Thursday, February 14, 2008

GD 40 Yrs Ago ... So Long, Neal

Grateful Dead show review & mp3 download -- 2/14/68 Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco.  Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Ron Pigpen McKernan, Bill Kreutzmann.  Was Mickey Hart in the band here?  I can never remember when he left and returned.  No Brent Mydland or Vince Welnick or Bruce Hornsby or Donna or Keith Godchaux.  Any songs by John Perry Barlow?  Without looking at the setlist, I don't know.  Don't think so.  Not yet.  But yes, definitely songs by Robert Hunter!  And in case anyone searches differently and the search engine doesn't pick up 2-14-68 as 2/14/68 then there it is.  And for the freaks, this is also now known as 68-02-14.  Frankly I would never use that ever.  And because I can, I'm gonna throw in some random search words/terms: Fillmore East, Madison Square Garden, Bob Dylan, Tom Constanten, Carlos Santana, Bird Song, Brokedown Palace, Black Muddy River, VW bus, St. Stephen, The Other One, Aiko Iko, One More Saturday Night, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, Golden Gate Bridge, George Washington Bridge.  Done.  Except to say the setlist is here, too."There was Cowboy Neal at the wheel, of a bus to never-ever land."

So long, Neal Cassady. 40 years ago this month the legend's life came to an end in central Mexico. A week and a half later, the Grateful Dead played their first show since his death. With this great music, they pay tribute to a dear friend gone too soon.

Neal Cassady in Furthur
Neal Cassady
Feb 8, 1926 - Feb 4, 1968

Grateful Dead Steal Your Face fractal kind of sort of thing-a-ma-jig

Grateful Dead
February 14, 1968
Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco, California

1st Set: Morning Dew, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,
Dark Star-» China Cat Sunflower-» The Eleven-»
Turn On Your Lovelight

2nd Set
Cryptical Envelopment-» The Other One-»
Cryptical Envelopment-» New Potato Caboose

Born-Cross Eyed
-» Spanish Jam, Alligator-» Jam-» Alligator
Caution (Do Not Stop On The Tracks)
-» Feedback

In The Midnight Hour

Country Joe and the Fish played between GD sets

Sometimes the words, they don't come to me so easily; or: I'm not a professional Grateful Dead show reviewer, not by any means... I only play one on television; or: it's a lot easier for me to review shows closer to the later years than shows from the amazingly unbelievable age of the band. That's the case here.

All I really have to say is: Wow.

There are no spacey and truly exploratory wanderings into jams that turn songs into mind-blowing 15 or 20 minute journeys that take ones mind Furthur into the great beyond. Nope.

But what's played on this night at the Carousel is exceptional from song to song, from the first note to last. The three times I have listened to this in the past few days, I just layed in my bed, enveloped by darkness, headphones filling my ears with nothing but some of the best music I have ever heard.

Here's a short review transcribed from my copy of Deadbase...

(written more than 10 years ago, before the Soundboard Reel Master source of the show made its way onto the scene...)

This is the famous show where Jerry "pushed Phil down the stairs." Upon listening to the tape the band discovered that it was so hot it became the core tape for Anthem Of The Sun (along with parts the November 1967 Shrine shows). It's not hard to see why, and since the second set had the good fortune to be broadcast live on KPFA, the tapes are in wide circulation.

All I know of the first set is that they played Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. I know this from a friend who also informed me that his friends taped the show and also others at the time. He has, however, since lost the track of them. (If the people he is referring to read this, PLEASE come forward!) Whatever else happened that set, it is set two that makes this one of the all time greats. That's It For The Other One starts things off maniacally after which the band settles into New Potato Caboose, a real good version of a song that developed quite a bit before being inexplicably dropped from the repertoire in May of 1969. Born Cross-Eyed comes after that, it seems as though the song sequence of this set was the model for that on the album with a notable exception -- Born Cross-Eyed they jam and space before settling into the Spanish Jam. It's hard to believe that the band has been doing this jam for over twenty years and STILL hasn't come up with a name for it.

After a short feedback stretch the band stopped playing. From the onstage banter it seems they were having equipment problems. Once things got fixed they managed to coax Pigpen out front and began Alligator, this version being one of the hottest, most energetic things they've ever played live. Having the tape makes it possible to hear what got cut out before putting it on the LP. After Alligator a neat transition into Caution is made. The jam that follows absolutely rips and the set closes with a howling feedback jam.

For the encore Pig gets coaxed out once again for a Midnight Hour that sounds totally out of whack but no matter. It's still a lot of fun.

--from Deadbase IX by co-author Mike Dolgushkin

I have no clue what the reference is to Jerry pushing Phil down the stairs. Not a one. But what Mike says about Set 2 is dead on. I'll add that in the first set, the Dark Star transition into China Cat -- whew... I was blown away by that. That whole 4-song sequence at the end of Set 1 is just spectacular.

It's not like me at all to specifically say: Own This Show or to give out recommendations. If I did, then I would only post the bestest shows there are. What I do is sample it all, often completely at random... and I like it that way.

This show, 2/14/68, was a little less at random, in fact it was chosen by a whopping 27% of the voters in my inaugural (and maybe last) Show of The Month poll... just edging out (5 votes to 4!) a date from '77. Truth be told, I'm glad this won and here it comes, a rare event -- Own This Show!!!

Source: Soundboard Reel Master > DAT > CD
(the encore is FM> Reel> Reel> DAT> CD)

Grateful Dead Dancing Bear, a little tiny one.  His name is Göran.
2-14-68 is @
for listening only.
music note Download The Show Right Here music note

2/14/68 Carousel Ballroom - Part One
Part 2 - Carousel Ballroom 2/14/68

Steal Your Face

Grateful Dead BE MINE concert poster for 2/14/68 Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco.  Artwork by Stanley Mouse.  One in Excellent Condition will currently run you about $750!
2-14-68 a.k.a. 2/14/68 a.k.a. 68-02-14 320 kbps mp3 download & setlist
Steal Your Face


Paticus said...

I've never heard this show, but now I will have to.
the reference to Jerry pushing Phil down the stairs is that after the shjow, mJerry thought that the show was so bad, and he was so mad, taht when Phil spoke to him, he pushed him down the stairs. Abnd then when they listened to the tape, he realized that they had been playing fantastically. it's often used as a reference point for them not always knowing when they are in the moent how well or poorly things might be going. I think that's the case anyway, i am also far from being a GD historian.

Countertop said...

I think Paticus is generally right. There is an interview a very stoned Jerry gave where he discussed this. Not sure if it was on Tom Snyder's show or David Letterman or something like that.

If I can find it, I'll link to it.

Countertop said...

as I think about it, it might actually be in the Grateful Dead Movie itself.

Thats sticking in my mind now, and would certainly explain the "famous" part of it - which it clearly is.

Ramrod said...

This show is one of my favorites! Thanks again.

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated