Grateful Dead

May 1977 Box (Digital)

Digital Download

What's Inside:
Five Complete Shows
5/11/77 St. Paul Civic Center Arena, St. Paul, MN
5/12/77 Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
5/13/77 Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
5/15/77 St. Louis Arena, St. Louis MO
5/17/77 University Of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
14 Discs, 111 tracks
Mastered in HDCD by Jeffrey Norman, Plangent Processes playback system for maximum sonic accuracy
Artwork by Grammy Award-winning graphic artist Masaki Koike
Period Photos by James R Anderson
Historical Essay by Steve Silberman
Individual show liner notes


If you're a Dead Head, chances are you've spent many an hour expounding upon the distinction of May 8, 1977, Cornell University, Barton Hall. Well, at the risk of preaching to the choir, we'd like to reintroduce you to a series of shows that matches said greatness from that same gloriously fertile season. While Barton Hall is well known, the astounding tour that surrounded it has occasionally flown under the radar due to the uneven quality of tapes in circulation. May 1977 is set to change all of that with a boxed set that zeroes in on this high-water mark in the Grateful Dead's long strange trip.

For a band resurrecting itself after a 20-month hiatus, there was a great frenzy of expectancy that surrounded the Spring of 1977. We anticipate a grand reoccurrence of this fervor with the release of May 1977, a 14-disc boxed set featuring five complete shows from consecutive stops on that magical tour. Mastered in HDCD by Jeffrey Norman at Mockingbird Mastering, the "psychoacoustic phenomena" as Jerry once put it, of St. Paul Civic Center Arena, St. Paul, MN (5/11) Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL (5/12, 5/13), St. Louis Arena, St. Louis MO (5/15) and Coliseum at the University Of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (5/17) can now finally be appreciated. Each of these shows finds the Dead delivering punchier, more focused sets, tightening up the framework; each night turning out first-ever renditions ("Passenger,""Iko Iko,""Jack-A-Roe"), unloading potent new pairings ("Scarlet Begonias">"Fire On The Mountain", "Estimated Prophet">"Eyes Of The World"), classic covers ("Dancing In The Street") and soon-to-be staples ("Estimated Prophet," "Samson and Delilah"), and ultimately rising up to paradise.

And now for the nitty-gritty...

Due June 11, May 1977 is limited to 15,000 individually numbered copies. Presented in a psychedelic box that boasts an intricate die-cut design created by Grammy®-winning graphic artist Masaki Koike, the set also includes a book filled with stories about each show, as well as an in-depth essay by Dead historian Steve Silberman, who delves deep into the history behind the tour and the band’s return from its extended hiatus.

Once these 15,000 boxes are gone, May 1977 and its shows will never be available again on CD. However, the 111 tracks will be made available on release date as FLAC and Apple lossless full-set-only downloads for $99.98.

Like its predecessors Europe '72: The Complete Recordings and Spring 1990, we expect May 1977 to sell out. Your best bet is to pre-order it now, then sit back, relax, and enjoy all the exclusive content we'll be rolling out over the next few weeks right here and on and

May 1977 Show By Show

Take a closer look inside of our numbered, limited-edition boxed set May 1977 with listening parties, videos, artwork and more from each featured show.

5/11/77 St. Paul Civic Center Arena, St. Paul, MN
5/12/77 Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
5/13/77 Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
5/15/77 St. Louis Arena, St. Louis MO
5/17/77 University Of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Listening Party

MAY 1977

"Wharf Rat" 5/11/77
"Mississippi Half-Step" 5/12/77
"Jack-A-Roe" 5/13/77
"Dancing In The Street" 5/15/77
"Terrapin Station" 5/17/77

David Lemieux on What’s Inside May 1977


Show #1
St. Paul Civic Center Arena, St. Paul, MN (5/11/77)

Disc 1
1. Promised Land [4:54]
2. They Love Each Other [7:38]
3. Big River [6:25]
4. Loser [7:39]
5. Looks Like Rain [9:18]
6. Ramble On Rose [7:48]
7. Jack Straw [5:54]
8. Peggy-O [8:43]
9. El Paso [4:44]
10. Deal [5:49]

Disc 2
1. Lazy Lightning> [3:32]
2. Supplication [5:20]
3. Sugaree [13:49]
4. Samson and Delilah [7:08]
5. Brown-Eyed Women [5:28]
6. Estimated Prophet [8:38]

