Grateful Dead

Family Dog at the Great Highway, San Francisco, CA 4/18/70 - SOLD OUT

Is it the Grateful Dead? Well, in name, no, but in music and personnel, heck yes! We’re very pleased to present a rare, unknown recording of the Grateful Dead from April 18, 1970, at the Family Dog in San Francisco, a show that was played entirely acoustically. Once a Record Store Day-only vinyl release, we have made this available as a CD exclusively on

So, what’s the deal with this show, and this recording? In May, 2013, Mountain Girl called to say she had a few reels of Grateful Dead music and wanted to return them. They turned out to be from 1970 and 1971. Jeffrey Norman quickly backed them up, and we were able to check them out. Sure enough, this was music we’d never heard before, nor knew it even existed. One of the coolest things in this small stash was the 4/18/70 tape. We knew the Grateful Dead shared the bill this night with Charlie Musselwhite, and the NRPS, but they billed themselves as Mickey Hart and His Heartbeats, and Bobby Ace and His Cards From the Bottom Of The Deck. What the tape reveals is that they played just one set, an 80 minute acoustic opus featuring some expected stuff from the era, plus some shockers.

Product Details

Street Date: November 29, 2013
Complete 80-minute acoustic show which includes six tracks of Pigpen's solo with acoustic guitar.
Limited edition, available while quantities last. exclusive

David Lemieux On Family Dog at the Great Highway


Disc 1
1 I Know You Rider (Fades in) [4:53]
2 Don't Ease Me In [3:26]
3 Silver Threads And Golden Needles [5:10]
4 Friend Of The Devil [4:24]
5 Deep Elem Blues [5:45]
6 Wake Up Little Susie> [2:53]
7 Candyman [5:42]
8 Cumberland Blues [5:48]
9 New Speedway Boogie [8:18]
10 Me And My Uncle [4:02]
11 Mama Tried [3:23]
12 Katie Mae (Incomplete) [1:26]
13 Ain't It Crazy (The Rub) (Fades in) [1:59]]
14 Roberta [3:34]
15 Bring Me My Shotgun [4:34]
16 The Mighty Flood> [4:05]
17 Black Snake [3:13]

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nirktwin2's picture
Joined: Jan 2 2009

Took 2.5 years amazingly enough. If you're a Pigpen fan this is a must have.

Kate_C.'s picture
Joined: Sep 29 2014

I was in the right place at the right time about 2.5 years ago (another site) when a veteran Head announced liquidation of his FW69 set, among other releases, to help fund medical expenses...I grabbed it at $300 + $25 shipping. In the interim, prices fell on ebay to somewhere near that floor; though the current secondary market appears to reflect the general inflationary pressure of Year 50. However, I found both a NM and M set over on Discogs for $300 and $450, respectively; in my opinion, it's worth the cash if you've got it! This and E72 are likely unsurpassable despite what DL suggests (that is, I simply can't conceive of a better collection that still remains for a large box release)./K

Joined: Jan 22 2014
This is a great, great

This is a great, great recording. It's one of the most intimate live shows i've heard. money well spent indeed. Now if only I could get my hands on the fillmore west box...

katky111's picture
Joined: Oct 23 2011

Oh, but this is a wonderful acquisition for your collection! Only a few have expressed what I consider to be due appreciation for this remarkably unique music from the dark heart of the GOGD's 'primal' period! Tracks 13-17 are like rare treasures from an archeological dig on a remote frontier...enjoy; and, please, do return to this thread with some feedback!

P.S.: I actually purchased multiple copies of R.T. 3.3 (5/15/70) - one of which is still wrapped in cellophane and probably will be for several decades, but is there "just in case..." a hard drive should fail or my original is scratched/eaten by dingos/beamed aboard by aliens/etc...;that's how precious this period of revelatory acoustic and electric folk/blues Dead is to me! :))) /kate

Joined: Jan 22 2014
excited for a listen

Just picked this up along with Wake Up To Find Out. Won't be getting them till mid-September, but very excited for two shows twenty years apart. DaP11 will surely keep me busy till these arrive.

Joined: Jun 4 2007

Non, c'était un problème technique. Il est fixé maintenant, si je comprends bien votre question.

rivrain's picture
Joined: Oct 2 2008
? >> youhouh!!

où écouter cette play liste?

Joined: Apr 10 2008
DaP 10

I believe 12/11 is incomplete. Can you say bonus disc?

Bach 2 Bach's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
heh heh

an' it blowed up real good, too!

Joined: Feb 16 2011

Bingo! Great show, though well known.

