Ed & Lerry’s Grateful Dead Tour Journal: 2/23/74

February 23, 1974
Venue: Winterland
Show Details

Ed: Bill Graham’s intro: a “social engagement”? Hmmmmmmmmm.

Lerry: Bobby was getting laid.

Ed: Totally. It’s why he went right into a Bobby rocker.

Lerry: Cheesy bastard.

Ed: I just checked the “Tape Timings” section of Deadbase X (the section with every word the band ever uttered onstage) to see if they could explain Graham’s intro. But they don’t even have 2/23/74 in there – maybe tapes weren’t circulating back then (another illustration of the miracle of the archive.org age, depending on your outlook). Someone needs to send Deadbase an update. But I can tell you this based on “Tape Timings”: Graham’s intro tomorrow (2/24/74) is going to be really deep, man (and Bobby’s going to use his usual “everybody hang loose” at end of Set 1, and that BIODTL will start with 5 beats – so amazing that someone counted the intro beats, thank you Deadbase, gone but never forgotten)

Some combined notes on the rest of the show:

  • I love a 74 Deal
  • Here Comes Sunshine = dope (unfortunately, last version until the 90’s)
  • Please note that Donna is back
  • Deadbase “Tape Timings” really missed some life-altering stage bantering after Sugaree
  • I’m really looking forward to the time that they stop playing weather report suite every other night
  • Although Jerry is smoking on the Let it Grow jam section
  • The Other One is fucking raaaaaaaaaaaad
  • Controversy on Eyes: Lerry thinks Eyes is a little bit of a buzzkill. He thinks the performance is good but after getting so deep into the Other One, the vibe is just too different for him. Ed respectfully disagrees, thinks it face-meltingly awesome, and that Lerry needs to work on accepting transitions.
  • The He’s Gone -> Truckin’ -> Other One -> Eyes almost earned this show the coveted Ed & Lerry Stealie, but not quite.

Next show: 2/24/74 Grateful Dead

Previous show: 2/22/73 Grateful Dead

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Ed & Lerry’s Grateful Dead Tour Journal: 2/22/74

February 22, 1974
Venue: Winterland
Show Details

Lerry: Context is fucking me up man! I’m so into this show, but is it because the last time I listened to the dead was two months ago (for 40th anniversary of the 12/19/73 show), or is it because it is good?!?!?… Must have been the roses!! First performance ever! Phil clearly didn’t know it very well as he stopped playing during parts but maybe that’s me being too refined. Great to get some new blood in the set. As much as I loved the last tour, by the end I was starting to hope for new songs. I love that they are mixing it up a bit here.

Ed:   If for some reason someone asked me for the definitive version of Bobby’s cowboy tunes, I would point him/her to this show. Jerry is tight with his pseudo-lap steel vibe, shredding from the get-go… The band sounds practiced – given the new tunes introduced in this show, I’m going to guess that they were actually writing/rehearsing/practicing on their time off in Jan/Feb ’74. Tight show all around… Slipknot lick is dropped in various places throughout show, which brings up philosophical problem Lerry discussed with me once while baked: can you go back in time and name it slipknot, just because you know in the future it will be called slipknot? Duuude.

Lerry’s favorite quote from internet about this show:
“you are the reason the democrats cannot get elected to office.”
from https://archive.org/details/gd74-02-22.sbd.unknown.11654.sbeok.shnf

Ed’s favorite quote from internet, not quite about this show, but written about the Dead for the January 1974 issue of Creem Magazine (by none other than Cameron Crowe):
“Their hardcore San Francisco audience may still be locked into a 1967 consciousness, but the Grateful Dead operation is Big Business and strictly 1974. Why, Weir and Garcia have even been known to sport Nudie suits on stage every now and then.”
from http://www.theuncool.com/journalism/the-grateful-dead-creem-magazine/

Next show: 2/23/74 Grateful Dead

Previous show: 12/19/73 Grateful Dead

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Ed & Lerry’s Grateful Dead Tour Journal: an index

Here’s an index of Ed & Lerry’s Grateful Dead Winter 1973 Tour Journal of 2013, published in 2014:

11/09/73 Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA
11/10/73 Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA
11/11/73 Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA
11/14/73 San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, CA
11/17/73 Pauley Pavilion, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
11/20/73 Denver Coliseum, Denver, CO
11/21/73 Denver Coliseum, Denver, CO
11/23/73 County Coliseum, El Paso, TX
11/25/73 Feyline Field, Tempe, AZ
11/30/73 Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA
12/01/73 Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA
12/02/73 Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA
12/04/73 Cincinnati Gardens, Cincinnati, OH
12/06/73 Convention Center, Cleveland, OH
12/08/73 Cameron Indoor Stadium (Duke University), Durham, NC
12/10/73 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
12/12/73 The Omni, Atlanta, GA
12/18/73 Curtis Hixon Convention Hall, Tampa, FL
12/19/73 Curtis Hixon Convention Hall, Tampa, FL

