"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

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Today is the anniversary of one of my favorite shows from one of my top 5 favorite years in Grateful Dead history. This show was released as part of Dicks Picks Volume 14. The second set is one of those sets that flow and grows as the set goes on and it is an awe inspiring snapshot of the band at their best.
The second set opens with a beautifully delicate "Wharf Rat" that phases magnificently into "Half Step." The ending coda of "Half Step" provides the perfect segue in a infinitely spacey "Playin'." The "Playin'" opens a giant void and like a vacuum sucks up all the energy of the day. It's a pretty epic jam that slides into "Mind Left Body Jam." The pick out "He's Gone" before speeding into "Truckin'," as the song sequence ends in a beautiful "Stella Blue." They started out delicate and end the set delicately. Gorgeous. They encore this set the only way they saw fit with a crushing "Morning Dew."
Since it was released, I'm going to fast forward 4 years as I present for the first time a JGB show. Ironically Jerry was in the same city on this date in 73 and 77, Boston Massachusetts. Download a very good Audience version of the Early and Late show HERE and HERE.
This band featured Jerry, John Kahn,  Keith and Donna Godchaux, Maria Muldaur, and Buzz Buchanan on drums. At the time, Maria Muldaur was an established musician. She had a hit single in 1973 with "Midnight at the Oasis" and was a favorite at folk venues throughout the country. It was around 1974, that she started dating John Kahn, whom had started his musical relationship with Jerry Garcia in the early 70's. He gigged with Garcia and Wales, Old and in the Way, Garcia and Saunders, and every incarnation of JGB. Sadly Kahn died of a heroin in 1996.
The digital copy has scrambled the order of the songs but it hasn't effected the yumminess of the night's song selection. The upbeatness of "How Sweet it is" makes it no wonder why it was the most frequently played JGB song. The vastness of the "Knockin' on Heaven Door,' which tops off at 16 minutes (longer than some "Dark Stars"). And my favorite Jerry Band song, "Mission in the Rain." Jerry said about the song, that even though he didn't write the lyrics, that it was an autobiographical song. He called that part of the genius of Hunter. The song really gets to me especially when I hear him sing the lyric, "All the things I planned to do I only did half way." Me too.
EARLY: How Sweet it is, TLEO, That's What Love, Simple Twist, Second That Emotion, Gomorrah, Harder They Come
LATE: Love in the Afternoon, Tore Up, Knockin', Mystery Train, Cats, Mission

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