Grateful Dead

August 13 - August 19, 2007

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

In addition to some excellent moments from this week in the Grateful Dead’s recorded history, we also have some great material from outside of our date range, including a good chunk of music from 1981, one of the consistently good latter-era years.

Our earliest date-appropriate jam this week is from 8/13/79 at McNichols Arena in Denver. As we mentioned last week, this date was meant to be the second night of a three night run at Red Rocks, but Mother Nature had other ideas and they were forced to play the second and third shows indoors at McNichols. From this night, we have the second set opening trio of I Need A Miracle>Bertha>Good Lovin’, drawn from the master reels running at 15 ips.

Exactly eight years later, 8/13/87, the band found themselves back at Red Rocks for the third night of their three night run, opening the show with this rare opener, Big Boss Man. From later in that first set, we have a rocking Far From Me. These two tracks were recorded from the Beta PCM digital masters.

Our final mid-August piece of music this week is from Portland, Oregon on 8/15/81, and demonstrates the not-exactly-great mix on many cassettes from the era. The performance, though, shines through, making this show opener worth hearing: Shakedown Street, Me and My Uncle>Big River.

Speaking of cassette masters from 1981, our next trio of tracks is made up of the second set openers of three consecutive nights on the outstanding May, 1981 tour. First, from Rutgers University on 5/15/81, is this dense Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain. The middle night of our journey stops at the magical Barton Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca on 5/16/81, and features Shakedown Street>Bertha>Lost Sailor>Saint of Circumstance (we hope you don’t mind two versions of Shakedown Street and Bertha this week…). We end our mini-tour of the east coast in Syracuse on 5/17/81 with this classic set opener of Cold Rain and Snow>Samson and Delilah, which always had such a smooth segue.

Because we had such a great time putting together these 1981 moments for you, we’ll continue with the mid-first set Friend of the Devil>C.C. Rider from 7/2/81 at the Summit in Houston. As rare as Grateful Dead concerts were in Texas, they sure did play well there. Also from Texas, on 7/4/81 at Manor Downs in Austin, we have several moments from that great show: From the first set is this rowdy Minglewood Blues and the set closing China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider. And, from the second set is the opening Feel Like A Stranger and the double-dose jam of Bird Song>Playing In The Band, featuring a very rare second set Bird Song.

Lastly this week, a little taste of 1972, specifically the opening night of the European tour, 4/7/72 in London. From the middle of the first set is this nice Loser, always good to hear in its early form.

Stop back in next week for some exceptional 1972 material, as well as a 1976 studio jam, plus loads of other great music. As always, we encourage you to write with questions or comments, suggestions or requests.

David Lemieux
vault [at]


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
GaryHartman's picture
Joined: Jul 4 2007
You do listen David

Hey David,
This is your new best pal, ole buddy gary.....remember??
2 weeks ago I made a request for Rutgers 81............and you came threw......THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!.
After listening to that shakedown, bertha this week (WOW) It kind of reminded me of a audenace (low grade) tape I had many years ago.
The show was from Gainesville Fl in the year 1980. It had a UNBELIEVABLE Shakedown into Franklins 2nd set opener. Brent leads the way to Franklins........It gave me goose bumps evertime I listen to it!!!..............Really it did.
The tape is long gone.
Find it in the vault, listen to it. And I'm sure you will agree that it is HOT ONE!!!
Could you please post it here.....................PRETTY PLEASE!!!
Once again, Thank you for putting up all this fine music for us each week!!

Your new best friend, new pal, ole buddy,
Gary Hartman
Clewiston, Fl

Sunshine-daydream1951's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
27th August 72

will there be anything from this show in a couple of weeks


- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Spanish Jam

Joined: Aug 15 2007
Thank you David!!

Thank you for the David's Picks every week!!!! What a treat! I love this from the vault, Dave's Picks, with all the historical notes and fine, fine, fine selections! David - are you making these selections like Dick (Latvala), the notes I read about him?? He would get up each morning, smoke a bong, turn on some fine obscure gems from the vault and make notes in his notebook, complete with asterisks and stars???!!! Thank you for keeping this entire concept going and for your fantastic selections! I have really been enjoying them and looking forward to them each week!! Latvala!!

JurassicBlueberries's picture
Joined: Jun 30 2007
Rutgers U. 5-15-1981 (I ran into a rainstorm)

Torrential rainfall at the Rutgers Athletic Center while the band was playing, Bobby actually held out his hand to catch some of the rain leaking from the flat glass roof of the athltetic center. lightning was flashing and the crowd was responding with blissful energy during Looks Like Rain, Jerry whipped up the end jam into a frenzy on this wet jersey spring night.


Sincerely, JurassicBlueberries

Joined: Jun 5 2007

5/16/81 Bertha is very tight - a keeper !

red8sox (not verified)

Please, please, please put some music from the last show of the 1990 fall tour at MSG, 9/20/90. That was simply a ridiculously great show. The Ramble on Rose, China>Rider and the post-space segment of the show were incredible.....this would be amazing to be able to hear again. Thanks!

Joined: Jun 8 2007

Thanks David. Much appreciated!!!

tk and rebx's picture
Joined: Jun 10 2007
that far from me was really a sweet tidbit..

it's always so really great to get pieces of brent anywhere and that was awesome.. thanks david.. and props to charlottesville arena virginia host to phil and friends this october.. wooo hoo wahoo wah!!!!

SFink's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
'81 Music

1981 was my first year following the Dead and what a year it was! I was hooked!

mountainzen's picture
Joined: Aug 7 2007
'81 CNY Run

Oh, my! Magic indeed at Cornell. Thank you so much David!



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.