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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shirdeep's picture
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rip tom petty

Butch's picture
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jrf68

You are incorrect on the sequence of events. Review the thread, or drop it and let bygones be bygones, as I said. But don't expect me not to respond harassment or insults. Good day sir.

eyes43's picture
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Tom Petty

An amazing talent! RIP

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Tom Petty.....

Is still alive early reports of his untimely death were not confirmed.

SPACEBROTHER's picture
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Joined: Jun 4 2007
Las Vegas

On another subject....This is very sad news and send my thoughts and prayers to the victims. One way or another, this darkness has got to give.

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Butch

I too study music. In fact, I've been doing it for nearly 40 years. I've studied, taught, written countless charts, performed, arranged, recorded and even toured coast to coast and abroad for some of them. I've mixed sound, worked as a stagehand, as a guitar/bass tech, built/rebuilt amplifiers. I even know what 440 hertz is and so on and so forth.....but that's just me bragging about my background. Brent's vocals on this particular performance of Wharf Rat are the most in pitch of the three singers during the vocal bridge, at least to my ear. If anything, Jerry and Bob sound a tad flat here by maybe just a hertz or two (microtonal). Splitting hairs. What do you expect for human live performance?

Some people like Brent's vocals and some don't. Initially I was apprehensive about him when I first stumbled on the Dead in the early '80's. He grew on me quickly and is now my favorite keyboardist/vocalist next to Pigpen. Keith and Bruce were also great. I warmed-up to Vince after the first couple of years....but that's just my opinion.

Instrumentally, Jerry rips an inspired guitar solo on this Wharf Rat out of that vocal bridge that alone makes this set worth getting. The song grooves and Jerry and the band are on fire here and that's what matters to me.

FloridaBobalooToo's picture
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Las Vegas

There aren’t enough tears or prayers for you. Heartbroken.

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Butch

Because the other person didn't talk down to him using words such as cute & calling him little guy.
:)

Butch's picture
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jrf68

He asked if I had tinnitus and hated a man I never met, simply because I casually mentioned he sings off key. I was not the first to get personal, so where's your reprimand toward the other guy?

But really, no need to drag anything out, I'm willing to let bygones be bygones. I'm professionally involved in music, so I tend to approach it with a critiacl ear. I was telling Kayak Guy, I enjoy The Who every time I see them, but I know Daltrey's voice isnt even close to what it was in his prime. Doesn't mean I won't discuss his vocal performance if it's below par, because all it is are words about quality of a guy who sings. I'll even pass this tip along - there's a great version of Blues For Allah on what I'm told is a rare bonus CD from Beyond Description box set. I was pointed to it by my buddy who took me to movie night. The guy's keyboards are absolutely amazing here, and singing discussions aside, he does play a mean Hammond. Also check out Grateful Dead Go To Nassau, where there's more great Hammond, and the best version of Franklin's Tower I've heard yet (and great pitch by Brent, probably due to being younger). So it's words, no need to say I've got tinnitus because I'm calling it like it is, about a performance from a guy nobody on this message board has ever met. My livelihood depends on having a good ear, so yeah, I'm insulted when someone makes off color remarks like that.

Grateful day to all!

shirdeep's picture
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love donna jean





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Joined: Aug 6 2013
little fella?

Quit being a dick Butch.
:)

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Joined: Sep 15 2009
I Love Donna

Especially her war cries in Playing In The Band. During my Grateful Dead concert going heyday (1972-1974) when me and my buddies would hear the opening notes to Playing In The Band we would push forward just to be under her (Fruedian slip?) to experience the glory of her wail.

I know some people hate Donna and especially her PITB wail. Doesn't bother me in the least. Each to his own. Like what you like, dislike what you dislike. Don't get evangelical about your preferences. It's a big tent.

icecrmcnkd's picture
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Butch

If you heard me sing you would probably have a nervous breakdown. I’m so bad it makes Brent sound great.
Vince.....well, that’s another story.
I also can’t play any instruments, which is why I think Bob plays slide pretty good......

Yeah, if you want to fire up Spacebro, say something negative about 89/90. I know where he’s coming from, my first 2 shows were in 89.

