Grateful Dead

RFK Stadium 1989 Box


Digital Download


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.

Product Details

6-CD
Release Date: 11/10/17
Limited Edition of 15,000
Individually Numbered
A Dead.net Exclusive

Listening Party: THE BIG ONE


7/12
Far From Me
Black Peter
7/13
To Lay Me Down
Looks Like Rain
Wharf Rat

Listening Party #1


"Wharf Rat"
"Cassidy"

Listening Party #2


"Sugaree"
"Let It Grow"

Seaside Chat: RFK Stadium

Product Details

R.F.K. Stadium, Washington, D.C. (7/12/89)

1. Touch Of Grey
2. New Minglewood Blues
3. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
4. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
5. Far From Me
6. Cassidy
7. Friend Of The Devil
8. Promised Land
9. Sugaree>
10. Man Smart, Woman Smarter
11. Ship Of Fools>
12. Estimated Prophet>
13. Eyes Of The World>
14. Drums>
15. Space>
16. I Need A Miracle>
17. Dear Mr. Fantasy>
18. Black Peter>
19. Turn On Your Lovelight>
20. Black Muddy River

R.F.K. Stadium, Washington, D.C. (7/13/89)

1. Hell In A Bucket
2. Cold Rain And Snow
3. Little Red Rooster
4. Tennessee Jed
5. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
6. To Lay Me Down
7. Let It Grow
8. He's Gone
9. Looks Like Rain
10. Terrapin Station
11. Drums
12. Space
13. I Will Take You Home
14. The Other One
15. Wharf Rat
16. Throwing Stones
17. Good Lovin'
18. U.S. Blues

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Kayak Guy's picture
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Joined: Jun 4 2015
is it November yet?

Currently listening to the 6/24/85 Riverbend show from 30 Trips, I suspect the reason for many of the mid 80's release issues is with Healy's mix for the venues.
It is really apparent here in this 85 recording, the effects, the reverb, the heavily gated microphones all add up to a recording that at times seems to be missing something in the mix. I loved it at the shows, but these SBDs seem too sterile and the effects really stand out, like the hokey "psychedelic" video sequences, they were decisions made at the show that can't be undone on the recording master.
This could be why they use so many multitracks from the 89/90 tours where they can choose to not apply that echo and distortion to Bob's voice, or reverb to everything but Jerry's voice and the drums.
Its a good show, but hearing it right after a 73 SBD, the 85 recording highlights it's biggest flaw, the mix.

We need more listening parties and sneak previews of the packaging now that we know RFK is a limited edition.

JimInMD's picture
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Joined: Jun 27 2011
Gaucho Amigo

Gaucho Outtakes.. yes please.

Who is the gaucho amigo
Why is he standing
In your spangled leather poncho
And your elevator shoes
Bodacious cowboys
Such as your friend
Will never be welcome here
High in the Custerdome....

Very nice VGuy. Muchas Gracias, Amigo.

It's no secret Steely Dan spent some quality time in the studio. I saw one of their studio hires commenting on their recording style.. I am not going to try to exactly quote.. but it starts with the rhythm track and the drumer. They work the beat and the drummer to death.. over and over again, slight tweaks, timing must be perfect, flawless.. Weeks go by, just the core few and a drummer. Finally.. just when everyone is burned out.. they achieve 'perfection.' So they start the next day by bringing in a new drummer, throwing it all away and starting from scratch.. still in search of perfection :D

Or as another quoted.. when you made a Steely Dan album, you spend the first six weeks just getting comfortable in your chair.

The exact opposite as the Grateful Dead, yet.. they have a similar effect on me. Perfect mind music.

We lost two biggies this year, Walter Becker and Gregg Allman. Flags still flying at half mast.

Vguy72's picture
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Bonus Dan....

https://youtu.be/2g21SnPXOTg
....Gaucho outtakes anyone?

JimInMD's picture
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Joined: Jun 27 2011
Sacred beverage indeed

If I don't start the day with good coffee, it's hard for me to have a good day.

