RFK Stadium 1989 Box
LESS THAN 5000 LEFT
The Grateful Dead battled the elements in July 1989, enduring drenching rains and stifling humidity during back-to-back shows at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in the nation’s capital. In spite of the bleak weather, the band thrilled the massive crowds both nights with triumphant performances that rank among the very best of a busy year that included 74 shows and the release of the group’s final studio album, BUILT TO LAST.
ROBERT F. KENNEDY STADIUM, WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 12 & 13, 1989 includes two previously unreleased concerts taken from the band’s master 24-track analog recordings, which have been mixed by Jeffrey Norman at TRI Studios and mastered in HDCD by David Glasser. The collection’s colorful slip case features original artwork by Justin Helton and a perfect-bound book with in-depth liner notes written by Dean Budnick, editor-in-chief of Relix magazine. The set will also be available as a digital download in Apple Lossless and FLAC 192/24.
When Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Brent Mydland, and Bob Weir rolled into D.C. in July 1989 for the Dead’s two-night stand at RFK, the band hit the stage running with a stellar rendition of “Touch Of Grey,” the group’s biggest hit from its only Top 10 album In The Dark, which was released in 1987. The following night, the band returned to its double-platinum commercial breakthrough when it opened the show with a fiery version of “Hell In A Bucket.”
“RFK Stadium '89 fell right in the middle of one of the best tours of the last 15 years of Grateful Dead performances, with these shows being the sixth and seventh of an 11-show tour. This tour is widely considered the start of a nine month period of sustained excellence, which ran from Summer '89 through Spring '90. The RFK shows are as good as any of the more famous shows from this period, including July 4 in Buffalo, July 7 in Philadelphia, and the Alpine run,” says David Lemieux, Grateful Dead archivist and the set’s producer. “When Bob Weir has asked me to provide copies of Grateful Dead songs to give to his bandmates to learn and rehearse, he almost always requests Summer '89, and I've often drawn upon the RFK shows for this purpose. It's really that good!”
Both shows feature standout moments, but the July 12 show is notable for a few reasons. Perhaps the biggest is that the first set featured at least one song sung by each of the band’s four lead singers – Garcia, Weir, Lesh and Mydland – something that rarely happened. Another surprise came when the band opened the second set with “Sugaree,” a song that almost always appeared during the first set.
Pianist Bruce Hornsby — who briefly joined the band between 1990 and 1992 — is featured on both shows. He played accordion during “Sugaree” and “Man Smart (Woman Smarter),” with a touch of keyboard-tinkling, on July 12, and then played more accordion the following night for “Tennessee Jed” and “Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again.”
For fans of Mydland’s tenure with the Dead – which began in 1979 and ended in 1990 with the keyboardist’s tragic death – these stellar shows capture that incarnation in peak form. Among the long list of highlights are performances of live staples such as “Eyes Of The World,” “Wharf Rat” and “I Need A Miracle,” along with rarities like “To Lay Me Down,” which was played only a few times in 1989. The July 13 show also features the band road-testing “I Will Take You Home,” a track Mydland wrote with Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow that would appear later that fall on Built To Last.
Release Date: 11/10/17
Limited Edition of 15,000
A Dead.net Exclusive
Listening Party: THE BIG ONE
Far From Me
To Lay Me Down
Looks Like Rain
R.F.K. Stadium, Washington, D.C. (7/12/89)
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As huge a music fan as can be, I love scores of bands from the Beatles on... somehow, RollingDed or GratefulHalen just doesn't have the ring to it...
Certainly, Led Zeppelin were not the brightest of shining stars in the ethics department. From hotel vandalism, extreme drug ingestion, physical violence, consorting with underage groupies, etc., this was a band of savages on the road in the 1970s.
Their manager, ex-pro wrestler Peter Grant, was a bear of a man with a horrible temper and fierce intimidation tactics. People cowered before him, road manager Richard Cole as well as others in the entourage. Led Zeppelin were shrewdly and brutally managed into one of the most lucrative and artistically successful entertainment acts of their era.
