Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And so it begins; or GD 36 Years Ago Today

Grateful Dead Steal Your Face plain ol' SYF version

September 23, if my calculations are correct, marks the beginning of the Final 100 Days of 2008. I thought it would be fun to listen to Grateful Dead and related family bands each and every day ... and post up as many shows as possible. I won't put one up every single day but I hope to put one up most days.

I had intended for this 100 Days to be a fundraiser for some charities that I feel are very worthwhile to donate to. I know money is tight for many but listen, even a single dollar or two is appreciated by organizations that do great things in the world. Since I'm not ready yet, the fundraising won't start today but I hope to soon. It might not be fundraising at all but links to charitable organizations for you, the reader, to browse if you wish. Until then, hey, check out Network For Good! They've got links to a bazillion charities which you can search by type and location as well as info concerning organizations looking for volunteers to lend a hand in what they do.


36 years ago today...

Grateful Dead ~ September 23, 1972
Palace Theater ~ Waterbury, Connecticut

1st Set: Big River, Sugaree, Mexicali Blues, Friend Of The Devil,
Black-Throated Wind, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider,
Me And My Uncle, Tennessee Jed, Jack Straw, Bird Song,
El Paso,
Deal, Playing In The Band

2nd Set: The Promised Land-> Bertha-> Greatest Story Ever Told,
Brown-Eyed Women, Around And Around, It's All Over Now Baby Blue,
Cryptical Envelopment-> Drums-> The Other One-> Wharf Rat,
Beat It On Down The Line, Ramble On Rose, Sugar Magnolia->
Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Not Fade Away

Encore: One More Saturday Night

Small Steal Your Face
Kicking things off here is a bit of a rare occurrence by Grateful Dead standards. This is only the 8th time played for Big River (9th if you include an acoustic version on 11/21/70 in a Boston radio station with only Jerry, Bobby and Duane Allman), it's been played almost 400 times in 24 years but on this night it's one of only two times it has ever opened a show. Here was the first and the last would be in June of '74 -- that was it.


A relatively average first set ends with an abstract and slightly sloppy version of "Playing in the Band." Overall the jam is impressive, but when examined closely, one sees that Garcia is operating at a deeper level than the rest of the band. Jerry seems to be constantly sending the jam toward a deeper level while Lesh and Weir struggle to maintain a structure. The result is some oddly formed themes with Garcia sounding a beat or two off. The effect is pleasant to the ear if you like lengthy atonal jams.

The second set begins with the Dead showing off a bit with a scorching "Promised" > "Bertha" > "Greatest." Later in the second set the band launches into an eerie version of "The Other One" after a rare "Cryptical" introduction. This version, like that of September 17, 1972, in Baltimore leaves "The Other One" and transforms into an improvisational beast. Initially the band fools around with a straightforward jam, but the help of Weir plucking harmonics and Billy slowing the pace, the band hits rock bottom. Garcia picks them and with Lesh's help wanders through several "Other One" funk jams. The final jam before the lyrics is towering intimidation. Garcia changes the band's pace back into "The Other One" chords and they rise higher than ever. At its peak Garcia erupts with a nasty "Other One" siren. Truly one of their best moments ever featuring a stormmmmin' Jerry Garcia. After the first verse the theme changes to a frightening, dark tone. The band melts into a fanatical spring toward the bowels of the Theatre. In some jams, like September 17, 1972, in Baltimore, the band sounds as though they are challenging, but during this jam it sounds as though they are being attacked and fleeing for their lives. Garcia seems to be the unfortunate soul taking the brunt of the attack. The feedback that he emits sounds as though he is in pain. Weir does an excellent job of masking Garcia by letting off strange sounds along with Lesh. The jam lets off several off-beat atonal blasts that make no sense and should logically enter other jams. One is left wondering why and what is going on. Ultimately they wind this bliss back into "The Other One" and, instead of finishing off "Cryptical" with the "He Had to Die" reprise (damn!), the band enters one of its finest "Wharf Rat"'s. Weir provides a stellar performance at rhythm, letting off some awesome power chords. Garcia, though, turns this into one of his saddest performances. When he sings, "I wandered downtown, no place to go but just to hang around," it sounds as though he is crying. An excellent conclusion to another stellar September 1972 round-trip into the Dead's improvisational sound."

transcribed from:

The Deadhead's Taping Compendium, Volume 1 [for Grateful Dead music!]
The Deadhead's Taping Compendium, Volume 1:
An In-Depth Guide

to the Music of the Grateful Dead...
[out of print]

Well, Mr. Goetz there might be right about Playin' bein' sloppy if you examine it closely... but to me it's just sweet!

