Dave's Picks Volume 10: Thelma, Los Angeles, CA 12/12/69 - SOLD OUT
The last of a three-night run at a mysterious little club called "Thelma" found the Grateful Dead restoring glory to the Sunset Strip for what was once just a fleeting moment, now preserved for eternity with this here Dave's Picks Volume 10. Hot off the release of the highly-acclaimed Live/Dead and setting the stage for Workingman's Dead, 12/12/69 stands to represent the crux of the band's musical past, present, and future. Witness the first signs of country, folk, and Americana infiltrating an otherwise wildly experimental and anarchic period, evidenced by Pigpen-driven classics like "I'm A King Bee," "Hard To Handle," "Good Lovin'" and a whopping 30 minute+ version of "Turn On Your Lovelight," as well as over a half dozen then-new compositions which show the Garcia/Hunter songwriting duo elevating the Dead to higher ground. Thelma turns the heat up indeed!
Mastered in HDCD from the original soundboard recordings produced by Owsley Stanley, featuring the once lost, now found first reel, this is one full show you won't want to miss. Pre-order it here and now!
3 Disc set
Limited to 14,000 individually numbered copies
Mastered to HDCD specs by Jeffrey Norman
Digipak made of 100% recycled and PCW materials
Release Date: May 1, 2014
Thelma, Los Angeles, CA 12/12/69
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Out of the way, old guy (54) coming through. First show: none.
I became a full fledged Dead Head at 47 when I stumbled upon my first GD live album. I was blown away and desperately needed more. I could have attended many shows had I been so inclined at places like Cornell, Saratoga, Albany, Boston and more, had I only known. However, looking on the bright side I may have driven myself crazy trying to track down the highest quality tapes had I gone. At least by the time I came to love the Dead there were many quality releases available and now Rhino keeps them coming. For that I am eternally grateful.
Talk about cosmic connection - just read you post about keeping score listening to Boston 77-05-07 and they went into The Wheel as I read the bottom of your post > The Wheel is turning and it can't slow down...
...and then, click your heels three times and say...
There's nothing like a Grateful Dead concert!
...lol 10 X over, they were the shit back then. Awesome memory. Could pack everything in those...except the car keys....see my post 8 pages back or so for proof....always walked through the turnstiles worrying about losing things...lost a few brain-cells though, but that was OK...ended up not worse for the wear...(Weir?) sic...
...could even pack a smartphone in it! Wait, what?!
I hope everyone is doing well tonight, time for me to chime in on the demographics stat line.
I am 30 years and was born and raised in Northwest GA about 5 miles from the Alabama state line and about 45 miles from the Tennessee state line. I have a wonderful wife and an 11 year old daughter, an 8 year old son, and a 2 month old son! I am a Geologist and work in the environmental consulting field. Although I was too young to have ever seen a Grateful Dead show I am a lifetime fan. I had a really cool aunt (no longer, my uncle and her divorced years ago) who gave me a copy of without a net soon after it's release. Cassette tapes of course. I wore those cassettes out!! Reckoning was next and the rest as they say is history. We get excellent music minimum of 5 times a year here. Outstanding!!
I have been reading these message boards and release boards for years and from time to time I chime in. This is a great community and it's truly a pleasure to be a part of it. Take care everyone!
And thanks again to Marye who greatly assisted me in sorting out the Dave's picks vol. 03 shipping Incident. Everything was replaced and I couldn't have done it without you!
...keep watering the seed people. There's a beanstalk a'growin'...and the blossoms are spectacular!!!
....eighties flashback...Whooooooooooooah...always thought that was a pretty cool name for band. I enjoy some occasional Prince as well, MTv videos aside. And never, NEVER, apologize for ?rambling?
We get a lot of that in Kansas,
BUT, we do have an incredible crossroads of genres here, especially in Lawrence,
AND, we have enough of a following of Heads here,
SO, we have started a brand new group of talented musicians,
Following the muse we love so well,
We are Play Dead, weplaythedead.com
*shameless plug* in the coolest thread ever!
