Like the previous week, the week of January 8 was also a less-than-prolific week in the Grateful Dead’s performing history. There were a few good exceptions, but with so few shows to choose from in the vault, we’ll be playing a few other bits of great music from the vault, as we’ll do during “slow” weeks.
This week did have a few unique shows, including the much-loved 1/10/70 in San Diego, which exists in the vault on Bear’s very nice 7.5 ips reel-to-reel tapes. Also worth noting is the very cool 1/13/80 Cambodian Refugee Benefit in Oakland, a one-set show with Carlos Santana and John Cipollina sitting in for a bit. This is also on reels in the vault, and sounds very good.
In 1966, the band played at the Fillmore Auditorium and performed a typically interesting, at times odd, performance as part of the Fillmore Acid Test. Amongst the many typical-of-the-time songs played was this spellbinding rendition of Death Don’t Have No Mercy, from 1/8/66, drawn from Bear’s 10” reels. It still amazes me that with so much chaos around him, particularly at this early date in the band’s career, Bear could make such great recordings.
In an earlier Tapers Section entry, we made reference to the second set jam from 12/1/73 in Boston, but provided no audio. Our apologies for the inconvenience; here is the entirety of that jam, Playing In The Band>Uncle John’s Band>Playing In The Band. The Playing takes a while to get rolling, but it hits some great spaces, and the Uncle John’s Band is certainly inspired.
A few other pieces we’d meant to play in earlier entries but that slipped through the cracks are the Friend of the Devil and Candyman from Legion Stadium in El Monte, CA, on 12/26/70, one of the very few tapes in the vault between July, 1970 and January, 1971. And lastly, a couple of songs from New Year’s Eve 1971-1972 that wouldn’t fit in the column from two weeks ago, Dancing In The Streets and a very nice Pigpen version of The Same Thing.
Check back next week for some more January material, plus a few excellent random gems from various shows and sessions. 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