Grateful Dead

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April 29 - May 5, 2013

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Welcome back to the Tapers' Section, where this week we have music from 1973, 1989 and 1991.

Our first selection is nice, long portion of the first set from 4/2/73 in Boston, the last show of the Spring Tour of 1973. After this show, the Dead didn't too much touring until September, playing many big one-off shows instead (RFK, the three weekend gigs in May, Watkins Glen, etc). From this fine night in Boston, we have Promised Land, Deal, Mexicali Blues, Brown-Eyed Women, Beat It On Down The Line, Row Jimmy, Looks Like Rain, Wave That Flag, Box Of Rain, Big River, China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider, You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man.

We next have the entire first set from 4/5/89, a tour that began a nearly 18 month span of excellence for the Grateful Dead. From the first night in Ann Arbor, we have Feel Like A Stranger>Franklin's Tower, New Minglewood Blues, Candyman, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Far From Me, Dupree's Diamond Blues, Let It Grow>U.S. Blues. A couple of rarities surfaced here, specifically the Dupree's, and the first set U.S. Blues.

From the second night of a great four night at the Capital Center in Landover, MD, on 3/18/91, we have the start of the first set, featuring Touch Of Grey, New Minglewood Blues, Ramble On Rose, Me and My Uncle>Maggie's Farm. This tour featured Bruce Hornsby at most shows, including this one, although he was absent for the Albany and Nassau shows.

Be sure to stop in next week for more tunes from the vault.

David Lemieux


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Joined: Jun 4 2007
The 60's vs the 70's vs the 80s vs the 90s vs the 2000's ect

Somebody mentioned elsewhere how to them, the new Daves Picks from '69/'70 is so raw and energetic as compared to how the Dead in '77/'78 sounded like elevator music comparatively, and I tend to agree with that. With Pigpen was still in the band, the Dead ha somebody in the band who could single-handedly turn a show up many notches just with his repoire with the audience. That element sadly disappeared with him. As Keith and Donna's roles grew into the fold more, in some ways, it became an antithesis of that level of connection between audience and band.

When Brent was brought into the fold, and he became the guy to fill the shoes of both, Pigpen and Keith, it took him very little time to forge his own identity into the mix, and by the time of perhaps, '82 onward, the energy level started to grow more explosive again. By '87, when Jerry snapped out of his decade long drug induced coma, the energy level really came back. Jerry and Brent were the dynamic duo.

I like the analogy of the culteral wasteland as it really manifested itself in the '80s and is fittng. In more ways than not, it only got worse with time. Now-a-days, contemporary bands pushed by the industry, all to often, play along with pre-recorded machines, if they even play instruments at all. American Idol, and the "Will i ams meets Britney Spears" have become the industry darlings. The jam band scene since the '90s hasn't fared any better. It was directly competing with grunge rock noise, and the two often intermingled.

I am forever thankful that bands like the Grateful Dead, Little Feat, The Allman Brothers and the new life for the blues scene helped keep me grounded throughout the late-'80s and mid to late '90s. I am also thankful that bands like any of the offshoot Grateful Dead band members projects, The Allman Brothers, Deep Purple, Zappa Plays Zappa and the many modern blues acts like Joe Bonamassa who still keep it real, despite the industry mediocrity.

I respect everybodies view of what they think is the best era for the Grateful Dead. I happen to like ALL era's of the Grateful Dead, including and especially the non and under-represented eras. There's a lot more to this band than '71 - '78. The new Dave's Picks is a true testament to that. That 12/20/69 Lovelight is a monster! More Pigpen and more Brent please!

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
very good point

about the cultural wasteland of the '80s and what an oasis the Dead were at the time.

Joined: Jun 5 2007
Later versus Earlier

Agreed. The 60's and 70's were so special.

But the middle years in the 80's did have their fine moments for the Dead, and considering the cultural wasteland that was Western culture in the 80's, the band was still head and shoulders above.

Joined: Jan 13 2010
the grate(ful) debate

we like to piss away our valuable time and energy discussing various issues here.

Like later-years GD vs earlier-years GD.

The best way I can describe it is: organicness.

anything before 80 sounds organic to me. the real GD. groundbreaking stuff.

after the dawn of 80, the organic level sounds like it decreases, to the point where is sounds like McDead by 87 and later. going through the motions, cookie cutter, etc. even when I tried to listen to set 2 of 7/31/83 on the way home yesterday...fill in the blanks with blandness.

not their fault...time marches on, habits form and grow. and i do get off on some later-year GD. but that just seems to fade (to me) as the years passed.

maybe we all became too familiar.

don't hate on me, spacebrother. i respect your opinion. I just need that organicness.

"jimmy's got a little bit of bitch in him"

Joined: Mar 18 2010
Thanks wilfred...

Great find with the '78 clip!

Anna rRxia's picture
Joined: Dec 25 2009
Thanks DL

For the huge amount of music this week, especially from 73. Luvvin' it!

wilfredtjones's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
4/18/78 set II

set IIa (needs quicktime)
set IIb

Re: the '89 clip - - the sound and performance is very good; I enjoyed listening to that yesterday.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Crisler Arena Ann Arbor 1989

Hey! I was there! Both shows were top notch.

It was a crazy week in Ann Arbor. Uof M had just won the basketball title, the Hash Bash was on it's annual April Fools date and the traveling circus known as the "Scene" at Grateful Dead concerts when onsight overnight camping and vending were in full force and it was a picture perfect warm spring climate. The shows themselves were not only extremely enjoyable to attend, but the tapes reflect that the band was firing on all cylinders for inspired and well played performances.

Joined: Mar 18 2010
Pittsburgh, please return

Thanks for great selections this (and every) week. A complete set always completely excites me. Speaking of complete sets, 4/18/78, where are you? Looked all over, and was hoping to find more of you today. Please come home...we'll look for you again next Monday. Scarlet➡Dancin➡Drums➡Samson and Terrapin➡Around to close the second set. We'll be looking for you for sure

wurm79's picture
Joined: Jun 24 2012

gotta love that 4/2/73 show. The second set is a scorcher as well. thanks Dave! Hopefully, you read my email. Hot! First Boston Garden show.


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