Grateful Dead

July 4 - July 10, 2011

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

New 1970 “Road Trips” Features Prime Acoustic and Electric Dead

Can it really be 40 years since Workingman’s Dead was released? Why, it feels like only yesterday that “Uncle John’s Band” first started wafting out over the FM airwaves, spreading its warm smile coast to coast and announcing to the world that the Good Ol’ Grateful Dead were now traveling to some cool new spaces (in addition to most of their deliciously weird old ones). This edition of Road Trips (Vol. 3, No. 3) celebrates that magical and transformative spring of 1970 with one of the best-loved aural documents of that era: The Dead’s early and late shows at the Fillmore East on May 15, 1970, presented nearly in their entirety over the first 3-CD set in this series (plus the accompanying Bonus Disc).

This was a big tour for the Grateful Dead family. For one thing, it was the first jaunt the Dead undertook with their country-rock offshoot, the New Riders of the Purple Sage (which at this point still included Garcia on pedal steel guitar), as their opening act. As an added treat, at a number of shows that spring—including these two—the Dead started the evening by playing a casual and intimate acoustic set consisting mostly of old folk and blues tunes, but also usually featuring a few songs from the (still unreleased) Workingman’s Dead. Over the course of the two acoustic sets that night the group tackled such tunes as “I Know You Rider,” “The Rub (Ain’t It Crazy),” “Deep Elem Blues” (which does not appear on the previously circulating recordings of the late show), “Uncle John’s Band,” “Black Peter,” “New Speedway Boogie,” “Candyman,” “Friend of the Devil” (those last two wouldn’t turn up until American Beauty later in 1970), and these four which have never before appeared on an official GD release: “The Ballad of Casey Jones,” “Long Black Limousine,” “She’s Mine” (sung by Pigpen) and “A Voice From on High,” the last featuring John “Marmaduke” Dawson and David Nelson from the New Riders. There’s plenty of charming between-songs banter and the sound is crystal clear.

There is lots to love in the electric sets the Dead played at the Fillmore East, too, including truly epic versions of “Dark Star,” “That’s It for the Other One” and “Morning Dew”; favorites like “China Cat > I Know You Rider,” “St. Stephen” and “Cosmic Charlie”; the exciting new tunes “Casey Jones” and “Cumberland Blues” (which they also played acoustic); and Pigpen workin’ it on out on “Hard to Handle,” “Good Lovin’” and a fantastic “Lovelight.” The Dead always played great at the Fillmore East—this was already the group’s third headlining stint there in 1970—and it was shows like these that established the band as a top East Coast draw during this era.

The Bonus Disc* (which will be included with the first wave or orders) features a few more songs from the Fillmore East shows, such as the second-ever version of “Attics of My Life” (another American Beauty classic) and a hot “Easy Wind” (which previously appeared on Fallout from the Phil Zone), and then a blistering sequence from the previous night’s show at Meramec College—Kirkwood, MO: an electric “New Speedway Boogie” (complete with “Nobody’s Fault” jam), “St. Stephen,” “Not Fade Away” and “Lovelight.” You can find the complete track listing for all four discs here.

As with all our releases, Road Trips Vol. 3, No. 3: May 15, 1970 was culled from the Grateful Dead’s original tapes by Mr. Jeffrey Norman—the Pride of Petaluma—and mastered to the demanding HDCD spec for maximum power and clarity. The accompanying booklet for this 3-CD set includes vintage photos by Amalie Rothschild and Peter Simon and a historical essay by yours truly. All in all, it’s sure to become another treasured favorite. Sound good? You can order it here.

- Blair Jackson

*Sorry, but we've run out of the bonus disc that was included with early orders. All orders will include the standard 3-CD version of this release.


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jonapi (not verified)
My Dad's paranoid schizophrenic, but he's good people.

Looks like gratefulbob has some previous ha ha!!
I haven't seen many of his posts so i was only commenting on that one. Best thing is not to bother replying to him; just kinda made me laugh that his negative post received an "energy wasting" response too ha ha ha!! He probably gets off on doing it so let him post what he likes. It's just an opinion. And who knows, maybe his girlfriend has a puncture.
And absolutely about the show count, matters not one jot whether you've seen 1, 10, over a 100 or a big fat nada. It's all a matter of perspective. There are thousands of Deadheads out there who connect with the music in the deepest, most spiritual way; the sounds imbedded in their very soul, forever a part of their DNA. And these thousands have never seen a Dead show. They have a connection that goes way beyond some who have seen 76 shows and spent most of their time party party partying and have forgotten anything about it.
(By the way, i was being facetious about "missing the golden period"! Just a little sarcastic irony for ya! This grandstanding and one-upmanship about shows attended is pathetic).
And your last paragraph was very well put. Nice to ramble with you.

TOM-TOM's picture
Joined: Aug 19 2009
2/6/89 henry j. kaiser show...

I'm sorry, but this show sounds terrible! GARCIA'S & WEIR"S voice sounds like crap, The drumming is slow & sluggish, out of time, by the time I got to'' brown-eyed women '', I had to turn it off...I've seen the DEAD since the EARLY 70'S... some GREAT SHOWS & some o.k. shows, but by this time they should have taken a ''break'' ( like they did in 1975), & PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!----GIVE ME A PRE-1980'S SHOW ANYTIME!