Disc 3
1. Scarlet Begonias> [9:47]
2. Fire On The Mountain> [11:02]
3. Good Lovin' [6:29]
4. Uncle John's Band> [9:11]
5. Space> [5:48]
6. Wharf Rat> [9:51]
7. Around and Around [8:48]
8. Brokedown Palace [5:34]

Show #2
Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL (5/12/77)

Disc 1
1. Bertha [7:16]
2. Me and My Uncle [3:04]
3. Tennessee Jed [9:32]
4. Cassidy [5:05]
5. Peggy-O [7:52]
6. Jack Straw [5:45]
7. They Love Each Other [7:47]
8. New Minglewood Blues [5:20]

Disc 2
1. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo> [9:54]
2. Dancing In The Street [14:19]
3. Samson and Delilah [7:07]
4. Brown-Eyed Women [5:28]
5. Estimated Prophet [9:25]
6. Sunrise [3:46]

Disc 3
1. Terrapin Station> [10:13]
2. Playing In The Band> [8:36]
3. Drums> [4:06]
4. Not Fade Away> [14:15]
5. Comes A Time> [10:20]
6. Playing In The Band [7:00]
7. Johnny B. Goode [4:18]

Show #3
Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL (5/13/77)

Disc 1
1. The Music Never Stopped [8:37]
2. Ramble On Rose [7:33]
3. Cassidy [4:46]
4. Brown-Eyed Women [5:35]
5. New Minglewood Blues [5:06]
6. Friend Of The Devil [8:38]
7. El Paso [4:55]
8. Jack-A-Roe [5:56]
9. Looks Like Rain [8:17]
10. Scarlet Begonias> [7:05]
11. Fire On The Mountain [13:19]

Disc 2
1. Samson and Delilah> [7:24]
2. Bertha [6:52]
3. Estimated Prophet> [9:51]
4. Drums> [5:47]
5. The Other One> [16:28]
6. Stella Blue> [11:51]
7. Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad> [8:05]
8. One More Saturday Night [5:21]
9. U.S. Blues [5:57]

Show #4
St. Louis Arena, St. Louis MO (5/15/77)

Disc 1
1. Bertha> [6:34]
2. Good Lovin' [6:07]
3. Row Jimmy [10:51]
4. New Minglewood Blues [5:33]
5. Tennessee Jed [9:35]
6. Lazy Lightning> [3:34]
7. Supplication [4:42]
8. Jack-A-Roe [6:24]
< 9. Passenger [4:31]
10. Brown-Eyed Women [5:16]

Disc 2
1. Dancing In The Street [18:49]
2. Estimated Prophet> [11:32]
3. Eyes Of The World> [12:48]
4. Drums> [3:13]
5. Samson and Delilah [7:28]
6. Ship Of Fools [7:41]

Disc 3
1. St. Stephen> [5:28]
2. Iko Iko> [3:54]
3. Not Fade Away> [9:38]
4. Sugar Magnolia [9:58]
5. Uncle John's Band [9:06]

Show #5
Coliseum, University Of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (5/17/77)

Disc 1
1. New Minglewood Blues [5:46]
2. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo> [10:28]
3. El Paso [4:48]
4. They Love Each Other [7:42]
5. Jack Straw [5:37]
6. Jack-A-Roe [5:59]
7. Looks Like Rain [8:10]
8. Tennessee Jed [8:46]
9. Passenger [3:36]
10. High Time [8:32]
11. Big River [6:39]

Disc 2
1. Sunrise [4:35]
2. Scarlet Begonias> [13:02]
3. Fire On The Mountain [13:14]
4. Samson and Delilah> [6:43]
5. Bertha> [6:16]
6. Good Lovin' [6:02]
7. Brown-Eyed Women [5:34]

Disc 3
1. Estimated Prophet [8:55]
2. Terrapin Station> [11:23]
3. Playing In The Band> [12:20]
4. Drums> [4:49]
5. Wharf Rat> [12:53]
6. Playing In The Band [6:06]
7. Sugar Magnolia [9:15]


comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
bolo24's picture
Joined: Nov 25 2009
DP7 hints

If I were to divulge the show selected for DP7, I'd have to flee to Hong Kong like that NSA whistleblower. And I would never deny Mr. Lemieux the joy of holding one of his delightful seaside chats to make the big announcement.

