Garcia said “We were great for seconds on end.” I was lucky to see Jerry play for about 1,000,000 seconds exactly. Thanks for your 1,000,000 views here . Dave Davis wrote this blog for 500 posts and 5 years from 2015 to 2019. Contact me at twitter @gratefulseconds

Monday, February 23, 2015

Springfield Shakes: I Need A Miracle -> Shakedown Street 1-15-79

No Words Necessary Here
Just Primo Dead
Best Song Transition Ever  A crazy start to set two and boom I Need A Miracle>Shakedown Street
right at ya  

As Deadlistening Guide says You will hear lots of folks waxing about the set two opening Miracle>Shakedown. It is as fun and unexpected as it looks on paper

Read more:
And the famous  Rob Bleetstein took these photos xoxoxoxo.

Springfield offered the band and the movie at
 the same time

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Grateful Dead in Marin on Halloween 1983: Show 65 After I Got Older, Losing My Hair

So 1983 was kind of blah for the Dead. It was my 7th year of seeing the Dead. Jerry voice was beginning to get that too many smokes-too much persian drag, and for someone who saw so many great shows, it was a letdown. I let local shows go by.  I hadn't even seen a show since Etta James played with the boys on New Year's Eve 1982, which was so enjoyable to see the breakout of so many old Pigpen songs after nearly 10 years and 5-13-83 at the Greek.
Craig MacLean Circa 1983; Current in Brasil on Route to Chicago

I was working at a wine warehouse periodically near where the Giants baseball stadium is today, but what was no man's land in 1983, when Craig MacLean, a very good friend of all the Davis clan from the Bates College/Lewiston Maine scene what had gotten me said job for most of 1983 came to me one Halloween morning with an extra one of these tickets. I said yes, even though the price may have been a high $15 and thought it would be fun to see the boys again.

We I got there I couldn't believe how small the venue was.  And after 64 shows and a long ,long hiatus from the band, I was able to see was the second highest rated show for 1983 according to Deadbase XI

I guess it was a good time to take a break. I believe Chris MacLean, Craig's cousin and my brother Ralph Davis were with us at the show.   Seeing so many shows, more than 10 a year on average from 1977 to 1982, I hardly ever saw new Dead breakouts for me, but this show was filled with them

Wang Dang Doodle (what's this thing?) into My Brother Esau. Never had heard neither. And I didn't appreciate Esau until Bobby played it with The National at TRI, Still a cool opening in front of about 3000 people even from Dress Circle Right Row 23.

My Stub in 2015

And the rest of the first was well played, just hard on Jerry's vocals I recall. Then set two
They opened with Help On The Way-> Slipknot -> Franklin's.  Now this is my 65th show since 6-9-76 and only the second time I heard the Dead play this medley. They played it on 4-23-77 at my 4th show, and then I waited 61 shows for it to reappear again.  After they retired it on the Fall of 1977, they hadn't returned to until 1983. But I never saw it again.  Again, based on the shows I had seen when Jerry had his perfect voice, Help is but hard on my ears, So My first GratefulSeconds for you tonight is a little tune called Slipknot.

Slipknot FLAC 10-31-83

A bit later  Airto Moreira hangs with the gang for drums and spaces and adds some vocals to the usual instrumental portion.  Oh yea, this is also the last St Stephen. But i saw it 6-9-76, 4-30-77 and 11-6-77, so I was good.They also played Revolution for the encore. So song selection was top rate for me. And kept me in the game to see shows somewhat more regular for four more years  Thanks Craig.
Space with Airto 10-31-83
Mp3 plus

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sneaking Out Of An Andover Dorm to See Jerry Garcia And The Dead, 1975-1977

I went to Andover for prep school between September 1975 and June 1977.  PA bred deadheads. There was Peter Warren, Lundy Bancroft, Grey Wicker , Steve Clinkenbeard, Ed Hill, Chris Spanos and maybe 100 more.  When we were seniors and the school opened a bar for us (read that sentence again!), we used to play Dead bootlegs like Make Believe Ballroom and get semi-drunk before signing in to our dorms (see Bucky and friends below).  I was a low profile Deadhead entering in my Upper year (they call that Junior in most high schools) and I had a radio show on WPAA at 6am once a week where I think I played the Dead, hot Tuna, New Riders etc.

My Yearbook photo 1977 returning from WPAA
Bucky, who lived on my floor 1975-76

There were three that followed from Andover to Bowdoin, me, Span and Kenyan Ambassor to US,Elkanah Odembo former know as Eli Absalom
I remember seeing Steve and Pammy down at Brown and at Dead shows when I visited friends in Providence around 1978

In the Fall of 1975, we had a sign in sheet where I had to be back in West Quad North's Bancroft Hall Bishop North if I recall by 10pm during the week. This allowed me to see the Early Show of concerts in Boston, which I learned about by listening to WBCN and reading the Boston Phoenix.  I recall the night The Who were playing the Garden and their reporter called in excitedly how Keith Moon had passed out and they band had used a fan for the rest of the show. I did this for Jerry Garcia, Neil Young and Bob Dylan in 1975 and 1976 during my Upper Year.

