"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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rat In A Drain Ditch

For today's showaversary, we go back to the Shrine Auditorium in 1976. The Grateful Dead had come back to touring in June and decided that they were going to shake up the band's growing show size. First they disassembled the Wall of Sound, then they let soundman Dan Healy decide their venues, which is why he book them on in theaters that were catered to live music. This is why 1976 is the only time the Grateful Dead played venues like the Beacon Theater and Orpheum Theatre. This is the final show of this theater tour. The next gig would be on New Years and they would return to the the larger arenas and college sports halls. Download the SBD of this show HERE and HERE.
Some songs really thrived in this theater setting. Some of the best version of songs like "Might as Well," "All Over Now," and "Lazy Lightning/Supplications" came from this year. The crescendo of "Might as Well" was usually bone crushing this year, whereas the two Bobby numbers usually featured sublime energy. Prime example of these examples are prevalent in this first set. 
The second set opens with the combo of "Eyes/Music Never Stopped." Although this combo is smooth and both songs are in the same key, this is the only time the songs were paired together. Quite baffling that they didn't revisit this combo. The only reason I can think of is placement, whereas "Eyes"was primarily a second set tune and "Music" was a first setter. 
"He's Gone" is a song that written about the band's soured relationship with their ex-manager Lenny Hart. Mickey thought that his now preacher father (although he was Jewish) had reformed his scheming ways and could help the band navigate their growing financial business. After several indication like Pigpen's keyboard being repossessed, the band checked the books as Lenny fled to Mexico. The stress bother Mickey so much that he left the band in February of 1971 and in April of 1972 the band debuted "He's Gone." Mickey returned to the band in October of 1974 and this is the first time that Mickey played on the song. Then for only the second time the band used "He's Gone" to segues into "Drums," which would later become a common occurrence. 
A song that saw a resurgence was "Comes A Time." The band seemed to play it fairly regular throughout the year even though they stopped playing it after 1972. It worked and thrived throughout the year to some of those heart wrenching versions in the spring of '77. This one progresses into to a glorious version of "Franklin's Tower." This isn't the first stand alone version, but this is the first time "Franklin's" appeared in a show that didn't have a "Help/Slip" in it. The night ends with the set closer of "Sugar Mags," and then DeadHeads have to wait two and half months for their next gig. 
I: Might As Well, Mama Tried, Row Jimmy, All Over Now, Loser, Minglewood, Bertha, Lazy Lightning, Supplications, Sugaree, Promised
II: Eyes, Music, Roses, Samson, He's Gone, Drums, Other One, Comes a Time, Franklin's, Sugar Mags
Today is my wife and I anniversary and this was her gift to me. As a bonus she said that I can actually hang it on my wall. Awesome!

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