Week of February 25, 2013
An all-music program from February of 1970. "Not Fade Away had been introduced on December 21, 1969*, and the band was still figuring out how to play it together.
On February 4 at the Family Dog, the Dead started "Not Fade Away" in the middle of "St Stephen," in place of the bridge ("Lady finger dipped in moonlight"). The vocal still wasn't really sorted out. Listening to these recordings, one gets the feeling this is not a song that was being rehearsed - they were just playing it in their gigs, and sorting their arrangement out incrementally. Garcia and Weir had for the most part figured out a pair of vocal lines that work together, and they were getting their phrasing together.
The same structure was ventured on February 8 at the Fillmore West. A more tentative transition into "Not Fade Away," a nice jam after the second verse, drifting away from the master groove and then back to it. The first and second verses were repeated, and then Bob and Jerry chanted "not fade away" until Garcia broke off to concentrate on the guitar, playing his signature "St Stephen" phrase to bring the band back to the latter song at the same place they rejoined on the 4th.
* They played it a few times in the early days. There's a performance of "Not Fade Away" on Rare Cuts and Oddities 1966.
Grateful Dead 2/8/70 Fillmore West, San Francisco
NOT FADE AWAY->
Every Wednesday, we post a program from the Grateful Dead Hour archives for your enjoyment and enlightenment. You can browse or search the playlists at gdhour.com or on the GD Hour Search page, and let me know what program(s) you'd like to hear by emailing me at email@example.com.
Thank you for listening!
- David Gans