I'm 40, licensed social worker, again recently relocated back to CO. I first came across the Dead via Touch of Grey video on MTV. I remember loving the audience shots and then the dog running off with the skeletons leg. Grew up listening to golden oldies and from a young age remember liking the Doors and the Stones. My first cassettes were Prince (would definitely see live again) and then the Beastie Boy’s- Licensed to Ill (classic). Being from small town IA country/mainstream music was what was being played and I wanted to be different so heavily explored what was called at the time‘alternative’ music (Cure, Smiths, New Order, Joy Division, Feelies, Happy Mondays, etc). Loved 120 minutes. My first live concert was Barry Manilow- thanks mom and dad and then saw the Rolling Stone in Ames IA Steel Wheels Tour in 89 (place was rocking). 3rd concert was Janes Addiction 91 when touring for their Ritual album (venue of 500 or less- loved it). During this time a friend gave me a tape of Skeletons/Workingmans. The songs that stood out were Golden Road (to unlimited), Sugar Mag, and Casey Jones. My mother did not like the lyrics to Casey Jones and I knew that the Dead were a band that I had to explore further. Also being tired of semi mopey music the Dead were an entrance into a world of wonder. I began to purchase Dead albums and remember rocking out to Wake of the Flood while on my way to see Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, and Pearl Jam (hard to believe that Pearl Jam was the opening band) while wishing that it was the Dead that I was going to see. First day in college (92) friend and soon to be roommate announced that he caught 3-4x Dead shows that past summer= introduction into the world of Dead tapes. The first live tape that I heard was a New Years Eve show with Bradford (? memory at times fails me). Attended college with members of the Big Wu (started out as primarily a Dead cover band) so I heard a lot of Dead throughout those years. Saw Phish in 93 while on organics and my mind was blown. Last Phish show I saw was in 02. My first and last Dead shows were the July 94 Soldiers Stadium 2x night run- Sugaree stands out as I believe it was the second song of the first night and has always been one of my favorites. The parking lot was happening and I had never been around so many kind individuals. I remember wearing a fanny pack into the concert full of parking lot goodies (days of fanny packs). Continue to catch Phil and Friends when I can and since 2000 see Yonder Mtn String Band 1x yr (best show IMO was 4/20/2002 Fillmore Aud CO). I am lucky as my wife also likes the Dead (being an IN girl she caught them at Deer Creek a few times). I have a 2x yr old who repeatedly asks to listen to “roll away the dew”. I guess after hearing the Dead from the time she was in the womb to now paid off. I love the DaP series as it has again turned me on to collecting a band that had great influence throughout my teenage and adult life. I apologize for the ramble.
...the Israelites definitely got it before the rest of us. The Lord has quite the back up band up there. Always thought, even during the shows, that he stopped in for a visit every now and then....sat in the twelfth row of course...
edit...STOOD in the twelfth row, shaking his bones...hitting balloons as they passed by (as they always did)...
I did, could not believe the show/tour opened with Playin'. Thought we spent too much time hanging in the lot. Loved the Fantasy/hey Jude coda second set that night. And Friend was awesome. It was a great first show.
....just kidding......................or....am I?
....nice time for a Standing on the Moon. Everything is just exactly perfect...or maybe cuing up Dark Side?
Blackbird is one of the greatest songs ever.
Seein' as it's the first night of Passover, I must relate that
sometimes the classic Dead song, Fire On The Mountain, sounds to
me like a wake-up call for the Israelites in the desert...
to come and see Mount Sinai on (holy) fire...
This is especially poignant on the "Rockin' the Cradle" CD, when hearing them declare, before the actual pyramids of Egypt: "Fire--fire on the mountain!"
It always seems to me they are referring to Mount Sinai.
...the average may have moved up to 46. Nice....