Joined: Aug 29 2013
Dap10 is 12/12/69
Joined: Jun 4 2007

I blew it up...sorry!

Joined: Apr 10 2008
Dave's vol 9 thread gone...

You know what this means.

tysonsupina's picture
Joined: May 5 2013
gd pono players available

Sorry to break the flow of this thread but heads should know grateful dead edition pono players have just gone on sale. Get one while you can. 120 of the limited 500 have sold in 9 hrs.
No I don't work for them.

Joined: Apr 29 2013
What problems?

I bought this CD when I ordered the May 1997 box (after leaving it until there were only 100 left). Family Dog was a last minute add-on to that order. I was wary about purchasing it because of the mixed reviews re the sound quality…Well…I got it today, and have been playing it, wondering what all the fuss about sound quality is about.

I have a good stereo, but not that good that it would compensate for problems with sound quality. The sound is fine for a CD sourced from tapes stashed at home since 1970 or whatever. In fact it is a nice sounding CD. Further down / up this page, 'kevjones' says re this disc that "It is not sonicly perfect, but it has a very warm and fuzzy vibe to it", and I agree with him.

If you are interested in the 70's period Dead, or the acoustic Dead, or just the Grateful Dead, go for this set without reservations. I think it's great.

Joined: Jul 13 2011


I have had exactly the same problem, ordered in October. I have now given up all hope of getting the disc or my money back and have ordered through Deadnet.
I will not be using SpinCDs again. For all of the vagaries of international post and customs duties, discs ordered from Deadnet have always arrived

nickwp83's picture
Joined: Nov 27 2013
Family Dog at the Great Highway, San Francisco, CA 4/18/70

Man do I love this album!!! I can't get enough of it!!! Such a happy album, no matter what kind of day I have had, It will put a smile on my face. Sit back with a Montecristo, a good drink on the rocks, and Family Dog at the Great Highway and you have got it made!!!

Joined: Apr 10 2008

Check your box for PM.

deadmike's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Wonder if I will ever get this record ...

This time though, I have ordered it on CD through English Internet store Spin-CD's. Is shown as payed by November 15th 2013 but no record yet. Everytime I ask for it, someone named Steve tells me it will arrive to them in 4 or 5 days and will ship to me asap!

Well, well, we'll see ... maybe I'll have to get it through eBay in the end, to a much higher cost ...

Micke Östlund,
Växjö, Sweden

Joined: Feb 19 2014
Greatful Listener

I bought this album on record store day at Backtrack Records in Lincoln Nebraska. With my high quality record player, new needle, and bad ass receiver & speakers, I can't get enough of this album! I hope they keep em coming!

Joined: Nov 1 2012

Man! was I pissed when I first played this! but after adjusting stereo, it rocks!

dewahba's picture
Joined: Jun 18 2007
Vinyl- available

You can buy it for 39.95 or 44.95 can't remember, there's a record store in Mentor Ohio , has multiple copies of what you are looking for.
7661 Mentor Ave
Mentor, OH
(440) 946-9909, i am sure they'll be glad to send you one. i was there a week ago and there were more than or around a dozen sealed . with the record store day sticker .

dewahba's picture
Joined: Jun 18 2007
LP on this

I went to a record store and they had at least a dozen or more of the Vinyl on this one in case some of you want it still, i didn't even bother with CD.

Joined: Apr 10 2008
Mickey and the Hartbeats splatter vinyl
One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011

Maybe I've been kinda hard on this little tape that the Gar himself had hoarded or hidden. Here is a positive review. Everything sails along just like it oughta for an early 1970 acoustic gig until Wake Up Little Susie when the drums come out of hiding. Wake up! Then they disappear again and this is for the best. The real treat comes when Jer busts out the electric guitar for Cumberland Blues. When he plays that magic lick just after "kept me up 'til four" a baby unicorn flies out of my bum and spits up a double rainbow. I'm not kidding. That is THE moment for me. The cowboy tunes benefit from Marmaduke harmonizing every line and I don't think this flavor appears anywhere else in the official releases thus far. Good on him. They finally find Pigpen in the office or somewhere and coax him into a mini solo set. He loves that one key he plays in and he knows it cold. I'm not dissing Ron. He is my fave thing about the early GD. And you don't dis someone who dreams of a mean black snake sucking on his rider's tongue. You just don't.

Lawrence's picture
Joined: Apr 27 2008
Family dog is fine by me!