For the whole thing on one page, go here

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Ed & Lerry’s Grateful Dead Tour Journal: 12/19/73

December 19, 1973
Venue:Curtis Hixon Convention Hall
Show Details

stealie

Ed: Last show of the tour, and it’s phenomenal. We’ve been coming down the mountaintop, still up in rarefied air yet slowly descending, when we turn a corner and see a vast vista of total awesome Jerriness. It’s like an alpine lake filled with the teardrops from the crying of Jerry’s tears. I can see why Dick would choose this as his first pick. The jam section after Truckin’ is some of the best Dead there is. Some notes:

  • Moments of absolute pure awesomeness in this show include: Here Comes Sunshine, Playin’ in the Band, and everything after Truckin’.
  • The post-truckin jam is total brain-fry
  • I mean, this jam is totally freaking incredible.
  • Side note – I wonder why they took a week off in between the Omni show and these two shows? I mean Atlanta can’t be more than a day’s drive from Tampa. What happened in the week in between? Maybe the boys wanted to stay warm in the south for an extra week in winter? I would genuinely like Deadessays to write a blogpost about it
  • This jam is just unbelievable.
  • Couple of interesting factoids from allmusic about DP1 (http://www.allmusic.com/album/dicks-picks-vol-1-tampa-fl-12-19-1973-mw0000622762) “With a surfeit of options to inaugurate the ongoing project, Latvala cited his desire to disseminate items that were “lesser known” by Deadheads and to reveal the sonic splendor of the opener “Here Comes Sunshine” when asked the reasons that he chose this specific date to christen Dick’s Picks.” and “A further point of contention between connoisseurs of the music was the out and out hatchet job done to “Playing in the Band” at the behest of Phil Lesh (bass/vocals). A caveat of including the performance was the removal of his bass solo.”  I think this means we need to compare the Playin’ from the auds to the DP1.
  • That jam blew my mind
  • The end of the tour is a bittersweet moment.

Favorite Quote, from http://archive.org/post/389252/best-dicks-picks:
“Subject: Best Dicks Picks
Here’s what I consider to be the best:
1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 22, 26, 28, 29, 31, 34, and 36”

Lerry: This is the perfect end to the tour and our 41 pages of notes.  I will absolutely give this show a Stealie.  So so so so good.

Set 1:
Killer killer killer.  Nice song choices by both guys.  The Workingman’s/AB songs sound great (and both were omitted from DP).  In fact, CANDYMAN!  Such a great version.  The band sounded great during the first 6 songs. They really started rippin’ at Jack Straw and beyond (coincidence?).  Here Come Sunshine is AMAZING.  Very possibly my favorite yet.  I feel like I keep saying that.  The Playin’ here is fantastic as they have been as of late.

Set 2:
To get the negative out of the way, there are 26 minutes in a row that I am not too fond of… Row Jimmy into Weather Report Suite.  Row Jimmy is so bland at this point to me and Weather Report Suite is basically just a bad song.  OK, enough negativity.  The He’s Gone > Truckin > Other One > Stella Blue jam is AMAZING.  So amazing.  It does make sense that Dick chose this as his first pick.  The freak out sections are great and they very naturally slide back into more structured material. I love it. One of the best ever.

Favorite quote:
As this show was Dick’s Picks 1, I figured a quote having to do with Dick would be appropriate:
“Though his ‘day job’ in Hawaii was working at the zoo, Latvala’s main focus was growing pot”
http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2011/02/dick-latvala.
 

Next up: 1974

Previous show: 12/18/73 Grateful Dead

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Ed & Lerry’s Grateful Dead Tour Journal: 12/18/73

December 18, 1973
Venue:Curtis Hixon Convention Hall
Show Details

Lerry: I’m going to sum up this excellent show in a haiku:
Amazing playing
Weather songs thus no Stealie
Fucking great Dark Star

Favorite quote:
“This is it,just stream Dark Star I dare ya!!!!!!!!I billion stars best thing I ever heard period.”
https://archive.org/details/gd1973-12-18.sbd.miller.113498.flac16

Ed: You captured the essence of the show so beautifully that I am not going to mar it with any more words.

