This week we have almost 25 years of Grateful Dead music for you to hear, including plenty of material from this week in the history of the band’s recorded legacy, as well as a few other bits that just simply should be heard.
Our earliest track from our featured week is from 1976, from the second night of the band’s six-night stand at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, 7/13/76. From the middle of the first set is this long, focused Crazy Fingers, which opens up into some terrific spaces.
From 7/11/81, the band’s second visit to Alpine Valley in Wisconsin, we have this second set opening trio of Lost Sailor>Saint of Circumstance>Ship of Fools, all drawn from the cassette master. The entirety of this show does not exist, with the first chunk of set one missing, as well as the bulk of the post-Drums sequence, but there is a good hour that remains.
The very well-know show from 7/13/84 featured, of course, a rare and very special encore, and an interesting second set opener, but we’d like to play for you the rocking first set closing medley of Hell In A Bucket>Might As Well, a classic 1984 combination. This is drawn from the Beta PCM master.
We’ll next move forward with a trio of songs from the Summer Tour of 1989, widely considered to be one of the best of the last 10 years of the band’s performing career. From 7/9/89 at Giants Stadium is this opener of Shakedown Street-Jack Straw, both of which are packed with energy and inspired moments. A few nights later at RFK Stadium in Washington on 7/12/89, show-opening act Bruce Hornsby sat in with the band on accordion for this second set opener of Sugaree. And lastly from this tour is the post-Drums sequence from Deer Creek on 7/15/89, featuring Space>China Doll>All Along The Watchtower>Stella Blue>Sugar Magnolia. As anyone who followed that tour will remember, after seven shows in five of the biggest stadiums on the East Coast, arriving at Deer Creek for the band’s first performance there was like seeing the band in a tiny theatre. This entire tour was recorded to 24-track audio, so if a release is ever made from these shows, it’ll be mixed beautifully from these master reels.
We recently had a request for a nice, stand-alone version of Ship of Fools, so here’s one from 5/5/78 in New Hampshire. This is drawn from the reel-to-reel master running at 7.5 ips. Incidentally, to answer a recent question, “ips” stands for inches per second, the speed at which a tape runs. Standard speeds are 3.75, 7.5 and 15 ips. The faster the tape speed, the better the sound.
For a little taste of Denmark, this show-opening combination hits the spot: Greatest Story Ever Told-Sugaree from 4/16/72. Like all of Europe ’72, this show was recorded to 16-track tape, so a proper live album can be mixed if and when the time comes.
Also by request this week is a little bit more from 1967, a unique That’s It For The Other One suite from 10/22/67 featuring very different lyrics to Weir’s part of the song.
As promised a few weeks ago, we are pleased to bring you the second half of the magnificent 6/24/85 show featuring Space>Comes A Time>The Other One>Cryptical Envelopment>Wharf Rat>Around and Around>Good Lovin’. There was some exceptional music played in the summer of 1985, and this is just one of many examples.
Our penultimate track this week is another taste of Canada: the Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain from 11/2/77 in Toronto. Short, but very, very sweet.
Lastly, a little piece from 1991 featuring the two keyboardists, from 3/18/91 at the Capital Center in Landover: Me and My Uncle>Maggie’s Farm with each vocalist taking a verse of the latter song.
Be sure to check back next week when we’re not quite sure what we’ll be playing, but we are certain it’ll be good. As always, you are encouraged to write with questions or comments.David Lemieux
vault at dead.net