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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

My First New Year's Eve 1980: Acoustic Set Plus


35 years ago tonight on December 31, 1980 was my first of six consecutive New Year's Eve Grateful Dead Concert. Also my:

first 3 set show
first acoustic set
first mid-first electric set China/Rider
first Bird Song
first Matt Kelly guest
second John Cippolina guest
first Sug Mag sandwich
first 5th night of 5 night stand
only Ripple and remarkably well documented in audio/visual delights.  My brother Ralph hitched from Colorado (Debbe too?) and I went with Harriet and maybe Johnny M.

I edit this on August 26, 1980 to add a whole new collection from the SF Examiner.












Of course, there is a music vault virtually complete youtube video (mising a few tunes)


And there is also an amazing fan shot video that truly gives the feel of being at and outside the show
Wow. This was a fun night. This exists a Dinosaur opening set, which was the only other time I saw Nicky Hopkins after 1975. This was not the best of my six New Year's, that would occur the next year in 1981, but it was great. I went with my brother Ralph.  Still, it's so incredible that we can watch this show or listen in so many ways. The Bird Song>Ripple is from this show 12-31-80.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

TDIH1980: Grateful Dead Coolest Ever Soundcheck


Well I was there 35 years ago tonight in Oakland. And I enjoyed a nice Let It Grow>Deal , Shakedown, He's Gone>Truckin and even a beautiful China Doll just a little nervous from the fall. But I didn't hear the It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, the To Lay Me Down or the Youngblood ! or the Searchin'. Joani Walker, who I met a few times like 5-3-79 in Charlotte and in Berkeley in 1981-82 got to see it. But not me.

 In fact, I didn't even know about this sound check until about 2008. But it was 35 years ago tonight. Charlie Miller put this up on lossless legs about then.  Archive has it here.



Let's discuss how interesting this is.
1. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, last played 2-24-74 Winterland, and three times in 1972.  There's a beautiful Jerry vocal and a very clear Brent playing. Just beautiful.   The boys would start playing this again in August 1981and I just could not get enough of the 9-12-81 Greek version (but I'd stay clear of the 12-31-81 with Joan).

2. To Lay Me Down, a staple of the acoustic shows since September, but not played electric since 10-19-74 Winterland.  We would hear this acoustic on the next evening on New Year's eve. We would start hearing it electric in March 1981 including a 9-13-81 Greek gem.

3. Youngblood, never played by the Grateful Dead ever, although Bobby played it with Kingflish last on 4-29-76, and would pick it up again with Bobby and the Midnight in January 1981. I saw Bobby at the Keystone Berkeley on 1-26-81 (that's the night I passed out for 5 seconds from some oxygen thing right as Bobby walked passed me, but woke before the Youngblood).

4. Searchin', only played three times, once each in 1969,1970,and on 4-27-71 with the Beach Boys

So rare, I'd say rare. And I was there, probably 300 feet away, outside the door, in the cold and never knew for 28 years this occurred.   Well, happy 35th birthday soundcheck.  Next time, invite us in from the cold.  The songs playing are the complete 12-30-80 soundtrack that is known.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Grateful Dead Sirius Channel Invisible Fourth Line


So I got a new car. And when I turned on Sirius Grateful Dead three minutes later, there it was. TheGrateful Dead Sirius Channel Invisible Fourth Line. Maybe I am late to the game. I recall David Gans and Gary Lambert talking about this a few years back, but I never heard talk of this. My prior car was a 2014 Prius and it had great sound to Sirius but no fourth line. The fourth line rocks! Thank you so much. Thanks to Gary and David and Mel and Howard and anyone else who noticed this whenever and fixed it. Who was John indeed. from Keystone Berkeley 3-6-76 since I couldn't find this Sirius one in the moments I published this.I have included the March 3, 1976 Who was John because the request for Pride of Cucamonga is just too precious.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Hero Named Voodoonola


Grateful Dead video fans have a hero and his name is Voodoonola. Merry Christmas Voodoo.
Here is a link to his Youtube page  (as check Voodoonola2).

