Welcome back to the Tapers' Section, where this week we have music from a short, but very sweet, period in Grateful Dead history, 1978-1981.
As you may have noticed the past couple of weeks, we've played some music from 4/21/78 in Lexington, KY, and this week we're pleased to continue with more from that same fine show, with the start of the second set, featuring Samson and Delilah, Ship Of Fools, Playing In the Band>Rhythm Devils. This was the tour during which Drums became The Rhythm Devils portion of the show, from short five minute drum duets to massive 15-20 minute percussion extravaganzas, during which other band and crew members would join in on the fun.
In 1980, the Grateful Dead performed a two night run at the Long Beach Arena, where they would continue to play occasionally until 1988. The opener from the first night in 1980, on 12/13/80, featured Feel Like A Stranger>Sugaree, CC Rider, To Lay me Down. The Stranger>Sugaree is a bit of a rare opening combination, and To Lay Me Down had just returned to the repertoire as part of the Warfield-Radio City acoustic sets earlier in the fall. This is the second electric version since its return (the first was 11/28/80).
For the December 1981 tour, the Grateful Dead's concert recordings are on reel-to-reel, the first reel recordings since 1979. These were not mixed specifically for tape (Betty Boards were mixed specifically for tape, i.e. for listening), but are PA mixes, i.e. the sound that came through the PA. Nonetheless, these reels sound much more robust than the cassettes that are coming for 1980-1982. From 12/9/81 in Boulder, we have The Other One>Stella Blue>Around and Around>Good Lovin'; U.S. Blues>Satisfaction. The head of The Other One is clipped, owing to a reel change from when the band was coming out of Space, but the batch of tunes here is epic.
Thanks for stopping by, and we'll look forward to seeing you here next week with more tunes from the vault. As always, please feel free to email us at the address below, with questions, comments or suggestions.