Grateful Dead

December 22 - December 28, 2008

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Welcome back to the Tapers’ Section, and happy holidays to everyone. This week we have three big jams, two post-Drums sequences and one pre-Drums sequence.

Our first big jam is drawn from the magnificent Dick’s Picks Vol. 5, from 12/26/79 at the Oakland Auditorium Arena, later to be renamed the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. After the Closing of Winterland, this venue became the Grateful Dead’s primary smallish hometown venue (capacity around 8,000), and this particular concert has plenty of great stuff. From the second set, we have the pre-Drums jam of Uncle John’s Band>Estimated Prophet>He’s Gone>The One, all of which are played exceptionally well. A fun little thing to note: during the guitar solo in Estimated after the bridge, Bobby comes in a little early on the vocals, aborts this vocal attempt, and they keep jamming with Jerry shredding his solo until the proper time to come back in with the “my time coming…” vocals. Then a little while later during The Other One, Jerry gets back at Weir by coming in early on the “coming, coming, coming around…” vocals, a very subtle little jab that demonstrates the great sense of humour of these guys even when in the middle of an intense jam. Or maybe Jerry just made a plain old mistake by coming in early, but I prefer to think not.

Next up from ten years later on 12/27/89 at the Dead’s final new primary hometown venue, the Oakland Coliseum Arena, we have this tasty post-Drums sequence of The Wheel>I Need A Miracle>Morning Dew, Johnny B. Goode>Black Muddy River. That saxophone you hear is none other than the Big Man himself, Clarence Clemons. This was a particularly fine New Year’s run of four concerts that featured the same confident, inspired playing that was typical of mid-1989 through 1990. Fortunately, most of the concerts between June 1989 and April 1990 were captured by John Cutler on 24 track analog tape, the results of which are heard on albums such as Without A Net, Dozin’ at the Knick and Nightfall of Diamonds.

We had so much fun putting together that previous selection, we’re now going to play you the next night’s post-Drums sequence, from 12/28/89 at the same venue, featuring Gimme Some Lovin’>All Along The Watchtower>Stella Blue>Lovelight. Each of these four concerts were exciting, and this sequence is certainly no exception to the high quality of playing.

Be sure to stop back next week here at the Tapers’ Section, where we’ll ring in the New Year with music from 1977, 1978 and 1989.

David Lemieux


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DoDa Man's picture
Joined: Sep 16 2008
Merry Christmas Dead Heads

Hey Now fellow DeadHeads,

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Jerry night!! Thanks for a GREAT year of Music, Keep on Truckin' 37.6" of new snow this month. We set 2 new records for snow, RRRRR!!!! I need a Miracle everyday!!!

4 All U DEW, this Buds 4 U!!

Madison, WI

Joined: Jun 21 2007
keep 'em coming

So nice to hear all of the shows. Hard to believe Jerry has been gone 13 years. Sad as that is, at least we have all of the recordings to relive the memories.
The December 1979 show in Oakland is real strong. Real nice to listen to on a snowy Sunday morning with some strong Peete's coffee.
Thank you for all your work guys. Have a happy and healthy New Year!

smallz's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007

David, I know I've been critical about including previously-released material here, but THANK YOU for recognizing the jam from DP5. The Uncle John's Band is so bright with Brent's keys and voice, and Jerry's solo is very inspired. This is one of my favorite versions. I'll listen to it again and again!

Joined: Sep 4 2007
Oakland 79 , yeah !!

The 1979 stuff is great . Can you believe i dont have DP 5 yet ? Great idea to include stuff from that as the music has lots of energy ( !! ]

In early Jan , can you include some good stuff from 1970 ? I love that year , and much of its output

Merry happy holidays to everyone

p.s. In Feb D , could you get out 2.19.95 , and play Alabama or the great Estimated they played that night , in SLC .. many thanks

Joined: Jun 5 2007

for keeping this going, and us going

wonderful holidays everyone


Canyon Critter's picture
Joined: Oct 20 2008
Jerry X-Mas

On December 22nd, 2008 Terrapin_Tommy said:
Every year, about this time, I just couldn't wait for Christmas to hurry up and be over !! Jerry brought my holiday cheer the last week of December!!

Couldn't agree with you more Tommy. Every year I couldn't wait for the last two weeks in December to come my way. It meant, garaunteed happiness at the Oakland Coliseum
since I lived just over the hills where the grass wasn't really greener and the wine wasn't really sweeter. Those New Years/Xmas shows were AMAZING! Since Jerry's passing, It's been a dreaded time of year.

BUT, Thanks to David and the Vault I can relive those memories. Thank you and Merry Christmas all!
Will you come with me? Once in awhile you can get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right!

shwack's picture
Joined: Apr 12 2008

This '89 new years run is the finest kind!
thankful to have that fantastic UJB forever immortalized on Dick's 5.
somehow works great for xmas music.
Merci Beaucoup Monsieur Lemieux,
shwack in nh

Dan R.'s picture
Joined: Jun 9 2007
The Dew!

This is the first time many of us have the opportunity to hear Jerry's phenomenal solo in this legendary performance of Morning Dew! What a great Holiday gift! Amazing sound. Great gratitude.

Joined: Jun 10 2007

hey, david- thanks for giving me something to smile about! i need a miracle everyday-

mery christmas to you all.


Joined: Dec 21 2008
from a newbie (to the site)

Been rockin' out to the Dead for years (like 38 of 'em) but literally found this site last month :-( I am SO knocked out by these Tapers Sections recordings I can't even begin to tell you. I am like a kid in a candy store with a blank check and a BIG paper sack. Keep on truckin' !!! This site and everything on it is amazing.



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