"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

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


On this date in 1973, the Grateful Dead infiltrated the San Diego Sports Arena and laid down some heat. Download the soundboard copy of the complete show HERE and HERE.
With the announcement of Dave's Picks 5 from UCLA on November 17th, this show is now known as the middle child. A few years back the Grateful Dead released a box set of the three shows from Winterland on November 9, 10, and 11th, 1973. This is the one show that falls between these two releases. Actually, of the 11 shows from November of 1973, 6 of them have been official releases and with good reason. The Dead were firing on all cylinders and were experimenting while mixing up their song placement. The Denver 11/21 show that was released as Road Trips volume 4 number 3, used to be my go to show when asked by a friend to give them something they haven't heard. I got a lot of return customers because of that one.
The show opens with "Big Railroad Blues," which they only used as an opener 5 times and this is the last time they would do it. Three great rockers come next, "Jack Straw," a nicely jammed "Sugaree," and the upbeat "Mexicali." Some of the best versions of "HC Sunshine" were from the fall of '73. This one might be the finest. The break down jam is lengthy and has a thick groove to it. Right as this song was reaching its peak it was dropped from their repertoire. The song was played once in 1974 and then dropped until 1992.
The set closes with one of the best "China/Riders" of 1973. The energy is dripping from them as the song builds throughout the jam until the rambunctious "Rider." As the band crashes the song to the close, Bobby jumps them into the set capper "Around," from which afterward they have to take a break because Bobby was screaming so much he busted a vocal chord. (Not really.)
Like a lot of tapes I used to have, this digital copy has songs out of place because of the original transfer (by someone else) from CD's to disc. So the "Me & My Uncle," "GDTRFB," and "Saturday Night" that close the second set appear after the "Around." You were warned.
The second set opens with "Truckin'" that is the launchpad to a continuous jam that features an "Other One" triple decker sandwich. There is a great pause in the "Truckin'," I love the anticipation that it causes, until the crashing power chords come rocking in its place. The genesis of the transition to "Other One" is seamless and because of this Phil never gets to the exploding bassline, although he tries at least three times. After singing the first verse the song disintegrates into the cosmos. As the band plays on Bobby plays the whole first verse of "Big River," for which the whole band gets on the same page. They drop back into the cosmic "Other One" jam before a light fluffy "Eyes" starts, like walking on a clouds that are "Close on the heels of the day." The post "Eyes" jam is quick as the band jumps back into the second verse of "Other One." As the "Other One" ends in a furry, the band drops into the smooth groove of "Wharf Rat." Quick quiz, what is wrong with this version of "Wharf Rat?" If you guessed, "What did Jerry do with the 'More than my wine' line?", then you'd be right. But the heartfelt singing of the break makes up for it. My favorite version of "Wharf Rat" occurs two weeks later and is available on Dicks Pick's 14.
I: Big RxR Blues, Straw, Sugaree, Mexicali, HC Sunshine, BT Wind, Cumberland, Row Jimmy, Race is on, BE Woman, BIODTL, Jed, El Paso, China, Rider, Around
II: Truckin', Other One, Big River, Other One, Eyes, Other One, Wharf Rat, My Uncle, GDTRFB, Saturday Night

I have at least one more blog before Thanksgiving, but please check in on Christmas day because I have an announcement about the future of the blog.
Bobby will be playing songs and taking questions live from his TRI Studios for the next four weeks, 8:30 EST every Wednesday night. Word has also come that Phil is expanding his venue at Terrapin Crossroads, there is also talk that every show will be streamed live in the web. Also I will be at Phil at the Capitol Theatre on Thursday and Sunday. I hope to see you in Port Chester.

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