I'll just say it's a fun show, not from the sixties or nineties. And no Sugaree.

hbob1995's picture
Joined: Jun 26 2007
Interesting discussion

I am enjoying this discussion very much. It certainly is eye-opening. Some folks would skip songs that I would NEVER even think to skip, like the cowboy songs like Big River, or Around & Around. It is the ballads that are always among my least favorite tunes. You need Bobby's songs to keep the tempo upbeat. Given his druthers, Jerry would get lost in his ballads. Bobby would always kick start things and get Jerry rockin'. But this forum has shown me how diverse we are in our love of the band. Something for every taste.

Joined: Sep 5 2012
Cowboy Songs

Speaking of Big River and Weir's other "cowboy songs:" I love 'em! They typically gave Jerry a chance to stretch his fingers with some of his best first-set solos. Listening to the sparkling 12/28/79 Mexicali Blues as I type.

Bolo - Still waiting on more DP7 hints..!

Syracuse78's picture
Joined: Jul 15 2010
Wow, I think I like almost

Wow, I think I like almost every version of Big River I've ever heard. Probably also true for FOTM. Two things I'll say about this discussion:

1) Sometimes hearing a song live changes your perspective on it. I used to find Stella Blue pretty slow and boring, but I remember seeing them do it at Cornell in around 1980 or so, and it made me appreciate it much, much more.

2) I defy anyone, anywhere, to say they skip Ripple! lol

Good discussion that is amazingly devoid of personal attacks!

tree1270's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Happy solstice!

Looking forward to reconnecting with "Wolf" tonight at Tanglewood for the Jerry celebration.

Skips: for me, Around and Around, Day Job, Victim, and Big River (until recently - Spring '77 box changed that for me)

Fun discussion!

Joined: Jun 6 2007
UK Arrival

Safely here (8299) but £26.60 in taxes too - still, I got away with the Europe '72 box.
Shame that it now goes away until Christmas but another thing to look forward to.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
ya mean sam

forever is a long time. long enough to remember his name was sam, haha.

Joined: Feb 2 2011
Sceamin Scott kinison: Say It , Say it, Say it!!!!!!

Hey Palmereldrich:Say It , Say it, Say it!!!!!!!!!

Bobby is the greatest!

PalmerEldritch's picture
Joined: Jul 25 2011

This Weir love-fest is startng to make me a little queasy. I thought I was one of the few who truly appreciated Weir. It was like being in on a secret. Now everyone here is on the bandwagon. Even his Wikipedia page is pretty right on. Kinda takes some of the fun out of it ;) But, more key than Jerry or Phil? Let's take a step back, take a few deep breaths. The greatest "rhythm guitarist" ever? Certainly. But lets not go overboard.

Joined: Feb 2 2011
Bob's rhythm

Bob's rhythm is not a conventional one and is what makes the Gd so unique. You have a powerhouse bass and lead both complementing each other and,yet, like a tug of war, pulling in different directions at other times.

How does a rhythm compete with this?

Bob is kind of weaving his rhythm around Jerry and Phil, much more so Jerry. rather like a ball bouncing off of different, opposing walls. Perhaps like a Remora fish trailing in the slip stream.

If that's not grand sounding enough. . .. and at the risk of having tomatoes thrown at me. . .. Bob's rhythm is kind of like 'light refraction,' a bending rhythm around Jerry's improvisational lead, yet still the same 'beam.'

Bob may be the hidden key to the GD's uniqueness more so than Jerry or Phil. OK, OK, let's not put to fine a point on it.

bolo24's picture
Joined: Nov 25 2009

All this discussion about Sugaree has prompted me to post my license plate as my avatar.
Guess you can figure out where I stand!

Joined: Apr 1 2008
Chris Grand:

Man that must be tough: loving Scarlet but not Fire!! Kind of like your right brain being at odds with your left. No criticism here, to each their own, just offering my condolences!

Nottwo's picture
Joined: Jan 19 2011
28/5/77 Hartford "Sugaree"

The above version of said song brought me one of my most profound Dead listening experiences; Jerry is, in my view, of course, just soaring higher and higher with each lead break; by the end the bottom of my jaw had just about separated from my head and there may even have been drool involved.
Just my Two Cents.

One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011

What an amazing salvo of confessions! I love us. Finally, some real-life sentiments. I would also say that I will hear any version of any song once, even LLR. Then I get more picky and that one always gets skipped, except sometimes the E72 pedal steel versions. But Stella Blue? Never. As for synths, I risked life and limb setting up an antenna on top of my 10-story dorm so I could record that 3/1/80 Jerry show off the airwaves, so I was kind of obligated to love it. Then it ended up on Garcia Live Vol. 1, and every note (of the first show) was long ago burned into my memory banks. So I still feel kind of obliged to like it, even with those ridiculous synth keys. I got used to them somehow. The GD MIDI stuff, not so much. I appreciate their willingness to continue the long experiment, but that little detour was a dead end, and good riddance to it except for some prime Space moments.

davidg22's picture
Joined: Jan 25 2011
Childe ballad?

