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, April 20, 2016

Scarlet-less Fires and Fire-less Scarlets, 1977-1995

Yes, after last year's piece on China>Rider, it's time to tackle Scarlet>Fire. These guys were more like 300+ timers rather than the mammoth 500+ versions of C>R but they still rocked the world of you and I.


Scarlet Begonias on June 9, 1976 was the third song I ever heard the Grateful Dead play (Cold Rain & Snow, Cassidy, Scarlet Begonias, The Music Never Stopped, Crazy Fingers ha!). Fire on the Mountain was just a pump-song to a greatest story and would be taken for a little spin in Chicago later that month (Eyes of the World>Happiness is Drumming>Wharf Rat).  The first 49 Scarlet Begonias sparked, but did not burst into Flame. Maybe because 43 of these were first set Scarlet.

The next time I heard Scarlet on April 23, 1977, it would be different. Jimmy Roux, Cubby, Mike Barr, Tom Fake behind the wheel, and I rode out from Andover after they drove down from Maine and took the Mass Pike out to classic Springfield Civic Center for the first time.

And after a little side detour in the collection unconscious of the time, and meeting the great unknown PA taper Dave Weidner for the first time, we arrived at Scarlet Begonias late in the first set, right after a nice Bobby Beatles Blackbird tease. And then it happened. The third ever Fire. And it was set one magic.We had no clue (and we were picturing ourselves on a boat on river). Back then we did not know about the first two in California and Philly the night before, heaven's no, that was a million miles away in California and Philadelphia. No one told us about the breakout three states away the next before.

The Springfield was the second of only seven first-set Scarlet>Fire pairings (and the only one I ever saw, the others were 3-18-77 Winterland , 5-13-77 Chicago, 5-17-77 Tuscaloosa, AL , 5-21-77 Lakeland, FL, 4-16-78 Huntington, WV and 12-31-78 and a bookend with the Closing of Winterland.

Prehistoric Scarlet Jams, March 23, 1974 Cow Palace to December 31, 1976 Cow Palace 

As an infant, Scarlet Begonias periodically played long and weaves into unfamiliar territory. After debuting over 6:06 at the Cow Place on March 23, 1974 (Dick's Picks 24), on the very next version May 14, 1974 in Missoula (Dave's Picks 9) it made its way into It Must Have Been the Roses, which became a popular pairing in its maiden year. On June 28 at the Boston Garden Sugar Magnolia opened the second set into Scarlet Begonias before eventually ending the set with Sunshine Daydream (Dick's Picks 12). And then there's August 6, 1974 where Playing In the Band>Scarlet>Playing In the Band ended set one in Jersey City (Dick's Picks 31). A stand alone 9:30 Scarlet opening set one of Dick's Picks 7 is another. The last one of the year from Winterland October 19 runs more than 12 minutes and starts off disc two of The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack.

If you notice a pattern here in 1974 (cool Scarlet = official Dead release), then you notice the same thing I see.

In 1976 at my first show June 9 in Boston, the 8:48 version, which is the third song of the show (and the third song of my Grateful Dead career) appears on Road Trips 4:5.

The other 1976 versions that transition in other songs are:

June 11 Boston  Scarlet Begonias>Looks Like Rain, set one

June 15 Beacon   Dancing In The Street > The Wheel> Sugar Magnolia>Scarlet Begonias>Sunshine Daydream  ends set two

July 16 Orpheum  The Music Never Stopped>Scarlet ends set one, and finally the last placement of Scarlet prior to the Golden Years is back to the Cow Palace

December 31 Cow Palace   Sugar Magnolia > Eyes Of The World> Wharf Rat> Drums  > Good Lovin' > Samson And Delilah> Scarlet Begonias> Around And Around>Help On The Way [4:20] > Slipknot! > Not Fade Away > Morning Dew (Live at the Cow Palace official release)

The Golden Years, March 18, 1977 to April 26, 1984 (

Except for the 3-20-77 Winterland where the Scarlet simply ended set one for the last time and the two April Fools (the April 29, 1977 Scarlet>GDTRFB (a must listen from Download Series #1, bonus selection) from the Palladium in NYC  and a wild Scarlet Begonias>Dancin In The Street on April 18, 1978 in Pittsburgh, Scarlet would dance into Fire  every single time it was played until May 8, 1984, when the experimental era began.

Fire on The Mountain also only appeared a three times without its BFF in the Golden Era but each time was with a special and well-known show.

September 16, 1978 Egypt (Rocking the Cradle)      Second set out of Allin Arrageed

November 24, 1978 Capitol Theatre FM Broadcast  Second set out of Allin Arrageed, Jerry loses voice and doesn't sing for weeks.

October 31, 1980 Radio City Music Hall  Closed Circuit TV Show  Drums>Space>Fire

The Experimental Era, May 8, 1984 to August 16, 1991

This lucky seven year period was one of more experimentation of song selection and other usual occurrences in the desert, especially at the beginning in the 1984-1985 period.

Scarlet Begonias>Touch of Grey

This pairing was the first, and most commonly played, Scarlet>Fire Exception
It was played
May 8, 1984 Eugene
June 12, 1984 Red Rocks
June 29, 1984 Cuyahoga Falls  and then moved to a trio
August 30, 1985 Houston
October 28, 1985 Atlanta Fox
March 25, 1986 Philadelphia with Looks Like Rain added to the end

Scarlet Begonias>Touch of Grey>Fire On The Mountain
July 3, 1984 Kansas City
July 13, 1984 Berkeley Greek

the other Exceptions during the Experimental Era were:

March 22, 1985 Hampton   Scarlet>Hell In A Bucket
April 27, 1985 Frost  Scarlet Begonias > Eyes Of The World > GDTRFB> Man Smart
June 22, 1986 Greek  Fire>Samson to open set two which I attended
July 4, 1986 Ruckin Up to Buffalo Set 2 of Cold Rain & Snow-> Fire On The Mountain-> Samson & Delilah*-> The Wheel*-> I Need A Miracle*-> Uncle John's Band-> Drums-> Gimme Some Lovin'-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Turn On Your Love Light
July 24, 1987 Oakland with Dylan which I attended and was my last Scarlet ever  Hell In a Bucket>Scarlet Begonias  (View to the Vault 4)
September 8, 1987 Providence Hell in the Bucket>Fire
September 16, 1987 MSG  Touch of Grey>Scarlet to open show
Septmeber 24, 1987 Philly  Hell>Fire>Drums
November 6, 1987 Kaiser  Hell In a Bucket>Scarlet Begonias
December 30, 1987 Oakland  Standalone Scarlet opens set two
April 7, 1988 Worcester Sugar Magnolia> Scarlet Begonias  > Estimated > Eyes Of The World 
June 22, 1988 Scarlet Begonias > I Will Take You Home > Drums
February 6, 1989 Kaiser Hell In A Bucket > Scarlet Begonias > Looks Like Rain > Terrapin Station
May 27, 1989 Oakland Hell>Fire
June 21, 1989 Mountain View Scarlet>Hell In A Bucket  (Live PPV)
July 18, 1989 East Troy Sugar Magnolia > Scarlet Begonias
October 1, 1989 Mountain View Hell In A Bucket ; Scarlet Begonias ; Man Smart (Woman Smarter) 
October 14, 1989 Brendan Byrne  Foolish Heart>Man Smart>Scarlet Begonias>Truckin'> Drums 
December 6, 1989 Oakland  Scarlet>Sugar Magnolia>Ship of Fools>Terrapin
March 16, 1990 Landover Scarlet>Estimated (official release)
April 3, 1990 Omni Estimated> Scarlet Begonias > Crazy Fingers > Playing In The Band > Drums (official release)
July 16, 1990 Orchard Park Sugar Magnolia > Scarlet Begonias > Man Smart

and the last one and perhaps most beautiful that you hear now.
August 16, 1991 Mountain View
Scarlet Begonias > Victim Or The Crime > Fire On The Mountain

The Endgame, September 4, 1991 to July 2, 1995

The last 38 Scarlet Begonias> Fire On the Mountain, were simply that, a return to the genesis of the pairing, all second set specialties.

During the endgame era, there were three more Scarlet-less Fires with the Boston One being the most special

September 20, 1991  Boston Famous  Help On The Way>Slipknot>Fire on the Mountain

May 27, 1993 Cal Expo Official Release Picasso Moon > Fire > Wave To The Wind

July 3, 1994 Shoreline  Eyes Of the World>Fire>Box Of Rain>Terrapin

My 22 Scarlet Begonias and 21 Fires (and 20 Scarlet>Fires)

01 June 9, 1976  Boston   Scarlet Begonias song 3 set 1
02 April 23, 1977  Springfield  Scarlet>Fire closes set one
03 April 30, 1977    Palladium  Scarlet>Fire>Good Lovin opens set two
04 November 6, 1977 Binghamton  Scarlet>Fire>Good Lovin after Samson Sunrise set two
05 May 11, 1978 Springfield "Mescaline Show" Scarlet>Fire  opens set two
06 September 2, 1978 Giants Stadium "Dick Favorite" Scarlet>Fire  opens set two
07 January 17, 1979 New Haven Scarlet>Fire opens set two. Dead encore Casey Jones and I turn 20
08 May 5, 1979 Baltimore Scarlet>Fire opens set two
09 May 8, 1979 Penn State Scarlet>Fire opens set two
10 May 13, 1979 Portland  Scarlet>Fire opens set two
11 June 28, 1979 Sacramento Scarlet>Fire opens set two   My first California show
12 August 5, 1979 Oakland Scarlet>Fire opens set two   My second Bay Area show
13 May 11, 1980 Portland Scarlet>Fire opens set two
14 December 26, 1980 Oakland Scarlet>Fire opens set two
15 December 31, 1980 Oakland Sugar Magnolia>Scarlet>Fire opens set three right after midnight
16 September 12, 1981 Berkeley Greek Scarlet>Fire opens set two
17 December 26, 1981 Oakland Scarlet>Fire opens set two
18 February 17, 1982 Warfield Scarlet>Fire>Estimated>Eyes opens set two. First SF S>F
19 May 23, 1982 Berkeley Berkeley Greek Scarlet>Fire opens set two
20  December 31, 1984 SF Sugar Magnolia>Scarlet>Fire opens set two
21 June 16, 1985 Berkeley Greek Scarlet>Fire>Samson opens set two. My 20th and Final S>F
22 June 22, 1986 Berkeley Greek  Fire>samosn open set two. Now its 21 Fires and 21 Scarlets :)
23 July 24, 1987  Oakland Dylan show  Hell in a Bucket>Scarlet opens set 2, final score 22 Scarlets and 21 Fires with 20 Scarlet>Fires in there


Unknown said...

Stumbled upon this site recently and am enjoying poking through old posts. I didn't see the Scarlet-less Fire of July 13, 1985 listed. Visible a few miles up PCH from the Ventura venue the hills of Santa Barbara were actually burning (as SOCAL hills are prone to do) so our intrepid musical journalists opened the SAT show with OMSN>FOTM. While still smile-inducing for some the joke was unfortunately overlooked by most of the musical world as some event called LIVE AID greedily attention-hogged the media coverage (although feeding people earns them grace in this instance!). Anyway, keep up the good work and RIP Jerry and Freddie and David and Tom (too many!).

Grateful Seconds said...

Yes, another rare Fire without Scarlet. I know the Ventura one just forget it in this post