Robert Plant did shamelessly nick wordly passages from old blues records - primarily in the early days before he found his muse as a lyricist. Jimmy Page, no doubt, put a heavy spin on several established blues riffs that went uncredited.
The blues, however, as any student of the genre knows contains many traditional songs and forms that have been handed down, modified and outright plagiarized for decades. It is part of the history of the style and Led Zeppelin were hardly the only ones to get over.
How Zeppelin rolled in their heyday was not tremendously different nor more excessive than several rock and roll bands of that age (The Who, Rolling Stones, etc.)
What really matters and stands the test of time to me is the fine body of work they left behind. Led Zeppelin III, IV, and Physical Graffiti are just monster albums and Houses of the Holy is no slouch either.
Some think only of the heavy bombast and banshee-like wailing of Led Zep, but anyone who's gone deep into their catalogue is well aware of the wide range of styles of which they were masters.
I feel their 2007 tribute to Ahmet Ertegun concert is a gem that shows them still able to reach the height of their glory all those years later. What a way to go out, indeed, a Celebration Day.
Drummer John Bonham, owing to immense intoxication, forced the end of a single concert after only three songs in Nuremberg, Germany in June 1980, three months prior to his death. Generally, they were known for playing marathon shows including many over four hours that included both acoustic and electric sets.
I once saw a Kinks show that lasted for less than 2 songs. During the second song Ray Davies smacked himself in the mouth with the microphone and broke a tooth. End of show. He was probably drunk - which brings us to Bickershaw (think Europe '72) which was the other time I saw the Kinks and they were horribly drunk and it was a sloppy performance which is probably being too kind to them. Banana Boat Song ? Do me a favour!
As for Peter Grant, a musician friend of mine met him and didn't have a good word to say about him.
I think this was an aberration.
Its not my area of expertise, but I don't think they varied the setlists much, if at all, from show to show within a tour.
They did do a really short show in Tampa that was called due to weather.
I'm sure someone out there has better detail, but I do not think this was the norm. Peter Grant, on the other hand.. would probably liked to have pulled the plug in a couple songs if someone was stiffing them on t-shirt or beer revenue. The man was a ruthless manager/promoter.
I never heard of Zeppelin doing this. Was it a regularity or one time special circumstance?
died in 1995, he did not think that led zepplin ripped off his song, he had no problem with the fact that that intro was a bit familiar. I think it is a bit coincidental that led zepplin opened for Spirit back in 1970 when Spirit was a hot band, but yet, they don't remember hearing any of Randy's songs. It's the lawyers who pushed that lawsuit and Mark Andes on behalf of Randy's family, who had gotten into a bit of a financial jam and were looking for a way to keep their heads above water. Really? lets blame the dead guy? As we all know, Jimmy Page has used others songs and licks and called them his own before. I met Randy several times in the 80's and the early 90's and he was a great guy, who didn't have much and never embraced the rock star life like so many others from his time, he never had a castle or a Roles Royce or millions of dollars. Him and his band once played at a bar for their evening meal, and a few bucks for gas. He never started a show, played a song or two, then left the stage and robbed everyone of their ticket admissions prices like zepplin did.
Another good one!
I would imagine that Randy California would be high up on any list of potential callers.
good one Keithfan
I always assumed it was one of a dozen or so Blues legends, looking for their royalties ;-)
I haven't glued my ear to that re-issue to know, but I have it on good authority that the chap ringing was Sir Elton John. Hope that helps.
Do you know if they removed the telephone ringing from The Ocean on the Houses of the Holy re-issue? Man that is annoying! Who could be calling anyway???
Huge fan here. Love the "Tour De Force" live album. When I bought my first CD player in the 80's, "Elegant Gypsy" was the very first CD I purchased.
On a somewhat related note, I had the honor and priveledge to attend one of the "Meeting of the Spirits" shows with Jimmy Herring and John McLaughlin, on his farewell tour. McLaughlin is retiring at the top of his game. I've literally seen thousands upon thousands of concerts over the last 40 some-odd years, and their performance in Ann Arbor recently ranks up there with probably one of the best concerts I've ever seen of any band/performer. I've seen some real doozies.
