Friday. I believe it says that in the date there, huh? Yeah, even though that's true, typing it mentally helps reinforce that it truly is Friday. Right?
I'm caught up on sleep and now it's the last day of the work week! Wait, not for me. I don't really have a work week. It's just continuous. Work Friday, work Sunday. Sometimes I have off Friday -- work Thursday, work Saturday. See how that... works?
Anyway -- I was gonna plant some posies today... but then I remembered I don't plant flowers.
Google's telling me today is the anniversary of the invention of the first laser. July 4, 1776 ... May 16, 1960 ... September 11, 2001 ... yeah, uh, I'm pretty sure that middle one doesn't quite rank up there with Pearl Harbor day or the day the rescue from Gilligan's Island took place. Now those were important events. I guess the laser is important, too, I mean would Han Solo be the bad ass he is without a laser blaster? Hmmm... maybe if he carried a whip. Hmmmm.....
History of the Grateful Dead
(everything's corporate nowadays.)
Pico Acid Test - Carthay Studios
Los Angeles, California
You See A Broken Heart, It's A Sin, Beat It On Down The Line,
Heads Up, Next Time You See Me, slow R and B instrumental,
Death Don't Have No Mercy, In The Midnight Hour
This acid by Ken Kesey & His Merry Pranksters was originally scheduled for the Student Union Grand Ballroom at UCLA (original newspaper ad above.) If I've got my facts correct, it had to be moved at the last minute due to decisions coming down the pipe from school administration... mixing students and LSD would probably be bad.
The quality here isn't the greatest, at least to start -- a little muddy but it improves. Even if it was less-than-stellar all the way through, would it matter? Hey, not to me. This is historical stuff! We get to hear a lot of things for the first time here including the first Viola Lee Blues in a show setting (there is a recording of Viola Lee rehearsals which you can check out, which I'll post up before the Adventures in '66 Dead are through.)
We also get to hear a new Grateful Dead original song -- You See A Broken Heart, written by Pigpen. Unfortunately, this is the one and only known time played. Considering the immense lack of recordings for 1966, we're pretty lucky to hear this. Pretty lucky? Jackpot, baby!
Heads Up (Freddie King) and the unknown instrumental are also one-time-only songs that we only hear here.
Covers of One Kind Favor (Blind Lemon Jefferson) and It's A Sin (Jimmy Reed) also have their debut (recording) here, as well two covers that the Dead played all the way through (or close) to the end -- BIODTL (Jesse Fuller) and Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett/Steve Cropper.)
Finally we get to hear significant Bob Weir participation in this band, including some great stage banter from him and Phil, as well. Love hearing Jerry's blueseyness but lacking is Pigpen on harmonica as he had been in previous '66 shows. He's all over that Hammond organ of his but I don't think he picks up the harmonica once. Definitely a change.
It's great hearing this old stuff!
A sidenote... or footnote... or other comment here not related to the tunes...
what the hell are the odds that I would play two Grateful Dead shows in a row with mentions of ice cream?!?!?! (This and 12/6/80 which I posted a few days ago.)
Los Angeles, California
I'm A Hog For You Baby, You Don't Have To Ask,
Cold Rain & Snow, Next Time You See Me
No Acid Test this time... but hmmm, I wonder if maybe some of the people at this show were indeed dosing at the time. Hmmmmm...
Some better sound quality here. Unfortunately, Stealin gets cut into... but the Jam right after, wow. I've gotta wonder if that's an actual song like Heads Up and the unknown instrumental in the 3/19 show. It definitely sounds like something they've practiced. Of all the music in this show and the last, that Viola Lee Blues and this Jam, I think, really hint at where this band is heading. Still they maintain a whole lot of the old such as with I'm A Hog For You Baby but as '66 moves on, they get a lot more away from what they layed down on their Autumn Records demo a few months before. Here in this 8½-minute Jam, we get to hear Jerry all over the place, completely leaving the boundaries of a normal 3 minute song. Similarly, Midnight Hour in the previous show has the Dead exploring way beyond the confines of short, compact songs... plus that's the first real time we get to hear Pigpen really let loose similar to those wildman rants in the 60's and early 70's.
I really dig the Hey Little One from 3/12 Danish Center. This version from Trouper's Hall is definitely louder with a lot more guitar from Jerry that wasn't there before... but less of the passion in his voice. 3/12 Jerry lets out the emotion vocally whereas here, not so much.
A quick, fun Hog For You Baby is followed up by another brand new Grateful Dead original gets it's recording debut here -- You Don't Have To Ask. Two brand new tunes in a week. Unlike the other from 3/19, this one lasted awhile... but not too long, getting a handful (that we know of) performances throughout '66.
After another early Cold Rain & Snow, Pigpen finally busts out the harmonica for, I think, the first time in these two nights of music. Next Time You See Me is such a great tune for Pig, glad it had an appearance here... but noooo, the reels get garbled and the music goes bye just like that. Too bad but that's the way it is.
We're lucky to even have this stuff. All together these two shows, and everything from '66, makes for some good listenin'... and interesting, too.