Grateful Dead

February 18 - February 24, 2008

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Like last week, we figured we'd focus on one city in this week's Taper's Section. Like our focus-on-Rochester last week, we've selected an equally prolific city from which to draw loads of interesting Grateful Dead music: Hartford, Connecticut.

Our earliest music today is from 1974, specifically from the massive show on 7/31/74 at Dillon Stadium in Hartford. Including the Seastones set, this is one of the longest Grateful Dead shows on record. A couple of days after this show, on August 2, the Grateful Dead were scheduled to play Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, but that concert was rained out and made up on August 6. From Hartford on 7/31/74, we have this excellent Truckin'>Jam>Wharf Rat . Dick's notes on his tapes of this concert state during the jam “includes brain-fry Spanish theme, mind left body.” A brain-fry indeed.

Next up we have music from the final night of the stunning Spring Tour of 1977 on 5/28/77 at the Hartford Civic Center. This tour was relentlessly good and holds up with the best tours in Grateful Dead history, including Fall 1973 and Europe '72. And amazingly, the band had enough energy on the final night of a grueling five week trek across America to pull off one final exceptional show. As a side note, just a few nights later, on June 1, the Grateful Dead Movie would premier in New York City. Then, on June 4, the Grateful Dead would play yet-another great 1977 concert, at the Forum in LA. This is one of the few shows from 1977 for which no soundboard tape is known to exist. But, back to Hartford. From 5/28/77, the middle of the first set, we have Jack Straw, Row Jimmy, Minglewood Blues, Candyman.

Throughout the 1980s, the Grateful Dead played a near-yearly run of concerts in Hartford, right up to 1988, followed by the surprise shows in 1990 (announced just three days in advance). From the first night in 1987, 3/26/87, we have a good selection from the middle of the first set, My Brother Esau, When Push Comes To Shove, Desolation Row, Bird Song. This is one of the few clean soundboards from early 1987, but unfortunately the second set never seemed to surface in the vault or elsewhere.

From a year later, we have a couple of great moments from the 1988 shows. First up we have the show opener from the first night of the three night run, on 4/3/88, Promised Land>Greatest Story Ever Told>Althea>Little Red Rooster. It's always nice to hear Brent chime in on Rooster. As you can hear in Althea, Jerry was losing his voice, which by the second set was virtually gone. The late second set Black Peter really showed this. Trooper that he is, though, Jerry sang the encore, Baby Blue. From the second show on 4/4/88, we have the bizarre set closing jam featuring The Other One>Stella Blue>Good Lovin'>Dear Mr. Fantasy>Hey Jude. It sure was weird to hear Good Lovin' segue into Dear Mr. Fantasy. It is a great Other One, though, and Fantasy features some incredibly inspired playing.

Finally, from the 1990 shows, the band's final shows in Hartford, we have the pre-Drums jam from 3/18/90, Iko Iko>Looks Like Rain>He's Gone>Truckin'>Spoonful. These shows, like all of Spring 1990, were recorded to 24 track analog tape, hence the excellent sound quality on albums such as Dozin' at the Knick, Without A Net and Nightfall of Diamonds.

As always, we welcome you to check in with questions or comments. Please email the address below.

David Lemieux


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Joined: Dec 21 2007

The taper's section is always a highlight of my week (my brother would say the same). Anyway, does anyone know how compressed these files are? They definitely don't sound as good as CD. They sound like a 128 kbps mp3 file. Anyone know?


Marshun's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
Spanish Fry Jam

Makes me want to dance faster and faster and faster
*anybody hear an early TMNS developing there.
faster and faster...

"Flight of the seabirds
Scattered like lost words
Wheel to the storm and fly"

John Perry Barlow

Joined: Jun 27 2007
when push comes to shove

i'm afraid i love
this week's selections <3

round and round

Joined: Feb 10 2008
mic party

hate to bust in, but can someone please give us a date for the mic throwdown referenced above?

i see once again we're getting into the nitty gritty, concrete '74 i.e. concrete / pavement. know what I mean? It's a weird psychological analogy I always think of when I hear the hard coreness of '74 - just the sound - the intensity - the seriousness imbued through out. anyone?

As it relates to that notion: I remember listening to - for the first time - the amazing may portland truckin' > (heaven help the fool > probably more like a mind left body nut, look out, stage crashing left, holy cow..smoking crater jam) > nfa > gdtrfb > one more saturday nigth.

anyway, after an intense listening / dance session to this with speakers up to our heads, i mentioned " there was a DARKNESS to that coming through the speakers" was serious! it was good - very good - one of my favorites. best truckin' ever. but..serious...dark...concrete...

similar notions w/ '74, especially august and spring

Jack Straw's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
No Colt Park?

Suprised nothing from the Colt Park concert in '76? Perhaps it doesn't exist in the vault as i have never seen any SBD of this show which is a pity. BTW, i was at the Roosevelt rain out in '74, very strange evening indeed. The whole place was dosed i am convinced and the lightning was intense...anybody have one of the Ike and Tina Turner tickets that were given out as rainchecks, i would love to see one.

Joined: Jun 9 2007
Wow, never thought I'd have

Wow, never thought I'd have heard someone else talk about that night. I remember the whole episode. Was sitting up on the side to the left and even with Healy (The Soundguy) and Jerry was sruggling with his voice that night AND I kept seeing Jerry Smoking what I assummed was a ciggarette and he was puffing and puffing between songs and during songs, I mean there was like billowing smoke from this strange event and I never saw Jerry smoke up like this up on stage before ( I saw a lot of shows from 74 to 95 and had seen him smoke cassually on stage all the time) I remember Bobby kept looking over at Jer and I'm pretty sure Bob sang a couple of his songs where Jerry should have been singing. I remember thinking wow I think Bobby stole Jerrys voice because (and I love Weir and his singing) I never heard Bobby sing as good (or high) as he did that night especially his song right before Black Peter when about halfway through the song I saw Jerry fumbling with his mic and the next thing I see is him (carefully?) take the mike off the cable and then like a little kid he kinda gently forcefully? tepidly? threw the mike down onto the stage and THEN proceeded to do one of the most blistering (angry?) awesome little jam. Right after he threw the mic down I looked over at Healy (about 50 feet away and he was standing with his side to the band with his arms crossed looking a little (or alot?) pissed off. I actually felt a little embarrassed to have witnessed all this and the next day when I was sharing this story with my sister she remarked with glee " oh wow Jerry is human afterall how wonderful" An interesting remark from her as she loves the dead and Jerry. Well thats my story and I think I will stick to it.Scott

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Love the selections David!

Love the selections David! Please keep them coming!

Joined: Jun 6 2007
4-3-88 Peter

I totally remember Jerry throwing mike on the ground and the resulting pop.


Joined: Jun 7 2007

I know it's not my set up because the GD Hour stuff plays in stereo and with reasonable clarity. All the Taper's Section stuff, however, now seems to be in very lo-fi mono.

There have been some great selections recently (Rochester stuff, 1972 stuff, and this week to name a few) so it's unfortunate that the streaming has been cut in quality - I guess to make it easier for more people to stream?

Joined: Jun 5 2007
love the 74

thanks for bringing my attention to a great 74 show! Great selection!

How about giving some love to East Troy, WI for next week? :D


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