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
Oh yea

My favorite tunes for the holiday week :)
Jerry Christmas & a Happy New Weir to all!

JUJU's picture
Joined: Jun 6 2007
merry christmas to all

merry rock'n'roll xmas to everyone in the dead world

77 was a bad year for EL' , LA CALLAS, GROUCHO & Chaplin but a great year for the dead !


gdradio's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Thanks once again David!!!

Merry Christmas to all
Streaming Grateful Dead and more

yamadog's picture
Joined: Jun 6 2007
Is That The Swan Song Logo On The Mp?

Thanks David.
Can Count On You To Start The Week Off Right.


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