When I was a young Deadhead, the first shows I noticed a video feed were the year-end shows at the Oakland Auditorium.  Saw the feed while grabbing a beer during the front of the building to the top on the right in the balcony as looking toward the stage.  Never saw them again. Until the last few years.

Voodoonola has so many videos I can't count that high.  Some of his have been removed (mainly due to the Bill Graham Productions issues, but BCP tend to put them back up on youtube.

One of my new favorites is Duke 1978. Check It out. And say a big Christmas thanks to a Grateful Dead fan's hero. This is the Voodoo New Orleans version from 11-8-1970, a rare treat indeed


Thursday, December 24, 2015

The East-Coast Only I Need A Miracle Sing-A-Long


So there's the great Relisten app for your iphone that makes it very easy to hit any track in any dead tape in the archive. You can even play a random show.  Which I did. And I discovered the great late East-Coast Only I Need A Miracle Sing-A-Long.

Now after I stopped seeing the Grateful Dead on the East Coast after the Lewiston show in 1980, I the only saw the mellow California Dead for the rest of my show-going career.

Take for example, the Oade brothers tape in Berkeley on June 16, 1985.  The Boys surprising hot Miracle after Goin Down The Road Feeling Bad on a nice Sunday afternoon at the Greek (after bringing back Crytical a few minutes earlier for the first time in almost 100 years) and even then the audience is just dancing and doing that California thing.

But only a few months earlier on  March 25, 1985 at the historic Springfield Civic Center, heard the audience scream out.  Then try Philly on April 20, 1984 and countless others. You will see the East Coast loved to sing I Need A Miracle LOUD.  Here's March 31, 1987 that you hear on soundcloud and show some Philly love.





Thursday, December 17, 2015

35 Year Flashback: Part 2 of 4: Springfield and Providence September 1980 where Willis Gets "Confused" and Misses His First Days of College


So, wise Junior Kirk and Senior Dave decided to take Freshman Willis on a little Grateful Dead Field Trip on day two of school.  We told Willis to skip his first few days of classes and come with us; he could tell his professors he "got confused" and couldn't find the classroom and that's why he missed his first classes.

Seeing the Dead and skipping college was in its fourth straight year at Bowdoin, as:

  1. first Jimmy and I were late for freshman year in order to attend Englishtown, New Jersey on September 3, 1977
  2. then late for sophomore year to attend Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on September 2, 1978 (I wonder if Juliet and Michael were skipping school too?)
  3. then headed up the room one night first week to see August Civic Center on September 2, 1979 and
  4. now kidnapped young Freshman Willis to see Springfield September 3 and Providence September 4 of 1980 (Don't worry, the Lewiston story will be in the next post).




Sure enough, we headed off for these two shows.

As you saw in my last post, August 1980  was a filet mignon period for the band.  Also see Archive Dead Forum.  These two shows were the subject of Grateful Dead download series 7 with the Springfield show and the Providence second set filling the 3 CDs whole of downloads.  This was the 2nd of 4 Springfield shows I saw from 1977-1980 that were released, the other being May 11, 1978, the so called "mescaline show".  Funny, I thought 4-23-77 and 1-15-79 were even better shows.  It was a special place.

It's funny because the shows are not as strong, I feel, as the prior shows in August and 9-2, and certainly not as strong as Lewiston which follows in the next post.

Still a fun road trip, and a very groovy and rare for 1980, Supplication>Estimated Prophet.
The True Bucky on archive says it all  This 9-4-80 version is in the background.

Reviewer: The TRUE Bucky - favoritefavorite - November 24, 2013 
Subject: Hangover

Chris really nails it in his comment below. The band was a bit hung over, but who could blame them?

They'd just come off the best, greatest release; the hugest climax they'd had in many a year.

It had started Friday in Philly, with the highlight being a great 2nd set featuring the scorching Let it Grow > He's Gone > TOO. Saturday never touched that but was better from start to finish: hot, hot, hot. Sunday was the best show I'd ever seen ~ until Tuesday's classic Rochester's Aiko > Dew > Mag made all other shows pale in comparison.

