As with us all, the week after New Year’s Eve was usually a quiet one in the Grateful Dead world. There were, of course, a few exceptions, and we’ve got some great music played in the days after 12/31 this week, as well as a few undated little items from the vault that might not be exactly date appropriate (or, maybe they are…), but we felt they were worth playing for you, and with so little Grateful Dead music played during this week, it seemed like a good place to put it.
The first shows in the vault from this week are the stellar January 2 and 3, 1970 shows at the Fillmore East, certainly shows worthy of release someday. And, as with so much of the 1969-1970 material in the vault, these shows were recorded masterfully by Bear onto 7” reel-to-reel tapes running at 7.5 ips. Thanks, Bear. The shows are loaded with great music, and here’s an example of an early Uncle John’s Band>High Time from 1/2/70, before it was recorded for Workingman’s Dead. To those who have heard these shows in their entirety, with all of those nasty tape reel cuts, worry not: when the time comes to release these shows on CD, there are also good-sounding cassettes of these shows with which to fix these cuts.
In 1972, the Dead once again played on January 2, a typically hot late-71, early-72 show. Pigpen was back, Keith was settled in, and they busted out one of the cooler combinations of the era, Good Lovin’>China Cat Sunflower>Good Lovin’. Inspired for sure. This was one of the shows recorded by Rex Jackson on _-track, so the sound mightn’t be as robust as a straight up _-track, but it sure does sound fine.
There are plenty of tapes in the vault that are unlabelled, or are not completely accurately labeled, with no home or proper venue for release, so these light weeks in the Tapers Section will allow us to present some of these orphan pieces of music. First off is an early 1966 Tuning/Blues Jam from the Watts House in LA recorded by Bear and labeled simply “Watts Practice.” Also, here is a piece of music from a tape labeled simply “early-1968 Carousel”, specifically the start of the tape, St. Stephen>That’s It For The Other One. Another few bits from a March, 1982 rehearsal, Rehearsal Jam #1 and Rehearsal Jam #2 are also worth hearing. Lastly, also from the same March, 1982 rehearsal, is this version of Crazy Fingers, and although not perfect, it was the band’s first attempt at the song in almost six years, a song they wouldn’t break out until the summer of 1982.
Check back next week when we’ll look into some January Grateful Dead moments, as well as some other cool bits. Feel free to get in touch with questions or comments, or if there is any particular show about which you’re curious of the vault source (if any), don’t hesitate to ask. We’ll try to address your curiosity in future entries, date-appropriate, of course. And, Happy New Year to you all.
vault [at] dead.net