Hello out there in Grateful Dead web world. I just want to say I have never made a comment before, but I was home today with a bad back and thoroughly enjoying live at the Family Dog!
I don't get what all the fuss is about as far as bad quality. I guess we all live in parallel universes and one mans bla is another women's bla, anyway I have to date my universe. My first show was a very hot summer day 1972, The only time I saw Pig and this "Bad quality tape" brought me right back! Talk about Time travel I am just glad that it ended up at my door far away in Stockholm,Sweden.

guit30's picture
Joined: May 1 2009
Bad Quality Family Dog

They have been giving out some real good quality recordings lately, that had no need of the "plangent processes", which gets rid of wow and flutter in old tape recordings. 16.95 plus shipping probably with shipping comes out to 20 bucks. Dick's Pick's would give a warning of some kind if the the recordings were bad. The Emptor on DP 10 said, "This recording is just exactly perfect", and it was good quality for a 2 track tape recording. If I got something like that, I would have been upset, Warner Brothers is a business, they want to sell stuff. People have a right to complain about bad sound quality, I don't need every recording the Dead ever made, but I'm sure happy about the good stuff that I have.

Coconut Phil's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Bad vibes around the campfire

I'm amazed at how many folks are slamming this release. Have you read the story of the tapes, it's amazing they survived at all. I really like this CD a lot, its great music as well as a historical recording. I have been a fan a very long time and treasure releases like this. If you don't like it, sell it on Ebay and get some of your doe back. The sound quality is the best they could do, that's good enough for me. I hate to read negative post, and see fans being disrespectful to others. Remember this music is 44 years old. I love pristine sound quality as much as anyone, and there is plenty of it. We will get some great releases this year I'm sure. 2014 will be a good year for us.


One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011
I Like It

Actually, I like it quite a bit. In fact, I picked it for my morning commute today before reading your post.

What I don't like is that there was no warning that the audio would be this lo-fidelity.

What I also don't like is anyone being disrespectful and telling others to "shut it".'s picture
Joined: Aug 6 2013
OK,we got it....yadda,yadda,yawn

One Man-OK guy,we get it. YOU DON'T LIKE THIS RECORDING. Nuff said. shut it!

kolamjr's picture
Joined: Feb 19 2011
This is what its all about!

The days and nights out along the Great Highway were and still are the best!
This show is what the Dead are all about, this is exactly what I remember. What a blessing to have it now!
Sound quality was perfect on this release as far as I am concerned. If you are so picky that you can't handle a little feedback or whatever, you really need to go sit out in the woods for awhile and let that crap go!
For anyone thinking of getting this, GET IT! It is intimate,real, and fun. Just lay back close your eyes and BANG you are there!

Joined: Jan 13 2010
wow. this isn't the wretched-fest that some are saying.

If you have to choose between this and DaP9 (5/14/74), by all means go with Dap9. But this release is a "rare and important musical event" for 2013. The sound isn't THAT bad. The Pigpen material is iffy (some is almost inaudible), but seriously...this is a treasure, being an all-acoustic show under a different moniker than the GD.

I for one am very happy with the product.

Joined: Sep 18 2007
I Dig It, Despite the Sound

Finally got to open my copy on Christmas morning. I've been excited for this release since it was announced, since I'm a sucker for '70 acoustic stuff. I must admit I was a little disappointed when I popped it in my car CD player, but it does sound much better on my home stereo with nice speakers. I really dig the "Me and My Uncle" and "Mama Tried" with John Dawson and David Nelson. It was kind of a shocker after listening to 100,000 versions of "Uncle," to hear one that sounds completely different from any of the others. I'm glad that Dave put this out despite the warts. A Record Store Day release is intended for collectors, so I think it was the perfect avenue for getting this out.

One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011
Caveat Emptor = Buyer Beware

Yeah, I suppose that one person said he or she would rather not have it released at all. But a lot of people were disappointed and even angry about the audio quality. That could have been avoided if Rhino had come clean in the description of the product. They chose not to alienate any potential buyers up front at the risk of making them mad later. It's their current business model, apparently. Buyer beware. Their choice.

Joined: Apr 23 2008

I think you need to read the post " Honestly, the buzzing after the first 30 seconds was driving me absolutely crazy, I would rather not have something that sounds so horrible released and sold to us." That says to me he doesn't want it released. Now I would understand someone who wasn't familiar with the Dead and shows from the misty past being disappointed but the post stated they had been a head for years.

One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011

I don't think anybody said others should not be able to enjoy it. But there should have been a better description of the audio issues and there wasn't. So we get to write the Caveat Emptor ourselves!

