"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, January 10, 2014

Pouring It's Light Into Ashes…

Today is the anniversary of a marvelous show from the Nassau Coliseum from 1979. Coming off what was considered by some to be their best New Years show, the Dead rolled into NYC for their first two gigs at Madison Square Garden before shooting out to the Island. (The New Years show was second on the DeadHead's request to be released as Dick's Picks 3 to Cornell 77 according to DeadBase.) This first of two nights is important because it's the first East Coast "Dark Star" since 1974, and briefly gave DeadHeads the hope that there would be many more to come. If you want to narrow it down further, this is the first New York State "Dark Star" since Utica since March 21, 1973. Just before this gig the band played their three gigs at the Nassau Coliseum and the middle show featured "Dark Star."
Being that the full New Years gig at the Winterland was played in 1979, this gig is the second of three "Dark Star" played in 1979. This is the longest of these three "Dark Star," and interestingly enough Jerry only sang the first verse in all three cases. This one like the Winterland feature some fantastic fluttering notes by Jerry. This one is also very Bobby and Keith  heavy. Keith tries on this one to stay very close to the theme and Bobby, and is an example of his mimicking which the bandmates found annoying causing him and Donna to exit after this brief winter tour. Bobby is a catalyst on this "Dark Star," leading the band to explore and give it legs to stretch into "Drums."
This show is also the last time that "Dark Star" and "St Stephen" were played at the same concert. The pair were linked on 8/20/68. Previously they had been using "Dark Star" primarily paired with "China Cat," but the band believed that "Dark Star/St Stephen" was the combo that they wanted to develop for their "Live Dead" album. The final time the two songs were combined was at their final Fillmore East show on 4/28/71. "St Stephen" went on hiatus after this show until 10/15/83 at Madison Square Garden, it appeared 3 times in 1983 and then permitly left the Grateful Dead's rotation, for more on "St Stephen" check HERE.
DeadHead's at the New Years Winterland show brought a sign in forming the band how many days since the last "Dark Star." It had been 1535 days but because of the 1975 hiatus it only figured out to be 189 and it wouldn't even figure as the longest show or day gap in the song appearance. This appearance is only a four show gap and you can download the best Audience copy of it HERE.
I: Promised, Dire Wolf, Mama Tried, Mexicali, Jed, LL Rain, Stagger Lee, El Paso, Row Jimmy, Passenger, Loser, Music
II: Shakedown, Miracle, Bertha, Good Lovin, Dark Star, Drums, Space, Wharf Rat, St Stephen, Around E: JBG

If you want to get hip to a really cool Grateful Dead side show, check out the recent show by Furthur drummer Joe Russo and his Almost Dead project. They played a recent gig on 12/27/13 and is posted on Archive HERE.

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