Grateful Dead

December 24 - December 30

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

This week, like last week, we have decided to stick with one year and play some great music. With last week being our focus in 1971, this week we’re going to check out some material from 1977 and only 1977.

First up is the show opening tune from Chicago on 5/13/77, The Music Never Stopped. I have discussed several time the finest Grateful Dead tours, in my opinion, as the October 19, 1973 to December 19, 1973 run, as well as Europe 72 and the September-November, 1972 runs, but April-May, 1977 certainly deserves to be considered alongside these earlier-1970s tours. Simply stunning most nights, this tour was relentlessly good.

From a bit earlier on this tour is the excellent Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain from 4/25/77 in Passaic, NJ. While not quite 5/8/77, this not-even-two-months-old combination felt like it had been played like this for years. There were loads of great Scarlet>Fires in 1977.

While we’re hanging out in the Spring of 1977, we have this excellent Estimated Prophet>Eyes of the World combination from 5/18/77 in Atlanta. The next night in Atlanta, 5/19/77, has been justifiably immortalized as one half of the epic 6-CD Dick’s Picks Vol. 29 (coupled with 5/21/77 in Lakeland, Florida), but this first night in Atlanta featured some exceptional music, as heard in this Estimated>Eyes. Like Scarlet>Fire, Estimated>Eyes was a brand new combination. This was, in fact, just the third time these songs had been paired, with the previous two times being 5/7/77 and 5/15/77. The combination sure stuck. Thankfully.

Next up from the same tour is the big post-Drums sequence from 5/25/77 in Richmond, VA, consisting of The Other One>Wharf Rat>The Other One>The Wheel>Around and Around. Every second set jam from this tour had equally inventive sequences, similar to 1976. It wasn’t until the April-May, 1978 tour that a more structured format would develop in Grateful Dead shows, which would last the next 17 years.

Finally, we have the Truckin’>Wharf Rat jam from 12/31/77 at Winterland in San Francisco. What a run of shows at Winterland! Dick’s Picks Vol. 10, the exceptional 12/30/77 show, and a great New Year’s performance. Not a bad week of shows.

Check back next Monday for more great music. We expect we’ll focus on a specific year again, so be sure to stop back in to see if we go back or forward from this year. As always, feel free to write the email address below with questions or comments.

David Lemieux


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Joined: Jul 20 2007
Good one!

Grate version of The Music Never Stopped :)

Joined: Jan 11 2008
the music....

wonderful song,great version..jerry must have 20 fingers,and donna is not singing off-key.simply beautiful!!

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

You'll probably have better luck asking here:

Joined: Dec 30 2007
Cool, Thank You & Happy New Year to all

First time on this site, very cool. I'm looking for tapes or downlaods from the May 26,1995 Seattle show. I don't have much to swap so I'll gladly pay your cost.

Joined: Jul 2 2007

THANKS what great choices from the year i started listening to the dead especially wnew ny broadcasts, scott muni and the boys used to burn up the air waves

PLEASE jan 79 the nassau coliseum set2 dark star and st stephen

OH YEAH HAPPY NEW YEAR DAVID, and we kept on dancin

Joined: Jul 16 2007
5/7/77 estimated>eyes

if im not mistaken, and i know im not, the eyes from boston has a standing start. not to take away anything from that wonderful version, it just starts with a countoff and POW they're off.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Yes, 30 years ago

that was a wonderful run at Winterland. The shows up to New Years were something(!) and of course, then there was New Years-with Bill Grahm dressed up as Uncle Sam and 'sliding' down a cable on a 'motorcycle' from the back of the old venue to the stage.
What a delight ;-) New Riders warm us up and then the boys take over and played well into the next morning and after the show we were grinning as we drove off into the fog that was rolling in off the bay. Now that was a Road Trip!!!!!
Fun memories! Thanks. Tim

alessio69's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007

I just finished listening estimated prophet>eyes of the there any dick's pick where i can find it? If not, I hope that you won't forget to include it in a future "road trips '77" cd...
Happy new year from Italia.

Joined: Jul 17 2007

Would love to hear this gem!

smallz's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
like Jehovah's favorite choir

Damn, I love me some beefy '77 jams! These certainly don't disappoint.

Happy Holidays to y'all and thanks Lemieux :^)


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