Sunday, September 28, 2008

Farewell Paul, See Ya Next Year Jerry


What's more important than music? Giving. When I came up with the idea for 100 Days of the Grateful Dead, part of that was about Giving -- you giving! Yes, you!! Organizations that strive to help others in this world of need, they appreciate even a dollar or two. Never think that you can't afford to give. You don't have to write a check for a thousand dollars. You don't have to write one for $100. Even a buck or two. Come on now... seriously... who can't afford that? Is your *-bucks double tall mocha latte truly needed in your life?

A great organization that I've had linked for a long, long time is:

The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp was started by recently departed American icon, Paul Newman.

"He was a man of extraordinary generosity, vision, creativity and compassion. His selfless commitment to the welfare of children living with serious illnesses has been inspirational to people around the world. Twenty years ago, Paul Newman founded The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, the first in what has grown to become the world’s largest family of camps serving children with serious illnesses. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is part of his living legacy, and for that we remain forever grateful. His leadership and spirit can never be replaced, but he has left us with a clear course for the future.

Paul’s dream lives on in the joy, magic and healing power of Camp."

from the Boston Herald:

Paul Newman and Me:
A Hole in the Wall kid remembers

By Colneth Smiley Jr.
Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul Newman was a silver-screen legend - but he was also the guy who gave me some of my happiest childhood memories.

As a young lad in Mattapan in the ’80s, I was one of those sickly kids in and out of the hospital, diagnosed with what was then considered a terminal disease, with a prognosis from doctors that I wouldn’t live past my 20s.

Ah, those were the days.

Because of my illness, I got to go to The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp.

Through Children’s Hospital, my parents had heard of this place that offered children with terminal diseases and serious illnesses the opportunity to live a normal life through fun summer activities.

The name was strange, but the fact that it was Paul Newman’s camp was supposed to be a selling point to a young city-slicker cynic who hated outdoor activities and loathed the idea of having to tough it out in the boonies of Connecticut, surrounded by mosquitoes, forced to drink “bug juice” and eat granola all day long while singing corny camp songs.

Looking back at it now, that camp was friggin’ awesome.

It was even better than some family vacations, because I got to get away from worried relatives who constantly reminded me that I shouldn’t do this or I shouldn’t do that. At Paul Newman’s camp, a kid - as sick as he or she was - was allowed to be a kid.

I went horseback riding, camping, swimming, fly-fishing and canoeing. I loved my log cabin. And the young counselors, volunteers and caring staff seemed to make all us young campers forget about our worries so that we could focus on the important thing - having fun.

My favorite part was camping outdoors, roasting marshmallows in front of a roaring campfire where I experienced my first kiss. (Not that that was part of the camp’s agenda - I was just a young scamp and there were some real cute girls there. “Hud” probably would have understood.)

One night, I met Mr. Newman. He came through to hang out and join in some corny camp sing-a-longs. But “Hi, My Name is Joe” and “Kumbayah” can’t really be considered corny if “Cool Hand Luke” is bellowing out a couple of verses.

I’m grown now, and my doctors were wrong - I breezed through my 20s. But I learned to overcome some obstacles by toughing it out like “Butch” in Newman’s camp, which still sits in the boonies of Connecticut, and from what I understand has grown into something even more extraordinary.

So, on behalf of all the sickly kids that just wanted to live life and be kids - thanks, Mr. Newman. You will be missed.

Small Steal Your Face
33 years ago today...

The Grateful Dead ~ September 28, 1975

Lindley Meadows, Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California

Help On The Way-> Slipknot, The Music Never Stopped*,
They Love Each Other, Beat It On Down The Line
Franklin's Tower, Big River, It Must Have Been The Roses,
Truckin'-> Jam-> Drums-> Stronger Than Dirt or Milkin' The Turkey->
Not Fade Away-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad->
One More Saturday Night

* w/ presumably Matt Kelly on harmonica
"San Francisco Unity Fair"


One of the best shows of 1975! It's in the Top 5, hands down!!

This would be The Boys' final public appearance for what probably felt like forever to many Deadheads -- their last show until June 3, 1976. It was worse than that for some -- their last Bay Area show until July 12!

