet David...

Peace, Steve

Joined: Jun 9 2007
I agree...

While most post Brent GD seemed contrived and uninspired, there are definitely some great moments between summer ’90 and summer ’95. Greensboro ’91, Eugene ’93, Deer Creek ’94. “Visions of Johanna” in ’95 was pretty sweet too. This era would lend itself really well to the Road Trips model since most shows only featured one or two songs that were played really well. Gone were the days of walking out of a show where they had laid it down from top to bottom, but I do remember some Scarlet > Fires & Stella Blues (as well as some others) that really knocked my socks off. Although they had lost something along the way, they were still my favorite band playing my favorite songs and I don’t regret a single minute of the time I spent with them.

Looking forward to watching JFK ’89, thanks to those who keep the music flowing 15 years later, I appreciate the efforts!

krs10's picture
Joined: Mar 25 2009
Hamilton '92

Hey David - glad to see these shows getting some attention lately. My faves! I love the Help>Slipknot here - Hornsby and Vince are adding some cool percussive piano and synth. Jerry is really "on" at this show. The Terrapin in the second set is pretty mind-blowing, if you're ears are tuned to the '90s sound. ;)

lamagonzo (not verified)

Belive that SMR was the best of the "new" and 10/1/94 was a smokin' version - as you say - so was the whole show,

Hey David, How about putting some of the best of 94-95 up? Much maligned there are some definite gems like 10/1/94. And thanks for those complete sets, keep'em coming!

delta's picture
Joined: Jul 1 2007
Thanks David

More Pig!

"Music is Love"


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