Good thinking Ziffle.. Priorities!

Too all in Irma's path.. we are pulling for ya. Be safe.

Mission in the Rain, 06/29/1976 Auditorium Theater, Chicago

Good luck riding the storm out.

VEG HEAD's picture
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Joined: May 27 2011
the sacred beverage....

Gotta have coffee. Without a doubt.

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Joined: Jul 21 2015
Greetings FloridaBob - ready for Irma

Northeast Miami-Dade here, in the line of fire, just outside the evacuation zone. No hostility around here I've seen. Stoic acceptance. Stores are cleaned out of anything useful. Whole Foods Market North Miami got a few pallets of water Thursday morning so I'm set.

It is surreal. From all appearances, today was a perfect beach day, lovely sunset, pleasant evening. Unreal full moon. Sounds of my neighbors cutting, mounting plywood & storm shutters, but mostly the usual crickets, frogs, the occasional owl calling.

Got a two quart thermos for coffee, otherwise I'll become catatonic when the electric is cut off.

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Dead & Co. FALL TOUR

....shared this on the DaP 23 board and wanted to be sure it found its way here...info just dropped:

https://www.deadandcompany.com/

One can sign up for the presale registration.....

Sixtus

unkle sam's picture
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Joined: Oct 3 2008
trying to reason with hurricane season

I sure hope everyone who is in the path of Irma gets out now, you do not want to be anywhere near this bitch. I also survived Charley in 04, lost power for 9 days, the eye wall went right over my house, ripped trees out of the ground and snapped them right in half 12 ft up. Roofs blown off and power lines everywhere and that was only 115 mph winds. I had lived in Fla for 40 years, after that, we got out and I would recommend that to anyone living there. Florida, it's a great place to visit but I wouldn't live there ever again. Floridabob, keep safe, just because you are inland does not protect you from 150 mph winds, it will sweep right over the peninsula and flatten everything in it's path. Just heard from my sister in law who lives in Miami, mandatory evacuation in place right now, they are evacuating Miami and I am sure they will evacuate the entire east coast of Florida before this is all said and done. If you are not leaving, be prepared for no power for at least a week. my 89 yr old mother still lives in Fla too, but on the west side of the state, talked to her and she said she is as ready as she can be, I sure hope she is right.

shirdeep's picture
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stay safe an play dead

State Fairgrounds, Lewiston, ME (9/6/80)

Alabama Getaway
Greatest Story Ever Told
Sugaree
Me and My Uncle
Mexicali Blues
Tennessee Jed
Feel Like a Stranger
Friend of the Devil
Far From Me
Little Red Rooster
China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Promised Land

Shakedown Street
Lost Sailor
Saint of Circumstance
Althea
Playin' in the Band
Uncle John's Band
drums
Not Fade Away
The Wheel
Uncle John's Band
Playin' in the Band
Sugar Magnolia

One More Saturday Night
Brokedown Palace

FloridaBobalooToo's picture
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Joined: Feb 17 2017
Ziffle. Howdy

Hi Ziffle. sounds like you are close to me here in FLA. Clermont here, How about you?
Civility is beginning to erode now as panic and fear are getting the best of people. We still have 2 days. If you have shit to do, get it done today friends. Unless you are coastal, this is beginning to look a little better to me. 57 yrs in Florida. Rode out Charlee 12 miles from the eye, and that was a bitch of a day. BUT we made it without catastrophic damage. Even my frame house withstood 120 mph winds pretty well.
Prep the best you can and hunker down while it passes, and when the eye is north of you, then breath that sigh of relief.

SPACEBROTHER's picture
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Joined: Jun 4 2007
Irma

You don't want to mess around with this one. For safety sake I recommend evacuation. 185 mile an hour winds will flatten everything in sight. Scientists are saying this type of storm will rip every shred of vegetation out of the ground and is so powerful that it's actually being picked up on equipment used for measuring earthquakes.

The only saving grace is it's moving faster than Harvey did so hopefully you won't see 50 plus inches of rain.