So, Springfield was left with the crumbs that fell of the table. But some pretty decent crumbs they were. Halfstep > Franklin's to open & Let it Grow to close the set this week, so how bad can it be? (although this Deal has the distinction of being the very last before the second instrumental was added during the acoustic shows).

The second set has few highlights, but Stranger was one. it's listed at 11 minutes. 11 minutes would be one of the longest ever played. High Time was nice ~ I couldn't help think how it would've done nicely switched with Ship of Fools the previous night.

After that, things just collapse as the band mails it in on fumes. The dreaded appearance on another Lost > St. takes place, and I recall oddly that the 'next song' was truncated during the jam as Jerry hurried to the drums...

Well, after the drums/space, we found out the missing song from after Saint of Circumstance: He's Gone, one of the few times ever in this slot ~ and no big deal, believe me.

After that, we got the Deadhead's worst nightmare circa '80-81: Truckin > Peter > Around & Around...

Johnny B Goode I guess after that. 

The true highlight of the night was watching a cop gather his fellow policemen to watch a tripping kid walk in a circle about 2 feet in diameter... for the entire second set, looking at his feet...as the cops laugh hysterically.

Amazingly, the band was back on top of things next show in Providence and finished off the tour with the legendary concert in Lewiston, Maine 2 days after that on 9/6/80.




Thursday, December 10, 2015

Grateful Dead and Jerry version of NRPS Both Play Beach Boys

Of course, we all know and love the Grateful Dead once-only special guests The Beach Boys on April 27, 1971 at the Fillmore East closing week, but what I didn't know until now (or remember) is that the Jerry Garcia pedal steel version of the New Riders of the Purple Sage
 played "Fun Fun Fun" on both April 25 and April 28 at the same venue. Wow. Enough said.

 They also played at Day In The Green #1 on June 8, 1974, but no such riot there.  In the background is 4-25 and 4-28 Fun Fun Fun's sandwiching the 4-27 Riot
The awesome JGMF discuss New Riders first playing Beach Boys here

Cashbox, April 1, 1972 Issue



You are starting with my favorite track from that April 27 pairing "Riot In Cell Block #9" but stay for both versions of Fun Fun Fun at the back end of the tape.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

35 Year Flashback Part 1 of 4: August 1980

Some of my favorite Grateful Dead shows occurred 35 years in 1980.  The year is known for the acoustic sets but my thoughts today go to the shows a little bit earlier that rocked mighty hard.

Thanks for the 10,000 page views. I am enjoying thinking about my dead history and how it fits in with the band's history.

Let's start with the two weeks from August 16, 1980 through September 2 (highlighted in Dick's Picks 23). This was Brent's second year with the band, and he certainly had no sophomore jitters. The band was a bit experimental, and played a series of consecutive strong shows.

The band had debuted Lost Sailor>Saint of Circumstance in Summer in the Summer of 1979, and had followed it with Althea, Alabama Getaway, the return of China>Rider, and Feel Like a Stranger.  On the heels of the Shakedown songs, the band had a growing portfolio of songs to play strong to close set one and open set two.




Because I was actually a serious student during my senior year at Bowdoin, I only saw the band one time (in Portland, Maine May 11, 1980) in the nearly ten months November 1979 through August 1980, after 18 shows in 1979.  I will pick up the next September shows, which I attended in part 2.

I loved the sound of the band in September, 1980, especially the Lewiston show (wait for part 3) so over the years, I began to sample the August shows, which are so strong too.  Probably because so many people attended the Lewiston show, it might get higher overall Dead fan scores compared to 4,000 or so that saw the shows played in Chicago at the Uptown. And the Midwest Dead shows were rarely considered in the dialogue of the traders of the day, at least in my east coast/west coast group of friends. This probably explains why only the 8-19-80 show is included among the top-20 1980 shows in Deadbase XI. Probably, also is the lack of soundboard recordings of these shows.

