Anyone who has followed the band’s archival release program the past 15 years has likely been curious about one omission from Dozin’ at the Knick: here, by request from just about everyone, is the magnificent Loser from 3/24/90 in Albany. Also from the Spring Tour of 1990 is this unique jam from the second Hartford show of the tour (and final Grateful Dead show ever played at the Hartford Civic Center), 3/19/90, featuring Foolish Heart>Playing In The Band>Eyes Of The World. Worth noting is that the very next performance of Eyes of the World, from 3/25/90 in Albany, heard here in this Eyes of the World>Samson and Delilah jam, would mark the return of the slower-paced, pre-1975 arrangement of the song. This performance would also mark a new position for Eyes of the World in the set lists, specifically as a second-set opener, where it would turn up frequently for the next few years.
Also from the Spring Tour of 1990 is the post-Drums sequence from 3/22/90 in Hamilton, Ontario, featuring The Other One>Hey Jude>Dear Mr. Fantasy>Hey Jude>Sugar Magnolia. This was the only full Hey Jude played by the Grateful Dead aside from the couple of versions sung by Pigpen in 1969. And from the previous night in Hamilton, 3/21/90, we have a meaty Hey Pocky Way and a terrific set-closing Throwing Stones>Lovelight combination.
From 1975, and one of only four shows played that year, is the entirety of the first Grateful Dead show in more than five months (minus the encore), from 3/23/75 at Kezar Stadium: Blues For Allah>King Soloman’s Marbles>Drums>King Solomon’s Marbles>Blues For Allah, one of my favorite all-time Grateful Dead performances. A truly inspired half hour of music, and unlike anything the Grateful Dead had ever played previously.
Because chronology is overrated, we’ll jump back a few years to 1972. As we all know, just before the Europe ‘72 tour, the band performed their longest single-venue residence outside of California, a seven night run at the Academy of Music in New York. A goodly portion of that run has been enshrined on Dick’s Picks Vol. 30, including the set featuring Bo Diddley with the Grateful Dead as his backing band, but there was plenty more excellent music played in this Europe ‘72 warm-up, including this great China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider from 3/22/72.
Moving up a few years to 1977, from the Winterland run in March, we have this first-set-closer from 3/20/77 featuring an early Estimated Prophet followed by Scarlet Begonias. After this show, Scarlet Begonias was almost always tied to Fire On The Mountain, but we thought you’d like to hear one of the last stand-alone Scarlets for a while (complete with master tape reel flip).
Jumping back in time to 1966, from 3/19/66 here is a tasty It’s A Sin, one of the best of the early blues songs played by the Grateful Dead.
And we don’t know what it was about Iowa that brought out the best in the Grateful Dead (5/13/73, 6/16/74, 2/5/78, 8/10/82), but the show on 3/20/71 in Iowa City is no exception, with Pigpen on fire during this first-set closing twosome of Big Boss Man, Good Lovin’. Spring of 1971 was a transitional time for Good Lovin’ as these March-April versions presented the best of both worlds: inspired, outrageous jams by the band, and insightful, humorous raps by Pigpen. This version has plenty of both elements.
Lastly, we’ll jump ahead to 1995, specifically the 3/23/95 show in Charlotte, NC, with Bruce Hornsby sitting in on piano. First up is this excellent Wang Dang Doodle, with Jerry growling the background vocals, and Vince and Bruce playing some nice color on the keys. Next is this rocking Easy Answers , with another fine Garcia solo. Lastly, the first-set closing So Many Roads, with Jerry belting out the finale of the song. This is some great later-era Dead, and holds up very solidly with other good eras.
Check back in next week when we’ll have another busy week in the recorded history of the Grateful Dead. There’ll be some 1973, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1993, and likely a bunch of music in between. Feel free to write with comments, questions or suggestions.
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