Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by JRM, Apr 11, 2014.
Normally have a hard time settling into pre-77 Scarlet Begonias simply because I always miss hearing the transition into Fire. But, listening to DiP 31 from August 74 reminded me how sprightly and open the Scarlets were then. There’s a bounce to the song that carries over into the jam portion that is really satisfying. This can also be seen/heard in the GD Movie from 74, but I believe it’s only on the bonus disc, which just happens to be some of my favorite Dead.
Anyways, I remember buying DiP 31 about 10 years ago and really enjoying the hell out of it. Great release. Great.
Aquarium Drunkard was kind enough to reprint this article I wrote back in 2012. Some of you may find it relatable!
Boots In Transit: An Appreciation of the Dead on Cassette : Aquarium Drunkard
Thanks for sharing this!
How about @warewolf95 Did he live at the same time as Jerry?
Awesome! Heatless hesher brat...I still might have some tapes in a box at my parents' house...
After listening through Dick's 28 (2/26 and 2/28/73), Dave's 16 (3/28/73), and Dave's 21 (4/2/73) -- all of which were unfamiliar to me -- I have to say I'm less certain than ever whether 72, 73, or 74 is ultimately my favorite year for Grateful Dead music. Glad I don't have to choose!
There's just so much to like in these shows. The two Dave's Picks, in particular, are the sort of releases that, had I heard them years ago, would probably have gotten me more deeply into live GD much sooner. Taken as a pair, they're a fine showcase for the repertoire, and with a few welcome exceptions, they're very song-oriented rather than jam-oriented. (The jams are jams, though -- perhaps "holding back" is what allowed them to go so thoroughly out there on 3/28, ending the show with Dark Star>Eyes>PITB.)
My enjoyment of these spring shows got me thinking about the summer shows from the same year. I got the sense last summer that I was in a small minority of listeners not entirely blown away by the shows in the PNW box. Minus some obvious highlights (good god, the Bird Song) and the general 73-and-74-ness of it all (which, generally speaking, I adore), I had two main takeaways: I vastly preferred fall 73, and I thought Dave's 9 (5/14/74) was better than any of the 74 PNW shows. However:
-- I had just listened to all of the official releases from fall 73.
-- I was frustrated by the experience of needing replacements for a full third of the discs in an expensive (and lovely, but also space-inefficient) box set.
-- I was mystified by the decision to even consider releasing a full show like 5/19/74 when a sizable number of songs are essentially karaoke versions.
It's possible these things clouded my mind a bit. With this in mind, I'll take another look at the 73 PNW shows, constituting as they do the entirety of officially released summer 73 GD (give or take a few stray tracks elsewhere). I'll probably revisit the late Brent-era compilations (Without a Net and So Glad You Made It) first, just to ensure I return to 73 with fresh ears.
Great picture of Bob! Not nearly as 'frazzled' as some of his more recent looks.
Unfortunately Rhino isn't getting any better with the mexican disc problem. Reports in the Woodstock thread about fingerprints and scratches and so forth on the big and very expensive 50th set
There are the Mickey Hart remixes from 2001 or so. Doubtful those would be part of an anniversary box/release, although on the other hand, might be cool to have those 2001 mixes on an actual physical media.
Working my way through the Aug '89 Cal-Expo run. 30 years ago (last week) and all of that.
At this point in time the band is really firing on all cylinders. Especially Garcia! And when Garcia's on, the whole band usually follows.
We get the Sat Nite out of the way early (leaving a conspicuous gap in the encore slot for something even better!). Cold Rain n Snow is solid, and Jerry is clearly having a good night. His singing is crisp and clear, no mumbling on this night! We Can Run - love Brent, but this song just doesn't really do anything ... and Jerry's solo is too short! Stagger Lee - OK now we're getting somewhere! Great version and again Jerry is singing with Gusto! Memphis Blues -- I generally appreciated this one, even if it run a bit long. The song itself is a classic for sure, and the Dead do it justice. Row Jimmy / Let It Grow to close out the first set. Great Jimmy, and again it really just melts off the stage in the Evening Summer Air. Let It Grow is long and jammy.
Overall, solid first set. Perhaps not as exciting at the 11-song 8/4 first set, but quality performances all the same.
The 2nd set is a bit unusual as far as song placement. Fun Hey Pocky Way opener, and then the first real open ended excursion of the evening - a nice jammed out PITB. The set really takes a left turn when Jerry starts kind of country picking and takes the Playin' jam into I Know You Rider! Excellent transition, and quite the unexpected surprise! And this Rider? Hold onto your seatbelts, you're gonna need to be strapped in! Jerry is just playing the crap out of this one, especially the final solo. Major peak here, just killin' it. And the > into Terrapin is exactly that. It actually sounded rehearsed! Imagine that...