But I suppose, if your favorite band is going to go on hiatus for awhile, what a way to go! This is just a, well, it's a Damn Fucken Grate Show. Clocking in at under 1 hour 40 minutes, size does not matter. I'd rather listen to this than some 3 hour shows!

Very seldom will I endorse the notion of a "must have show" but 9/28/75 Lindley Meadows... yeah, it's a show, without a doubt, that Deadheads must have in their collection.


In the fall of 1975, the Dead treated Deadheads to a free concert in Golden Gate Park, a grand statement in the middle of their eighteen-month retirement that spoke of interesting developments among a far from inactive group. Between 25,000 and 40,000 fans jammed the glade below the Polo Field in Golden Gate Park where Speedway Meadow and Lindley Meadow come together for the New Age Bicentennial Unity Fair, a two-day festival capped by performances by the Jefferson Starship and the Dead, billed as "Jerry Garcia and Friends." A local newspaper described it as "music from the two world-famous San Francisco-based rock groups and a variety of ecologically, socially and politically oriented booths, ranging from Smoke Watchers, Ananda Marga, Nuclear Safeguard Initiative to the Bay Area Gay Lib." This was slightly misleading, since some thirty bands had played from the same stage the day before, but the festival's climax was unquestionably the Dead: their first free show in the park since the sixties, and the perfect inverse of the tiny show held held a month earlier primarily for music industry representatives at the Great American Music Hall. This one was for the Deadheads.

The weather cooperated, grudgingly: chilly and overcast, but not foggy or rainy. It was not one of those beautiful Indian summer days San Francisco is famous for. Rolling Stone's reporter wrote about Keith running his hands frantically before they started, trying to warm up his fingers. It takes them a bit to warm up as a group, but the tape shows that the band, once ensconced, more than rose to the occasion. Looser and more fun in feeling than the Great American Music Hall concert, the highlight for many fans was the return of "The Eleven Jam," last heard in January 1970. For many more, however, it was their first chance to hear performances of much of the new material for Blues For Allah, although some had gotten a taste with the radio broadcast of most of the Great American show a couple of weeks earlier. The band's work for the album shines here, too, with well-thought-out arrangements and lots of little instrumental flourishes and vocal nuances that result from a lot of recent, careful work in the studio. And the easy humor and camaraderie of the band also comes through clearly: this sounds like nothing so much as a return to easy summer days in the park--but for 40,000, not 400, and with a much more polished, accomplished band than the one that rented flatbed trucks and barreled into the park for a couple of hours of guerrilla theater eight years earlier.

"Help on the Way" leads off to a great start, slow and loose and funky. Strong vocals immediately impress the listener--lots of studio polish shows here, and all so comfortable and familiar, just working the groove from the first Garcia solo, only a couple of minutes in. This version comes off more languorous and exploratory than the one heard a month ago at the Great American Music Hall, with more of that expressive Dead exploration, "just poking around, folks, let's see what we see . . ." And it meanders so delightfully. This is the other side of Dead jams--not purposeful, but as meaningful as a great ramble in the countryside can be. After a little vocal flub by Jerry on the second verse, things suddenly tighten, for a letter-perfect rendition of the complicated bridge between "Help" and "Franklin's" that is "Slipknot!" You can feel why it's called that, the way it reels in what little slack there was, clinching it tight to that angular chord progression, only to let it relax a bit, allowing everyone to explore a little on the way, drums tapping in perfect tandem, more than one drummer but somehow less than two. The beast is moving, muttering, grumbling, about to wake up fully, with Garcia and Lesh and Keith all playing leads around and off each other, always mesmerizing in time and just hauntingly out of sync. Only Bobby and the drummers keep things unified, and the whole disparate mass lumbers towards the faint "three" heard on the tape, measuring off, everyone in step now, only Phil playing out until he sounds that sonic linchpin, and they've reduced to nothing as Garcia impatiently sounds the theme to "Slipknot!" again, through what feels like a couple of misfires, but they come off so well that the listener realizes, no, this is just a confident band, playing with it all--and into a surprising close, no "Franklin's."

