Grateful Dead

Week of December 14 - December 20, 2009

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Welcome back to our pre-holiday week of music here at the Tapers' Section, where this week we've got some excellent music from 1969, 1980 and 1985. The vault doesn't have all that much music from mid December to December 27 (there simply weren't that many shows played during that stretch every year, and in some cases, like 1978, there are no tapes when they did play that stretch), but there is some cool stuff that we're excited to play.

Our first selection this week is from 12/19/69 at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. The Fillmore Auditorium was a different venue than the Fillmore West (aka Carousel Ballroom), with the Auditorium being the same Fillmore at which we can still go see great music. From this show, the first of a three night run, we have Mason's Children, Black Peter, Hard To Handle, Cumberland Blues, Casey Jones, Good Lovin'. This was the time when they were really working all of the Workingman's Dead material into the repertoire, mostly to great effect. Mason's Children was the one Workingman's Dead song that was recorded but not included on the album, finally seeing the light of day on a CD release in 1999 with the release of the magnificent 5-CD boxed set So Many Roads.

From the very next show we have a segment of music that takes up an entire reel of tape and then some, starting and ending rather abruptly due to this, but it is so good, we figured you wouldn't mind. From 12/20/69 at the Fillmore Auditorium, we have The Eleven>New Speedway Boogie>Lovelight. This is the first live version of New Speedway, which is remarkable considering that the events that inspired this song took place only two weeks earlier at Altamont.

Jumping forward 11 years to 12/13/80 at the Long Beach Arena near LA, we have the post-Drums sequence of Not Fade Away>Black Peter>Sugar Magnolia, One More Saturday Night. As we demonstrated here a couple of weeks ago, there was some great music played toward the end of 1980 after the Radio City shows in October.

Lastly this week, from 11/22/85 at the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland, CA, we have the pre-Drums sequence of Touch of Grey>Estimated Prophet>Eyes of the World. The Kaiser had become the band's new hometown venue, a nice stop in the short list of primary hometown venue for the band throughout their history (Avalon, Fillmore West/Carousel, Winterland, Kaiser, Shoreline, Oakland Arena).

Be sure to check in next week for music from 1979, 1982 and 1989. It's always a pleasure to hear from you, so feel free to write to the email address below with questions or comments about the Tapers' Section.

David Lemieux


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shwack's picture
Joined: Apr 12 2008
memo to SMALLZ

Hey Smallz,
Check out some of the Fall 1984 East Coast shows for some Dan/Bobby
trippy knob twiddling.(Hartford CT.10/14/84 2nd set comes to mind)
shwack in nh

Joined: Jun 5 2007
this weeks dec21

am i missing someting, do not see this weeks tapers section?????????????

smallz's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
trippy Estimated

diggin' the '85 sequence. Was this when Healy started distorting Bob's vox during Estimated? I love that trippy shit, followed by the band blithely following Jerry's mellow lead into the aforemetioned coked-out Eyes.

"Y'all got cocaine eyes" (Can't You Hear Me Knocking - Rolling Stones)

Joined: Nov 6 2007
Awesome Selections, David!!!

The 12/19/69 selection was great, when I listened to it a few days ago. I love the '69 variation and energy.

The 12/20/69 'Eleven' is great. It's not necessarily explosive, but it is thoroughly enjoyable.

'New Speedway' is good and it's interesting to hear a lot of backing vocals that will eventually get ditched.

The 'Lovelight' is absolutely fantastic! Probably one of the best versions I've ever heard. As I was out of my seat grooving around the room I felt compelled to write this post. Grateful Dead magic moments here. Adventurous, cohesive, energetic, uplifting, soulful.......(no word exists to describe)........Enjoy :)

'In fact your salvation is within yourself, in your own essence of mind, it is not to be gotten grasping at external people like me.' ~ Jack Kerouac

Joshua_me's picture
Joined: Jun 24 2007
Your Soul a Critic ? No....


Gotta love those cocaine-fueled mid-80's Eyes....

shwack's picture
Joined: Apr 12 2008

Hey Man,
Enjoying the post Radio City run of music passages from late 1980.
The above sequences from 1969 ain't too bad either! Oh what the hell...
I love all of it! Certainly all! Enjoy the season.
Merci Beaucoup Monsieur Lemieux

shwack in nh

Joined: May 30 2008
rarely disapointed with the selections...

and today is no different. :)

for those listening at work you may want to watch the volume on 12/20/1969 Lovelight as Pig gets a little graphic, haha

keep the good tunes coming...

Joined: Nov 11 2009
Love for 1970

Hey David, thanks for all the great music. Love that Eleven>New Speedway>Lovelight!!!

You mention not having much in the vault for this time of year, which makes sense. I'm curious if there is much in the vault for 1970 in general? We've had DP 4 & 8, Bear's choice, and...well...that's pretty much it...isn't it? Can we get some Road Trips or Vault Releases from 1970, please?? You guys could totally start another release series for shows that don't have that great of quality...if needed. Anything to get some of that 1970's material in our ears. Somebody call up Bear and see if he has 4/26/1970...I can't find that one anywhere!!!

Joined: Jun 10 2007

sounds great, david- love it all! thanks--

Joined: Oct 1 2007
Happy holidays!

Hey David, enjoy the holidays! Always love to hear a Mason's Children. Back in the day of cassettes for some reason Mason's Children was often cut during the jam out of it, what a shame, since they were often inspired jams.

From Montreal, where we are out in the cold rain and snow....


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