Grateful Dead

June 28 to July 4, 2010

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Here we go, barreling through the start of the summer and ending the week here at the Tapers' Section with the 4th of July. This week we're going to cover 16 years of Dead, with music from 1973, 1985 and 1989.

Our first selection is from the late summer of 1985, on 9/3/85 at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, where we have the entire first consisting of Feel Like A Stranger>TLEO, Rooster, Dire Wolf, Cassidy, Big RR, Music>Don't Ease. That's a fairly typical song selection from 1985, but it's loads of great tunes, so no complaints here.

From a few years later in Miami, we have music from the penultimate show of the Fall Tour of 1989, on 10/25/89 in Miami, the entire first, which features Hell In A Bucket ; Sugaree ; Just A Little Light ; Friend Of The Devil ; Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again ; Cold Rain And Snow; Picasso Moon; Deal. This tour is filled with great music, from the start of the tour in Hampton to the final night in Miami (with that epic Dark Star!). This night in Miami is occasionally overlooked due to the next night's excellence, but as you'll now hear, there's lots to love about 10/25/89.

Lastly this week, we have music from 10/30/73 in St. Louis, the second of two nights on the great Fall Tour of 1973. From this show we have Here Comes Sunshine, Me and My Uncle, Ramble On Rose, Looks Like Rain, Deal, Mexicali Blues, TLEO. There are a couple of repeats from this week's earlier selections, but these versions are very different, especially the version of TLEO, which features an entirely different tempo and melody. Just goes to show why we keep listening to this band; there's always something new and interesting. When asked by my old film school friend Jeff how many versions of Sugar Magnolia can I possibly hear, I responded “all of them!”

We'll see you here next week for more great tunes. We don't yet know what we'll play, but we expect it'll be good. Feel free to write the address below with questions, comments, praise or complaints. We're you're one-stop, catch-all, answer-every-email place to voice your opinions about the music and our work here.

David Lemieux
vault@dead.net

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SPACEBROTHER's picture
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Joined: Jun 4 2007
Oh yeah

I first got on the bus so to speak in '84. It took me a few shows to really "get it" and by '86 was sold.

Is 7/1/84 in the vault? How is the sound?

SPACEBROTHER's picture
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Joined: Jun 4 2007
Drool

I would sooo love to see a release of 10/25-26/89 Miami.

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Joined: Feb 10 2008
Why must we bash?

Everyone is entitled to an opinion when it comes to the Dead and I certainly have mine. But why must we invalidate what David has posted up here for our enjoyment FOR FREE? What is great about this band is the fact that everyone finds something to love and the music changed over the years. Everyone can find something they like and I think David does a great job. Please keep your negative opinions to yourself and let us decide for ourselves what is worthy of our ears.

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Joined: Aug 6 2007
Dickheads!

Grateful prof knows what he's talking about....the cool thing is that by the time Rhino allows David to release something we've never heard before, we'll all be 6 feet under ground

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Joined: Jun 4 2007
I dig '85 (Saratoga anyone?)

To each his, her, or its own. The 85 KC stuff is killer. Stranger has it all...Jerry up and down the fretboard, Bobby's inimitable rhythm attack, Brent's husky vocals and choppy keys, Phil's omnipotence, all permeated with the Disco Dead Shakedown vibe. I personally think the Dead's peak was from Brent's arrival (late '79) through Jerry's diabetic coma (1986). It's ironic that their biggest success came later with In The Dark in 1987. This is all good stuff! Thanks, David.

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Joined: Aug 31 2009
what's the big problem?

my only question for the prof is, do you listen to the music as it plays, or are your ears looking to match something already playing through your brain?

if expectations carry the weight of enjoyment, pleasure is not what a deadhead will experience when listening to anything other than their own favorite year/era. i have no qualms with someone having specific tastes, but the statements 'unlistenable, banal, tired, screechy' i could do without in this reference. the follow up statement 'mere shadows of what great tunes once were' is well understood and i don't have a problem with the statement on it's face. now, there are 'unlistenable, banal, tired, screechy' moments in dead history, but honestly, these 85 and 88 tracks??? maybe between 93-95, but i strongly disagree from an objective musical standard regarding kansas and miami... though, the prof did state 'almost'

peace to all, thanks david, and try to enjoy what's out there this week :)

lamagonzo (not verified)
Not many argue...

...that this band's music was better in the 71-74 era. However, to generalize everything after Keith left the band (as many do, not necessarily GProf above) as banal, tired and screechy does not give credit where credit is due.

Respectfully, I would submit that there were years where almost every show was killer. Then there were years when it was 1 in 3, then 1 in 5, then 1/10 and lastly maybe once a tour, IMHO.
(Glad I wasn't around in those years)

Ask yourself: What changed in 1975? Read the bios out there if you don't know. Take another toke and turn up the sound GProf, we understand what you mean.

Gr8fulTed's picture
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Joined: Jul 9 2007
Feel Like a Stranger

Never went to a show that started with "Stranger" that I did not like. Starlight on 9/3/85 was really a good show: check out the 2nd set with that Cryptical! The music is as hot as the early September heat in Kansas City. It is a memorable show for me because I sat amongst the tapers, which included the Oade brothers and their incredible equipment set-up. Do yourself a favor and listen to the Oade recording on LMA.
Like gratefulprof, I, too, am partial to 1973. Life couldn't have been much better back in '72-'74.

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Joined: Oct 1 2007
summers here and the time is right....

Well, time for the "every note the Dead ever played is golden" folks to draw their knives. I find the Kanas City and Miami material almost unlistenable, banal, tired, screechy and mere shadows of what great tunes once were.
There, time to be taken to task, thats ok, I got my bong full, and Tivoli '72 loaded up!

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