Grateful Dead

RFK Stadium 1989 Box

Digital Download


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

Release Date: 11/10/17
Limited Edition of 15,000
Individually Numbered
A Exclusive

Listening Party: THE BIG ONE

Far From Me
Black Peter
To Lay Me Down
Looks Like Rain
Wharf Rat

Listening Party #1

"Wharf Rat"

Listening Party #2

"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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kyleharmon's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
trey anastasio had once said

trey anastasio had once said the problem with the '80s was that a lot of people were given record contracts that had no business having a record contract. also someone once told me she took acid and hallucinated that papa smurf was chasing her with an axe. I'm not sure if that's even a real possible thing.

Erikandjenn's picture
Joined: Nov 22 2016

Jim, didn't you listen to classic rock radio out of Baltimore in the 80s? That station helped make me the man I am today.

possiblyMaybeAnother's picture
Joined: Oct 24 2017
I was born in the 70s, raised on 80s bands

I'm not ashamed to admit I love the 80s. Def Leppard pioneered the hard rock ballad. The Cars were doing cool stuff in the studio. Van Halen shredded. Judas Priest was doing its thing. The Police were groundbreaking. Rush consistently evolved their sound, and while some dislike their synth stuff, I really like what they did in the 80s. While I personally don't like Bon Jovi, I have to admit that he and his band came out with exceptional pop songs. Every few years I rediscover how great Yes 90125 is. Prince came out as a major force to be reckoned with (dare I say genius?). Billy Joel put out some nice tunes ("Pressure" is a personal favorite of mine, perfectly capturing the paranoid cold war zeitgeist). Men At Work. J. Geils Band. Golden Earring. The Eurythmics. Duran Duran. Michael Jackson.

Every era had its crap. There have always been popular, dismal tunes topping the charts. Someone mentioned "We Built this City." Holy hell what an awful song. "Against All Odds" was like listening to a person's soul leaving the body and embodies everything I dislike about 80s music.

Sure, Brent's synth sounds and the MIDI stuff sound dated today. But I won't pigeonhole the amazing musicianship and creativity that the Dead and many others brought to the table simply because they embraced new technology. It's part of growth. I listened to this set last night again and I still dig it. I'm happy I bought it. I hope more from this era gets released, because I will buy each and every show.

Guss West's picture
Joined: Aug 21 2015
80s music to grow up to

1-99. Metallica.
100. Van Halen
101. Everything else.

direwulf's picture
Joined: Oct 15 2007

I tend to agree with Dennis on this front. Most people are definitely of the mindset, "if I don't know about it and if I didn't hear about it when it came out...well, then there's no good music from (fill in the blank with country, year, decade, etc.)." Deadheads are some of the most polarizing people and it's odd considering how many colors most of them have seen in their lives. There was A LOT of great music from bands that started in the 80's or produced music through the 80's. If you don't know any of it, start looking it's gonna be a long winter in the Northern Hemisphere. I'm not making a list because I've done the work by listening, now it's your turn to put in some work outside the comfort zone.

Sixtus_'s picture
Joined: Nov 8 2014

This is an interesting topic and I thoroughly enjoy all of the myriad takes on how people listen and to what.

Over the past year or so we were gifted a Sonos system, and I've got to say, it has thoroughly grown on me. We have four of these speakers all over the house and once you pick a song/station it is played all through the system (it also has configurations so one speaker can play one thing, and the others can play something else...should there happen to be a conflict of [GASP] a household member preferring something other than GD).

It's like satellite radio (I think, I've never actually used any such services) in that you can tap into pretty much any existing radio station, and then they have dedicated stations for whatever genre you want to hear. Of course I have several GD-related stations in the queue, a few of which run full shows back to back, a few of which do a sort of mix of GD and related bands (this is what the GD Pandora station does). In all honesty, I've actually picked up/heard some new stuff (to my ears anyway) doing it this way, songs and bands I otherwise never would have heard of. So in that respect, it definitely has opened up my eyes/ears and set some expectations that new stuff is always just around the corner, as Dennis alluded to.


