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

December 8, 1973
Venue:Cameron Indoor Stadium
Show Details


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.”

Next show: 12/10/73 Grateful Dead

Previous show: 12/6/73 Grateful Dead

(the deal)


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