...btw, no one, I mean NO ONE, should be afraid of being too long winded, it's a long and winding road, and I myself, am smiling so hard reading these, my cheeks hurt. (Had to quote some Beatles there....really enjoy them as well....White Album anyone?) A long wind is better than a fart in the wind...(Kansas anyone?...lol)
Okay, Okay. I am 44. Born and raised in SW Ontario. My first show was also Canada's Wonderland amusement park just north of Toronto. My camp counsellor introduced me to American Beauty and Working Man's when I was 14.
Reckoning and Dead Set were huge albums for me. Reckoning's Cassidy and Bird Song are still all time favorites. I was seriously hooked with Rhythm Devils > Space > Fire from Dead Set. I had a cassette tape recorded from my friend's vinyl with all the crackles and pops.
I was always intrigued by all the GD lore, history, mystique ... And the art.
My father was a truck driver. My summer job when I was just getting into Europe '72 was to drive around the country with my pops loading and unloading the truck at each stop. We visited 22 US States. We "had to go to Tulsa" and we left Texas "on the fourth day of July" ... If I remember correctly, the sun was hot, the clouds were low, and the eagles filled the sky.
..I'll jump in...I'm 48 with a wife and 2 teenage children(God help me!). They do not like the Dead but thats O.K. I crank it up anyway! I have to listen to their "top 40 Boogie music", they're going to hear the Dead and any other group I listen to. They especially love it when I break out the FZ, with some of the music inspiring them to enter the room with that ever popular question we all get at one time or another: "What are you listening to?!!!!" Ya gotta love it!! I've been listening to the Dead since pre-teen years , wearing out Europe '72..I've seen them 3 times and have gotten 2 "Crazy Fingers",go figure! I'm looking forward to this release as I love Sixties Dead! Between last year's release and this, it makes a nifty little box set of its own! Speaking of which, waiting on the announcement, I don't care what it is I'm sure it will be great. Fall '72 is my wish! ;) Take care folks! Time to crank up some 60's Dead to get ready for May 1! On the headphones of course, its a school night!!
How could I forget Cap Centre? 9-12-87 was my very favorite there :) And what a steambath RFK '86 was, INDEED. Begging for ice cubes out of peoples' sodas....
Got on the bus with Skull n' Roses in 1971. First concert was at the Cap Centre on 8/31/80. Survived the infamous RFK steambath on 7/6/86, and treated my younger brother to his first GD concert at the dear departed Cap Centre on 9/12/87. I'll be turning 63 in a few months and plan on riding this bus until my last breath. I'm really enjoying the comments on this thread, sharing a common bond with some great people. Have a Grateful Day out there.
Thanks for the ribbon, I was originally going to include my stats but figured my musings were longwinded enough already....
marye, YOU were at the Human Be-In?? And you missed the band because you were still wearing swaddling clothes and had no idea what was going on?
I'm 46. First interest, Fall '84, first purchase Skeletons. First show 6-30-85, Merriweather Post. Only songs I knew were Mexicali, Sugar Mag, Gimme Some Lovin, and U.S. Blues (because MTV used to show it as a Closet Classic). Meaning, I DIDN'T know Cryptical and took no particular notice of it :( Eureka moment: Shakedown of that show, the entire lawn in unison (what is going ON HERE...). 2nd show was the first where I knew who each member was AND first time up close: 11-01-85. Was all in after that one. Last show: 6-29-95, where they opened 2nd set with Shakedown almost 10 years to the day as my first show. Only wish it could've paralleled musically (song & set :(
Venues: Merriweather, Richmond Coliseum, Hampton Coliseum (favorite forever), Alpine Valley, RFK stadium, JFK stadium, Philly Spectrum, Buckeye Lake "Amphitheatre" (more like stadium without walls), Pittsburgh Arena, Greensboro Coliseum, Nassau Coliseum, Portland Meadows racetrack. Plus a wonderful pair of JGB shows at Merriweather in '89 (Bob & Rob opening), and a Bob 'n Rob show there in 91 or '2 (w/Hot Tuna).