Dennis Wilmot's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2012
80's Music,,,,, just music

One of the first signs of old age is saying, "they don't make music like they used to". There is always good music happening. I think I'll disagree with Jim on the virtues of sat radio. They have serious fm at the store with a million channels, pick any channel, ANY CHANNEL, and just like the old AM days, the old FM days you will hear the same songs every day.

I've tried the free versions of Pandora(?), choices that seems to work off the logic if you like this song, you should like this one. I start with Frank Sinatra and soon I'm listening to Rammstein????

Even if they don't make good music anymore, there is more music already available then one could ever listen to in one lifetime. Zamfir (Master of the Pan Flute) comes to mind.

My limited experience has shown most people stop listening to music right after high school or college. When I go over most people houses I find they have just enough cd's to fill the piece of furniture they bought to hold cd's AND they stopped buying them after school. Most just seem to pick a radio station that plays songs they know, listen to talk radio (excuse me while I rinse the puke out of my mouth) or NPR.............sorry nodded off there for a minute.

So don't think "good" music has disappeared, it's all around us.

Oh well back to my Al Jolson listening,,,

I'm Alabamy bound, There'll be no heebie-jeebies hangin' 'round
Just gave the meanest man on earth, all I'm worth,
just to put my tootsies in an upper berth

unkle sam's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2008
80's music

lots of good finds here, I forgot about the Police, saw them three times from 79 to 83, always a great show, I remember the ghost in the machine tour and I told one of my buddies it was as good as a dead show, he said "don't be sack-religious" Which made me laugh. Also caught Steve Ray in those days, great show but it was after he got busted and had to give us all a talk about the "evils of drugs", I can only imagine how good he was before, never forget the first time I heard his rendition of Voodoo Child, blew me away. Caught U2 also, but that was in 79. In my mind (don't go there) I didn't come out of the seventies until about 83, and I didn't like what I saw so I retreated back into my cave, so it all kinda runs together.
I've heard of tumble weeds, but I never tried it, any good? Is it anything like crack weeds? (which are really hard to remove :). Hopefully the west will get some shows next year. Unless they don't tour due to slow ticket sales.
Back to D & Co, was any of those shows sold out? I see on ticketmaster still plenty of tickets for most of the shows. Most of the upper level is unsold for the Orlando show. Any one got any thoughts on why this is? Besides the cost of tickets and it being a school nite?

icecrmcnkd's picture
Joined: Oct 20 2015
80’s FM radio

I was saved by an album-oriented rock (AOR) radio station that played 60/70’s bands during the 80’s. In the 90’s this was referred to as ‘Classic Rock’.
Also, in the early years of MTV, before music labels prioritized making videos, MTV filled its time with videos from the 60/70’s, a lot of it live concert footage. I was a young teenager at the time and quickly learned that live recordings were better than studio, and that there was a lot of good music from the 60/70’s era.
Thus, I was able to ignore the 80’s music scene.
Fortunately, many of those older bands had a resurgence in the late-80’s/early-90’s and went on tour, so I got to see many of my favorites live.

JimInMD's picture
Joined: Jun 27 2011

The biggest problem with the 80's was that radio sucked and corporatism / MTV had pretty much taken over. It isn't that the music sucked it was more that we were silently steered towards what to listen to by fat cats / industry heads and they steered us towards pre-packed but profitable, shrink wrapped pre-packaged crap.

The distribution network sucked.

It continued into the 90's, if you didn't like the new Indie stations and the new wave/indie bands that permeated through any of the non-conventional radio stations.. the music scene seemed bleak. For a couple years there I felt like a dinosaur.. reverting back to my 'oldies' (mostly GD). It wasn't until Sat Radio came out that I started to see there was a ton of new/great music out there, you just had to poke around.

Now we have sat radio, Pandora, Spotify.. and the evolution of digitization. Not that I ever participated.. but how many flash/hard drives have floated around packed with more music than one might ever listen to.

There was indeed good music to be had, but if you weren't plugged in, it was easy to miss.

