July 14- July 20, 2008
This week we're going to hear some music from 1970 through to 1989, with a few interesting stops in between.
Our first selection, as mentioned the past couple of weeks, is the outstanding version of Lovelight from 7/16/70 in San Rafael, California, featuring none other than Janis Joplin sharing lead vocal duties with Pigpen. This would be the last of the very few times Janis would perform onstage with the Grateful Dead, and sadly, just two and a half months later, she would be gone. Worth noting here in the Tapers Section is that it was after this show that Bear went away, and is the reason there are no tapes from the second half of 1970 from this night until late December when the sound crew began recording the concerts again.
Because we love these monster versions of Playing In The Band so much, here is a really superior rendition from 7/19/74 in Fresno, California. I could get lost in these 1974 Playings for hours. In fact, I often do.
Our next stop is a very unique items from the vault, the great version of Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain from 2/10/79 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. What makes this version so special for us to play you here is that 2/10/79 is the only soundboard recording in the vault from Keith and Donna's final tour in January and February, 1979. We get a lot of requests for music from this tour, particularly shows in mid-January, but this show is all that we have. Jerry's voice is still showing some of the scratchiness that would bother him throughout all of 1978, but the music is pretty darn good.
Our next selection is from 7/15/89 at Deer Creek Music Theatre in Indiana, the band's first show at this sweet little venue surrounded by corn fields. What was so nice about that first trip there was that the Grateful Dead had started their tour with seven shows at five massive eastern stadiums (Foxboro, Buffalo, Philly, Giants X2 and DC X2), so to show up and see what Deer Creek was all about was truly a treat. And the band rose to the occasion and played a wonderful concert. From the start of the first set, we have Bertha>Greatest Story Ever Told, Candyman, Walkin' Blues.
Lastly this week, from the same summer tour's penultimate show on 7/18/89 at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wisconsin, here is the first set opening trio of Touch of Grey, Jack Straw, Jack-A-Roe. This show is often overlooked because of the incredible performances the night before and after, but this middle night had plenty of great music.
Thanks for stopping in. Be sure to come back next week for more great music. As always, feel free to write with questions or comments.
I remember being at this one, it rained all night long, but not a drop on me. The music was fantastic.
One quick comment...I would not agree with Jaime that this Scarlet-Fire is up there with Cornell '77, but on the same coin, I have to disagree with danc that it is subpar or sloppy. True, Jerry's voice is shot and Keith is playing his usual late-70's monochromatic piano, but I like the slower tempo versions of this combo (see 11-1-79) because they seem to leave room open for some really great jamming from Jerry and co.
And a few other comments:
The Playin' from Fresno is one of my favorites on here...thanks David! And what a treat to hear Janis and Pigpen together...oh to have been there, Walkup Wear! I love summer '89 selections too. Keep 'em coming!
OH MY GOD!!! this section I'll have to look @ more often! I would've totally forgotten about that show in San Rafael, but soon as I saw it posted above by you, David, ALL the memories came back. July, 1970-I was 7 months pregnant-of course we went & it was wild with Janis & Pigpen-just wild-the way they looked @ each other was almost comically, thinking back now.......I went monthly to the Fillmore West shows until I was about 8.5 months along & afraid someone might accidently hit me in the belly while dancing..........5 years later I was playing American Beauty & my son said-who is this? what is this? I LIKE this! Music from when he was in the womb..........more from the cosmos later on......teenaged results from 1970 is the pix of my granddaughter-in Walkup Wear, of course! love ya!!!
"... I knew right away she was not like other girls....other girls'..."
Jerry's voice on the 2/10/79 is scratchy: note the narative from David L referring to 1978, a year earlier, when Jerry played a few California shows w/o singing. Indeed, February of 1979 was a dark time, as Keith and Donna left the band. IMO, for a better version of Scarlet >Fire in Kansas City, the Sandstone performance from 6/91 is recommended. The Fresno PITB is wonderful!! Lovelight is next one to queue..... Keep up the good work David.
One thing I really love about these monster Playing in the Bands from 73 - 74 is how Bill works that snare drum. Drumming as dancing.
No need to disqualify so strongly . My liking of the 79 S > F is my liking . It may not be yours , but it s not nice that you so strongly invalidate it .
In musical theory terms , it s quite good . In a non music alumni view , it s also very good . Again , danq it s all in the ear of the beholder . Rock & roll mate
Oh , and my more ' important ' opinion tonight Saturday is Brent s out of sight playin in 89 noblesville . He is waaay inspìred . I used to own this whole show ( a 7th gen sb ] , lost it years ago . And im glad to see some of the show here today .
DL , it d be great if you could insidiously inject some more 7 15 89 in here whenever time and duties permit .
Sorry... my bad. I am listening to the wrong media player!! AHHHH....
The "Bertha > Greatest Story Ever Told > Candyman, Walkin' Blues" lind should read
"Bertha > Greatest Story Ever Told > Candyman, When I Paint My Masterpiece."
"Newspaper man, eating candy..."
Truly some inspired playing during July '89 and you have selected some mighty fine gems from that time! Thank you David L. for getting this out to us each week!
For your flaming pleasure:
As good as 5-8-77 (so says a previous poster). Obviously there is no harm in saying so, other than to degrade this site into worthless fanboy drivel.
I think this Feb '79 version is weak, and I don't see the merit in posting it for a listen. The rhythm section is comatose (Keith?), and playing out of tempo. At that time ('79-84), the Dead would occasionally play really badly, particularly in comparison to '76-78 where the music was consistently no worse than tight and often over the top with dynamics and real passion. It took me until '84 to get up and walk out on a show, but believe me (and you don't have to..., ask around), there were some way bad nights back then, and this cut reminds me of a few. So DL, how about posting 11-30-1980 and letting us hear a glorious Scarlet-Fire, one for which I am sure no current or former GD band member has to cringe? I have been listening to a lot of Zappa lately, and I am reminded of one of Jerry's greatest skills, as a bandleader who set mood and the tempo, and who is charged with delivering professional results. The band was so coked out and unprofessional at this time, it was plain to see, not just Keith (skagged scapegoat that he was...) Jerry would probably croak again listening to this. Love you anyway Dave, 99.75% of what you put up is great, and my comment is really targeted at getting us to listen to the music closely and a bit critically, while we try to enjoy it.