Butch's picture
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Joined: Aug 2 2017
No sorry Space

No, I don't hate Brent, I've only just gotten to know him. Just critically speaking about the music is all. He has pitch issues in all of the 1989 recordings I've listened to, including the samples here. I teach chorus, so believe me, I know when a singer is off-key. There's nothing wrong with it if it doesn't bother you, so enjoy! But trust me, it's there, and the only reason I brought it up is because it suprised me that an established band like the Grateful Dead could have someone as consistently off-key as Brent. But it's cute that you came running to his defense little fella, asking if I have tinnitus and all. You got a lotta spunk tiger, keep that fire in your belly ;-)

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Joined: Sep 10 2009
Free

Making space: giving away box and contents from 1990 The Other One, *MINUS* the CD's. You get the Dice, book, tickets, backstage passes, medal and drawings.
Catch: you come pick it up in South San Francisco. PM if interested...

shirdeep's picture
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good ol


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IM humble opinion

Sometimes the challenge to the listener is when Brent's harmony is higher in the mix than Jerry's vocals are, which can grate a bit. Brent is laying down harmony, but for some reason the volume of his vocals over power Jerry's. I have heard this in some audience recordings as well as soundboard.

I will have to listen to this again to the Listening 'tease' they provided for these shows.

I heard an example this a couple years ago at one of the Meet up at the Movies during Mississippi Uptown Toodoloo. Jerry's vocals were almost buried due to Brent's harmony's being so prominent to the point it was difficult to hear Jerry at all. Actually, I blame that on Healy's mix. I would also state I don't recall that in the early days of Brent's stint. I am going to have to listen again to my first Brent show at the Portland Raceway in 1979.

And I would offer, especially these days, so many want to hear Jerry's voice clearly. We miss him so much. It isn't always the "hate Brent" sentiment, sometimes it is the mix, which was more problematic in those Healy daze, it seems.

My two cents worth.

Believe it if you need it, if you don't just pass it on.

"Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself"

FloridaBobalooToo's picture
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Back at it

Been off exploring new vistas.
But I’m back.........and dove deep into 73: fresh ears can help to hear things one might have overlooked.
Hearing the tone of Jerry much clearer now. And the sweet delicacies of his touch.
Sometimes being away can make you stay!

icecrmcnkd's picture
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Brent sings better than Bob Dylan

Butch, there have been discussions about Donna previously around here. Apparently, she couldn't hear herself very well on stage and didn't know how bad it sounded. Also, apparently she is louder on the recordings than she was at the show.

She sounds great with the Jerry Garcia Band. Check out the album 'Don't Let Go' from 5-21-76.

Also, the person that told you it was Mickey was screwing with you. Mickey is one of the drummers and doesn't sing with the Dead. He does sing Fire On The Mountain in The Mickey Hart Band.

simonrob's picture
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Just goes to show...

How much people's tastes can differ and how some are more critical than others.

SPACEBROTHER's picture
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ah geez

This Wharf Rat rocks and the vocals are excellent. Tinnitus perhaps?....or you just hate Brent?

Butch's picture
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Joined: Aug 2 2017
Not Mickey

Sorry I wrote Mickey below when I meant Brent. Someone told me Mickey was the scratchy voice guy earlier and now I'm mixing them up.

Butch's picture
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Icecrmcnkd

I know!!! Does she think she's Janis?? But I've found a couple Playin' in the Bands w/out her, 4/16/72, 3/22/72, 11/30/73, & 12/2/73. She seems to have it down by '76. She sings well most of the time, however, where Mickey sounds awful / offkey almost every time he opens his mouth. His range is so limited he can't support the lyric he's singing. He actually sounds better singing lead (Blown Away 7/7/89) than backup, I assume because he wrote the song in a key he can cover.

I kind of disagree with you when you say the first rule with the Dead is that there are no harmonies. They're all over the place and damn good on most of the 60s and 70s shows I've heard. Check out High Time 7/16/76 on Dave's Picks 18 (which I just paid through the nose for on eBay), and there's a song called The Eleven on Two From The Vault 8/24/68 which is an excellent example, and I would also recommend if you have it, Candyman from 4/15/70. There are plenty more, but honestly, I don't know half the song names or albums yet. Uncle Johns Band is another good one, during the "like the morning sun" vocal, someone is in there providing some rich in-tune harmonies (Bob Weir?).

I sense the knee jerk reaction of y'all in Mr. Brent's defense, so let's just call it love and move on. I thought I was commenting on a forum where musical quality was the theme, and this Wharf Rat lost its right when the backing vocals kicked in. Things like pitch and key are not subjective concepts, they're tangibles in which "spot-on" does not apply in this case.

icecrmcnkd's picture
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Did someone say Selland?

7-19-74 Playing in the Band, and with a perfectly placed Donna scream to cap it off!

icecrmcnkd's picture
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LedDed

We're about the same age.
White-haired grandpa/Santa Claus Jerry is the only Jerry I know.
Gotta take the good with the bad.
As you said, he was shy. But he was forced onto a pedestal by the fans and it took a heavy toll on him.
I am soooo thankful that I got to see grandpa Jerry play, as well as uncle Brent.

icecrmcnkd's picture
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Butch, the first rule of Dead harmonies....

....is that there are no Dead harmonies.

We're here for the Playing of the instruments, which is why we love long jams with few vocals. But when we get vocals, they're usually well-written lyrical journeys. Which is why most of us can tolerate off key singing.

If you think that '72 is better, well, find yourself an epic Playing in the Band that gets blown to pieces at the end by Donna.

Butch's picture
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Lol

Spacebrother, that's some set of tuners you have on you there, if you think the gentleman who has been identified for me as Brent is providing properly pitched vocal harmonies. I'm not sure why they gave that man a microphone, but I teach chorus, and I assure you that no producer would ever let that Wharf Rat bridge on a studio album, it's THAT off. But it's apparent to me by the responses from multiple people that critical analysis has left the building, and all that's left is love for this version of the band, which is not a bad thing, but love is blind (and deaf in this case).

shirdeep's picture
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thanks all

LedDed's picture
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If you don't love me now, you will never love me again.

The Chain. Fleetwood Mac. Brilliant.

I felt like shit all day today about calling out shirdeep for that unflattering photo of Jer. I still don't know where he/she? got it, but I'd like to burn it. You later posted pics, esp. of Jer hanging with a fan in the VW - ! - have redeemed you a thousand times over my friend. It is I who must earn it back.

I Maintain, (pun intended, freaks who can relate) an elegantly framed photograph of Jerry and Owsley in San Diego International Airport, 1968 (the year of my birth), Jerry Garcia at the height of his Powers in all of his glory standing, Defiant and Strong, with the solar wind of a thousand suns blowing out from his center, cigarette askew, black leather jacket. Our guy and the sincere Champion of fucking all of this was, shy, but capable of projecting himself as a Bad Ass only now and then. This was once. In a lovely frame in my home office, the center of my power. For now.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=jjd4k2jc&id=178663...

Few can harness this. It has it's price.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzyhogPKV54

Later.

\m/

sunshinedaydream1951's picture
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wharf rat

long time since I have heard this show, sounds even better now

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Been awhile

Sorry for everyone doing cleanup right now. Also sorry about my question on the boxset construction. Everbody is right it's the music that matters. I asked that because this boxset costs more than Warlocks box which in my opinion is the coolest well priced well worth boxsets ever made. Because it's been quiet how about we start a current 5? list. With this set and the Dave's coming I decided for the first time before the release it's all non dead.
1. Prophets of Rage
2. Dazed and Confused 1&2
3. The very best of Curtis Mayfield. He is such a bad man. I've been lost in his encyclopedia.
4. All the Light Above it Too. Jack Johnson
5. Dom & Roland:Through the Looking Glass
Everybody be well. dAve

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Listening party #1

Anyone else notice Bobby playing some of Wilson Pickett's Land of a Thousand Dances after the last pre jam verse of Cassidy?? Must of been a groovy crowd at RFK that night!

SPACEBROTHER's picture
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Listening Party #1

These sound awesome. The mix is spot on, and that's just the low resolution sample.

couple points here...

1. The Wharf Rat vocal harmonies are spot on.

2. Mickey and Bill sound awesome together on this mix.

3. These two shows are phenomenal.

shirdeep's picture
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garden 94

o9 29 94 boston garden

Hell in a Bucket
Peggy-O
Wang Dang Doodle
Ramble On Rose
Masterpiece
Borwn-Eyed Women
Let It Grow

Playing in the Band ->
Eyes of the World ->
Estimated Prophet ->
He's Gone ->
Drums ->
Space ->
Spanish Jam ->
Other One ->
Wharf Rat ->
Sugar Magnolia

I Fought the Law

https://archive.org/details/gd94-09-29.sbd.larson.12100.sbeok.shnf/gd94-...

Butch's picture
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My Bad

Someone said it was Mickey. I'm just getting into these guys, thanks for the correction mtnhead and icecrmcnkd.