You guys keep this up and you might offend one of the more polite and beloved posters here, 80sfan. :D

Joined: Sep 1 2014
More 80s

When I think about it, there were quite a few good bands and musicians around in the 1980s. I thought all Stevie Ray Vaughan's albums were amazing too. There was also a great "space rock" band that grew out of the free festival movement in Britain called Ozric Tentacles. What was missing, for me, was the culture that started in the 1960s, and gradually disappeared during the 1970s. In the early and mid 70s, I used to feel a part of something bigger than myself, following bands. My appearance and attitude-and habits all altered. It didn't last...I suppose during the punk era things changed. Maybe it was just the fact that I was in my teens during the 70s, so it was all new to me.

I can remember thinking The Dead had split up during the 1980s. They did the two European tours in 1981, and then there was literally nothing about them in the music press for years. This seemed symptomatic of the times to me-everything I thought The Dead had stood for-including they themselves-seemed to have vanished. I only found out they were still going in 1987-and that was when I started collecting tapes.

Joined: Sep 1 2014
More 80s

When I think about it, there were quite a few good bands and musicians around in the 1980s. I thought all Stevie Ray Vaughan's albums were amazing too. There was also a great "space rock" band that grew out of the free festival movement in Britain called Ozric Tentacles. What was missing, for me, was the culture that started in the 1960s, and gradually disappeared during the 1970s. In the early and mid 70s, I used to feel a part of something bigger than myself, following bands. My appearance and attitude-and habits all altered. It didn't last...I suppose during the punk era things changed. Maybe it was just the fact that I was in my teens during the 70s, so it was all new to me.

I can remember thinking The Dead had split up during the 1980s. They did the two European tours in 1981, and then there was literally nothing about them in the music press for years. This seemed symptomatic of the times to me-everything I thought The Dead had stood for-including they themselves-seemed to have vanished. I only found out they were still going in 1987-and that was when I started collecting tapes.

icecrmcnkd's picture
Joined: Oct 20 2015
Go on home

Your momma’s callin you......

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Exceptions to the suckiness of the 1980's

Stevie Ray Vaughan, Fabulous Thunderbirds and Robert Cray all come to mind. There was somewhat of a blues resurgence that put a lot of people on the map. Every SRV album is great. I remember hearing Robert Crays "Strong Persuader" as intermission music at a Dead show at Alpine valley one year, probably '87.

It was a fuitful decade for classic rock artists as well. Besides the Dead's "In The Dark", there were Little Feats "Let It Roll", Gregg Allman's "I'm No Angel", ZZ Top's "Eliminator" and "Afterburner", Yes' "90125"....ande some dud's like starships "We Built This City" (always hated that song). Many more examples of good and bad.....but not in the Michael Jackson "I'm bad" sense....

Of course, the Ratt's, the Poisons, the Motley Crue's, the Twisted Sisters, the Whitesnakes and Bon Jovi's didn't help the music situation.

I have been known to indulge in the occasional Judas Priest, Dio and Ozzy. Even that Robert Palmer "Might As Well face It" and Talking Heads "Take Me to the River" had some merits.

Vguy72's picture
Joined: Jun 29 2007
Sorry if metal ain't your momma's cup of tea... run back to her. Go on now!

LedDed's picture
Joined: Feb 16 2017
The Police

No, relax hippies - don't flush your stash. I'm talking about Gordon Sumner and the lads.

Great band. They have a box, which, like the Steely Dan box, is easily worth it's weight in gold.

Just one man's opinion. The 80's weren't all shit - just mostly.


icecrmcnkd's picture
Joined: Oct 20 2015
But Metal sucks too....

....and keeps on sucking years later.....


Thems fightin words

Vguy72's picture
Joined: Jun 29 2007
'80's music sucked?....

....yeah. I guess. Unless you were into metal. Yay for me!

Guss West's picture
Joined: Aug 21 2015
The Tumbling Tumbleweeds...

The Dude Abides.

When you couch tour, Bro&Co play right in your own living room. Plus, no line for the port-o-john.