Joined: Aug 31 2009
and how many shows have i seen??

that number will become far too common among living Dead fans, because this is one of the greatest and most documented bands to have yet existed and the love will never die, though the rest of us will... i got into GD the very day Jerry died at age 15 by seeing/hearing about 7 seconds of a H2H jam on CNN... that's all it took to flip my ears upside down and change my life!!

just wanted to share perspective from the first generation of Heads to have never seen Jerry. this is all a subjective experience, for every fan of the band that's ever been. there are no objective criteria to the quality of love!! now, i have enjoyed the fantastic conversations on this forum about the objective criteria of analysis that causes one to rate their experience of the music and performances... and when i use my energy to come on this forum to share ideas, it is out of my personal love pure and true, mixed with a desire to find out what others think, feel, and have experienced by being privileged to have been born at the right place and time to see them whether during their prime or decline.

Joined: Aug 31 2009
point well taken jonapi...

only, Bob is repeatedly offensive to the fans of later era's, and quite disrespectful to David, who shares these great gifts for free. agreed that this time he was exactly as you stated; succinct, concise.

when he does elaborate, it's unkind, negative, and utterly disrespectful of others. when i see, 'thanks for nothing' after all his other comments here, i fume. forgive me.

jonapi (not verified)
Lunch box stolen?...

Looks like someone got out the wrong side of bed on Monday. Mind you, i think some of these people got out the wrong side of the womb...

Not sure about some of these Taper's Sections; personally i'm not so keen to listen to "snatches" from shows. To me, Grateful Dead live means an entire performance, tracing that beautiful (sometimes plain ugly!) inspirational arc, the atmosphere, ambience, exhilaration and despair flowing like a river into an ocean. Something plain uninspired gently mutating, abstracting, accelerating and spreading in multi-dimensional floods; the harmonies of the Universe seeping quietly into the peripheral vision. Is this the same show that started in an almost mystifyingly limp fashion? You betcha!!
Of course, it requires a spare 3 hours or so! Got to put in the time to achieve cosmic enlightenment, shortcuts diluting the stream. But that's me.
But hey David, at least you're doing something; let us all remember that this is free and for our enjoyment. are not obliged to have this feature, we are not obliged to pay it any attention.
I like the late '80's and '90's. I also like the '60's and '70's. Different moods mean different requirements; 1973 is one of my favourites and 1977. But sometimes a show in a small town in mid-tour from '84 is needed to shine a light on my consciousness and mental surroundings on that particular day. No, positively REQUIRED! Sometimes it's only '72 for a couple weeks, then it's '88; some cheeky '79's and then it's a swift tangent to '67, thank you very much and don't delay man. Horses for courses. I go through phases like i go through toilet paper (why DO men use so much? i can't see how i'm supposed to use any less, frankly. i must be doing something wrong).

Oh, talking of shit, glad to see people still in a huff over the Europe '72 box set. Most amusing. I have to say, for the life of me, i can't quite comprehend why didn't require buyers to prove how many shows they saw before being successful applicants. Who wants some loser who was born in the '80's (what, your parents couldn't conceive any quicker? had some trouble in the basement, boy? they call you "Boomerang" at work, son?) to get his hands on a copy. Shame on you for being able to afford it too. I mean, the nerve of some people to have a birthday outside the "golden period".

As for gratefulbob? i thought his comments were nice and succinct. A pretty good summation of his own opinions, short and concise. Pretty funny really. And an interesting response mossonello. Something about why not talk trash somewhere else, your a piece of shit for using such energy, whining like a baby, levels of disgust........bit like smacking your son for punching his sister.
how did all these toys from your pram get here, anyway?

Keep it foolish everyone.

Joined: Mar 18 2010
Consistently excellent

Thanks for another very fine week here at the Taper's Section DL. I think the opening 3 show run in Oakland would make a great 1990 Box Set. I will it, let the missive be so. Or maybe I just have Box Sets on my mind- September, please come quickly!!!

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

week got off to bad start, let's chill please...

Joined: Feb 10 2008
Well said.

I'm tired of Bob as well. Well put Mossonello. There is plenty in the archive and in relases both past and future to keep Bob happy. Though I doubt anything will. Lots of negativity here this week. Lamagonzo, shame on you for judgeing someone based on the number of shows he attended. Perhaps you should read Blairs blog on the subject. It disgusts me how some heads think are better than others because they saw more shows and got it earlier. And yes, money talks and he who has it can purchase box sets if they want. If you don't have it then you are SOL and it is not fair to dis on someone who can because he saw only nine shows. It doesnt make him any less of a fan nor does it mean that he does not deserve this box set.

Joined: Aug 31 2009
hey BOB

why don't you start YOUR OWN site that plays only 71-78, so you can trash talk the music and the fans that fall outside YOUR opinion of what is good and what is crap.. somewhere else!

you truly are a p.o.s. for using your energy to post that.. we get some great folks on here who respectfully discuss, with intelligent critique, the rise and fall of art and the creative lifespan of the GD; you are not one of them... seriously, how many times have you self righteously come on here whining like a total baby putting your 'crap stamp' on this very kind, FREEEEEE, and delightful weekly service provided by our most gracious host. i cannot convey the level of disgust i have for your senseless vitriol!!!

thank you David!

Joined: Aug 27 2008
1989 burn out

I'm tired of the late 80's clips (1988 & '89) but this set from 2/6/89 is better than just about anything from 1994 & 1995.
Very much appreciated, thank you!


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