Here are the 13 shows for part one:

8-16 Mississippi River Festival, Edwardsville, ILarchive
8-17 Kansas City, MO
8-19,20,21 Up town, Chicago, IL
8-23 Alpine, East Trot, WN  (1st Show there of Twenty!)
8-24 Grand Rapids, MI
8-26 Cleveland, OH
8-27 Pine Knob, Clarkston, MI
8-29,30 Philadelphia Spectrum
8-31 Cap Centre, Landover, MD
9-2 Rochester, NY

I recommend starting with the great Deadlists, moving to 1980, and heading to archive to hear all these shows.  Here are some my seven highlights in the 13 shows.


8-16  CC Rider>China>Rider to open the 2nd set and the Iko>Saturday Night encore

Sometime was in the water in Chicago as all three second sets were seamless (maybe a box set in the future?):

8-19  Rooster (1st since 1965)>China>Rider>Estimated>Eyes>Drums>Playing>Comes A Time>Playing>Around>Alabama

8-20 Greatest>Althea>Sailor>Saint>Terrapin>Drums>NFA>Morning Dew>Good Lovin

8-21 Drums>Uncle John's>Truckin>The Other One>Drums>Wheel>Uncle John's>Sugar Magnolia

8-26 Uncle John's>Playing>Drums>Comes A Time>Sailor>Saint>Casey Jones

8-31 Greatest>Uncle John's>Sailor>Saint>Comes A Time>Truckin'>Drums>The Other One>Stella Blue>Miracle>Good Lovin'

9-2  Estimated>Terrapin>Playing>Drums>Iko>Morning Dew>Sugar Magnolia

The sound you hear in the background is the end of the 8-19 show at the Uptown, but get them all.  Some of this tour is right here.  In the next installment, I go back on tour myself with Willis and Kirk.

right here

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Jim Roux (1959-2001) Annotations to My Grateful Dead Tapes

So Juliet sent back my Grateful Dead tapes last year.  And today, since its Saturday, I plopped in Bluray #2 of Fare Thee Well Friday Night and started looking at my tapes.  There they were, The Jim Roux annotations.   i say Row Jimmy Roux (Bill's favorite song according to his book Deal).

Jimmy Roux was my best friend starting in 3rd grade in 1967 when I moved to Lewiston, Maine and except for two years from 1975-1977 when I went to Andover, we went to school together until 1981.

Jim Roux and Me outside 2816 Fulton St Berkeley CA June 1981
Jim was my Grateful Dead show seatmate in every New England state and New Jersey at at least the following 20 shows:

June 9, 1976 Boston, MA
August 2, 1976 Hartford, CT
April 23, 1977 Springfield, MA
May 7, 1977 Boston, MA
September 3, 1977 Englishtown, NJ
May 5, 1978 Hanover, NH
May 6, 1978 Burlington, VT
May 11, 1978 Springfield, MA
May 14, 1978 Providence, RI
September 2, 1978 Giant's Stadium
November 13, 1978 Boston, MA
November 14, 1978 Boston, MA
January 15, 1979 Springfield, MA
January 18, 1979 Providence, RI
May 13, 1979 Portland, ME
September 2, 1979 August, ME
October 27, 1979 Cape Cod, MA
October 28, 1979 Cape Cos, MA
May 11, 1980 Portland, ME
September 6, 1980 Lewiston, ME

Jim was one of the 2,977 that died on September 11, 2001 when his plane hits the towers (wow, 14 years ago now), but I still feel Jimmy when I go to shows or see Bobby playing Playing In The Band like on on my TV screen right now.

Anyways, when I was looking at my tapes just now, I began to see the Jim Roux comments that he wrote on my tapes back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  I recall many of these (such as the Estimated Prophet from May 4, 1977 at the Palladium which Chris Spanos loved too) , but today I discover only two which I present here

My Tapes As They Exist in 2015

It looks like Jim really liked the They Love Each Other from Egypt 1978 from his comments below:


And of course, Jim was a fan of the Slipknot at our April 23, 1977 show in Springfield, MA


Here's to my buddy Jim Roux, who I will see in another 25 years or so up there and listen to some more shows.