While the first set might be average, that doesn't mean it ain't a darn fine listen and totally worth listening to. As my friend Sugarmag recently exclaimed: "It's the Grateful Fucking Dead!" So, average in this case means beautiful!

Set 2 I'm now diggin' again and it's oh so nice.

Another rare occurrence here is the return of It's All Over Now, Baby Blue -- first time played in almost 2 years. There'd be only one more in the rest of '72 then it would be shelved until just one return appearance in early '74... only to be shelved once again, not reappearing in setlists until 1981!

The Other One-> Wharf Rat are indeed both Mmmmm!

"Yeah, you're gonna like this one," Bobby says before Sugar Mags! Yup -- so much fun!! I was wondering if there's ever been a lame Sugar Mags... maybe, but not here! Before they rocket into Sunshine Daydream, Weir says, "Oh wait, there's more!" Blast off! Yeah, they're havin' fun, too!

There's a minor reel change here and there but nothing bad at all. Some audio fluctuations begin to occur near the end of GDTRFB but it's problem's not too bad. Bobby more than makes up for it in NFA and the combo is just wonderfully '72!

Ya know what? It's a good show!

I took a long time off from the Grateful Dead,
a couple months for the most part, and this show got me energized again.

Gonna be a fun 100 days!


Audio Quality:
9/23/72 Waterbury at Archive.org:

Soundboard for Listening Only
9-23-72 aka 09-23-72 aka 9/23/72 aka 09/23/72 aka 72-09-23 setlist 320 kbps mp3 SBD download
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 and one by Bob Dylan but none by The Beatles.Download it Right HereSmall Steal Your Face
9-23-72 aka 09-23-72 aka 9/23/72 aka 09/23/72 aka 72-09-23 setlist 320 kbps mp3 SBD download


Timmy said...

A awsome show, from the looks of the review... I am downing it as I type... Thanx & may the 4 or 5 winds blow us safely home.

Timmy said...

Oh, man oh man! The sound is stupendous & the show is even better than the review stated... I like this kinda shit. THANX AGAINST THE WINDS.

Anonymous said...

Wow - will be looking forward to the next 99 days!! This one sounds like a good one - will D/L shortly.
I am sure some requests will be coming in soon - so let me put my five cents in - do you have any Bob & Rob shows - especially the one from Kauai - had it years ago on a maxell and it has disappeared.


Will said...

hey, what a nice birthday present. found you from fuzzy...i'm a big deadhead from way back and love the late 60's early 70's shows. thanks and regards, will

Nazz Nomad said...

That first set is a real cowboy set. Event the Jerry tunes.
Guess they were inspired by the frontier town of Waterbury!

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to getting this one unpacked and especially to the Dead you are about to unleash over the rest of the year. I really love 72-73-74

Zoooma!! said...

Timmy!!! I'm really glad you were diggin' this one! The years I use over these 100 years will be completely mixed up and not heavy any particular era but hopefully I'll put up a bunch more shows that you'll really groove on!

Anonymous -- sometime in the Spring you had emailed me or left a comment somewhere on here about that Kauai show. Ya know, I had looked for it and at the time I was kinda close to posting a Bob & Rob show... but life got kinda screwy. Should these 100 days go over as planned, I'll have a Bob & Rob show to put up! PLUS -- I'll see what I can do about that Kauai show. Happy to help! In the meantime -- enjoy these 100 days!

Happy Birthday, Will! Glad you found Inspiration, Move Me Brightly. Lots of Grate tunes if you're lookin' for some Good Ol' GD and Jerry!

Nazz -- I think i've seen tumbleweeds in downtown Waterbury... yeah, quite frontier. Lots of desert everywhere. Or is it dessert everywhere? Ice cream and cookies... hmmm, no wonder Jerry got so fat!

Anonymous #2 -- It's gonna be a mixed bag but I'll see what I can do for those years you mentioned. Enjoy the tunes!

Thanks for the comments... they're appreciated! Feel free to leave one anytime!

Anonymous said...

Great blog, thanks. I believe this is the last cryptical (albeit a first verse only version) until 1985. Len from Wales UK

Anonymous said...

Hey!Baby Blue in 1972!I know that tune only from 1966 shows and from CD Garcia plays Dylan.It´s one of my favorites.Sounds great,just like in 1966.THANKS,Grateful Boki 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