West Coast bias be gone! There sure has been quite a lot of it in the Grateful Dead and related shows that I've posted here. Truly what I've chosen has mostly been at random... and so it's not really a bias at all, just coincidence that many of the dates I've put up have been from Cali. With the Hartford show a few days ago, and today's show, perhaps I'll be expanding more outside of The Golden State? We shall see, we shall see.
February 7, 1980
Asbury Park, New Jersey
1st Set: William Tell Bridge-> The Eleven-> St. Stephen-> Truckin', Independence Day-> Sugaree, Heart Of Glass-> Cruel White Water, Brown-Eyed Women, Alabama Getaway-> Althea-> Alabama Getaway-> Althea-> Deal, One Thing To Try, (harshly cuts in...) Alligator->
Mr. Charlie-> Easy Wind-> Grinnin' In Your Face
2nd Set: Cumberland Blues, Till The Morning Comes,
Keys To The Rain, Standing At Your Door, Casey Jones,
Tales Of The Great Rum Runners, Tiger Rose-> Reuben & Cherise,
Book Of Daniel, Crooked Judge, Doin' That Rag,
Sunshine Daydream-> Scarlet Begonias-> Sunshine Daydream->
Stella Blue-> Sunshine Daydream-> Scarlet Begonias,
Boys In The Barroom-> Friend of the Devil, Eagle Mall Suite, Ripple
About a week and a half after this show, Robert would be joining up with the Jerry Garcia Band traveling circus, opening shows for Jer around the northeast in such places as Rutgers, Stony Brook, Upper Darby and Providence. Prior to that run he had some shows of his own goin' on including this stop on the Jersey Shore.
William Tell Bridge into The Eleven then to the top of St. Stephen is an interesting way to get this started. Some different lyrics are then heard in Truckin', stuff that Deadheads aren't used to at all:
Fifty old ladies buck every cop on the beat
They're putting the lock on Lindley Meadow and Kezar
Beginning to look like we can't play in the park
S.F. - that's an open town
Sometimes, it even makes a sound
Caution, spread the word around
Before them mother-truckers close it down
A kinda weird little surprise follows that -- one of the only times Bob's done a little version of the Blondie song Heart Of Glass. But isn't that like disco-ish? Not here with only an acoustic guitar. A few words from Hunter can be heard after Cruel White Water, something about Born To Run (the ultimate Springsteen song of the 1970's... and one seemingly born right there in Asbury Park) ... Bob said he replaced Born To Run with Heart of Glass. I wonder if he was really gonna play a little Springsteen? Oh well.
Out with the harmonica for Brown-Eyed Women. Mmmm! I just love Robert's rendition.
Another story, this time about Frank Wakefield, comes in the middle of One Thing To Try -- he just stops playing to tell the story!
Set 1 is wrapped up with a quick a cappella version of Grinnin' In Your Face by an old Mississippi bluesman, Son House. Nice little tribute there to some music that Bob must enjoy listening to.
In the second set, things roll along just fine until we get to another one of those moments when Hunter likes to take this crazy wandering course from one song to another, back again and through 'em all again while mixing in something else in there... or something like that. SSDD-> Scarlet-> Stella Blue etc, that little passage of music is just eight minutes but... well, it's just neat the way he does that. Stella is a crowd pleaser, for sure, just like Reuben a little earlier and FOTD near the end.
The show really could've ended with Friend Of The Devil but instead Robert treats the crowd to something relatively brand new --the Eagle Mall suite. At around 17 minutes, this is quite a piece and is comprised of six parts: John Silver, Invocation, Copper, Lay Of The Ring, At The Pass and Eagle Mall.
Here's what Hunter says in his book Box Of Rain:
This is one of the only times this was ever performed. Very different in that, well, it's a sprawling story and not just a quick Dead song! Maybe woulda been better in the first set... but then again, it might really have been something Robert just threw in there, which is what it sounds like. New material testing. Not something that stuck around, though, so this is rare!
Ripple wraps it all up properly, a nice way it always is to end a show. I can't help but wonder what everyone was thinking after the show closed as it did. With an unknown 17 minute suite of music and then Ripple is not exactly the way many Hunter sets come to a finish. So definitely a little different here, special in a way, but still fun to listen to.