Not worth the risk sticking around. Stuff can be replaced. People can't.

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Joined: Jul 21 2015
Irma on the move

The last tracking I saw has the eye of the hurricane on top of me early afternoon Sunday, maybe it will get diverted?

Meanwhile, I have batteries charged, I'm not particularly worried about food & water, I just filled up a bunch of empty bottles with tap water, bought a case of mineral water, a case of wine, a couple of pounds of Florida shrimp for a nice grill after the storm (& stuff in cans just in case).

Should be OK.

Feel terrible & sympathy for the folks on the leeward islands, especially Barbuda, they lost everything.

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Joined: Jan 13 2010
"do yourself a favor"

listen to 2/9/73

Frankie Lee's picture
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"....like I told ya...what I said..."

I mentioned here weeks ago after hearing David L. mention on SiriusXM's Grateful Dead channel's special regarding this release that he had said this release would be "limited and would for sure sell out".

Enjoy the Brent! Get one while ya can!

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Joined: Sep 1 2014
Holger Czukay

Sad to see that Holger Czukay has died. Can were an amazing band in the late 1960s and 1970s-there was no one quite like them. At the time, in England, they appealed to Pink Floyd fans-but although they played very spaced out music, they were actually very different. Can were much more rhythmical than Floyd. The way Holger on bass, and Jackie Leibezeit on drums locked together seemed to have more in common with great psychedelic funk bands-like Funkadelic.

I agree that Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi are probably their best albums, but they made several great ones. As far as individual tracks go, Mother Sky, off "Soundtracks" takes some beating.

Thin's picture
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Fedrd - re RFK '89

Fedrd - I understand that you were disappointed with the RFK '89 concert experience (stadiums do suck), but the good thing about this box is that you WON'T BE in a ginormous stadium surrounded by 45,595 people listening to crappy sound warbling across a football field. This release allows you to enjoy these shows without those compromises = Woohoo!

As for the setlists, OK they're no greatest-hits showcase, but as Dicks Picks 9 (9/16/90) taught us, ya don't need a Shakedown / BirdSong / Stranger / Scarlet>Fire / Playin>Uncle John's Band / Help>Slip>Franklins / Dark Star setlist in order to have a great release!

As I posted elsewhere recently, 9/16/90 initially seemed like a lost opportunity to me (in terms of year AND the ho-hum setlist - it may have prompted the chat discussion "Dick couldn't pick a pumpkin"). But when it arrived - WOW! I was blown away. Dick didn't just reach for a fantasy setlist to goose sales - he dug DEEP for a non-obvious show where the band really gels. This RFK box seems similar in that regard.

Kayak Guy's picture
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Joined: Jun 4 2015
RIP Can Co-Founder Holger Czukay Dead at 79

The GD weren't the only band exploring musical space, and the German band Can was one of the best.

Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi are nice introduction albums if you are unfamiliar.

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Joined: Nov 2 2010
Sad...

Who are these children
Who scheme and run wild
Who speak with their wings
And the way that they smile
What are the secrets
They trace in the sky
And why do you tremble
Each time they ride by?

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Joined: Nov 2 2010
The last concert I saw

The last concert I saw...Steely Dan.

rangzen's picture
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Joined: Nov 17 2016
MSG 90

fedrd = 9/20/90. like it prefer Europe to MSG

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Joined: Feb 2 2010
Reeling . . .

Just now learning about Becker from this board. I, too, was a "Dan" long before I was a "Head". Once I heard some Steely Dan in college, I jumped in the car, drove straight to the CD store, and purchased every disc they had (there hadn't been any reunions at that point.). They took all the wonderful oddness of Traffic, Genesis, and Jethro Tull, and made it swing, with a certain lightness that the other bands sometimes lacked.

There's certainly some Steely binge-ing about to happen at my house . . .

R.I.P., Walter.

mbarilla's picture
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Joined: Aug 8 2013
R.F.K. Stadium 1989 + 7.5.81

Rhino what's up with the pro-shot video ? Please include with Box-Set as Bonus Surprise. It's obvious whoever makes these decisions can surely make it happen.

