Grateful Dead

April 26 - May 2, 2010

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Welcome back to the Tapers' Section, where this week we'll check out some music from 1970, 1986 and 1988.

Our first stop this week is on 4/3/70 in Cincinnati, where the Grateful Dead played one long set of music, including a bit of acoustic Dead. We have a good mix of acoustic and electric music here from that show, with Hard to Handle, Dancing In The Street, Me and My Uncle, Friend Of The Devil, Deep Elem Blues, Candyman. Hearing a show like this makes me want to run and check out the full blown acoustic perfection of a night like 5/15/70's early and late shows.

Next from a year that is certainly underrepresented here at the Tapers' Section, 1986, we have the entire first set of 3/30/86 in Providence, RI, made up of Hell In A Bucket ; Sugaree ; El Paso ; Cumberland Blues ; Tons Of Steel ; C C Rider ; Dupree's Diamond Blues ; Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues ; Deal. As you'll likely notice, there are a few minor audio dropouts during this set, owing to problems with the master tape, recorded to the fragile Beta PCM digital tapes. Overall these tapes have held up quite well, particularly after the band switched to VHS PCM tapes in 1988, but many do have slight dropouts.

From two years later on 4/3/88 in Hartford, CT, we have the entire first set of the first of three nights in Hartford, featuring Promised Land > Greatest Story Ever Told; Althea ; Little Red Rooster ; Cold Rain & Snow; Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again ; Box Of Rain ; Don't Ease Me In. As you can hear, Jerry's voice was quickly fading, and by the second set, he was really croaking. Trooper that he was, though, he sang the encore that night. An interesting personal anecdote from this night: after the show, my friends and I went to a Denny's for food. You know those toothpicks with the little frilly coloured things on the end that they stick into club sandwiches? We blew those toothpicks through straws into the air like blowdarts, where they stuck into the ceiling, leaving these little coloured things hanging above our table. Two years later, when the band played Hartford, we stopped at the same Denny's (the last time I've been in a Denny's…), and there they were, our coloured toothpick ceiling art, still hanging. There's some hygiene for you…

Be sure to stop by next week when we'll check out more cool Grateful Dead music. As always, feel free to write to me at the email address below with questions or comments about the Tapers' Section, or anything else about the music.

David Lemieux


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tommygutt's picture
Joined: Jul 9 2007
even the rooster is smokin!!!

great brent bob n jerry on this original "jam band song!!

Joined: May 1 2010

Thank you for always giving us a journey back in time. These tracks are priceless and remembering them is awesome. I can't wait to see where you take us next. The Grateful Dead was always one of the best.

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mpace's picture
Joined: Sep 25 2009
I'm lovin' Phil's back up

I'm lovin' Phil's back up vocals on Tons of Steel! I must admit that I have been a fool for '80s dead lately! Especially the early versions of the In the Dark songs (before '87). I was listening to a '83 touch from Providence and it really had some nice keys that were different than what it later evolved into. Also, Esau has become a favorite of mine. I'm hoping for a box set- anything from '83 to '86.

Thanks David!

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

Joined: Jun 4 2007
sorry man

I don't know if I have anything further to add. That was the funny part, none of us knew why his lip started to emulate a balloon...

cactuswax's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
um, wilfred

Don't leave us hanging! What the hell was the matter with your friend's lip?!??

shwack's picture
Joined: Apr 12 2008
Controlled Chaos

We all enjoyed the interesting set lists and the passages of spirited playing during
the 3 night run at Hartford in April 88.
Recall the Iko Iko/Louie Louie 2nd set opener on 4/5/88.
Iko Iko Louie Louie... that sounds funny. (Go to TS week of April2-8 2007 and check it).
Also in same set:Smokestack>Drums.What fun! I felt a sense of
controlled chaos not only from the stage but outside in Bushnell Park as well.
DL, nice to have the complete sets posted here.
Merci Beaucoup Monsieur Lemieux

shwack in nh
P.S. visual memory incoming: Garcia wringing out the
notes during Smokestack...

Joined: Jul 3 2007
FOTD lyrics are cool, Jerry

FOTD lyrics are cool, Jerry sounds sweet

See ya down the road,

krs10's picture
Joined: Mar 25 2009
Live Music Archive

look under "The Dead", not GD archive. Search by date. Here's the link:
While you're at it, the String Cheese set is well worth checking out too.

Joined: Sep 1 2009

Does anyone know how to obtain the Rothbury 7-4-09 show?

lamagonzo (not verified)
86 Request: 1st set 3/27/86

Portland, Me. was the site of Phil's only "Revolutionary Hamstrung Blues". The rest of it is one of those rare, almost seamlessly jammed 1st sets.

This is a definite highlight of 86.


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