On page 30 of the notes, Blair Jackson refers to something he calls a "Childe ballad". I know "childe" sounds appropriately Old (or Olde) English, but he means "Child ballad". In five volumes published between 1882-1898 Francis James Child compiled texts to 305 traditional English and Scottish ballads, that have ever since been known as the Child ballads. But I do think Blair's notes are great.

Chris Grand's picture
Joined: Aug 20 2012
coming clean...

i usually skip "fire on the mountain" ruins the the best song the dead ever wrote (scarlet)

there, i feel better now

that said i am loving the 5/77 box
particularly bob's guitar and keith's keys up high in the mix, and even donna is right on the money

other skippers are row jimmy & sugaree, but only after the first pass thru. i dont really own any 80's stuff, but it goes without saying that the abominable "cc rider/walkin blues/red rooster" quickly causes the XM channel to change, plus any brent song

LLR appears to be a popular skipper, but for me, the post 74 versions with donna harmonizing are some of the best vocal performances the band ever did

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Audience participation

As Allman said, audience participation "never translates very well to recorded music". Well, almost never. Quicksilver's "Happy trails" is a notable exception to this. The band and audience were really working together that night. At the other end of the scale, we have all surely cringed when the singers shouts "Sing this with me!", points the mic at the audience and is greeted with an embarrasing silence. This translates particularly badly to recorded music as the audience, if recorded at all, are at such a low level compared to the band that they might as well not be there. It is also possible that the band were playing to an empty hall!

Joined: Sep 5 2012

Wow - The audience chanting "Know my love..." as the band exited always gave (and still gives) me goosebumps. My favorite: Alpine '89. Absolutely transcendental.

Joined: Jul 9 2007
audience participation

My skip song is always Not Fade Away with the audience participation mostly from the 80’s. Audience participation is one those “had to be there” situations. Never translates very well to recorded music.

Joined: Jun 16 2009
Mutron, MIDI, and Synths

I know a lot of people don't like the Mutron III or the MIDI rack, but I have grown to love it. The synth keys (played by Ozzie Ahlers) from GarciaLive Vol. 1 sound great to me, but then, I love early synth music. The synth on "Feel Like a Stranger" is probably my favorite, and Keith does some cool work on "Lazy

I will say that nothing ruined a good Ramble on Rose like Jerry switching off the Mutron (which I like quite a lot for that tune) and turning on the MIDI trumpet. Godawful.

Joined: Jun 16 2009
Mutron, MIDI, and Synths

I know a lot of people don't like the Mutron III or the MIDI rack, but I have grown to love it. The synth from GarciaLive Vol. 1 sounds great to me, but then, I love early synth music. It all comes back to taste, I suppose. I will say that nothing ruined a good Ramble on Rose like Jerry switching off the Mutron (which I like quite a lot for that tune) and turning on the MIDI trumpet. Godawful.

PalmerEldritch's picture
Joined: Jul 25 2011
song skips/MIDI

I loved the MIDI! Every time I hear Jerry go full MIDI I feel a great wash of relief- the freedom of no possible comparisons to pre-hiatus Dead. It's easier for me to accept late-era Dead on its own terms when MIDI was used. Otherwise, comparisons to the golden era keep creeping up.
Of course, Jerry never abandoned acoustic music, and was playing some of the best in his life at the same time (with Grisman).
As for song skips, for me this depends a lot on the era. I love all of 68-74; nothing is skip-worthy. Even my least favorite songs (e.g. Looks Like Rain) were magic during Europe 72. After that I am more picky. And some songs really require a certain mood from the listener. "Stella Blue" might be my favorite song of all, but I seldom listen to it and usually skip over it. I mean, you have to be in the right mood for it and give it full attention. It doesn't work as background music.
p.s. thanks syracuse78, I'll take that Road Trips suggestion

claney's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2007
MIDI, Skips, Boxxx

Simonrob wrote:

"It always surprised me that Jerry, who loved traditional and acoustic music, felt the need to embrace MIDI and the like. What do others feel about this?"

