Grateful Dead

March 9 - March 15, 2009

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Welcome back to the Tapers' Section, and an extra big Happy Birthday to Phil this coming Sunday. This week we'll be playing four pre-Drums sequences, not by design but by coincidence, all four of which come from 1981 and 1993.

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 two jams this week are the pre-Drums parts of the shows from March 9 and 10, 1981 at Madison Square Garden. From the first night, on 3/9/81, we have China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider>Samson and Delilah, Ship of Fools, Estimated>Uncle John's Band. This latter combination is quite rare, but it works beautifully here. From the second night, 3/10/81, we have the classic early 1980s pre-Drums sequence of Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain>Lost Sailor>Saint of Circumstance, and this is one of the more powerful examples of this sequence.

Next we'll jump forward exactly 12 years to the Rosemont Horizon near Chicago in 1993. From the first night of a three night run on 3/9/93, we have China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider, Victim or the Crime>Ship of Fools, Playing In The Band. It's been a while since we played Victim here, and it could get so dark and raunchy that it's certainly a change of pace from Scarlet>Fires. From the third show at Rosemont, on 3/11/93, we have the pre-Drums sequence of Iko Iko, Wave To The Wind, Truckin'>Spoonful>He's Gone. Wave To The Wind is much maligned, but I always found they did some very interesting things in the jam in the middle, reminiscent of the jam in Unbroken Chain or Eyes of the World.

Be sure to stop back next week for some superb jams from 1971, 1990 and 1991. Some really tasty treats coming up.

David Lemieux


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Joined: Jul 17 2007
The sun will shine

in my backdoor some day! Mondays are made a bit more bearable. Love the riders that you pick. How about a little sadie or gomorrah?

Joined: Aug 21 2007

I had never heard Wave to the wind before! A quirky but great song. I think Jerry shines on this version.I guess it was written by Phil Lesh?

/Peter, Stockholm Sweden

KMontag's picture
Joined: Dec 14 2008
Iko Iko set is amazing. One

Iko Iko set is amazing. One of my favorites I have heard in a while.

Thanks as always!

DoDa Man's picture
Joined: Sep 16 2008

We don't need no stinkin badges!!

DoDa Man ;^ )

Without love in the dream it'll never come true
Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia

Joined: Jun 5 2007
Ohhhhhhhh David -- Thanks

Ohhhhhhhh David --

Thanks so much, was at both MSG shows March 81.... this is like going back to a memorable sermon or a an awesome girl. You can "see" the colors of the show in the music, especially the second set on 3/10, there was this duel going on between the drummers and Jerry, Jerry trying to get the band to transition into FOTM, and the drummers pulled him back into the Scarlet jam -- and he lets out this short sustain shriek, and 18 thousand loved it... I still to this day can close my eyes and see it, and then Phil herding the whole band into Fire.

My close friend Rich, God rest his soul, tuned and punched me in the shoulder and said... "That's why you came" It was my third show, and I absolutely got it that nite.


If I told you 'bout all that went down, it would burn off both of your ears...

Joined: Nov 10 2007
3/10/81 = heaven

one of the first shows i ever got on tape. i remember a "special time" with that show too, especially Lost Sailor: "hear the seabirds cry". we were at a magical lake inside a cavern...

anyway, 3/10/81 is release worthy.

Joined: Nov 14 2008
Thanks David for choosing

Thanks David for choosing another phenomenal Scarlet>Fire and the Sailor>Saint too! Going to check out the China>Riders now. Thanks again!

Joined: Jun 4 2007
thanks marye

It seems like you are everywhere! Thanks for your help. I have not yet surfed over to the forums, and will do so soon! Thank you X 3 :-)

josh e bear's picture
Joined: Feb 29 2008
81 msg !!!

David and GD Family ~~!~~ happy early spring 2009 ...

well, last year a friedn gifted me those 81 msg shows on CD,, and they are amazing !!

some of the finest GD around,, they were on Fire that run ...

would lov to see a MSG "BOX SET" come out some time, spanning space and time of shows played at MSG,,,,NYC !!!!

thanks 4 sharing some of that sweet music,,, MSG has lots of killer set-lists !!

please keep digging thru the Vault and sharing these hard 2 find gems..

still waiting on a " lazy river road " ... thanks Josh E Bear !!

amellowd's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Early 80's Scarlet Fires!

Hi David,
Thanks for the 81 Scarlet Fire!!! My favorite versions of this combo are from 81-85. I would love to hear more of them on this site!
Take care!


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.