So, every year around August 9th I bust out the original So Many Roads boxset and listen to some of my ol' favorites, such as "Whiskey In The Jar" and, of course, the final-show "So Many Roads". I am reminded how pleased I am with the curation that Gans, Jackson and Silberman did on the whole set, but especially the tasteful editing-out of the Garcia's first, flubby guitar pass. I *love* watching it on the video, because the man signals to the rest of the band that he wants another stab at it, always reaching for the gold ring. But I don't need to hear it, and the edited version is so achingly evocative of perfection that I wouldn't have it any other way.
Oh yeah, right where the tape rolls in on the "Beautiful Jam" in the 2/18/71 Port Chester "Dark Star" just absolutely takes my breath away, over and over and over again. A minute or two of heart-rending magic, with Mickey on board but going away, Ned, man oh man.