I see what you mean, but to me this was totally consistent with his need to experiment - the same impulse that was behind his switch from acoustic jugband music to electric rock music. It's easy to forget what a radical step that was in 1965 ("JUDAS!!!"). I don't like the MIDI sounds myself (too bad because I recognize the greatness of their 1989-90 stuff, and often enjoy it, but the MIDI wears on me... but then I think they were playing so well in part because it made it feel fresh to *them*).

As for skip songs - Clarification: I always listen to the complete show the first time, the skipping comes on subsequent listens. And this is not just to get the context of the show - sometimes a "skip" song has some unique quality that brings me back, hence I would never skip a song without at least one listen through. This might get put to the test when I get to my fifth consecutive Estimated, ha ha....

Working my way through 5/13 now, which I already had. The sonic upgrade is astonishing, natch. Still, and to my surprise, loving 5/11 the best so far...underrated indeed. But I've never heard 5/17 at all (except the Jackaroe), so I'm anticipating a real good time with that one.

Joined: Sep 5 2012
bolo24 - DP7 Tease

OK, Bolo... Bozo here... yer drivin me nuts. Another DP7 hint please... and are you on da inside? :o)

Underthevolcano's picture
Joined: Feb 6 2008

no argument from me on the Brit. proggers although I liked a lot of King Crimson, whether over the top or not. With Jerry and MIDI, I always thought part of his interest was new palette of sounds available to him to keep it fresh for him but part of it was different physical skills avail. to him after the coma. If the MIDI wasn't abused it could lead to some pretty classy music which was spacey, elegant and jazzy as well.

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
You're right, Reijo

There is a world of difference between British prog rock bands and American rock bands. To me the difference is that American bands such as the Dead, ABB and many others have a natural sound whereas British prog rock bands have a more contrived sound to my ears. As such, synthesizers do fit well in '70's prog rock, but by the '80's their music had become so self-indulgent, overblown and pompous as to be unlistenable (for me). Synthesizers and the like which (rather obviously) produce synthetic sounds have no place in the more natural sound of American rock bands. Of course, in the '70's there were some British bands that had a more American sound - Man, Help Yourself and Brinsley Schwarz to name but three - and there were undoubtedly American bands that sounded somewhat like British prog rock bands (though I cannot think of any offhand). I guess it has more to do with whether the sounds fit the music than the music itself. If it sounds good, why change it just because new devices are available. It always surprised me that Jerry, who loved traditional and acoustic music, felt the need to embrace MIDI and the like. What do others feel about this?

Joined: Jul 15 2008
8408 a cost...

Same thing here... the box (looking fantastic by the way) got as far as my local post office but stuck there until I coughed up £26.60... I know that this isn't the fault of the Dead... but I do feel kinda stung by someone...

bolo24's picture
Joined: Nov 25 2009
Star Dark

You can rest easy - no Sugaree on DP7

reijo29's picture
Joined: Jun 18 2012
MIDI & Synthetic Keys

Yes Garcia vol 1 becomes a difficult listen because of those ridiculous synth keyboard sounds. When he plays a solo it sounds like he is playing a toy casio with little alien blurps & beeps coughing out of it. And then thankfully Jerry takes a guitar lead & saves the day. It's certainly an odd juxtaposition to say the least & it does not work at all. I'll stick to my Let it Rock Jerry & Nicky Hopkins set.

As for synths, there are times when used tastefully they they do not sound like an overproduced 1980's train wreck. For reference just listen to Rick Wakeman's work on Yes' mighty fine Close to The Edge LP. Just hearing that 20 minute title track in my young teenage years made me feel like I was tripping, years before I experienced it for real. Thank goodness that Music can have special powers.

bolo24's picture
Joined: Nov 25 2009
Sugaree and Skipping

Sugaree - I love it when Jerry goes nuts in the middle, then wrestles it gently back down to earth. I always knew a show was going to be a good one when "Sugaree" was the second song of the night. Happened often in Europe 72.

Skippers for me - Stagger Lee, It Must Have Been The Roses (though I like the lyrics and acoustic versions). Never cared much for Dupree's Diamond Blues, though it was seldom played.

Great songs that suffered from latter day tempo changes: The Wheel, FOTD, TLEO, and, at the risk of being labeled a blasphemer, St. Stephen (what a juggernaut that was in the sixties).

There. I feel better. Though I'm not a Catholic, I feel like I just went to confession!

