From one of the earliest live tapes in the vault, the Danish Center show in Los Angeles recorded shortly after the band moved to L.A., we are pleased to bring you these excellent renditions of Cold Rain and Snow, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue and the earliest known live version of Good Lovin’. It’s amazing to consider the development of Good Lovin’ throughout the band’s career, and sometime in the future we’ll do a comparison of the evolution of the song similar to what we did with Not Fade Away a few weeks ago. Also worth noting about this 3/12/66 show is that three of the songs in the show are included in the dynamic CD Rare Cuts and Oddities 1966, one of the most interesting projects we’ve worked on the past few years.
Jumping ahead a few years, we find the band in St. Louis for two nights at the Fox Theatre. The first show, 3/17/71, has a few technical issues at key points in the master tapes (specifically bad cuts in the reels during Hard To Handle and the Other One suite), but from that show we were able to salvage this good version of Next Time You See Me as well as this tight version Me and Bobby McGee, both from the first set. From the next night, 3/18/71, which was the better of the two shows, this outstanding Caution>Feedback was the final Caution until a little over a year later. There’s nothing quite like the mighty Caution riff. Also from 3/18/71 is this rocking Greatest Story Ever Told>Johnny B. Goode combination, one of the better versions of this short-lived pairing.
Moving forward to Winterland in 1977, from 3/18/77 here is only the third-ever version of Terrapin Station , complete with the Alhambra jam, the only time the band would ever attempt this live. For an interesting perspective on Jerry writing the music for Terrapin Station, check out the commentary track on the Grateful Dead Movie DVD, in which Susan Crutcher discusses editing the film with Jerry while he would take breaks to work on the music on his guitar out back.
In March, 1990, the Grateful Dead would embark on what would be regarded as one of their greatest tours of their last decade of touring, beginning at the Capital Center in Landover, MD. Not only was the level of playing high at these shows, but the band also broke out a couple of songs they hadn’t played in 16 years, specifically Loose Lucy from 3/14/90 and Black-Throated Wind from 3/16/90. Also from this run is the pre-Drums sequence from 3/16/90, which featured a couple of very unique sequences: Scarlet Begonias>Estimated Prophet> Ship of Fools>Women Are Smarter>Jam. Like all of the Spring Tour 1990, these shows were also recorded to 24-track tape, so they can someday be mixed into a stellar live album along the lines of Dozin’ at the Knick.
In 1991, the band would once-again kick their Spring Tour off at the Capital Center in Landover, and the tour opener was another excellent show. From the first night, 3/17/91 and including Bruce Hornsby on piano, the band would debut the Jerry Garcia Band staple Rubin and Cherise, with great additions to the song by Bobby, Phil, Bruce, the drummers and Vince. Although they only played the song live four times, the Grateful Dead did a fine job with the song. Also from the first night of the tour is this second-set sequence of Crazy Fingers>Truckin’>New Speedway Boogie, with the latter introduced back into the repertoire the previous month after a 21 year absence.
Lastly from this week in the Grateful Dead’s recorded history, we have this long and inspired version of Iko Iko from 3/18/95 in Philadelphia. The band played some good music on the 1995 Spring Tour, and we’ll bring you a bit more in the weeks to come.
Check back next week for some more music from the outstanding Spring Tour 1990, some 1977 material, a bit from 1966, a taste of 1972, a dose of Pigpen from 1971, and a monster jam from 1975. You’re encouraged to write with comments, questions or suggestions, so please feel free to do so anytime.