Again, solid Terrapin. Jerry is in command. Cool drums > space sequence, though nothing really mind blowing. SOTM works well out of space. TS is good - Jerry is still having fun! And then NFA is another Jerry shred-fest.
And, it was great that Bobby chose to open the show with OMSN, freeing up the encore slot for the Best @US Blues of the summer! (Hyperbole aside, this is a great take. Jerry is just owning it.)
8/5/89 Cal Expo Amphitheatre, Sacramento, CA
I: One More Saturday Night, Cold Rain & Snow, We Can Run, Stagger Lee, Stuck Inside Of Mobile, Row Jimmy, Let It Grow
II: Hey Pocky Way> Playin' In The Band> I Know You Rider> Terrapin Station> Drums> Space> Standing On The Moon> Throwing Stones> Not Fade Away
E: U.S. Blues
Humans haven’t been on the planet for 4543 billion years. The modern human cane to be about 200,000 years ago, so this meme is making the odds a lot lower than they actually were. I still feel lucky though.
Ha! That looks a bit like my dad (may he rest in peace).
Bob and Donna
Isolated Bob Weir guitar from 8-19-1989.
YOU wrote that?! A friend of mine texted the article link to me this morning. Dude, you're like famous and stuff.
To this day 6/22/73 is by far my favorite show from the box but I also like Dave’s 9 (5/14/74) more than 5/17, 5/19 or 5/21/74.
I like Dave’s 9 MUCH more than 5/17/74 and the lack of vocals bother me on the 5/19/74 - plus I think the jam out of Truckin’ is strong but not as great as I thought based on the RAVING I heard about - plus the NFA>GDTRFB also didn’t meet my very high expectations based on the buzz. I do think 5/21/74 is the best of the 74 shows and I’m sure my next pass through will reveal unheard brilliance within the other two 74 shows.
My first pass at 6/26/73 left me feeling little affinity for this show. Months late I tried again and KA POW or WOWZA - that ending jam stuff during set 2!!! - plus a great HCS - plus the 15 minute PITB is another piece of 1973 Dead genius. Sometimes so many short tunes as played so ‘nicely’ yet ‘thinly’ as they did especially in 1973 can wear on me and I need to skip a few tunes here and there. 6/26/73 has a 15 song first set and up until that Playing in the Band, the only thing with any jam at all is a short for the year China Cat (only 8:08 including the Groovy) - unless you want to count a 9:06 Row Jimmy!!!
I still think the 6/24/73 show is an average 1973 show (from what I’ve heard) even with the unique and inspired 27:46 Dark Star.
I think part of the issue with the 73 shows is that the Alligator is not sounding as well as it did in the Spring for whatever reason.
Kind of all minor quibbles as the box overall has met or exceeded all my expectations
Jerry's style of playing was changing during 1973. The sound of the Gator is actually morphing towards the innate sound of the Wolf. And Jerry was spreading things out in Summer '73. But if you want to hear the Gator bite, find the excellent Todd & Kaslow AUD of 1 July 1973 and listen to the China > Rider and Playing In The Band.
Ha! Hardly. But glad it's going around! Thanks for reading.
I appreciate this. As someone with so many releases left to hear for the first time, and in most cases so little prior relevant listening experience to bring to the table, first impressions are all I have to go on. I remember being really surprised by how little I connected with the shows in the PNW box, but I also know how many other factors might influence an initial impression, and not necessarily for the better. I'm looking forward to revisiting the 73s soon.
Regarding that awesome Aquarium Drunkard tape thing - I got on the bus in the late 1990s, so while taping was still definitely a thing, I was fortunate enough to be on a University campus with good internet connections and was able to get in early on what was available over the internet. I did end up getting a few Phish and Dead tapes through "b&p", but the internet was so much easier.
One of my dreams is walking into an out of the way record store or antique center with a box full or tapes and/or an old taper's compendium. Those are two pieces of old Head culture that I would love to find around and miss dearly.
I say this all the time! I've even had dreams in which I find a musty old box of Dead stuff at a Peddler's Mall and the owner of the place is just like "Eh, gimme five bucks for the box, just get it outta here!" My wife thinks I'm crazy.
I'm sure you all haven't been able to sleep wondering, so ...
the answer to yesterday's trivia question:
As far as I can determine, Jerry didn't switch the "30" to "40" in "Ship of Fools" until he was 45 years old. The first instance appears to be Salt Lake City 8-20-87. He did backslide to "30" in at least one later performance (9-12-87), but it was pretty much 40 from there on out ... until he turned 50???
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