Gwydion6's picture
Joined: Apr 9 2013
Phil's singing

Hey davey concepcio..., I really agree with you on Phil's singing. I commented on that on the DaP6, because, as you said, he off-key singing in, for example, Cold Rain and Snow, or High Time, really ruins it for me. It's so terrible that sometimes I decide not to play those live versions to friends because I'd feel embarrassed.

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Digital sounds rant...

Synthesizers in general and MIDI in particular are an abomination, the evil spawn of the digital revolution with a nod to the disco era. I cannot recall hearing a "digitally enhanced" version of an old song that sounded better than the original. A recent classic example is "GarciaLive Vol. 1" where the highly talented Ozzie Ahlers produces endless annoying sounds on his keyboard when he should be playing a B3 or something of that ilk. The MIDI sounds that the Dead embraced only detract from what was otherwise a great mix of sounds. That is just my personal opinion but when I become ruler of the cosmos things will be different.

davey concepcion for hall of fame's picture
Joined: Aug 7 2007

Hola -

Rarely skip when listening to a show for the first time. But, on repeats listens, I must confess to hitting the "skip" button on Loser and Looks Like Rain. I also confess that on the most recent Dave's Pick 6 - which is generally simply amazing - I am tempted to skip any song in which Phil sings. My Lord, that man not only cannot sing, but in the early years it can, and sometimes does, ruin songs. I've never understood why he felt the need then or now - I've seen many of the iterations post-Jerry, and though his playing continues to sparkle, surprise, elevate the entire music (greatest Rock bass player ever? IMHO, yes), his singing is simply not worthy of a professional performance . . . a campfire, yes, but not a stage.

Love and Hugs to all!

DCFHOF (its time)

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Hey Roland

Good to hear that you got yours. Unfortunately mine didn't arrive today and I don't think DHL deliver on Saturdays (I hope I am wrong, otherwise I will have to wait until next week). Indeed delivery is slower than expected - tracking shows that it left Des Plaines, IL, on June 10 at 3:03pm which is 11 days ago. If that is DHL's idea of Express then they must be using the FYRA Express model (Dutch in-joke!). Also good to hear that no extra charges were levied. I seem to recall that there were no extra charges for the "Spring '90" box either.

Joined: Dec 31 2008
More skips

I haven't listened to a Row Jimmy in so long I blanked on that one! Thanks for reminding me, reijo. I also fully agree on the midi effects. I just received the All the Years Combine DVD set and put in the bonus DVD and the midi effects ruin an otherwise fine Shakedown at Soldier Field (I was at that show and remembered thinking the same thing). I long had the 7/8/90 Pittsburgh DVD and the midi ruins some of the songs on that one as well. Whenever Jerry uses it, all I can think is, "Jerry, I would like your guitar solo to sound like a guitar, not a breathy horn."

Mustin, I should amend my original post-- many of us have skip songs, not all of us. I tried to go the completist route for awhile, and then I would come to a Row Jimmy or LLR knowing a Jack-a-Roe or something hot was right after it. I couldn't do it.

Regardless of who I saw, there were always "bathroom songs" for me-- Clapton shows, Wonderful Tonight; Stones, Brown Sugar or another of the many war horses depending upon placement in the show; Dead, see above. I guess I fall into the rocker camp rather than the ballad camp.

I am really starting to wonder what DP7 will be. I hope an 84, 85 or 87 show myself.

Joined: Mar 8 2009
Skip songs

I'm really enjoying reading people's skip songs. It's so interesting to see what works for some folks and what doesn't.

I started off as a total Jerry guy, but playing in a few Dead cover projects over the years really got me to open up to Bobby more. I will say that most of my "skip songs" are Weir-centric, but even of these occasionally a version will grab my attention. Generally I listen to complete shows/releases, etc. More often than not my skip songs are really change the station songs on the Grateful Dead Sirius station.

My skip songs:

-Pretty much and Chuck Berry or Dylan tune - all of these were done to death (exception, perhaps Visions of Johanna, and I like a tasty Queen Jane on occasion).
-El Paso
-Mexicali Blues
-Lost Sailor (although I don't mind Saint of Circumstance as much)
-It may be blasphemy, but live versions of Box of Rain can grate on me
-C.C. Rider, Little Red Rooster, basically any Weir blues tune from the 80s-90s
-On occasion Fire on the Mountain - this to me can be more repetitive than Sugaree
-FOTD - just overplayed on the Sirius XM, tend not to skip otherwise
-Man Smart, Women Smarter & Wang Dang Doodle - I just find the lyrics annoying
-Tons of Steel

The song that I love, that most people seem to hate: I Will Take You Home. I think it became even more poignant after I had a kid, but I love that song.