Joined: Nov 18 2013
I agree with this post. Lots

I agree with this post. Lots of good music in the 80s and some that you may not agree with. I saw Peter Gabriel, REM, fact, my favorite live show ever outside of Garcia/Grisman from 12/8/91 was U2 at the Worcester Centrum (then called) in 1984 during the Unforgettable Fire tour...I still hold that as high as I did back then...saw a lot at the Centrum being from the Worcester area, but a lot of great bands came through there and tickets were usually easy to get. It was a different era in good and bad ways, but life was different though we didn't know any better. When tickets were cheap and going to a show wasn't a big deal (security, etc) made it easier to go out on a limb and see random music...if you were from Worcester, Ralph's was always a good place for live music and saw a lot band music was in its hey day then. That's probably why I've got tinnitus now...

To me, the 80's was the decade of an exponential expansion of music in the 'rock/pop' sense.. it was the roots of indie music, hybrid world/jazz/pop, 'jam' bands post-dead, bluegrass revival...ticket prices going from $15 to $150 10 years later...I was there so part nostalgia but looking back, good stuff. I remember seeing a lot of Slipknot, a Worcester-based Dead cover band...they put on some great love for the Dead developed during this period. I understand the gross flippant blow-off view of that decade. It wasn't the 60's or the 70's, but it became the succession of those periods in ways that were inevitable and all not bad. That said, I don't listen to too much new music unless someone really recommends. Its harder to seek out new music and take random chances in my current space, and I fall back on what I like and the roots of that.

Vguy72's picture
Joined: Jun 29 2007
Meanwhile, in the west....

....crickets and tumbleweeds. You fancy east-coasters know what them is, right?

Guss West's picture
Joined: Aug 21 2015
Johnna Wail

Great pair of shows. Wish I could have been there.

Highlights aplenty, but that Johnna Wail in Playin' was my favorite.

Joined: Feb 2 2011

I remember The Lone Star Cafe in NYC on 13th St and 5th Ave. I saw Jorma many times there on a low stage close enough to shake his hand. A friend of mine who is on the short side lit up a joint right there in front of the low stage and a big bouncer just nonchalantly grabbed him by the front of his pants and lifted up and off like he was a little Raggedy Anne Doll and out on to the street he went.

They let him back in later provided he not do that again.

It was a Korean deli for years after they moved but now there is an all new building there.

Fond memories.

Sixtus_'s picture
Joined: Nov 8 2014
D&Co Boston

Cool to see some feedback from attendees at the Boston shows over the weekend. My thoughts are a decent mix of those already posed, but I will concur with whoever noted that Friday was a bit stronger than Sunday. Friday night's first set was right in my wheelhouse; I assumed they would do both Jack Straw and TMNS, and they both rocked it pretty well. The New Speedway in slot two was a nice surprise, and then followed by Althea and Half-Step, this was a VERY strong opening sequence. Big River is my favorite of the cowboy-esque tunes so this made me happy; and that Sugaree RIPPED, many would concur it was a highlight of the set. But the real meat was the second set; OF COURSE the Scarlet > Fire was great, even if the jam was a little short, but once they hinted at it, they actually took their time getting there. Oteil on those lyrics - he kills it. As KG noted, Viola Lee was super-welcome, although I felt they perhaps cut it a bit short and coulda jammed it out a little longer - but even so it was a lot of fun. The true highlight for me though was coming out of space with Miles Davis' 'Milestones' - pretty sure they only did this once before, in Atlanta last summer. But it was a FULL ON JAZZ ROMP and was so nice to hear. The entire rest of the set was right up my alley with Wharf Rat > The Wheel > Sugar Magnolia, and indeed, Ripple actually DID bring a tear to my eye. Just something about those lyrics, in real time, with the whole hits home.

