Week of March 5-11
March was always such a fun time to see the band on the East Coast, as the weather was often beginning to warm, but you could also get hit with massive snowstorms (did anyone drive overnight from Hartford to Hamilton immediately after the 3/19/90 show?). Regardless of the weather, there were some mighty shows played during the week of March 5-11, a few of which are preserved on tape in the vault.
First up this week is a sampling of the tremendous March, 1981 shows at Madison Square Garden, recorded to cassette. From the first night, March 9, a few highlights from the first set include this electric Deep Elem Blues and this powerful Bird Song. As great at 3/9/81 was, it was followed by perhaps an even better show, on 3/10, featuring this outstanding Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain combination to open the second set, with a double encore of Satisfaction>Brokedown Palace, with Bobby at his rocking and rollingest best on the former, and a gentle goodnight with the latter.
In 1993, the band would roll into Rosemont, IL, for three nights on March 9-11, and from those shows, the first-set closing Eternity>Liberty on 3/9/93 is one of the many highlights of those shows. The then-new Eternity was a really terrific addition to the repertoire, as it added an element of spaciness and improvisation to the first sets, previously the territory, almost exclusively, of Bird Song, Feel Like A Stranger, Shakedown Street and the occasional Halp>Slip>Franklin’s. Liberty was always a fun song to hear, and this version is filled with emotion and inspired playing from Jerry and Co. Drawn from the DAT masters from the PA feed.
In 1995, just before embarking upon the Spring Tour, the band spent a couple of days rehearsing, and amongst the music played during these practices, was this one-time-only version of John Lennon’s Watching The Wheels from 3/7/95. Sung by Vince, it is a beautiful little rendition of this great song. Also from the same date and same vocalist is this reading of It’s All Too Much, which would be debuted live by the Grateful Dead a little more than a week later in Philadephia. Worth noting is that in the middle of this rehearsal version of It's All Too Much, Vince sings a line from the song Sorrow, a hit in the UK in 1966 by the Merseys, later covered by David Bowie on his 1973 all-covers album, Pinups. The Beatles, of course, had also borrowed this line in their version of It's All Too Much.
Also, a few choice selections and requests for this week: From June 12, 1976 in Boston, here is a stand-alone The Wheel that has that unique flowing 1976 sound. Also from 1976, here is a nice rendition of Cassidy from the Orpheum on 7/13/76. Lastly, a trio of rehearsal songs from 8/22/82, just days before the Veneta, Oregon show on 8/28/82: West L.A. Fadeaway, Keep Your Day Job and Dupree’s Diamond Blues. These first two songs would be debuted live at the Veneta show, and Dupree’s would be reintroduced to the repertoire after a 4 year absence.
Make sure to check back next Monday when we’ll hear some music from 1966, 1971, 1977, 1990, 1991, 1995, and possibly a few other choice bits from the vault. Feel free to get in touch with comments or questions. Your input is always appreciated.
vault [at] dead.net