Our first selection is from 7/3/69 in Colorado Springs, and features the best He Was A Friend of Mine these ears have ever heard. Please note that is drawn from the cassette master, as this tour was recorded only to cassette and not to reels, so it does sound a little hissy, but this rendition is so darn good, it’s easy to overlook the minor sound issues.
Exactly one year later, the Grateful Dead would find themselves cruising across Canada in a train, and the stop in Calgary on 7/3/70 had plenty of great music, including this China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider and this very good Lovelight. Pigpen is clearly having a blast with the Canadians at McMahon Stadium, urging them to scream, shout, and take their hands out of their pockets. Beauty, eh?
From 1981, on 7/5/81 at the Oklahoma Zoo Amphitheatre, the band opened with this funky Shakedown Street>Promised Land combination. The mix on this cassette master takes a little while to get settled, but once it does, it’s a very good listen.
A few years later, in 1984, the band was on a cool month-long run from Red Rocks in mid-June to the Greek in mid-July. Right in the middle, on 7/3/84 in Kansas City, the band played an inspired medley: Scarlet Begonias>Touch of Grey>Fire On The Mountain. Although most of us are very familiar with the version of this medley from 10 days later on 7/13/84 at the Greek, this one is certainly its equal. A few nights later, on 7/6/84 at Alpine Valley, the band played a truly exceptional post-Drums sequence, consisting of Space>Dear Mr. Fantasy>The Other One>Black Peter>Why Don’t We Do It In the Road?>Sugar Magnolia. This is a really great demonstration of how well the band could play in 1984, inspired and confident. Also from this great show on 7/6/84, by request, is the first set jam of Jack Straw>Big Railroad Blues. All of these segments from 1984 are drawn from the Beta PCM digital masters.
Like last week’s 6/30/87 post-Drums sequence with the OK-sound, exceptional performance dynamic, this also applies to this week’s 7/8/87 post-Drums sequence from Roanoke, featuring Crazy Fingers>T-t-t-t-truckin’>Comes A Time>Sugar Magnolia, Black Muddy River. Once you’re past any sound mediocrity, the music can be heard for what it is: excellent. A technical note: there’s a bit of a glitch on Black Muddy, part of the Beta PCM master. We’ll get another Black Muddy up sometime that is clear and glitch-free.
Moving forward a couple of years to the Summer Tour of 1989, we have a taste of the outstanding 7/7/89 show from JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. This show opening Hell In A Bucket>Iko Iko is a great harbinger of the rest of this show, which is to say high-energy, focused and at times downright exceptional. There’s lots to love with this show, starting with this opener. To note, too, is this is a show for which exists exceptional 24-track audio, and beautiful video, of which both elements are consistent with the quality of the Buffalo 7/4/89 DVD release.
Like last week, we have another bit of the 5/5/78 show in New Hampshire, specifically the set closing foursome of Passenger, Brown-Eyed Woman, Lazy Lightning>Supplication. It’s such a good little show, we felt it deserved a bit of a wider appreciation.
Like the previous selection, although this next bit isn’t date-appropriate, due to overwhelming requests for more music from 1967, we’ve got this excellent trio of songs from 10/22/67 at Winterland: New Potato Caboose, It Hurts Me Too, Cold Rain and Snow. This is such an exciting time for the band, but unfortunately there isn’t too much that exists from 1967 in the vault.
Be sure to stop in next week when we’ll have more great music for you, including selections from 1972, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1991. Oh, and a taste of 1967 As always, we encourage you to write with questions, comments, suggestions or requests.
vault at dead.net