"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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Busted Down On Bourbon Street

This is the anniversary of a very unspecial guest to the Grateful Dead hotel room in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1970, the Grateful Dead played two shows at The Warehouse, and after the first gig the police raided the band's hotel rooms with their only Probable Cause being that they were the Grateful Dead. The lazy detective got a search warrant at 1:50 AM to search 300 Bourbon Street, Room 2134, which they did that night.
The band was not the first rock band to be busted in a similar fashion by the NOPD and it did not have too much of a negative effect on the band but it did effect us the fan. The bust cemented the fact that Bear would be going to jail. With the Dead's sound guy being jailed, gaps start to appear in the Master's and Soundboards that are in circulation from the Dead's most frequently played year of 1970. Bear was forced to leave the band after the Valentine Day shows at the Fillmore East, which are now Dick's Picks 4, and didn't see the band again until they visited him in prison as I mentioned in DAYS BETWEEN 8/4.
So the Dead went on stage after Fleetwood Mac opened up with the cosmos in full mind-fucking effect on this date. Download the soundboard of the show HERE and HERE.
"And I ain't gonna be treated, this old way," Garcia sings for the bands opener of "Cold Rain and Snow." Bobby then announces that they are going to play an "ultra appropriate song," which "Mama Tried" is for the band at this moment. Afterwards Bobby wants to "Tell 'em as it is Weir" about how the bust is a conspiracy to keep musicians out of New Orleans, which he assures the audience that it won't deter them from returning. "Since action speaks louder than words" it did have an effect on the Dead who wouldn't return to New Orleans for more than 10 years after these shows.
The set gets kicking with the shaking cymbals that indicate the start of "Morning Dew." Garcia seems delivery of the lyric "I thought I saw a young man moan this morning" is very point, considering Jerry came into his hotel room the night before to find the cops riffling through his belongings. The "Mason's" is high energy rock 'n roll and despite the tightness of the song structure the band finds room to jam it out. It's really a wonder why they would only preform this song three more times. This stellar version is a victim of the tape flip, which cuts out part of the song. This quintessential version "Hard to Handle" exemplifies what Pigpen probably had in mind when he convinced the band to "Go electric." Listen to Pigpen howl as the band slips out of the loose blues into bold spacey jam. The band does a great job of pushing the limit of the song, until Pigpen is ready to revive the closing verse. In the background you'll hear the negative cosmos that surrounds the band catch up to Phil's bass amp. As static dominates the band's bassist. Like gremlins in water, once they've infiltrated they don't go back.
As the consummate professionals, the show must go on, so Bobby and Jerry bust out the acoustics to try and keep the audience happy. Bobby preforms a mini set of some of his favorite Country/Western songs. "Long Black Limousine," "Seasons of my Heart," "Saw Mill," the only Grateful Dead version of "Bound in Memories," and "The Race is On" rounds out Bobby's acoustic set. Jerry takes a verse of "Saw Mill" and moves from acoustic to electric guitars durning Bobby's set. Jerry then takes vocals on "Black Peter" which sly transfers into "Little Sadie," which is a treat because rarely did the band link songs acoustically. After "Around this World," Pigpen takes lead on his first ever acoustic song with the band, "Katie Mae." This song would be featured on "Bear's Choice" and is ironically debuted on the day that would be his downfall. The band closes out the set with an acoustic/electric "Cumberland Blues." "I don't know now, I just don't know, if I'm going back again."
The following day the Grateful Dead with members of Fleetwood Mac put on a benefit for show for the Grateful Dead legal mess. The band invited the arresting officers to attend and remarkably some of them did. Durning this show, Mountain Girl called the hotel for Jerry who was on stage. She had just gone into labour with the couple's first child Annabelle.
Cold Rain, Mama Tried, Dire Wolf, Big Boss Man, Morning Dew, Mason's, Uncle, Hard to Handle, Long Black Limousine, Seasons, Saw Mill, Bound In Memories, Race is On, Black Peter, Little Sadie, Around this World, Katie Mae, Cumberland

If you missed last weekend, which I did because I was on Island time last week. Joe Russo held an event at Brooklyn Bowl, called Almost Dead. Instead of me wasting ink, follow this LINK for description and download of the show. Those are my weekend plans!
January is the slowest month for Special Guest, but things will pick up now in February.

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