Jerry is just wild on this one.
He's Gone - 12-15-72
Wharf Rat - 12-31-78
Takes all you got just to stay on the beat . . .
Hard to Handle - 8-6-71 [on Fallout from the Phil Zone]
Mason's Children - 12-28-69
Dancin' in the Streets (early arrangement) - 5-6-70 [Dark Star feel]
Dancin' in the Streets (late arrangement) - 5-8-77 [endlessly inventive variations by Garcia - bonus track on Terrapin Station reissue]
Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad - 5-19-74 [32? bar solo - Jerry just keeps going, better and better; of course the whole jam is great including Tico Tico]
Foolish Heart - 5-25-95 [gave me chills]
So many golden moments . . .
My money is on 12.1.71 Boston Music Hall. It blistered.
When I was in college, I had a handful of precious tapes. One had a fantastic version of The Other>Me and My Uncle. The tape was from the early 1970's. What were some of the best? This sounded like the horses were thundering across the plain, into a murderous melee. Any suggestions? The tape's been lost for years.
During the MSG run of 1990. That was something.
6-7-69 Pigpen and Janis Joplin 'Getting It On' so bad you can smell it. Janis fills in the gaps where Pig's rantngs usually turn away those that heard it before. Killer stuff, Jerry's licks are On as well. Check it out if you can find it!
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." (Jimi Hendrix)
For the Looks Like Rain freaks (not sure I'm one but anyways) check out those from the spring of '72 on which Jerry plays pedal steel. I'm not sure he was ever of greater service to that song than w/ those versions. He made that thing cry.
Of course I can unequivocally state the best China-Rider ever......02-22-74.
Ask me again next week and I'll probably say the same thing.
Dick Latvala (may he RIP) made the point once that every time you slap on an old favourite (Dark Star, say) you're bringing a different set of ears to it because presumably you're not the same person as before. Which means of course there's every possibility you might like it less, or more, than the last time. Which also means of course these 'best ever' notions we get are fragile things. Of course he was right (well, not counting maybe if the last time you heard our Dark Star in question was yesterday, but you get the point). Why wouldn't it work that way? It can work that way when you re-read a classic novel for example, or see a great movie again for the first time in a while.
So I'd like to second the notion voiced by others that it's not so much about debating 'best evers' as it is about pointing each other in directions that might be well worth investigating. With that thought in mind I'll leave you with....... Dark Star, 12.11.72. Oh my gosh!