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]


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PikesPeak's picture
Joined: Jun 6 2007
Dire Wolf Please

Would love to here some Dire Wolf. Thanks for all the great tunes.


Joined: Jul 22 2007

Another great list this week. I'm tryin to catch up from previous weeks plus i received some Dick's Picks i bought from the store recently. 2nd Shakedown is really good, Scarlet>Fire is a classic. I always love a Scarlet>Fire. I think 78' probably best year of Scarltet>Fires. The 2nd Shakedown 5/16/81 is groovy as well. Samson and Deliliah is kinda cool on this one caus Jerry sounds like he really is goin to tear the whole building down, Bobby too. I went back a few months in the tapers section and noticed u did play an "Althea" few months ago. But if u have any more good "Althea" songs, that would be hip man. I listened to Althea song from 8-12-79 yesterday and Jerry forgot the words but he made up for it with his crafty guitar skills. Bobby's Birthday coming up October 16 which will be here quickly so not too early to find some from that date. Great 81' songs and can't wait til next week for the 72' classics. Thanks again Peace.

Joined: Jun 10 2007
happy birthday to me!

not only is this the first day of school, but it is also my birthday-- along with some yummy cake, i got some wonderful music! the first thank you note i send is to you You YOU because you make me smile Smile SMILE :-) !

thank you, david. you make me a very happy girl again! (cold rain and snow- for me-- for my birthday! how kind!)
have a great day-

Joined: Jun 14 2007

Thanks for the '81 stuff!

Saw my first show in 1981 (Hartford 3/14/81). Jerry wore shades and was still stage right.

I, for one, really *liked* Brent's Fender-Rhodes piano sound and things just weren't the same after 1981.

Anyway, I'm really digging this stuff...


Will Speed's picture
Joined: Jun 11 2007
AHH That Lovely Barton Hall

Thanks, Makes every monday a GRATEFUL joy!!!!!!

OthrOne's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Great Moments

Great moments from 81.
There's a Scarlet->Fire, Sailor-> Saint from 10/19/81 Barcellona Spain. Early vote from me!
Still looking for an S.O.T.M. - maybe Eugene 8/21/93.... I'll be waiting next week!!! ;)

D.L. - Thanks for the hard work!

All The Children Learning From Books They Were Burning

Joined: Jun 5 2007
Thanks David!

Sure, break my heart some more with multiple Shakedowns and Berthas.....

and I second or 3rd -- 1981 was a great time for the boys. Played some fine, fun shows.
Saw a few of 'em... great times.

Nothin' left to do but smile… smile… smile!

BillyBanana's picture
Joined: Jul 4 2007
Lots of nice stuff here!

Awesome work guys... What a treat!

He's Gone....

sixstringsmoreorLesh's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
10 31 70

tj crowley
again thankyou for your time and energy.......don't forget the gem of a seque 10 31 70 viola lee>>cumberland (s u n y - stoney brook)

Joined: Aug 13 2007
GD 8/15/81 SHAKEDOWN!!

Whoa!! This Shakedown is some serious GRROOOOOOOVVVYYY!!

great choice!! thanks


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