After a quick pause, "Music" begins, with the whole band playing very tight. There's no looseness at all, just that trademark Dead martial rhythm propulsing, everyone sticking close, hints of space only as Donna sings her first solo line: "There's a band out on the highway." "Band" gets stretched a bit, a reminder of the range always present, the many directions to choose from on that highway, but it tightens up, though, straight ahead, no deviation. Which is where it stays, only a few flashes of the atmosphere it can encompass, reined in all the way through Jerry's most expansive solo before the second verse, where they're joined in by Matt Kelly's harp. We get a nice reminder of what Donna can do on the "da-da-da" line in the chorus: a wonderful source of vocal sweetening, a brief moment before the jam begins. This is our postponed catharsis, promised in "Help" > "Slip," ending far too quickly: such eloquent restraint leaves us feeling as if we're still due for some release, somewhere.

There are lots of quick stops in this show. Only a few seconds elapse before "They Love Each Other" rings out, briskly paced from the outset. The mood from "Music" continues. But the pace doesn't affect Jerry's singing in the slightest. He gives it a sensitive reading, sweet and even subdued in its expressiveness, giving the narrative voice a sadness I hadn't really heard before, a wise and worldly appreciation for human love, as if to acknowledge the pain it causes while celebrating its potential. There are some wonderful guitar lines, too: Garcia likes this song, and the range of moods he carves in his solos covers the musical bases of love, from bluesy to lyrical. Deadheads who in later years used this song as a bathroom break should listen to what it goes through here.

On my tape there is a fade-out here, with volume rising to pick up Bobby telling the crowd, "We'll get around to all the old favorites we can remember." Audience cheers push him a bit further: "You wouldn't be clapping if you knew what that meant." Some monitor mix banter follows, in which Jerry includes the audience, saying, "Yeah, we'd like it to be louder up here." The inflection on "louder" makes it seem so delightfully subversive, somehow an expression of the eternally hip and universal values of rock: the crowd roars its appreciation. That's the Dead charisma.

"Beat It on Down the Line" has the same martial authority "Music" had, a steaming groove following a soft, floating beginning, not tentative, but an airy rhythm, heavy with implication, that solidifies shortly into the upbeat shuffle that normally characterizes it--another sign of the lightness that so much of Blues For Allah exemplifies. Matt Kelly's harp is faint but present, adding a nice counterpoint to Jerry's guitar in places, riding along over the top of others. It is easy to see why Bobby wanted to keep working with him after the Dead disbanded. A well-played rendition--but short. And where did the idea emerge that next would be "Franklin's"? One guitar sounds the opening lick, and it's immediately seized; one of those moments when the years drop away and all of the excitement and alchemy and mystery of hearing the next foreordained surprise manifests in one wondrous musical epiphany, and you realize: oh, right, we all wanted this . . . The groove emerges perfectly, from a cold start, no less: the exact sort of airy, open beat that they can all build together, playing around each other, leaving so much open space. There are no stars on that stage, just egoless group concentration inflating this lighter-than-air creation that's growing and rising and swelling and building, staying sparse though the first solos, second verse now, second chorus, no hints of the avalanche yet--such exquisite tension, until Garcia sings, "If you get confused, listen to the music play." And the sonic fusillade crashes down; the beast is awake and roaring, though still capable of being restrained, with effort, and so it is, called back down for the next verse, well sung by Garcia, followed by a strong chorus. Who knows what "Roll away the dew" really means, but it resonates. Some lyrics are missed in the last verse, but it moves sweetly and easily into a final chorus, emphasis on clear, tight, well-sung harmonies, everyone pared back to the sketchiest of musical outlines, just a couple of muffled toms now, with the chorus rolling over the top with that thunderous, surprising, tightly choreographed, resounding end. A "Franklin's" very different from its eighties incarnation.

