We have some great music to play this week, spanning this week in the Grateful Dead’s recorded history from 1969 to 1993, with a cool studio jam from 1968 thrown in, just because we thought you’d like to hear it.
As many already know, and discussed a few weeks ago, the master 16-tracks of 12/31/68 were mostly recorded over in order to record the Avalon shows at the end of January, 1969; this was in some ways rather lucky, as the Avalon shows contained the versions of The Eleven and Lovelight from 1/26/69 that would be featured on Live/Dead. However, knowing they had to record the four nights at the Carousel/Fillmore West a month later, the master 16-tracks from the first two Avalon shows were erased, as well. Fortunately, excellent 2-track masters remain, running at 15 ips. A few key moments of the Avalon are presented here, specifically from 1/25/69 Dupree’s Diamond Blues>Doin’ That Rag>Cosmic Charlie and Alligator>Caution>Feedback. Pig’s vocals are a little low in the mix, but what amazing music.
In January, 1970, the band would venture to Hawaii for two shows in Honolulu, where they played some great music. Also worth noting is that these would be T.C.’s final shows as an official member of the Grateful Dead. Pigpen, as always in 1970, shone throughout, including these excellent versions of Hard to Handle from 1/23/70 and King Bee from 1/24/70. Also, we figured you’d get a kick out of a terrific telling of Weir’s Yellow Dog Story from 1/23/70, with Pigpen’s running commentary.
In 1971, the band ventured up to Seattle on January 24, where they played a typically hot early-1971 show, featuring this jam of Lovelight>Not Fade Away>Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad>Lovelight>Drums. Unfortunately, the final reel, which contains the Good Lovin’ that emerged from the Drums, is largely unlistenable due to technical problems with the master reels.
Finally, this week in the Grateful Dead’s recorded history, we’d like to play you some later material, specifically this Eyes of the World>Estimated Prophet from 1/26/93 in Oakland, which comes from the very nice sounding PA DATs typical of the era.
One little gem we located in the vault is a studio jam featuring Caution, recorded sometime in 1968, likely the summer. Although there are no vocals, it is certainly something worth hearing.
Check back next week when we’ll dig into some excellent material from 1978, plus a few choice moments that wouldn’t fit in earlier columns from 1970, amongst other material. 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.
vault [at] dead.net