Grateful Dead

January 28 - February 3, 2008

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Due to our desire to keep doing what we’ve been doing the last few weeks, we’re going to select a year and focus on that year this week in the Taper’s Section. This week’s pick? The fine transitional year of 1991.

With Bruce Hornsby at most shows throughout 1991, the band was settling into a nice, consistent groove. On most nights, you could count on an inspired, solid, occasionally transcendent night of music throughout the year. During the year, there were a few of what are now considered classic Grateful Dead shows: 6/14/91, 6/17/91, 10/31/91, 9/10/91 and a few others.

Our first selection this week is from the fourth and final night of the tour opening run at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland. During this week, I somehow managed to be inside the Cap Center seven straight nights: 3/15 a Celtics-Bullets NBA game; 3/16 a Flyers-Capitals hockey game (Don Beaupre shone in the Caps’ 6-0 victory), 3/17,18,20&21, the Grateful Dead, and astoundingly, on the band’s night off, 3/16, a Blues-Capitals hockey game (Brett Hull’s 80th goal of the season!). I’ll never forget walking around the arena between periods of the 3/16 hockey game with my obvious Dead Head friends, and getting loads of “hey guys, the Grateful Dead aren’t here tonight!” comments. So, from 3/21/91, we have this excellent jam of Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain>Stir It Up Jam. As you may recall, the band attempted a vocal Stir It Up in March, 1988, with rather poor, even comical, results. This jam, however, is one of the finer spontaneous jams of the entire year. There’s terrific energy here.

Next up is some music from the first show of the Landover run, specifically the first set closing duet of Ruben and Cherise, Let It Grow. This, of course, is the first ever version of Ruben and Cherise, one of only four versions the Grateful Dead would ever play of this Jerry Garcia Band standard. Vince, Jerry and Bruce lock into a great groove during the closing jam. The Let It Grow is out of control, with Weir taking center stage during the big jam. A very inspired version.

The next run of shows after the Cap Center run was in Albany, for the second annual run of shows at the Knickerbocker Arena. Bruce was absent from these shows as well as the next run at Nassau Coliseum, but would return for the ending of the tour. From the third and final night of the Albany run, 3/25/91, we have the second set, divided into two sequences. The pre-Drums jam consists of Greatest Story Ever Told, Crazy Fingers>Truckin’>Spoonful, with the Greatest Story being a very rare second set opener. The post drums sequence features The Other One>Black Peter>Throwing Stones>Playing In The Band. Like the set opener, Throwing Stones>Playing is a very unique set closer.

Be sure to check in next week when we’ll focus on one very exciting run of Grateful Dead shows from 1972. Feel free to write with questions or comments to the email address below.

David Lemieux
vault [at]


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Criptical Phil's picture
Joined: Oct 25 2007
blazing Scarlet>Fire

Let It Grow is off the hook....1st stanza is rediculous...

Brian's picture
Joined: Jun 6 2007
Ticket for monday

If anyones got an extra ticket, please let me know!! Send me a message, if you have an extra ticket at the warfield! Peace, Brian

rongmvw's picture
Joined: Jun 16 2007
90 91 Era

Thanks for the stuf, but how about a break from Scarlet Fire and Eyes for a while? I would like to see some of the better versions of Foolish Heart from this era and some 1st set stuff with the always good masterpiece.

Thanks as always

Joined: Nov 21 2007

Looks like a great tapers this week .. I still can`t listen to it ?? flyplayer still not playing for me ?? Any suggestions folks ..

Marshun's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
R&C Forever

Thanks David!

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

John Perry Barlow

Tea 4-2's picture
Joined: Jan 31 2008
91 shows

At the risk of sounding like a bad deadhead, these shows (with some rare exceptions) just didn't do it fot me. Most likely because I was a HUGE Brent fan. I really loved and still love Brent. No offense to Vince. I know I sound like Keith fans in 79 when Brent took over. But I can't pretend that these shows were as good or as electrifying as the shows from 87- summer 90. That is when I joined and maybe it was also the newness of it all that was wearing off. I am still very grateful for having been able to experience what I did because now, I know that it was a moment in the history of music that will likely never happen again quite like that. The lots, the people, the pranksters and the band: Thank you. I could never forget you.

sjbutler's picture
Joined: Nov 27 2007
Stir it Up

Snow is swirling outside my office window (we're supposed to get 7 inches of the stuff tonight), but the sweet mellowness of the Stir It Up Jam has me dreaming of the warm Caribbean and reminiscing about my recent honeymoon down there.


Joined: Dec 12 2007
thanks for the beauty jerry

thanks for the beauty jerry

Joined: Jun 4 2007
hold on a second...more '71 please.

Whoops, there's no 'Second That Emotion' at the Manhattan Center! I am not completely delusional, though. The tune was in rotation in April '71.

My vote is still for more '71. Although, the generous helpings of good ol' GD by this site have been marvelous.

Thanks a lot!

Joined: Jun 4 2007
let's revisit 1971, any taker's?

I heard what I think might be the best 'Second That Emotion' this evening (on a good old fashioned-roadie). It's from the Fillmore 4-71 "Ladies and Gentleman..." release.

Anyhow, seeing if you can prove me wrong, David (tapemaster). I think all you got is 4-6-71 to compare (at least that's all I have :-)


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