+ a bunch of Ratdog, Phil, Dead, BK3, Global Drum & Further...that is, after an initial few years off (was not ready for those first tours post-Jerry; but by '98 I was jonesing for Bob and Ratdog reeled me back in). Wish Billy appeared more often.
....hard to argue that....it got really weird/cool at that time of the show, especially when the sun had just set (are you hearing me Sunday's!!)
...first set daytime, second set nighttime were my personal faves...
Why 24/192 Music Downloads Make No Sense
"192kHz considered harmful"
"192kHz digital music files offer no benefits. They're not quite neutral either; practical fidelity is slightly worse. The ultrasonics are a liability during playback."
"Neither audio transducers nor power amplifiers are free of distortion, and distortion tends to increase rapidly at the lowest and highest frequencies. If the same transducer reproduces ultrasonics along with audible content, any nonlinearity will shift some of the ultrasonic content down into the audible range as an uncontrolled spray of intermodulation distortion products covering the entire audible spectrum. Nonlinearity in a power amplifier will produce the same effect. The effect is very slight, but listening tests have confirmed that both effects can be audible."
"16 bit vs 24 bit"
"OK, so 192kHz music files make no sense. Covered, done. What about 16 bit vs. 24 bit audio?"
"It's true that 16 bit linear PCM audio does not quite cover the entire theoretical dynamic range of the human ear in ideal conditions. Also, there are (and always will be) reasons to use more than 16 bits in recording and production."
"None of that is relevant to playback; here 24 bit audio is as useless as 192kHz sampling. The good news is that at least 24 bit depth doesn't harm fidelity. It just doesn't help, and also wastes space."
So, while it is great that Pono will have a FLAC music download service (I'm looking forward to this), keep the above in mind when deciding which "Quality" level of music to purchase and download.
Regarding Sullivan 7-2-89, didn't you think when they opened with Playin' > Crazy Fingers, that you had missed the first set? And the medium tempo Friend of the Devil in the second set was a breath of fresh air on a very hot day!
lol!.......didn't think anyone would actually do that. Good job on the math! :)))))))) This was (is) a great thread.
Dantian--yes, an excellent show from' '87.
Was the best part of the shows.
I am 43, and the day that changed me was 7/2/89 Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro, MA. From what I remember it was an amazing show.
Yes this would be a great choice and would sell rather like Atlanta 80. I found myself awhile back visualizing the potential artwork for this as you described. It's a winner.
Of course I have listened to those shows. They are up there.
I think based on the Atlanta 80 sell out that Sept 79 @ MSG NYC would move fast as well. We can hope.
No hard time man… my 12 y.o. gives me a hard time sometimes, my wife of almost of 25 years… well…. i am sure that cuts both ways! but, no, didn't think 51 topped the charts
43 here. First got into the Dead because, despite initially thinking they must be a metal band when I saw the skulls iconography on various t-shirts around town, after hearing Truckin', Sugar Magnolia and a few others on classic rock radio I got much more interested. I picked up American Beauty first, and then other albums on vinyl when I was 14. I lived in CT and didn't have any friends who could drive me to shows. I did have train access to Madison Square Garden and New Haven Coliseum, and unfortunately they had just stopped playing New Haven altogether and were in the middle of a four-year period with no shows at MSG, so despite seeing a few other bands in that time, I did not get around to seeing the Dead until Foxboro 7/4/87 with Dylan and then 7/12/87 Giants on that tour.
I made up for it - 247 shows, including the last one in Chicago 1995, and about 50 Jerry shows (mostly JGB and 2 Garcia/Grisman). Biggest regrets were a) being convinced by my then-girlfriend to go up to visit her family in Maine during spring break and missing Nassau 3/29/90 (we HAD gone to Landover, Hartford and Albany that tour) - I remember seeing my friend's VW bus driving the other direction toward the show on I-95; and b) not going to Europe in 1990, as I was broke at the time. Never made it to Alpine or the Frost, unfortunately, either. But among many other great shows that I did catch, I made it to the MSG 9/18/87, the Hampton Warlocks shows, and all but the second show in the 1990 MSG run.
