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

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Best of the My Unreleased 1977 Shows

In 1976, at 17, I saw 3 Grateful Shows. At 18, like Janis Ian at 17, I learned the truth.

I was lucky, these are my 1977 Grateful Dead shows:

Phillips Academy Saturday's Escapes

April 23, 1977
May 7, 1977

Bowdoin College, Freshman Year 

November 6, 1977

Notice something interesting about the three shows that were not officially released? I do.

They are probably better shows than the five released shows I saw.
In my opinion, they are on-par, at least, with the 27 shows that have been released

I present to year the 28th, 29th, and 30th best shows of the year.

Springfield 4-23-1977 Flac
Boston 5-7-1977 Flac
Binghamton 11-6-1977 Flac
On Stage, Boston Garden, May 7, 1977

Oh my God. These shows are the bomb.  let's sample some Reviews:

Here is the well written Grateful Dead Listening in 2008

Here we have a stand out show from the Spring. Great copies of this show have stood the test of time very well. There are two masters up on now. I've opted with the Jerry Moore recording here. You will not be disappointed.

This show has just the third performance of Fire On The Mountain, and it is wonderful. The Dead are locked in to this new groove, and clearly feeding off of the energy of all the new material. Sticky syncopations and that psychedelic shuffle-slip-n-slide prevail. Jerry is dipping deeply into the creative well again and again. Just when you think he's turned a last corner, he hasn't, and you can only smile along for the ride.

Read more:

From Archive.Org

Reviewer: musicphotos77 -  - February 14, 2013 
Subject: the great start of the best GD tour you have to LOVE THIS SHOW!!

I was at this show, and it still remains the favorite of the 70 shows I saw between 1973 -1995....Then out of NOWHERE comes a quick 1-2-3 drum beat, and SCARLET BEGONIAS !! Often I think one can judge the quality of a show not just by the songs that are played, and how well they are played, but WHEN the songs are played! A rousing Scarlet into the first (for many of us) Fire on the Mountain to end the first set- set this crowd 'on fire' and we were pumped up for a great second set. 
Which led off with another new song, Estimated, we knew this song would be a 'keeper!' Then we kicked up the tempo again with Bertha (which in my mind became the 'theme' song for this special spring tour), nice vocal harmonies from Donna & Bobby. This up beat tempo 'never stopped' throughout this entire second set, which I never would find duplicated at any other show! Listen to this set and you will agree!! The Music Never Stopped kicked up the energy level again, and the crowd kept the tempo going with energetic clapping, and the band kept it going with Help / Slip/ Franklin's, and even though we did not think we could be any more pumped up, this Franklins Tower totally put us up into a frenzied level that only the GD at their best could do!! Not to be outdone Bobby picked another rocker, Around & Around, followed by GDTRFB, WHICH KICKED OUR BUTTS EVEN MORE and Not Fade Away. A slow Jerry encore? No way, it being Sat. night we rocked out of town with OMSN. Over they years to follow I would see many great shows, but never did I hear the band sustain such energy over the entire evening, especially during the second set.
every spring around this date I play my cassette copy of this in my car, nuthin left to do but smile smile smile.........!

Then There is Boston, 500,000 Archive downloads.

Half Step->Big River. Music. Never, Stopped.  Terrapin. Eyes->The Wheel->Wharf Rat. Alot of people think better than Cornell (which has one song officially releases called Dancing In The Street

Reviewer: Mind Wondrin -  - January 29, 2015 
Subject: 1st show of trilogy, always compared to 2nd
Where's those time machines they promised us by 2010 back in 1970? If they existed how many people do you think would be hoping for a miracle outside this show?

What a show for which to have a Bertha source (let alone an Eaton AND a Miller!) - first night of The Holy Trilogy. ...This show is the one (of the three) with the equipment problems that causes large gaps between songs. This hurts the flow and therefore the energy compared to Barton and War/Buff. If that weren't the case, this might have been a better show overall than Barton. But it would have been too hot, spinning the planet onto a new plane of existence (so we're probably lucky in that respect). 

The streak from Peggy-O to MNS is one of the greatest in the giant history of the band. There is no equal to this MNS, it's just A+. There's no better Samson, though there are a dozen that tie.

Reviewer: RFKROX -  - February 20, 2008 
Subject: Best show of 1977!

Anyone that gives this show less than 5 stars needs to have their head examined!!...Now for the show… First of all, forget about the equipment repairs that last several minutes in between some of the songs. They only helped the perfection of this awesome concert, as well. When you burn your _vbr.mp3’s to disk, you don’t have to burn the equipment repair fillers, anyway. The 1st set is as good as any 1st set I’ve heard. Bertha – Cassidy – Deal – Jack Straw is smokin’! Peggy-O is definitely a top-3 of all time, and New Minglewood Blue sounds better than the Barton Hall version, without a doubt!

Now we get to Mississippi Half-Step. Another user stated he thought the best Half-Steps were from ’80 and ’81 until he heard this one. I couldn’t echo that any more! This Half-Step is without a doubt, the fucking bomb!! I have “NEVER” heard Garcia’s guitar transcend my mind like it does on this song! Absolutely, breathtaking! If anyone can find a better Half-Step, then I’d sure like to know! It actually reminds me of Jerry’s guitar on the Dark Star from “Live Dead”. It’s that good, folks!! Big River, Jed and TMNS round out the 1st set, that just doesn’t let up!

And the 2nd set is about as good as I’ve heard for a 2nd set. Terrapin into Sampson just blows me away! Friend of the Devil and Estimated Prophet will have you jammin’ no matter what you are doing. Eyes of the World is very good and Drums is not drawn out, but Eyes is certainly not a top-10. However, The Wheel leading into a 15-1/2 minute Wharf Rat is ridiculous and one for the ages! Around and Around is solid, but the U.S. Blues culminates this show into a top-5 show of all time, IMHO. By the way, Jerry breaks a string before U.S. Blues, but fixes it before the finale.
Go listen to Barton Hall, and then listen to Boston Garden. If the 5/7 Boston Garden had a version of Scarlet > Fire from the 5/8 Barton Hall show added to the 2nd set, then this Boston Garden show may have been the best show of all-time! Definitely would have been the best show in 1977. If they only could have played Good Lovin’ after Bertha before Cassidy! OMG!! Can you imagine that??

Danny from Northern Virginia outside of Washington, D.C.
East-Coast Deadhead

And then don't forget 11-6-77 Sunday night in Binghamton. I only have two eords for you  Truck. In'.

Reviewer: PFflyerkid - - January 2, 2009
Subject: Moments of greatness
Like many, had this last show of tour tape soon after and to this day still listen to some of the finer moments of this show.
The Half-Step is truly a great one IMHO with Boston and Englishtown in the same league (w/ the later two topping this one). 1977 was a kind year for Half-Step and I find that certain vintage years of each song have higher merits than others. I like the early '79 NYC/Philly Jack Straw's, and think '79 was the peak Jack year more than any '77, but this is surely a super strong effort for the year.

The Music Never Stopped had a bunch of can't-miss rockin' renditions from the '77-'78 era and this one certainly doesn't disappoint. What made this song special was that it was such an easy, free-wheelin', upbeat jam for anyone to follow and The Dead delivered these a dime a dozen. Jerry pops this one at the 5:15 mark, lays out a great solo, switches to rhythm, scrambles it and the band rejoins. Actually, hearing this on headphones, and better quality here, Keith is clearly out of sync near the end (sadly, the same much more obvious in the final bars of Truckin' but he does make it into the fold).

I have to agree w/ others that this Scarlett/Fire has never been at the top of my list either. Maybe it's the slow opening pace or the fact that Jerry barely plays the first section. His first solo and lilting notes around the 4:15 mark are nice but much of the work through Donna's thing he's awol. This Scarlett transition is an acquired taste for those that like a less-is more-approach. The band lets this version breathe and subtle would be an apt description. Hard to say much about Fire except there are a lot of verse flubs in both main Jerry sections. Jerry wah-wahs his way through the first solo nicely, and makes up for the flubs in the second, peaking around the 8:30 mark before they bail back to Scarlett.

Besides the Half-Step, "side 2" of the second set tape was what this show was always all about, especially when I was a budding 'Head. Sure, Jerry noodles and drifts for ideas a bit during St Stephen but the NFA gets the syncopation goin' and Jerry plays hard strings low on the fret board for quite a bit. They decide against Truckin' next and climb into a Wharf Rat that yields a jam not to be missed post 7:00 mark. Certainly one of my personal fave versions.

If you haven't heard the last 5 minutes of this version of Truckin' probably need to. Jerry fires off riffs against the bands rhythm all the way to the end until they all come together. If you were in attendence (not I)I think it would be so obvious you were witnessing jaw-dropping greatness.

April 23, 1977 is this Scarlet Fire, my first

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