Grateful Dead

December 15 - December 21, 2008

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

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.

David Lemieux


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SaintSteveg's picture
Joined: Nov 19 2008

I know Playing in the Band can become a cliche, but it is important to note that this particular 1973 version is without Donna. Now before folks think I'm a meanie for saying this, I happen to think Ms. Godchaux has a lovely singing voice, but she (and very few women) was not built for soaring on top of a big-time rock band in full roar, and I'm afraid the lady killed my buzz on many a PITB, so this one is refreshingly free of screeching.

Joined: Sep 4 2007
How about some Dec 31 1990

It already passed , but im a big fan otfhe Dec 3 , 1992 show at Mcnichols arena in denver . The 2nd set is very good . Any chance of hearing some of that sometime , DL ? Thanks for the finely picked stuff this week

Joined: Dec 15 2008
Playin in the Band

Hi, my shows ran from 83-91, about 100. I appreciate all the Dead do to make their music available, and appreciate David's work. I also would like to chime in a bit on the selections. To illustrate my point, lemme back up a bit. Bob, as unique as he is, and as unpredicatble as he is/was (that was cool, never could predict the weird riffs he'd come up with, which I appreciated from a guitarist's perspective), at times it really astounded me how such an inventive fellow would resort to the same old tunes, over and over again. For example, Around and Around, Me & My Uncle, and then, Walking Blues. The latter, Bob got stuck in this rut of busting that out, and it was just amazing. I kept wondering what was going on in his mind- how could a guy that is known for thinking out of the box keep doing this banal, repetitive song over and over again? Overall the dude is/was awesome, one of my fav guitarists, but I could never understand that. It's like John McCain starting out every sentence with "My Friends".... and no I didn't vote for McCain!
Well, in a similar vein, David is doing this, in my opinion, with PITB. Yes, it is a song that is merely a launching pad for some of the best communication the band ever produced, but even then, everything in moderation. I don't mean to sound unappreciative, but it reminds me of a quote of Phil's, when he said that at some point the band's set lists were "ossifying"-i.e., turning into bone or stone, not varying much. How about a moratorium on PITB? Or at least featuring some from another time period, if that song must be included? May I recommend the version from 83 ( was it North Carolina or Virginia?) when Bob laid down the best James Bond licks while Jerry chipped away at the back of my skull with his licks? If anyone needs to reference that show, it was a PITB into Crazy Fingers. Later on in the show they did this killer Sugar Mag tease which segued incredibly, on a dime, into Good Lovin. If you want another deadly version check out 10-18-84. So what if Jerry's voice cracked, the playing was flawless and ethereal. BTW check out the Big RR Blues and Stranger from that show. Oh yeah- the Help from the night before was GONZO too!
Tell you what.. Play the Other One from 4-24-84 and I'll come and sweep the Vault's floor!

Joined: Jun 2 2007
High Time surprise

Asute listeners will find a version of High Time after the Chinacat-Rider on 12/20/69. It pays to keep listening.

claney's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2007
UJB>Lovelight>Franklin's Tower!

I can only imagine what it must have been like to hear this magnificent and well-sung UJB coming out of the Other One. But what really gets me are the prescient Franklin's Tower riffs Jerry lays down late in Lovelight. (Or at least, so it sounds to me). Thanks for this David!


mcthwait's picture
Joined: Jul 2 2007
monday morning magic

Got the day off and can't think of a better way to start it then listening to some handpicked gems. I'm very grateful

grdaed73's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007

thank you... turn it on, and leave it
thx david

pomo1's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
Here Comes Sunshine 12/19/73

My favorite all-time, stand alone Dead tune, period. Dick really appreciated what it meant to be a Deadhead.

Thanks David, for keeping it going.

"Let there be songs to fill the air."

Joined: Jun 10 2007
i'm with Gigi!

and next monday i will listen at home with a big cuppa joe and no where to go and nothing to do- yeah!

thanks for the fun, david!


Joined: Jul 20 2007

Thanks for the Sunshine
***Here comes sunshine ***Here comes sunshine***
You make a Monday worth getting up!



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