In case you couldn't make it to any of their shows, this is what you missed out on.....warning....you might want to start kicking yourself now before watching this...
....I heard the Chicago shows were even better than this one and Ann Arbor....if that was even possible.
or should I say "CBS records you suck" rant...
Love Al's Tour De Force live album, but you can hear the album fade as the band continues to rip. The shows this live album should be released with the full norman treatment with the entire show.
Maybe I'm off on this Dennis, but I read into that exchange between LedDead and Dark Star as tongue in cheek snark, aimed at making us laugh. LedDead seemed to be exaggerating for comic effect the people here (most of us lol?) who return items that are not in 100% new condition (he said 900% or something crazy like that, and went on to say the book was going to be damaged no matter what, so why waste the time returning it when he could be reading it. And Dark Star exaggerated this slovenly character reminiscent of Bluto or Peter Griffin, who has experienced a lifetime of accidentally breaking things and either tip-toeing away or having Corporate A pay the price tag on.
Only one real way to know!
Let's not start the year off this way (sorry already did).
Please don't take this personal, but Dark-Star, there was NO REASON to post such comments. They added nothing to the forum. Led Ded made some comments you didn't like, ok, but there was no need to respond in that way.
Mom always said, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".
Let us all try not to reply in this manner.
(But just for argument sake, there is no such thing as an irreplaceable knick-knack, just one that needs dusting :-) )
What I really need to know is where is my digital download of the last 45???
Happy New Years everyone, I was glad to see I have all the aforementioned "bonus" disc,,,,smile, smile, smile.
All I really got out of your post is that you're a slob who doesn't take care of his stuff, and that you contribute to inflated consumer costs by returning merchandise you've broken. You're without a doubt the guy who damaged the irreplaceable knick-knack at the party without telling the host, as well as the kid who broke his friends' toys without owning up to it. And I'm sure if the cost of the Jimmy Page book exceeded x number of dollars, you would have sent it back for one without a dent (assuming of course, the dent resulted from something you did).
This weekend has been my third listening to this box. I gotta say, I'm glad it was released and look forward to other 24 track recordings. This box sounds great. Very up on-it performances. If these were the weak shows, I can't wait to hear the better ones on this tour get the full Norman.
Thanks to all who make this discussion always so interesting and informative. I wish everyone a fine, fine new year with many new GD releases. Scott
I've owned many thousands of compact discs since they came out in the 1980s. Still buy them and they are the primary medium for music. I like a little artwork, but can't have 10,000 record albums in my home though it would be cool.
They sound fine to my ears. After I burn them into iTunes they go into the vault and stay clean. If any is needed for the car, burn a copy. And, a natural backup in case all the electronic shit crashes. Computers, I can't count on 'em. A computer can't bet on sports and won't touch a drink, and you can't trust a man who refuses to do either.
In all this time, maybe twice - and maybe, exactly only once, I can't clearly remember - has a factory-made disc not played, had a skip or electronic noise on it or whatever. I have ham-handedly cracked a couple trying to get them out of their holders, but this is remedied by returning to seller and falsely claiming it arrived like that.
It almost seems like the Rhino Dead releases are plagued, judging by the number of issues evermore posted around here. But of course these people, you, Dead freaks, obsess over every aspect of this band so nearly all incidences are reported, about 900% higher than the general population.
I understand music not playing, but to think cracked case or torn sleeve or something is like a life-impacting issue seems ridiculous.
I leave my guitars out and sometimes kids put greasy hands on them or one falls off couch. The cars are a few years old, and I wash and interior clean them intermittently, but clearly they show signs of wear.
Bought that $100 Jimmy Page coffee table book a couple years ago. It arrived damaged from UPS or whatever, in that the box was gnashed and front cover has a pronounced 1" divot in it.
So what? I kept it. Why produce the waste of sending back to get a perfect one, only to freak out then when someone smears page or drink spills on it.