EDIT: how could I forget summer tour '88? I was graduating high school during the Alpine run, so could not make it, but went to Buckeye, Pittsburgh, SPAC, Rochester and Oxford. Great scene in those days, and SPAC through Oxford (especially first show) in particular were excellent shows.
Hi, my name is Dantian and I'm a Dead Head.
I'm 46 years old, been listening to the Dead since age 15. Didn't see my first show until I was 19 though, it was 6/30/87 at an outdoor theater in a somewhat surreal amusement park in Ontario Canada. My memory is of course, um, hazy, but I remember feeling a bit like Alice down the rabbit hole. In fact, I vaguely remember walking past a sculpture of Alice in Wonderland on one of the paths somewhere in that park, anyone else remember that?
@Shakespeare - Yes, I remember 7/2/87, that was my second show ever (out of only a handful of shows I ever saw, just from that year and the next). I remember a giant beach ball being knocked around, and I remember it starting to drizzle about half way through "Looks Like Rain." That was likely my favorite show I attented, I really enjoyed the overall vibe of that one. 7/4/87, not so much.
I've been sort of a repressed Dead Head for the past 20 years or so. Like many here, my wife was never really into the Dead. That all changed about a year and a half ago. I had long ago gotten my wife to enjoy some of American Beauty and Wokingman's Dead, but anything more intense and she would shut it out, and I would shut it off.
One day about a year and a half ago, after I happened to play Help On The Way, the song came to her in her dreams with a meaning that was significant to her, and since then the floodgates have been opened and she embraces it a lot more, to some extent at least. I have since been on a voyage of re-discovery, and loving every minute of it.
Grateful in NY.
@deadegad, I'm happy to take credit for that Alaska Box idea. I've pushed that on and off for a couple of years. Something about that run just gets me. Based on the reception of DaP 8, if by any chance the Alaska run could be released in matrix as a three-show box, it would be a huge hit I believe. And then you think of the cover art possibilities... "Grateful Dead in the Land of the Midnight Sun" ........ Aurora Borealis, evergreen trees, mushers and sled dogs pulling into the high school parking lot (the musher could of course be a skeleton). The show was at a dang high shcool - holy cow those lucky pups.
@vguy, thanks for compiling the ages like that - jeez I really am right on the average, having turned 45 in Feb. And yeah, group hugs man. Or at least pass the bowl around.
got on the bus in the 1980's via those great albums American Beauty and Workingman's, Reckoning, and Europe '72.
Saw most of my shows on west coast, save for 10-16-89... who knew it would be a classic and official release. Girlfriend, now wife, enjoyed the road trips and the tunes, and the people watching parking lot scene. The wife was not a fan of drums/space usually led to a retreat to the concessions. Loved the Vegas drums and space.
Irvine, Long Beach, Vegas, Shoreline, Oakland, Cal St. Dominguez Hills, LA Sports Arena, The Forum, a couple at Buckeye Lake OH. JGB and Ratdog shows were in the mix as well. Hornsby at the Fillmore in 1995 or 1996 when Phil and Bobby joined him was incredible.
Cheers that the music and the scene still serve as an outlet, escape from the normal day to day jobs. Though my kids (13, 9) can sing along to Ripple, and Uncle John's among others and have learned to pick out Bobby, from Jerry, from Brent by listening to the vocal, but love it when they harmonize. Loved that Attics of My Life made its return in 1989 and appeared many more times into the next few years.
Great gems from all of the years 1960's, 70's, 80's, and 90's...
I just want to make it fun, you'd need to do the listening party to figure it out. Kudos to the one that gets it. The answer is very clearly in my response. Fun? What is that?
