Our first selection this week is this long Lovelight from 6/20/69 at the Fillmore East. In an ideal world, there would be nice 7.5 ips reels of this show (and this tour, really), but all that exists in the vault are cassette masters. But, there was some great music played on this tour, so although it doesn’t sound quite as good as a reel master, the music certainly can be appreciated. A unique element of this Lovelight is that, after Jerry seemingly has some guitar troubles (broken string?), he picks up his acoustic guitar and offers what must be one of the only, or perhaps the only, acoustic guitar solo in the middle of Lovelight.
Moving forward a few years, to 6/24/73 in Portland, Oregon, is the second set jam of Dark Star>Eyes of the World>China Doll, a perfect 1973 jam. This little summer tour of 1973 (Vancouver on 6/22 through to Universal Amphitheatre on 7/1) is often overlooked due to the magnificent quality of the February-April shows, and the October-December 1973 run of perfection, but there was plenty of excellent music played on this short tour. We’ll be bringing you more of this tour next week, as it certainly contains a few shows that deserve greater recognition.
We’ll next jump ahead to 1985, to Alpine Valley. This version of Keep on Growing demonstrates the tape quality limitations of many 1980s-era soundboards, specifically a not-too-good mix. This problem is often different venue-by-venue, as evidenced by this jam from the next show in Cincinnati on 6/24/85, Samson and Delilah>He’s Gone>Smokestack Lightning>Cryptical Envelopment. These 1985 audio clips are from the Beta PCM digital masters, which often have quite severe drop-out issues, as evidenced by the drop-out in Samson and Delilah (the Iko Iko that preceded Samson and Delilah was plagued with drop-outs and was unusable here; on another note, we’ll be sure to bring you the post-Space portion of the Cincinnati show in the future to complete the Cryptical sequence). We’ll have some Alpine 84 material in a couple of weeks that sounds excellent; it goes to show, you don’t ever know…
In 1989, the band played the well-known Summer Solstice pay-per-view show, but what often falls under the radar is the middle-night of this Shoreline run, 6/19/89. From that great show is this Stuck Inside of Mobile (with the Memphis Blues Again)-Bird Song first set sequence. These were the first shows recorded on multi-track tape in preparation for Without A Net, and although no parts of these shows were included on Without A Net, it’s good to know that first-cabin 24-track tapes of these Shoreline shows exist.
A year later, the band was at Autzen Stadium in Eugene sharing the stage with Little Feat. As anyone who was there will remember, these shows began at 12 noon, and ended around 5 PM, allowing concert-goers to go for a nice meal after the shows, perhaps a canoe ride down the river beside the stadium, catch a movie, and be back at the Red Lion by 11 PM. This was also the run where Bill Graham read a quote from stage from the Eugene Chief of Police along the lines of “I’d rather work eight Grateful Dead concerts than one University of Oregon football game.” From these shows is the second set closing jam of The Wheel>I Need A Miracle>Morning Dew on 6/23/90.
Much had changed a year later, specifically the addition of Bruce and Vince on keyboards. From 6/22/91 in Chicago is the show opening Hell In A Bucket-Shakedown Street, with Jerry in particular having a blast during Shakedown Street, evidently having fun with the MIDI effects on his guitar.
From Deer Creek on 6/23/93, here is one of the nicest little Lazy River Roads. This song is certainly under-represented on official releases, so we wanted to make sure you had a good one to check out.
Lastly this week is another taste of 5/5/78 in New Hampshire by popular demand. This second-set closing sequence of Not Fade Away>Stella Blue>Around and Around is typical of the era, which is to say somewhat predictable, but very inspired. Complete with reel-flip, to retain the authenticity of the master reels.
Come back next week to hear a bit more of the aforementioned summer tour of 1973, some cool jams from 1984, 1985 and 1987, and a quirky piece from 1969. Feel free to write with questions, comments, suggestions or requests.
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