October 18, 1974
"Beer Barrel Polka" tuning before "Mexicali" - final "WRS Part 1" - final "WRS Prelude" - "Sugaree", "BIODTL" and "Ship Of Fools" appear on "Steal Your Face"
Around and Around
Beat it on Down the Line
Brown Eyed Women
WRS Part 1
Let it Grow
Greatest Story Ever Told
Ship of Fools
Not Fade Away
Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad
One More Saturday Night
Attendees of this show
Hanging with buds Mark and Glen, the Danville Boys, as we enjoyed our second night of three days out of the five. Why we didn't go to all five, I'll never know. Peggy-O, Dark Star. Yet another perfect night.
I've listened to the Phil & Ned>Dark Star>Dew set soo much that the splice hurts! I've listened to all of these nights soo much that the dead movie doesn't cut it any more. This run should be put out completely. Each night on audio and video. Check Out My Orignal Music at myspace.com/salaversano
My sixth Dead show. Third show of five I caught during this run. Dosed as a guinea pig outside Winterland. Set one felt a little dis-jointed to me. Then Phil and Ned Lagin came out for Seastones. It felt like my mind/body/soul was being tuned to the universe of possibilities. Once tuned in it all turned into a Dark Star>Dew sonic adventure. Third set went by in a blur. Thanks Owsley. Thanks girl who "guinea pigged" me. I ran into her after show and she wanted feedback on product but I was pretty speechless; just told her it was good.
Ah, where to start?
Good ol' blonde Bob, one of the guys behind the counter at Poo-Bah Records in Pasadena old town, Calif (undoubtedly the instigator of getting the full-size Mars Hotel highway billboard pasted across the ceiling) let it be known that The Dead were commencing a "retirement" run in SF. I spent a couple days assembling refreshments and recorded some traveling music onto 8-tracks, called ahead to a guy named Mark in SF to crash at, and was off solo (it wasn't until a few years later that I assembled a gaggle of young Deadheads to tour with). I don't know how seriously I took the "retirement" moniker, but I recall more that I just wanted to see the band play at least a couple more times before an uncertain future. This run was memorable even now for the sights (both internal and external), sounds, smells and experience as well as the music.
I drove from LA all day the second day of the run, arriving in the Bay area late afternoon. A news item appeared twice on the first rock radio station I tuned in; namely that a UFO had reportedly crashed and the government had the craft in its possession. In retrospect, this was either a very clever plug for Mars Hotel, or a retelling of the forgotten Roswell story, which was to re-emerge into the public consciousness only several years later. Whatever, it added a very unique background flavor to the week's proceedings.
I parked up the hill from Winterland the next morning. Waited a couple hours for tickets-at-the-door to go on sale, then took my place in line at the other end of the building (can you imagine anything so casual in future years??). First thing I recall was hearing a church choir rehearsing, gettin' it on behind closed doors down the street. There was chat of the previous nights' shows, Dead bootlegs, the ever-present UFO story, friend chat, and some of the street scenes that appear in the movie. Finally the doors opened early or mid afternoon, and as we filed towards the door I looked back over my shoulder to see a reel-to-reel tape recorder being lifted into an open second floor window by a rope. (Years later I was lent a hissy reel to copy from this run labeled "Western Smash Tape": could this have been it?)
Once inside, I took a quick look around at the old rubber lined floor ramps (for skaters), upper and lower tier seats, and finally settled on the floor near the stage. That massive wall of speakers was shrouded in black cloth (which was mildly disappointing as I'd enjoyed gawking at it during the outdoor gigs), there were banners for both Rolling Stones licks and Grateful Dead up behind the scaffolding, and they started projecting old cartoons onto an overhead screen. I sat just to the side while they filmed an interview with a fan wearing a hat and sunglasses, which later appeared in the film. I'd brought my own purple dots, but wanted to make sure I'd be well part of the soup if something else came my way. A guy in a long dark coat arrived passing out chilled wrapped baby roses, for which I traded him a toke, so I licked it for good luck and it eventually ended up on the stage with it's siblings. Another guy walked by passing out little tiny bits of aluminum foil, which he explained was to watch the reflection of the venue's overhead purple UV lamps. It sounded like a bullshit story, so I licked it for good luck too (obviously forgetting everything my mama ever told me!) ...and eventually it was showtime.
Set one was pleasant enough, but the big round sound of Winterland wasn't quite as crisp as the summer's outdoor gigs. On this night (or perhaps a subsequent night) there was a stop for a sound glitch, and even then the remark was tinged with an implied comparison with the UFO's fucking up. WRS Prelude, Parts 1 & 2 were always breathtaking on this sound system.
After the break, Ned Lagin & Phil started doing their computer/bass duet seastones thingie which evolved into a band jam....and "things" started getting delightfully weird. All dark areas in my field of vision turned to glowing diagonal stripes of purple and dark blue, yet lighted areas of faces and band remained intact, just like those cheesy psychedelic double exposures they do on TV. Then, as the music played on, all lighted areas of faces, etc, then dissolved into gorgeous batches of bright orange and yellow sparkles. I was effectively blind, but by differentiating purple & blue from orange & yellow I could still make out faces; I'd smile at a neighboring batch of sparkles and they'd smile back. Way cool! I eventually decided, lest I step on toes, to navigate over to an empty seat on the side risers and soak in the music and colors that were playing off each other. I'd achieved interstellar overdrive. It was only years later that I finally saw a set list and heard the tape. Wowie Zowie, it had all happened during a Dark Star!
A third set and encore that I don't quite recall, and I'd come back to earth and reality surprisingly fast. I stepped out into the cool night air, and with no hurry to go anywhere soon, I chatted for awhile with a nice girl in a wheelchair. We parted, I went up the hill to my car, drove across one of the bridges back to Mark's house, had a smoke, and crashed.
Remarkably, with only two gig nights left, I took the next day off to see the Bay area, visit the buffalo at Golden Gate Park, and that night back at Mark's, unbeknownst to me, I played a significant role in somebody else's very profound paranormal
event (I've already logged this in Robert Hunter's website "Tales Of The Uncanny" a few years back, but to give you a hint; I "appeared" to someone 450 miles to the south while in a mild trance-like state in SF..but that's their tale, not mine.)
But I was to return to Winterland for "The Last One"!
Is there anyone here, or does anyone know about any of the Heads in the movie. Does the "This is fucked up man this fuckin' film man!" guy own a copy of this on DVD? And what about the hottie dancing in the hallway during "Casey Jones" does she have a teenage daughter that would be totaly embaressed by that. And what about the fellows in line out front? Where they on line for tickets, or were they waiting to get in because the shows were general admision? Check Out My Orignal Music at myspace.com/salaversano
I'm listening to the Winterland 10/74 box and in the insert for the CD-4/5 case, see the old picture of the band with Ned Lagin set up between Bob and Jerry.
I'm gonna guess it's from the 10/18/74 Second Set...Phil&Ned>Jam>Dark Star
But it seems we never got a real answer to why Ned was never credited in the CD or movie?
We've heard that his tracks were left out of the mix...but why?
And did he sit in with the band on any other 74 shows that had a Phil&Ned set?
Let me clarify my question....
Can we get a list of the shows and "songs" Ned played with the Dead during 74....outside of the Phil&Ned mid-show thing
For example...the 2nd set from 9/11/74 at the Alexandra Palace...There's Ned on Eyes>Jam>Wharf Rat
...in my humble opinion. The walls of Winterland were breathing, and blood dripped from the ceiling during that most trancesdant Dark Star.
It was my first time sitting in the lower balcony, and after this show that became my preferred spot.