Grateful Dead

May 10 - May 16, 2010

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Welcome back to the Tapers’ Section, where this week we’re mostly going to be checking out Grateful Dead music from the late 1960s, with a dose of 1990 Dead to round things out.

Our first stop this week is on 6/5/69 when the band was playing a four night run at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. This is the venue also know as the Carousel Ballroom, not be confused with the Fillmore Auditorium. From this night, we have a typically hot and lengthy Lovelight, with Pigpen doing what he does best, bringing the crowd to the point of frenzy while the band behind him keeps things rolling.

Moving back about two years, we have music from the O’Keefe Center in Toronto, when the Grateful Dead were playing a week of shows at the venue as part of the “Bill Graham Presents the San Francisco Scene” production. These shows featured the Dead, the Airplane, and Luke & the Apostles. From the Dead show on 8/4/67, we have this tight Viola Lee Blues, and from a day later we have Alligator from 8/5/67. Unfortunately there are reels in the vault clearly marked with the date and venue of some of these shows, which has been scratched out, as the tapes were recorded over. Bummer. But, what does exist is pretty sweet. And it’s always cool to have some Canadian Dead to hear.

Finally this week, from the Without a Net album, released just before the Europe 1990 tour, we have this great version of Help On The Way>Slipknot!>Franklin's Tower, recorded live at Nassau Coliseum on 3/30/90. This show often gets overlooked due to the 3/29/90 show, aka the Branford show, but both 3/28 and 3/30 at Nassau are filled excellent music.

Be sure to stop by next week for music from 1967, 1970 and 1982. A good week coming up for certain. And as always, we encourage you to write with questions, comments or suggestions, to the e-mail address below. Please put “Grateful Dead” in your subject line so it busts through our state-of-the-art spam filters.

David Lemieux


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Joined: Jun 25 2007
'67 is my year!

I love '67. Saw them for the first time August 6, 1967 at Place Ville Marie, (Montreal) in the square. 5000 hippies there. Was there with my hippie friends, (and saw Jefferson Airplane too). Free concert. Bill Graham was there yelling at miscreants in the audience!!! They played, among other songs, New Potato Caboose, Viola, Alligator, Dancin', Morning Dew, and nascent versions of Other One, and Cryptical.

What a show. That was it. I never looked back.

shwack's picture
Joined: Apr 12 2008

Hey Man,
Always great to see the early stuff brought out of the vault and into the
light. Just completed my weekly freakout with that fine Viola Lee.
The Without A Net selection was a good fix too.Now I don't have to
take out those scary clown CD's for awhile!
Merci beaucoup Monsieur Lemieux

shwack in nh

Joined: Aug 6 2007
The Eagle

Hey "The Eagle!" Your remembrance of the 5/11/81 show, which I was NOT at, was awesome. I love how strange the Dead's music and scene seemed until one "got it." You nailed it. There was always somebody (me?) during space or something who could be heard to ask "Is this still a song?" or something to that effect. Thanks for your tale.

Benny Jakes's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
New Haven.

Your first show story reminds me of my first "taste" of the Dead.
It wasn't a show.....My buddy Nathan up the street was the youngest
brother of 5. The oldest was 23? But, his brother Danny was 17 when I was
maybe 8. One summer day Nathan and I went up to the attic to say
hello to Danny. All was bare wood and cardboard except the doorway,
on which hung a poster of Jerry in 77 or 78. One of those big black and
white aviator glasses photos. The room was sweaty hot. The whole place smelled
of east coast commerch'. There's Danny......a wooly wanderer out of some smoke and dust version of the Garden of Eden; gleefully smiling at us. The brother's talk, and I'm
there long enough to absorb the "vibes." You all may remember those youthful moments.

Is that your glass? Can you be it? Understand me?

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Alligator has to be one of my favorite songs

I don't know what it is about that song but it always makes me happy. It is so bold and fun and a great vehicle for jamming. I love every one.

derivative25's picture
Joined: Jul 4 2007
Grateful Dead

And a well nice 'Tower' also. And again I say..... Thank You!

derivative25's picture
Joined: Jul 4 2007
Grateful Dead

Alligator, Wow! Ron McKernon fitted in so, so well. It takes a tune as tight as alligator to show just how well the band fitted together. That was a trip that was. Or two, as the case may have been.

Joined: Jun 13 2007
Check'd my...

big river in, 5/11/10.
THANKS for the tunes!
Hope you are fine, ya'll.

krs10's picture
Joined: Mar 25 2009
Canadian Dead!

Merci David,

My high school teacher, Penny Fiksel, used to jeer at us little hippie wannabees. She dressed exclusively in black, and commented one day: "What do you kids know about the Grateful Dead? I danced ONSTAGE with the Dead at the O'Keefe Centre when I was 15." Turns out most of the crowd did too. Ha ha. Good to hear what she was braggin about.

PonchoBill's picture
Joined: Jul 29 2009

That Help>Slip>Franklin's is among the finest I've ever heard.


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