Favourite shoes are 20, 25 year-old pair Doc Marten boots. Don't care no one wears them anymore, they show the character a human face does, decades of experiences written across them. Though scuffed, they display gravitas that can only be earned. When I see store-bought "distressed" jeans and such, I recoil in horror. Like with a person, one can spot a "fake" pair of jeans or baseball cap a mile away.
I know people who own guitars that will hardly let you lay eyes or breathe on them and gasp when they're handled. It reminds me of folks who used to (do they still?) put clear plastic slipcovers on their sofa cushions! This kind of struggle to maintain a level of perfect newness with material items has to be a clear tell of insanity and impending dementia.
Been listening to a lot of great Al Di Meola guitar today, on shuffle. From acoustic gypsy music to jazz-fusion wailing, an amazingly coherent tasteful body of work. Check out Al, your local public library should have a few cd's you can rent for free.
I have had a few issues with music showing up late in the past. Once I was contacted by Mac, however, the issues were resolved. The regular customer service people who answer the phone don't always have up-to-date info or can't help much with some issues but Mac is a stand up guy and has always came through for me. Thanks again Mac for all your help, it is much appreciated.
The hired foreign CS phone bank for mundane issues never does a good job fixing actual problems, as they are essentially bound to a script.
The dear readers here know how, and should, immediately escalate any problems to Mary and/or Dr. Rhino. They know how to get sh*t done!
Actually quite the opposite is most likely the case. The worst release recently was GSTL and that was a couple of dozen issues. Which translates into less than 1%. Compare that to software with constant bugs, cars that need recalls numbering in the hundreds of thousands etc.etc. and Rhino does a damn good job. I can't speak to their customer service since in all my purchases which is everything I've never had a problem which again anecdotally goes to the quality of the product. If their customer service is as bad as the few who have had problems then they need to fix it. In this area there may be some validity to the complaints if you look at the problems they have with their website when there's a new release. Then there's the complaints about not getting a show on the release date. It's the release date not the date you get it in your hands. Bottom line and this has been said numerous times they do a very good job with their picks and the quality of the release but possibly could step it up a bit when there is a problem. And the consumers could exercise a little patience as to when it gets to them. Thur instead of Tuesday come on if that's the worst life dishes out to you you're doing great
...sometimes the bear gets you. So true.
I have purchased every DP, every RT, every DaP. & every CD box set minus Filmore '69. I have never had a defective product.
I have had some incredibly poor customer service on more than 1 occasion.
On the other hand, the one time I called to complain that I didn't get my DaP bonus disk I got my replacement immediately. (I was mistaken on that occasion & I DID indeed get that bonus disk originally [I'm just a dummy]).
Sometimes you get Bear and sometimes Bear gets you ♡
Anecdotally it does seem rather high. While rearranging my collection shelf today, I just noticed a rip in the paper covering of the outer box portion of my RFK box. It's doubtful I will press the issue this time, although I'm tempted. It may well have been damaged in transit. These came in an padded envelope this time, right? In hindsight, maybe not the best idea for them to leave them in there to flop about and prone to smushing.
This issue seems to dog many here. Not sure why its so difficult and why the defect rate is so high..
Like Minus said, get a hold of the good doctor (Dr.Rhino@Rhino.com) or PM MaryE here. That usually works.
Happy holidays all, we are on the downward slide to the New Year.
I've also had some defective CDs but never had a problem getting a replacement. I'm guessing you never were put in touch with Dr Rhino? I've never known him to not come through.
I'm not sure how boycotting the site would work. you will spend a lot more than 10 bucks on ebay getting Dave's Picks and box sets. Plus there's there general philosophy that funding the machine keeps the new releases coming indefinitely. I buy all of the releases, whether I want them or not just to support the machine. Now granted I WANT most of the releases anyway but for example I bought this RFK set just to play my part in keeping the machine Truckin'. Cuz it's still worth the headache of the occasional defect or customer service issue.
3 Newcastle beers left from Christmas. going to finish up 11/10/85 had to quit in the middle of it due to Christmas festivities. and possibly 5/10/72 for the first time it has to be good right? 4/11/72 New Castle, ENG was pretty good last nite.
Well, after waiting for 6 weeks to get a replacement disc, and being told by some guy named Mac at customer service that a replacement was 1 week away, I finally got thru to someone who authorized a refund for me on this set.
Horrible customer service now. Sad. Lady today was nice. I am officially buying all my Grateful Dead music elsewhere unless it is specific only to Dead.net. I am willing to pay $5-$10 extra to not have to deal with the frequently defective products and awful customer service that results. I'd encourage others to follow suit when you can. The hassle here is no longer worth it to me.
View from the Vault 1
11.25.73 ~ "Row Jimmy" ~ Feyline Field
Both are magical
A Merry Christmas
I feel like the animosity toward this release is about late Dead vs. early Dead. I'm not going to evangilize late Dead, but I will evangilize both the musicianship and the production of this release. This box set sounds absolutely amazing. I got on the bus pretty late; Without a Net was my introduction. So call me a post-touch-head. It blows me away that these 24 track recordings exist and that we're fortunate enough to hear them mixed and mastered. Keep them coming; I will buy each and every one.
Your post on this box set is spot on. I've listened to both shows a couple of times and they seemed great to me, some really good latter day dead.
Listening to the sublime Dick's Picks Vol. 14, watching Packers/Vikings. Nursing a Tito's and soda, cradling a dry 1960's Les Paul goldtop. Life is good.
Happy and excited for the upcoming 1971 release, like all the rest.
This box set has drawn some negative responses here and I'd like to address the points I've seen so far.
1) Brent calls his ex a bitch and uses the f word.
Yep, I get it. It's pretty negative for a Dead vibe, and we all want to have a fun trip. But it's literally 1 second of the first disc. And it's art. Brent was working through his issues. Get over it. The Dead were ok with it; maybe we can all try a little harder.
2) Brent sucks.
Yep, I get it. Brent is a poor man's Michael McDonald (I lifted that from somewhere else). But really, he doesn't suck. Brent and Jerry work really well together. Brent's keys are great. He knows when to play and when to back off (check out his work in Cassidy). If you're hung up on Brent, check out what Phil is doing. Or Jerry. Or Bobby. Or Billy or Mickey. Brent was a really tasteful musician. I didn't like him at first, but he's grown on me and my respect for him grows with each listen.
3) The set list sucks.
Have you ever heard someone say "don't judge a Dead show by the set list"? I rest my case.
4) These two shows were weak shows in this tour.
OK you got me on this one. I can't compare these shows with the rest of that tour. I wasn't there and I haven't heard what's out there on audience tapes. But what I can say is that this box sounds fantastic. The Dead are *on*. They're on fire. Are these standout shows from that tour? I have no idea, and I don't care. They sound great, and it's a pleasure to hear it mixed and mastered on this release.
....Sugaree->Man Smart. Grate stuff there. Thanks Bruuuuce....
Check out how into it the band is on this one, especially Jerry, Billy and Mickey. They simply come together on this one. Check out the Sugaree and Terrapin>Morning Dew from this show, too. This is really good! Thanks for posting it, Jim!
Yes.. indeed. I was remiss to not include 1977.
Wilfred.. you've never made the naughty list here.
I was surprised to learn this was one of Billy's favorite songs to play as well. I tend toward the 1977 versions...4-27-77 is a one really good version I remember. That tape sounded so good back in the day. Both sets!
ah.. the often maligned Row Jimmy.
Nice Row Jimmy reference daverock. It's always been a favorite of mine and apparently Garcia's as well. He is quoted as saying he loved to play that song. I get out in my boat on a good year perhaps 100 times.. we use the word paddle here, not row but it resonates for me nonetheless. Row Jimmy always had a familiar ring.. a humble little song, grass shack nailed to a pine wood floor.. almost like it was written about me, Row JimmyInMD? :D
It's one of those songs where the jams just flow almost without effort from the words and melody and melt into the theme of the song. I especially like some of the 73/74 slide renditions. My mom calls me Jimmy.. except when she's pissed.. then it's James (loudly, insert middle name for added emphasis) and out comes the singular, pointing index finger.. and wham.. I'm in deep shit trouble and written completely out of the will, yet again. :D
The oft maligned Row Jimmy..
