Ungano's Night Club - February 12, 1970
February 12, 1970
This is a great little show and the sound is excellent. I've had it for years and periodically break it out to hear the Dead playing in a little club doing a nice set of tight numbers. Of course that usually leads to listening to the rest of this weeks shows at the Fillmore. Hell of a week for the boys.
Hey, are there setlists here somewhere? I don't see them.
Sorry boys.recently spoke to the Bear who said this show never happened. He should know of course. Also he said there was no way Bill Graham would have allowed them to play this date. So maybe we need to find the correct date for this??
All of the information about this show was obtained/confirmed by my Marin County source. This person is as close to being "inside the organization itself" as anyone can be, and this person has NEVER given me bad or erroneous information for the past 5 years!
And what a show this is, too! It was actually an unannounced impromptu show in the middle of the Dead's Fillmore East run. The venue only held approximately 500 people, and it was a first-come, first-served show. Most of the seats were removed to allow some additional "SRO" concertgoers. The NYC Fire Department was on hand to enforce the "maximum number of patrons" restrictions, just to play it safe.
"We" were lucky that the Dead's audio people brought along one of the spare 2-track RTR decks. "We" were also lucky from the standpoint of having a 95% hiss-free recording to begin with, as the deck was running at twice the normal "regular show" taping speed. This translates into lower levels of analog tape hiss, as well as having more high frequency recording capabilities. This show, for being set up in a hurry, was very well mixed. Jerry and Bobby each had their own channel for their guitars, and listening to how well Weir blended into the entire mix is very well "documented" with this recording. About the only negative I can say about this show's audio quality was that being in the small club, and most likely with the time frame the audio people had to set up, the drums are just a little buried in the mix, especially the cymbals. But, you still are going to get blown away by the audio quality of the show.
DeadBase states a few things about this show that are inaccurate, such as "actual date and location unknown". This is not true, according to my source. This show did happen on this date at this venue.
Sadly, because of the license and insurance the night club held, the show only lasted a little over an hour an 30 minutes. There are no "breaks" or "tape flips", as the band simply was given a "signal" to cut a song off, so that the RTR could have a new tape put on. All the songs are complete and unedited. The only "exception" to this was my decision to cut off the very opening 20 seconds of the first song, "Cold Rain & Snow", simply because of the fade-in of the copy I received wasn't right. Since the volume levels on the recording I received were very low, when I went to bring everything up to the correct level, the CR&S fade-in would have sounded pretty bad. I opted to just cut off the bare minimum of the opening riff to make things sound "correct".
I guess the "topper" to this show, besides the fantastic sound, the good mix, and everything else, is that Phil was just going off into the ozone on a couple of the songs. He wasn't "way out there", but he definitely was trying to travel down that road that made him such an integral part of the "Sound Of The Dead". He's got some very good riffs going, especially during "Good Lovin'" and "Saint Stephen". Garcia and Weir were playing off each other, and you can tell they were in their groove this night. Sometimes it's subtle, sometimes it is quite noticeable, but they just "clicked".
The audience, although they weren't "recorded" for ambience, could be heard in the distance between songs, and you can tell that they definitely got their money's worth. I imagine the closeness, proximity-wise, along with the small-club atmosphere, is what brought out the best in everyone's playing for this show. I've seen my fair share of Dead shows over the 30 years they played, and I personally felt that they played their best when they were either being simulcast over the radio, or when they played smaller venues. I've been everywhere in the audience at shows, from the front row at the '94 Soldier Field show to the soundboard at the Rosemont, to back of the Fillmore West, to the front of the crowd at Loyola. Again, I felt the smaller the venue, or any time they were on the FM dial, the shows were better, tighter yet looser, and definitely they seemed to have more fun on stage.
Sorry for going off on that little tangent there, but I felt that bit of info may make you deciding to get this show a little easier. I would recommend it to anyone, from a "newbie" to someone with 4,000 hours in their library. This is a pristine copy, and I think that everyone should have this as part of their collection.
The show you are describing is the 2/13/70 early show. This show you mention is definitely from the Fillmore and not from a small nightclub. Anyway a great read is this : http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2010/01/february-12-1970-unganos-new-york-ny.html You can make up your own mind whether this show actually happened or not..