Joined: Apr 23 2008

Let me make sure I understand your thinking. If the release is not up to you audio standards none of us should be able to enjoy it? Sorry that won't work.

mbarilla's picture
Joined: Aug 8 2013
If Pigpen material was not included,,

They would have probably never released this. I agree sound quality is hard to get past, although I have heard worse, I don't think any of those were official releases though. Others have mentioned recordings from pre-1970 can sound good, the tapes very well could have been damaged when returned, explaining the cuts and hiss/buzz

I was disappointed when I heard. I bought both however. Record first and then cd. Still waiting to hear what's next. On Christmas Eve Dave played 10-18-72 Dark Star > Morning Dew. Wow !! I think that will be released soon

Joined: Dec 26 2013
This release......

I have been a fan for many years and I have purchased many a live recording from this site as well as my local record store. My wife bought me this for Christmas and I popped it in my car for the first time this morning only to be extremely disappointed in the sound quality. I understand this was from 1970 and the recording equipment was not that great but come on, how can you release this??? Honestly, the buzzing after the first 30 seconds was driving me absolutely crazy, I would rather not have something that sounds so horrible released and sold to us. Are you folks that in need of more money that you have to reach for sub par recordings to sell to your loyal fan base??? We have been buying recordings through the years and eventually they will run out, it is reality, it will happen, there will be no more to release and sell us. So please until that time, choose wisely and release shows and recordings that are worthy of listening to and not something for you all to cash in on by selling it to all of us who keep you in business!!!!

JeffGodoy's picture
Joined: Nov 2 2010
This sounds fine!

I converted this to Apple Lossless to import on to my iPhone and it sounds perfect playing at high volume on my car's AUX connection. It's great to have some rare Pig-Pen at the minimum and a great show from that era.

One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011

Hey zxtttxz, why did you retract that? I was going to say that Rare Cuts is a different beast altogether and does not suffer the same sonic indignities.

zxtttxz's picture
Joined: May 1 2009


philledawg's picture
Joined: Dec 12 2009
Not a Limited Run so......

Unlike Road Trips, Dave's Picks does anyone know if this will be available, always and forever? ;)

shwack's picture
Joined: Apr 12 2008
Vinyl Heads Rejoice...

Help a brother (MY brother) out. If you haven't gone over to Brookvale to check out what Jeffry Norman has been working on you owe it to yourself.Dick's Pick's
Vol 5 is out on vinyl 5 LP box set 12/26/79 COMPLETE! Mr. Norman uses the original source tapes for this remastering.Check out my Bro's (Olive Henry) testimonial Video on Brookvale"s Facebook page. Hit the Like icon to support his pursuit of a test pressing of this fine recording. A COMPLETE Hot show remastered by the Master himself from the original Betty source tapes... Fantastic!
Henry's brother in nh

Joined: Oct 13 2008
Didn't purchase , No Great Loss. Your the winner.

Grateful Dead are known for there perfection. How many times did we hear Bobby say," we want to get this exactly perfect. "
Enjoy heavy hiss,( No matter what it's played out of ) . Cut songs. This is for you.
Jerry ( R.I.P.), love for music & concern for his followers. He would never have approved this.
High end marketing for low ended product .
Bad form.
Times, they are a changing'

Bach 2 Bach's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
Sunday morning wake & bake

This is a great disc to listen to on a Sunday morning. Grab a cuppa joe and pack the one hitter.'s picture
Joined: Nov 3 2007
Perfectly fine for me

I've listened to it on a high end system with high end speakers and it sounds fine to me. It states in the product listing that this release has some problems as far as sound quality and I don't find it that bad at all. Certainly listenable and I've heard worse released from other bands.

JeffGodoy's picture
Joined: Nov 2 2010
This is a major deal compared to Amazon

People on Amazon are charging up to $100 for a CD, pretty gross markup...

Strider 88's picture
Joined: Jun 20 2007
Family Dawg

By the time I first visited San Francisco in 1971 the Family Dog was torn down and a new Safeway built on that site. My brother Rick and his wife Shelley used to be regulars while the Dog was going. "Your ballroom days are over". As far as sound quality goes I'm OK with it as the historic significance of the recording is huge. I think back to my early days of seeing the Dead and only a handful of albums were even out at that time. The tape scene had not really started yet. Dead albums were a lot of fun as a kid. Yes those old records were quirky and filled with faults. Oh well. We old timers were very happy when a new Grateful Dead record was released. Huge thanks to Mountain Girl and the GD organization for getting this one out there. I see the cup is half full.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
don't mind if I do...thanks!

That's a bad poncho Jerry is sporting in the May '70 example. I didn't even know he played a Les Paul Special TV Yellow. He must have played that on the Summer '71 Road Trips.

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