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: Jun 9 2007
Hamilton '92

1992 was very hit and miss as I recall. Hamilton was good. It was cold, I remember telling my little brother that most of the new tunes were weak (after hearing them earlier on tour). He looked at me after SMR and said, "Ummmm, that really wasn't so bad". After hearing this version of So Many Roads, I was sold on it. I really longed to hear it from the lawn of a summer shack while gazing up at the stars (post Space). My favorite SMR is 10/1/94, check it out. While you're there, listen to the whole show, it smokes. Mr. Lemieux, thanks for the tunes!

smallz's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
cool Black Peter

Very chill, laid-back BP here. Quite a treat to hear the first ever! Thanks a million! The sequence from Ontario is really good. So Many Roads is always an emotional tune. This version is up there with the version of the box set with the same name. I can see why Jerry and Bob couldn't figure out what to play next: how can ANYTHING come after that?

Gr8fulTed's picture
Joined: Jul 9 2007
check the stream on

Uncle John's Band is the final tune of the show. 2 days later was the raucous Altamont show.

DL: you say this 12/4 concert is on cassette?
Were cassettes used for master recordings in 1969? I was still using an 8-track player and a reel to reel Sony recorder.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
first ever live version of Uncle John's

is there a link to stream the 'first ever live version of Uncle John's" ?

if so, that would be cool to hear. thanks.

PonchoBill's picture
Joined: Jul 29 2009
Hammer 92

Those two shows were alot of fun and I remember a really fantastic scene outside the venue. But if you compare them musically to the two shows they played there in 90, man they don't compare. Probably the absence of Brent had much to do with it.
Thanx for these monday mornin' nugs Dave.


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