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December 1971: A Forgotten Pinnacle of the Grateful Dead's Career

Hi David. It's me again with a suggestion for a Dave's Pick or Box Set release. It's December, 1971.
Yes, every once in a while, I blog here about shows that are not my own. I was only 12 then, soon to be 13. But, there is a  wrong that needs to be righted. It's 1971 and it can easily sell 15,000 CDs.
(January 2017 edit, thanks David for Dave's Pick 22, December 7, 1971 Felt Forum! and Dec 2017 edit, thanks for 12-14-71!)


















There is a great resource for Dead Heads at deaddisc.com.  Today, I double checked and saw that the only official release from this month is two tracks from New Year's Eve at Winterland of Jam>Black Peter. http://www.deaddisc.com/disc/Closing_Of_Winterland_Bonus_CD.htm  This appears in a very rare bonus disc to the Winterland Closing 1978 DVD or CD, so basically nothing has been officially released from a very high point of the Grateful Dead's career.  This might be a bigger omission than the Berkeley Greek shows void (My Berkeley Plea).

What is special about the 11 shows (there's that number again) in December 1971 is the New Riders opening act, the energy of the performances, the great sounding FM broadcasts (covered so well here at Lost Live Dead), and the first two weeks that paired Pigpen with Keith.  Let's look at the possibilities.

