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]


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Joined: Aug 21 2007

There is even a note on the packaging somewhere acknowledging the distortion on 5/12

Joined: Aug 21 2007

I am not usually one to complain, BUT my discs came scratched out of the package and now 2 discs so far are defective. This seems to happen more when discs are packaged with rough paper sleeves or cardboard....luckily I trust to make this right. And the sound and performances on these discs are outta sight!

PatagonianFox's picture
Joined: Oct 25 2011
5/12 sound issue

the vocals are muffled on one song, but the problem is quickly fixed. i don't think its a manufacturing issue. the sound guy probably just fell asleep on the job.


PatagonianFox's picture
Joined: Oct 25 2011
what a pitch!

so well said; its almost as if you worked for the company.


Joined: Jul 9 2007
5/12/77 I tape saturation?

Is it me or does the first set of 5/12/77 Chicago suffer from some serious tape saturation and resulting distortion? I find it particularly noticeable on the vocals and heard it with ear buds, over ear headphones and on my full system, which includes an HDCD cd player. Things get better by set 2, but the Bertha, TLEO, 1/2 Step and Dancing all seem to max out in places, and it gets a little painful to listen to. The rest of these shows sound great. Overall, this is one of the best box sets released to date.

The Weve's picture
Joined: Feb 16 2010
Enjoy this '77 Box ? Oh yeah !

Yes how I do enjoy this '77 Box.
I've listened to all the 5 show 2X each except 05-15, this one's got me.
It hasn't left my CD player. Oh yeah !

Anyone that doesn't own, Road Trips Vol. 1 No. 2 should head over to

And grab-it while there's stock in the store, this too is top notch 77 Dead !

- Two full CD's, lovingly compiled and painstakingly mastered (in HDCD) by Jeffrey Norman

- A 16-page booklet boasting scads of great photos and a very cool historical essay by erudite scribe Steve Silberman


1. Let It Grow (10:17)
2. Sugaree (17:41)
3. The Music Never Stopped (8:59)
4. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleoo (11:53)
5. El Paso (4:52)
6. Help On the Way (5:48)
7. Slipknot! (4:02)
8. Franklin's Tower (14:59)

1. Playing In the Band (17:12)
2. Drums (3:09)
3. The Other One (8:24)
4. Good Lovin' (5:53)
5. Terrapin Station (11;29)
6. Black Peter (13:17)
7. Around and Around (9:08)
8. Brokedown Palace (5:51)
9. Playing In the Band reprise (5:23)

Turtle_Turtle's picture
Joined: May 24 2011
Bama show

Listened to the Alabama show today. Very impressed by the quality of the recording. I'm amazed how the material from 77 still sounds so fresh after playing that year to high heaven. I can't wait to get into the rest of the set. Please keep these box sets coming.

davidg22's picture
Joined: Jan 25 2011
May 1977 packaging is great

The packaging of the box is fantastic. It's beautiful and functional. Definitely your best, and it should be a model for subsequent issues. I may be in the minority here, but the large boxes (Spring 1990 and Europe 1972) while attractive, are not nearly as functional. And oh yeah -- the music is great too!!!!

Joined: Nov 30 2011
DHL Tracking

Outpost - you can track the package here ( using the shipping reference in your email. The first result will likely be another package that was delivered a few months back, but there will be a list on the page and your box set will be in that list.

I am not sure if it ever updates after it is set to leave the States though. I think it will depend on whether or not the packages are passed on the Royal Mail or delivered by DHL. I have been able to track items straight through to delivery in the past though.

Maybe someone else in Europe that had their package delivered might give it a shot and let us all know if the tracking says their box set was delivered.

outpost's picture
Joined: Jun 11 2007
Tracking in UK

Hi Rattydog .... how are you tracking your package ?
I've been unable to get info, and when I emailed they said I was unable to track, so I'm jus t waiting until something turns up. It seems a shame they haven;t sussed out a way to send a package from the USA to the UK, without all the hassle we get.

PatagonianFox's picture
Joined: Oct 25 2011
3 shows in...

3 shows in, and this is how i rank them:

best - chicago 5/13

2nd best - st. paul 5/11

3rd best - chicago 5/12


JeremyP's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007

Lucky you. UK customs are now charging me even for single Dave's Picks, and UPS are then charging me for delivering them. Over £40 ($60) for a Dave's Picks, so I can't afford to buy these releases any more. Why the **** have to use UPS in the UK, they are renowned for ramping up charges whenever possible.

JeremyP's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007

Lucky you. UK customs are now charging me even for single Dave's Picks, and UPS are then charging me for delivering them. Over £40 ($60) for a Dave's Picks, so I can't afford to buy these releases any more. Why the **** have to use UPS in the UK, they are renowned for ramping up charges whenever possible.

Joined: Sep 18 2007
#4249 and ABB releases

Opened mine on Father's Day and have been listening to about a show a day. Just now popped in Tuscaloosa to find that even "New Minglewood" can sound fresh and energized sometimes! I've been thrilled with this release, from the box and other art to the liner notes and the music itself. I have all of the May '77 releases and, while I've always found the tour consistently good,it has never grabbed me like late '69, fall '73, or even Spring '90. This box might just be changing that.

For those wishing for better archival Allman Bros, the 40th anniversary reissue of Brothers and Sisters releases next week with 2 and 4-CD deluxe versions. The 4-CD set includes the album, a disc of outtakes, and 2 discs worth of live material. Worth picking up, methinks.

Syracuse78's picture
Joined: Jul 15 2010
If people are really so

If people are really so concerned about getting a low number and a good number, do what I do:

For the Europe Box, wait until posts, "Under 2,000 sets left!" Then wait until you think about 28 have been sold, and order. You will get set # 1972 if you do it right!

Similar strategy for this box. Wait, wait, wait, wait.....NOW!

I don't see how this could fail. You will not only get a lowish number, but more than likely you will end up with lucky "1977." ;-)

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
#8282 arrived in France

Stand by in Europe, they are here. No charges or taxes for me. Sent by post from Germany to where I imagine it was shipped in bulk from the States. It is a beautiful let's find out what it sounds like.

claney's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2007
Re: Betty Sound, etc.

I was only able to get through 5/11 set 1 last night (family etc), and I do agree on the sound being out of this world good. I'm sure the Plangentification and Normanization help - they did a fantastic job. But there is also just something about these early to mid-May tapes - they sound like nothing else - not even tapes from late May. I have the 5/12 bonus disc, which I assume did not get Plangentified, and it too has that same lovely sound...

Anyway, only one set down and I can tell these releases truly are going to cause me to reevaluate this run of shows.

I was on the fence about this release for a few days, even had some premature "buyer's remorse" over the last few weeks as I contemplated the possibly redundancy of this in my collection. Well, it EXCEEDS my expectations. If you are reading this and still trying to decide, oh God DO IT. Just eat beans and rice for a few weeks or whatever...

claney's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2007
Argh, double post

Well, I knew the double post daemon would get me one of these days...

Underthevolcano's picture
Joined: Feb 6 2008
re: Betty sound

I agree that these are the best sounding of the May 1977 releases other than "To Terrapin" the Hartford show. Better sound than the DaP #1 and the DiP #29 in my opinion. Why? I don't know unless the Plangent process has something to do with it. Any one know why the big difference?

chilly1214's picture
Joined: Nov 19 2010
Waiting Down Under as well


Still being patient hoping my arrival will be soon. It'll be here soon...

Joined: Nov 30 2011
Not arrived in the UK

Hey deadmike, Tracking shows my package arrived at the DHL facility in the US on the 8th and that processing was complete on the 10th. There has been no update since then. Hoping it updates in the next couple of days to be through customs or out for delivery because my anticipation levels are going through the roof reading some of these reviews!!

Joined: Jul 13 2011
Receipt in Europe

Has not made its way to Wales as yet but I note that Spin CDs already have their copies.

One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011
Betty Sound

I finally got to plug in 5/11/77 (St. Paul) tonight, and oh, my. It is wet and luscious. After only 2 songs, I declare it blows Dave's Vol. 1 out of the water. Why is that? Does Betty's reverb make that much of a difference? Maybe. She certainly dialed in the excitement knob in any case. Or maybe the performance is that much better. Discussion?

Joined: Oct 1 2009
still waiting

and waiting...and waiting. Sorry GD, but sending these via UPS, and requiring a signature, essentially rules out those of us who have jobs and don't have a spouse at home. It''s too bad but unless a USPS option becomes available I cannot get these. I am not a trust funder sitting at home all day.

tree1270's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
best disc sleeve cover?

Vguy72 I would say the best sleeve cover is St. Louis Arena, St. Louis MO (5/15/77). Awesome visuals in that cover and a nice band shot inside (Missing Keith unfortunately). A Phishhead might mistake Bobby as Trey on this cover. Wild. :) :) :)

Joined: Jun 13 2007

Wow! The set arrived yesterday (finally! :) )--what a beautiful work of art--the box, the photos, the graphics, the liner articles, oh--and the music! Really a great treat. Thank you for a real good time!

deadmike's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007

Anyone in Europe got their set yet?

