Friday, July 4, 2008

T for the Fourth Day of July!

Grateful Dead Dancing Bear U.S. FlagGrateful Dead

July 4, 1981
Grateful Dead Dancing Bear U.S. Flag

Manor Downs - Manor, Texas
(near but not really in Austin!!)

1st Set: Jack Straw, Peggy-O, Me & My Uncle-> Big River, Loser,
Little Red Rooster, Tennessee Jed-> Minglewood Blues,
China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider

2nd Set: Feel Like A Stranger, Bird Song, Playing In The Band->
Drums-> Space-> Not Fade Away-> Wharf Rat-> Sugar Magnolia

Encore: One More 4th of July Night

The choice of "Jack Straw" as an opener, with its "Leaving Texas, fourth day of July" line tailor-made for both date and venue, was obviously no accident. When it gets to being sung, though, Bob goes and blows it completely by confusing it with "Minglewood" and singing something like "T for Texas, T fourth day of July." So much for planning ahead where Dead song selection is concerned! He then partially makes up for it, though, by strong work alongside Garcia in the bridge. "Peggy-O" has a rather bizarre rocking-horse rhythm to it that sounds like an attempt gone wrong to "pop" this tune up. Jerry takes "Rooster" slow and easy, which only increases the power of his extended solo offering. Brent and then Bob both take the hint and then do the same when their turn comes around. All hot stuff! "Minglewood" has a series of racy contributions from the guitarists, and Bob this time delights in finally nailing the series of local references in the lyrics. "China Cat" starts off rather faster than I prefer it, but the band proves more than worthy of the challenge this offers and they soon sail into the jam with a powerful, yet smooth and steady powerful wind. They keep up a constant flow of high-energy inventiveness that is capped by a "Rider" with fiery jams. It's unfortunately slight marred, however, by lyric cock-ups initiated by Bob that then get Jerry confused. Even the set-break announcement goes askew. After "we'll be back in just a few minutes, so . . .," where you'd expect Bob to say, "everybody hang loose," he stops and says, "Oh, we'll get everything fixed"!

Set 2, and the music is indeed "thundering, reckless, and hot" as a fine early "Stranger," punctuated by Brent's slippery synth sounds and chunky, funky leads from Jerry, introduces proceedings. Jerry alternately skips and struts across the terse rhythm accompaniment as Brent and Bob lock around him. Bob's playing is also fascinating throughout the surprise "Bird Song" that follows. It is one of only three post-1980 electric versions played in the second set. There is a quintessential "Bird Song" jam, with each member of the band playing completely different lines and even styles of music, which together go to produce a mind-blowing synthesis. A myriad of themes are thus explored. "Bird Song" jams were more of a band enterprise than the many that only highlighted a few members, such as Jerry, Phil, and Brent. This made it the closest thing to a vehicle for "Dark Star"-style playing that existed in the 1980s.

The drummers crack the whip from the start in "Playing In The Band," laying down a snappy beat, over-laid with Phil. In the jam Garcia bursts into the sound from below, spread-eagling intense visions in guitar between the rhythm section and Brent. He goes in very deep before another rhythm altogether takes hold. Very soon we get a burst of intense work from Bob that can only be described as a single-handed "Space." For a while it brings with it a clear breath of the sea and the cry of gulls. Later he and Brent stay alongside each other for a long while as "Drums" closes in around them. Just as they seem about to retreat gracefully, they spring a ferociously intense jam that displays sides of Bob's guitar work that are rarely, if ever, seen so openly in the Grateful Dead, and more's the pity. The drummers are finally playing so hard against that when they are left alone at last the sensation is of having been thrust alone into the midst of a gigantic African drum circle, and the crowd hollers its appreciation. Things slow down later, but it remains music to shake your hips and writhe to. Jerry and then Bob come back but at least one drummer always remains onstage so what follows is not a proper "Space." It appears that at first Mickey leaves, and when he later comes back and swaps with Bill, the music immediately gets much stranger, with Weir ending up producing his second extraordinary "Space" segment of the evening. Garcia cuts him short by introducing the "Not Fade Away" riff, and although the rest of the band immediately take him up on it, they then turn away into an unprecedentedly lengthy funky introductory jam before the vocals set in. The jamming inside the song itself is very fine and drops into a powerful and still appropriately affective "Wharf Rat." "Sugar Magnolia" is rippling with energy, Weir and Garcia running riot in an extremely extended closing jam and an almost ludicrously powerful "Sunshine Daydream." "One More Saturday Night" with its "One more Fourth of July" line, completes Bob's trio of songs with "significant" lyrics. Throughout it you get again the impression that the band is playing its collective heart out, which has been evident through nearly all of this show. However, the show award for effort must go to Weir with a great collection of his most inspired and powerful playing, as well, of course, as his lyric cock-ups in set 1! A very fine evening's music.