December 1-2  Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA

Living The Dead

Harvard Crimson

To begin with, the presence of police set a bitter tone for the evening. A dose burly officer flanked the usher at the entrance of the Music Hall, eyeing suspicious types and confiscating unspeakable amounts of liquor. Smiling benignly at the pile of contraband, one officer quipped, "What do you kids want to bring booze to a wake for? This is the Grateful Dead, don't you know?" Very strange.
The week before the concert Pete Seeger (of all people) wrote a very sagacious piece in the New York Times. He said, in brief, that one of this country's biggest problems is that it survives on a diet of a handful of artists and two hundred million television sets. The increasing mechanization of society, he asserted, has engendered a sense of creative sterility (but surely not impotence) through all strata of comfortable America.
Thus it was with considerable pleasure that I anticipated last week's evening with the Dead. They are, in my view, consummate rock and roll artists. An advised use of the term "artist". The components of the particular musical magic which that band works over its following has long been the subject of zestful speculation. I've often wondered that popular recognition was accorded to the group only following the 1970 release of Workingman's Dead. The finest, and also most innovative body of their work is to be found in the four albums preceding.
The group went through the drug involvement, which has now become a rather trite metaphor for Middle American adolescence. Led by Jerry Garcia, an itinerant Berkeley banjo player, they began expanding on the poems of Robert Hunter, weaving exotic musical tapestries of unprecedented grace. Garcia soared in front of the band with melodic inventions of overpowering purity and beauty. The subtlety of jazz extempore had been wedded to the sexual electricity of rock and roll.
They played with the frenzied amphetamine energy of post-Savio Berkeley. The Dead, along with the Airplane and Quicksilver, beat the rhythms for Kesey, Brautigan and Co., those self-conscious saviors of the Western mind. Yet the music was always theirs alone, and through it all they maintained a musical identity distinct from the political stamp which eventually blotted out any trace of individuality among the so-called Volunteers of America.
From the beginning a rousing dance band, they eventually expanded their style experimenting with pure electrical sound and adding a second drummer into the group. The two drummers were to become a much initiated rock convention, most effectively exploited by Carlos Santana and the late Duane Allman. The Dead throbbed with a will to create and their second album was an endeavor unpretentiously titled Anthem of the Sun. And if you don't think that that work is a genuinely artistic statement--a portrait of the energy source of both nature's world and (excuse the philosophic indulgence) the world of the soul I'd advise you to listen to it again.
The work is little short of a 20th Century Odyssey, with every conceivable metaphoric cultural transformation. The most striking of which is perhaps from the Homeric balladeer to an eclectic, electric band of gypsies. Listen to the story of Casady, Kesey and the Merry Pranksters on their transcontinental trip--set into a musical creation of elegant turbulence. Most important, the music, Listen. They don't just play it. They create it. Give birth. And the musical communication involved is ineffably complex.
Live Dead carried this disciplined freedom to its logical conclusion. The group presented four sides of music, each bearing an original composition. The most advanced piece, "Dark Star", is the Dead's crowning achievement. A cogent critique of the work will doubtless be the subject of future music scholarship, yet I hesitate to leave you with a mere assurance that it is an exceedingly far out piece of music.
The melodic ideas of Anthem achieve lyrical fruition in "Dark Star." While Anthem bespeaks the darkest underbelly of the acid experience, "Dark Star" is a polished gem of intergalactic proportions. The Dead has clearly made a significant transition in their relationship with drugs. Merely in poetic terms, consider the relationship of the Sun in the Anthem album to the portrait of a "Dark Star." Contrast the frenetic percussion work of Hart and Kreutzmann on "Caution" and Anthem to the brilliantly subtle and suggestive use of gongs, bells, cymbals on the later effort. Try "Alligator", a piece of unabashed musical sarcasm complete with a three-part kazoo introduction, on which Garcia's guitar solos are mocking and derisive. "Dark Star", however, displays a tone of ethereal coldness and humility. For twenty minutes, Garcia, Wier, Lesh, and Constantine weave in and out of each other, building harmonic bridges over acid rivers designed by mad chemist Stan Owsley. An invitation for the future:
Shall we go, you and I, while we can
Through the transitive night fall of diamonds
Simply as a matter of intellectual speculation, one might postulate a similar development in the work of the Airplane: progressing from the vibrant newness of Surrealistic Pillow to the unrefined energy of Baxter's (sample "A Small Package....") to the fourth dimensional perspective of Crown of Creation with Grace beckoning:
Come with me my friend,
Come on now and take my hand,
You can be my friend,
Soon we'll be in another country.
After Live Dead, however, there was a curious turn in the Dead's style. Tom Constantine, one of the strong forces of musical experiment, left the group. Their next albums, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, were pleasant indulgences paralleling the post-Wood stock "back to the country" bulls being issued by the Papacy of hip AM radio and sundry rock publications. Indeed, with "Uncle John's Band", the Dead had something distressingly close to a hit. A non sequitur for many.
And there was a concomitant adjustment in the Dead's following. They were now a real popular group, a "people's band." Their shift to a terse country format made the music accessible to everyone, not merely that weird enough to sit enraptured by sixty-minute musical explorations of inner space. The bovinization of the Grateful Dead; Nietzsche would love it.