Last night the crowd as expected was MUCH more subdued as is typical for a Sunday show. Things started to click for me during Loser, which Mayer ripped pretty good. I always love a Here Comes Sunshine and this one did not disappoint. A real highlight and surprise was the bust-out of Corinna, in the first set no less. That song has some fantastic potential and I enjoyed the novelty of it's placement. Greatest Story was pretty good - I just wish they played it like they did back in '72/'73 with that descending 4 chord jam at the end; it would be a cool revival but they haven't gone there yet. Second set was more average from my point of view but it was a solid Chinacat > Rider opener, and again, i really enjoy Oteil's take on vocals, this time with 'Comes a Time'. Not sure if anyone else noticed something a little funny - after Morning Dew ended (which came out of space) Bobby walked off the stage....I think he was confused for a moment, thinking the show was done - ha. He quickly came back out and they dove into Miracle.

All in all it was a fun run and gave credence to the fact that this is a solid tour and I have high hopes for the next few legs. I'll see you on the couch.

Happy Thanksgiving Week, All.


Kayak Guy's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2015
D&Co in Boston 2

Another 1st set I had trouble getting into until the Greatest Story, done 1971 style with heavy wah wah. I was very happy they opened the 1st set with Samson and got that out of the way right off the bat.

The 2nd set again was worth the effort to go to the show.
A really good China Rider with a terrible "Train Wreck" transition that took a while to recover from. Corinna was a nice bit of Bobby doing Bobby.
The highlight was the Playin >Drums> Morning Dew> Miracle>Casey Jones Brokedown>Playin Reprise.

Not ready to go on tour, but I left satisfied with a smile on my face.

Joined: Sep 1 2014
80's music

It didn't appeal to me at all. I wasn't keen on the modern bands of that era-or the culture that spawned them. But there were one or two bright spots. It was a different world from The Dead, but I thought, The Cramps were great-blew out a few cobwebs! And I liked what I heard of Sonic Youth.

In Britain, Rave music was probably the most significant musical development. I didn't like it-but at least it wasn't hackneyed or derivative. I wasn't "supposed" to like it anyway, being over 30 when it arrived.

Joined: Jun 17 2008
Number 1 in Turlock

Morning rockers!!!!

No need in further analysis of the classics, they've been described ad nauseum. Instead, let's check out a "lesser light", a "typical average" show from November 1971:

Energetic, 14 song first set, Cowboy Bobby, rockin' doublet of Casey Saturday night to close. Second set gallops straight outta the gate with the big Truckin'/Other One/Ramble On Rose jam and closes with a solid NFA suite, that includes the "China Cat jam" they were working into it at that time.

Was this Bobby's first reference to Turlock prior to Truckin'? How did that come about?

Back in the day, this was commonly misidentified as 6/17/72. D'Oh!!! And back then, it was a tough listen. Thanks, Mr Miller, for providing us with a listenable copy. Definitely worth a listen!!

You know where to find me. Is everybody ready for December? Have you been good little boys and girls???

Rock on,

The cosmos is about the smallest hole that a man can hide his head in..........

unkle sam's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2008
helter skelter

Charles Manson finally makes it to hell. This guy helped in a big way end the hippy movement. Burn baby burn. I kinda hope he gets the pineapple up the butt thing that Hitler got in "Little Nicky". Every day and twice on Sunday.

Thin's picture
Joined: Jun 21 2013
re: D&C Friday Scar>Fire

LOVED the Scarlet > Fire Friday. Luckily it didn't start too slow like the 11/6/77 one! haha Kayak...

Again, my preference for 1st set Friday was likely due to them playing songs my son DID know. The peril (and sometimes the upside) of bringing a newbie to a show is you look at it through their eyes, and he got "lost" after Scar>Fire cuz he didn't know the songs... Drums>Space didn't help!!!! I recall my first show - I was totally appalled at Drums>Space. "Don't they know this sucks?" I actually felt embarrassed for them. Too funny.

SpanishJam's picture
Joined: Sep 10 2016
D&C Boston

I enjoyed the Friday show. My review is probably in between Kayak Guy and Thin, so take it for what you will. I did prefer the second set. First set was up and down and didn't really take off for me until Althea, which I thought had some real nice moments. Sugaree ripped. Not too much of the rest was notable in the first half. Second set got off to great start with Scarlet>Fire and I think D&C do a nice job with He's Gone--heard it a few times and always seems to strike me right. Space needed a little something and that's when Chimenti righted the ship and drove the jam to the right space. Good closure to the set. And I like it when Mayer goes acoustic so a real nice ending with Ripple. Definitely worth seeing D&C and I think they all are playing really well together.

