December 15 - December 21, 2008
Welcome back to our continuation of our December march through the history of the Grateful Dead’s recorded legacy. This week we’re going to check out bits from two years, specifically 1969 and 1973.
Our first stop is at the Fillmore Auditorium on December 19, 1969, just about six weeks after the stunning November 8, 1969 concert at the same venue, a concert that became Dick’s Picks Vol. 16 back in early 2000. From this December concert, we have a great 1969 sequence featuring That’s It For The Other One>Uncle John’s Band>Lovelight, a jam that includes some of the finest elements of the transitional period of late 1969: the psychedelic improvisation of The Other One, the country-rock influence on Uncle John’s Band and the Pigpen stage presence of Lovelight. The three elements work beautifully together.
Next up is music from the same venue the next night, on December 20, 1969, where we’ll hear some classic music from the era: Mason’s Children, China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider. All three are played very well, as would be expected from this era.
Finally this week we’re going to check in on the 35th Anniversary of the concert that would form the magnificent Dick’s Picks Vol. 1, from December 19, 1973. From that show, we have the Pick-opening Here Comes Sunshine and the exploratory Playing In The Band from later on CD 1. The former track was the introduction to the Dick’s Picks series, and we all recall hearing that and thinking “this series is going to be amazing…” Thirty-six Picks later, that potential certainly was tapped often and to excellent results.
Be sure to check back in next week when we’ll have some cool late December jams from 1979 and 1989.
who loves ya!!
I like Donna and her multiple contributions to the band. It's on tunes like Cassidy and St. Stephen where she really shines. Albeit, the screeches and occasional out-of-tuneness can be a little bit grating at times. But overall, as hobojoe implies, there's something to be said for the releasing of the Dionysian spirit.
... and Donna shows us what it sounds like when you hit your nail.
yeah hobojoe you took out your hammer and you hit the nail!
Oh yeah, one more thing ... I don't get all the Donna bashing - I love to hear that primal screech in PITB! You can truly feel the Dionysian spirit emege in that brief moment of ecstasy and rapture ... a blissful and exhilerating expression of what lies beyond the veil of Maya! It is here that Donna seems to most truly connect with the Dead's attempt to take us beyond the world as it appears laid out in the spatial-temporal manifestation we normally perveive ourselves as inhabiting ... what a rush!
David, thanks for all you do - and, for what it's worth, keep on playing Playing in the Band! I believe I saw somewhere that of all the hundreds of tunes the Dead played in their very long touring history, this song was played more than any other tune ... so the decision to play it more than any other tune does has some pretty decent precedent!
I for one enjoy hearing how the song develops and takes off in new directions - it is a central jamming vehicle, and that is the true essence of the Dead. My own preference is for a good Dark Star or The Other One over PITB (even a hot NFA can really soar - check out the one on Dick's Picks 15) - but all of them are such focal tunes in the Dead universe in that they lay the ground for some truly exploratory and fascinating stuff - stuff where they are involved in some of the most amazing on the spot creation in the world of art. In fact, one could say that David ISN'T playing the same tune over and over - since no two PITBs are really the same ... (Note: if you really like hearing how the "same" tune can morph and develop, the Grateful Dead channel on Sirius/XM is going to play 24 hours of nothing but Dark Stars to celebrate the winter solstice (i.e., the day with the least amount of light - or the "darkest" day).
Of course, all of the Dead's live tunes have an amazing amount of improvisational creativity interwoven in to them 'on any given night' and should be cherished in their own right (that's what makes them so amazing) - but PITB is one tune where they had a canvas laid out upon which to reach some truly fascinating and awe inspiring heights. So David, keep doing what you are doing! Thanks.
The Lovelight from 12-19-69 is magic ! Like Jerry once said " when Pig Pen was singing the Dead were just his backup band "
You guys want to hear a sick PITB just check out Nightfall of Diamonds. Please dont dominate the rap JACK if u got nothin new to say. PITB is a launch pad to space.The PHILZONE!!
Keep the Faith
Thanks for the tunes from the Fillmore on 12/19/1969... just so happens to be the day I entered this world! Nice to know the boys were jamming in the bay when I made my grand entrance!
Good point. I did not realize that. However, even if Donna is doing that on a PITB, the amount of time would be fairly short, and then you have 10-15+ minutes of jamming- great jamming, but since it's from the same period, and there are so many versions out there, let's cull from other sources and time periods.
BTW I found the 4-24-84 Other One on dead archive. I encourage anyone who wants to hear a wild version of that song to give it a whirl.