Dead concerts, once a revered institution, underwent similar changes. The fabled rapport between the group and there fans (and Owsley) was no longer in evidence. Jerry Garcia once said, "The perfect Dead concert would be one in which everyone is onstage playing." (That, I would suggest, is much more to the heart of the notion of "Art for the People" than free, passive enjoyment of the creative efforts of a few.) Unfortunately, the People made the band into unreachable objects of adulation. They were heroes of the media, the center of as much creative energy as applause can ever represent. The Social Contract of the Woodstock Generation read: "You create the music and we'll get stoned."
And so I was wondering how the Dead has reacted to it all. I went to the Music Hall eager for some sort of statement from what many consider to be the foremost artistic personalities of our generation. I have always been fascinated by the fact that for some reason (ostensibly because of the political connotations of the art form), rock musicians have never been considered genuine artists--of the same order as a Casals, a Picasso, a Rubinstein, or (God forbid) a Beethoven or a Bach. Yet I would suggest that the work of the Dead compare favorably with the work of any of these. Listen to the early recordings. For the last six years, every concert something else--a musical manifestation of a unique juncture in time and space, with thematic relevance to all others. Not only were they creative, but each (with Pigpen standing at the side guzzling beer or reaching for his harp) a technical virtuoso. And just exactly why can't one be considered a virtuoso on the electric guitar or bass? (Just check out any of Jimi Hendrix's last albums for the word on encompassing the creative possibilities of a particular instrument). They made it up as they went along, and it came out beautiful.
The last four times I've gone to the symphony I've pined in my seat wistfully hoping for an original and not simply creatively interpretive (whatever that means) statement from the orchestra. Could you get into a tape of a jam featuring Beethoven, Bach, and Brahms, just to see what they might have come up with, had they ever gotten it on together?
So when I went to hear what the band (a term used with the greatest affection) had to say this time around, I came away quite disappointed. I was particularly saddened by the degree to which the extraordinarily creative can become alienated from a mindless following. Pete Seeger said it with just a bit more patience. (One wonders exactly how Wagner might have looked at Nietzsche when it was all over.)
The first thing that became apparent was that the New Riders of the Purple Sage have no business on a stage with the Grateful Dead. They are a very neat group within the limitations of tight, well-rehearsed material. But I would be reticent about endeavoring to present any of my own compositions as back up at a Bob Dylan concert. Unfortunately for Marmaduke et al. (Garcia was sorely missed on pedal steel), when they put their musical cards on the table, they simply did not have the hand. Only once did they attempt to break out of the dreary cowboy framework that shackled their entire presentation, and then they found themselves unable to extend their creative instrumentation beyond the solitary musical idea that constituted their two-minute jam.
The Dead followed them, complete with a new piano player, Keith Godcheaux, who fitted into the band quite comfortably. The crowd was wrecked, on their feet, and screaming with unbounded enthusiasm before the first number. They were here to have a good time regardless of what came out of the performance. There were faint echoes of prepared laughter like the canned hysteria of television comedy. Significantly, the concert hadn't started yet because of a Dead equipment failure. Weir and Leash took the opportunity to make some condescending remarks to the kids, suggesting helpfully that they might amuse themselves by "scratching each others' butts" during the interlude in the entertainment. The show that ensued can only be described as a nominal discharge of the group's concert responsibilities. They played many of the songs off their recent hit album, as the crowd knew and loved them, just like on the record.
There was little attempt at innovation and an air of bitter resignation hung over the performance (which leads me to believe that had Pigpen been featured in Woodstock doing "Lovelight," the Dead might have become Ten Years After three years earlier). The new material was melodically simple and tendentious, as if the band's creative energy had been applauded out of it. The vocal harmonies were, as always, technically impeccable if not particularly enthusiastic. The mood seemed typified by a new work entitled "Knocking' it Up"; a crassly liberal protest song coming from Hunter. There was a righting persuasiveness in Garcia's delivery of the lyrics.
Gotta make it somehow,
On the dreams you still believe,
Got an Empty Cup,
But still knock in' it up.
Only once did the Dead come to life. Late Wednesday evening they did an "Anthem" which opened onto forty minutes of brilliant musical improvisation. The unruly crowd was awed in silence as Godcheaux and Garcia led the band into a coldly crystalline atonal frame of mind. Winding on through "Me and My Uncle," they eventually ended the place by returning to "Anthem." A cathartic ooze slid over the hall, exactly the kind of communal satisfaction that follows the successful completion of any artistic whole. Renewal. Too bad that the Dead slipped back into a perfunctory closing of the concert.
The other highlight of the visit was a tape the group had played during the intermission. It featured piercing guitar feedback and cavernous waves of applause. For twenty minutes. Barren of thought, grating, annoying--and after a while maddening. Nietzsche once wrote. "The voice of disappointment: I listened for an echo; but heard nothing but praise."
I'm not sure what to make of Jerry Garcia's reported comment that he dreamt of taking the Dead to sea in a large boat and playing endlessly for their friends. It would be too bad, but I wouldn't blame them










