"If you tell the Truth, you don't have to remember anything"
-Mark Twain
"You realize, of course, that everything I say is horseshit." -Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Boy Bobby is turning 65 today. He was the youngest original member of the Grateful Dead. Bobby first encounter Jerry at Dana Morgan's music shop on New Years Eve. Jerry was waiting in the shop to teach guitar, his student never showed, but Bobby and some of his high school friends did. Instead of continuing onto the New Years party they stayed behind to jam the night away with Jerry. The first of many New Years shows.
Bobby was never a good student because of his Dyslexia, as the saying goes, Bobby never went a school that he couldn't get kicked out of. His affliction prevented him from excelling in his schooling and this lead to him causing mischief that got him kicked out of school. Since he wasn't in school he ended up spending a lot of time down at the Haight.
He wasn't in Jerry's early band, the Black Mountain Boys, but he was in Mother McCee's Uptown Jug Champions, when they decided to transition into an electric blues band, The Warlocks.
There are several great shows that also celebrate a birthday today; Winterland 1974, 1989's Nightfall of Diamonds, and the impromptu Melk Weg 1981 show. Europe 81 failed to provide the level of shows that 72 and 74 had before it, but this show helped the band rekindle some of its overseas magic. Download the soundboard show HERE and HERE
Phil said of this gig in his book: "When our shows in France were canceled, Rock decided, as sort of a stealth gig, to bring us back to the Melkweg for two nights, playing on borrowed instruments and amps. It was a total gas: I can't remember how long it had been since we played somewhere so small."
Bobby and Jerry were the ones who found the location and Rock decided that they should get the bandmates and Healy so they could play. They used borrowed instruments and played over the house PA, which is why you'll hear all sorts of level adjustments on the first song, "On The Road." Jerry is really roaring to go and you can hear that the way he so anxiously starts "Bird Song." A moment later he pauses on his bandmates as they spring off the deep end. They cap the set with "Ripple" and all seem to assure the crowd that they'd be coming back with an electric set. 
The electric is filled with bust out of songs they haven't played in 10-15 years. Some of the songs would make it into rotation, while "Hully Gully" made its only appearance. 
When Bobby orchestras "Gloria" it's clear the other members kind of know what is going on and but they are clearly making it up as they go along. As the jam out of the song, Phil imitates a riff that they haven't jammed since Pigpen was in the band. The music gets quite as they throw caution to the wind as Bobby takes vocals on "Lovelight." The ten year absents of the song and the new vocalist changed the song but that didn't stop Bobby from asking the crowd to "Shine on Me."
Dennis McNally in "Long Strange Trip" wrote; "It all worked. Clowning around between swigs on a vodka bottle, Lesh realized that he hadn't sweat so hard in ages, it was a health sweat."
"GDTRFB" brings the band back into a blazing "Playin' Rerprised." They take a breather for a really nice "Black Peter," where the line "Just wanna have a friend or two, I love at hand" really sticks out because of the intimacy of the gig. They cap the night off with a smoking "Sugar Mags." It's a 10 minute version because of the lengthy guitar solo while Bobby does his front of stage acrobatics. Those borrowed instruments were never the same after that night. 
I: Happy Birthday Bobby, On the Road Again, Dire Wolf, Monkey, Bird Song, Cassidy, Oh Babe, Race is On, Ripple
II: Playin', Hully Gully, Wheel, Samson, Gloria, Lovelight, GDTRFB,  Playin', Black Peter, Sugar Mags

No comments:

Post a Comment