In the land of the night, the Ship of the Sun is driven across the sky by the Grateful Dead
"If you tell the Truth, you don't have to remember anything"
"You realize, of course, that everything I say is horseshit." -Kurt Vonnegut
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Boston has always been a great town for musicians to entertain their audience, because the four major colleges in the town, young audiences make for an energetic crowd. There have been some very special shows in Grateful Dead history in Boston. The first time Bobby decided to open with "Sugar Mags" and close the set with the "Sunshine Daydream" coda was in Boston in 1974, this was memorialized in Dick's Picks 12. Dick's Picks 14 is Boston 73, Dick's Picks 17 is Boston 91 and most recently the final Road Trips is from the Boston Music Hall in 1976 and is also the second tape I ever owned. The only New Years show that the Grateful Dead ever played outside of California was played in Boston in 1969.
All that being said, I have never lived or wanted to live in Boston. I'm a New Yorker and a big Yankee fan. I love the spirit of competition. I love the rivalry and the excitement it brings, without it there is really no point to playing the game. Its what makes sports so compelling. Unlike some, outside of baseball, I can like Boston sports team (I'm currently wearing a number 4 Bobby Orr Bruins jersey) and have enjoyed plenty of "Wicked" concerts in Boston. Even though I was mugged one time outside of the Boston Garden looking for tickets for that evening concert.
Bob Weir has always been the athlete of the band, whereas Jerry and Phil have been the most anti-athletic members of the band. Ironic that it was Jerry that saw the story of the Lithuanian basketball team and decided to sponsor them. Bobby last year talked about a flag football league that he was in, not bad for a senior, and would customarily go on runs around the cities when on tour. In fact, the line from "Saint of Circumstance" that goes "I sure don't know what I'm going for, but I'm gonna go for it for sure" came to Bobby when he got stuck in a sudden rain shower while out for a jog.
I mentioned four Grateful Dead releases but the most traded GD show might be 5/7/77 show, which you can download HERE, HERE, and HERE. Sprung from the infamous Spring 77 tour the good times are event from the hysterical laughter after some feedback in the "Bertha." Stupendous versions of "Peggy-o," "Half Step," and "Music" in the first set. And the second set is filled with song choices which would set up their most famous show on the very next night, Cornell 77. A seductive "Terrapin" stutters into "Samson" to open the second set. The first ever "Estimated/Eyes" combo bleeds into "Drums" before getting circled back by "The Wheel." This "Wharf Rat" much like 5/3/77 and 5/22/77 has one of those magnificent Garcia intros where the band steps asides as he runs his fingers up and done the fret board like Da Vinci's brush across the Mona Lisa. These and the Boston Music Hall's 12/2/73 are my favorite versions of "Wharf Rat." Then the band wraps up the night with "Around and Around." Just another brilliant night in Boston. These "Ships of Fools" have always played up to the Boston crowd because Boston has always been Grateful Dead strong.
If you are on Twitter, the @GDTLP has dedicated this next week to Boston shows. So follow along for 1 PM work day shows. Also @TigerRose420 posted all these wonderful images of the Boston bound Grateful Dead, after the events on Monday. Thanks for remind me of the spirit of the town.