Grateful Dead

January 19 - January 25, 2009

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

As we mentioned last week, we're going stick within a two year or so period this week at Tapers' Section, 1969-1971, but the music's great, so we hope you don't mind.

Our first stop this week is at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco, on 1/25/69, where the Grateful Dead were playing the middle night of a three night run of shows that was being recorded for Live/Dead. This run of shows, as some of you might know, was the first live recording to the then-brand-new technology of 16 track audio tape. The more common 8 track tape had been in use for live recording for a few years, but in late 1968 the folks at Ampex created the first 2” 16 track recording machines, which, of course, the Grateful Dead had to try. From the middle show, we have this terrific Dark Star.

Next up is a stop in Hawaii, to a show on 1/23/70, the first of a two night run of shows that would prove to be Tom Constanten's final shows as an official member of the Grateful Dead. From this show, we have the great 1-2 punch of classic 1970 Grateful Dead: Good Lovin', That's It For The Other One. A week later the Grateful Dead would be playing in New Orleans, where they were busted on Bourbon Street, and the rest is history…

Speaking of being busted on Bourbon Street, we'll start our next sequence of music, from 1/24/71 in Seattle, with the song that was inspired by that and other events on the road, followed by some other great 1971 Grateful Dead: Truckin', China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider, Hurts Me Too, Cumberland Blues. As way out there as 1971 could get with The Other One and Dark Star, it is also great to hear how perfectly the Grateful Dead were able to pull off blues and country music.

Finally this week, we have another jam from the same week as the one above, from 1/21/71 at UC Davis, located about halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, and home to an outstanding veterinary college. From this show, we have Mama Tried, Around and Around, Cumberland Blues, Casey Jones. Mickey was still in the band but would stay for less than a month before pursuing other things, including producing the amazing Rolling Thunder album.

Next week we'll have a whole lot of 1978 Grateful Dead for you, plus a little taste of 1966. Well, perhaps not so little. Have a great week, and we'll see you here at the Tapers' Section next Monday.

David Lemieux


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Gr8fulTed's picture
Joined: Jul 9 2007
Davis CA

Thanks, David, for the early renditions of Casey Jones and Cumberland Blues, certainly a change of pace from That's It for the Other One & Dark Star.
BTW, UC Davis has a real good botany program.


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