Welcome back to the Tapers' Section, where this week we're going to check out quite a slim period in Grateful Dead music, covering 1975 to 1978.
In 1975, as most of us know, the Grateful Dead only performed four shows: two benefit gigs, one free concert in Golden Gate Park, and a private gig to announce the release of their studio album Blues For Allah. The rest of 1975 was taken up by loads of other activities, with Jerry and Bob keeping extremely busy with the Legion Of Mary/JGB and Kingfish, respectively, not to mention Jerry's work on The Grateful Dead Movie. Keith and Donna released their studio record, Phil did Seastones, and Bill and Mickey kept busy with various projects. Each of the four shows the Dead played that year were extremely unique. From the final show of the year, and the last Dead show for almost nine months, we have Help On The Way>Slipknot, The Music Never Stopped, They Love Each Other from 9/28/75 in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
With very few exceptions, the Grateful Dead played New Year's Eve in Bay Area (exceptions include 1969 in Boston, and 1973 and 1975 with no shows) up until 1991. Every show was unique, and was often overshadowed by another show in the multi-night run. In 1977, this was a classic case of the main event being overshadowed by an earlier night of the run, with 12/29/77 widely considered to be the best of the New Year's run. However, there was indeed plenty of tight music played on 12/31/77 at Winterland. From the first set,we have The Music Never Stopped, Tennessee Jed, Funiculi Funicula, Me and My Uncle, Loser, Jack Straw. Some of this show was released as part of the excellent bonus disc “New Year's Eves at Winterland” that accompanied the Closing Of Winterland DVD in 2003.
You may recall that last week played you some of the first set from 4/21/78 in Lexington, KY, a solid all-around show, although one that's overshadowed by the next two nights. From the end of the first set in Kentucky, we have Row Jimmy, It's All Over Now, Brown-Eyed Women, The Music Never Stopped. These are particularly good versions ofRow Jimmy and It's All Over Now, and although The Music Never Stopped features some great peaking, the one from three nights later on 4/24/78 in Normal, IL, is so hot that leaves many lesser versions wanting.
Well, that's that for this week at the Tapers' Section. We hope you've enjoyed it, and look forward to seeing you here next week. As always, we encourage your questions and comments sent to the address below. Please use “Grateful Dead” as your subject of the email so that it gets through our guard dogs and spam filters.