Some great Jerry Garcia pictures, thanks to the posters.

shirdeep's picture
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thanks jerry




icecrmcnkd's picture
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Butch, meet Brent

Some people like the raspy voice of Brent, to others it's like finger nails on a chalkboard.
Personally, finger nails on a chalkboard never bothered me. And I like Brent too. I also like '72 Dead. In fact, I listen to everything from 65-95, and toss in a litttle video of FTW and D&C too.

LedDed, toughen up buttercup.

mtnhead's picture
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Thanks, shirdeep

I've seen shows at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. Remember seeing Joe Walsh for free there in 1983 or so. He was a bit ragged in those days but still good and FREE!

mtnhead's picture
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That's Brent doing the backup

That's Brent doing the backup vocals and yes, some nights were better than others. That's what makes us keep on coming back. There is something to love about most shows.

Butch's picture
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Just my two cents

I've just recently gotten into the Grateful Dead, so I'm listening from a clean slate with no concert memories or anything like that. Coming from that direcrion and speaking objectively, this Wharf Rat is not in the same ball park as the ones I've been enjoying from the Europe 72 releases and Ladies & Gentlemen. Like I said, Jerry sounds good enough, just older, but Mickey's backing vocals are just horrible (ruins the song). I listened to other stuff from 89 on youtube, and it's all pretty much the same. Hard to imagine people calling 89 in the same ballpark as 71/72, it's just not. I would encourage you to check out the 71/72 Dead to really catch these guys in top form.

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Sounds great!

Both Wharf Rat and Cassidy sound incredibly strong with some great jamming in them. The mix also sounds quite good even though my computer speakers aren't the best. Can't wait!

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1,000 words

The old cliché, you all know it. "A picture is worth..."

Someone on the other happening thread posted an Amazing pho of the band in Boulder, 1980 if memory serves. Just a beautiful snapshot.

And there are a recent couple here... cool '83 photo of Jer if a bit ragged.

But then that one below. The elephant in the room. What the band dealt with. What killed him.

I ask anyone, anyone to look at that sad photograph of Jerry Garcia completely destroyed, posted by shirdeep (where did you find it?), of our guy, gone, stinking, 100 lbs. overweight, Persian stains all over his fingers, clothes and lips. Doing Eddie Van Halen lines "I'll just dump out a gram and cut it with my hand," to stay awake and stumble onto the stage.

Fat and filthy and reeking in days-worn rumpled bum clothing, just the epitome of self-indulgence. Disgusting. Is everyone blind? Does no one cast a critical eye upon this? It destroyed this band. It's why 1972 remains a high point. It couldn't be reached any more.

I'm not saying drugs are fundamentally bad. Most of the great art of the last 200 years is the result of such inspirations. But, when folks can smell you coming, it's time. It's time. This is what a man of such talents and gifts did to himself, and, oh yeah, the coma.

Sad, just fucking sad. The Stones are still going - strong. So could be the Real Dead, not the Co., had Jerry not succumbed.

I love Jerry Garcia, and I choose not to remember him stinking and bloated. At least the music remains.

Why did you post this ungodly picture?

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Joined: Jun 13 2013
Wharf Rat is amazing!!

Is it me or that one of the strongest versions of Wharf Rat available? Jerry's solos (esp. the first one) are simply astounding!

Slow Dog Noodle's picture
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Strained and out of Tune

Ha!

Must be Mickey.

Butch's picture
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Wharf Rat Sample

I listened to the Wharf Rat from this RFK show. Jerry Garcia sounds real good, but who is the backup vocalist at the fly away bridge? Phil Lesh? Very strained and out of tune. I hope there's not a lot of him featured!

Lightfoot510's picture
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Wharf Rat/Cassidy

Nice, nice :) Looking forward to receiving this a couple months down the line!

Gollum's picture
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Jerry pix

Very cool Jerry pix shirdeep. Made my day. Thanks for posting.

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Joined: Jul 9 2007
USB concerns

I haven't ordered the Uncle Frank release yet. I'm a little paranoid about the USB drive. I seem to recall some problems with the USB for a box set on this site and the chaos. Not sure how a defective USB and/or files would be handled through the ZFT (broken USB's are for a-holes).
I might just stick with the 3 CD set.

Dennis Wilmot's picture
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Joined: Nov 1 2012
Allman & Frank

Thanks for the heads up, I've ordered mine. I thought a pretty good deal, 100 bucks for 6 shows AND a Zappa Halloween costume!!

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**

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