Grateful Dead

Janurary 4, 2010 - January 10, 2010

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Welcome back and thanks for joining us on for first full week of 2010 here at the Tapers’ Section. This week we’re going to feature music that has been inspired by one of the finest, and most important, behind-the scenes people in the Grateful Dead world, Eileen Law.

Many of the readers here might be aware of how the Grateful Dead’s tape archive became so, well, organized, and that is due mainly to the efforts of Dick Latvala. Dick, as you might know, was a fixture in the Grateful Dead world since the 1970s (he also saw plenty of 1960s Grateful Dead shows), and it was Dick who, around 1985, suggested someone should take care of the tapes, and the next thing he knew he was hired to do so, and the rest is history. Likewise, about 15 years before that, Eileen Law showed up at the Dead’s offices, and suggested someone should take care of the memorabilia and ephemera that was evidently accumulating in the Grateful Dead world. She was hired, and over the next 35+ years she amassed a stunningly large collection of Grateful Dead items that included photos, newspaper clippings, business documents, concert posters, awards and loads of original iconographic items, such as the Touch of Grey skeletons, Hell in a Bucket trident pitchfork thingies, and on and on. I was fortunate to work with Eileen at GDP 1999-2006, and up to the present in a more limited way, and she had plenty of great stories about specific shows and memories, and these stories, so often surrounding New Year’s Eve shows, has inspired the Tapers’ Section to put together a week that centers around these stories.

Our first selection is this version of Ripple from 4/28/71 at the Fillmore East. Eileen had once told the story of the crew setting up a microphone on the side of the stage at the Fillmore East for Eileen and a couple of the other support staff/friends to sing backup on Ripple. Lo and behold, while producing the Ladies and Gentlemen…the Grateful Dead: Fillmore East April 1971 album in 2000, Jeffrey Norman was mixing the multitracks when he found a track assigned to background vocals on Ripple. So, if you listen closely, you’ll hear Eileen singing backup on this penultimate electric version of Ripple until 9/3/88 (they’d play it acoustically in 1980 a lot).

Another show that comes to mind when talking about Eileen is 2/28/73 at Salt Lake City. Eileen flew out for this show from the Bay Area to celebrate her birthday, and what a show it was! This mighty fine concert features loads of first cabin Grateful Dead, including these great versions of Jack Straw, He's Gone and Big River. Perfection! If you want to hear five hours of this excellent music, Dick’s Picks Vol. 28 was drawn from this show and the previous show, on 2/26/73 in Lincoln, NE.

Eileen had also mentioned the 10/20/74 show at Winterland, a possible goodbye for the Grateful Dead. She described walking up the ramp to the stage, for a gathering that might have been the final show. Thankfully, they returned to playing in the not-too-distant future, and from that great night of music on 10/20/74, with Mickey sitting in during his return to the Grateful Dead, we have a few of the songs from the big jam, featuring Playing In The Band, Not Fade Away and The Other One.

Finally this week, we have the first live version of Cassidy, from 3/23/74. This would be the only Grateful Dead version of Cassidy until 1976, and the only one with the background “doo doo doo doo”s. Cassidy, of course, is Eileen’s daughter. While here at the Cow Palace on 3/23/74, we figured we should play you the final version of the musical sandwich consisting of Playing In The Band>Uncle John’s Band>Morning Dew>Uncle John’s Band>Playing In The Band.

Well, thanks for joining us. The next time you’re flipping through the booklets that accompanied Dick’s Picks 23, 28, 33, 36 (these ones really stand out as making full use of the GD’s non-musical archives) or really any Grateful Dead archival release, you can thank Eileen for not only saving all of that amazing memorabilia, but for digging it out and keeping it so well-organized. Thanks, Eileen!

David Lemieux


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Joined: Jun 6 2007

love the background vocals!

mcleary's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Eileen Law

Eileen is an unfamiliar name to me i really missed the boat with her contributions, but Eileen-- are you related to any of the right coast Law family? specifically from the SE PA area and the Baltimore /DC area ?

if you are-- one of them is facing serious time in PA for a closet of homegrown marijuana and needs help. PA has said to the 57 y/o Mr. Law : plead out at 11.5 months in jail or we will seek the dreaded section 7508 number of plants mandatory, namely 5 years in state prison (this for a guy who never sold weed and has NO prior record, i.e. totally clean)......the search was wo/ a warrant but allegedly based on consent.....a suppression hearing if lost will bring on the 5 year PA when you get 5 years you serve 5 years

While this type of sentence would never fly on the left coast, in PA we remain reactionary esp w/ homegrowers charged as felon manufacturers under the aforementioned PA crimes code section 7508 ......plz read it and keep the rolaids nearby......

in the meantime we all must work to reform the marijuana laws now while the timing is right, public sentiment is favorable and the decriminalization is sought by many government officials for revenue reasons

as Dylan said "wish I was jokin' but..... everything is broken"

the state to state disparate treatment of pot offenders has attained an unparallelled new scheme of polar opposites depending on where you are.....

oh and Eileen-- i realize you probably aren't closely related but your name just reminded me of this pending case-- thanks for your insight into preserving the Dead's legacy

Joined: Jan 5 2010
Good stuff.

This is a great article on the Grateful Dead and Eileen Law. Thank you so much for sharing this and hopefully you will update us frequently. It is always a pleasure to read these. casino online

shwack's picture
Joined: Apr 12 2008

Got it all working now.This is a fine week of music to sweep away the
holiday cobwebs.That Cow palace selection 3/23/74 is wicked good!

Merci Beaucoup Monsieur Lemieux

shwack in nh

lamagonzo (not verified)
link for Cow Palace 74...

...still not working 4:35pm EST.

lethedoom's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
links ok now

the links all open the right files now for me too.

Thanks to all involved for this great music you share with us.


dstache's picture
Joined: Sep 10 2007
David is specifically

David is specifically referred to the musical sandwich of Playing > UJB > Dew > UJB > Playing, played on only 3 occasions, 11/10/73, 11/17/73 and 3/23/74.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

folks, are you still having issues with this? I'm getting the correct files when I click those links...

Gr8fulTed's picture
Joined: Jul 9 2007
Let there be songs to fill the air

Good stuff, DL...

Thanks Eileen for your skillful efforts documenting & archiving such a rich collection of Grateful Dead items. Nice back-up vocals from 1971 !

"....If I knew the way, I would take you home...."

Joined: Jun 10 2007

gosh, i love that song! i love it so much i named my dog ripple! i really enjoyed this version, too-
thanks, david! it's a great way to get back into the swing of things-


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