Favorite quote:
“OK…I amend my previous post…the music pre-verse is makeout music. The music post verse is downright freaked. Maybe that’s the time you have baked-out sex. Let me listen to the rest of it…
-Steve (07/14/2008)”
http://www.setlists.net/?show_id=0905
 

Next show: 12/19/73 Grateful Dead

Previous show: 12/12/73 Grateful Dead

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Ed & Lerry’s Grateful Dead Tour Journal: 12/12/73

December 12, 1973
Venue:The Omni
Show Details

Ed: Another totally solid show, but not quite stealie-worthy in my opinion, marred by a second set weather anchor. We’re still descending from the mountaintop. Couple of random notes:

  • Playin, China Cat-Rider, and Wharf Rat all were super enjoyable versions to me (also the transition from Wharf Rat into Me and My Uncle really worked for me, I actually really dug going into M&MU after Wharf Rat). I’m not sure if they are “best of” versions, or it was just once again the Context – I was listening on an airplane, and those tunes transported me out of my heinous reality and into the celestial realm of Jerry’s tear-drops
  • Which reminds me – regarding Context, and our conversation about it above –  I recently started reading David Byrne’s book “How Music Works” (love that the title is so pretentious, so perfect for Byrne) – anyway, the “Context” of music is a recurring theme for him, in fact he says that realizing that context affects music was the biggest insight he had in his life. On the very first page he wrote this: “context largely determines what is written, painted sculpted, sung, or performed. That doesn’t sound like much of an insight, but it’s actually the opposite of conventional wisdom… The accepted narrative suggests that the rock and roll singer is driven by desire and demons, and out bursts this amazing, perfectly shaped song that had to be three minutes and 12 seconds – nothing more, nothing less. This is the romantic notion of how creative work comes to be, but I think the path of creation is almost 180 degrees from this model. I believe that we unconsciously and instinctively make work to fit pre-existing formats.”.. He goes on to talk again and again about how context determines what music gets created and how it affects how we hear the music…
  • Ongoing investigation into the Straw Effect – the Jack Straw in this show itself was awesome. The whole first set was pretty tight to me, so it’s hard to gauge the specific impact this Straw had on this first set. Which is how it’s been the last few shows: they’ve been pretty tight from the first song.
  • Side note on the Straw Effect- it occurred to me based on the soundcheck files included on this show that there might be an unknown factor complicating straw effect – the band might have played jack straw during the sound check, making the show tight from get go, but we wouldn’t necessarily know unless we had the files from the soundcheck.
  • Side side note: someone really needs to create a site devoted solely to sound checks. Maybe dead essays should do this.
  • I noticed myself wishing that Here Comes Sunshine was part of this show – I missed it not being there. This tour has really opened my eyes to the awesomeness of HCS.

Ed’s favorite quote – love this argument (from http://www.setlists.net/?show_id=0904):

  • “the omni did not exist in 73 this show is probally from the fabolous fox theatre
-ga cracker”
  • “Sorry…the OMNI did exist in ’73!! What a show!!!
-I wuz there”
  • “Don’t know where ga cracker was – but I was at the Omni too. I remember, believe it or not, that Sugar magnolia totally blew me away.

flashman
-flashman13 (06/09/2008)”
  • “The Omni was there in 1973 and so was I. What I witnessed and heard changed my life forever!
-Anonymous (01/06/2011)”

For the record, according the totally authoritative Wikipedia, the omni opened in ’72 and closed in ’97.

Lerry: Totally agree with your assessment.  Very solid show playing-wise, marred by a somewhat weak setlist.  We are getting spoiled at this point.  You found some choice quotes too.  Deadheads can come up with some awesome controversies, such as whether or not a show (that has been recorded AND has people claiming to have gone) actually happened.  I’m going to go with the naysayers on this one just to mix it up. This show never happened. The Omni was not even around until 1985. I know because my brother used to live out there.

But man, on Looks Like Rain I can never get past the “But it’s alright ‘cause I love you!”  God, this song is so damn cheesy. Dentist office music.

It is interesting hearing Peggy-O develop.  (The sound check was interesting too.)  I am curious when they turned it into a ballad. We will have to see over the next few years.   This version is way better than the last one, but still sounds weird to me as a faster song.

There are two important things I’d like to take this time to discuss:
1) The straw factor.  I think that this show certainly supports this theory.  The playing was great I thought.  The setlist, particularly weather report being the anchor in set 2, was not great. Your soundcheck concept is a definite monkey wrench, but it actually could support the theory more?
2) So, here is my new challenge. Since we are investigating the effect that Jack Straw has on the playing, is there a similar song that guides Bobby’s choice in songs for the set?  Some sets, he is on another planet. Some sets, he is locked in.  If, when they play song X, does it center him enough to make good decisions and avoid rock and roll + weather songs?  We must figure this out.
The Warf Rat > Uncle transition was hot!  I definitely don’t think this Warf Rat was the best ever, but it was 73 and great.