The Deadhead's Taping Compendium, Volume II:
An In-Depth Guide to the Music of the Grateful Dead on Tape, 1975-1985
(out of print)


Soundboard Master Cassette> DAT> CD
unfortunately, a few songs either don't exist in SBD form
or we, the public, don't got 'em. So....

TN Jed-> Rider + Sugar Mags & Saturday Night
is Audience Front of Board: Cassette Master> Cassette> DAT> CD

patched & edited by Charlie Miller, 7/05

sound quality
a good solid A and it should be mentioned
that the FOB Aud sourced songs are excellent...
actually more like really freakin' sweet!

7/4/81 Manor Downs at
you can Listen to the SBD --or-- Listen to/Download the full Audience recording


Small Steal Your Face symbolizing, of course, the Grateful Dead with Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Ron Pigpen McKernan, Keith & Donna Godchaux, Vince Welnick, Bruce Hornsby and Brent Mydland.  And even Tom Constanten!  Songs by John Perry Barlow and Robert Hunter but none on this night by Bob Dylan or The Beatles.Download the Soundboard Right HereSmall Steal Your Face
7-4-81 aka 07-04-81 aka 7/4/81 aka 07/04/81 aka 81-07-04 setlist 320 kbps mp3 SBD download
Grateful Dead concert poster - 7/4/81 Manor Downs (not really in) Austin, Texas

GDTS ticket


henryband said...

Many thanks!

Timmy said...

Well, life actually DOES suck. Let's refrase that... MY life sucks. No one's life could possibly suck more than mine. But, once I realized that was the end, it doesn't suck as much. You have to rid your mind of expecting an end of misery. That won't happen. Then you'll see through a new portal. Thanx for sharing this & all your postings. I hope it's a good day... NAH !!!

Deadman said...

Bob goes and blows it completely by confusing it with "Minglewood" and singing something like "T for Texas, T fourth day of July."

Sorry, but that's just crap. He didn't blow it at all, it was entirely intentional, if you listen to it.

He used that line because "Leaving Texas. Fourth Day of July." would not have made sense.

Anyway, hope all's well, Zooom.

Had my own interesting 4th in a Deadhead way...

Zooomabooma said...

Deadman, I disagree, I think for a very brief moment Bobby thought he was singing Minglewood. All's not well but thanks, man, I appreciate it.

You're welcome, Henryband and Timmy... and Timmy I'm sorry to hear that things suck for you. I don't know your story but I'm sure many have it a thousand times worse.

As for my personal hell,
Misery needs to End.
Yes... but how will it?

I hate being in the dark. Having such pain in my life again, it's crushing my spirit, I'm just numb, I'm worried, and it doesn't make sense. I just can't be destroyed again.

I need to be strong. I will be.

Deadman said...

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I've heard Bobby and Jerry flub lyrics and it's never been with such enthusiasm and lack of hesitation or stumbling. Seems some of the folks commenting at The Archive agree with me to so neener neener...

Sorry things aren't going well for you, mate. Hang in there...

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated