Grateful Dead

February 5- February 11, 2007

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

There’s plenty of great material that was played during this week in the Grateful Dead’s performing history, much of which thankfully resides in the Grateful Dead’s vault. This week we’ll check out some music from 1966, 1970, 1978, and a cool little ditty from 1975.

Amongst the mishmash of unlabelled 1966 material in the vault, there was a short snippet of music at the end of the reel labeled 2/6/66, so perhaps this version of Tastebud is from that show, but not for certain. Regardless, it is one of the tightest blues jams of that era, the entire band in perfect sync. Also from that reel is Mindbender, one of the odder of the older oddities. Lastly from 1966, this Beat It On Down The Line has some cool flourishes and is worth checking out.

From 1970, the middle jam of the 2/5/70 show from the Fillmore West is missing from the vault, with the end of the show picking up with this very unique jam of The Eleven>Caution>Not Fade Away>Cumberland Blues. Truly a one-of-a-kind sequence.

Also from 1970, we’ve got some outstanding material from the first night of one of the most famous, and inspired, runs of shows in the Grateful Dead’s history: the famed February 1970 run at the Fillmore East. Everyone is familiar with 2/13 & 14/70 from tape trading and Dick’s Picks Vol. 4, and most are familiar with the Dark Star>Lovelight from 2/11/70 with all those special guests. However, earlier in the night on 2/11/70, the band opened their second set with this stellar Not Fade Away, followed by these excellent renditions of Cold Rain and Snow and High Time. Although some of the best music the band would ever play was to come on 2/13 & 14/70, the opening night featured its share of highlights to preview what was to come.

Hearing the 2/11/70 Not Fade Away got me to thinking of the evolution of this song in the Grateful Dead’s career, one of the longest-serving tunes in the band’s repertoire. Check out these versions: Not Fade Away  from early 1966 on the Rare Cuts and Oddities 1966 CD, sounding quite a bit like Caution; the jammed-out Not Fade Away above from 2/11/70; Not Fade Away from the Skull and Roses album (along with its adjoining Goin’ Dow The Road Feeling Bad); Not Fade Away from 10/11/77; and Not Fade Away from 7/4/89, the Truckin’ Up To Buffalo DVD/CD, complete with the call-and-response. Same band, same song, very different readings.

Dick’s Picks Vol. 18 featured the highlights of 2/3/78 and 2/5/78, and which was placed in context of that little six-night tour last week by playing some great music from 2/1/78 and 2/4/78. Unfortunately, Disc 3 of Dick’s Picks Vol. 18 didn’t have room for the U.S. Blues encore from 2/5/78 in Cedar Falls, so here is that U.S. Blues.

Finally this week, we’re pleased to bring you this little rehearsal gem from 8/12/75 at the Great American Music Hall. With the Blues For Allah debut show on 8/13/75, the band set up a couple of days early to make sure everything was just exactly perfect, and they rehearsed for hours. Amongst all of the Blues For Allah material they rehearsed, repeatedly, on 8/12/75, they broke out this version of That’ll Be The Day, the only known Grateful Dead version of the song. As the weeks and months go on, we’ll have some more of these unique rehearsal moments to present to you.

Check back next week for more great music, including a never-before-heard jam from 1968. And, as always, feel free to get in touch with questions about the tapes, comments about what you’re hearing, or requests and suggestions for music to be played here or release ideas. It’s always great to hear from you.

David Lemieux
vault [at]


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marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
if you would post a specific example

I'd be glad to look into it...

Joined: Apr 25 2008
older links?

Hey Now - I was trying to go back & listen to all of these old Taper's Sections (something to do while I'm at work :0) and noticed that some of the links don't seem to work. Is there something I am doing wrong? Or are they just old links that don't work any more? Just wondering... Peace, ♥ & ♫♪♫♪ from the Psychedelic Angel

Joined: Nov 15 2010
oh &...

I do have a little Weir story that was cut from the 2nd set, only as a 224kbs mp3, if anyone wants it.

To any fans of DP18, the sounds you hear right before Truckin' was that of a semi next to the stage being revved up. They threw a spot on it too, & my roadie fantasies were being lit!

Joined: Nov 15 2010
Dick’s Picks Vol. 18

It was cool you uploaded U.S. Blues, but there were 5 tracks [Brown-Eyed Woman, El Paso, Tennessee Jed, Sunrise, & Friend of the Devil] from the 1st set that didn't make it on either! [On DP18, Brown-Eyed Woman is from 02/03/78, Dane County Coliseum, Madison.]. Any ideas where to find them? Its not on the Internet Archive.

My 1st show, doncha know.

cream-puff's picture
Joined: Jul 17 2007
ya bent our myndes!

Here it is, the rarest of the rare Mindbender (aka Confusion's Prince) recordings - with a splendid Great Society-esque lead break...

a thousand thanks, monsieur David for...

all the endless runes of the past


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