Fun discussion!

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how much I enjoy the May 1977 box as well here. I thought the packaging on this one was phenomenal. Keep it up GDP/Rhino crew!

Roland Bruynesteyn's picture
Joined: Aug 7 2008
8415 found its home

a little later than expected, but then again, @ no extra cost. Looks beautiful, haven't heard it yet, but will shortly...

Joined: Jan 13 2010
skip songs

i usually listen to it all, but Samson and Delilah gets old real quick.

If I had my way
if I had my way
If I had my way
if I had my way
if I had my way
if I had my way


I have also called Sugaree "the most exciting boring song ever". very repetitive. BUT I won't skip 3/18/77 or 5/19/77 or whatever. 12/5/71!!!

LLR...ugh. played to death. I have to be in the mood to listen to this one. so...slow.

hbob1995's picture
Joined: Jun 26 2007
Weir is da' Man!

I have always been a big fan of what Bob does and to what he brings to the band. He is vastly underrated as a guitarist. He adds just what the band needs to bring out the best in the tunes and he plays off of Jerry very nicely. I am also a huge fan of the songs he has written and his cowboy tunes always ramp up the show. Watch him on any dvd and you can see what a good time he has but also how very serious is he about playing his parts. The Dead always were a great example of synergy, the sum of the parts is way more then just adding up the individual talents.

mustin321's picture
Joined: Aug 12 2011
Skip Songs & Bob's Playing

I am not boasting about this, because I don't care if someone doesn't like a particular song, but I never skip any songs. I am completist and I usually try to listen to the complete show. That being said, if I ever skipped a song, it would most likely be a Chuck Berry tune.

With Bob's playing, when I first started to listen to the Grateful Dead, it was really hard for me to tell what Bobby was doing. His playing is amazingly subtle and completely unique to any other guitar player. I agree with what others posted on here about him fitting in with Phil & Jerry. More often I hear people praising Phil or Jerry but Bobby, I think, is a greatly underrated guitar player. I think David Crosby described him as being the 2nd lead guitar player in the band. I think that is pretty spot on because he rarely seems to play a "conventional" rhythm part. I am a guitar player and sometimes, while watching a show, Ill try to copy what he is doing and Im always surprised at how odd his style is but also how perfect it'll fit in with the rest of the song and how it fits in the middle of what Jerry & Phil are doing (and whomever's keys part)

Loving May 77 box 14466!

reijo29's picture
Joined: Jun 18 2012

A Help/Slipknot would have been nice if it was played on one of these 5 shows. Would definitely trade that for Row Jimmy. That is my skip song, it has a nice laid back reggae feel but always goes on for ever and ever and ever....

I love & respect Bob's coloring in on rhythm guitar but he crosses the line on the 90 box set with all that midi stuff. (in some shows more than others. The Nassau show is loaded with him on midi but the Copps show he lays off it except for Space-which is where it works). Jerry uses the midi somewhat tastefully. That midi effect can cause some awful schlocky, processed, imitation keyboard synth sounds. At times it really ruins it for me, they already had Brent behind the keys so there was no need for Bobby to add those sounds. I am sorry but if you see Furthur today you notice how Bobby plays rather pure straight through a tube amp. All that late 80's early 90's experimenting with cheesy gurgling midi effects was (at least in hindsight) a mistake.

hbob1995's picture
Joined: Jun 26 2007
Likes / dislikes

Obviously we will all have our faves and our not-so-faves. I myself have always loved Sugaree. Jerry cranks on this tune and I always love it! I am not a big fan of LLR and I definitely do not care for Stella Blue or Morning Dew. I am really loving the Estimated Profits & Passengers in this box. New tunes at the time. I myself would never skip any tune. Maybe I am crazy like that, but I just feel if I am listening to a complete show, I should listen to the complete show. But that's just me. To each his own. That's what makes this Dead world go around. I will probably not to listen to anything but this box set for several more weeks. Then I will definitely be starting to salivate for the next DaP. Can we never get enough "new" stuff? Addicted I remain.

Joined: Dec 31 2008
skip songs

Everyone has to admit there are skip songs. Why would you suffer through listening to your least favorite song when you know there is a kicking number, maybe your favorite, right around the bend? For me, Looks Like Rain is usually a skipper, but then a good one comes along like on the UCLA 73 show. This is going to be blasphemy and I can already hear the moans and insults heading my way, but I rarely ever listen to Stella Blue. I have heard good ones, but I pretty much do not like that song and skip it almost every time. The melody just does not grab me and it makes me want to go to sleep. I like Sugaree fine though-- especially 1984-85 versions.