More friendly banter with Bobby announcing that "Billy would like to make a small point of the fact that we're playing a cowboy tune," and you can hear the grin in his voice, as if he's ribbing his friend. A tight, taut beginning in a classic C&W shuffle-pop elicits some fine Garcia work, a little reminder of the buried Black Mountain Boys influence still at work beneath the electric instruments, even if it is occasionally a little odd to see how much the band really likes this kind of tune. Not that it deflects them, though: it gets transmogrified into a launching vehicle as easily as anything else in the canon, as seen perfectly in the way they all leap in and explode things before the final verse. It's a marvelous reminder of why many of the great San Francisco sixties bands used C&W as a base for psychedelia.

The mood shifts with "It Must Have Been The Roses," and what a version it is. Garcia's voice is at its pure, sweet unaffected peak: a clear, expressive, and young-sounding tenor, with lots of signs of polish and work. It makes for a nice complement to his guitar tone, with its emphasis on clarity and enunciation. This is a letter-perfect reading of the song, from sweet Jerry and Donna harmonies--the best of the show--to a tight, nicely nuanced instrumental accompaniment; from Keith on electric piano to the drummers, spending so much time on the cymbals, to just a couple of hard-struck guitar chords. Everything's in balance, focused with a sense of intensity that lends a sense of urgency to the song, giving it the unmistakable cast of an anguished confessional; even Garcia's solos stay close to the melody line. A perfect rendition.

Phil announced the next song by saying, "The correct pronunciation of this tune is "Truckin','" emphasis on the last syllable, minus the "g," to great applause, as Bobby deadpans "God willing we'll remember the words. All you folks who know the words, mouth them real, real vividly." This reflects how Bobby felt about performing the song, which they had played only a year earlier, recent history by Dead standards. Before the show, Bobby joked with reporters about this being the "rustiest band in show business." So things start easily, a nice steady, reasonably paced "Truckin'" unfolds at the proper tempo for this densely worded archetypal road song: striding along, not rushing the singers too much, always the measure of this song's pace. It's good, solid, and tight, if unadventurous at first, with one blown cue before a chorus, but great vocals. This is a good show indeed, featuring strong, interesting Garcia around Bobby's lyrics throughout, and by the end, the band sounds tight. They do remember, and no sooner do they remind you of how familiar it is than off it goes, Phil dropping out of his conventional role, a stripped-down penultimate chorus, and then a wonderful quick build to the song's distinctive, sweeping finale, the long headlong rush into that final crescendo, left achingly incomplete when one of the guitarists absents himself and the other hits the off note. It disassembles and rebuilds and provides some great mini-crescendos in the course of a long tight intense jam, slowly lowering into space, Garcia picking fast high up on the neck, the band swinging down into that still quick paced but thinning beat, slowed now to nothing, oozing into a half beat, then a slow shuffle, pace quickened beneath the syncopation, building up fast now--where is this going? Could be anything anywhere, so far out and off of anything recognizable: just a wonderful sweeping space over an insistent intangibly floating percussion track, all cymbals and touches and taps, but moving, so quickly--perfect late afternoon trance dancing fare . . . and so long. Then something seems to be forming in the stew, coalescing; no, just another few figures and runs, all mysterious, all deliberate, all working, and hard--but so abstract again, out far, far away from any melody, pattern, chord progression, and even key at times, rhythms all swinging and melding, accents gliding forever until just a few taps, total musique concrète--and into drums.

A percussion powerhouse, the drums duet goes from high, intense cymbal and traps to toms to stronger and more rapid-fire teasing and playing by two drummers rolling rhythms off of each other and into and around and through, dissecting, exploding, and reweaving it in the drummer equivalent of what their fellow band members do to melodies. It seems as if no time at all has passed before we hear a little instrumental lick signifying that the other musicians are back on stage: the drummers are just flowing taps now, waiting for things to be pushed, enveloped, you think. Instead, they do the pushing, with a hard powerful downturn into "Stronger Than Dirt." It works well, on the whole: a few rough spots at first, taking its time getting into its arcane and complex series of jaggedy ascending and descending changes, launching quickly into weird, fast group jamming that can't stray far before being called back into the melody, tough changes that don't come off very well--the perfection that showed at Great American Music Hall, or even earlier today.