Do I understand this right they are selling these for 400 dollars.
....45.6 years......seeing as how my b-day is in May, even more exact..I didn't count the NA responses. Weird again.....but aren't we all weird in some sense? 46 here we come, but it could be 26 for all I care...or feel...
The Pono will be like a iPod on steroids, I'm sure gapless playback is a there. 19 hours to go before the door closes. Imagine listening to all your Grateful Dead in amazing sound. I don't want any Deadheads to miss out. When it arrives if you don't dig, there will be a demand for them, sell it. The SYF Limited Edition will be a historical collectors item.
The PonoPlayer has two output jacks. The first is a normal mini-stereo output specially designed for headphones and is meant for personal listening. The second is a stereo mini-plug analog output specifically designed for listening on your home audio system, in your car, or with your Sonos Connect – so you can share the PonoMusic experience with your friends and family.
The PonoPlayer ships with a total of 128GB. 64GB of memory is built into the player and another 64GB of memory on a removable microSD card. The expansion slot can accept microSD cards of up to 64GB or SDXC microSD cards of 128GB or higher. Unlike many other portable music players, the microSD cards are designed to be easily swappable. For example, you can build a library of various playlists or genres on different cards and simply swap them in and out, much like you'd swap game cards on a portable gaming console. So in reality you have infinite capacity on the PonoPlayer.
How many songs can it hold? That depends on the quality of your music files:
CD lossless quality recordings (44.1 kHz/16 bit): About 5000 tracks.
High-resolution recordings (48 kHz/24 bit): About 3200 tracks.
Higher-resolution recordings (96 kHz/24 bit): About 1600 tracks.
Ultra-high resolution recordings (192 kHz/24 bit): About 800 tracks.
This is a LOT of high-resolution music, and we say, “the more the better”. You’ll get hooked on how good this music sounds.
What do we consider to be high quality digital music?
Generally speaking, mp3 files have a bit rate of 192kbps or 256kbps. These are highly compressed files and are much smaller in size than higher resolution music files. The good news is that you can keep a lot of mp3 files in a small amount of storage on a portable player or mobile device. The bad news is that they’ve lost a lot of the musical information that often reveals the most pleasant and satisfying aspects of the music. It is mostly that sense of realism, dynamic range, and detail that higher resolution recordings typically capture in a way that restores the emotion in the song.
On the “low end” of higher resolution music (CD lossless, 44.1kHz/16 bit), PonoMusic files have about 6 times more musical information than a typical mp3. With ultra-high resolution recordings (192kHz/24 bit), the difference between a PonoMusic digital file and an mp3 is about 30 times more data from which your player reconstructs the “song”.
Has lots of cut's.
Jack Straw (0:00 - 0:22)
Minglewood Blues (3:18 - 6:57)
Tuning (complete track)
China Cat Sunflower (0:00 - 1:07)
Looks Like Rain (complete track)
Wharf Rat (2:48 - 3:27)
God I hope so!
Do these have gap-less playback?
I heard both and they are nice. I like the audio quality from DP10 better from what I heard.
The 5-4-79 show is missing the first part. Dave said it was found in the vault leading to a somewhat recent discovery. Sounds like it was misplaced or propping up a sofa in the vault. Either way the first part is missing and some drums > space is cut. So what is on the vinyl is basically what is left. 7900 copies and available only in brick and mortar record stores 4-19-2014. If it goes on eBay before that then those are scalpers, no matter the price.
Passenger jam at the end was smokin' and so was the Estimated > Eyes.
The beginning of Estimated has that thick chunky sound of 78' (Bobby sounds great) and then Brent kicks in. It is a hybrid or matrix of those sounds coming together. The jam between these is intense too.
9-16-87 ,, check out the opening 3
Touch of Grey > Scarlet ' Little Red Rooster
The Fall 87 MSG run could be on the slate. Even their day off during that run they stopped by NBC studios for a quick set. I think this same week they were on the Top 40 charts.
