Grateful Dead

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December 1 - December 7, 2014

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Welcome back to the Tapers' Section as we roll into December with a triple dose of Grateful Dead music from the first half of Brent Mydland's tenure with the band.

Our first selection this week is music from 11/29/79 in Cleveland, where we have the end of the second, featuring Black Peter > Around And Around > Johnny B. Goode, U.S. Blues. It was quite common in the fall of 1979 for the Dead to come out of Space with a Jerry ballad, usually Wharf Rat (a song I've always found tough to call a ballad, as it's also so powerful), Stella Blue, or Black Peter.

And speaking of coming out of Space with a ballad, from a year later on 11/26/80 in Pembroke Pines, FL, we have the end of the second set featuring Space>Wharf Rat>Around and Around>Good Lovin', Satisfaction. This was the first show after the big three set runs of shows at the Warfield and Radio City, and they brought a renewed energy to this short, four show tour of Florida and Atlanta.

Lastly this week is the entire second set from 11/22/85 in Oakland, featuring Touch Of Grey > Estimated Prophet > Eyes Of The World > Drums > Space > Morning Dew > Throwing Stones > Turn On Your Lovelight, Brokedown Palace.

Thanks for joining us, and please don't forget to come back to see us here next week with more music from the vault.


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Joined: Nov 2 2014
.5 says it

THanks for your comments! Really a perfect way to put some of my own thoughts about that time.

fourwindsblow's picture
Joined: Oct 13 2008

Maybe they were just tired of play for an ungrateful audience.

michihippie's picture
Joined: Jan 6 2009
for what it's worth

better stop now ............look......

.5 mi from tucson's picture
Joined: Feb 17 2012

the context of drums/space is being well represented in these selections lately. space/war-frat (huh never noticed how a hyphen gives that song new meaning before...) and a wicked good eyes/drumz/space/dew. everyone has their own opinion of everyone's own opinion but for my money these segments are musically on par with anything the dead did because it did not rely on the crutch of nostalgia or formulatic routine which was always howling at the door. the 80s were very different from any other decade --- in particular 80-86 -- and often derided. but ask yourself : what is it i am hearing? not country or jazz or garage rock but a unique and original hybrid form of stadium rock sucked through a looking glass darkly. boiling down those explosive/expansive/experimental performances which rattled the walls, seats and minds into a format that trickles out of computer speakers and ear buds does not do it full justice but even so it has a certain magic. but it is ugly magic at times, rough and nasty, prone to the ravages of time and excess. and i think that is what i like about it. warts and all its like rome in the final days. a bacchanalian soundtrack. hmmm kind goes with war-frat after all...

Joined: Oct 17 2014

What is it with Weir and all the "y'alls" he started throwing into stuff, especially with "Around and Around" here? Maybe Good Lovin' too, but I don't know if I can take listening to any more. Maybe he was trying to keep himself awake.

Joined: Jun 14 2007

Well I respect anyone's experience and their right to express it. I will admit that particular post drums sequence is a tad weak.

Went to my first show in 1980 and I never walked out of a show before the final note. Most times they had to kick me out haha. My take on it is they were human.....good days, not so good days.....good years, not so good years. Just like the rest of us. From my perspective I never saw them just phone it in. They always gave it a go and sometimes, for whatever reason, we didn't make it all the way to the mountain top. But there was magic to be had even at the weakest of performances and I always came away grateful for the experience. Jerry once said after a show where they struggled all night, that "I can get behind falling to pieces before an audience sometimes. We are who we are and its not always at the peak. Its like good and evil. If you reject one, you're not getting the whole thing that's there to be had." And this tidbit that reflects how everyone's experience (even in a shared group experience) is unique....."Grateful Dead music is a holographic experience. Every angle that you look at it from, its different. And its unpredictable."

I was fortunate perhaps, that from my perspective the angles that I experienced the whole thing from were usually filled with lessons and gifts that I wouldn't trade for anything.


Joined: Jan 13 2010

a bit sleepy.

lively up yourself with 8/5/79, 11/5/79, 8/12/79, 5/9/79, 11/1/79, 10/27/79, 10/28/79, und so weiter.

Joined: Jan 13 2010
most of what I have heard of GD79 is smokin'

i'm sure they had a few not-on nights.

that BP>AA>JBG,USB does look pretty typical.

what came before drums?

mbarilla's picture
Joined: Aug 8 2013
Grateful Prof that is disappointing to hear

I was not there for any of these shows but I always like to hear from people that were. I value insight from all. The portion featured from 11-29-79, I heard a few days ago on Sirius. And it definitely is not the most inspired portion of the show.

Joined: Oct 1 2007

Well, this is the sort of post-drums sequence which had many of us at the time head for the parking lot early, and finally get off the bus altogether. These sequences made it amply clear how the boyz wanted nothing more than to get off the stage and back to the hotel. Sometimes it was union rules about times the show needed to end, but often it was the end to a listless rambling evening. Heck I saw LOTS of shows in 79, but on many nights (not all, of course!) the will was just not there.


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