The Grateful Dead (& the Deadcast) finish the Europe ‘72 tour with 4 rapturous nights at London’s Lyceum Ballroom, where they record much of their new live album, including a most psychedelicized tour finale, plus deep dives into “Ramble On Rose,” “Morning Dew,” & other classics.
Europe ‘72: Lyceum Ballroom supplementary materials
by Jesse Jarnow
The Grateful Dead’s quartet of tour-closing shows at London’s Lyceum Ballroom in May 1972 hold a special place in Dead history, for both band and fans. During these shows, the band recorded the bulk of what became Europe ‘72, released a little more than 5 months later, including the entirety of the final LP on the last night on the tour. The run is now available in its entirety on a new 24-LP box, and the tour-closing show (where the Dead recorded the entirety of the original album’s last LP while psychedelic madness reigned around them) is also available as a 4-CD set.
A West End venue with a deep storied history, it had been rebuilt and remodeled several times, most lately as the Lyceum Ballroom. A solid handful of interviewees–including promoter John Morris, lighting crew member Ben Haller, and multiple attendees–recall the venue’s most peculiar feature: a retractable portion of the roof that opened up on nice nights. The Dead played parts of Europe ‘72 under the stars. Other UK Deadheads have no memory of the opening roof. The closest we can find to a photo of it is this 2018 shot of the venue, in its current life as the home of The Lion King. There are scattered references to the roof online referring to non-Dead shows, so it seems like it probably wasn’t hallucinated. Anybody have better documentation? Get in touch via stories.dead.net, please!
The Dead’s old friends in the New Riders of the Purple Sage opened all four nights at the Lyceum as well, part of their own less-documented Europe ‘72 tour, though that’s changing. Our friend Corry Arnold has created a meticulous new tour chronology. And, October 7th, Omnivore Recordings will release newly discovered tapes of the New Riders’ set from the final night of the tour. Check out a preview of “Dirty Business” in today’s episode. (Housekeeping note for serious NRPS freaks: Tapes previously circulating as 5/26/72 were apparently misdated.)
Our friends Uli Teute and Volkmar Rupp have spent some serious time with “Dark Star” over the years and are, in fact, the answer to the question we posed a few episodes back: who named the so-called Sputnik Theme in “Dark Star.” Uli and Volkmar did, of course. You can check out their charts here.
“Ramble On Rose” is one of Robert Hunter’s most allusion-heavy songs. David Dodd’s Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics site (and subsequent book) is what the internet was invented for, and David Dodd’s annotated “Ramble On Rose” is what the Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics site was invented for. You do the math.
The Grateful Dudes and Franklin’s Tower will be staging a Europe ‘72 celebration in Cirencester on July 2nd and 3rd. More info here.
Sorry to get nit picky but is there a reason why Dennis "Wiz" Leonard was not mentioned in the credits for the final 2 episodes of Europe '72 Deadcast?