Road Trips Decades
... on how much joy you can feel while listening to a dying man struggle. I gave up on 3/30/95 after hearing JG slog through his Touch solo, play only the most basic 2nd-year guitar student lines in GMLS, and - most painfully - let Vince take one of his solos circa 4:28 in FOTD. Still, I must admit that even these three tunes were far better than much of '95.
Yeah, I probably sound just like older Heads who insist the Dead died with Pigpen... or even Keith's departure. But when the band lost Brent, they really did seem to be running on borrowed time - and with a lot less soul. The crowds were never the same, nor was the music. I think much of that has to do with how musically engaged Brent and Jerry were, and can't help but speculate what woulda happened had Mydland not passed on in '90.
All eras have merit. I listen to all eras of The Dead. Think I enjoy 1970, Europe 72 and Fall 1973 the best. With that being said I have a certain affinity for 90's shows. That's the Jerry I remember, as it was the only era I ever got to see him in. I think by 1991 Jerry's heart was gravitating back towards his roots. He was rediscovering his love for acoustic music. I remember reading in McNally's book that he would say "Is it me, or do we need a f*ckin break?" The rest of the board members would sit there in silence, as they realized that the Grateful Dead was swallowing it's own tail. Kids with college tuition, weddings, and staff members used to a certain lifestyle that had come to be expected. The weight of the whole scene was held up by Jerry and it killed him.
Now, i think I'm gonna go find a hot show from 1994 and crank it up!!! Gems from 1995 include 2/21/95, 3/23/95, 3/30/95, 5/21/95 and 6/30/95. Dig out your old tapes and crank em up!!!
China Cat>Rider from 3/30/95 is my all time favorite!!! Listen to that jam at full blast, step outside and enjoy this beautiful spring day!
Hi Antonjo -
Beyond Blair's references (perhaps he can chime in?), phalangeal numbness would be entirely consistent with diabetes and carpal tunnel - both of which plagued Jerry in his later years. In videos from '94 and '95, you can also see the ring and little fingers of his left (fretting) hand twitching like mad - particularly when they're extended. This may be evidence of nerve damage. Mix with the more acute effects of self-medication (nodding, lack of focus, etc.), and you have a recipe for disaster.
Bobby Fuller cover?
And we do have That must be something (w/o lyrics) on DP 17. Was it ever sung?
1) Days Between
2) So Many Roads*
3) Lazy River Road
4) Lone Way To Go Home
5) Broken Arrow
6) Shoe Fits
8) Easy Answers
9) Wave To The Wind
12) Childhood's End
13) Samba In The Rain
1) Salt Lake City
2) I Want To Tell You
3) Rollin's & Tumblin;
5) It's All Too Much
6) That Would Be Something
7) Take Me To The River
It may very well be that it is up to us to come up with our own CDs as it is likely that Rhino/Dead.net will ultimately turn it's back on this project...
Anybody know a kick-ass version of "Cheesy Answers"? (Now there is another topic -- altering the names of songs when they are played too much or fall out of favor. An example would be Passing Stones instead of Throwing Stones.)
* Released singly in the big box of that name
There are the occasional gems.... 3-17-93 is one such, and features a sampling of new songs (Eternity, Lazy River Road, Liberty, Days Between) as well as a nice 13-minute Shakedown opener, Handsome Cabin Boy jam out of space, and solid playing from Jerry throughout. The jams aren't terribly long (10-minute Dark Star, 7-minute Other One) but the band is on. One of just a couple or three truly satisfying shows I saw after '91, and the last--but if I caught a hot night in that era, I'm sure there must be others.
Am I the only one who liked Wave To the Wind? I thought it sounded very Wake Of the Flood-ish. If Phil has vetoed that one, maybe he'd allow If The Shoe Fits for release--pretty raunchy rocker, I like that one, too. The new tunes from this batch were rarely what I wanted to see, but hearing them compiled together on a CD, they hold together quite nicely. Lazy River Road never breathed fire, but it's a well-crafted song that I'd like to hear a good folk band do justice some time....
As for '94-'95, I only caught a couple, and others have described it well. The Shakedown & Terrapin I saw at my last show were beyond an off night, they really did feel like something was terribly wrong.
Question for the gallery, though......when did this numbness in Jerry's fingers thing get publicized? I'd never heard of this till the last couple years with Blair mentioning it in his blogs. Is this actually confirmed? Someone even suggested it was already happening in Spring '90, which it's hard for me not to scoff at. It almost sounds like excuse-making for the effect Jerry's other areas of decline had on the music down the stretch. I trust Blair, but again, I'd never heard of that till recently and it's never what other band members have pointed to as the element they were having to cover for. But if true, how frustrating for Jerry....
And I totally think a 5000 run of late stuff would sell. I think a 12K run would sell, too. As Anna says, it just might take a little longer. So what? Since when did every release have to sell out in presale to be judged a success, anyway?
With so many shows when Jerry and the band were simply magical,.... decades when they were physically, mentally and musically strong, ..why the desire to focus on Jerry's sad, painful decline. Perhaps there is more to it, (ie; new songs), but at least for me, there are so many wonderful Grateful Dead shows with them at their best, when they could conjure the universe and melt the faces off the crowd, that I would rather see released. I prefer to remember Jerry on top of his game, and listen to him shine. :)
That they release a two CD set with highlights from several shows 93-94 with these tunes played. Never happened. Going with the whole show format, you have to go two or very possibly three shows to get a representative sampling. The shows were much shorter and you could do a 4 CD release with two first sets and two second sets from different nights that would definitely cover the period's new songs.
Call me crazy but I think a limited to 5000 production run would sell out in six months. Yeah, it would take some time but there are enough collectors out there that it would ultimately sell out and cost a lot to obtain on E-Bay in the next ten years. I could be wrong but after being around these parts a while I think the bucks are out there to fill a hole in a lot of collections.
Just to be clear, I'm not defending latter day Dead as such. It probably won't sell very well (so the business case is questionable), and I won't play it a lot either, because entertainment value is not very high either.
But I would like a live version of new songs. This by itself rules out a complete show, so I would opt for an original Road trips style compilation with predominantly new songs, perhaps a Space/Drums and a few relative rarities.
I buy all regular releases. While this obviously does not give me any moral claim (and anyone can make suggestions anyway), I would still like to fill the gap. For all I care, it could also be a three disc bonus set to go with the subscription, but from what I read here this would definitely not help sell the subscription...
Again, I heartfelt agree with you about Jerry. I couldn't go to another show after Louisville in spring 93. This was the Bataan Death March begun. Who knew it would last 2 years? It's hard to conceive of right now. But like I said, Jerry belted out the ballads when he couldn't let his fingers do the talking.
It was sad, but if you were attentive then you saw a musician go to the limit. Liberty... the right to choose. What could you have done, what could you have said?
* 2 of the "new" GD songs I missed: Lone Way To Go Home & Childhood's End. Childhood's end - what an apt title for those still on tour.
~ How much we'll never know ~