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]


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Joined: Jun 6 2007
Ruben and Cherise

What a great suprise. You can hear the crowd going wild, as I would of too. Just finished listening to this weeks selections. Thanks Dave!

smallz's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Great week of tunes DL.

Great week of tunes DL. Thanks a bunch! Is this Rueben and Cherise the same version as the one which plays during the "menu" portion of View From The Vault V.II ? Just curious.

Joined: Jun 25 2007

Oh, how I loved 1991. I caught 17 shows that year - including the entire Landover run. Say what you will, but that "Stir It Up Jam" still gives me chills. That "Ruben" came out of nowhere. Nobody saw that coming. The crowd reaction was incredible. The return of "New Speedway Boogie" and "Might As Well"...that ridiculous RFK show....the Greensboro "Eyes".....sigh.

Gone are the days.

Joined: Jun 26 2007
Don Beaupre

Let's Go Caps!! Let's Go Caps!!

Wow. Never thought I would peruse a Tapers Section involving both Don Beaupre and the Dead, but holy snikes, thanks. That run at the Cap Center was simply fantastic. Correct me if I'm wrong but was'nt there a sweet 2nd set opener of Shakedown on St. Paddys day.

Brian's picture
Joined: Jun 6 2007
The Rest of the shows

Hey All- I noticed, correct me if I am wrong that the vault only contains about two-thirds of the shows on masters/boards. Have you all ever thought of creating a finish the vault project, my vision would be heads uploading the missing shows from their Audience recordings, in hopes that our community could fill in the missing gaps to create a complete vault, albeit with a mix of audience, matrix, etc. recordings filling in the gaps the vault would have. Then if Tarrapin Station the museum ever took off or something like it, they're could be an audio room where the ticket holders of the museum could tap into the vaults. Also you guys might create a monthly service fee(5-10USD) to access the vaults. IDK, just a random thought. KEEP ON TRUCKIN!!!

PS: I found my Jerry Band Cats Down Under the Stars Hat (after three years) and feel this is a portent that the boys might once again play together. At least once.

Joined: Oct 2 2007

^^^^^^^I second that emotion^^^^^^^

sjbutler's picture
Joined: Nov 27 2007
My eyes have been opened!

Despite having just said "the 90's aren't generally my cup of tea," I am now dying to know why the Summer of '91 has been so neglected among official releases!

After having studied these Taper's Section selections yesterday, today I have spent the better part of the day on the Archive, working my way through 6/17 (Giants Stadium), 6/19 (Pine Knob), and 6/22 (Soldier Field). The 6/17 UJB is currently jamming its way to a DS tease (one of many in this show). Vince almost sounds like Brent...his keyboards are swirling nicely around Bruce's solid piano runs.

I officially call upon DL2 to release some June 1991! :)

cactuswax's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007

I kinda forgot how 91 could sound - thick kaleidoscopic swathes of color! Nice!
Thanks again DL!

Joined: Jul 19 2007

David, I am in compete agreement about the energy on the Stir it Up Jam. The first time I heard it I found it truly inspiring bordering on glorious. After telling my friends about it and tracking down a copy of the show (which was not easy at the time for us as I recall) they were far less enthused than I about it. I guess the surprise factor of it removed expectations and allowed the moment to be greatly appreciated by me. Funny how that works.
Thanks a billion for the selections. I still find the jam near-glorious (if no longer sublime) and fondly remember one of the greatest things about being a DeadHead - discussing the Grateful Dead's music with others. Many blessing to you for the joy you bring into my life!

dead-to-the-core's picture
Joined: Jan 22 2008
Grate Song

I never knew the Dead had done Ruben And Cherise: that was a real treat, thanx Dave


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.