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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Scarlet Before The Invention of Fire: 49 Wonderful Nights, March 1974 to February 1977

I bet ya that Scarlet Begonias is the most favorite song of deadheads in history.

Scarlet Begonias was the third song I ever heard the Dead play. It was also only the third song I ever heard the Dead play, and I listened to two beautiful  FLAC recordings of it this morning in my car on the way to work, first the Matrix and then the Road Trips 4.5 Disc One.  My June 9, 1976 version in Boston in the #3 slot in set one had been played on the East Coast at the August 6, 1974 Roosevelt Stadium Show closing Set One in a crazy Playin in the Band>Scarlet Begonias sandwich (the only one of these such animals ever performed). Remember that a Scarlet makes a hot show (see below), 28 times in 1974, 20 in 1976 and 1 in 1977 before Fire. Thanks to deadbase and deadlists for the 411.
Thanks Again Deadbase

Scarlet was a versatile monster as you all know, from one of my all-time popular posts http://www.gratefulseconds.com/2016/04/scarlet-less-fires-and-fire-less.html which this piece is a prequel to.

Some of my Favs and Historic Ones 

First One, on Dick's Picks 24, slightly different look/feel in intro. 


6-16-74 Des Moines, Road Trips 2.3 (notice how Scarlet leads to a dead.net release)
Already Maturing, first real hint of the future.

6-28-74 Boston, First Second Set Version hanging tough in one of the most incredible sets of the 1970's Sugar Magnolia-> Scarlet Begonias, Big River, To Lay Me Down, Me & My Uncle, Row Jimmy, Weather Report Suite Prelude-> Weather Report Suite Part 1-> Let It Grow-> Heaven Help The Fool Jam-> U.S. Blues-> Promised Land-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Sunshine Daydream, E: Ship of Fools


Opens Set One of a Three Set Show plus Seastones at Dillon Stadium Hartford 7-31-74 (day before Jerry's 32th birthday, i would later see day after Jerry's 34th at Colt Park Hartford 8-2-1976. This one is a pretty out-three opening tune. In a famous classic show. I can't believe I haven't written this one up yet 



First double-digit length 8-5-1974 Philly



And the very next night, up the Jersey Pike


June 9, 1976 Boston Music Hall, my first show, 3rd song I ever saw.  This is top-rate.


Roosevelt Stadium, August 4, 1976


Last before Fire: Santa Barbara 2-27-1977





A History of Scarlet before Fire

Note that Deadbase/Archive timing may include between-song times


The First 16


1. 3-23-74 Winterland 4th show of the year Scarlet's first appearance was 7th in the middle of a 15 song set-one, ran for 6:06 (offical release)

2. 5-14-74 Montana, set 1 song 5, first segue as Scarlet Begonias>It Must Have Been the Roses was born, the embryonic predecessor to Scarlet Fire :)    7:19 (2nd offical release)

3. 5-19-74 A quick 4:27 one in Portland. Set 1 song 5

4. 5-21-74 A quick 5:21 one in Seattle. Set 1 song 8, moving later into the set.

5. 5-25-74 Santa Barbara Back to Set 1 song 5, 4:34.

6. 6-8-74 Oakland outdoors Set 1 song 4, 5:24

7. 6-16-74 Famous Iowa show, longest to date Set 1, song 5,  8:08 (3rd offical release in 7 versions!)

8. 6-20-74 Atlanta, Set 1 Song 7, 6:10. 

9. 6-22-74 Miami, Set 1 Song 5, 6:45.

10. 6-26-74 Providence, Set 1, Song 4, 6:47 (offical release, but version on CD is from Boston)

11. 6-28-74 Boston, Set 1 Song 2, first set 2, first song>Scarlet!, Sugar Magnolia>Scarlet admist sull set Sugar Sunshine Sandwich 8:35 (official release, 4th on CD from 11 shows)

12. 6-30-74 Springfield, Scarlet moves deeper  set 2,song 4, 7:52 after a hot China>Rider, Big River

13. 7-19-74 Fresno, back to set 1, a deep number 7 for 8:51, 3 songs before a nearly 30 minute Playing in the Band. (5th version on dead.net release in first lucky 13 shows).

14. 7-21-74, Scarlet hits Hollywood Bowl deep in set one 9 of 10 songs, 6:55.  Before the Invention of Fire, Scarlet would "just feel right" in the penultimate first-set slot, especially in 1976.  Here there was still no clear positioning of the tune, although, it was trending later in the shows.

15. 7-25-74, Chicago, Exactly to the day before the birth of my first son Evan (non-deadhead sad to say), Scarlet slots into Set 2, Tune 1, a very familiar placement starting in 1977 for course until 1995.
This one ran 8:23, which is near the top end of the time range so far.

16. 7-27-74, Landover, MD, set 1 song 6, 6:52. 

The Week Everything Changed


17. 7-31-74 Hartford, At an older summer New England show, with three sets plus Seastones, Scarlet Begonias opened its first show at about 8:00. A rarity, Scarlet only opened a show 3 times in 316 appearances or less than 1% of the time, here two months later in Europe (see below) and April 15, 1988 at the Rosemont Horizon got a Scarlet>Fire to start the show.

18.8-4-74 Philly, back to set 1, tune 3, 6:12. Still another Dick's pick (6th in 18 shows, wow)

19. 8-5-74 Philly, next night set 2, song 6, right before the Jam and the band streches it to 11:13, interesting how this song can fit anywhere in a one week period.

