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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Joined: Aug 21 2007

Thanks for that anecdote about 4/3/88, DL. The story of darting toothpicks at the ceiling was good enough (we can all relate to a little "late night creativity" after a show), but the fact that they were still there in '90? Priceless.

PonchoBill's picture
Joined: Jul 29 2009

I too am diggin the set. I have read reviews on this show and most are negative. To each their own I guess. The crowd really sounds into it though. For good or ill, right? I'd like to hear some of the second set.
Thanks again, Dave.'s picture
Joined: Jun 6 2007
Bob as Bob

4/3/88 Hartford is smoking!
You gotta love Weir's Dylan impersonation in Memphis Blues.


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