Re: Bob Weir. The guy is fantastic and I have really appreciated him more and more in the post-GD era. I had friends in the 80s and 90s who hated Bob-- perhaps it was the Daisy Duke shorts and Izods, but they could not stand him. I liked that a Jerry ballad (Stella Blue maybe) was frequently followed by a rockin' Bob tune to get us up again.

tree1270's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Skip Songs etc.

I will never forget a show with my buddy at the Boston Garden when his desire for food outweighed his desire to listen to a version of Althea. Vendors were walking around soliciting food and right in the middle of the song he yelled out “Hey Pizza”! We proceeded to pay the vendor down the aisle and change was returned. Before the end of the song, a pretzel vendor walked by and he yelled “Hey Pretzel”! So much for hearing Althea that night. If Bobby was with us he would have given him another “Shut the #%!% up”!

paulb's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
To Sugaree or not to Sugaree......

We all can't like every song to the same degree. Some songs we never want to here and some that we certainly want more than others. With some my friends there were always the "bathroom" songs.
I've always liked sugaree. Look Like Rain too, some great Barrow lyrics and I love Jerry on this tune.But, we shouldn't be afraid to or have apologize for not liking a song. As long as there's no hate behind it, all critique is welcome.

Now, I've always been a big Bobby fan. He's one of my favorite singers - inside the Dead world or out. And I dare you to find better rhythm guitarist anywhere. I hate to just call him just a rhythm guitarist he much more than that. He does a lot lead work, too. The whole WRS Prelude is all Bobby. Check out Bobby's solo acoustic demo for WRS on the Wake of the Flood expanded version. Just great.

And the Spring 77 Box is just awesome

Joined: Jul 23 2012
UK Delivery

It's arrived in the North East of England......but not in my home until I've paid £26.60 (including £8 handling fee) qnd collected it tomorrow morning from the local Royal Mail depot.
Buying the Dead and doing your bit for the to love it!

Joined: Sep 5 2012
Skip Songs etc.

It's a testament to the band's range, diversity, and longevity that we have so many things to disagree about(!) To wit: I happen to LOVE Victim or the Crime, Throwing Stones, West L.A. Fadeaway, and a few more tunes others find as cringe-worthy as I find Sugaree. On the other hand, farked-up Playin' in the Bands really bother me - even when the long stretches are fine. Go figure!

Re Skip Songs: "Around and Around" (along with the maligned Sugaree) has my vote.

Re Dancin': Garcia's extended DITS solos were often terrific. I've learned to embrace the disco.

Syracuse78's picture
Joined: Jul 15 2010
To Palmer....

You asked about any good jamming Dancin's. I was at 11/9/79 in Buffalo, and it was a *fantastic* show. The energy that night stood out to me more so than probably any other show I saw. This was released on the first Road Trips (great call TPTB!), and I highly recommend it. The DITS has got this very cool electronic sounding jam in it and just rocks, all the way into Franklin's Tower. What a way to open the second set! Check it out.

leedesj's picture
Joined: Feb 2 2011

i loved listening to black throated wind until i got the E72 complete, but hearing 22 of em in a couple weeks time when i first received the set caused me to occasionally consider skipping them when they come up, but i never tire of playing it on gtr

claney's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2007
Sugaree, LLR, and Skip Songs

Star Dark, I agree with Patagonian - your comment about Sugaree was NOT "troll-like" - Though I too love Sugarees, your comment was totally valid and welcome. A "troll-like" comment is when someone goes beyond criticizing something like a song and turns it into an ad-hominem attack (e.g., "people who like Sugaree are mindless dupes."

One Man, I totally see your point about LLR, but they've grown on me. And I gotta say, my highlight for 5/11 set 1 is the LLR. On good headphones the interplay and nuance is out of this world. And it always strikes me that Jerry LOVED playing that tune - some of his best guitar work...

Okay, my number one "skip song"? Black Throated Wind. Yes, that's right, a good song, often some great playing, but I can't listen to the way Bobby (over)sings it... it's so out of his range that he sounds like he's going to pass out. But who knows, maybe it will grow on my the way LLR did...

Added to Cart May 1977 Box (Digital)
Continue shopping »