From now on, I will ONLY listen to AUD soundchecks. I am a true Deadhead.

Favorite quotes:
“Polka time folks!” – Bobby at the start of Mexicali Blues
“The Morning Dew has Phil dropping massive bombs before the bridge and then this version takes on a sweetness with Jerry playing soft, twinkling, and lilting runs then finally explode into crashing wave after waves of rapid strumming notes.”
https://archive.org/details/gd1973-12-12.sbd.miller.105561.flac16

 

Next show: 12/18/73 Grateful Dead

Previous show: 12/10/73 Grateful Dead

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Ed & Lerry’s Grateful Dead Tour Journal: 12/10/73

December 10, 1973
Venue:Charlotte Coliseum
Show Details

Lerry: Man this tour was so good. This was another REALLY FUCKING GREAT show!  I would not give it a stealie, simply due to the lack of a second set big jam, but the band really sounds great. WARNING! The Download Series is missing a few songs due to greedy people.  (Odd since it is a download-only thing.)  There are no versions on Archive (again due to greedy people).

Set 1: Great set. Not many Betty skippers.  The stand-alone Playin’ was AWESOME.  Total high energy.  Garcia is totally shredding.  Officially Playin’ ends set 1, even though it is only track 6 on the official (greedy) release.  Oddly, I think the first set is better than the second.  (This MAY be my favorite set 1 of the tour, but it is not totally fair due to some songs being cut.)

Set 2:   Interesting second set.  It does not really have a single super stand out jam piece. I guess Eyes is, but it never goes that deep.  I have always loved Peggy-O.  I don’t know why. Just a nice melody I guess.  This was the first time they ever played it. It is a little faster and has a much different vibe than the standard ballad vibe that we are used to. I’ve actually never heard it sound like this before so it is cool to hear the earliest version.  With that being said, the playing here is very sloppy (particularly on the Phil side of things (did he even rehearse it?) but even a refined gentleman like me can appreciate the fact that they introduced a new song in the middle of the tour.  (Honestly, they probably should have rehearsed it in-between tours and not had Phil try to figure out what was going on, but that’s OK.)  Row Jimmy sounds pretty standard for this run.. nice, actually, but I have a hard time really telling them apart…  I feel like this song has been played every night, which has been a bit of a let down in my opinion. (It is not that great of a song. Play Mississippi every night if you have to promote Wake of the Flood for god’s sake!!)  I liked the Eyes jam and Brokedown Palace sounded great. Weird (but cool) to hear China -> Rider towards the end of the second set.

Favorite quote:
“music is great but the notes must have been written by someone from Chicago, Indiana or from Philadelphia, New Jersey”
http://www.amazon.com/Download-Series-Vol-Charlotte-Coliseum/dp/B0026P7TU6

Ed: Agree with Lerry. Very solid show but not quite stealie-worthy. I feel like we went up to the mountaintop with the 12-2, 12-6, and 12-8 shows, up to the highest heights of dead-dom, and now the band is leading us back down the other side. We’re still way up in the altitude, but slowly descending.

First set is tight, Playin was the highlight for me, and the second set was somewhat of a disappointment because of the lack of a big jam. I’m surprised this was officially released – why choose this one over 12-6 or 12-8? Maybe precisely because it’s a little more accessible and not so crazy. But in my opinion not as strong as surrounding shows on the tour that are unreleased. Also – really, why not release the whole show? Perhaps I’m becoming a “Dave-hater”

Regarding Peggy-O – I think I saw in the comments for another show that they practiced it during a soundcheck, and Jerry says at some point, “No Keith that’s a C right there” – can’t remember where I saw that though

Favorite quote about this show (because nothing like this actually occurred during the show):
“Reviewer:Lewis/Klitschko
The Casey Jones > Jam > One More Saturday Night suite is amazing. It spans about 45 minutes of pure gooey madness. There is a tiger jam right before OMSN and you can hear a Spanish tease about 12 minutes after the last note played of Jones. I thought the meltdown would lead into “Dark Star,” but they decided to go into “One More Saturday Night” instead. An interesting choice on a late ’73 journey through the ages.” (From https://archive.org/details/gd73-12-10pt.sbd.elliot.11800.sbeok.shnf)

Next show: 12/12/73 Grateful Dead

Previous show: 12/8/73 Grateful Dead

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