Saturday, January 30, 2016

April 30, 1977: My Only Dead Show in New York City


So it was another Spring Saturday during my Senior year at Andover, so I hitchhiked down to New York City to see the Grateful Dead.  At the time, it was just Dave as usual trying to see a show, but looking back it was quite the adventure.

I left in the morning, writing down in the log that I was "going home to Maine for the weekend:, but instead I headed down Main Street to the 495 on-ramp and onto the big Apple with about $25 in my pocket. I recall numerous short rides, somehow a detour to Long Island and a few train rides but I ended up on East 14th Street at the Palladium a.k.a. Academy of Music, the closest Grateful Dead at the Fillmore East experience I would ever had, And I did not have a ticket.

According to the Billboard article below from March 26, the five Palladium shows sold out after a single announcement on WNEW-FM



Peter Simon's Backstage Photo from Grateful Dead 365


The Palladium as Academy of Music 1871
 I remember looking up above the building at an open window a few hours before the show and there was Phil Lesh lookimg out with people yelling Phil give me a ticket,







Billboard Review with very incorrect setlist





Six months earlier, in October of the prior year, I had learned the art of buying a scalped ticket paying $18 for a $6 face value ticket for game one of the World Series at Fenway Park.  This day, I was able to secure one seat way up in the balcony for $19 seriously eating into my bankroll.  Very few ticket scalpers in those days in Manhattan in the bands rare shows in the city (only Beacons in 1976 and the night before) since prior to Europe 1972.  My ticket does not survive, so I will present this facsimile:


So on to the show. Just incredible, my 5th show overall and my 2nd St Stephen. I would only here one more in my next 75 shows.  I had seen show four in Springfield the prior Saturday and would go on to hear Boston and Hartford over two of the next four Saturdays. I am pretty sure I met Jerry Moore or Les from Relix or both. And I luckily was "adopted" by some local Deadhead who made sure my mind was feed and that I got to Port Authority after the show.

This was the famous "backwards" set one. Guess which is correct:


The Music Never Stopped                                           The Promise Land
Bertha                                                                           Mississippi Half Step
It's All Over Now                                                         Looks Like Rain
Deal                                                                              Peggy-O
Mama Tried>                                                               Me & My Uncle>
Me & My Uncle                                                           Mama Tried
Peggy-O                                                                        Deal
Looks Like Rain                                                           It's All Over Now
Mississippi Half Step                                                    Bertha
The Promise Land                                                         The Music Never Stopped

You should buy Grateful Dead download series #1 (number one, no less) and listen.
No photos exist of this show but I believe this is a Jim Anderson from four night later at that mind-bending May 4 show.

The second set was stellar and Stella.  My second Scarlet>Fire was followed by Good Lovin, a twist from the week before and then after Friend of the Devil and Estimated, we got the jam St Stephen>Not Fade Away>my first Stella Blue>St Stephen>Saturday Night. It;s not a coincidence the first line of this post has so many S's.  Then we got the encore treat of my first Terrapin.  I would hear this song all over the map in the coming months and years paired with all kinds of songs, but you always remember your first one. That's why it's playing now.

I never saw the Grateful Dead in New York City again. But it was a sweet experience and remembrance that I will cherish forever.




Friday, January 22, 2016

Acoustic 1982: Some Mighty Fine Jerry and John


In the midst of a crazy hectic Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band schedule in 1982, our friend Jerry was able to mix in 16 acoustic nights, the first by himself, and then 15 with John Kahn.




The song you are hearing from the Oregon State Prison from Jerry Garcia and John Kahn might be one of the finest Jerry moments of the entire 1980s. More to come, but this is a secret preview.

From December 1980 though May 1981, Jerry and the Dead had played acoustic four times following the special shows at The Warfield, in NOLA and Radio City.   JGMF says this is 6-5-82 not 5-5-82 which has to be true since he's JGMF http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2014/12/may-5-1982-should-be-june-5-1982.html




Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Five One-Tour Wonders


Werewolves of London was almost a one-tour wonder in 1978, but the boys decided to break it out a few more times in the 1980s and 1990s.  My latest blog post about Dartmouth made me think of such animals here and thus I present the Grateful Dead's One-Tour Wonders, the songs that were only performed five or more times in one calendar year with the band.  Obviously, the earlier the year, the more fuzzy the answer.