Which brings us to the next night, 

20. 8-6-74 Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City.  Less than six months old, Scarlet graduates to ending the first set at the filling in an amazing Playin' In the Band sandwich. Set 1, Song 11, 
 Playing In The Band [22:52] > Scarlet Begonias [8:04] > Playing In The Band [5:43]  (Dicks Pick 7th)

The Rest of 1974

21. 9-9-74 London,Dead bring Scarlet to Europe, Set 1, Song 5, 9:19(Dicks Picks 8th CD show)

22. 9-11-74 London, Opens show, about 10:57.

23. 9-14-74 Munic, Set 1, Song 5, 11:45, creeping longer...

24. 9-18-74 Dijon, Set 1, Song 5, the "Mustard" version, 3rd country in a week runs 8:45.

25. 9-20-74 Paris, Set 1, Song 5, 9:52, settling back in a early/mid first set groove.

26. 10-16-74 Winterland, Set 1, Song 7, 12:03, lengthing again in SF to end the year 

27. 10-17-74 Winterland, Set 2, Song 1, 10:25

28. 10-19-74 Winterland, Set 1, Song 9, 11:49

1976: Reboot

29. 6-3-76 Portland.  After no appearances in the 4 1975 shows, Scarlet comes back in the first show of the year in a to-be-normal, late first set slot. Set 1, Slot 10: 10:14 as the Dead ends the set with 30 minutes of the Spirit of 76 Power Trio of The Music Never Stops, Scarlet Begonias, Dancin' In the Street. Watch out Fire is starting to breathe soon...

30. 6-9-76 Boston. My first show and the 10th appearance of Scarlet on a dead.net release. This is one of the very last early first set ones and this is the first song I ever saw the Dead starting really jamming out on. Listen above to the Road Trps 4.5, save the best for last release, especially stareting around the 5 minute mark. Remember this is the mellow 1976 and this is song number three for this virgin deadhead and his virgin best friend Jimmy Roux in the back of the orchestra of the Music Hall.

31. 6-11-76 Boston. Still at the four night Music Hall run, the Dead move it to Set 1, Song 7 and lin k it with Look Like Rain, which was breathless in June 1976. Scarlet Begonias [9:39] > Looks Like Rain [7:46].

32. 6-15-76 Beacon. In the 2nd night of the Mahattan return after 5 years, the Dead move Scarlet to nearly in the end of the show, Set 2, Song 9 with a short 4:44 admist a crazy 1976 once-only set closer of  Dancing In The Street [12:21] > The Wheel [4:55] > Sugar Magnolia [5:49]> Scarlet Begonias [4:44] > Sunshine Daydream [2:45]  Wow  32 nights earlier I had seen in Boston Sugar>US Blues>Sunshine as the encore so check all of these magic out.

33. 6-17-76 Passiac. Set 1, Song 9 of 10. 9:56.

34. 6-21-76 Tower. Set 1, Song 8.  10:06.

35. 6-24-76 Towe. Set 1, Song 10 of 11. 10:22. Settling down early again, near end of set one./

36. 6-26-76 Chicago. Set 1, Song 8. 12:28. let it grow again

37. 6-28-76 Chcago. Set 1, Song 6. 11:42. Historic note, Happiness is Drumming, Fire-light was played at this show. only time played.


38. 7-14-76 Orpheum. Set 1, Song 4. 9:55

39. 7-16-76 Orpheum. Set 1, Song 11 of 11. 10:07 First ending Set One.
 The Music Never Stopped [5:48] > Scarlet Begonias [10:07]  first medley with Music.

40. 7-18-76 Orpheum. Set 1, Song 5. 11:18 (dead.net release. 11th for Scar)

41. 8-4-76 Roosevelt, Set 1, Song 9 of 9. 13:56. Back in Jersey City, one of the set enders of 1976. Cool video is above.


42. 9-25-76 Landover, Set 2, Slot 6, Nice 10:49 (again dead.net release, 12) in the middle of an excellent set.

43. 9-30-76 Columbus, Oh. Set 1, Song 10 of 10. A little over 10:14.

44. 10-1-76 Indy. Set 1, Song 9 of 10. 10:11. Oh Fall of 1976, I love thee, let me count the ways.

45.  10-3-76 Cobo  Set 1, Song 9 of 10. 11:54. 30 Trips, 13)

46. 10-9-76 Oaland Set 1 Song 8 (another Dicks Picks, 14)  12:16

47. 10-14-76 Shrine in LA. Set 1, Song 12 of 12. 10:08

48. 12-31-76 Cow Palace. Set 2 Song 6. Comes up in the middle of Medley 14th one on CD

Sugar Magnolia [8:30] (1) > Eyes Of The World [12:22] > Wharf Rat [12:30] > Drums [1:21] > Good Lovin' [7:13] > Samson And Delilah [7:01] % Scarlet Begonias [11:34] % Around And Around [7:59] % Help On The Way [4:20] > Slipknot! [12:02] > Drums [0:50] > Not Fade Away [10:38] > Morning Dew [14:38]

1977 Once only before Fire Cometh

49. Kool Kollege kids in Santa Barbara get the last set-one ending Scarlet in a hot 10 song set 12:48


50. Ten Years Later, the Dead would play the 50th and last stand alond Scarlet on 12-30-1987 to open set two