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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crap

Ty for nothing, again crap yrs

lamagonzo (not verified)
Ooooops!

My apologies DL. Like I said before, plenty in TS archives for me to listen too to fireworks.

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it was programmed. It was published.

Hey, I could see it and everything. But due to some bug, it was not showing up in all the places it oughta and due to the holiday there was no one to fix it till today. Not David's fault. Unless we want to cue up a chorus of Blame Canada or something.

lamagonzo (not verified)
Excuse me,

9 shows starting in 93. Hey. whomever comes up with the bucks first and to hell with That Faithful. There simply is no other way to sell things without getting sued...

Otherwise, great picks this week DL. Keep'em comin'.

lamagonzo (not verified)
The powers that be...

...underestimated the spending power of baby-boomers and those, such as yourself, who only saw seven shows and gladly coughed up $450.

Still, people should not beg out they missed on this. I totally agree with you on that.

DL, can't you pre-program holiday Mondays for TS? Is it that complicated?

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Wow!

I'm all for constructive criticism, but jeez, man, play nice. Don't blame David for the fact that the limited edition box was limited to 7200 copies. As evidenced by the fact that Blair Jackson, when this thing was first released, advised someone who was in the middle of getting a new credit card, not to worry as the release would not sell out very quickly (boy was he wrong!), the powers that be did not foresee how popular the release would be. In fact, they were just hoping that the release would sell out over a few months time. Also, the music is STILL available for everybody (that has the $). Only the limited edition version, with all the extras, is unavailable. Keep up the good work, David.

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...so a proper live album might be produced from them some day..

...that at least 7200 will get to hear. Maybe.

Screw you guy. You've lost all credibility.

Clay

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okay

we think the clip works now too.

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problem with '89 clip reported

thanks!

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'76 and '78

David, Can you find us some more good '76 with the Blues for Allah material, and some Shakedowns? I don't see nearly enough '76 or '78 on the official releases. Thanks

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