The real five (edit: me bad, oops it's six) true-to-life one-tour wonders that occured during one actual tour that meet this test are:




I Second That Emotion, April, 1971

Run Rudolph Run, December, 1971




Two Souls in Communion (The Stranger), Academy of Music NYC and Europe 1972

Let Me Sing Your Blues Away, September 1973. The Preovidence one with horns is playing now

Mission in the Rain, June 1976





Heaven Help the Fool, September/October 1980, acoustic instrumental





However
Here's the expanded list of 21 songs that were played 5+ times during one calendar year and never again:

1966: You Don't Have To Ask 1966, about 5 versions, cool little original ditty.

1968: Born Cross-Eyed, believe it or not only performed about 13 times between January 17 and April 3, 1968 (and then one million times by The Dead, Furthur, even Fare Thee Well. My virgin ears have yet to hear this played, even in the later-day post-Jerry bands

1969: Slewfoot, 9 performance in 1969, fun Bobby song

1970: You know Katie Mae is a good girl, Pigpen, 11 times

1970: You know It's A Man's World, Pigpen, 11 times

1970: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, 8 times

1970: Wake Up, Little Susie, 14 acoustic versions

1970: Til The Morning Comes, 5 times

1971: I Second That Emotion 6 times in April only. true one-tour wonder (as above)

1971: Run Rudolph Run , 6 times in December only, another true one-tour wonder (as above)

1972: Two Souls in Communion. 12 times, only played at the Academy shows and Europe

1972: Rockin Pheumenia, Boogie Woogie Flu, 5 times

1973: Wave That Flag, 15 times

1973: You Ain't Woman Enough, 15 times

1973: Let Me Sing Your Blues Away, 6 times, in September, all with horns!, true one-tour wonder

1974:  Phil & Ned (Seastones), 23 times

1976: Mission In The Rain, 5 times, June, true one-tour wonder

1980:Heaven Help The Fool (instrumental) played 17 times in September/October 1980 in acoustic sets. I only saw it played and song with the Bob Weir Band in Providence on March 10, 1978 since it was not played on December 31, 1980, my only acoustic set.  I am partial to the 10-31-80 Radio City version here with the equipment failure temporarily sidelining Phil from playing.

1990: Valley Road, 6 times, between October and December

1995: Unbroken Chain, 10 times

1995:It's All Too Much, 6 times in 1995, George Harrison-authored Beatles cover from Yellow Submarine

There are a number of four-timer including Stealin (probably incorrect), I Hear A Voice Calling, Reuben & Cherise, Devil with the Blue Dress and La Bamba.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Don't Murder Me: Only Show in New Hampshire


In the backwash of Hanover, the Grateful Dead came to town. 

It was May 5, 1978 and it would be the only time that the boys ever played New Hampshire in the 30 year history of the band. 3,499 other deadheads and Dartmouth students were there.



http://thedartmouth.com/2012/05/22/deadheads-camp-outside-thompson-arena-for-1978-concert/


Edit 11-14-2017. My pal Craig MacLean took this photo of Phil, pre-show, who had walked into the crowd to visit a friend high up somewhere. Cool huh.




Sirius decided to play the show this morning as i drove to work immediately after I finished my blog post on the Beatles songs, s I had to write my New Hampshire piece because the Dire Wolf sounded so great in my car (best version ever played in New Hampshire). I think Jerry loved to play Direwolf especially when the Dead were in the woods like here and on November 5, 1977 in upstate New York. I loved when it was played second in the set (or open like in the 12-31-80 acoustic set Blog piece here)

This was my first show after starting college (Englishtown was the day BEFORE college) and I attended along with Jimmy Roux, Mike Barr ( i think), Katie Moody and I did run into Andover deadhead Lundy Bancroft the set break (not hard with only 3,500)

It was followed by Cassidy, Candyman, and later a heavy set-end Passenger, Brown Eyed Women and Lazy Lightning/Supplication, all greatest ones ever in New Hampshire. Ok, joking aside, this is a well played and great sounding show. It was my 12th Dead concert after 3 in 1976 and 8 in 1977, and although it might only rank 11th out of my first dozen shows in terms of my enjoyment, that speaks to the greatness of 1976 and 1978 and should not lessen the fact that this show rocked!  Thanks to Charlie Miller and his band of mischief elves that get these boards so he can do his magic on them.Archive Flac

The archive comments include "one of my most memorable shows", "listen to Phil go up one side of NFA and come back down the other", "Werewolves for Cinco De Mayo?" and "best Estimated I've ever heard".  This is indeed a boss show.  





Don't forget the second set Bertha>Good Lovin, Estimated>Eyes>my first of 69 Drums>Spaces?NFA>Stella and of course the encore which you hear now.  I only got to hear Werewolves twice, this night and a week later at the 5-11-78 Springfield "Mescaline" show, which were the 4th and 6th versions of nine that Spring between April 19 and May 17.  The Dead would only play it three more times on Halloweens 1985, 1990, and 1991.  The 1985 version opened the show, the rest were all encores.   

I recall the building at Dartmouth (Thompson Arena) was small, new (build in 1975)  and sounded good.

The FLACs and the MPs are here. Enjoy listen. Rinse. Repeat.


Nashua Telegraph June 9, 1995




My Top-5 Beatles Moments


Those of you would boarded the bus in the 1980s amd 1990s may not know this, but Beatles sightings were more rare in the earlier days of the Dead.

Here are my top five Beatles memories with the band

#5 Blackbird Tease (after It's All Over Now♥️  April 23, 1977

Yes Bobby eventually would play this in encores on 6-23 and 7-17 1988, but there is a close tease in the magical first set of the April 23, 1977 show after It's All Over, Now about 7:15 into the linked track and immediately before my first Scarlet/Fire

#4  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, December 16, 1994 Encore

This was the last song I ever heard Jerry sing and also the last song I ever heard with the Grateful Dead.  I'm sorry, 1994 was not a great time for Jerry's voice, but still a nice memory




#3 Revolution  October 31, 1983 Marin Encore

Th band played this 11 times total in 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1990. I saw the 4th version on Halloween 1983 as the encore at the show where the band played the final St Stephen.  Jerry is a little vocal weary and even "out-of-tune", but this was the first time I actually saw the Grateful Dead perform a Beatles song and this was my 65th show!  There is some funny audience interaction about half-way through the song.  It's Gonna Be Shobie-Do Alright, Bobby




#2  Why Don't We Do It In The Road?, Open Set Two, Greek July 15, 1984
Brent fans unite.  Very fun set opening. Out of the blue, Phil and Brent start this. After Revolution at New Year's, this was not an obvious choice. The recording does not do the show justice. This was pure Berkeley mayhem.  Listen here



#1  Sama Layuca>Space>Dear Prudence  (August 10, 1979, last San Francisco Reconstruction Show Temple Beautiful)

Hard not to place this first. Jerry could really sing Dear Prudence, but nothing compares to the first versions he did with Merl and Reconstruction in 1979. I saw at least two, but the last one I saw with Harriet at the big SF show on August 10 as a 27 minute medley with Sama Layuca into a weird space jam into Prudence. Look around, round, round, Jerry. This was one of all-time favorite grateful seconds with Jerry. For the full 27 minutes, use the listen here link above. For Prudence, just listen.to these 600 or so Grateful Seconds from the top-shelf Reconstruction.

Here are many I did not witness, and probably even more awesome and historic

Rain
After Midnight>Eleanor Rigby<After Midnight.   I wish so much I saw JGB do this
Day Tripper
I've just seen a face (69 setlist) http://www.setlists.net/?show_id=0453  not known if occured
Imagine   Instrumental with Merl
Let Me Roll You  Donna is great on these
Mother Nature's Son   Nicky vamp between songs in 1975
Paperback Writer http://www.deaddisc.com/songs/Paperback3Writer.htm  3-26 soundcheck
That Would be Something Boston 1991 is short but nice
watching the wheels 1995 soundcheck http://www.deaddisc.com/songs/Watching_The_Wheels.htm

There were a million Beatles covers post-1995 as well, especially with Warren and then Furthur of course. Also see: http://www.deaddisc.com/GDFD_Play_The_Beatles.htm  Thanks to c-freedom on archive forum here is a two hour youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6SaCZs0oxs


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Nicky, We Hardly Knew Ye (Jerry Plays Pink Floyd-Like)


Now I love Pigpen, TC, Keith and Brent, Merl, James Booker and Melvin Seals.
But the best keyboard player to ever play with Jerry Garcia is Nicky. This is not my opinion, this is just a fact. And I was lucky to see Nicky Hopkins play with Jerry at my very first show in October, 1975 (which I wrote about here). And never again with Jerry.
The song I like best with Nicky is "Edward, the Mad Shirt Grinder", which is actually a cover of a Quicksilver song, while Hopkins was a member of that group.  Edward was played 16 times between September 19,1975 and December 20, 1975. I'll put a group of these here



When Jerry played the John C first solo around the 100 second mark from a November 1975 Keystone show, it certainly sounds like Pink Floyd to me (while it doesn't on the Quicksilver version). I know this is short, but this is the Grateful Seconds blog after all.  The Boston Version on October 24 at the late show is also the bomb Hmm,  this is years and years before Warren played Shine On You Crazy Diamond with The Dead and Further played Time.

Poor Nicky had health problems and obviously had some alcohol issues as evident from some of the December 1975 Winterland slurs and long less than conherent conversations he had with the audience, but I forgive yee superstar Nicky Hopkins.

In his 50 years on the planet Earth, Nicky jammed with Jimi Hendrix, played the piano overdub on "Hey Jude", played with Bowie, NRPS and :

"supplied the prominent piano parts on "We Love You" and "She's a Rainbow" (both 1967), "Sympathy for the Devil" (1968), "Monkey Man" (1969), "Sway" (1971), "Loving Cup" (1972), "Angie" (1973), "Time Waits for No One" (1974) and "Waiting on a Friend" (1981)" for the Rolling Stones

Hopkins was added to the Rolling Stones live line-up for the 1971 Good-Bye Britain Tour, as well as the notorious 1972 North American Tour and the early 1973 Winter Tour of Australia and New Zealand. 

Here are 20 acts Nicky played with before and after Jerry (not including The Dinosaurs, which opened the 12-31-81 show I went to)



Nicky Hopkins

Andrew Tyler, Disc and Music Echo, 4 December 1971

DURING THE NEXT 12 months Nicky Hopkins, the world's best-known anonymous pianist, will be the fourth German on the right no more. After years of backing the biggies – The Stones, Lennon, Harrison, The Who, The Kinks – Nicky will emerge from the small print of record sleeves with an album of his own. He'll enlist the aid of his good friend George Harrison and a handful of Stones.

Hopkins, a phenomena among musicians, has somehow avoided making a mark on the record-buying public.

This is especially true in Britain where flamboyance and sleek profiles are still number one attributes. In the U.S. people are more aware of the "sixth Rolling Stone" and John Lennon's magic helper.

He tells of lying in a San Francisco hospital a few months back with jaundice, a blood clot and severe kidney trouble (one was removed). The doctors warned his wife, Lynda, that he might not pull through. There was a bizarre procession of visitors, some of whom wanted to make home movies of the famous man in serious trouble.

The illness was a recurrence of stomach troubles that flattened him for 19 months eight years ago. He still has a patchwork of scars to remind him of that unhappy period.

The latest attack came during a period of fierce creativity. He'd split from Quicksilver Messenger Service and was spending most of his day at the piano writing songs.

A nagging back-ache was passed off as muscle cramp but a visit to the hospital uncovered the full extent of the damage.

"They had to take X-Rays to look around my stomach. I had been cut up so much before," he says.

Hopkins has spent the last couple of years in San Francisco, working initially on a Steve Miller album. When that was completed Quicksilver asked him to work on their new one.

"I'd finished Miller's and I thought it was a good enough excuse to stay there another two months. But it turned out four months in the making. When it was completed I joined the band."

He's adopted the Bay Area as his home. He bought a house in sunny Mill Valley in July 1970 and is about to ship over his treasured collection of old records and antique knick knacks.

He's a fanatic about old things – trams, biscuit tins, gramophone needles, prints, and old railway maps.

Hopkin's first major splash of the year comes with the January release of "Jamming With Edward," the distillation of a 1 1/2-hour session in 1969.

"It was in the middle of a bunch of Stones sessions at Olympic," says Nicky. "Anita was sick and Keith had to go home. We thought he'd be back in an hour or two and we started playing. Ry Cooder was there and it was just jamming. They put the whole lot down on tapes. It was shelved until the Stones got their own label.

"It was simply a neat thing to do. It's not really a Stones record. Mick doesn't sing very much on it.

"The name came from some banter between Brian (Jones) and myself. He was playing bass, for some reason I can't remember, and I was at the other end of the studios playing piano. He called over "Give me an E, Nicky" – but I couldn't hear. So he shouted "Give me an E for Edward." The whole thing developed from there. I drew the front page of a comic that looks like the Beano – we use it on the album – and I had a notebook which I made into the Penguin Book Of Edwards.

"We use about half the jam on the record. We thought people might like to hear what goes down between actual recording proper. But it's not a serious album by any means, and I'd hate people to say 'is this the best Nicky Hopkins can do'."

Sometime later in the year Nicky plans a more earnest project – his first headlining album.

He's never made himself available for an undertaking of this sort in the past. Session work and the Quicksilver stint have usurped most of his time. He also tends to be one of the music world's more elusive personalities.

"I've never had anyone doing publicity for me and I've rarely done any interviews and I haven't put out a solo album to date. I just haven't got around to it. I would like to lead my own band someday. I'm sure it is going to come down to that next year.

"I don't know what it will be. I'm writing lots of material for it. I'll probably be doing it with George Harrison. I'd really like to do that because, with George, I feel a very close thing. I can relate so well to him. We just seem to understand each other on a personal level so well. He wants to do it."

The two met at a Jackie Lomax session three years ago and ran into each other again in February during an overdub for a Sticky Fingers session at Island studios.

Leon Russell was busy in the studio upstairs and Nicky visited his old friend and so doing bumped into George again.

"Later I was working on Jim Price's album at Mick's house in Newbury. George was going to come down to play but couldn't make it. Klaus Voorman and Ringo were there. But through Klaus I met up with George again. We just sort of bump into each other every so often and talk about doing the album."

Nicky was born in Ealing, suburban London, and just three years later, without any prompting or encouragement, sat himself behind a piano and started hammering the keys with podgy fingers.

Three years later he began his formal education and made his first public performance at 16 before a youth club audience.

"I think the audiences these days are so much better. They have a thousand times the appreciation of the subtleties.

"They were such a pack of morons in the early sixties. It was just a joke. They really didn't know what was going on."

His first job was with Screaming Lord Sutch's band in 1960. Sutch was a sort of early day Jimmy Savile but much zanier. He dyed his shoulder-length hair tartan and bellowed unintelligible lyrics.

"That was his first band. Everyone was a Cliff and The Shadows fan in those days. There were about a thousand bands that looked and sounded like them."

In 1963 he joined the late Cyril Davis, a great harmonica-playing blues man who did much to bring the urban American blues style to Britain.

Along with Alexis Korner, Long John Baldry (the "Long" has been lost over the years) and others, he spurned a fascinating and inventive new era in British rock music.

Davis was just starting at that time. Another band of unknowns were a shaggy collection of vulgars called The Rolling Stones.

"The Stones were also just starting," says Nicky, "and we sort of caught on first. We had the Marquee every Thursday and they were the interval band. Rod Stewart was with Cyril at this time. He had a drummer called Carlo Little, Bernie Watson on guitar and Rick Brown on bass.

"I played with him until 1963 and then got sick and landed in hospital for 19 months. It was general stomach trouble. I had about 14 operations. It was a complete mess inside – something they had never come across before. But they managed to put me back together again.

"During the time I was there Cyril died. I heard it was leukaemia, pleurisy or drinking too much. Or it could have been a combination of all three.

"He was only 32. I was so surprised to hear that because he looked so much older.

"When I came out I got into sessions. Gyn Johns got me a lot of work in those days. I worked for people like the Kinks and The Who. There was no travelling around. It was all in London.

"That was perfect because for a year or two travel was completely out of the question."

He began slowly and, as his strength built up, accelerated his schedule to a dangerous level.

He confides: "At one point I wanted to see how much I could do without cracking up. It sounds stupid but there it was. I do very few sessions now."

This year he has worked with the Stones – on a tour and for four months on the new album – with Lennon, The Who, McGuinness Flint, Jim Price, Bobby Keyes and Pam Polland, a singer/songwriter/pianist from California.

She, in fact, played very adequate piano but wanted the famous Nicky Hopkins to add that extra flourish to several tracks.

Backing tracks for the Stones new album were cut in the group's mobile studio, parked outside Keith Richard's South of France home. About 20 tracks were laid down. The album, which will likely be completed in Los Angeles early next year, could include two songs from a session of a year ago.

Nicky played on all the songs and raves about the outcome. He admits a preference for London or Los Angeles as a recording venue.

"I didn't like France at all," he says. "I much prefer doing it here or in the States where I can relate to the people. I really don't like the French people at all.

"We were recording in the basement of Keith's house with the mobile truck outside. It is very much a professional studio. They have eight and 16 track and television monitors so they can see what is going on downstairs. The music is actually made in the basement and all the knob-sliding is done outside."

Nicky already has a crowded schedule for the first part of next year. The Stones will be undertaking a six-week coast-to-coast U.S. tour during the first four months – probably after the album's completion – and Nicky will be accompanying them.

In the meantime Lennon, who also rates Nicky as his favourite keyboards man, will be putting a band together and will tour the States in February or March. Plans for this project are still loose. Rehearsal dates have yet to be set.

"I get along very well with Lennon," says Nicky. "John is egotistical to some extent but he tells you that. He's a very honest cat. I told him that if dates started to clash next year, I would have to drop all the other things and work with George and he understood that perfectly.

"His album was such a gas to do. It was all put together in about a week at the studio in his house.

"For years John has been part of a band where each member contributed a great deal. Now when he forms a band it will be to perform his own material. It will be a cooperative album but very much John's.

"That is understandable because he is such a prolific songwriter. He just wants so sing his songs.

"George was in New York when we went there to do Lennon's new single. He played some new songs for us for about two or three hours. They were really incredible. So he has plenty of material for an album."

Work on the new Harrison album will probably begin late January or early February at his new home studio.

"It's an amazing house built by an eccentric called Sir Frank Crisp. George has put so much time in personally and so much money to restore it to its original condition. It was built at the turn of the century.

"Some nuns had it for a while and they painted everything white and covered up things and took things down. They filled in a beautiful sunken Japanese garden because it was dangerous or cost too much to run."

Nicky has a house on Epsom Downs which will serve as a watering hole for his visits to England. But California is his new permanent base.

"San Francisco knocks me out. I don't think I'll ever leave. I keep coming back to London because the music scene is here. I think the London musicians are the best in the world.

"In San Francisco, it's almost as if the music becomes secondary with some of them. You're supposed to start work in a studio at seven and nothing happens for four hours. Everybody gets loaded out of their minds and nothing gets done.

"But there is so much space there and the weather really suits me. It doesn't seem to drop much below 50 degrees – even in the winter."

He has "alien registration" and with the added bonus of being married to a New Yorker, can come and go as he pleases. He's become disenchanted with England and the British.

"I don't like England as it is now, but things from a few years back really knock me out. I don't like the weather or the people and I always have that feeling of being trapped here."

The State of British radio also disenchants him.

"You switch on the radio and it is still as big a joke as it ever was. Every week you read a story about the state of British radio, so it's all been said before, but it certainly is disgusting.

"I don't think people are really bothered about this country.

"I think most people have been concentrating on the States for years. If through being popular in the States a group starts getting known here then so much the better but the American market is by far the most important in the world."

He blamed the Musicians Union and the BBC for its "strangle-hold" on the music scene.

"The union are so against more needle time. There really should be a 24-hour FM radio station here. But it will never come to pass because the MU keep on insisting that bands go to the BBC studio and cut live tracks – which just don't make it.

"You're not going to get the Stones or the Who down in a studio or any of the American bands. I'm often surprised that the American union haven't done something similar because look how powerful they are. Over there you hear records 24 hours a day and they are really hard buggers."

All that aside, 1972 will be the year of the Hopkins. It will also be the year for the rock world's largest characters to return a favour or two.

"Klaus might play bass or maybe Bill – I've known him for years. I wouldn't do the album all in one go. I'd work track by track and use whoever's best or most available. I've got to have Charlie on drums and Ringo if possible and possibly Jim Keltner.

"There are so many good musicians I'm not going to be able to tell until I get down to it."

© Andrew Tyler, 1971


Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie and The Grateful Dead Each Play Around & Around in July 1973


RIP David Bowie.  Bowie played Around & Around at the Ziggy retirement show on July 3, 1973 in London. Two days earlier, the Dead played Around & Around on July 1, 1973 at Universal in LA.

David rocked Chuck Berry and also did a Dancing In The Streets duet with Mick Jagger Video here, Dead version was more Disco in 1976

As far as I know, this is closest Jerry ever got to David Bowie



Greatest Bowie Gif

Paul Condolora took me to see Bobcat and David Spade at the Universal circa 1988 and we got to go backstage and there he was, David. Shorter than I expected. I did listen to Ziggy Stardust kind of non-stop in 1974, right before I boarded the bus.  Here is David with Ringo, Cat and a few others cats and I think my sister Debbe (her doppelganger, although Debbe has much better hair) .

That's Jeff Beck too with Spiders from Mars, the last song ever played at the last show in the Ziggy character Video here       Juliet's great take is http://myso-calledblogat.blogspot.com/2016/01/good-bye-starman.html

Friday, January 8, 2016

China-less Riders and Rider-less China Cats


In the beginning, before Jerry, Bob Hunter and God created C>R, there  was only I Know You Rider. Played seven times in 1966, it then took a short several-year nap.  Next, in 1968, came China Cat Sunflower, played 9 times in 1968 and 12 times in early 1969, it was usually paired with The Eleven, also usually following a Dark Side. These are awesome in their own right. Then came the eureka moment, probably at or around the Cafe A Go Go on September 30, 1969 and the most often played medley in Grateful Dead was born. China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider.

Where Most of US First Heard This
The next 500+ times the Dead played China Cat Sunflower, except for the few times noted here, I Know You Rider followed.  And we all love it.  But readers of this blog know I like the unusual and the rarities so let's have a look at these

For 112 versions from 1969 through 1971, China Cat>I Know You Rider was inseparable. Oh there were about 8 acoustic versions  of I Know You Rider in 1970 but China Cat always flowed into Rider.

Then, in that rare early year Winterland gig on January 2, 1972, there is a marvelous version of Good Lovin that some how weaves in and out of China Cat Sunflower. A one-off and a wonder and so fun.
Catch it here at the Archive

1973 sees two cool anomalies
There is the St Paul February 17, 1973 late second set pairing of Here Comes Sunshine>China>Rider (I wish this one would have been done more often) https://archive.org/details/gd1973-02-17.sbd.miller.32580.sbeok.flac16 and the very cool Other One>Spanish Jam>I Know You Rider from Buffalo on March 31, 1973 (which Sirius has been playing this week). Archive here

From 1973 to 1995, there are only these other exceptions. There are those summer 1974 boss versions with the Mind Left Body Jams and cool intros (see Dick's Picks 12)

You have to go 12 more years until the experiment song selection in 1985:

3-9-85  Berkeley China Cat>Cumberland Blues>Miracle>Eyes to open set two Listen here

11-10-85 Meadowlands Half Step>I Know You Rider>Playin>UJB>Supplication to open set two

7-29-88 Monterey, only split version, China Cat>Crazy Fingers>I Know You Rider (which you hear now, along with the only complete stand-alone Playing in the Band with Brent and after 1976)

8-5-89 Cal Expo Hey Pocky>Playin>I Know You Rider>Terrapin to open set two here

That's it for the exceptions.  Now here's some interest information of the placement of China>Rider within the Dead's shows:

From 1971 to 1983, China>Rider was played 178 times in the first set and 103 times in set two
From 1984 through 1995, it was played only 6 times in the first set and 163 times in set two.
From 1987 to 1995, 109 of the 126 versions opened the second set.

China>Rider was only played once as an encore, in 1988 at Frost on April 30, when they finished with China>Rider>Saturday Night

Only 8 shows are known to have opened with the pair (but my twitter predicted it at Fare Thee Well, haha)

Every Deadhead I know loves China>Rider.  And both songs are among the most often played in the history of the band, with each closing in at 550+ versions.

However, for a Dead fan who boarded the bus after the 1975 retirement, the dynamic duo was absent for awhile, 1976, 1977 and 1978 came and left with only that one legendary version in the middle of the second set jam at Winterland 12-77-1977 (Playing In The Band > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider > China Doll

Finally, in the first Brent tour in May of 1979,at my six consecutive show, and my 29th show overall, at the beginning of the second set at the magical Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, there it was. And the crowd exploded. Here it here

We had heard  rumors and it was spectacular up there in Northern New York.  I heard one more in 1979, on the second night at Cape Cod on 10-28, and then one in the first set in Lewiston in 1980.  Ten more followed in the Bay Area between 1980 and 1987, with my 13th and final version at Frost on May 2, 1987.

May 9, 1979 Binghamton, Open Set 2
October 28, 1979 Cape Cod, Open Set 2
September 6, 1980 Lewiston, into The Promise Land, end set 1
December 27, 1980, set 2 open
December 31, 1980, early in set one xoxoxoxoxoxox  so awesome I loved this one
September 12, 1981, set 1 close at Greek
December 28, 1981, open set 2
February 16, 1982, open set 2
May 22, 1982, open set 2
May 13, 1983, open set 2
July 15, 1984, Why Don't We Do It In the Road>China>Rider to open set 2
June 15, 1985, open set 2
May 2, 1987, open set 2

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Grateful Dead Touring Revenues, 1965-1995

The five Fare Thee Well shows brought in more ticket revenue than any full year in Grateful Dead history based on my analysis of the approximate economic performance of the band.

Per my research of shows (from Deadbase), ticket sales and concert attendance, the Grateful Dead sold about 23 million tickets and generated about $386 million in ticket revenues over 2,314 performances during their entire career.
The crazy part is that with the I Will Survive surge of the band post Jerry's 1986 coma, more than $300 million of their ticket revenues came in the last ten years of the band from 1986 to 1995. During those ten years, the band averaged nearly 20,000 in ticket goers per show over 700 shows for almost 14 million in fans buying tickets at an average price of about $23

This was a far cry from the approximate 5 million who bought tickets in the ten years from 1976-1985 after the 1975 "gone fishing" vacation period.  Ticket price inflation sky rocketed after the mid 1970s.  Note the increase in ticket sales in 1969 due to the big summer shows like Woodstock.

I welcome any comments or corrections. I was lucky to have seen accurate information from the last ten years, and I estimated prior to that using techniques I felt appropriate.  The song that playing is Money, Money (only one of 3) from May 21, 1974 at the Dub, University of Washington.