Friday, September 14, 2007

These Denver Girls Start Lookin' Good

Interviewer... let's call him... Waldo: So, how do you choose what Dead shows you listen to?

Me... let's call me... Me: Well, Waldo, if that is your real name, it appears I have found you. HAA!! Anyway, what was the question again?

Interviewer Waldo: I said, how do you choose what Dead shows you listen to?

Me: It's a process and it's a complicated one that involves NASA, a dog in a Smurf costume, and Elmer's glue while Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon spins on the turntable simultaneously with The Wizard Of Oz on the television, the colorized Ted Turner VHS version, not DVD. Would you like me to demonstrate?

Waldo: I don't think we have time for you to show us. Is it really that involved?

Me: No.

Waldo: If it's not really that complicated then why did you say it is?

Me: What are you, Scotland Yard, man?!? The cops? Quit givin' me the third degree, would ya? Wait... where are we?

Waldo: You don't know where you currently are?

Last thing I remember is some dude telling me to chew on and swallow some tiny little square pieces of paper. "They're good, you'll like them," he said. A little while later a dragon wearing cowboy boots was chasing me up and down the Asian side of the Bosphorus, screaming at me to Join The Revolution. And now here I am.

Are you okay? Would you like to leave and go to a doctor?

Nah. What made you think I need to see a doctor? I'm good. Were you askin' me somethin'?

Are you sure you're alright?

Yeah, dude, no problemo. Continue, s'il vous plait.

Okay then, I was asking, how do you choose what Grateful Dead shows you listen to?

Ahhh yeah, I remember you askin' me that like 82 years ago. Why do you wanna know?

Just curious. There are so many shows out there. Many are a "must listen to" according to some Deadheads, and many shows aren't worth the time to listen to. So how do you choose?

Well, Mike...

It's Waldo.


You called me Mike. My name's Waldo.


Nevermind. Can't you just tell me how you choose what Dead shows you listen to?

I thought we we're talking about Waldo.


What question?

You're impossible.

No, you are.

This interview's over. I'm leaving.

Whatever. I didn't wanna interview you anyway. They told me some dude named Waldo was gonna be here and that he wanted to know how I choose what Dead shows I listen to. I would tell him this -- I just randomly pick. Every show is worth a listen. Sure, many smoke a whole lot more than others, and sure, some nights the band's not all there in perfect unison to create a fusion of sounds so mindblowing you'll be wondering what freakin' planet you're on... and sure, some nights lyrics get blown, jams are sloppy, etc. But that's life, man. It ain't all rosy red and cannoli bubblegum perfect, ya know what I'm jivin' about, yo? Every show's got at least one moment that makes the whole thing worth it! And there aren't really years of the Dead that I prefer more than others. I know that's a seriously weird concept to many people but hey ya know what? I does what I does and I likes what I likes, k? Anyway, I like to skip around, tryin' not to listen to the same year two times in a row. Let me sample it all; I'll hit the great ones, I'll hit the average ones. It's all good, mon. It's all good.

Now if that Waldo fellow was here, that's what I'd tell him. Hey, wanna go get some donuts?

Grateful Dead -- 8/13/79
McNichols Sports Arena
Denver, Colorado

1st Set
Shakedown Street,
Me & My Uncle Big River,
Candyman, El Paso, Friend Of The Devil,
New Minglewood Blues, Althea,
Lost Sailor Deal

2nd Set
I Need A Miracle Bertha
Good Lovin', He's Gone The Other One
Drums, Space Wharf Rat Truckin'
Nobody's Fault But Mine Jam Truckin'

Sugar Magnolia

I wonder how many people at this show knew they were inside an arena in Denver and not outdoors where the music on this night was supposed to take place? What shoulda been the middle show of a 3-night Red Rocks stand in nearby Morrison, turned into the first of two at McNichols Arena.

Usually I dig Shakedown to open a show but it didn't seem to really get going until about 8 or 9 minutes in. Some sound difficulties got ironed out and finally the guys got into a nice groove near the end of the song.

Friend Of The Devil was done beautifully, definitely my first half highlight. Nothing else really stands out so much; it was a rather pedestrian first set. There were two or three blown lines by both Bobby & Jerry and the playing overall wasn't as tight and as exceptional as it coulda been.

Before the second set started twas nice of Bobby to tell everyone to stay tuned to their radio to see where the third night's show would be. I guess the weather forecast didn't look too good. Stoopid rain! Well, I wasn't there so it didn't bother me. No rain probably woulda bothered the roadies having to move all that equipment back up to Red Rocks. Lucky for them they got to stay down in Denver.

A decent Miracle -» Bertha -» Good Lovin' kicked off Set 2. Still some imperfection with remembering the lyrics exactly but what better way to spend a rainy August night in Colorado?! Unfortunately the quality of the soundboard doesn't do this show much justice. Here's an example of where a really sweet audience recording might be more fun to listen to. If I come back around to another listen of this show when I'm about 175 years old or so, I'll definitely track down the aud.

He's Gone brings things down a notch or three. There's yet another muffed verse by Jerry that causes Bobby to quickly step up to the mic to help get his buddy back on track. Good teamwork, Bobster! Jerry's guitar work is a whole 'nother story -- he never misses a beat, always perfect where he should be. And quite noticeable here is Phil helping drive this tune into a very cool jazzy almost spacey segue leading to a thundering entrance into The Other One.
Listen closely for the very first hints of The Other One and turn up the volume and just love it! Here's where finally Jerry and the band was seemingly firing on all cylinders in the second set. I say seemingly because there's soon another mess up, this time from Bobby. Despite that, the song cranks ahead at varying paces, almost dying off and wanting to just quit and collapse into Drums. Just before that point, Jerry brings it back up, all the way back up, whipping everyone up in an almost tornadic frenzy, perfectly in step for one last gasp, a pretty damn sweet mental musical orgasm. Mmmm! Cigarette, please.

After Drums and a tiny little Space came a pretty nice Wharf Rat. Somehow, amazingly, the World's Most Popular Dead song, Truckin', rarely disappoints and on this night it had some extra special spice added for good measure. Right at the beginning of the 7-minute end of Truckin' jam, Jerry takes a hard left turn into a short but fun Nobody's Fault Jam (the first since the year before up at Red Rocks) and then seamlessly back into Truckin' to end the set. Sugar Mags wrapped it all up with a nice sugary bow.

On the grand scale of things, this is not an exceptional show. Perhaps it was just this soundboard which didn't seem to have any sparkle to it. One thing I do know for sure -- if I was there, I'd've been one happy afterwards!

Sound Quality:
eh. not that hot. even has some minor but audible hiss throughout.
master soundboard cassette -» Reel to Reel -» PCM -» CDR.
3 to 4 minutes (spread across 3 songs) is from an audience recording
patched in to replace where the SBD was missing.

Denver 8/13/79 @
for listening only

Download The Soundboard Right Here

8/13/79 - 1st Set 2nd Set - 8/13/79

from ... great site for primarily GD tickets, you know, that band with Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir and Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann and Brent Mydland as well.  And of course Robert Hunter wrote a ton of their songs.  What a great band, eh?!


Oceanshaman said...

Does Natalie Portman count? Even now, with her all grown up and sexy and all, I still wonder whether I'm in the wrong to dig her . . .

Anyway, I'll give this show a listen a bit later this weekend . . . Listened to a 9-22-91 Boston Garden show earlier today . . . listening to the Disco Biscuits now . . . a show from last month at their big festival, Camp Bisco, in NY state . . .

Hope the hiking is increasing . . .

Later . . .

Zooomabooma said...

Ms. Princess Portman Amidala is from Long Island but if you close your eyes and think really hard on it, she could be a Denver fillie if you want her to be.

And I'm hoping for a hike this afternoon, only my 5th, i think, in about... don't even wanna think about it... about 12 weeks?!

Nazz Nomad said...

Yecch on Natalie Potman. Every bit the credit to L.I. as Billy Joel and Joel Rifkin are.

Sometimes the trade-off of existing on L.I. vs LIVING in Alaska pay-off.
In NYC and LI we get 13 nites of Ratdog and Phil from 10/30 through 11/11.

But I got shut out on Mets divisional series tix.

Oceanshaman said...

Sweet show . . . I put it on first thing this morning as I began to prep blog posts . . .

Listening to the Friend of the Devil . . . definitely a high spot in the first set . . .

Thanks for the suggestion . . .

Sugarmag said...

Hey Sweetie! I am downloading the second set right now! I am so happy I got that MP3 thing figured out, don't know why I thought it was hard! Now I'm gonna download that show.

Sugarmag said...

Hey Christopher, I finally read this post. You are so funny! I'm downloading the first set, and now I'm gonna go find that Hawaii show. Yay! The Dead in Hawaii! What a fun time that must have been. Do you know what I want you to do? Go find some Iz and give it a listen.

Zoooma said...

Heya Ame :) You hooked me up with some Iz some time after this but I've had to delete it from the computer. I didn't care much for it the first time I heard it but ya know what? I think I'd like to give Iz another try when I'm able to :)

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated