Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Adventures of Indiana Ratdog and that Wrong Way Feelin'

Yes, it's Earth Day... or it was. But it doesn't really excite me anymore, not like it used to. Maybe next Earth Day I'll reminisce about Earth Day 1990 in New York City... Avenue of the Americas had booths set up for blocks and blocks and there was a HUGE concert in Central Park featuring the B-52's amongst about another five or six bands and a whole slew of celebrities speaking. There's not much on this whole interweb dealie about that concert -- I think it was the largest in the world. Maybe it still holds that title? There sure were a few people there and today, if it's not the largest ever, it's one of the top few!

But now...

Tuesday Nite Tunes Time. I sure don't listen to Ratdog enough. Some would argue that RD sucks, boring, waste of time. Some wanna boycott all things with Weir outside of the GD because of his mismanagement of the Dead's vault of live shows. Well, they can have that opinion... but fact o' the matter, Jeeves, is Ratdog plays some good, fun shows! No, there is no Jerry but he's not a god... ooooh, is that blasphemous? I love his music more than anything but I guess I'm a little more open-minded than some to be able to dig whatever within the whole GD family of bands... that's a big list, right, Abbadon?

Anyway... this show is on Archive but I've got a handful or two that currently are not which I hope to eventually post up here for folks. Slow goin'... I mean, I dig the Bob Star and all, but the Grateful Dead and Jerry stuff has just gotta have top billing, priorities 1 & 2, the King Enchiladas!

And I got a semi-request for a Bob and Rob show from 1990 -- already workin' on it, my friend. I'll see what I can do. Might take a few weeks, maybe a month, hopefully no more than 6 weeks, but aside from time, it might be kinda easy to swing. And speaking of Weir-Wasserman, I don't plan upcoming shows that much ahead of time... aside from the rare "This Date in History" show I never really know when I'll post something... but I can say this -- coincidentally I do indeed have some Weir-Wasserman in the queue for the semi-near future.

On with my show o' the night...


November 9, 1998
Egyptian Room - Murat Centre
Indianapolis, Indiana

Bass solo-> Jam-> Jack Straw-> Take Me To The River,
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Josephine
-> Wrong Way Feelin'*,
KC Moan
ª, El Pasoª, Desolation Rowª¹, West L.A. Fadeaway¹,
Looks Like Rain
¹-> The Other One Jam¹->
Sax/Drums-> Drums-> Cassidy
Sugar Magnolia

* First Time Played
; ª acoustic; ¹ with Al Schnier of moe.

I love this old school Ratdog. A few months earlier The Other Ones had delighted fans across the nation ... Fall meant time for individual projects to get back into gear. Actually Phil was on his very first post-GD tour with his own band but Bobby and his band, they were getting to be old pros at this. Another Fall Tour and with a lead guitarist on board for the first time -- Mark Karan. This would be about his eighth show in less than two weeks.

Much different than the GD did, Ratdog interestingly (often) opened shows back then with a Rob Wasserman bass solo leading into the band walking out and joining in... and then out walks Bobby. Ahhh, nice spotlight, huh, Rock Star?!

Jack Straw is really cool to hear... well, except for Jay Lane taking some of the verses. I don't care for that too much but over the song itself is just a great way to get this crowd into it. It's so good to hear. The band blends all their sounds so nicely together, Dave Ellis on sax has some space to shine and the fever in Bob's voice let's everyone know he's gonna do his best to put on a fun show for everyone.

That's evident with Take Me To The River. Oh yeah, fun indeed!! The Schoolgirl that follows keeps, while a little on the pedestrian side, keeps the theme going. Bob really gets into near the end to give it an excellent finish!

Josephine gives the boys some room to kind of open it up a little more. Mark Karan gets his first spotlight of the night here, giving the song quite a bluesy feel, more so than previous RD versions that are more rockin'. But then Ellis steps up and his sax takes the song to jazzier pastures. And of course Bobby gives it his flair and all together it's an interesting mix all within the same song.

The bombshell of the night happened next and I don't think half the people in the house had any idea what they were hearing. I don't necessarily blame them as I bet most were GD fans first and Bobby solo material took a pretty far back backseat. I mean how many people actually had the Heaven Help The Fool album? Sure a lot did... but as many compared to Terrapin Station or In The Dark. But man, wow, I wish I was there or I wish I didn't know the setlist of this show before Pressing Play 'cause how sweet it was to hear Bobby bust one out -- Wrong Way Feelin'. Ahhhh yeah. "Honey you look just like ol' Pharaoh's daughter" Bob sang. Hmmm... "pharaoh's daughter"... Egyptian Room... nice call, Bob! This was his first time with this tune in over seven years, since Weir-Wasserman opened for Hot Tuna in Old Orchard Beach, Maine in 7/28/91. You can really tell he was having fun playing it... way cool to hear it busted out for the first time since then.

With KC Moan the fans are given a dose of those Weir-Wasserman days as the rest of the band leaves the stage for just those two to play. Karan comes out to add some cool licks on El Paso and about halfway through the acoustic Desolation Row, it turns full on electric as the rest of the band comes out and joins in. It's an amazing seamless transition and soon the energy level rises to purely Wow. My mind wandered to better GD versions where Bob's puttin' more into it but this wasn't bad, not at all.

The fans seem to love West L.A. Fadeaway like way more than anyone ever did when the Dead played it. My guess why -- that connection to Jerry that people still longed for. On most of the other tunes there are spots where Jerry would be right up front... but here Mark Karan plays it respectfully; I could almost sense that he was being himself and not trying to step on the Spirit of Jerry. But with West L.A., man, these are Jerry's words and so the Heads in the hall, they sang along with glee... glee? They just dug it and were thankful Bob's paying tribute to that guy we all missed so very much.

Looks Like Rain had some great moments as well. The sax from Dave Ellis, holy cow, really makes this beautiful in a way it wasn't with the GD. Some nice emotion from Weir with vocals and the rest of the band, Jeff Chimenti on keys and Jay Lane on drums, they all again make each of their sounds blend into a very cool swirl of delicious Ratdoggie Dogg goodness. Mmmm!

I didn't much notice Al Schnier of moe. playing alongside everyone. Another listen might allow me tune in but not this time. The Other One Jam has been better and for a few minutes there it's like a halftime break but really late in the show. Cassidy is gorgeous and the Sugar Mags encore -- what a perfect way to end the night!

If I had to rate this I'd give it a Very Good to Excellent... yeah, that sounds about right. One thing's for sure -- I wish I was there!!

Source: Nak 300 Shotguns> Sony D7> CDR
1-8-66 aka 01-08-66 aka 1/8/66 aka 01/08/66 aka 66-01-08
320 kbps mp3 download MUSIC NOTE Ratdog 11/9/98 Murat Centre is @ Archive.org 320 kbps mp3 download MUSIC NOTE
for your listening and downloading pleasure.

320 kbps mp3 download and setlist Bob Weir Rob Wasserman Murat Center


Sugarmag said...

Hi Chris! Cool set list, what a fun night that must have been. I totally understand why people were so mad at Bob over all the stuff with music downloads. I have always loved Bob and so I still like him anyway. Some of my favorite GD songs are Bob songs, and I saw a Ratdog show this same year, it was fun. I love Other One and El Paso. Every time I hear El Paso I think of when they played it at Nassau 1992. I was sitting next to an anesthesiologist who spent his vacation time going to all of the east coast shows, and he was eating oranges and sharing them with me and after they played El Paso, he said, "Thank you Bob!" It was a great moment. Good times, man. Good times.

Zooomabooma said...

Hey hey Sugarmag!

I like your brief little reminiscence here, very cool and made me laugh at how the guy thanked Bob after El Paso... I'm chuckling again when typing... what a blissful moment I'm sure that was. Very, very cool! Such good times indeed. Thanks for sharin' it!!!

Nazz Nomad said...

Jinkies! I was at that Earth Day concert in Central Park! I didn't see YOU there however! We did walk past Carly Simon and one of my friends pointed to her and said "Hey Look, It's Mick Jagger".
Yeah, we were assholes.

Zooomabooma said...

You didn't see me there? I was on the right hand side, like 4 ball fields away from the stage, under the trees. How could you not've seen me?!?!

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated