September 17 - September 23, 2007
We’ve got some outstanding music for you this week, covering a rather limited span in the Grateful Dead’s performing history, but it’s a span that includes some of the best years.
First up in our mid-September journey is Paris in 1974, where the Grateful Dead closed out their short tour of the continent. From 9/20/74, we have this very good Weather Report Suite>Stella Blue, and from the next night, 9/21/74, we have the second set jam featuring Seastones>Playing In The Band. It was rather rare for the band to join Phil and Ned during Seastones, but this jam works very well, and hits some remarkably deep spaces. One quick digression: while going through the Grateful Dead Movie’s outtakes in preparation for the DVD production, we came across some footage of the band getting together in a dressing room before the show on 10/16/74, the first night at Winterland. Evidently, they hadn’t seen each other since the end of the Europe tour, and while talking about the excellent music on that tour, Billy begins raving about the high quality of the recordings from the Europe tour, to which the rest of the band responds that they found the recordings equally impressive. Certainly some of Kidd’s best 2-track work.
Going back a few years, we are pleased to play a couple of jams from 9/21/68. This material is drawn from a very interesting tape, in that it features Phil, Jerry and Mickey, plus a couple of guest musicians, in a studio jam right in the midst of the period in which the Mickey and the Hartbeats shows were being performed without Bobby and Pigpen. From this studio session, we have a nice Clementine Jam and another very interesting Jam.
We’re going to take a detour away from our featured week and head off to May, 1973, specifically 5/13/73 in Des Moines, Iowa. From that excellent, long show (the first of three consecutive long shows in May, with 5/20 in Santa Barbara and 5/26 in San Francisco being the others), we have Here Comes Sunshine and a nice, long and spacey Playing In The Band from the second set, and from the first set we have the rocking combination of Don’t Ease Me In>Around and Around.
Finally this week, and in memory of Corinne Crawford from Berkeley and Vermont, is the mournful Death Don’t Have No Mercy from 2/28/69.
As always, we welcome your comments and questions. Feel free to write about anything. And be sure to check back in next week when we’ll have some stellar music from 1972, 1976 and 1981.
vault [at] dead.net
I've decided to abandon my hatred of Canada and all things Canadian. I am even considering forgiving Bill Gates (but not NOW - that bastard).
That story was awesome, cb!
"Hey! They killed Kenny! You bastards!"
Two words RealPlayer beta . I'm mad that they skipped out on september 22nd. set aside 1 week a month for all those scrambled songs dates. EVEN IF I COULD I DON'T KNOW IF I WOULD.
and great theory, Hal!
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live.
And now I understand why you must now hide out for several weeks from the mute Rhino for having revealing the secrets of Rhinogate. Watch out for those black helicopters! Hide your golden nuggets!
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
Walt Whitman-Song of Myself
‘Here Comes Sunshine’ appeared on the old Taper’s Section as an MP3 for three dates: 3/26/73; 5/26/73; 6/26/73 (mysterious eh?). As a stream it has just appeared for 5/13/73, breaking the pattern in a way that is surely significant! Also, Tennessee Jed has never appeared on Taper’s Section. Figure it out. Maybe someone in there is trying to warn us.
Vive la Resistance!
Over the years in jail and the army and the months of drunken leisure as a security consultant, Charlie Ford fantasised his own special warped dream of vengeance for his humiliation in the school gym, hoping but never really believing it would come true. Charlie’s dream went something like this:
- Gain control of all Grateful Dead Music
- Create a website to attract the Dead Heads, drive them crazy and laugh as they fight eachother and -beg to hand over their money.
- Get them hooked on MP3s. Then switch to streams infected with a virus that seeks out and destroys all Grateful Dead Music on their computers.
- Sow the website with Cookies and Trojans in order to get to know who they all are and where they all live.
- Equip a fleet of shiny black helicopters with giant electro magnets to fly over their houses and wipe all their tapes and hard discs.
- Infect Sirius radio broadcasts with subliminal messages, brainwashing listeners into burning their vinyl and CD collections when a special version of ‘Here Comes Sunshine’ is played.
- And finally! Broadcast live on TV the destruction of the vault and all it contains.
Sometimes too, Charlie dreamt guiltily of that kind, warm, friendly group hug back at the school gym, but when he woke from such dreams, he purged them by whipping himself savagely with barbed wire.
When he returned to the US Charlie Ford finally saw the chance to turn his unlikely dream into reality. Some time in 2006 he walked into the lobby of Richer Donors Inc with $100m in cash and a business proposition.