Yes! Your assessment is one of the reasons I also really enjoy the later era - so many songs available, so many ways the sets could go. Admittedly certain songs seemed to be more or less locked into their relative slots, but when they ventured outside of that and also changed up the song selection in general, it was usually a treat. Not to mention, the GD are like, also the greatest cover band of all time. So many covers, especially in later years - for better or worse, but I pretty much enjoyed them all, till the end. Keeps me on my toes.
Glad to see the love.
....can't recall one in any of the Vegas runs. Hit every show. Man, that's starting to feel like a long time ago.
that's true. I didn't get a repeat in the '92 Omni run or in '95
Generally, you could do a 3-night run and not get a repeat.
The 3-night run at Omni ‘93 only repeated Lazy River Road which was a new song and needed to be broken in.
Happy Holidays (and pending polar vortex for those east of the Rockies).
Thinking back to 78-79-80 Jerry played comparatively few tunes after the drums, but he consistently performed at knockout level in that stretch. Four or five shows into '79, I can remember eventually not caring that there might be no more Morning Dew. In Spring '80, I was overjoyed to hear the Dew (Nassau), but most nights for the next 15 years I was expecting to be slayed in the home stretch by Wharf Rat or Stella Blue or Black Peter. No problem.
The attraction for me in listening to those 90's shows is the ridiculously large repertoire. My spreadsheet counts (your mileage may vary) 58 different songs performed during Europe '72, 64 during spring '77, and 125 during spring '90. 125!!! Pick two back-to-back shows from '72 and you pretty much heard everything they had and many songs twice. Pick two from '90 and it's "darn I wanted to hear such-and-such" with zero repeats.
Granted, pick any one song from '72 and it's somewhat 'better' than any one song from '90. But that's not why I still listen after all these decades.
oh man, there's so many gems one can find in the fall '94 shows if one wishes to look. the whole Boston Garden run is a great listen. and the Madison Square Garden run of fall 94 as well. 3/3/92 as a whole is a pretty good show and is a '90's show i'd like to see released.
I agree that the band played a lot of great music in the 90s. But for me, its not necessarily in the places you would expect. When I saw them in 1990, one of the best moments-and I can still remember it clearly - was Jerry singing "Black Peter". I was quite close to him, and I could see, as well as hear, the passion and commitment of his delivery. It was very moving-not exactly party music, but so deep and emotional. I can't imagine he would have been able to perform this song so effectively during the 1970s. Another great song that night-29th October 1990, was "Row Jimmy"-hardly one of my favourite songs, but this version, this night, was really involving. The jams were okay-but the slower songs seemed truer somehow.
Anyway-happy holidays to one and all.
Kyle you give me hope that there are others who still mine and enjoy shows across the 90's era; I've picked up on a few of your references myself and fell down some rabbit holes...
Understanding that Jerry was on the downswing vocally and perhaps other ways, these were all still GD shows, and I feel there is something to offer in there for the majority of them (at least that I have heard). Case in point - I revisited the 30 Trips show from 10/1/94, and man, that has some fantastic moments and the playing is inspired. The Help>Slip>Franklin's opener is H - O - T; a tight Althea, and perhaps the best song of the show in So Many Roads - listening to that one last night LITERALLY brought a tear to my eye at the end/refrain - Jerry just lets is all out in the vocals and the place goes absolutely nuts. Second set Scarlet>Fire, Saint>Terrapin?? Then another fantastic energized ballad in Stella Blue. What a show. And, I really enjoy Jerry's tone at that point in time.
All in all, good stuff and my hope is that there remains steadfast respect and enjoyment of these years for those willing to give them a chance.
Happy Holidays, All.