Joined: Apr 23 2008
@ danc

Was that Tower records the best record store in the country? I was living in Boston 82-4 and my landlord was seeing a woman living in a loft on 7th and Madison (?) With 2 other women all artists. Once a month I'd go down with him to visit. We'd get there a couple hours before any of the women got home so Tower was the logical place to go. Memory is a bit weak but if I remember correctly it was on 3rd street and was 7 floors. The one thing I don't miss about the city was that was the peak of the crime period. 3 times as many murders on down the line. Thanks for the memories that was a gpod couple of years. And just my opinion but 83 was the best year of the 80's for the dead. Saw almost 40 shows ( helps working for an airline). Without looking it up wasn't MSG where they brought back St. Stephen?

LedDed's picture
Joined: Feb 16 2017

Brilliant take.

Butch's picture
Joined: Aug 2 2017
RIP Malcom Young

He was underrated, no doubt. Saw AC/DC several times, and the biggest takeaway was always the tight playing and showmanship.

I saw a comment about Bob Weir also being one of the most underrated rhythm players. I think because he doesn't play rhythm half the time. He has a unique stylet for the rock genre (if you can even give the Dead that label). He's more like a chord filler-inner. Sure, songs like Bertha and Jack Straw feature him in a traditional rhythm role, but half the time or more, he's just hitting sharp chords between beats (Scarlet / Fire, Estimated Prophet for example). And then you have Jerry playing rhythm on something like Franklin's Tower or Eyes of the World, and Bird Song, and Keith holding down the rhythm primarily (while Jerry plays lead and Bobby just jumps in where it sounds good, sometimes he'll play the rhythm part, then drop out and do chord fills). This isn't all the time as I hear it, and less in the early days, but I think that's part of the reason he's not often talked about as one of the greats. The somewhat open form of the Dead makes the synergy between band members more important than most live bands, because in a case like I described with Weir, you have to play off each other, as opposed to memorizing your parts. Magnificent band.

Joined: Sep 11 2007
80s in NYC - good music

In between Dead shows and work life, I clocked a LOT of nights at Maxwell's and at the Lone Star, great friendly atmosphere at both, less uptight than many other club venues. Metro area shows by REM, Robyn Hitchcock, Elvis Costello, Springsteen were usually worth the effort. (I, tragically for me, overlooked Zappa for decades.) Tower was open late, and 80s records by Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel and U2 remain benchmark joys for many around my age (57). All-in, 80s music was good enough, until jazz got into me and I got into jazz starting in 1988.

muleskinner_blues's picture
Joined: Sep 11 2014
Started out on Heineken

Getting acquainted with this set, it got pushed in the queue for the new Dylan Bootleg Series but it holds its own. I really liked Spring '90, TOO was the first set I got, but I think between this, 7/7 and the Warlocks set, I'd say '89 may have been a better year than '90. Don't know..there was some good stuff on those Spring '90 boxes..need to go back to that. 3/14, 3/30 and 4/2 for me.

On officially released 1989, I'll say I haven't gotten into the 30 Trips inclusion from Miami. If I'm not mistaken, one of only a few multi-tracks in the box, but never stood out. Another one to replay.

In the RFK set, both first sets have been enjoyable and the sound quality literally can't get any better. I think the second set gives 7/13 an edge, Terrapin always win.

The thunderstorm overdubs on Looks Like Rain are a bit kitschy, but as I understand it reflects the actual ambiance.

Lot of good listening here lately..8/25/72, RFK, Dylan Bootleg Series, new Langhorne Slim, Dylan live last weekend. Streamed all or part of each of the D&C Fall shows so far. I need more shows.

The Dylan gospel Bootleg has me listening to some of the shows I have from the era..Jerry joined him for several tracks on 11/16/80 at the Warfield. That was the night after Bloomfield joined him for what would be his last live performances. None of the Jerry or Mike songs made the official release, but there are good recordings out there. Great live stuff from this box, underrated. Dylan even employed two drummers for a spell there in '81...what a crazy notion..