It would be a three show box like the Winterland boxes. Brent's first MSG NYC gigs during his Freshman year. This would be a real gem.
I think that third night is when you can hear the roar of Steve Parish' motorcycle during drums -- it was parked between Billy and Mick.
The third night is a show I revisit quite often but it's been awhile for the others. I'll be pulling them out this weekend. I actually like the idea of a smaller box this time around as it's more to what I can afford. I just moved and things like Pono are going to have to wait awhile although I'm certainly keeping my eye on it.
...well, I started this, so I guess I better get crunching...numbers that is..
Me 45 (yeah, I'm in the lead...wait, what?!)
Star Dark 45
bolo24 49 plus some
kubrick 26 (ribbon for young pup!)
katky 29 (second place pup!)
giantnerd 39 (?) vague answer
kengoodman NA (nice poem though)
slo lettuce 48 (had to figure that one out though)
nebulorb 44 (ribbon for best non-Dead band referral)
unkle sam NA
antonjo NA (really? thought you would respond, but a ribbon anyway to best story....Balloons!!!)
gratefuldingus 45 (ribbon for best name..lol)
strider 60 (ribbon for best 1st show)
shakespeare NA (wtf?)
the weve 60
wissinomingdeadhead 48 (ribbon for most shows attended. I must have run into you somewhere, or stumbled over you)
ashokan 64 (ribbon for second oldest..or wisest?)
chris grand 47
stevie c NA
and last, but not least Mary C 67 (blue ribbon for the wisest. Thou shall not pass!!!)
By my calculations, the average age is 44.9 years. My Age! Go figure. The Wheel is turning and it can't slow down........thanks people.
I am glad to hear yet another request for a September 1979 MSG NYC Box Set. It is time.
The poster who requested an Alaska 1980 Midnight Sun Box also has a good idea there.
43 years old. My first concert-- Chuck Berry at Milwaukee Summerfest c. 1973-74. I vividly recall me and my siblings being so excited to see Chuck Berry do his duckwalk! The first concert I chose to attend as an individual was Huey Lewis, also Summerfest, at the height of the Sports rage. Then I was kicking around with the Doors and Rush for a while.
My Milwaukee-area high school was very into the Grateful Dead in the years even before Touch of Grey (1984-86), but I didn't try them until I went to Alpine Valley 1988. From there I became a fan for life. I never did any touring, school always took priority and didn't even get to all the area Dead shows. Best I did was three nights at Alpine Valley 1989 and World Theater 1990. Needless to say, best show was 7-17-89.
After Brent's death, I caught them in Chicago in 1991 and it just wasn't the same. I stopped going for a couple years, had a huge Clapton kick (girlfriend at the time did not encourage my GD) and finally went to another show in 1994, had a good time and went again to Soldier Field in 1995. So, I was actually one of those folks (mostly from Illinois and Wisconsin) who attended the last stands of Brent, Jerry and SRV. Same tie-dye t-shirt worn to all three shows, too.
Today, I am more into the GD than ever-- thanks to all the archival releases to help keep it fresh. My wife tolerates them and I keep working on my young son. Actually, she does better than tolerates them, but like others, I need to be careful of 30 minute Dark Stars, PITB and Space is absolutely forbidden (though I can probably count on one hand the number of times I actually listen to Space).
While not from the classic "heyday," the MOTM that Furthur opened up last April's Atlantic City second set was spectacular. Roughly 20-21 minutes. Saturday night "date night" crowd begging for a Shakedown or a Sugar>Scarlet or a China Cat and they instead drop that insanity for the faithful.
The transition from acoustic Mountains Of The Moon to Electric Dark Star on 2-11-69 is one of my all time fave transitions next to the Dark Star>Me And My Uncle on Rockin' The Rhein. We discussed that one back on the DaP9 thread.