The rest you know!
With thanks and apologies to Frank Zappa, Tom Sharpe, Roald Dahl, Bill Bryson and, of course, the Good Old Grateful Dead.
When he was released from jail the only choice for Charlie Ford was the army. There, they taught him some discipline. He learned to read and write and qualified as an electronics specialist, with a real gift for computers. Things went well until, in Iraq, his Lieutenant slipped Dicks Picks 1 into the CD player of their Humvee and the first sweet notes of ‘Here Comes Sunshine’ drifted into the back….
What happened next was later covered up as a ‘friendly fire incident’, and Charlie was quietly discharged.
He was immediately recruited by a security consultancy belonging to charismatic business leader Harry Burton. Soon Charlie was earning the big bucks, supplementing his more-than-generous pay packet with on-line scams and with the proceeds of charging the army $10,000 per roll of toilet paper. He returned to the US exceedingly rich, but still deeply damaged.
Charlie never was the same again (and neither was the old man). The police broke up the school riot and despite Bob’s protests the battered Deadheads were allowed to go free (the Head teacher rescued the super-rare tape and still trades it to this day). The Deadheads refused to press charges so Bob was given a stern warning by the police and Charlie was banned by the school board for insulting his peers. In an attempt to drive the devil out of his son, his old man threw Charlie into the inspection pit at the garage for a week, from pelting him with rocks time to time. In the months that followed Charlie became scary, wild and uncontrollable, nurturing a twisted hatred that even shocked his father. Each night he patrolled the city in a rusty truck looking for Deadheads to taunt and terrify. Finally he was jailed for attacking a homesick head called Jed, punching him in the eye and kicking his faithful hound.
The next summer Cindy and Charlene finally managed to slip away and join the Deadhead throng, happy to be free at last. Maybe you met them somewhere, braiding hair and painting faces (I think they changed their names), but Bob Ford never bothered to look for them. A year later he too was jailed for cutting the brake pipes of VWs and Nissans in the Stadium parking lot.
Part 4: The riot
The dancers stopped and looked nervously over to the head teacher who just stood and fiddled with his tie. Then one of the children broke into laughter and soon they all joined in, pointing at Charlie and starting a cruel, taunting chant. ‘Charlie is a Dead Head, Charlie is a Dead Head. Devil’s Plaything, Devil’s Plaything’.
The little group on the stage conferred with eachother and one of them shouted above the rising cacophony. ‘’Stop it! Take a step back! Be kind! We all love Charlie and we’re going to give him a big group hug’
With that the Deadheads bravely jumped down from the stage. They gathered round the beleaguered Charlie, joined arms and enveloped him in an unfamiliar, but not unpleasant cocoon of velvet, hair, and warm, soft bodies, all scented with a heady combination of patchouli, bonfire smoke, gasoline and dirty laundry.
But deep inside the hug, above the soaring sounds of ‘Here Comes Sunshine’ Charlie could still hear the chanting as it went on and on ‘Devils gonna getcha. Devils gonna getcha’.
In those moments two opposing forces fought for control of the confused young mind of poor suffocating Charlie Ford. Yield to the love or surrender to the hate. The spell of love was slowly winning, but before it could fully take hold, it was savagely and irreparably broken as Bob Ford crashed into the gym, tire irons in his tattooed fists screaming ‘Where’s my boy?’.
Then one summer something changed. The new head teacher (wearing a very colourful tie) gathered the students in the school gym and addressed them.
‘As you know boys and girls, every year about this time our city welcomes the Dead Heads as our guests; so this time we decided to invite some of them to our school. First they are going to play us some music, next they will tell us some stories and then we’re all going to learn how to make a tie die shirt’.
Half a dozen smiley hairy colourfully dressed people walked a little nervously onto the stage, plugged a little cassette player into the school PA and put in a tape. ‘Hi’ one of them said ‘I’m Lilly, these are my friends and this music is why we are here’
Right on cue a man with a big grey beard pressed the ‘on’ button, and as the sweet opening notes of ‘Here Comes Sunshine’ drifted across the gym a deadhead with flowers in her hair started to dance. Soon the others joined in and the assembly sat entranced by the beautiful, joyful music and the spinning, whirling dancers.
Suddenly Charlie Ford leapt to his feet:
‘Shut the fuck up you dicks ’ he screamed ‘my dad says you’re a bunch of commie Nazi perverts whose all going to hell and if I listen to this shit the devil’s going to use me for his own special plaything’