Grateful Dead

October 19- October 25, 2009

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Welcome back to the Tapers' Section as we continue our run through October, where this week we'll listen to the music from throughout the 1980s, and a taste of 1973 to start things out.

Our first stop this week is on 10/25/73 in Madison, WI, where the Grateful Dead would be playing their second magnificent show in this cool city in 1973 (the previous show was 2/15/73). From the end of the first set, we have this great sequence of Tennessee Jed, LL Rain, Deal, El Paso, Row Jimmy, Playing In The Band. The entire tour, and really the whole October 19-December 19, 1973 span, features some of the deepest, most inspired playing by the Grateful Dead ever, up there with Europe '72, September-December '72, and April-June '77.

Next up is going to be music from the second of two shows at the Saenger Performing Arts Center in New Orleans, on 10/19/80. As we mentioned last week here, the band took a brief “break” from the giant runs of shows at the Warfield and Radio City by stopping in New Orleans for two of these terrific three-set affairs, complete with acoustic sets. From 10/19/80, we have the start of the third set, featuring Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountains, Samson and Delilah, Terrapin Station .After this, they'd head to New York for their eight shows at Radio City October 22-31, 1980.

From four years plus a day later, on 10/20/84 at the Carrierdome in Syracuse, NY, we have the second set opener of Shakedown Street>Samson, He's Gone>Smokestack Lightning>Jam. This was one of the first live concert tapes I was given, just weeks after the concert (thanks, Terry…), and although I still have my old XLII-S, it is worn down after being played so many times. Thankfully the vault has a master Beta PCM of this concert, from which this jam was drawn.

Lastly this week, from 10/23/89 in Charlotte, NC, we have a very good chunk of the first set, including a couple of cool things to note: California Earthquake, Feel Like A Stranger, Loser, Walkin' Blues, Bertha, When I Paint My Masterpiece. This is the second and final live version of California Earthquake by the Grateful Dead. As some of you may recall, the band was on the east coast playing one of their most highly regarded tours in years, when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck on October 17, 1989, on a night off for the band, during the pre-game show of the Bay Bridge World Series. A couple of nights earlier in Philadelphia, the band played this song for the first time, followed by the Charlotte version. Also worth noting is the sort-of-rare mid-set Bertha.

Be sure to stop by next week for more great music, when we'll stick mostly within the 1980s, but, like this week, we'll take a detour into 1973. As always, we welcome and encourage you to write with comments or questions about the Tapers' Section. The email address below will get to me, and I try to respond to all correspondence.

David Lemieux


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Joined: Jul 20 2007

Always grate to listen in!

shwack's picture
Joined: Apr 12 2008

It's been great getting all of the fine Eighties era music during these past few
weeks.From 5/77 thru 12/89 is when I packed in most of my live attendance.
Merci Beaucoup Monsieur Lemieux

shwack in nh

Joined: Jun 27 2007
Madison Tennesee Jed

This is awesome. Keith is really cookin' on this! And, as usual, Bobby proves he's the most unique rhythm guitarist ever!!


"This is but a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago."

Box of Rain
Lyrics by Robert Hunter Music by Phil Lesh

Joined: Jun 7 2007
Official '89 releases (or lack thereof)

1989 seems like a surprisingly under-served year in terms of official releases, considering it was a very strong year performance-wise, and the wealth of multitrack recordings in the vault from the Without a Net tapings. Among official releases there are only Trucking Up to Buffalo and Nightfall of Diamonds, plus one installment of the Download Series (Pittsburgh Civic Center 4/2-3/89) There's also the "Downhill From Here" DVD, but unlike the View From the Vault or Grateful Dead Movie, there's no corresponding soundtrack album, which feels like an oversight.

Of course, the counter-argument to releasing more from '89 is that there are so many easily-obtainable soundboards available--but the same thing could be said of the Winterland '77 box set, or Cal Expo '93 road trips.

Joined: Apr 22 2008
Very Nice Selections

Thanks for the fine selections! Each from high points in the GD's tours.

rick e.'s picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007

At the time I had just seen the Meadowlands and Philly shows and the Charlotte(my hometown) shows didn't seem all that hot ,but after listening to the tapes a lot I thought those 2 shows were pretty good .The Stranger has a nice jam .Bill and Mickey keep a good momentum going throughout the jam. Bertha a rocks .This Masterpiece is one my favorite versions.Thanks a lot ....

kevjones's picture
Joined: Apr 28 2009
Nice selections this week

I love that Charlotte show. Have had an analog tape for years. Wish this California Earthquake was put on the Built to Last expanded CD. I was just listening to that CD last week and I REALLY like it. Damn, that Foolish Heart from the bonus songs is perfect. How about an Alpine Valley box set next year!

Joined: Oct 19 2009
Live Dead

I have listened to a whole lot of music in my lifetime. I especially like seeing bands in concert or listening to their live albums.

NOBODY does it better than the Grateful Dead.

Thanks for these great songs. It has really picked me up today.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Tennessee Jed

Wow...somebody really, really kicked his dog in Tennessee Jed...odd sounds abound! But it's an interesting way to listen to LLR...

derivative25's picture
Joined: Jul 4 2007
Good Music

There ain't much more to say, good music!


Comment viewing options

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