Grateful Dead

March 16 - March 22, 2009

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

As we break past the midpoint of March, we have music spanning 20 years minus a day in Grateful Dead history, from 1971 to 1991.

It's been a while, so we figured we'd focus this week on some shows that took place at the Oakland Coliseum Arena in February, 1990. These shows were in the middle of a string of concerts recorded to 24 track analog tape by John Cutler and Le Mobile, a recording truck the band used for many recordings, including the bulk of shows that happened May, 1989 through April, 1990. Several commercial releases have been produced from these recordings, including Without A Net, Dozin' At Knick, Nightfall Of Diamonds, Terrapin Limited, as well as some parts of the So Many Roads boxed set. Not only are the recordings phenomenal, but the band was playing particularly well in 1989-1990, so there are hopefully more releases to come from these shows.

Our first stop this week is on 3/18/71 in St. Louis, where the band played two great shows. From the second night, we have the classic 1971 jam featuring Truckin’>Drums>The Other One>Wharf Rat. The last song had been in the repertoire for just a month, but it was already a centerpiece of the big jams, a ballad (which never quite fit that label) of epic proportions.

Jumping forward 19 years, we have music from the outstanding Spring Tour of 1990. Virtually every concert on this tour was stunning in some way, and this jam, from 3/16/90 at the Capital Centre in Landover, MD, features one of those very unique 1990 jams. Consisting of Scarlet Begonias>Estimated Prophet>Ship of Fools>Women Are Smarter>Jam, the sequence is filled with odd pairings and cool surprises: Scarlet>Estimated was extremely rare, Estimated>Ship was virtually unheard of, and the Jam to wrap it all up is one of those spontaneous bursts of creativity that were part of the band’s appeal.

From the same tour, because we love sharing it so much, we have the post-Drums sequence from the second Hartford show, on 3/19/90, featuring China Doll>Gimme Some Lovin’>GDTRFB>Around and Around. This is a rare show-closing Around and Around, and the next version the band would play, a week later in Albany, would include the slowed down, bluesy part of the song before being built back up to its Chuck Berry rocking roots. Check out Dozin’ at the Knick to hear that very cool Around and Around.

Finally this week, from the Capital Centre in Landover again, we have the entire first set of the first show of the Spring Tour of 1991, on 3/17/91. With both Vince and Bruce on keyboards, there was so much depth to the sound and dynamics of the playing, as heard on this first set consisting of Hell In A Bucket>Sugaree>Walkin’ Blues, Peggy-O, Queen Jane Approximately, Ruben and Cherise, Let It Grow. This was, of course, the first ever Grateful Dead version of Jerry’s Ruben and Cherise, a tune the Dead would play three more times before letting it live exclusively in the JGB repertoire.

Stop by next week for a whole bunch of music from Albany, NY. A good variety of some excellent music.

David Lemieux


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Joined: Jun 4 2007
what's the new stuff on the left?

Hey Now:

Somebody please help me with what the 'media posting form' and 'submit content' thingys (to use a technical term) are on the left. I'd be interested to read more.

Tks. wtj

bipolarbear1968's picture
Joined: Feb 15 2009
Really good!

I'm not much of a Bruce fan, but the music was top notch!

Thank you for sharing.

Joined: Apr 6 2008

Scarlet Begonias>Estimated Prophet>Ship of Fools>Women Are Smarter>Jam

Need I say more...?

"In a bed, in a bed, by the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul."

josh e bear's picture
Joined: Feb 29 2008
3-19-90 < my 7th show or so ..

David & GD Nut Bunch ,, nice selection of tunes.. awesome, yet again !!

I am hearing all kinds of things about 81 -83 shows,, how about digging some of that Rare & Hard 2 find years ??

ok ,, see you on tour , woo hoo !!

Josh E Bear !!

Joined: Jun 10 2007
i liked the 90s!

i am enjoying the bits from the 90s- to have vince and bruce together is always fun for me--

but then again, i can easily see why harry blotter likes the early stuff too... so much to enjoy!

thanks for all the tidbits, david!

Joined: Nov 10 2007
keep the pre-1980 GD coming

jettison the 90's to be at, but rather overly slick for my taste to listen to all these years later.


how about 11/19/72, 11/20/70, 12/5/71...oh yeah, and 6/24/70. Play THOSE, rather than yet another estimated prophet.

Aren't we deadheads a fun bunch?

yes we are.

Joined: Nov 14 2008

What a Grate run at the Cap Center! Lots of fun! Thanks David for playing this selection, it brings back lot's of good memories on what is otherwise a somewhat dreary Monday morning:)

Joined: Feb 10 2009
Mondays are tolerable, thanks Dave

I can count on two things every Monday morning -- a slight hangover and some sick sets on the Taper's Section. Loving the '91 material and always have. Hornsby seemed to be able to push Jerry into new paragraphs on this tour. Not that Jerry needed a shove or anything, but I think he found a new gear with Bruce on the keys.

Merci monsieur Lemieux - c'est formidable.

Shall we go?
You and I while we can?

Joined: Mar 16 2009
Regular Shoot-em-up Saloon Band

Hey David, thanks for dipping back into some pre-75 jams. Love the "prototype Grateful Dead" from '71. Since you brought up St, Louis, what's the vault status of the first night 3/17? A while back you offered up a few cool snipets "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Next Time You See Me." No clear set list out there... Happy St. Patty's Day to all!

kuu's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
I really enjoyed those

I really enjoyed those shows with Bruce. Looking back I wish I went to more of them. Thanks Dave for your selections this week.


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