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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GRTUD's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Grateful Year!

What an awesome year to choose to end our's, 30 years after the fact. Thanks DL! For me, a Grateful Dead stocking stuffer, indeed.

"I tell you Max, I don't know why I ever leave this place. I've got all the company I need right here." - The Grinch

Joined: Sep 29 2007

David: Thanks. This first night at the Fox was a life changer for me. It was my third show following Duke and William&Mary the previous fall. But it was the One! My future wife and I literally ended up on our hands and knees leaving that broke down palace. (Hardly remember the next night, whew glad it made Dick's picks trust me this night was the real juice!) We're still married and still searching for the sound. Some times the songs that we hear are just songs of our own. Peace on earth good will to all...


On The Road Again's picture
Joined: Sep 2 2007
I'll get up and fly away. . . .

A tasty Christmas treat. Thanks!

Joined: Jun 4 2007

Two Wharf is good.

paintedmandolin71's picture
Joined: Sep 23 2007
ah yes!

a good start for the ever smokin year of 77!!,,muchos garcias!!

derivative25's picture
Joined: Jul 4 2007
Love, Life and the Grateful Dead

Just wanted to say thankyou for making this experience all that more enjoyable for you being here. Thank you and HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

rongmvw's picture
Joined: Jun 16 2007
Good Stuff!

I always loved the spring 77 tour I saw them in Spfld on 4 23 and have a sbd of that show and never cease to be amazed when I listen to it. I must admit that I like the 78 Estimateds better because Jerry's solosare generally longer and some of my favorites of his.

Merry Christmas to all and thanks Dave.

Joined: Dec 14 2007

Once again the music makes the snow melt!! Thank you.

cactuswax's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Treats, for sure

Hot Damn! Can't wait to listen to these glimmering jewels! Thanks again DL!

sjbutler's picture
Joined: Nov 27 2007
Thank you, David

What a way to start my Christmas Eve...treats from one of my favorite years! Now if they'll just let us out of work early...


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