I always get a bit anxious when ordering more expensive sets. Luckily the 77 set isn't the one box set I'm most worried about now. I have purchased a box set of Fillmore West the complete recordings through eBay and paid 500 dollars for it. A lot of money even in Sweden ... ;-)

Well, so far nothing have ever been actually been lost along the way, not for good anyway. Hope it will be the same way with my '77 box set as well as the other more expensive one.

And no, I'm one of the unlucky "few" who never ordered the Fillmore West set in 2005. I had other bills to care about back then. This has haunted me since then. Hopefullythis or next week I will feel kind of more whole again. ;-)

/Micke Östlund,
Växjö, Sweden

drshakedown's picture
Joined: Mar 1 2010

I believe Simonrob might be right. I bought this the minute it went on sale and received a number in the 13 thousands. Although it only really matters in my ego, I would love it if I knew where I was in line more or less. Either way, I am 3 shows into the listening process, and my mind is blown. The boys are smokin......and Norman was perfect.

drshakedown's picture
Joined: Mar 1 2010

I believe Simonrob might be right. I bought this the minute it went on sale and received a number in the 13 thousands. Although it only really matters in my ego, I would love it if I new where I was in line more or less. Either way, I am 3 shows into the listening process, and my mind is blown. The boys are smokin......and Norman was perfect.

JeremyP's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
mato1949 - Greatest ever run

Good - but not a patch on April and May 1972. IMHO, natch...

flaggdrama's picture
Joined: Feb 4 2008
Ramble On Rose on 5/11/77 Disc 1

Hi all----did anyone notice a few dropouts on 5/11/77 disc 1's Ramble On Rose? It lasted for approx 10 seconds. I am assuming it is anomaly on the master tape but was wondering if anyone else picked up on it......



Vguy72's picture
Joined: Jun 29 2007

following up on my last post, this packaging gets better and better. You can rotate several different displays through the die cut so it never gets old. Brilliant!!!

Vguy72's picture
Joined: Jun 29 2007
#1455 found it's home.....

and this home will be filled with the stunning evocations from this wonderful release for the next couple of weeks, easy. The packaging is beautiful. No scratches, no un-glued corners. Pretty much perfect. Discs slide in and out flawlessly (are you hearing me Road Trips!). Only heard St. Paul so far, but that show alone is going to be repeated in my player before Chicago. I'm gonna savor these discs. Now, how about a vote for best disc sleeve cover? My vote is the second Chicago gig...anyone else?

Strider 88's picture
Joined: Jun 20 2007

Wow I love the art work and packaging. Already lost track of what end is up on slip case. Are you sure M.C.Escher did not have anything to do with it. Kudos, most beautiful boxset yet. What's up is down, what's down is up. "Upside out, Inside down..."

Strider 88's picture
Joined: Jun 20 2007

Wow, I love the art work and slip case. Already lost track of which way is up. What's up is down, what's down is up. "Upside out, inside down". Boyee don't stop now.

captnbadass's picture
Joined: Jun 14 2007

Can't wait to listen. The packaging is stunning! Just got it today.

Strider 88's picture
Joined: Jun 20 2007

Many Thanks, I love it.

Joined: Nov 1 2010
I had this same issue with

I had this same issue that someone else posted with a case not being glued properly and a disc not being secure with the 5/13 Chicago show case. I sent an email to see if a replacement case was an option, but I haven't received a response back.

gratefaldean's picture
Joined: Jun 22 2007
Survived the "backordered" scare

The box showed up at my door a couple of days later, and on my birthday to boot. The delivery guy managed to get through a very scary storm to drop this on my front porch. Thank you delivery guy! Thank you Grateful Dead!

Joined: Feb 2 2011
Raiders of the Lost Ark & Box Set # Numbers. . ..

When reading the theories regarding Box Set Numbers #1 -#15,000 I am reminded of the last scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when a lone man pushes a crate through an incomprehensibly large warehouse filled with look alike crates.

Is that what the Good Ole' GD Vault looks like? Can anyone find the Radio City Hall and Warfield Anniversary shows in there and make box sets for us?

Did evil Nazi Bastards steal the Barton Hall 77 Show?

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Box numbers - an alternative theory.