Joined: Sep 1 2014

Peace be with you, too.

nitecat's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2010
RFK box

By the way I'm loving this new box. I'm on my second listen. Awesome sound, and Jerry rips it on that Fantasy. I love all phases of the Dead.

nitecat's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2010
Dead & Co stream

Hi all,

I'm thinkin' of paying for the D&C stream tonight. It starts at 4 PM PST, I'd like to start watching around 7 PM PST. My question: once you pay for it can you start watching it from the beginning any time or is it only available live? Thanks in advance for your sage advice.

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Paul Buckmaster

Died 7 November. The man who (imo) ruined Terrapin Station (and was hired by Jerry to do so). What were they thinking? I still remember taking my freshly purchased copy round to a frends place to play (his hifi was better than mine). We were really getting into the Terrapin suite was that? We ended up rolling around laughing. I really wish they would release a version without all the orchestral and choir overdubs.

Anyway, Paul Buckmaster only did what he was paid to do, and many other of his orchestrations were much more successful (Stones,Bowie, Elton etc.) RIP (but maybe stay clear of Jerry up there!)

Kayak Guy's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2015
unkle sam D&C

I'm a curmudgeon, so I'm not suprised by Thin and I enjoying different sets.
It was a good show, but nothing like the Water's show, which was probably the best thing I saw this year.

I'm usually a huge fan of the Drums, but that one was disappointing and had me yelling it needed more cowbell, it seemed to lack a theme and never found one.

I was surprised how much I did like, out of the lackluster Drums was a Jazz Jam, Wharf Rat into Wheel that were done well, Sugar Mag, you can't get any better than Bobby doing Bobby and the Ripple tied it together with a nice bow.
No matter what Thin says the Viola Lee made my night.
I did smile during the Scarlet Fire knowing Thin was in attendance with the 11/6/77 up as the next Dave's ;)

Joined: Jul 9 2007

The Cowboy Junkies came along in the 80s, the late 80s. A band we go see every chance we get. Lots of old Dead types there. Loved the GD in the mid 80s. The scene was still fairly mellow. While Jerry was clearly not well, and at times sounded like froggy, he still had his chops. The band had changed their sound, but not in a bad way IMHO. It's a shame someone like Betty wasn't recording back then.
I'm very thankful for the excellent work Mr. Miller, and others, have made available from that era.

unkle sam's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2008
once again, I agree with Spacebrother

You are so right, the 80's sucked big moose c*@k. The Grateful Dead were the only thing going at the time, the rest were pretty much crap. There were a few bands out there still trying to turn us all on...The rise of Peter Gabriel for instance, he came out of the 80's, well, that's one anyway lol.
Good posts David D. I myself, think reality is overrated too, but unfortunately, it has a way of taking over, unless you're tripping every day. Do tell your Disney experience, besides not being let in for long hair, which I had heard about but never experienced. I worked for the construction supervisors at EPCOT and at the time, I had long hair, which did get me some strange double take looks as I was walking thru the underground tunnels doing what my job was. And yes, there is a brig down there, looked bleak, don't recommend a visit. Every time I think about it I'm reminded of that Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comic, when they went to Disney and were beat up by those Disney goons with the mouse ears on....funny, but true? Remember, it's a three beer two joint ride to Disney.

unkle sam's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2008
Malcom and D and Co

We lost a true rock and roller with the passing of Malcolm Young. Him and Bobby must be the two most underrated rhythm guitarists ever. Saw them in 85, those about to rock tour, was up front in the pit before it was called a pit, got so hot and jammed I had to get out of there, was laughed at as I waded thru all the faithful, but it was like being sealed in a sardine can, it was so packed and hot and no air, leave or fall out. They rocked hard, the cannons were really loud as was the bell they rang for Back in Black, for rocking hard, these guys were up there with the best, gave it their all. Never forget Malcolm, the man never stopped moving, just playing the crap out of that guitar, but all eyes were on Angus who was rolling around on the stage and bending strings with the best of them. And during all of that, Malcolm kept the beat. I can compare them a bit with Foghat, they rocked so hard too.
Thanks for the review K guy and Thin, interesting that each of you loved different sets, the good thing is, it was loved. I can't think of a concert I have wanted to see with such anticipation since Roger Waters this last summer. He did not disappoint and I'm sure hopeful that D and C will not either. How was the Drums>space segment? Did they let Mickey play the beam? was there coherence in the space? What song did they segue out of space with? Always loved it when they did the Wheel out of space.