Audible the play call and add Pro-Shot Video !!!!!

Also One Kind Favor , release performance of 7.5.81

JimInMD's picture
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Joined: Jun 27 2011
Irma

I've been watching this one too.. I'm still holding hope it curves North, but recent tracking has it staying South.

Good Luck Florida..

Haven't heard from Nano in some time either. Be safe everyone...

Vguy72's picture
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Joined: Jun 29 2007
Any Major Dude Will Tell You....

....see. I told you....

FloridaBobalooToo's picture
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Joined: Feb 17 2017
Florida and Irma

I hate to say it, but Ive got a bad feeling with this one. Went to the store today and the madness has begun early as water is flying off the shelves as is Spam, chili, stew, canned veggies, canned fruit, and of course booze. This storm just seems to have the look of a real menace. We have all our supplies and are ready as we can be. But there will be some last minute people that are panic filled and finding nothing but beets and Walmart cola to buy.
If you're in Florida. "Get Ur Done" tomorrow please! And batteries for your music players!!!!!!!!

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Joined: Nov 17 2011
RFK Stadium 1989 Album

Nice to see an official RFK album. The most shows of any venue for me, as it was my local summer tour stadium. Fitting too as RFK will soon no longer be. It's last tenant (DC United) will be moving out after the season...So many fun memories there...

Vguy72's picture
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Joined: Jun 29 2007
I just discovered....

....the most pointless list ever. Naming Dan records from best to worst. An exercise in futility....

Vguy72's picture
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Joined: Jun 29 2007
I take back my earlier statement....

....asking if Steely Dan could release a bad album if they tried. Could they release a bad song if they tried?....Do It Again
.
.
In the mornin' you go gunnin' for the man who stole your water
And you fire till he is done in but they catch you at the border
And the mourners are all singin' as they drag you by your feet
But the hangman isn't hangin' and they put you on the street

You go back, Jack, do it again, wheels turinin' 'round and 'round
You go back, Jack, do it again

When you know she's no high climber then you find your only friend
In a room with your two timer, and you're sure you're near the end
Then you love a little wild one, and she brings you only sorrow
All the time you know she's smilin'; you'll be on your knees tomorrow

You go back, Jack, do it again, wheels turinin' 'round and 'round
You go back, Jack, do it again

Now you swear and kick and beg us that you're not a gamblin' man;
Then you find you're back in Vegas with a handle in your hand
Your black cards can make you money so you hide them when you're able
In the land of milk and honey you must put them on the table

You go back, Jack, do it again, wheels turinin' 'round and 'round
You go back, Jack, do it again
.
.
.track one on their first record. It just gets better and better after that....

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Joined: Nov 14 2010
Animals on 8 track

I still have my copy of Animals on 8 track! It is the only format that had the full version of Pigs On The Wing with the guitar bridge between them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGSPUOaHYn4

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Joined: Jan 13 2010
a raise of the glass to Walter Becker

y'all be cool.

eyes43's picture
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Joined: Apr 9 2013
Kid Charlemagne

Carlton's solo in this Dan song, is incredible, as are Becker and Fagen's lyrics! Lyrics are posted below the video.

RIP Walter.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ9Xk-VoGqo

jrf68@hotmail.com's picture
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The Dan
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D.C. boxed set

Hate to be the downer, but the shows were not that great. Ordinary set lists, ordinary length of shows for that year, and played in a ginormous stadium with less then optimum sound and a ridiculous size crowd.
Re spring 90', listen to the 6 Sept. shows at MSG and tell me that wasn't one of the best runs in GD history. Extraordinary set lists jammed out and unusually long shows. I believe the 19th had a second set opener of Truckin>China>Rider that is spectacular as is the entire run.

JimInMD's picture
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Tonight When I Chase The Dragon

The water may change to cherry wine..
And the silver will turn to gold..
Time Out of Mind..

I have been on a big Steely Dan kick lately. For like the last couple weeks its been dominant in the house. I did not see this one coming.. I'm touched to see the hype here, lots of Dan fans at dead.net.

