August 1, 2014 Playlist

Grateful Dead Audience Recording Special #5
Recorded by the fans for the fans
Jerry Garcia
Jerry Garcia would have been 72 today.

Thanks to all the tapers and archivists who made it all possible!
Click here for the archive of audience recordings
"Rolling Thunder" by Mickey Hart (1972)
Mickey Hart  "Rolling Thunder"  1972 (USA)
Today would have been Jerry Garcia's 72nd birthday, so for the fifth year in a row the KR show is celebrating with a program featuring audience recordings of Grateful Dead concerts. I am not an old school fan of the Dead; I had a copy of In The Dark in high school in 1987 and thought it was interesting, but by the time I was in college and the frat kids took over the scene I considered Jerry & co. to be the worst kind of dinosaur garbage imaginable. The sixties were long gone, and these were just a bunch of old hippies playing old songs for rich kids on drugs! By odd coincidence, I did visit the parking lot at one of the band's very last shows at Soldier Field in 1995: I remember laughing at the lameness of the sounds of opening acts Sting and Bruce Hornsby wafting from the stadium, and feeling sad for the few true blue hippies cowering in the rain as they were outnumbered ten-to-one by the yuppies and fratboys. Then Jerry died and the band came to an end. Seven years passed, and I finally began to get interested in the group (now that there were no longer any crummy fans around to tarnish their image), in particular the live recordings which are pretty much all I ever listen to (the old line is completely true: they were shit in recording studios, but (sometimes) magic on stage).  When it comes to exploring the world of taped Dead concerts, I feel it basically boils down to three layers: anything up through the "Wall of Sound" tour of 1974 is likely to have interesting moments (perhaps a lot of them depending on the random factor that was their deal). Tapes from 1975 to 1978 (roughly the end of their hiatus year til the concerts in Egypt) find the sweet spot somewhat less often, and the material they perform begins to suffer. And from 1979 to 1995 things get very hit or miss: there are the occasional good nights with interesting song choices, but mostly they just grind it out. However there are some choice moments in the tapes from those later years, so this year's special includes segments from 1983 (debuting songs from In The Dark four years before recording them in the studio!) and a very psychedelic sequence from 1991 (literally TWO DAYS after the release of Nirvana's seminal Nevermind album!) Plus some oldies from 1970 (Pigpen sings R&B covers for a mellow hometown Frisco audience), and an extended joint from 1976 that sounds almost as tasty as the music from their improvisational peak of 1973-74.
Oh yes, we also have a classic album this week! Since all of the most classic live Dead albums are already CAOTWs (along with the first three studio albums which are the most psychedelic), for this year's GD special the classic album is the most interesting solo release by a member of the band. As "second drummer", Mickey Hart (born Michael Hartman) was not an original or continuous member of the group but he has been the most prolific at releasing his own music outside of the band (though other members of the Dead often turn up in Mickey's side projects: currently he tours with ole pal "first drummer" Billy Kreutzman). Hart had actually quit the band before recording and releasing this album, which was his solo debut, though Jerry, Bobby and Phil all play on it anyway (Jerry and Bobby also both released their own solo debut albums in 1972). Which is just a tiny taste of the all-star supergroups on Rolling Thunder, which reads like a roster of the entire Northern California acid rock scene, including members of: Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Country Joe & The Fish, The Sons of Champlin, and even Tower of Power and the middle third of Crosby Stills & Nash! (Actually I am a bit surprised C&N aren't on here as well; after all, Hart had played on Croz's solo debut the previous year). Anyway, what does Rolling Thunder sound like? The most psychedelic moments of sixties Dead studio albums, plus horns and weird sound effects and tons of drums! And the next album he recorded was apparently so weird that Warner Bros refused to release it at all!
Artist Songs (all recorded live) Album / Source Graphic Country
The Grateful Dead St. Stephen ->
   Not Fade Away (Buddy Holly) ->

   In The Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett) 

   This Is A Man's World (James Brown)
June 4, 1970
Fillmore West (San Francisco, CA)
Audience recording by Gerry Olsen

Click here to stream or download this entire show!

(no commercial recordings from this show
have been made available to date)
June 1970 at Fillmore
Mickey HartThe Main Ten (Playing In The Band)Rolling Thunder (1972)
Uh Oh! USA
Bob WeirCassidyAce (1972)
Mickey HartDeep Wide & FrequentRolling Thunder (1972)
Jerry GarciaThe WheelGarcia (1972)
Mickey HartHangin' OnRolling Thunder (1972)
The Grateful DeadDrums ->
   Space ->
   The Other One ->
   Dark Star
September 26, 1991
Boston Garden (Boston, MA)
Audience recording by Clay Brennecke

Click here to stream or download this entire show!

(no commercial recordings from this show
have been made available to date)
Live Dead two days after the release of Nirvana's "Nevermind" USA
The Grateful DeadCold Rain & Snow
   West L.A. Fadeaway ->
   Hell In A Bucket
May 13, 1983
Greek Theater (Berkeley, CA)
Audience recording by Rango Keshavan

Click here to stream or download this entire show!

(no commercial recordings from this show
have been made available to date)
Live at the Greek 1983 USA
The Grateful DeadPlaying In The Band ->
   Wharf Rat ->

   Drums ->

   Going Down The Road Feeling Bad (Trad.) ->
 Playing In The Band (reprise)
August 2, 1976
Colt Park (Hartford, CT)
Audience recording by K. Gatto

Click here to stream or download this entire show!

(no commercial recordings from this show
have been made available to date)
Dead at Colt Park 1976 USA
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