Thin's picture
Joined: Jun 21 2013
D&C Friday / 80's dead

Kayak - Sorry to miss you Friday night. I, hilariously, had the exact opposite review of Friday. I thought set 1 thru Scar>Fire was great but then it faded. BUT, I was there with my son - his first show. I ALWAYS see the show differently when I bring a newbie.... instead of enjoying it for myself. 1st set was an amazing setlist, 2nd set had a lot of songs he didn't know after Scar>Fire which probably shaded his/my opinion. My review to my buddy was that it reminded me of Saratoga '85: "Great first set, 2nd set starts good but fizzles - best stuff of the night was 1st set". Had I gone without him, I probably would have seen it your way. But overall, they CRUSHED it.

Space - you wrote "Perhaps some of the ill will towards the Dead in the 80's is motivated by the fact that the Dead stood up in the face of a shitty sociol-political climate... ". Where do you GET this stuff??? What "ill will toward the Dead in the 80's" are you talking about? If you've actually inflated the "I wish they'd release more 80's" into a socio-political culture war, I think you've jumped the shark. If I'm totally missing you're point, I apologize. Respect.

sheik yerbones's picture
Joined: Feb 5 2008
Humpty Dumpty in Deadland

there is not so much fun in later comments.
This morning as I awoke on Sunday I had a dream: a gift was awaiting in the letter box.
I realized I forgot to check on saturday, and eventually I found the rfk show and have a good french breakfast and lit the fire place before listening to disk One. The sound and the playing is much more better than The Buffalo or Crimson Show...I imagine many of you received the new box days before Europe? hox is it?
the 5000 copies won't left for long...Thank you Dave & Jeffrey

mbarilla's picture
Joined: Aug 8 2013
"Feed the poor , Start a war"

~ 3.16.73 ~

"Surely looks like rain"

Mind-Left-Body's picture
Joined: Oct 5 2017

I feel sorry for you, I really do. To go through life believing everyone who says have a nice day is insincere says a lot about you. I say it all the time, and I mean it. To be so cynical (as you seem to be), to think people are being shallow, well, I think there has to be a ton of negative cognition going on with you, and that's a painful way to live. Embrace the idea of good vibes and you will live better, truly. Peace be with you.

LoveJerry's picture
Joined: Mar 19 2015
No ill will

I don't think there is ill will toward the 80s Dead Spacebrother, I would respectfully disagree. If you're talking from a socio-political standpoint, neither Reagan nor anyone else liked them any less in the 80s than the 70s. If anything I think their mass popularity increased in the 80s. But the people who disliked them for non musical reasons in the 80s, didn't like them any better in the 70s.

From a musical standpoint, I wouldn't say anyone bears "ill will" toward the Dead either . There's just a slight backlash toward Brent Myland because he was just kind of an average keyboard player, who many people feel frequently ruined songs with bad keyboard tones and a really really poor singing voice. And he was fine enough in concert if you were there, I suppose, but he just doesn't hold up on tape. But some people enjoy him, so rock on, but there's no "ill will" as you put it. Just longing for what could have been if the gang did things a little differently.

LoveJerry's picture
Joined: Mar 19 2015
R.I.P Malcom

My favorite part of his is in Thunderstruck. Angus starts with his opening lick, then Malcom comes in after 20 or 30 seconds and it's just awesome.

Joined: Aug 6 2013

My first real concert.1984.
Me & my step-brother got to go to Greensboro Coliseum from Raleigh with older brother & his friends.On a school night no less.
My first sugarcube too.
Yup...was worthless in school the next day.


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