June 16 - June 22, 2008
We have lots of cool stuff this week from throughout the Grateful Dead's recordings, including music from 1976, 1991 and some other nuggets.
Our first stop this week is at the first night of a three night run at the Capital Theatre in Passaic, NJ, in 1976. The band started their comeback with two shows in Portland, OR, four in Boston, two in New York, followed by these three in Passaic. From the end of the second set, we have this mighty Let It Grow>Wharf Rat, from 6/17/76. When they came back in 1976, the Grateful Dead left behind the Weather Report Prelude and Part 1, which is too bad, but these go-it-alone Let It Grows sure are good, with that nifty little drum break.
While we're talking about the whole Weather Report Suite, and looking at this week's date, we'd be remiss if we didn't play the whole Weather Report Suite jam from 6/18/74 in Louisville. There are certain shows that are legendary amongst Dead Heads, and certain jams that are equally famous, as this is one of them, rightfully so. So, here you go: Weather Report Suite>The Other One>Space>It's a Sin Jam>Stella Blue. There is a cut in the master reels during Stella Blue, but otherwise this sequence sounds great, and is played exquisitely.
One little technical side note: I often refer to “cuts in the master reels,” although there are no cuts in the master reels. What I'm referring to is a reel change, as most of the 2-track reels in the vault are 7” tape running at 7.5 inches per second, meaning the tape runs out every 46 or so minutes. The recordist would then, as quickly as he or she could, put on a new reel and hit record, a process that would take 20-40 seconds. So, to answer those occasional questions I've received on what a “cut in the master reel” means, there you have it.
Throughout 1974, there were incredible, unique jams played with an inspired energy, such as the jam above from 6/18/74. Another great example is the jam that bridges the Playing in the Band jam and the Scarlet Begonias from 8/6/74 (see Dick's Picks Vol. 31 for that one), and another cool one is this jam from 6/16/74 in Des Moines, IA, Eyes of the World>Big River, specifically the transition from Eyes to Big River. Great stuff. I've always felt that a compilation of 6/16 and 6/18/74 would make a tremendous CD release.
Our next stop this week is at Alpine Valley in East Troy, WI, site of many fine Grateful Dead shows throughout the 1980s. From 6/22/85, we have the second-set closing sequence of Dear Mr. Fantasy>I Need A Miracle>Stella Blue>Throwing Stones>Not Fade Away. This was the start of the very good, and intriguing, Summer Tour of 1985. The tour was recorded to both Beta PCM digital tapes and good old analog cassettes. This sequence was drawn from the PCMs.
Thanks for stopping in, and be sure to come by next week for more great music. As always, we really encourage you to write with questions, comments, suggestions or requests. We welcome it all, and please include the words “Grateful Dead” in the subject of your email, sent to the address below.
vault [at] dead.net
to connect sjbutler's paraphrase - the town where Field of Dreams was filmed - Dyersville - is just north and east of Des Moines - happy to hear Eyes of the World into Big River from that Iowa afternoon. While my recollection might be a little faded that show was one sparkling fun day.
thank you tapers and thank you David -
not even a slight vignette,it just drop off the edge, hey 2 stella's in 1 sitting, thats cool ...And nothing comes for free There's nothing you can hold For very long....
but hey again, where is this weeks PITB ;) just kiddin"...
A big YES to releasing 6/16 and 6/18! To loosely paraphrase Field of Dreams, "if you put out '74, we will buy it."
nice slip into the big river, the eyes musta seen it coming.. but i what to know what bill was talking about some young man at the end? weather report sweet!! nice flowing jams. going back for mr fantasy-NFA now :)
thx so much David
"a compilation of 6/16 and 6/18/74 would make a tremendous CD release."
Do it. It would be nice to have one complete night and the highlights of the other. Both were great shows.
Another fine week of music to delve into. Thanks David! I can't wait to do some delving...
Sweet choices... I'm lovin the Eyes>Big River two of my faves :)
Great choice with the Eyes>River selection, David - not only was it on my 4th birthday, but that pairing is so good, I know a Deadhead couple who planned to play it at their wedding!! (Hi Tom!)