"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

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years 82

There are so many reasons why New Years is the greatest holiday in Grateful Dead history. The first New Years gig was in 1966 and was of course a Bill Graham Presents event. They skipped 67, but played there first Winterland New Years gig in 1968. This cumulated 10 years later when the band closed the Winterland with there midnight show in 1978. "Closing of Winterland" was later released as a CD/DVD, but before that David Lemieux said that it was the third most requested archival release to Cornell '77 and Venture '72.
Being that New Years is the date that just keeps on giving, I've decided to honor the holiday with an New Years Eve show and a Midnight show, which will be published at midnight. Both of these shows features special guest and the first is 30 years ago, New Years '82, which you can download SBD's HEREHERE, and HERE.
The show opens with a whimsical "Cold Rain and Snow," because this was Jerry and Mountain Girl's first wedding anniversary. When he sings, "I married me a wife, she's been trouble all my life," he is taking a humorous jab at MG. Bobby of course follows that up with "Girl now you made me love ya, woman, now your man is gone." The first special guest of the night, Matthew Kelley sits in on this  excellent "CC Rider." An energetic "Cumberland" is followed by a sweet "Far From me" and an enticing "Cassidy." Jerry gets gitty again with this "Ramble on Rose." Bobby then graces a crowd to rousing version of "LL Rain," before Jerry caps the set with Chuck Berry-esk "Day Job."
The Grateful Dead played "Sugar Magnolia" at the start of more New Years sets more than any other song. The tradition was started at the request of Bill Graham who called it his favorite Dead song. Don't adjust the volume because through the "Mags" there is the pre-recorded music that is competing with the band through the PA. So "Sugar Mags" is how the band rings in the New Year, and before they get to "Sunshine Daydream," they slyly progress into "Sugaree." From here the band pops into a lively "Woman are Smarter" before a graceful "Ship of Fools." The "Playin'" that comes next is thick with waves of notes that flutter up and down through the cosmos. Out of "Space" the second special guest of the evening joins the band, John Cipollina plays on the rest of the second set. "NFA" a song that would have fit nicely in the Quicksilver catalog because of the rhythmic beat of the song, features some great interplay between Garcia and Cipollina. "Deal" comes flying out of a dissolved "NFA," before the hitting beat of "Sunshine Daydream" closes the set.
The third set starts with a third set of special guests joining the band on stage, the blues legend Etta James and the Tower of Power horn section. They had joined the band the night beforehand for the encore. These two nights saw two non-Pigpen version of "Hard to Handle," which Ms. Etta James took lead vocals on. "Lovelight" has a perfect transition into "Tell Mama," and to think 4 years earlier the Blues Brothers would have loved to make this transition. The "Hard to Handle" is worth the 11 year wait, as Etta and Tower of Power kick the song into high gear. Then Bobby and Etta take vocals on the first "Midnight Hour" since the final gig at the Fillmore East, which was 730 shows ago! The long over due wait was well worth it.
Again at midnight EST, I'll publish another show blog. If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to the Furthur New Years show live from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on the Grateful Dead channel number 23. Once again thanks to my fellow traveler Peter White for creating these images for this blog. Follow him on twitter @pawhite.
I: Cold Rain, CC Rider*, Cumberland, Far From Me, Cassidy, Ramble, LL Rain, Day Job
II: Sugar Mags, Sugaree, Woman, Ship, Playin', Drums, Space, NFA**, Deal **, SSDD**
III: Lovelight***, Tell Mama***, Baby What you Want***, Hard To Handle***, Midnight Hour***, E: Brokedown
*Matt Kelley **John Cipollina ***Etta James & Tower of Power

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