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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Ed & Lerry’s Grateful Dead Tour Journal: 12/8/73

December 8, 1973
Venue:Cameron Indoor Stadium
Show Details

stealie

Ed: The big question, does it reach heights of 12-2 or 12-6? Hmmmmm. Comments:

  • I’m really interested to hear Lerry’s take on first set – the first set seemed really tight to me, like they came out already warmed up and ready to go. Even the standard tunes like El Paso and Big River had some really sharp playing by Jerry.
  • Candyman = awesome. Going on this tour has reminded of the power of the bust out. You’re on tour, you’re hearing a lot of the same songs, and all of a sudden, boom, the band busts out something you hadn’t even thought of in a long time, and it magnifies your consciousness. I thought the performance was surprisingly good considering that they hadn’t played the song in a while (just checked, they hadn’t played it since March of ’73 – so 9 months), sloppy in a couple of places sure, but really cool to hear.
  • I actually got some time to read the newspaper yesterday, which was like this incredibly wonderful experience given other demands on time, and I read an essay by a guy who was a judge in a literary contest, and a couple of the things he said about how do you really judge one book against another resonated with me about trying to judge a show against another, and then he said this: “Do you need to read the entire book to know whether it’s prize-worthy? No, to be honest. But you do need to read enough to be sure you haven’t missed something, and even then you feel guilty, worried that just a few pages farther on there’s a passage that might have changed your mind.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/opinion/sunday/caution-reading-can-be-hazardous.html)
  • Which just reiterated to me that we have the right to “Betty” the horrible Bobby tunes, and I decided to liberally use that right during this show. So honestly I skipped The Race is On, Weather Report Suite, Around and Around and Johnny B Goode (sounds like Betty skipped Johnny B also). Fuck those tunes. Unlike the guy above, I didn’t feel guilty at all. It made the show so much better.
  •  Even the tuning/get back to your set for the opening of second set has some tight playing – I feel like they are just really locked in tonight (and I thought they actually had some funny stage banter for once, Bobby: “I couldn’t help but notice no one moved”)
  •  Ramble on rose – although I don’t think ill ever feel a need to actually compile this list, I think this version would make it to my top ten versions of Ramble On Rose – keith is doing some cool shit, and jerry is really tight (for this whole show, jerry and Keith are really killing it in my opinion)
  •  Row jimmy – like we talked about the other night (I think we talked about – I was so baked I’m not sure what we actually talked about and what I was just thinking) – the row jimmy’s on this tour have been slightly disappointing. This one is cool, I like some of the electric keyboard work keith is doing (I seem to be really plugged into keith on this show) – but I’m interested to go back and listen to Row Jimmy from say, that June 73 Vancouver show, which I remember as having a really tight version for comparison
  • Also like we (perhaps) talked about the other night – bertha in the second set is such a party foul for some reason. When I heard the first few notes I was like, wait a minute – did my computer suddenly skip back to the beginning of the show for some reason? Begs the super important philosophical question – is their something inherent in Bertha that makes it so appropriate for first song of first set, or is it just that I’m so used to hearing it there?
  • Second Set jam is awesome, but… It seems like it doesn’t get the plaudits as 12/2 or 12/6 in online commentary, and I’m on the fence as to whether it does or not. The Space Jam is MINDBLOWING,  totally awesome,  and in any other year this would probably be the highlight of the entire tour, but I feel like when the second set jam has been based around The Other One as a frame on this tour it does become a tiny bit directionless, almost as if Jerry hasn’t quite constructed the map in his mind of how the whole overall jam will fit together, whereas in the some of the best of the other second set jams on this tour he had a planned route. I’m not sure if this second set completely reaches the heights of the 11-10 winterland playin sandwich, the 12-2 kitchen sink medley, or the 12-6 dark star. I love love love the spacey part. Really, that space jam is just incredible. But something is holding me back from giving full honors.
  • As mentioned in a lot of the comments I saw online: wharf rat -> stella = rare and awesome
  • You know what? Fuck it. This deserves a stealie. I mean He’s Gone into awesome truckin into CRAZY ASS Other One/Space into two jerry ballads? Stealie.

Favorite quote:
“It was during this set that my mother was removed from the show, since her brain had finally succumbed to the acidic overdose of euphoria.”
(From http://www.setlists.net/?show_id=0902)

Side Note: During my wonderfully soul-soothing newspaper reading experience yesterday, I also read an article that maybe sheds a little light on one of Lerry’s favorite internet comments from the 12-6 show: “I’m a Brent guy through and through.”. I mean, how they hell can you be a brent guy through and through? But anyway, I saw this quote in a review of a late-period Thelonious Monk concert that is just being released, and maybe it sheds some light:
“There’s a small cult of late-period partiality in jazz: listeners who savor the poignancy of a great artist in decline. If this is your inclination, then you probably have deep feelings for Billie Holiday’s “Lady in Satin” and certain 1950s work by Lester Young. (Outside jazz, you’re inclined to like the albums Rick Rubin produced for Johnny Cash.)” (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/arts/music/new-albums-neil-young-thelonious-monk-and-shelby-lynne.html)

Add to that: ‘Or if you’re a deadhead, you’re a Brent guy through and through’

Lerry: I agree with your notes.  I WOULD give this a stealie.  The only reason to knock it was that it came after two of the best shows in history. That alone is not this show’s fault.   Three AMAZING shows in a row.  You know what this means?  We HAVE to track down 12-4 (editor’s note: we were later able to track down 12-4, but at the point Lerry wrote this, we hadn’t).  Seriously. This is the best run right here and those greedy bastards are fucking with us.  Why are the AUDs removed from the archive? This is like that part in the new Star Wars where they remove the planet from the database.  They always leave the shitty sounding AUDs there. What is with this one?  Is it better than a stealie? This is a problem.

Set 1:  I agree that they sounded really tight.  The highlight for me was Candyman.  An interesting thought… at this stage in the band’s career, throwing in the odd American Beauty or Workingman’s Dead track seemed to fit.  Later in the decade, I have felt that many of those tracks do not fit in with the set, and much after that, just sound like a novelty (“Hey, you guys remember this one?!?”).  For whatever reason,on this tour Attics, Candyman, Dire Wolf, Minglewood, etc. have sounded awesome!  Now, along those lines, I wonder if the issue with Row Jimmy on the tour is that it doesn’t really fit in?  I like the song. I do. But every time it has come on during the tour, I sort of feel let down. I don’t know. It is missing that X factor.

Set 2: Agree, amazing set sans Bertha.  (Warf Rat into Stella Blue is rad.)  An interesting thought that would need some Beechwoodian-style analysis.  I feel like looking at it from the long-term, the Dead excelled with certain songs for the long jams for a period of time. The explored all areas of the jam and when they were done with it, they didn’t really have much to say.  (See Dark Star in ‘93).   For a long time, the jams were mainly the Other One, Lovelight and Dark Star.  In 73, they started jamming out the Weather Report Suite and Playin’.  I wonder if they tired of the Other One. I am trying to think of an amazing Other One past this period?  (This is not a statement, but more of a question for you/Dr. Beechwood.)  I agree that it is great, but seems a bit wandering, unlike the amazing Dark Star and Playin’s we have heard recently.

On a related note, I would love it if you put together your top ten Ramble On Rose versions.

Second-related note, those contrarian reviewers are the worst. They are the ones that claim the religious period of Dylan was the best and that sort of thing.  Total Brent fans.  (Although, in the Head’s defence, I am guessing most of the Brentheads were people that saw shows in the 80s and have a connection to them.)

Favorite Quote:
“Subject: Thank You, Jerry Moore
I never met you, Jerry Moore. You died peacefully in your sleep on June 3, 2010, and i never got the chance to personally meet you and shake your hand, but you were my brother.
Thank you for dragging all your recording equipment into this show, and numerous others, and nearly getting nabbed.
Thank you for teaching me various miking techniques in live recording and for sharing with me your pithy logic regarding same.
Thank you, Jerry Moore.
Some of us remember you.
And some of us shall…
Never forget.”
https://archive.org/details/gd1973-12-08.aud.moore.berger.106138.flac24
 

Next show: 12/10/73 Grateful Dead

Previous show: 12/6/73 Grateful Dead

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