December 4-7 Felt Forum at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

December 9-10 Fox Theater, St Louis, MO

December 14-15 Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor, MI



December 31 Winterland Arena San Francisco, CA

Four cities that loved the Dead, Boston, New York, St Louis and SF, and a great two night stand up at the University of Michigan. How about Dave, a nice 30 CD set of December 1971?

After Keith's debut, sans Pigpen, on October 19, 1971 in Minneapolis, the Dead embarked on an 18 show tour ending on November 20th at UCLA. We saw some shows as:

Oct 21, 1971 10 live songs Dave's Picks Volume 3, Grateful Dead, 2012
Oct 22, 1971 Live Dave's Picks Volume 3, Grateful Dead, 2012
Oct 26, 1971 Live Download Series, Vol. 3: 10/26/71, Grateful Dead, 2005
Oct 31, 1971 Live Dick's Picks, Vol. 2, Grateful Dead, 1995
Nov 14, 1971 9 live songs Road Trips: Vol 3, No 2: Austin, Nov 15, 1971 Bonus CD, Grateful Dead, 2010
Nov 15, 1971 Live Road Trips: Vol 3, No 2: Austin, Nov 15, 1971, Grateful Dead, 2010

Pretty choice stuff for a debut tour of a new keyboard player, but Keith hit the grown running. I saw an online poll yesterday of best Dead keyboardest and Keith finished behind Brent and Pigpwn with 15% of the vote. Crazy, I think. Keith was the bomb from 1971 through 1977. No question, hands down the spark and the best keyboard player from the start. Listen to the Charlie Miller SBDs of his first shows that came out over the oast few years, or any of these releases above, especially Halloween 1971. These shows are priceless. But December is even better.

I know, deadbase 11 reviewers, April 71 at the Fillmore, the 2-18 breakout show with the beautiful jam, the Fillmore West closing 7-2 and The Harding on 11-7 are awesome shows, but I can not agree with those that place the December shows so low in the rankings. From Deadbase 50, page 651:



My six top moments of December, 1971

6. December 1 at the Boston Music Hall

Set Two: Pigpen returns after missing a few months with a swell Big Boss Man and the Dead follow with a Crytical>drums>The Other One>Me & My Uncle>The Other One.  deadlists.com comments that The Other One is comprised of " { theme [2:41] spacey jam [1:00] space [0:44] spacey jam [0:33] space [0:28] Jam [2:14] theme [0:34] verse 1 [0:37] theme [0:34] spacey Jam [0:44] space [3:59] } (2) { theme [1:22] space [3:47] spacey Jam [0:50] Jam [1:11] theme [0:51] verse 2 [0:38] outro [0:12] }"

5. December 31 at Winterland

Rare Dancing In The Street opener (only one between 1970 and 1976 revival), and nice Truckin>Other one jam>Me & My Uncle>The Other One followed by Jam>Black Peter to Open Set Two.

4. December 15 Ann Arbor

Awesome recordings, well played, super spooky six minute Playing In The Band ,another of the first class Pigpen Run Rudolph Run, a Dark Star>Deal that opens the second set, and a Pigpen extravaganza that deadlists calls " Turn On Your Lovelight [10:44] > I'm A King Bee [1:38] > I'm A Man [2:07] > Turn On Your Lovelight [1:06] > Two Trains Running (1) [0:16] > Turn On Your Lovelight (1) [2:50#]"


3. December 4 has a once only jam that surrounds The Other One with the cowboy songs

Me & My Uncle>The Other One>Mexicali Blues>The Other One>Wharf Rat

2. December 10 in St Louis at The Fox has a world class set two

Good Lovin'
Brokedown Palace
Playing In The Band
Run Rudolph Run
Deal
Sugar Magnolia
Comes A Time
Truckin' > Drums > The Other One> Sittin' On Top Of The World > The Other One > Not Fade Away > Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad(with China Cat Tease) > Not Fade Away


1. December 5 improves upon that with my favorite show of 1971. The Charlie Miller SBD that is included in the music section is 210 minutes of pure Dead bliss.  You can get that FLAC in the music section as always. You are now hearing the crunchy pre-SBD which I like just as well.  Maybe I love this show so much is that I originally heard part of it on a great sounding bootleg record I bought in 1975 or 1976 in one of those indie record shops down some steps in Cambridge, MA near Harvard Square.  The cover is that shot of Jerry you see in the soundcloud photo.

This is just such a great sounding show with great FM commentary, and maybe the second best Bill Graham introduction (after August 13, 1975.  Muddy Waters should have been played more than this time. The second set Dark Star Jam (no lyrics at all) weaved into Me and My Uncle and Sitting On Top of The World is sublime. Get the Flac.

For those of you that have made it all the way here, I have an early Christmas presents. It's all eleven shows. Note the December 5 mps are the crunchy one, and the Flac is the Charlie Miller.