But how nice to hear it brought to a conclusion, replete with a theatrically extended little coda. Jerry insistently calls things to a close, even as the drummers begin the telltale Bo Diddley rhythm of "Not Fade Away," everyone giving them room to state things. Then just a few light chord licks from the guitarists--such a spare opening, quick and understated, lots of open spaces, wandering into melody with leisurely digressions on Bo Diddley, "Mona," and a few others before settling into business with a vengeance; a great slide-flavored, acid-drenched Garcia solo, which is really the start of such a long spacey transition to "Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad" that you get lost in. A quick phrasing of its final bars at the end of "Not Fade Away"'s jam, then far into space for a blissful few minutes until the rhythm emerges, a faint spiral in the soup and "Goin' Down the Road" forms, oh so slowly, with just a teasing at it at first, backing off, then thumping into it with a drive, bringing a perfect danceable solidity to the deep space it followed. Garcia's sweet folk harmonies with Donna nicely complement the mood swing established by his first solo, which touches the weird before plunging hard into a first-rate extremely fast breakdown--and a perfect return to the sweetness of the chorus one more time. No matter how many times the Dead played certain songs, they were always able to find new things to say in them.

The Dead were always about balance, though, and after a trip the outer limits, they knew that folkie old-time sweetness was reassuring comfort, so they go into a rousing, affirming final chorus, the audience as exuberant as if it were a gospel revival. Momentum is preserved into the steaming chug-chug of "One More Saturday Night," which starts more sedately than its later years. Moving from an off-center trot, it drops into a peppy canter and then picks up to ramming speed by the end in that patented way that the Dead had of filling in a rhythm without changing it, husbanding the beat while covering an almost impossible range of tempos--as impossible as some of the screeching Donna does at the end--but it's a solid rendition nonetheless.

From a fan standpoint, the day was an unqualified success: a breath of fresh Dead in a long season of drought, and a tantalizing survey of what this "retirement" was doing for them musically. Local media coverage was positive, too. The fans behaved well, the band played beautifully; about the only negative was that the show's producers were citied for violating the city's sound ordinance. Even the pessimistic Bobby left the stage feeling "euphoric," according to one report. The last words on the tape are a great final quote from a hoarse-sounding Phil: "Let's have us another party like this again sometimes," to enthusiastic cheers and thank yous. All in all the show was a wonderful "we're still here" statement, retired or not, and a big public thank you to the fans that matched the private statement made to the industry a month before at the Great American Music Hall. This makes a good companion to that more formal occasion, another historic show from an era in the band's history that is poorly represented in the canon. With this pair, we have a slice of primal Dead.

transcribed from:

The Deadhead's Taping Compendium Volume II, 1975-1985 [guide to Grateful Dead 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]

Source: Soundboard> Master Reel> DAT

Audio Quality:

9/28/75 at the SBD for listening only
but you can Dload the sweet, sweet Audience source

9-28-75 aka 09-28-75 aka 9/28/75 aka 09/28/75 aka 75-09-28 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 the Soundboard Right HereSmall Steal Your Face
286 kbps (average)
9-28-75 aka 09-28-75 aka 9/28/75 aka 09/28/75 aka 75-09-28 setlist 320 kbps mp3 SBD download


Sugarmag said...

Hey Zoooma, this is a fun show. I love how Music Never Stopped, They Love Each Other and BIODTL are between Slip and Frank's. This was fun to listen to, love the banter. I like how Bob says "we'll play all the songs we can remember" and also when they were getting ready to play Truckin' they said, "If you know the lyrics, help us out and mouth them real clearly." What a party that must have been.

Anonymous said...

Excellent show, Zoooma. Thanks so much for posting. Looking forward to hearing some of the other stuff you've shared. I could use a little more Dead in my life.

Oh, BTW, are NON-Nazi monkey molesters allowed? :^)


Zoooma!! said...

Howdy Rob! Yes, if you're a monkey molester but you're totally anti-Nazi, you're welcome here!

Lots o' GD for ya to dig so dive right in! Thanks for the comment... Enjoy!

Keith H said...

Great Show!!!! I've had this one on casette since the mid 80's, one of my favorites.

I just found your site and it's got some great music. Thanks!

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated