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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

E72 post 11

5/10/72, con't

I have a million thoughts on these things while pedaling, but they spin away in the wind before I can commit them anywhere. I thought this show started off very slowly, with an especially bad China > Rider. But in Next Time You See Me (I think - could have been Big Boss Man), Garcia does some screaming guitar work that really draws my attention, in an unlikely place. He paints the Playin' really blue, and it feels like Garcia is having a great night. He's my focus this whole show, while with other shows I am really appreciating the interplaying of the whole band.

Truckin' feels pretty brief and tame, but it's The Other One that really starts setting this show apart. E72 is replete with great Other Ones, and this is a great Other One. About 5 minutes in, Garcia and pals enter a sad space, and I am thinking about the Concertgebouw which, in terms of acoustics, "is considered one of the finest concert halls in the world".  This piece is just lovely, mournful like an echo of war, old world and a little bit classical-sounding. Much later, toward the end of TOO, they find a second space with some of the same vibe. In between, there's all kinds of great stuff. At one point, Garcia wails and rowwrrrrss and tigers with glass-shard notes. All night he's got some kind of extra fuzz on things. Keith really takes a strong, inventive lead somewhat late in this half-hour-plus monster, and Weir distinguishes himself in the last few minutes before turning to Bobby McGee, but I don't hear as much of Phil in this version. Wharf Rat is now mature and really flexes its muscles. Jerry strong.

All of this, of course, could be quite opposite on a different listen.

After that hour-long medley, which includes some of the sweetest passages of the whole tour to this point, an energized band continues for almost another hour, Pig and Jerry doing some of their newer numbers, and Garcia also tackling Sing Me Back Home. I don't generally like that song the way the Dead did it, but this version is pretty good. Bobby's Sugar Magnolia is just fantastic on the tour, this one no exception, and then it issues into a Not Fade Away that has more of a Hand Jive feel to start than any other I have heard, very distinctive, before the GDTRFB > NFA closer. I guess there was no encore.

Anyway, overall, not the best show of the tour, maybe about average, but TOO contains some of the best passages from all of E72.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

E72 post 10

Hm - Bickershaw left me a little cold. I had this Star > OO etc. as top-shelf material, but it didn't do much of anything for me. Lovelight was kinda lackluster.

IMO, YMMV, etc. On to 5/10/72, which is starting off pretty sleepy and clunky to these ears. China > Rider goes nowhere, at any point. Pig sounds a little tired, too.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

E72 post 09

5/7/72, Bickershaw, have just finished set I. Plenty of good stuff here. Birthday Boy Billy K drives a very intense PITB. Good Lovin is another good one, with Pig again fixin' to do some greazin'.

E72 post 08

5/4/72 is good, but not as good as the previous night.

"You Win Again" and "It Hurts Me Too" back-to-back killed my buzz.

"He's Gone" again reverses the cat on a tin roof and nine mile skiddin verses, to ill effect. I think he's figuring out that the other was it better. On the other hand, on this night he only lost one round, so that's better.

Good Lovin' is just unbelievable. It starts a little slow, but after five minutes or so I was convinced this was the best GL of all time, and the whole 20 minute thing failed to disabuse me of that idea. Pig was just so on fire this tour, my goodness. Someone with a taste for the ribald ought to transcribe his E72 Good Lovin' raps - no cuss words, in particular, but definitely NSFW.

Did he really then do "Next Time You See Me" right after that GL? That might explain why there's no Caution after Sugar Mag.

The "Dark Star" is great, "Uncle John's Band" is still done, to my delight, more in the album form - good clean country.  I was thinking about Sugar Magnolia in the same way - as long as they were doing it like the album, I loved it. When it went from sweet country psychedelia to cocaine screaming, I lost interest.

Got 5/7/72 off and running.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

E72 post 07

It's fun listening to these things in such a way that I can't note times or what have you. I retain a lot less information, but maybe I enjoy the music more than I would if I were taking notes.

4/29/72 con't
I really liked the Dark Star > Sugar Mag > Caution - what's not to like? The Star has a huge, focused, "feelin' groovy" piece that I like, but that more cynical Deadheads love to hate. I think it's good clean fun. This is really the only era during which I can listen to Sugar Magnolia. My vague sense is that I found the Caution less compelling than some of others on the tour, but I dunno.

5/3/72 in Paris
Context here is that, a) I am a raving Francophile, and b) I spent a lot of time with this show in the late 1990s, when it came to CD traders as a Honeymoon Tape.

This show is just amazing on every level. The band just comes at the crowd in waves and waves and waves, and inexorably the crowd is swept long. The tape sounds incredible, somehow better than the rest, and the band seems especially focused and tight, vocals all really clean. Bertha is a good example. China > Rider is very near perfection here, quite distinct from an earlier one on the tour, or maybe more than one (can't remember which), which didn't quite click, wanting to get to the big '73'74 transition jam, which wouldn't fully materialize for another 11 months, but not quite there. This one, by contrast - sharp as a razor.

"He's Gone" has verses mostly in correct order, as I understand it. A few of these iterations (all?), he sings that he "lost two rounds", rather than one. Since Hunter has said this tune is about Lenny, I wonder if there was another ripoff in reference? It's also possible Jerry just forgot or preferred it this way for singing purposes. They are also putting a little meander on the end that will, before long, for the trunk of long explorations that would especially connect to Truckin' and The Other One in some huge jams in the pre-hiatus Golden Era.

On this night, Truckin' -> Other One is one for the ages, some absolutely incredible interplaying throughout. As I have described it in some of these posts, all six players are playing as well as they ever would, and even Pig's organ work is engaged and inventive. They all throw all kinds of stuff at each other, break off into pairs, reform, etc. Weir hits a few Spanish Jam chords here (he has done so in some of the other jams I have heard on E72), and when he lopes it into Bobby McGee we have just traveled from the edge of the universe to a California highway.

Even after a huge jam, the band has the energy to show off sparkling versions of the new tunes, and to keep pushing each other through a high energy version of the NFA > GDTRFB > NFA medley. Outstanding.

Random question, not sure during what show it came up: why no "Hard To Handle" on this tour? During one of the Pig numbers of these last few shows, I think 4/29/72, Bobby is doing some of the great stuff he used to do in the jammy middle of Hard to Handle, and it reminded me. They stopped doing it in 8/71 when Pig got sick, and never picked it back up again. I would much rather hear it than "It Hurts Me Too", but then it's been said that I don't really get the blues.

Can't wait for the next few shows!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

E72 post 06

4/29/72 in the great city of Hamburg. First set seemed good, nice "Good Lovin'" again. He's Gone needs and will eventually get some re-arranging, or he has just been getting a few things wrong, like the order of the "nine mile skiddin'" and "cats on a tin roof". Maybe a little of both.

Just heard the "Next Time You See Me", and I do not like that plodding tempo they put on it.

Monday, June 12, 2017

E72 post 05

4/26/72, at the Jahrhundert Halle in Frankfurt, is a monster show. No wonder most of the show figured as the first post-Garcia live Dead release, Hundred Year Hall.

The 36-minute "The Other One" has not an ounce of fat. At one point Phil is doing a little waltz that sounds like the bastard child of "Clementine" and "The Seven". (LIA connects this piece from 4/26/72 to the Hartbeats, which is consistent.) The whole thing is just jaw-dropping.

"Comes A Time" is great, less oversinging. I love the falsetto, but it just didn't work. The tune sounds smoother than earlier versions.

"Lovelight" - is this the first one of the tour? It starts off LL and drops into much more of a Caution space, never really returning. Some very good stuff in here, also reminiscent of the E72 Good Lovin's.

Jerry is pushing GDTRFB while most of the rest of the band seems to want NFA. A few very interesting things happen in this track.

Overall, yeah, classic show, deserving of the attention it has gotten.

Started off on 4/29/72 in Hamburg, did anybody but Bobby know whether it was "Black-Throated Wind" or "Jack Straw" before he started singing? BTW is far and away inferior, though Jack Straw hadn't really gotten itself pinned down yet. Not surprising the latter stayed pretty continuously in the repertoire, the former, not so much.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Quick at San Quentin

And Bear was there taping. I assumed immediately this was 2/15/68, partly, I am sure, in hope that this means that the Quick sets from the Pacific Northwest Tour were taped. Hamina hamina. That said, I don't see any reference to Quick guys in the various reports of this gig.

! deadlists:
! ref: URL hannan, Ross. 2009. The Grateful Dead San Quentin Performances: A Theory. Lost Live Dead, December 4, 2009, URL, consulted 8/5/2012;
! expost: UPI 1968 ("Hippies Support Quentin Paper");
! expost: Torgerson 1968;
! ref: Abbot 2007;
! Corry:;
! ref: Dister 2007, 150-151.

update: looks like Ross has confirmed Quick guys 2/15/68. Do we imagine Bear would have labeled his tape as QMS?

What about this 4/11/67 listing (not in Deadlists)? Any chance that a) QMS guys were there and b) Bear was taping?

In the alternative, what about the "3/7/68" thing, also putatively a San Quentin date, per Deadlists. Any chance a) this happened (w/ QMS), and b) Bear taped?

Let me step out of my Garciacentrism for a second, actually: I am only looking for QMS at San Quentin that crosses Jerry or the GD. Is there any other known QMS there? I see nothing at Bruno's list.

Anyway, man, 1,300 reels of stuff. Wow.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

E72 post 04

Man, what a great show.

Truckin' out of the gate. Lots of good energy. Good Lovin' another E72 masterpiece, goes all kinds of weird places, including a little ditty/ballad at some point, can't remember if that's while he's repeating for what felt like minutes, almost to himself, one of the very sexually evocative lines he put together for this tour.

That's one of the things that I said earlier: everyone in the band feels like they prepared, both alone and together. They are brimming with ideas, but they're not over-rehearsed.

The Dark Star here just contains multitudes.

I have heard a lot of 10/31/71's light upbeat groove in these E72 Stars, again here. It doesn't get all the way to "Tighten Up", but it gets hinted at. There are just dozens and dozens and dozens of little pieces, from one of the players, that just make you shake your head.

Most notably for me, is this the real birth of what I have always known as "the tiger"? I know there had been earlier hints, but he brings that shit out of prehistoric jungles for the burghers and hipsters of Dusseldorf.

With all of that said, I am 7 shows in (if we count 4/21), 23 discs and I found myself yesterday not feeling like listening to disc four:
  • He's Gone
  • It Hurts Me Too
  • El Paso
  • Not Fade Away>
  • Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad>
  • Not Fade Away
  • One More Saturday Night
Should I? Or should I just get to Jahrhunderthalle? I actively dislike "It Hurts Me Too" and OMSN. The rest I quite like, in general. In general, I wouldn't be missing much. But, this being E72, Phil might wrap Buddy Holly in some Wagner.