Grateful Dead

August 20 - August 26, 2007

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

As we move toward the symbolic end of summer (Labour Day, of course), we have some great music to play spanning about 21 years of Grateful Dead music, from 1968 to 1989, two fine years with which to bookend this week’s offerings.

Our first entry this week is the encore from 8/21/68 at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, a nice, juicy Midnight Hour. Although not quite as prevalent at shows in 1968 as it had been in 1966, the Grateful Dead continued to play monster versions of this Pigpen vehicle.

Next we’ll stop into 1972, to the opening night of the rightfully famous Europe 72 tour, to 4/7/72 in London. From the middle of that night’s first set is a typically hot 1972 rendition of China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider.

In 1976, at the end of their very successful summer of comeback shows, the Grateful Dead entered the studio and recorded a couple of the songs they’d been playing that summer. From one of those sessions on 8/29/76 is this bare-bones Dancing In The Street with only Donna on vocals. While we’re in mid-1970s mode, we also have this terrific Samson and Delilah from 5/12/77 in Chicago. Despite the frequency that song was played in 1976-1977, they never seem to get tired of it, always offering up an inspired rendition.

Finally from the 1970s, on 4/22/78 in Nashville to be precise, we are pleased to bring you a couple of tracks from the second set, starting with the second set opening Lazy Lightning>Supplication and the pre-Drums Estimated Prophet>Eyes of the World, both very nicely performed songs on this night.

Our last stop this week is in New Jersey on 7/10/89, a show that took place in and out of a massive thunderstorm. By request, we have the first set closer, The Music Never Stopped, and from the start of the second set, a great 1989 combination of Foolish Heart, Just a Little Light, Playing In The Band>Uncle John’s Band. What a great tour.

Be sure to check in next week, as we’ll be exploring some intriguing material from 1969 and 1980, and other material between those years, and likely after. We try to surprise even ourselves. Feel free to write with questions or comments.

Please note that beginning today all Taper’s Section audio streams are served via a new media player in both Windows Media Audio and QuickTime Audio formats.

David Lemieux
vault [at]


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Joined: Jun 15 2007
All the old MP3's have been converted also

Well, it seems that this is pretty serious, all the previous weeks of the mp3's have been converted as well. Truly a pathetic decision.

When the sale/lease of the vault happened I would have gladly paid a flat per MB rate for access to the vault to download in the format of my choice from the show of my choice and the songs of my choice. If that had been made available I could have spent a thousand dollars in a matter of days, especially if I could have aquired lossless files.

But I am not sure that I would even be able to do that anymore. My spirit is broken, my energy is drained, and I find myself thinking that I just don't want to give anymore of my money to these people. I have a pile of SHNS and FLACS that I picked up over the years, perhaps a hundred or a hundred and fifty shows, mostly boards from trading and downloading via etree. I have not even listened to perhaps half of them.

I think I am just going to spend time picking through those, editing and mastering them down into sets that work for me, and be done with it.

So I guess in a way I have to say thankyou, the kind of bitter thankyou that a addict gives to the dealer of his last dose. You have finally put a bitter enough pill in my mouth, I just don't want to ride this bus any longer.

David, this is not addressed to you, unless you thought this was a good idea, it is targeted at whoever it was that decided that somehow these mp3's represented some kind of financial risk.

As for Rhino Records, they will never see another penny of my money. This was only the last straw with them, they have a long history of releasing inferior masters, short versions where long versions should be, and generally weak products.

CmdrDarklighter's picture
Joined: Jun 23 2007

The downloadable files made my backpacking trips so much more fun........I guess it's all over now......

Joined: Jun 13 2007
Gone Are The Days ...

Hey David,

Many, many thanks for getting this part of the site going and for all the lovelies you've passed our way in the last 8 months. Thanks, especially, for getting through all of 05/05/1978 before the format change ...

I'll echo the guy before me who said he's always bought the downloads as a sort of karmic balance to the Taper's section: I've bought more than 90% of Dick's Pick's, Vault releases, and the download series: mostly because of the quality, true, but also because I've gotten so much great free stuff over the years it seems only right to pay something.

This feels like a decision made by some suit-headed suit: "we can't give them things for free or they'll never buy!" In other words, someone who really doesn't know the Grateful Dead market very well. Every time they do this kind of thing, they cut another of the special "family" ties that holds this whole big crazy thing together. More and more of us will feel loyalty only to the music, not to the corporation that places itself as gatekeeper. It's called killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Peace out!

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Quicktime player and windows media player

The Quicktime player and windows media player options don't even work...why screw around with something that was working great...unbelievable!!this sucks...can anyone else get them to work?



Joined: Aug 20 2007
New format

This stinks. I can not listen to it the way I want to when I want to?? What gives??

Please bring back the old format.

DrFunky's picture
Joined: Aug 20 2007
Because I Remember

Dear David,

I have so enjoyed your Tapers Section in the revamped, the music, the choices and your enlightened commentary on them.
Thank you.
I am really hoping that the new appearance of no-downloading in Tapers Section is just a technical glitch and not a new policy.
If it turns out to be a policy, then I would feel violated by the bait and switch. And just when I was starting to feel that my passionate dead-headism lived over the years, miles, shows and endless changes might be able to have some meaningful connection with the commercial entity today associating themselves with the name "The Grateful Dead". After all "we all gotta eat" and you guys are performing services which are most valuable to us.
I have allowed myself to be a fan of your work. To some degree I got over the "no soundboard downloading" policy on the Live Music Archive, and allowed myself to purchase Downloads and Dick'sPicks and others. I have enjoyed the "gifts" but have also been a good customer for "The Grateful Dead". I downloaded Taper Section and then eagerly bought "3 From the Vault".
But because I remember the sharp, icy feeling of pavement on my cheek, waking on the sidewalk outside the Providence Civic Center, my sleeping bag sugared with fresh snow, sleeping in line to buy tickets for the Dead's next appearance in my town, because of the miles and hours and risks and breakdowns and near-misses and dollars and years of devotion and communion, because I took seriously when Jer said "after we're done with the notes they're yours", and felt that, despite the necessary exchange of dollars we all had a compact and a code, a trust that despite all other appearances it was ultimately about the music and the shared opening of hearts, I know that the music is, in large part, ours.
So don't abuse our trust by making this stuff - these loss leaders - free for 8 months and then, with no discussion or warning, take them away.
That would feel truly cold, and I personally would get out of line for good.
Nothing you do will change my feelings about the music, the experience, the joy I get from the recordings. But to me it is still an open and evolving question whether or not today's "Grateful Dead, Inc." has anything at all to do with the band I knew and loved. We'll see.


Dr. Funky

Joined: Jun 8 2007
thanks alot

the new format SUCKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Way to go Rhino...

...continue to offer free stuff (albeit in a usless format) and STILL throw away all our goodwill - what a piece of business THAT was.

nattybrew's picture
Joined: Jul 6 2007
Bring back MP3s

I am also bummed.

Keon's picture
Joined: Jun 25 2007
streaming vs downloading

Come on man, i listen to 80% of my music in my car or at work. When I do listen to music at home I have a nice stereo that I either play cds, tapes albums, or my Ipod. Bring back the downloads please.
Peace K


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