The songs they wrote are among the best written in our generation. Like VGuy said, did these guys put out a bad album?

FloridaBobalooToo's picture
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Joined: Feb 17 2017
It's been a hard day

Steely Dan Sunday.......Citizen box set, and Alive. All day serenade. I really love their music. This morning I was going thru some of their songs and chord choices. The Mu of course but all the other sweet voicing and chordal choices. Just so damn tasty. They made such beautiful music and ran such wild lyrical compositions over them. I really aspire to try and reach just a little bit of the perfection they laid down.
All this started with Glen Frey some time back and the roll call is getting heavier and deeper. I lay in bed most mornings in sheer disbelief that I'm 57 now.i don't feel anywhere close to that, and I'm grasping to any bit of my fading mis spent youth that I can get my liver spotted hands on.
Hey Nineteen.........................

peetstr50's picture
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Joined: Jun 25 2009
Re: Dan Without Becker

Walter may be gone but the songs will live on.
Fare Thee Well, Walter, wherever you are.
You are truly 'Time Out Of Mind' now.

We're gonna Break out the hats and hooters
When Jose comes home......

simonrob's picture
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Spacebrother - Dan without Becker

I guess it is far to early to say whether or not the upcoming tour dates will go ahead, but today on the BBC, Donald Fagen said: "I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band."

Whatever, it will never be the same without Walter Becker.

SPACEBROTHER's picture
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Walter Becker

Steely Dan is such a perfect band in every regard. Just got tickets a couple of weeks ago to see them and scored great seats too. I can't imagine the tour will go on without him.

When I first saw the news of his passing on social media, some were saying it was a hoax. If only that were true. A genius gone....RIP.

Vguy72's picture
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Joined: Jun 29 2007
Countdown to Ecstasy....

....I couldn't have said it any better. They were so good. And yes, it pains me to type "were"....there are tears

Vguy72's picture
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Reeling in the tears....

....just loaded my CD carousel with The Dan. Devastating news. Sorry Honey, but this band will be playing all day today. Mrs.Vguy understands....every record is top shelf. They couldn't put a bad one out if they tried....stay strong Donald.

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Any Major Dude

RIP Walter Becker

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Simonrob

Damn we're on the same wavelength at least in these areas. My friends keep trying to get me to go kindle....uh no thanks. And paper maps? The day they stop making them I'm screwed

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Joined: Jun 4 2007
Greek Sept 11-13, 1981

Best 1980s shows to be were early or late I loved these @gratefuldead play Greek in Berkeley in 1981 http://gratefulseconds.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-first-weekend-at-greek-s...

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Greek Sept 11-13, 1981

Best 1980s shows to be were early or late I loved these @gratefuldead play Greek in Berkeley in 1981 http://gratefulseconds.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-first-weekend-at-greek-s...

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Greek Sept 11-13, 1981

Best 1980s shows to be were early or late I loved these @gratefuldead play Greek in Berkeley in 1981 http://gratefulseconds.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-first-weekend-at-greek-s...

unkle sam's picture
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Joined: Oct 3 2008
just got the news

Walter Becker, quite the shock. I was a Dan Fan before I was a DeadHead. Gonna miss those guys, great memories of the only time I saw them back in 73, opened for the Doobie Brothers. RIP

JimInMD's picture
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Becker

Me too. Flags flying at half mast today.

FloridaBobalooToo's picture
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Joined: Feb 17 2017
Long Live the Mu

Jeez. Ya'll this is one of my top 5 favorite bands. Some of the best music in the rock jazz idiom. Im gutted by this!
May I suggest playing AJA today friends. We've lost a biggie today sadly.

FloridaBobalooToo's picture
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Walter Becker is Dead at 67

Man I'm devastated. As I'm playing Aja. And I Got the News. It comes on Walter is gone at 67!
I'm wrecked on this.

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Joined: Aug 25 2008
Size Matters?

It's all about the music!How about a beta-max release?

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