Grateful Dead

February 1 - February 7, 2010

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Welcome back to the Tapers' Section, where as promised we'll be playing you music from the 1980s this week, specifically music from 1981 and 1989.

Our first stop this week is on 8/12/81 in Salt Lake City at the Salt Palace. An odd personal anecdote about the Salt Palace: On the summer tour of 1990, I had a little over a week to kill between Eugene on 6/24 and Kansas on 7/4, and I found myself in Salt Lake City. Big, wide, clean streets, I recall. Being such a Dead Head taper, I knew about the Salt Palace from a crappy audience recording I had from 2/28/73 (later Dick's Picks 28!). I stumbled upon the arena, and was happy to see what it looked it. The area around the arena was deserted, but I tried one of the doors, and amazingly it was open. I walked into the arena, and found myself on the floor of an NBA basketball arena, surrounded by 12,000 people watching TV in the dark. Eerily surreal. An announcement was made, and a huge cheer went up; it was an arena filled with people watching the NBA entry draft on closed circuit TV, with the cheer being the response to Utah's selection. From the Salt Palace 81 we have Space>Spanish Jam>Morning Dew, a high energy jam featuring a very well-developed Spanish Jam.

Next up, from the Grateful Dead's only appearance in Scotland, at the Edinburgh Playhouse on 9/30/81, we have the opening of the second set, featuring Feel Like A Stranger, Ship of Fools, Samson and Delilah, Never Trust A Woman. This was the tour opener, and there was plenty of great music played over the next two+ weeks in Europe.

Finally this week, we have the entire first set from the penultimate (!) show of a three night run at Cal Expo in Sacramento on 8/5/89, featuring One More Saturday Night ; Cold Rain And Snow ; We Can Run ; Stagger Lee ; Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again ; Row Jimmy ; Let It Grow. All three of these concerts were excellent, and would be followed up by three great shows at the Greek a week and a half later, the final Greek shows as it turns out. Thankfully they kept playing at Cal Expo for a few more years.

Check back next week for music from 1988, 1990 and 1992 as keep the winter blues at bay with more excellent Grateful Dead music. Feel free to write the email address below; your input, questions and comments are always appreciated.

David Lemieux


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Joined: Aug 31 2009
Spanish Jam lives longer than that..

if you ask me, well-developed seems appropriately stated.
Thanks again D!!!

Joined: Jan 13 2010
"very well developed Spanish Jam?" NOT

about three seconds, if you ask me.

Canyon Critter's picture
Joined: Oct 20 2008
Don't you Think David Does it On Purpose?

Alot of the time, it's like a hidden little surprise or a rainy day stash you find months later. I mean with all this great music he plays for us, don't you think he does that for the Wohooo (listening to every note waiting for the next song) like your at the show factor. You know that penultimate feeling!

TY Dave and Cal Expo was always nice (hanging with step bro @ UC Davis) and good times.

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!

Joined: Oct 24 2008
Truckin'-Alternative Lyrics

Was just listening to the first selection while grading papers and got the pleasant surprise with "Truckin'." Then I got a better surprise when Bobby sings about Sweet Jane's sex change! I said out loud, "Did he just say what I thought he said?" Sure 'nough! That's funny right there...

Joined: Sep 11 2007
oops 8/31/80 not 81

sorry, 8/31/80 is a killer, however I was indeed thinking about Lehigh, DC and Buffalo... I only saw the first two, terrific nights, and Buffalo 2nd set was by all accounts AMAZING.

Last night I played the 11-30-80 SBD on this is my pet project for a vault-release-nag. Try that Deal, go ahead I dare you.

Really, I think we need something monumental released from the second half of 1981.

nicklas59's picture
Joined: Jan 15 2009
3 nights prior europe 81

Cap Ctr>Fri>Lehigh sat> to Buffalo sun! Buffalo waz SNOW and a tapers nightmere, there waz no mercy, I didnt get busted!!!

81 cole field house longest birdsong

Joined: Sep 11 2007
1981 - a hot year

The Dicks Picks from May 1981 is a dandy, and I think David and the crew should pick some more fine music from that year. Several of the August dates esp. Washington DC (8/31) are legendary nights, and there were three terrific dates just before the second Europe trip. My recollection is that Bird Song, High Time, Might As Well, Althea, Goin' Down the Road, Morning Dew were being performed by Jerry with incredible energy and zeal, New Years was a knockout. This was a great year, and it is under-represented in the available vault releases. Please Dave, find us 3-4 flaming hot sets (Spring MSG, Cole?) and get them out as a Road Trip set. Should be easy. Thanks very much.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

if you have not already done so, check out "Festival Express," the recent documentary on the subject. Amazing.

Joined: Sep 15 2007
Might as well...

A quick question - the famous train tour that was later immortalized in "Might as Well" - what were the dates...i can't seem to find them in the vault. Are there any quality recordings in existance?
Thanks for the help
thoroughly enjoy the taper's section and all the history - keep it up!

Joined: Jun 11 2007
Wow! This is great news on a


This is great news on a Monday! the Salt Pallace 81 in good listening condition - can't wait to hear the scarlet fire!


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