"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

Friday, September 20, 2013

To Rock My Soul

Picking up right were we left off yesterday. We go to the final night of the September 1970 run at the Fillmore East for this acoustic/electric show. I remember this show being one of the first acoustic/electric shows that I got my hands on, even though Harper College was the most widely traded 1970 show before it was Dick's Picks 8. And I was torn last year on this date between this 1970 show and the 1991 "Help/Slip/Fire" show, so I'm glad that I'm now able to attend to it. So download the Soundboard of the show HERE and HERE.
This show is starkly different from the loosely goosey show that they played the night beforehand, which was yesterday's blog. The infinite space that they played in the night before hand is replaced with tightness and the sweet sounds of hollow acoustics. The audience was ecstatic to see the acoustics out because "Workingman's" was released in May. "American Beauty" wouldn't be released for another two months so its really interested to see how songs like "Friend," Ripple," and "Truckin'" are played. "Truckin'" gets a good shout for "living on reds vitamin C and Cocaine," instead of the high school quote line, "What a long strange trip it's been." The "To Lay Me Down" might be the sweetest version of the song without a crushing crescendo at the end of it. Jerry does strap on a turned down electric for "Cumberland" and "New Speedway," which Bobby stays on acoustic for before ending the set with a magnificent "Brokedown." The mandolin players on the set are David Nelson and David Grisman. This is the first time that Grisman played with the Dead, although he had been working in the studio with them earlier this month.
Grisman and Garcia's relationship goes back to the Bill Monroe bluegrass festival in the early 60's. Before meeting each had heard stories of each other's musicianship. In 1973, the two formed Old And In The Way with Peter Rowan, Vasser Clemons and John Kahn. It was on this bands rehearsing and touring that Jerry came up with the Dawg nickname for Grisman, which he still carries. Him and Jerry had a falling out due to the business dealings with Old And In The Way and wouldn't rekindle until the 90's. If you listen to this shows "Rosalie McFall" and the one from the "Pizza Tapes" the mandolin and Jerry parts sound like nothing really changed in the 22 years between versions.
The electric set is opens with a fine version of "Casey Jones" and is quickly followed up with a psychedelic "China/Rider." The set looks like it is about to open up when they start the Pigpen sung "Good Lovin'," but they instead quickly transition into the final Pigpen "Big Boy Pete." The Dead would only preform the song one more time at that crazy show from 11/21/85. They do use Pigpen to release some tension when they bust into "Easy Wind." Bob and Jerry's guitars crash into each other as Phil covers the blues beat. Then there are some interesting primitive versions of "Sugar Mags" and "Attics," that make waves. Like the previous night the "Not Fade Away" allows the band to branch its wings and tease songs. After completely losing the song structure the drummers pull them temporarily back to "Not Fade" as Bobby starts playing the instrumental "Bid you Goodnight" coda that is usually at the end of "Going Down The Road." This is about 3 weeks before the band debuted "Going Down the Road." Eventually the drummers do pull them back into "Not Fade" and Phil picks up "Cation" out of the vibrant ending. Pigpen watches his language during the "Cation," which gets swallowed up in the "Feedback," before closing the night with the earlier tease, "And We Bid You Goodnight."
Acoustic: Uncle John's, Deep Elem, Friend, Big RR, Dark Hollow, Ripple, To Lay Me Down, Truckin', Rosalie McFall, Cumberland, Speedway, Brokedown
Electric: Casey Jones, China, Rider, Candyman, Top of the World, Good Lovin', Big Boy Pete, Uncle, Easy Wind, Sugar Mags, Attics, Mama Tried, NFA, Cation, Feedback, Bid You Goodnight

Wednesday night at the Ryman Theatre, the Americana Musical Society gave Robert Hunter a lifetime achievement award. After accepting the award he played "Ripple."

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