As the sets roll off the line, someone stacks them on a pallet. He begins with #1 which he places in the first layer (naturally), at the back left-hand side. Eventually #15000 arrives and he stacks that on the top layer, front, right-hand side. The pallet is then sent to the Dead's corporate world headquarters where someone unloads them and packs them up ready for despatch. He starts with the top layer at the front (high numbers) and works his way down. According to this theory, the last person to successfully order a set will be the lucky recipient of set #1 - or more likely set #2 as someone pinched set #1 to use in the picture at the top of this very page. So now you know!

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
box numbers

I inquired about this, and to make a long story short, by the time the box sets have made their way through the various points on the distribution chain, the numbers are well and truly shuffled, multiple times.

flaggdrama's picture
Joined: Feb 4 2008
Box Set on the Doorstep!

My set just arrived (11267/15000) and I am loading it into iTunes. The sound is impeccable!

My question.......are the box numbers determined randomly or is there some rhyme or reason as to how the numbers are determined. The reason I ask is b/c I ordered on May 14th and there were well over 5000 left. Just curious why my box number doesn't reflect it. It's no big deal at all but I was just curious how the numbers are determined........thank you and Rhino for an amazing release!

Joined: Jun 5 2007
Crowd Noise

The set is excellent. Sound is superior. One small complaint. Why is the crowd noise so low? It almost sounds like they are playing in a studio. It's always nice to hear the reaction of the crowd after a song. Like I said, small complaint.

leedesj's picture
Joined: Feb 2 2011

box received on fri and 5 shows filled the weekend perfectly, i think the sound is incredible, i too noticed a little surprising (for a soundboard) ambient hall reverb sound on the vox during some short passages including the first song from the st paul show but all instruments are extremely well balanced as expected from a BB

im not familiar with the extended dr beachwood comments that were apparently edited but i did miss some of the pre song noodling prior to both estimated and ship of fools that i am used to from the st louis show, im not complaing, 5/15/77 was a fairly early entry to my tape collection during a year i lived in st louis (83/84), its inclusion in the set was tipping point for this pre-hiatus fan to take this 77 plunge, and glad i did, even with the heavy repetition of a few tunes i found each show unique and fairly inspriational

while the physical product was designed with a few impracticalities built in (size, tracklists buried etc)... i have to say it is a beautiful work of art and i'll figure out where/how to keep it, because of the fact that its appearance can change depending on which shows are visible through the window it reminds me a bit of led zep III and in the through the out door packages

i was just surprised BJ's notes refered to bob's bertha china cat lick as somewhat subtle as if he wasn't sure everyone would agree it was there

finally... the newspaper clippings and reviews were priceless, a wide range of views of the GD's quality were presented, not just extreme love or hate but lukewarm acceptance of their music was also expressed seemingly disproving jerry's licorice comment, even the one that pretty much tore them a new one begrudgingly admitted that there were some worthwhile moments

One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011
Box or No Box?

I was away for a week and was very happy to find this package at home yesterday. I haven't had the chance to delve into the music yet, but I have to say the packaging is top-notch. I can't think of a more beautiful box set. There are no repro memorabilia items, thankfully. I love the book -- sublime cosmic context by Steve Silberman really makes it classy. Of course, Blair Jackson adds his fine dissection of each show, and points the way to some highlights. Is the packaging worth the extra 40 bucks compared to the download? Probably not. Still, it is awfully nice, even if it won't fit on my CD shelf.

Joined: Nov 2 2010

next time, please don't shorten the stage banter...i imagine it was a timing issue, but it was no fun to find the "doctor" roll call cut short...only complaint i can think of with the box set since the music is so damn great

Joined: Nov 2 2010

...for the countless hours of listening bliss that lay before me.

augustwest's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Weir's Playing

Weir was, and always has been, an underrated player. There are several possible explanations for that, but there it is.

Someone here posted about the "China Cat tease" he plays during Bertha on 5/12. Blair, in his typically wonderful liner notes, makes the same observation and speculates it could be Bob longing for a return of China Cat to the fold, which is an odd thing for someone like Blair to say, given his knowledge of the music.

That signature China Cat lick is something that Bob played on many tunes -- before, during and after 77 -- and always (as far as I am aware) during Jerry's solo. Bertha, GDTRFB, Fire and Franklin's are, if I had to guess, where he did it the most, but I don't think they are the only places.

Joined: Jun 6 2007
Just How Good?

Further to the observation that Bobby was an underrated guitar player in this era, the late Robert Lansing played on some of the Heaven Help the Fool sessions, which featured several of the best LA session musicians of the time. One day I asked Lansing what he thought of Weir's guitar playing. His answer: "Best player in the room."

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