Grateful Dead

July 25 - July 31, 2011

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Welcome back to the Tapers' Section as we close out July with a tasty batch of Dead from 1970, 1973 and 1984.

Like last week, this week we're going to open with some music from 3/1/70 at the Family Dog in San Francisco, where we have Casey Jones, Big Boy Pete, Morning Dew, Hard To Handle. That very rare Big Boy Pete is clipped at the beginning, but it's a cool tune to hear.

Next we have music from the cassette master from 2/19/73 in Chicago. There is a reel-to-reel recording of some of this concert, but this portion is missing from the reels. Luckily, though the cassette backup was running, so although not quite the quality of the reels, the music shines through: Eyes of the World>China Doll.

Lastly this week is music from the Beta PCM digital master from 7/3/84 in Kansas City, with the end of the first made up of West LA Fadeaway, My Brother Esau, Loser, Looks Like Rain>Deal. Esau is one of those tunes I just can't get enough of, and my interest in hearing a mid-80s first set perks up a bit when I see Esau on the list.

Join us next week for more great music from deep within the vault. And feel free to write to us at the email address below with questions, comments or just to say hello.

David Lemieux


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Joined: Dec 15 2008

I hear you guys about the difference between 73 and 84, but I am not so sure it was a change for the worse in all ways. Of course, take a pic of Jerry in 73 and put it next to an 84 photo, and you're looking at 2 different people. The fellow looked like he aged 40 years. Thing is, although the band was certainly clunky in ways in 84, IMO Jerry's playing, at times, was it's most precise, and the amount of notes he could use to craft a phrase- tastefully- had increased. His technique was really amazing at that point- when he was on. For example, listen to 10-18-84, particularly set 2. I started seeing them in 83 so never had the pleasure of seeing them before Jerry morphed into his later grey self, but I appreciate what they did offer 83-88, when I was attending shows. I actually like the heavier sound of that period, and the darkness. There was a huge mystique going to shows then, not knowing if you would ever be the last show, ever.
My older friends that saw them in the mid 60's were stunned when I played some of their music from the 80's. They were like, "The Dead used to be a dance band, what happened?" and another was stunned by how Jerry had opted to go for the clean tone, as opposed to the thicker, more classic smooth clipped sound of Gibsons through cranked Twin reverbs that he had used, like with the SG and Les Pauls.

Joined: Oct 19 2008

I certainly agree with you on the Esau commentary David. Perhaps one of the most underrated and underplayed songs of the Grateful Dead's existence. Like you I am a magnet to a set list with Esau on board....Enjoy!


shwack's picture
Joined: Apr 12 2008
Right On!

Hey Man,
As with the 2/21/73 JOTW,this 2/19/73 piece is fantastic!
One can hear the emergence of the Ampex technology coming to the stage.
Less distorton=Greater playing enjoyment for the band...
Merci Beaucoup Monsieur Lemieux

shwack in nh

Joined: Jan 13 2010
a random recommendation: 12/31/81

i hadn't listened to that show for a while, and gave it a listen over the past few days. Wow. The Morning Dew is MAGNIFICENT.

i take back everything I said about post-79 GD. It's all good.

bruno14's picture
Joined: Sep 18 2007
MDR 73

Thank you for the 1973 here and on the Jam of the Week. My first show was in June 1973 - imprinted.

Joined: May 12 2008
big boy pete

I heard about the Jolly Green Giant, or I'm a sorely mistaken old fart. Can't even remember who did that one.

Joined: Jun 5 2007

Love all..sory except for West La blown away..was nvr a fan of that song

UnbrokenSunflower's picture
Joined: Jul 4 2011
identical 1st sets ( pretty close )

1st sets from 7/15/84 and 7/22/84 are almost identical. would dig hearing that dancin'>bird. these picks have me diggin through tapes and discs this am....thanks david

".....its an obsession but it's pleasin'.......... "

Joined: Aug 31 2009
my Eyes, I'm searching...

I emailed David last year to ask about the 2/24/73 Eyes, since it seems to be missing from the soundboards and Vault. He verified that is the case, but I was wondering if any cassettes exist for that portion of the show as well?

I have a mixed tape that is in very poor shape, but I'm almost certain the Eyes on it came from that U of Iowa, Fieldhouse show... these early '73 versions, through to June, are all my favorite versions over any to follow!

Thanks for another gem David!!!

Joined: Jan 13 2010
I will say that...

I was lucky enough to be at the 7/13/84 show, and THAT was deep spiritual skull-n-roses nirvana.



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