There was a bus right next to the West Quad North cluster that drove right into the Combat Zone in Boston for, I don't recall but maybe $2.00.  And on Friday October 24, 1975, I took that bus and was able to see the first show of The Jerry Garcia Band at the Orpheum Theater, a short walk from the bus terminal.  I need to be back by 10pm, because as I recall it wasn't until I was a Senior that I could sign myself out for the weekend and just go anywhere I want by pretending I was going home for the weekend, I was lucky for my first Dead shows as 6/9 and 6/12 1976 were after I finished my Upper year finals on Wednesday June 9.

It wasn't until Spring Senior Year that I used the "I am going home for the weekend" excuse to Mr Cobb (that's another story) to go see the Dead.  I was able to see four Saturday night Dead shows in 6 weeks (4/23 Springfield, 4/30 New York City, 5/7 Boston and 5/28 Hartford) and even take Cross Country star Emile Zen to that last show and his first.

Today's Grateful Seconds are the first set I ever heard the Jerry Garcia Band play on 10-24-75  This was the brand new Jerry Garcia Band after the Merl and Jerry Show ended their run earlier that year
Someone in management had convinced Jerry to start playing Dead songs for this tour, so JGB had debuted Sugaree the next before and They Love Each Other this night.  I am happy I got to see Nicholas Christian "Nicky" Hopkins play this night, and only this night.  This was a fun little set:

Let It Rock
All By Myself
They Love Each Other (first JGB ever)
It's Too Late
Pig's Boogie
Adams Family Tuning
Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Mystery Train

Today's Grateful Seconds
Rockin Pheumonia mp3

Flac of Rockin

The Gans Soundboard 10-14-75 Early Show flac

for Potpouri

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Welcome to the West Coast: Jerry and Merl In Front of Two Hundred at The Rio 1979-06-08

I saw the Grateful Dead 19 times in 1979 as well as four Jerry shows. And perhaps my favorite show that year was a in a little movie theater in Rodeo California in front of maybe 200 people.

Before I moved to the Bay Area in December 1980, I came west for the first time around June 1, 1979 as my girlfriend Harriet's Dad had given me a summer job in San Francisco at Deans and Homer ( no not Howard and Simpson).

This was a double header for me as I had walked from my office on Pine Street in the Financial District up to city hall to see punk legends The Ramones to play an uncharacteristic daylight noon gig laying 27-songs at lunch outside San Francisco City Hall in the Civic Center district in the warm California Sun.  see for more information on that or Video Ramones before Reconstruction, First SF Friday  If you think there is a huge gap between The dead and The Ramones think again.  KSAN, famous for their Jerry shows (think 1972 with Merl), broadcast this live at noon.

The Dead played three area shows during my summer there, one in Sacramento and the very first two shows at their new home field, the Oakland Auditorium Arena (later Kaiser).  I will get to those shows in the coming weeks.  But luckily for me, I had already seen the Nickey Hopkins version of the Jerry Band in 1975 , the Keith/Donna versions in 1977 and 1978, and now I was seeing the short lived but wonderful Reconstruction for the first of four times.

We drove over from Marin (actually Harriet drives since I didnt get my license until 1981 in Berkeley) and this is the spot. The very cool Brokendown Palace blog has many photos of this place in which is in the middle of nowhere. The very cool Jerry Garcia's Middle Finger blog also writes about this venur and show.

Jerry often used places like this as our of town rehersals.  In fact it took me a long time to figure out which show I went to  (see my facebook conversation below). Luckily some of my friend's recall more.

The second photo is the clip that days Contra Costa Times, which was on the defunct Jerry Site.

 This was such a fun show, my first show ever outside the northeast and just three weeks since the Portland Maine 5-13-79 show (after seeing Brent's first shows on the East from 5-3 to 5-9 (although story, another blog but thanks Bobby Morris and Sam for driving )

Today's Grateful Seconds could be the whole show (which I do attach in mp3, flac to follow) but I'm giving you 397 Grateful Seconds of one of my first Merl vocals on Make It Better. Reconstruction was about 1/4 Merl vocals, 1/4 Ron Stallings (Telling My Friends is lovely) 1/4 Jerry and 1/4 instrumentals.  This show is fun and great, bur the band would hit its stride with the July Keystone shows and when Jerry started playing Dear Prudence. For a 20 year old Kid from Maine to come to the Promise Land and see Jerry and Merl in a movie theater on my first Friday night was mind boggling.  Having a gf with a car was so great too.